1926 Wheat Penny Value: How Much is it Worth Today?
The Wheat Penny, also known as the Lincoln Penny, is a coin that was first minted in 1909 and is still in circulation today.
It is one of the most popular coins among Americans, and because of its long minting period, many Wheat pennies are now collector’s items for those who specialize in the subject.
We will cover everything you need to know about the 1926 Lincoln Penny in this article. A coin’s history and how it has changed over time must also be taken into account when evaluating its value.
If you want to know about the 1926 Wheat Penny Value and more details about this unique coin, join us in this complete guide.
1926 Wheat Penny Value Chart (Based On The Mint Mark)
|Quality||1926 No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value||1926 San Francisco (S) Wheat Penny Value||1926 Denver (D) Wheat Penny Value|
Wheat cents are unique coins because they are made up of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. As a result, they develop different shades over time. The best-preserved coins have a deep red luster.
The coin, however, has two other colors. They turn brown when exposed to a lot of external elements and have a reddish-brown hue when exposed to external elements for a short period.
Thus, regardless of the factory from which they are produced, Lincoln pennies are divided into three categories. Red, brown, and reddish-brown coins are available. The red ones are always the most valuable, as they are usually better preserved. The table of values based on coin color is available here.
1926 Wheat Penny Value Chart (Based On The Color)
|Quality||1926 Brown Wheat Penny Value||1926 Brown-Red Wheat Penny Value||1926 Red Wheat Penny Value|
|Good||$0.10 to $0.14||—||—|
|Very Good||$0.15 to $0.24||—||—|
|Fine||$0.10 to $0.14||—||—|
|Very Fine||$0.30 to $0.96||—||—|
|Extremely Fine||$1 to $2.24||—||—|
|Uncirculated||$4 to $6||—||—|
|MS 60||$6 to $7.20||—||—|
|MS 61||$6.70 to $8.04||—||—|
|MS 62||$7.10 to $8.52||—||—|
|MS 63||$8 to $9.60||$9 to $10.80||$18 to $21.60|
|MS 64||$10 to $12||$20 to $30||$30 to $36|
|MS 65||$20 to $24||$30 to $45||$90 to $110|
|MS 66||—||$190 to $220|
|MS 67||—||$650 to $747.50|
The Wheat Cent, also known as the Lincoln Cent, has a unique history and is a significant and transcendental coin for several reasons.
Everything begins with President Roosevelt’s administration. Roosevelt is said to have been dissatisfied with the designs of the American coins, claiming that they lacked artistic merit. Until then, many people despised the designs, many of which were created by the mint’s chief engraver, Charles E. Barber.
Barber’s designs were quite simple and very similar to one another, which made some coins confusing or required more than one viewing to correctly identify them.
Instead of holding a public or internal competition, Roosevelt directed that an artist’s services be counted. The great sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who taught many engravers who would design more American coins in the future, such as the Mercury Dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar, was chosen.
However, Saint-Gaudens became ill shortly after presenting his first sketches. Then his health deteriorated, and he died of cancer. Two of his sketches, however, were used for the dollar and half-dollar coins.
Nevertheless, the task of designing the Lincoln coin was left unfinished, so they contacted three other artists and specifically requested that they design a coin with President Lincoln’s face on it.
Victor D. Brenner, the winning artist, had previously worked on commemorative medals with President Roosevelt’s face. It is believed that Roosevelt was already aware of Brenner’s abilities, so the decision was simple. It is also said that the president admired a plaque that the artist had previously made of Lincoln, which served as the inspiration for designing the coin’s obverse.
The coin has undergone several changes over the years but is still being minted today. The obverse has never changed, with only minor typographic and size changes, whereas the reverse has seen numerous changes.
The first modification of the reverse was to put the Lincoln Memorial instead of the ears of wheat. For the 200 years of President Lincoln, four types of pennies were manufactured. It consisted of 4 different reverses, each one representing one of the stages in the life of President Lincoln.
1926 No Mint Mark (Philadelphia) Wheat Penny Value
In 1926, a total of 189,658,000 pennies were minted, with the Philadelphia Mint contributing 157,088,000 coins, accounting for nearly half of the total production.
They contributed slightly more than 20% of the total production between the Denver and San Francisco mints. By making the Philadelphia mint the largest producer of coins that year, it also makes it the least desired coin, as its price is quite low when compared to Denver coins, and even more so when compared to San Francisco coins.
The Lincoln Penny was a coin designed by sculptor Victor Brenner that received widespread acclaim and affection from the public but encountered significant internal opposition from coin officials.
It is also the first US coin to depict a president. This coin was first minted in 1909 to commemorate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
The protagonist on the obverse of this coin is President Abraham Lincoln. The design was created by sculptor Victor Brenner, who knew ahead of time what the coin’s obverse would be.
The mold of the president’s face was taken from a previous work done by the sculptor for a commemorative plaque. The sculpture is based on an 1864 photograph of the president.
In addition to Lincoln’s profile to the right, we can see the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST on the coin’s upper edge.
The word LIBERTY appears on the left side of the coin at the height of Lincoln’s neck, and the minting date appears on the right.
The artist’s initials are not found anywhere on the 1926 coin. This is due to a significant controversy surrounding the coins’ creation in 1909.
The coins were signed by the artist with the initials VDB. According to the officials, numerous acronyms took up a lot of space. However, Brenner did this because he was replacing the coins of another engraver named Charles E. Barber, who signed his coins “B,” and he didn’t want people to confuse him and give credit to the former engraver.
They agreed to move the initials to the back after they were on the front, but they still took up a lot of space. The artist refused to change the initials and by the internal agreement at the mint, it was decided to remove the initials completely.
Several years later the Victor D. Brenner initials were re-incorporated, but the 1926 coins do not.
The opposite side of the coin is much simpler. The two ears of wheat that frame the center of the coin are said to have been inspired by a French coin. Brenner’s merit, however, was the idea that they are ears of wheat, as well as the sobriety and functionality of their design.
Each side of the coin is bordered by two twin stalks or ears of wheat on the reverse. This serves as a frame for the words ONE CENT, followed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, which appear in the center of the coin.
On the upper edge of the coin the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is read. It is a Latin phrase that translates as “One of many”. You will find this phrase in many American coins since it is a phrase that has been used for a long time for the coins of the United States.
The price of these coins is very low due to the large number of coins minted in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. If you want to start a collection of pennies, this is a coin you can get for very little money.
Coins in circulation can cost anywhere between 10 cents and $2. Uncirculated coins are also inexpensive, with an MS 65 gem quality coin costing no more than $24.
However, pennies that have retained their red color can be worth up to 750 dollars in high degrees of conservation.
In 2010, the most expensive Philadelphia coin sold was an MS 63 for $7,475.00.
1926 San Francisco (S) Wheat Penny Value
The San Francisco mint minted 4,550,000 coins in 1926. For that year, this was the smallest coin production. Coins from the San Francisco mint are therefore more expensive than those from Denver and Philadelphia.
To distinguish a San Francisco coin you must look at its mint mark. The mintmark for San Francisco is the letter “S”. You can find it on the obverse of the coin, just below the minting date.
You’re in luck if you have a 1926 penny with an “S” mintmark. A copy that has been circulated in good condition is worth at least ten dollars, and you may have to spend up to forty dollars to find it in its best condition.
Coins that have never been in circulation are even more expensive. If you want to purchase one of these gem-quality coins, you will need anywhere from $80 to $400.
Coins with MS 65 or higher quality can cost up to $3000. And if your coin is exceptionally well preserved and retains its red glow, it can fetch up to $115,000. One of these copies is known to have been auctioned for $149,500 in 2006.
1926 Denver (D) Wheat Penny Value
The Denver Mint contributed 28,020,000 coins to the production of 1926 coins. That is significantly less than what Philadelphia produced, but more than double what San Francisco produced. As a result, Denver coins are more valuable than Philadelphia coins, but well below San Francisco coins, which are the most expensive.
To identify a Denver coin, look for the mint mark on the obverse, just below the minting date.
Denver’s mintmark is the letter “D.”
A Denver coin that has been in circulation but is in good condition can be purchased for between $2 and $16. The non-circulating coins range in value from 36 to 140 dollars.
If you get one of these coins in red, the price can skyrocket to 800 or 900 dollars. The most expensive red coins in grade MS 66 can be worth around $12,000.
A red MS 66 coin that sold for $38,400 at auction a few years ago holds the auction record.
1926 Wheat Penny Grading
One of the most important aspects of determining the value of a coin is understanding its various degrees and how much they are worth. That is why we believe you must have access to all of the elements at all times.
We have included this video here, which provides a detailed explanation of the currency, its grades, and its market value.
Rare 1926 Wheat Penny Error List
These are the three most common errors on the 1926 Wheat Penny.
1926 Wheat Penny Clipped Planchet Error
This error occurs every time a planchet is moved while the coin is being made. Here the planchet was cut below the date and at the top edge of the reverse, cutting out the word UNUM. These coins are worth hundreds of dollars.
1926 Wheat Penny DDO Error
These coins are characterized by having a slightly visible duplicate on some edge of the letter or image of the coin. In this case, Lincoln’s face may have a double eyebrow. These coins cost between 75 and 150 dollars.
1926 Wheat Penny BIE Error
This error occurs due to very used dies that crack. In this error, you will see a small I-shaped bar between the letters B and E of the word LIBERTY. These errors are common and you can find them in the market for 5 dollars.
1926 Wheat Penny FAQ
How do I know if my 1926 penny is valuable?
1926 pennies are not particularly rare, which is why you can find them at very low prices compared to pennies from other years. But a copy from the factory in San Francisco in perfect condition can be worth around 400 dollars.
What to look for in the 1926 wheat penny?
The obverse must have the profile of Lincoln and the reverse must have the word ONE CENT adorned with two ears of wheat. But if you want to get a special penny, look for the ones with the letter “S” on the obverse just below the minting date. They belong to the San Francisco factory and are the most valuable.