THE TRUTH About The 1917 Penny Coin Value

The 1917 penny coin value is fascinating. It was the first U.S. money to include a distorted version of the Lincoln Memorial on the front. The pictures’ significance and why they remain a mystery. 

The penny is a dependable, enduring collectible and one of the most well-liked U.S. coins. Let’s examine your ’17 penny!

Closeup of coins

The 1917 Penny 

The 1917 penny value is a wonderful place to start estimating your collection’s worth because it equals hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars in today’s currency. Due to its renown and rarity, the coin is worth more than this.

Many people think the 1917-cent coin is worth more than they spent. It is due to the coin’s original mint year of 1918—popularity, demand, and circulation influence a coin’s value. Numerous websites also provide tools for determining your 1917 cent.

How Much is a Penny Coin Worth?

How much is a 1917 penny worth? Coins, like other collectibles, have wholesale and retail values. The wholesale price is a coin dealer’s price to purchase a penny. The dealer’s retail price is what he asks for the coin.

According to J.M. Bullion‘s assessments, the bulk of 1917 pennies has an average wholesale value of approximately $0.30 and $0.50 for those in acceptable condition, around $4 for those in really fine grade, and about $10 for uncirculated coins. 

Uncirculated 1917 Lincoln pennies bearing the D or S mark can sell for much more money. For instance, a D penny is approximately $50, and an S cent is roughly $25.

These prices do not account for special editions of the coins, so if you chance to have a coin with the 1917 wheat penny error (due to double dying, being off-center, and missing l in liberty), you stand to gain more money compared to regular production of the pennies. 

The following examples of 1917 pennies recently sold on eBay provide a clear picture of the present internet market for coin collectors and vendors interested in these modestly priced collectibles:

  • Penny with a Split Planchet Error D sold for around $59.
  • Obverse Penny with Double Die sold for around $13.50.
  • Penny with a lamination error sold for around $25.

Although greater than the wholesale price, the retail value of the coin, or dealer pricing, will vary depending on the specific dealer and retailer. Typically, the retail price of coins supplied in traditional coin-oriented activities is three to four times the wholesale price.

How Rare is it?

How rare is a 1917 penny? The 1917 cent is the second-rarest coin in the United States. Unlike silver or gold coins, they were only produced for a single year and were composed of copper. Due to the limited production (less than 2 billion), these coins are rare and costly.

Manufacturer’s Info

Even though 1917 wheat coins with the Lincoln head are rare, they are nonetheless valuable. Indeed, in 1917, there were over 284 million pennies produced. When divided across the many American mints, this equals:

  • The San Francisco mint has 33 million coins.
  • Philadelphia’s mint has 196 million pennies.
  • The Denver Mint has 55 million coins.

The History of the 1917 Penny’s Value

The following variables affect this historic penny’s value:

  • Ideal location
  • Rarity
  • Coin quality
  • Demand

Certain 1917 Lincoln Wheat Pennies are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. These coins have a grade in the high 60s and the 70s on a scale of 1 to 70. Historically, the most common coin grades range from 4, which is superb, to 12, which is good.

Despite significant wear, the legend and design are still discernible on a coin with a grade of 4. It can have faded spots and look dull, with smooth writing. The raised portions of a coin have strong, crisp, and well-defined features.

One cent 1917

How is a Coin’s Value Determined?

Several approaches to estimating the worth of an antique coin, such as a 1917 penny, are scouring the market or using hard pricing guides to aid you through the complex value estimation process. Find pennies that are worth money using the resources listed below.


Collectors and traders use the term “grade” to describe the state of an old penny. The rows of the value chart have grades listed along them. Each coin examines signs of wear and surface preservation. To understand these various grades, make a comparison with the pictures of each step.

A precise grade determination is necessary to arrive at an appropriate value. Getting a good initial impression while looking at your currency is crucial. Even hue and absence of distracting markings are positive indicators.

Uncirculated Condition

The first thing to look for is a consistent mint shine over the whole surface. The mint condition – uncirculated grade is characterized by uninterrupted brilliance.

Lincoln’s shirt and coat collar lines are visible on an uncirculated coin. Both are prominent and well-situated. Verify the texture and gloss of the original surfaces with a close inspection. Smoothness and a departure in hue from the surroundings are signs of wear.

The sample 1917 penny’s worth may be determined chiefly by its aesthetic attractiveness. Collectors evaluate a coin’s attractiveness and degree of wear. A lot of original shine enhances desirability.

Extremely Fine Condition

Lincoln’s shoulder and Lincoln’s head are the design’s highest points above the field. The presence of little wear in these spots shows that the coin is of fine quality.

There are still two lines that correspond to the coat and shirt. It clearly distinguishes between Lincoln’s neck and the collar of his shirt and between his jacket and his shirt. The formerly crisp lines have become softer with wear but have not merged.

You have a well-preserved coin when you combine the collar detail with a strong representation of hair waves. The delicate lighter tan tone over deeper browns near the rims further draws attention to the remaining elements—the 1917-D collectible penny.

Fine Condition

The wear of fine-grade pennies ranges from moderate to substantial. Lincoln is bold and doesn’t blend in with the setting.

A distinctive collar line divides the neck and shirt region. It is also difficult to make out the poorly worn collar on Lincoln’s coat. These minor and weak characteristics still indicate an example deserving of a Fine rating.

The brighter yellow tones and the brown give the 1917-S cent its unique color. Known as “woodgrain,” it appeals to some, while others like a more even tone—an illustration of how aesthetics adds value.

Good Condition

Coins of good grade have significant wear that has removed both minor and substantial detail. Lincoln’s name, the date, and all writing remain readable.

A continuous flat surface extends through the design’s core from top to bottom. The smooth metal wear is what has created the flat surface. Lines that formerly distinguished Lincoln’s shirt from his coat are no longer present. His neck and the bulk of the shirt have blended.

This sample’s date and clearly defined big legends increase its eye appeal. The tint of this well-used copper cent is now a pleasant blend of gentle tans and light browns.

Online Auctions

Check eBay to find out how much the identical type of coin you have in your collection is worth. It’s crucial to review the closed auctions in the cents and paper Money area. You may determine the actual prices the artifact is getting when sold at auction by locating a penny in a similar condition to the one you have.

Eye Appeal

The value of a coin is closely related to its aesthetic attractiveness. Consider the overall aesthetics after assessing the technical conditions. One aspect of value with numerous variations is the particular attractiveness of a coin to each collector. However, there are a few qualities that you consider while buying coins.

One of the first characteristics noticed about a coin is its color and tone. Once toned, copper’s numerous colors allow for various personal tastes. A collector could value brilliant, untinted surfaces and more subdued red and brown tones. The strength of striking and depth of design are subtle characteristics. A well-made coin has a striking appearance.

The 1917 cent is in circulation with a consistent tone that is not too dark, and design components have little highlights. Surfaces are primarily mark-free, and no noticeable significant nicks are visible. 

A clean rim frames the well-struck inscriptions and dates. Lincoln’s picture shows minor signs of wear. Importantly, the reverse matches the obverse’s tone hue, lack of markings, and worn—a wheat cent with good value and aesthetic appeal.

Online Resources

Visit websites that provide coin values to check the coin’s worth. Pricing information for wholesale and retail coins is on certain websites, including:

  • Best Coin – A fantastic resource for beginning coin collectors, best coin offers useful information on various interesting subjects, including coin and currency values, grading data and charts, a dealer directory, and links to other numismatic websites.
  • Professional Coin Grading Service – In the world of coin collecting, it is a well-known brand and is highly recognized as the benchmark for impartial certification. The pricing guide, population data on every US coin produced, coin values achieved at auctions, dealer listing, and coin prices are just a few of the extra services offered by PCGS.
  • Coin Facts – This website offers comprehensive details on every coin issued in the US.

Price Guides

Additionally, you may use a coin collector’s pricing guide, accessible in bookstores, libraries, and online, to determine the coin’s worth.

The most recent pricing guides and coin-collecting materials are available at JP’s Corner, including;

  • Whitman Red Book – A Guidebook of U.S. Coin: 7th Edition by Q. David Bowers, Jeff Garrett, and Kenneth Bressett
  • Whitman Red Book of United States Paper Money: 7th Edition by Arthur and Ira Friedburg

The Different 1917 Penny Varieties

The majority was used and got —the worn—coins with minimal to no wear. 

1917 Lincoln Penny

No Mintmark Under Date: Philadelphia Mint Struck the Coin

One thousand nine hundred seventeen wheat cents rank as Abundant on a rarity scale. Philadelphia produced 196,425,785 pieces, which is the biggest mintage to date. Even minimal circulation wear increases the value of coins. Viewing the reverse of a prized coin that depicts a crisp, distinct separation of wheat grains may help you identify these finer instances.

A mellow brown tint without obvious imperfections is a wonderful coin that appeals to many collectors.

1917-D Lincoln Penny

“D” Mintmark Under Date: Denver Mint Struck the Coin

These 1917 Denver wheat cents, regarded as abundant in lower-worn condition, require careful examination. As a student’s grade climbs, the rarity levers become Infrequent. The price for extremely fine indicates that there is a demand for coins with fine details.

Look attentively at the text along the rim, both on the obverse and reverse, to obtain a substantial value. Instead of long, fading text, choose strong, flat-positioned letters on the coin’s field. Surprising differences build up around many.

1917-S Lincoln Penny

“S” Mintmark Under Date: San Francisco Mint Struck the Coin

In 1917, San Francisco produced 32,020,000 1917 S penny coins, a significant mintage. The highest total since the wheat design’s inception in 1909. A distinct supply scenario exists for a coin collector looking for a fine, lightly circulated, or superior coin. Most coins are tarnished and lack essential details.

An attractive coin experiences a significant increase in value. Lincoln should undergo a thorough inspection because it is uncommon to find any traces of detail in the beard or hair. The next step to buy is the grading information.

Many coins

We’ve Got You Covered

The penny’s worth has fluctuated throughout time. Every year, inflation is a significant element that influences the value of the penny. A significant effect is how much money we have in our currency and how frequently we utilize it. 

The value of money gradually rises (and falls), much like the value of money is slowly increased (or decreases) for persons who inherit a modest sum of money every year. Read our article and find out The Best Way To Clean Old Coins.

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