Quick Answer: The type, rarity, and grade of 1942 Lincoln Pennies all influence their value. However, the estimated price range is $0,15-5.50. Proof coins, on the other hand, may be more expensive, costing up to $35 or more, whereas error coins may cost up to $20 or more.

Some people collect coins as a hobby, while others do so for short-term or long-term financial gain. Some people collect in order to teach their children about maths, coinage, and money. Some people collect in order to invest now, but they intend to pass the collection down to their heirs. Some people save a particular type of coin because it has sentimental value (gold, silver, error, foreign, ancient, commemorative, for example). The list goes on and on.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced coin collector, the 1942 wheat penny is a great coin to own since it is one of the most sought-after coin series in the world of numismatics. In this article we will determine the 1942 penny value, its history, and also where and how to get them.

First things first, let’s dig deeper into the history of the Lincoln penny and what makes it so interesting and unique.

History Behind 1942 Lincoln Pennies

As the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth approached, famous numismatists, collectors, and a segment of the public put pressure on the US mint to create a coin honouring Abraham Lincoln. The primary mint said at the start of the design that it desired a coin with a profile of Lincoln.

Victor Brenner designed a medal for the Panama Canal Commission, which Roosevelt discovered. He wanted to know who designed it because he was so impressed by the award.

As a result, the United States Mint officially commissioned Victor Brenner to design a coin honouring Abraham Lincoln. Victor Brenner was inspired by a historic photograph of Abraham Lincoln reading a book while his son stood by his side. Following various ideas, the US mint accepted Victor Brenner’s design and set a date for its introduction in July 1909.

The 1942 Lincoln Wheat Penny is one of the most popular coins because it was a common way for people to save money during World War II. With war restrictions already in effect to save metal and other vital supplies for the war effort, the United States Treasury stripped nickel from the five-cent coin to meet the nation’s artillery needs. The Lincoln cent, on the other hand, would not be subjected to a temporary, war-related metal composition modification until the next year. Thus, 1942 Lincoln Wheat Penny coins continued to be produced as usual.

It is critical to understand the metal composition of nickels because they might be valued at much more than 5 cents at times. Nickel typically contains 25% nickel and 75% copper. While, “War Nickels” (mid-1942 to 1945) are composed of 56% copper, 35% silver, and 9% manganese. This makes the 1942 penny a valuable collectible.

1942 Penny Description

Inspiring words, graphics, face value, and metal composition are among the features of the 1942 penny. They come in brown, red, and brown and red.

On both sides of the 1942 penny are three notable slogans:


As Liberty, a symbolic American goddess, appears atop New York’s Liberty Statue. During the Great American Revolution, France presented the artwork to the country as a gift. The slogan is an official motto that represents the country’s liberty and freedom.

E Pluribus Unum

America used the slogan “E Pluribus Unum” to affirm the foundation of a country made up of several states. “Out of many, one,” says a Latin phrase.

What Is The Value Of A 1942 Penny?

In 1942, 864,579,590 coins were minted from 3 main mints: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.

The Philadelphia mint produced the most coins. Because of the huge mintage, there was an abundance of Lincoln pennies. As a result, the 1942 pennies without the mintmark have a low value in all conditions.

Denver’s mint produced the second-largest number of coins. Although many continue to exist, there is a market for those with little to no wear. 1942 saw the San Francisco mint produce the fewest wheat pennies, which generated a lot of interest in that particular variety. They have the highest value in both ordinary and uncirculated conditions.

1942 Penny Value chart

Coin Identifying Mark Average Price Rarity
1942 Lincoln Penny There is no mint mark under the date. $0.15 to $0.75 Common
1942 D The Denver Mint struck the coin with the “D” Mint Mark and the date. $0.15 to $0.85. Common
1942 S The San Francisco Mint struck the coin with the “S” Mint Mark and the date. $0.15 to $5.50. Relatively rare

As you might already know, coin grading is a means of determining the condition or quality of a coin. It is a big deal when evaluating the value of a coin.

Coins can be graded according to their condition, which can range from uncirculated to worn. The 1942 penny is no exception, and its value can be determined according to the grading system as well. The process of judging conditions begins with first impressions. Is the coin flat and tired in look, or are the lines pleasant and detailed? Lincoln’s bold features and clean text suggest an above-average condition coin.

Here is the comparative chart:

Condition 1942 1942 D 1942 S
Uncirculated $1.37 $1.61 $5.81
Very Fine $0.06 $0.09 $0.09
Fine $0.05 $0.05 $0.05
Good $0.03 $0.01 $0.05

If you want to learn more about grading Lincoln Pennies, follow this link

Value of 1942 Penny Rarities

There are highly valuable 1942 pennies, which are rather rare. The family of Albert Michael Pratt, a former employee of the US Mint, found one of the most expensive 1942 pennies. Originally intended to produce an Ecuador 20 centavo coin, this unusual 1942 penny was accidentally struck on a brass planchet (in the past, the U.S. Mint produced millions of coins for other countries).

Additionally,only 224 Philadelphia-minted 1942 pennies have been graded Mint State-67 “Red” by PCGS, while NGC has certified 457 in that grade. They’re valued between $150 and $200, possibly more if you find a particularly excellent specimen in MS-67 “Red” condition.

And of course, proof coins are valuable as usual. If you didn’t know, a proof is a specimen struck of coinage for presentation, souvenir, exhibition, or numismatic purposes. Did you know that the Philadelphia mint produced proof coins from 1936 to 1942 inclusively?

Proof set values are in average unspotted condition. The 1942 proof penny is highly valued. It sells for $35 or more, with barely more than 32,000 made. To get to know the expensive 1942 pennies, watch this video.

Additionally, many error coins are rare and valuable, and they can be incredibly interesting.

There are many types of errors that exist on coins today. While some errors are small, others are much more noticeable.

There are several criteria that must be met before a coin can be deemed an error. Such as having struck off-centre, having the incorrect sort of planchet, having the planchets manufactured wrongly so they are too thick or thin, being poorly clad, or any other issue that might arise during the coin production process. These coins are often collectible and may fetch higher prices than regular circulating coins.

Usually, 1942 Lincoln Error coins might sell for $20 to $200 and can even go higher.

For instance, this error coin, which has no mintmark and costs $1,500,

Another example is this circulated coin, where the word “UNUM” is missing and it costs $24.50.

Now let’s take a look at pennies that were sold on auction

For example, this beautiful 1942 penny holds the auction record of $12,650.

This coin was also sold for the same price.

Whereas, this red penny was sold for $3,960.

Useful Information for 1942 Penny Potential Investors

How to Determine the Value of My 1942 Penny?

Value is a complex subject. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine what a coin’s value should be in comparison to other coins of similar condition and type. Wheat pennies are not an exception. As a result, it is important to understand the factors that affect the value of wheat pennies before determining if your wheat penny is worth more than face value.

There are several factors that impact the value of your 1942 wheat penny, including the condition of the coin and its metal composition. The condition of a coin is determined by two main factors: its appearance and its metal composition. Both of these factors play a role in how much your 1942 wheat pen is worth. The appearance of your 1942 wheat pennies can be affected by wear and tear, especially when it comes to scratches, stains, and dents. Dents can reduce a coin’s overall appeal and make it less appealing to collectors. Likewise, a heavily worn 1942 wheat penny will generally be worth less than one that remains in nearly pristine condition.

Market for 1942 Penny

Ebay is a great place to buy collectible coins.

1942 wheat penny values on eBay differ according to their conditioning and grading system and can be from $0.1 to $200+, so you will find any type of penny you are looking for. Here are some options.

The San Francisco minted 1942 penny is the rarest, and here is the good variant that costs $9,99. The coin seems to be in great condition, and the description says: “This is a very nice AU (almost uncirculated) brown 1942 S American penny minted in San Francisco.”

Another great find is a chunk of uncirculated 1942 D pennies for $165.

As you might already know, error coins were produced with a mistake (such as a double denomination, overdate, or brokerage). They get them from the mint this way, and mistake coins can be rather expensive as well. If you are interested in error coins you can check this coin for 18.50$

Remember that knowledge is power. If you understand what a rare coin is and how to estimate a coin’s value, you will be in a far better position to make investment decisions based on facts rather than habit, market trends, or aggressive salespeople’s suggestions.

If you are starting out with a coin collection now, remember that it’s fun! Coin collecting is a social activity that brings people together. You can meet new people while buying and selling coins at coin shows, and you can make new friends while talking about your favourite topics like numismatics.

For this reason, the 1942 Lincoln coin is a great way to start out. Even though they don’t have a high value, they still make a valuable addition to the collection because of their history and connection to President Lincoln.

Also Read: 1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value (The Most Expensive 1942 Half Dollar Costs Uo To $30,000)?

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