The 1964 Lincoln Penny is more than meets the eye. Emblematic of a significant period in American coin history, it ranks among the rarest U.S. collectible coins and can command a value upwards of $27,500. Introduced in 1959 to commemorate President Lincoln’s 150th birthday, it succeeded the cherished wheat penny series that graced pockets for half a century. Dive deeper to uncover its unique design, makeup, worth, production details, and the captivating errors that enchant collectors.
Table of Contents
- 1 The 1964 Penny Design Composition & Dimensions
- 2 The 1964 Value
- 3 The 1964 Penny Error List
- 3.1 1964 Penny Error L on the Edge (Liberty Error)
- 3.2 1964 Double-Die Penny
- 3.3 1964 Penny Struck on a Silver Dime Planchet Error
- 3.4 1964 Double and Triple Strike Cent
- 3.5 Off-Center Strikes
- 3.6 1964 Penny D/D RPM Error
- 3.7 1964 Penny Struck Over a 1963 Penny
- 3.8 1964 Penny Struck Over a 1951 Penny
- 4 Conclusion
The 1964 Penny Design Composition & Dimensions
Victor David Brenner designed the obverse side of the 1964 Lincoln Penny. It features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the revered 16th U.S. President, in a suit and a bowtie, facing right.
Inscribed above Lincoln’s bust is the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST,” running from left to right. The mint year “1964” is beautifully embossed below his chin beside the chest.
You’ll also see the word “LIBERTY” inscribed on the left at the back of Lincoln’s neck. 1964 Pennies struck at the Denver or San Francisco Mint bear the mintmark “D” or “S” on the obverse. Those produced by the Philadelphia Mint have no mintmark.
Designed by Frank Gasparro, the 1964 Penny’s reverse side boasts the Lincoln Memorial at the center. This design replaced the previous year’s wheat ears and commemorates Lincoln’s lasting impact. The engraver’s statue holds the pillars on both sides in the middle of the Memorial. The sculptor’s initials “F.G.” are faintly embossed on the right side of the Memorial’s steps.
The denomination “ONE CENT” appears in large font below the Memorial, along the coin’s rim. Above the Memorial is the Latin phrase “E PLURUBIS UNUM,” which means “out of all, one.” “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is on the coin’s outer rim. As such, the country name and denomination encircle the Lincoln Memorial.
Composition & Dimensions
Each 1964 Lincoln Penny comprises 95% copper and 5% zinc. This composition accounts for its unique and distinguishable reddish-brown appearance. The coin has a diameter of 19.05 millimeters (0.780 inches) and a thickness of 1.52 millimeters (0.0598 inches). It features a plain edge and weighs about 3.11 grams.
1964 Gold Penny
The 1964 Gold Penny isn’t an official release from the U.S. Mint and wasn’t produced for everyday circulation. While there are collector’s editions and gold-plated variants, they aren’t composed of pure gold. Most often, they are regular copper pennies adorned with a gold finish, crafted for commemoration or as novelties.
1964 Silver Penny
The 1964 Silver Penny, often referred to as the Silver Memorial Cent, stands as a distinctive collectible. Crafted from zinc-coated steel, this Lincoln Penny variant holds no inherent silver worth. While the U.S. Mint produced these coins in previous years, their value lies in their collector appeal rather than precious metal content. They combine Lincoln Penny’s iconic design with a shimmering silver-plated touch, ideal for aficionados and novelty seekers.
The 1964 Value
The 1964 Lincoln Penny varies in value from $0.02 to $100,000, influenced by mint location, condition, specific errors, and rarity, with some rare error pennies fetching prices well above their face value.
1964 Penny Worth – Mini Summary
- Standard Circulated Coins
- Value: $0.02 to $5,700
- Factors: Mint location, condition, and rarity. Pennies from Philadelphia are typically more valuable.
- 1964 D Penny (Denver Mint)
- Circulated: $0.05 to $0.10
- Mint-State, MS67 R.D.: $456 to $7,900
- 1964 S Penny (San Francisco Mint)
- Circulated: $0.05 to $0.10
- Uncirculated, MS-67 R.D.: $5,700
- PCGS-graded, MS67+: $16,500
- 1964 Penny No Mint Mark (San Francisco and Philadelphia)
- Value: $0.02 to $10,000
- (S) No Mint Mark Penny, MS 67 R.D.: Up to $5,700
- 1964 SMS Penny (Special Mint Sets)
- Uncirculated: $2 to $5
- MS67 R.D.: $5,700
- MS-65: $11,400
- Some variants can even reach values up to $27,500.
- Notable Errors
- “L on the Edge (Liberty Error)”: An MS64 BN specimen sold for $4,312.50 in 2009.
- Penny Struck on a Silver Dime Planchet: Highly valuable based on rarity.
- Double and Triple Strike Cent: Value depends on the degree of the error.
- 1964 Penny D/D RPM Error: Enhanced collector’s value.
- 1964 Penny Struck Over a 1963 Penny: Up to $100,000 in pristine condition, with worn variants still fetching around $10,000.
- 1964 Penny Struck Over a 1951 Penny: One example sold for $20,700 in a 2012 auction.
The 1964 D Penny
The 1964 D Penny, minted in Denver, is a common find among collectors. Around 3,799,072,500 of these coins were produced that year.
The 1964 D Penny Value
The 1964 D pennies, though prevalent, typically range in value from $0.05 to $0.10 when in circulated condition. However, mint-condition, uncirculated versions captivate collectors and can command significant prices.
For example, a 1964 D Penny graded MS67 R.D. once secured a price of $456, while another three pennies, rated MS-67 by PCGS, went for $4,750 each. Notably, one standout penny fetched an impressive $7,900.
The 1964 S Penny
The 1964 S Penny hails from the San Francisco Mint, which interestingly paused its minting from 1955 to 1968. Nonetheless, pennies were produced during this hiatus, but without any mintmarks. Although these 1964 coins were initially attributed to the Philadelphia Mint, a staggering 196,630,000 of them were actually crafted in San Francisco.
The absence of mintmarks on the 1964 S pennies complicates differentiating them from their Philadelphia counterparts. Some collectors and experts even question their existence. However, these elusive San Francisco cents are often grouped with the Philadelphia batch, categorically known as No Mint Mark 1964 coins.
The 1964 S Penny Value
In circulated condition, a 1964 S Penny is worth between $0.05 and $0.10. Uncirculated specimens in MS-67 R.D. condition go for $5,700. PCGS-graded cents sold for $16,500 in MS67+ at Heritage Auctions in January 2019.
The 1964 Penny No Mint Mark
The Philadelphia Mint produced pennies without a mint mark, totaling 2,451,945, which included 3,950,762 proof coins. Yet, in 1965, the mint astonishingly struck nearly a billion of these coins.
The 1964 Penny No Mint Mark Value
These pennies, which lack mint marks, can be sourced from either the San Francisco or Philadelphia mints. Their value starts at 2 cents but can soar up to $10,000 at auctions. Despite the San Francisco Mint officially halting production from 1955 to 1968, approximately 196,630,000 coins were still minted, encompassing San Francisco cents made in Philadelphia. An (S) No Mint Mark Penny, graded MS 67 R.D., can fetch up to $5,700.
The 1964 SMS Penny
Special Mint Sets (SMS) were produced in 1964, featuring coins with a higher standard of finish. They comprise a penny from every denomination in circulation at the time. As such, a 1964 SMS Lincoln Penny may contain a nickel, a dollar, a half-dollar, a penny, and a dime.
The 1964 SMS Penny Value
1964 SMS coins typically range in value from $2 to $5 when in uncirculated condition, with their premium quality making them more valuable than standard uncirculated coins. A specific example in MS67 R.D. can command a price of $5,700. In September 2019, a 1964 SMS penny graded MS-65 achieved a sale price of $11,400, and in some auctions, this penny has the potential to garner over $27,500.
1964 Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good (G4)||Uncirculated (MS-60)||Mint State (MS-65)||Proof (PR-65)|
|1964 D Penny (Denver Mint)||$0.02||$0.17||$0.33||No D Proofs|
|1964 No Mint (San Francisco and Philadelphia)||$0.02||$0.17||$0.33||$1.71|
The 1964 Penny Error List
Distinguishing between a genuine mint error and damage that occurred during a 1964 penny’s circulation can be challenging for the untrained eye. However, genuine errors from this year are rare and highly prized, making them a coveted find for collectors. Such errors can elevate a humble one-cent coin to a value in the thousands. Below, we’ll explore some of the notable errors of the 1964 penny, their origins, and potential worth.
1964 Penny Error L on the Edge (Liberty Error)
Some 1964 pennies display an error where the letter “L” in the word “LIBERTY” appears partially on the coin’s edge. The value of error coins can vary widely based on rarity, demand, condition, and other factors. It’s noteworthy that Heritage Auctions sold an MS64 BN specimen of this error penny for $4,312.50 in 2009. For the most up-to-date and specific valuations for unique error coins, it’s advisable to consult a coin pricing guide, a reputable coin dealer, or a numismatic association.
1964 Double-Die Penny
The Double-Di Penny has two prominent variations:
Doubled-Die Obverse (DDO)
These coins exhibit doubling in Lincoln’s profile, especially in the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the date, making them distinctive and valuable.
Doubled-Die Reverse (DDR)
These error coins have doubled on the reverse, especially on the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and the design elements of the Lincoln Memorial, enhancing their collectible appeal. Coins with such an error are rare and valuable.
1964 Penny Struck on a Silver Dime Planchet Error
It’s an intriguing error that involves a 1964 penny being struck on a silver dime planchet. This mismatch creates a fascinating and precious hybrid coin that collectors avidly seek.
1964 Double and Triple Strike Cent
Coins with double or triple strikes exhibit overlapping images due to multiple strikes during minting. A penny with this error features Lincoln’s chest, chin, forehead, mint date, and D mint mark. These error coins are captivating to collectors and can fetch high values based on the degree of the error.
Coins with off-center strikes, where the design elements are misaligned, are cherished by collectors for their uniqueness—the more pronounced the off-center strike, the higher the coin’s value.
1964 Penny D/D RPM Error
The D/D Re-punched Mintmark (RPM) error arises when the mintmark undergoes multiple stampings, leading to a clearly duplicated impression. This distinctive error not only adds a layer of intrigue to the coin but also significantly boosts its collector’s value.
1964 Penny Struck Over a 1963 Penny
One of the most intriguing errors in U.S. coinage is the overstrike, where coins bear imprints from two different years. A classic example is the 1964 penny mistakenly struck over its 1963 counterpart at the U.S. Mint.
This error results in a doubled image of Lincoln on the obverse, with remnants of the previous year’s design subtly visible. Such an anomaly enhances its appeal and value. In pristine condition, these pennies can command prices over $100,000, while those showing signs of wear might still garner around $10,000.
1964 Penny Struck Over a 1951 Penny
In 1964, the U.S. Mint produced copper-alloy pennies, but a few were inadvertently struck on 1951 die blanks. These unique pennies reveal a faint “1951 D” on the upper left of the obverse and a subtle “Liberty” on the right. A pristine example of this error fetched a remarkable $20,700 at a 2012 auction, highlighting its significant value to collectors.
The 1964 Lincoln Penny stands as a coveted gem among collectors, with its value hinging on both its condition and unique errors. Even those with slight blemishes can fetch above face value. If you’re lucky enough to own one, consider seeking an evaluation from esteemed institutions like the PCGS. With the right care, this penny might just become one of your most prized possessions.