1982 Penny Error: How to Assess the Value of This Famous Coin

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Everything You Need to Know About the 1982 Penny Error

The Lincoln Memorial has dignified the "tails" side of the nation's Lincoln penny for almost 50 years now, and it is a popular design that has been familiar to every American.

In 2009, the United States Mint commenced an exceptional, one-year program showcasing the different designs made for the Lincoln penny's reverse (tails side), honoring Lincoln's 200th birthday.

A year after that, they started to use the new design as a replacement for the Memorial image.

What about the Lincoln Memorial pennies? Will they be of high value in the future?

For now, no one knows the exact answer, but most likely, Memorial pennies won't ever greatly escalate in value, as billions of them were minted.

This doesn't mean there are no Memorial pennies that are worth greater than a penny. Pay attention to the error pennies.

The 1982 Penny Error

On January 7, 1982, the first zinc-based Lincoln pennies were made at the West Point Mint. These pennies do not have mintmarks like the other 1,587,245 business-strike zinc pennies, which were produced at the San Francisco Mint on the same year.

On the other hand, the Denver Mint didn’t strike the zinc-based pennies until the 21st of October – more than a month after the United States Mint created a new obverse hub, which ended in a small-size date.

The metallic formation and obverse hub changes resulted in the creation of the 7 different 1982 Lincoln penny varieties.

  • 1982 small date copper
  • 1982 large date copper
  • 1982 small date copper plated zinc
  • ​1982 large date copper plated zinc
  • ​1982-d large date copper
  • ​1982-d small date copper plated zinc
  • ​1982-d large date copper plated zinc

Plus, the 1982S-proof Lincoln penny struck in brass and a large date on it. Coin collectors therefore have 8 basic 1982 Lincoln Memorial pennies to chase after.

Spotting a 1982 Penny Error

These are the things that coin collectors should look for and check to distinguish among the 1982 Lincoln pennies:

  • Look at the number "2" in the date: If it has a thick base without curve, then it is the large date penny. If it has a fine base with a curve, then it is the small date on
  • If you are still not sure, look at the number "8": On the small date pennies, the number 8 has the same height as the numbers 1 and 2, while on the large date coins, the number 8 looks relatively thicker, and is a little higher than the number 2.
  • The best way to tell if pennies are made from copper or zinc is to weigh them: To make sure it is accurate, use a weighing scale that can measure at least the tenth of a gram. The copper penny weighs 3.11 grams, while the copper-coated zinc one weighs only 2.5 grams.
  • Use your ears: Drop the penny onto the ground and listen to its sound. The copper penny has a high-pitch, melodious ring, while the zinc penny has only a flat “thud”.

How Valuable are 1982 Error Pennies?

If you think there is nothing exciting about collecting 1982 Lincoln pennies, think again. There are lots of interesting die varieties among those Lincoln coins.

The most valuable 1982 penny, which is the zinc small date reverse doubled die coin, was found in 2007. According to Charles Daughtrey, a Lincoln penny expert, he was able to sell a brown AU (Almost or About Uncirculated) for thousands of dollars. Had it been a Red BU (Brilliant Uncirculated), it could have been sold for as much as $15,000 as it is very rare.

The 1982 obverse doubled die copper large date penny is also valuable, but it’s worth considerably less than the small date zinc double die. A piece of the other 1982 penny varieties in uncirculated grade is worth $2 to $4.

As of now, there is no extra monetary value added on worn 1982 coins, so when it comes to Lincoln pennies, the expert keeps an eye out of 1982 coins which appear in AU grade or higher.

You never can tell. Your heirs might thank when you tell them about the 1982 penny error and how you kept some of those coins.







A Bird’s Eye View of the 1929 Penny

Did you know that in 1929 approximately 185,262,000 pennies were minted? They were referred to as the 1929 pennies or the Lincoln Wheat Penny coins.

The 1929 penny was called a “Wheat Penny” because it had bars of wheat with the words “one cent” stamped at its back instead of the Lincoln Memorial.

If you would like to see how the 1929 penny looks like go and watch this video:

The 1929 penny came in varieties.

Some were minted in Philadelphia, others in Denver and some in Sa Francisco. The ones from Philadelphia had no mint marks. The ones from Denver had the letter D. Those from San Francisco had the letter S.

1929 Penny Errors

Coin collectors often fancy coins that have flaws.

The 1929 penny had found its way in the market of coin collectors not because of its metal content but because of some of its flaws. One of the errors seen in the 1929 penny is the weak imprint of the image that was brought about by accumulation of dirt and grease in the die used.

Coin collectors prefer to have the non-circulated pieces of this penny as its value becomes higher due to its rarity.

There are some pieces of the 1929 penny that has an error in the numbers. You would see a few where the last number 9 looks more like the number 7. The damage was brought about by a rolling or counting machine. In most cases the damage is seen in the last digit or letters.

How much is the 1929 penny worth

In 1929 copper was considered a valuable metal. The 1929 penny had no silver content. It was minted mostly of copper.

The value of this coin was never based on its metal content. The value of this penny was primarily based on the condition of the coin. The 1929 penny can be valued from thirty five cents to as high as $135.

The worth of the 1929 penny is dependent on its condition, markings it may have, if it has double stamping and where it was minted.

If the penny is all worn out, its worth goes down but if it is still shiny then it can be worth more. Usually a penny that is not used in circulation and is kept as part of a collection is valued higher.

Another consideration in the worth of the 1929 penny is the price of copper when the coin is resold. This penny has 95% copper and the rest is alloy. So the value or worth of this penny can go up or down depending on the price of copper in the market.

Where it was minted is another factor in determining the worth of the 1929 penny. The 1929 penny was minted in the Denver Mint, San Francisco Mint, Pennsylvania Mint and even in Carson City, Nevada. The pennies minted in Carson City, Nevada can be worth more since rarely are coins minted there. Those that were minted in Denver and Pennsylvania are valued lower since they are the most common.

Coin collectors consider the 1929 wheat penny a good investment. They can buy it cheap and resell it for a much higher price with all the factors for a good 1929 penny take into consideration. Here is another video that shows pieces of Lincoln wheat pennies in different conditions.


You will learn how to grade these pennies according and see for yourself if the coins in your keeping are worth more than their value.

Who would ever think that a penny can be worth something more? The 1929 penny sure has proven that this is possible. Even if there were a lot minted during that time but the errors some had that made them rare pieces and collectors’ items and the value of copper that changes in the global economy and market have made the 1929 penny worth more than its value. So if you are into coin collecting and plan to get something from your collections in the future, maybe the information this article has would be of help to you. Often getting informed becomes an advantage for us.











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