If you regularly collect Lincoln cents, it’s only a matter of time before you get curious about the 1955 wheat penny value. After all, wheat pennies are one of the most popular US coins.
So to help you out, we have decided to do a deep dive into the 1955 versions in this post. We are particularly going to talk about these coins’ features, history, and the factors that affect their price.
1955 Wheat Penny Value Chart
|1955 No Mint Mark Wheat Penny (P) Value
|1955 S Wheat Penny Value
|1955 D Wheat Penny Value
1955 No Mint Mark Wheat Penny (P) Value
1955 wheat pennies belong to the Lincoln Cent series. This series was first minted in 1909 and continues to be produced today. It succeeded the Indian Head cent that was minted from 1859 to 1909.
As its name suggests, the Lincoln Cent bears the image of Abraham Lincoln on its obverse. It’s one of the first coins to bear the image of a real person; it still bears his image to date.
However, the coin’s reverse design has changed drastically over the years.
These changes have created subcategories of this series. For instance, the Lincoln cents that were minted from 2010 to date are commonly referred to as the Lincoln Union Shield cent because of the shield on their reverse.
On the other hand, the Lincoln cents minted in 2009 were known as Lincoln Bicentennial cents because they were designed to celebrate 200 years since Lincoln’s birth. As such, they had four different reverse designs depicting different aspects of Lincoln’s life.
The pennies minted from 1959 to 2008 are called Lincoln Memorial cents because they have the building’s image on their reverse. The focus of this post, the 1955 penny, is part of the Lincoln Wheat subcategory.
This is because, like other pennies minted from 1909 to 1958, it has two wheat engravings on its reverse. One wheat drawing is on the coin’s right side and the other is on its left side. This design also has the legend “E PLURIBUS UNUM” along the coin’s top rim.
At the center, the engravings “ONE CENT” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” appear. This coin’s obverse design is also simple. It features Abraham Lincoln’s bust facing right at its center.
To the left of the bust, the engraving “LIBERTY” appears. Beyond that, there’s a date to the right and an “IN GOD WE TRUST” legend along the coin’s top rim. Both designs are the work of designer Victor D. Brenner.
Millions of pennies with these designs were minted in 1955. A little over 33 million of these were produced at the Philadelphia mint; none had a mint mark. While most of these were regular-strike coins, 378,200 were proofs.
It’s estimated that only 160,000 of the proofs still exist, with 40,000 being Cameos and 5,000 being Deep Cameos. A PR69 can sell for as high as $1,100 while a PR69CAM and PR69DCAM go for $1,880 and $14,000 respectively.
As expected, regular-strike versions are more readily available today. Expert estimates suggest that a whopping 3.3 million brown samples still exist across all grades. However, only 7,000 are in uncirculated condition.
This is the same number of red and red-brown samples that still exist. They are all in mint-state condition and one usually sells for $3 to $2,750.
Interestingly, there are some varieties of the 1955 no mint mark wheat penny. One of the most well-known ones is the Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) variety. The coins in this variety show doubling in obverse elements like “IN GOD WE TRUST”, “LIBERTY”, and 1955.
Because of how noticeable this doubling is to the naked eye, this variety is one of the most popular ones out there. As of now, there isn’t any other US coin variety with such an extreme doubling.
15,000 of these coins exist in the color brown across all grades, and 3,750 of them are mint state. A VG20 one sells for $1,375 while an MS66 can go for as high as $30,500. On the other hand, a red-brown mint-state sample fetches $3,250 to $18,000.
After all, only 2,250 of these still exist. On the other hand, around 1,200 red samples exist and each goes for $3,350 to $114,000.
1955 S Wheat Penny Value
In 1955, the San Francisco mint produced 44.61 million wheat pennies. These were all regular-strike coins and each had an S mint mark on its obverse underneath the date.
Apart from the mint mark, these have the same physical properties as their regular-strike Philadelphia counterparts. For one, they have a diameter of 19mm and a plain smooth edge. More importantly, they weigh 3.11 grams.
This is because they are made of 95% copper and 5% of zinc and tin. Except in 1943, the penny composition remained the same until 1982. From this year going forward, the mint used an alloy with 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.
This created a coin that weighs 2.5 grams. Keep in mind that the 1943 pennies weigh 2.7 grams each and are made of zinc-plated steel. Whatever the case, the San Francisco mint has produced a lot of wheat pennies.
Because of the 1955 S penny’s high mintage, millions of these coins still exist. To be specific, 4.5 million brown samples exist across all grades, but only 28,000 are in uncirculated condition.
Beyond that, 28,000 red and red-brown samples exist in mint-state conditions. These sell for $2 to $10,000 per piece. But the 1955 S wheat penny has varieties that are rarer and in some cases more valuable.
One example is the S/S/S Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) FS-501 variety. This features an S mint mark that appears thrice. The second mint mark is punched on top of the first one and the third is punched on top of the second.
A PCGS MS63 1955 S wheat penny in this variety costs $45 while an MS67 one costs $475.
But prices hike after this; an MS67+ sample can cost as much as $1,850.
1955 D Wheat Penny Value
The Denver mint produced most 1955 wheat pennies. These were a little over 563 million pieces and they were all regular-strike coins. Also, each one has a D mint mark on its obverse under the date.
Because of its high mintage, this coin is readily available today. Experts even estimate that 55 million brown samples still exist across all grades. But only 10,000 of these are in uncirculated condition.
Interestingly, this is the same number of 1955 D wheat pennies that are left in the colors red and red-brown. These are all mint-state samples and usually sell for $2 to $6,000 per piece.
If there’s one thing that you should know about the 1955 D wheat penny though, it’s that it has several well-known varieties. One is the Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) FS-101 variety. This features the doubling of obverse elements.
Mint-state samples in this variety cost $2 to $6,000 per piece. Another 1955 D wheat penny variety is the Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) one. This has more than one mint mark. An MS65 one usually sells for around $120.
1955 Wheat Penny Grading
Grading a 1955 wheat penny will require you to pay attention to areas on it that will usually show wear first. These areas include Lincoln’s forehead, jaw, and cheek on the obverse side and along the two wheat stalks on the reverse side.
As a coin wears, you will notice that Lincoln’s jaw and cheek will become less distinct. Also, the wheat stalk grooves become less and less visible. However, one of the wheat stalks may wear faster than the other.
Ultimately, knowing how to look for such issues will help you do a quick grade at coin shows and when meeting coin dealers. But it’s always a good idea to hire a professional grader if you think you have a special coin.
Rare 1955 Wheat Penny Error Lists
1955 Wheat Penny Double Die Reverse (DDR)
A double die reverse error shows doubling on the coin’s reverse side. This makes the coin more valuable. In the 1955 wheat penny, this error is more valuable on a coin in the DDO variety.
When this happens on an ungraded no mint mark 1955 wheat penny, it can sell for around $150 on eBay.
1955 Wheat Penny Die Crack
When a die is under a lot of pressure during minting, it can crack. When such a die strikes a blank, some of the coin metal gets into the crack and causes a raised line/bump. This is what is called a die crack error and it increases the value of a coin.
When a red ANACS MS63 1955 wheat penny bears die cracks on its obverse and reverse sides, it can sell for around $127 on eBay.
Keep in mind that when several die crack errors appear on Lincoln’s head on the cent, the error is commonly known as a “cracked skull” error. Ungraded coins with this error usually sell for around $20 online.
1955 “Poor Man’s Doubled Die” Wheat Penny
This error creates a doubling in the last two digits of the 1955 wheat penny’s date inscription. Since it’s cheaper and more available than the 1955 wheat penny DDO variety, it’s called the Poor Man’s Double Die.
Unlike an original DDO, it’s not created because of a die whose design elements are doubled during the manufacturing process. Instead, this error can be caused by a die that’s worn out, a vibrating die, or a vibrating planchet.
An ungraded Philadelphia 1955 wheat penny with a Poor Man’s Doubled Die can sell for $50 online.
1955 Wheat Penny FAQ
How much is a 1955 old penny worth?
A 1955 old penny is worth 10 cents to thousands of dollars. But the exact price of the penny depends on its mint mark, type, variety, and errors. Remember the rarer and more unique the coin is, the more it’s worth.
How do I know if my 1955 penny is a double die?
To tell whether your 1955 no mint mark wheat penny has a genuine double die, you need to keenly look at the doubling. In the no mint mark 1955 wheat pennies of the DDO variety, this doubling is extremely wide in the obverse texts.
After all, since these wheat pennies were created using the same die that carries this doubling, the error will be the same on all coins. Another thing to look for in these coins is a die marker that is usually found on the reverse side of high-grade samples.
This marker features two vertical lines that start from the left side of the T in “CENT” and run downwards.
How many 1955 doubled die cents are there?
Experts estimate that 40,000 1955 no mint mark DDO wheat pennies were minted. These were supposedly minted during the same night shift at the Philadelphia mint. Around 20,000 of these ended up being circulated.
What old penny is worth millions?
The 1943 D bronze wheat penny is the rarest Lincoln cent. This is because there are only 15 1943 bronze cents and one 1943 D one known to exist to date. That’s why they sell at a premium price.
In 2018, the 1943 D bronze cent even sold for over $1 million, making it one of the few US coins worth millions. It’s therefore not surprising that some fraudsters have resorted to applying copper layers to 1943 steel cents to pass them off as bronze cents.
So if you think you have a 1943 bronze cent, ensure that you check it using a magnet. If it gets attracted to the magnet, it’s a fake.