Do you have a piggy bank account that you think about breaking? If so, you should be extra careful when it comes to those little coins that seem worthless. Why? Because there is a high chance of actually owning a small treasure.

Long story short, some certain rare 1972 Lincoln penny can easily be worth hundreds of dollars. That, of course, if you are willing to sell them.

But having a 1972 Lincoln penny doesn’t automatically mean you hit the jackpot. No. Truth be told, most 1972 Lincoln pennies are very valuable. The ones you should keep an eye open for are the premium coins that are in uncirculated conditions. And that, my friend, is something that every collector is hunting.

But fear not. If you are interested in the topic, I have everything ready for you to understand how to detect rare coins and how to grow this new hobby. Here is all the information you need.

History Of 1972 Pennies

Let’s dig a litter deeper into history and understand a little bit more about the importance of the 1972 penny. So, Abraham Lincoln was not only a very important figure in American history but also the first US president to appear on a coin since 1909.

According to his position, Lincoln was facing right when the photograph Victor David Brenner took a picture of him. Anyway, what is really important to know is that this precise Lincoln Memorial design on U.S. pennies was used from 1959 through 2008.

This means that back in the days, the Lincoln Memorial pennies were actually very common. Furthermore, even though they were produced only for around 50 years, the 1972 pennies were actually made in more than 5.5 billion copies. As you can easily guess, most have entered circulation immediately, meaning they are now wearing the patina of time. Thus, passionate collectors prefer not to keep these pieces in their portfolios.

However, this doesn’t mean you should stop saving them. Yes, they are not super valuable but are still great collectibles. But if you are interested in the true value of these coins, there are some particular marks that make the 1972 penny value worth hundreds of dollars.

Have I made you even more curious than before? Let’s continue then.

1972 Penny – Editor’s Notes

As an interesting fact, you should know that over 5.5 billion pennies were printed worldwide; however, only about 20,000 have some noticeable errors. And that is only if you look closely.

The single-scent coins are usually called “double die obverse,” and this is a very fancy statement, which means the lettering is a bit etched in the mint. The result? Let’s just say that in these cases you can see a more popping and multi-dimensional design.

Essential Facts About The 1972 Penny

Most 1972 pennies are 95% copper and 5% zinc. They are only 3.11 grams and quite similar to the older pennies dating back to the 1970s. On the head side of the coin, you can observe the portrait of the 16th United States president, Abraham Lincoln. In contrast, the other side, also known as the “tails side,” has this particular and detailed design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The 1972 Penny Value Chart

As we’ve already discussed, a 1972 penny is a keeper regardless of its actual market worth. Why is that? I mean, you know that these coins are made of copper, which basically means their value is only 2 cents.

However, I’ve also told you that some of these pennies are different and worth more. What makes them different?

Now, different doesn’t always mean more money. There are pieces that come with more than one type of error, and they are not considered special in any way.

On the other hand, the uncirculated pennies from 1972 are the ones that should raise your interest as they value way more than the initial face rate.

This table will help you associate the value of 1972 pennies with their condition, as well as mintage information:

COIN TYPE⬇\QUALITY➜ MS 65 PR 65 No Mint Pieces- Production
1972 Philadelphia Penny 2.66 billion
1972 S Penny Value $1 $1 376,939,108 minted pieces
1972 D Penny Value $1 $1 2.66 billion pieces
1972 S Proof Penny $0.75 $1 Over 3 million pieces
1972 double die penny value $0.30 $1 20,000 pieces

Side Note!

You should always remember that these values apply to those issue-free coins (they should not have any cleaning, holes, or porosity) and should have been uncirculated or proof. Those very used coins will not be worth more than 2 cents. The only exception in this equation is the 1972 double die penny.

The 1972 Penny Grading System

There are two grading categories:

  • The first is MS 65 gem uncirculated. These coins are more eye appealing and have a strong luster. Look closely, and you might see some subtle light marks, but they are slightly noticeable.
  • The PR 65 Proof stands for those flawless coins. It is quite rare to see any blemishes.

The 1972 Penny Common Errors

Let’s recap something. When it comes to the 1972 penny, you already know that there is a rare variety with no mint mark. However, you should also know that there is something called the double die error that appears when the date and design elements are minted twice on the coin’s obverse side.

So I am trying to say that the 1972 Double Die penny with no mint mark and double error is quite worthy. The selling point can go up around $600 in uncirculated conditions.

However, this price applies to those coins that have a prominent doubling. On the other hand, coins that have just a slight doubling area will be worth very little money.

1972 Double Die Penny Value

The Double Die annotation stands for the premium versions of a penny. When collectors are cataloging their coins, they nominate these coins with “DDO,” which means Most Double Die.

The Overall Specs And Design Matters

The best way to get to know the 1972 silver penny value is by looking closely at its details, design, and condition. Here is what every passionate collector should know about the 1972 pennies:

Design and Overall Specs

The usual 1972 penny coin has a mass of 2.5 grams, 19.05 mm diameter, and a thickness of 1.52 mm. The edges are smooth,  and the composition is 95% copper for pre-1982 types and 97% copper and 3% zinc for after-1982 types.


The designer of the 1972 penny was Victor D. Brenner (for the obv) and Lyndal Bass (for the rev).

Interesting Fact: According to the USA Mint, it was not demanded by the government for President Abraham Lincoln to face the right of the penny. While the majority of presidents on coins faced left, it was only the choice of designer Victor David Brenner to ask the president to look to the right.

The Obverse Side

Also known as the front part, the obverse side of the coin faces the bust of President Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. Look closely, and you will see the “In God We Trust” words engraved in an arching manner right on the top of the coin. Every 1972 penny should have the release date and the mint mark. However, there are some exceptions. So, if you notice a 1972 penny without a mark, it means it was produced most probably in Philadelphia.

Another exception to this rule you should know about occurred in 2017 coin manufacture. During this year, the Lincoln penny contained a P mint mark to honor the 225th anniversary of the United States Mint.

The Reverse Side

The reverse side of the 1972 penny has been described by passionate collectors as a Lincoln Memorial design. Therefore, you should see an imposing building, all in clean lines and angles.

Interesting fact! The Lincoln Memorial was added on the reverse side of the coin after the last Wheat Cent was provided in 1958.


Let’s look at what people usually ask about these coins. I am sure that my answers can share even more light.

Q: Which Lincoln penny values the most?

A: Regarding the rarest 1972 penny, it is essential to mention the San Francisco Mint, which is the main responsible for producing the Lincoln cents. They used different dies to date the coins, one larger than the other. The smaller variety is rarer and carries a much more premium value.

Q: What was the most expensive penny?

A: The most expensive Lincoln penny ever sold was the 1934-D one, which was struck on a bronze planchet. This model was in uncirculated condition and sold at an auction in 2010 for the great price of $1,700,000.

Q: What are the 1972 d penny particularities?

A: We’ve already discussed this aspect, but since it’s such a popular question, I wish to highlight these notions so you won’t forget them. So the 1972 double die penny value is considered to be higher than most other varieties. These DDO types are rare and truly unique. It is quite simple and easy to identify these coins due to the doubling of the “Liberty” word on the left side and the double and notable letters of the “In God We Trust” quote.

Q: What is the 1972 penny value D with errors?

A: The prices depend a lot on the coin’s condition. Regarding circulated pennies, you might find them at prices that start at $75 for a 1972 double die penny. On the other hand, if you own a 1972 penny in great condition, with little flaws, you can sell it for hundreds of dollars.

Q: What Lincoln penny is worth collecting?

A: If you are looking for a smart investment, search for Lincoln pennies that have been minted from 1959 to 1982. These varieties tend to be much more valuable due to their condition and materials (100 percent copper and no alloy). Some dies may have been improperly prepared. Therefore, some coins may have a “double image.

Q: How can you know if your coin is actually worth some money?

A: These are the central variables that will help you check if the coin you own is valuable or not:

  • The mintage number (this refers to the number of coins that have been minted initially and available on the market).
  • Coin Grade (the better the condition of your coin, the more worthy it will be on the market)
  • Demand (needless to say that the most valuable pennies are also the rarest and most demanded of them all).

Q: What is the oldest ever penny in the world?

A: The oldest penny in the world is the Birch Cent, dating back to 1792.

Last Thoughts

If you always asked yourself if your old 1972 Lincoln penny was worth something, now you know what fortune you are sitting on. However, you should remember that all the prices mentioned above are listed accordingly to the standard supply and demand laws. Some values are also given by premium dealers and market variations.

To be 100% sure of what they own, every passionate collector should double-check the online auction prices and estate sales. Dealers are also an excellent pricing source.

While I have tried to offer an honest price according to the metal content, appearance, rarity, and year of production, you can always ask for a second opinion and call or visit a specialist dealer for professional advice.

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