Do you have a piggy bank that you are thinking about breaking? If so, you should be extra careful when it comes to those little coins that seem worthless. Why? Because there is a chance of owning a rare penny such as certain rare 1972 Lincoln pennies which can be worth hundreds of dollars.

But having a 1972 Lincoln penny doesn’t automatically mean you hit the jackpot. The ones you should keep an eye out for are the premium coins that are in uncirculated condition, or coins with rare errors. These are highly sought after by collectors!

If you are interested in the topic, we have everything ready for you to understand how to detect rare coins and how to grow your collection into a new hobby.

History Of 1972 Pennies

Let’s dig a litter deeper into history and understand a bit more about the importance of the 1972 penny. 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 photographer Victor David Brenner took a picture of him. This Lincoln Memorial design was used on U.S. pennies from 1959 through to 2008.

This means that back in the day, Lincoln Memorial pennies were actually very common. Furthermore, more than 5.5 billion copies of just the 1972 pennies were made. Most entered circulation immediately, meaning they now exhibit the patina of time. Thus, passionate collectors prefer pieces in top condition to add to their portfolio.

If you are interested in the true value of these coins, there are some particular features that make some 1972 pennies value worth hundreds of dollars.

1972 Penny – Editor’s Notes

While over 5.5 billion pennies were printed worldwide, only about 20,000 have noticeable errors if you look closely.

The most valuable version of these coins are usually called “double die obverse” which means a mistake has been made on the obverse side during the coin die process. The result? Essentially a more multi-dimensional design and error features which raise the value of the coin.

The 1972 Penny Value Chart

There are some 1972 pennies that come with a specific error, or even more than one type of error. Depending on the error, this may raise or lower the value of the coin.

Uncirculated pennies from 1972 are the ones that should draw your interest as they can fetch a high price at auctions.

This table will help you associate the value of 1972 pennies with their condition, as well as mintage information. Please note that all values are correct at the time of writing according to the USA Coin Book. Values are intended as a guide and detailed research should be undertaken in order to establish a penny’s true value.

COIN TYPE⬇\QUALITY➜ MS 65 PR 65 No. of Mint Pieces – Production
1972 Philadelphia Penny (no mint mark) $0.33 2.66 billion
1972 S Penny $0.85 $1.13 376,939,108 minted pieces
1972 D Penny $0.33 2.66 billion pieces
1972 S Proof Penny $0.75 $1 Over 3 million pieces
1972 S Double Die Penny $721 20,000 pieces

Grading explained:

  • MS 65 gem uncirculated. These coins are more appealing and have a strong lustre. Look closely, and you might see some light marks.
  • PR 65 Proof stands for flawless coins with no blemishes visible to the naked eye.

1972 Penny Common Errors

When it comes to the 1972 penny, you should also know that there is something called the double die error that appears when the date and design elements are minted incorrectly on the coin’s obverse side.

The 1972 Double Die penny with a double die error is quite valuable. The auction record for this type of coin was $1,150 USD in 2008.

However, the highest value applies to those coins that have prominent doubling. On the other hand, coins that have just a slight doubling effect will be worth less.

Overall Specs And Design of The 1972 Lincoln Penny

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

Overall Specs

The usual 1972 penny coin has a mass of 3.11 grams, 19.00 mm diameter, and a thickness of 1.52 mm. The edges are smooth (or “plain”),  and the composition 95% Copper and 5% Zinc.


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

Interesting Fact: According to the USA Mint, it was not the government who decided President Abraham Lincoln would face right on the penny. While the majority of presidents on coins faced left, it was the decision of designer Victor David Brenner who ask the president to look to the right.

The Obverse Side

Also known as the heads side, the obverse of the coin features the bust of President Lincoln. The words “In God We Trust” are engraved in an arch over the top of the coin. Every 1972 penny should have the release date and the mint mark. However, there are some exceptions – if you notice a 1972 penny without a mint mark, it means it was produced in the Philadelphia mint.

The Reverse Side

The reverse side of the 1972 penny holds a design of the Lincoln Memorial building in clean lines and sharp angles.

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


Q: Which 1972 Lincoln penny has the highest value?

A: Regarding the rarest 1972 penny, it is essential to mention the San Francisco Mint, which was the main mint responsible for producing Lincoln cents. They used different dies to strike the coins, one larger than the other. The smaller variety is rarer and carries a more premium value. The standard 1972-S Lincoln cent has an auction record of $104. However, the highest value Lincoln penny is the 1972-S double die Lincoln cent which once fetched a high of $1,150 at auction.

Q: What is the 1972-D penny value?

A: The 1972-D penny value is considered to be lower than the S and double die varieties. The auction record for this type of penny was $380 in 2020, but most of these coins in average condition are worth $1 to tens 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 between 1959 and 1982. These varieties tend to be much more valuable due to their materials (100 percent copper and no alloy). Some dies may have been improperly prepared. Therefore, some coins may have a “double image” and hold a higher value.

Also Read: Lincoln Wheat Penny Value Chart (Some Rare Ones Cost Up to $408,000)

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

A: These are the central factors 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 were minted and available on the market).
  • Coin Grade (the better the condition of your coin, the more valuable it will be on the market)
  • Demand (the most valuable pennies are also the rarest and most in demand).

Last Thoughts

If you always wondered whether your old 1972 Lincoln penny was worth something, now you know whether you are sitting on a fortune or not. However, you should remember that all the prices mentioned above are listed accordingly to the standard supply and demand laws.

To be 100% sure of what they own, every passionate collector should double-check the online auction prices of their particular coin. Coin experts are also an excellent way to grade and value your coin, but be aware they will charge for this service. You can always ask for a second opinion and call or visit a specialist for professional advice.

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