PARRIS ISLAND COINS » 1960 Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1960 Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?

1960 Penny Value

Understanding the 1960 penny value is important, especially if you are planning to collect pennies from the 19th century. Fortunately, this is where we come in.

Today, we are going to do a deep dive into this coin’s current price and the factors that affect it. We are also going to talk about the history, features, and varieties of this coin.

1960 Penny Value Chart

Type MS62 MS65 MS67 PR65 PR69
1960 No Mint Large Date Penny (P) Value $2 $4 $360 $46 $2,600
1960 No Mint Small Date Penny (P) Value $5 $20 $550 $72 $2,000
1960 D Large Date Penny Value $7 $16 $475 _ _
1960 D Small Date Penny Value $6 $22 $340 _ _
1960 D/D Small/Large Date Penny Value $120 $260 $748 _ _

1960 No Mint Large Date Penny (P) Value

1960 No Mint Large Date Penny (P) Value

The 1960 penny is part of the Lincoln cent series. The series succeeded the Indian Head cent and has been minted since 1909. Like the other pennies in this series, it bears Abraham Lincoln’s image on its obverse.

The image features his bust facing right and is surrounded by several inscriptions. There’s a date to the right, “LIBERTY” to the left, and, “IN GOD WE TRUST” along the top rim. This design, the work of Victor D. Brenner, has only changed a little over the years.

On the other hand, reverse design has changed drastically over the years. But the first one was made by Brenner as well. It featured two wheat stalks, earning the pennies that had it the name wheat pennies.

This design was used until 1958. From 1959 to 2008, the mint used a design that featured the Lincoln Memorial. This was the work of Frank Gasparro and even has his initials at the Memorial’s right base.

This design also features the legends “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, and “ONE CENT”. The first one is along the top rim, the second is just over the memorial, and the last is along the bottom rim.

Four bicentennial reverse designs replaced this one in 2009. A reverse design featuring a union shield replaced these in 2010 and is still being used today.

Whatever the case, all the 1960 pennies had the Lincoln Memorial reverse design. These were minted at the Philadelphia and Denver facilities. These round coins had a smooth edge and a diameter of 19 mm.

They had a mass of 3.11 grams. This is because they have a composition of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. The ones from the former facility were 586.4 million pieces and had no mint mark.

Some of them had a small date while others had a large one. Also, this mint produced around 1.7 million proofs; some had a large date and others had a small one. These proofs are still available today in Cameo and Deep Cameo finishes.

Experts even estimate that there are still 235,000 large date red proof samples, 115,000 Cameo ones, and 55,000 Deep Cameo ones still existing today. Because of this, a red PR69 sample can sell for $125, a Cameo one can go for $315, and a Deep Cameo one can fetch $2,600.

On the other hand, large date regular-strike versions are more available and therefore cheaper.  Numismatic experts even estimate that 250 million samples still exist across all grades.

Of these, around 170,000 are estimated to have a grade of MS60 and over, with around 85,000 having a grade of MS65 or better. Keep in mind that red samples are more expensive than their brown and red-brown counterparts.

A red MS63 sample sells for around $4 while an MS66+ sells for around $85. Prices hike at MS67 to around $360 before hiking further at MS67+ to up to $8.750.

If there’s one thing you need to remember about Lincoln cents though, it’s that their composition has changed over the years. For one, the composition used in the 1960 pennies is the original one used from 1909 to 1942.

In 1943, the mint used zinc-plated steel. But the resulting coins stained and got corroded easily, leading them back to the original composition.

This was only changed in 1982 when the mint started using 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. This is the composition used to date.

1960 No Mint Small Date Penny (P) Value

1960 No Mint Small Date Penny (P) Value

Interestingly, regular-strike small date pennies minted in Philadelphia are rarer than their large date counterparts. Around 205 million of them still exist across all grades with around 130,000 of them having a grade of MS60 or higher.

Of these, about 65,000 have a grade of MS65 or higher. This makes regular-strike small date coins more valuable than their large date counterparts. But this isn’t something that started in the 20th century.

Even back in 1960, these coins were scarce and in demand. Immediately people heard about them, and even the non-collectors were fascinated by them. As such, people started collecting them and selling them for way over their face value.

Newspapers at the time even reported that some people were selling them at $2 per piece. The smallness of this coin’s date is most visible in the numbers nine and zero. In the large date variety, the nine is big and its top is a bit higher than the top of the one digit.

Also, the zero is larger and has a perfect circle inside it. But the zero on the small date variety is smaller and has a more oval shape at its center. Its nine digits are also smaller with its top almost aligned with the top of the one digit.

Keep in mind that this variety is also available in red, red-brown, and brown colors, with the first one being the most expensive. A red mint state sample usually goes for $3 to $550. However, an MS67+ sample can go for as high as $10,500.

Proofs are rarer; around 350,000 red samples exist across all grades. On the other hand, about 200,000 cameo samples exist while around 50,000 deep cameo ones exist. As such, a red sample usually costs $6 to $625 while deep cameos go for $8 to $2,990.

1960 D Large Date Penny Value

1960 D Large Date Penny Value

The Denver mint produced more 1960 pennies than the Philadelphia one. These were around 1.6 billion pieces and each one had a D mint mark under the date engraving. They were all regular-strike coins.

Some of them were large date samples while others were small date ones. Numismatic experts estimate that around 500 million brown large date pennies still exist today across all grades.

120,000 of these are estimated to have a grade of MS60 or higher with 60,000 having a grade of MS65 or higher. On the other hand, an estimated 120,000 red-brown samples still exist with 60,000 having a grade of MS65 or higher.

Red samples also exist in the same quantities. A red-brown MS65 sample can sell for as little as $6. On the other hand, a red MS63 usually sells for $8 while an MS66+ one sells for around $65. But prices hike at MS67; a sample fetches around $475.

1960 D Small Date Penny Value

1960 D Small Date Penny Value

1960 D small date pennies are still readily available today and at affordable prices. There are still around 550 million brown D small date pennies existing today. Of these, about 180,000 have a grade of MS60 or higher, 90,000 of which have a grade of MS65 or higher.

When it comes to red and red-brown samples, experts estimate that there are 180,000 samples still existing in all grades. All of these are estimated to have a grade of MS60 or higher, and half are estimated to have a grade of MS65 or better.

A red sample with a grade of MS60 usually costs $4 while an MS66 costs $32. MS67 and MS68 samples go for the most. The former sells for around $340 while the latter sells for up to $4,000.

1960 D/D Small/Large Date Penny Value

There’s a variety of the 1960 D penny that either has two mint marks or two dates. This variety usually has a second D punched on top of the original and/or a small date punched on top of an original large date.

Either way, numismatic experts estimate that around 75,000 of these pennies still exist in brown. 5,000 of these are estimated to be MS60 or better, half of which are MS65 or better.

When it comes to red and red-brown samples, it’s estimated that only 5,000 pieces of each remain. All of these are mint-state samples, and half have a grade of MS65 or higher.

Brown samples usually sell for $2 to $135 each while red-brown ones fetch up to $400. Red samples can go for up to $1,375.

1960 Penny Grading

Grading 1960 pennies is best left to professional agencies like NGC and PCGS. However, you need to carefully pick which pennies to send to be graded. This is because a lot of low-grade 1960 pennies are cheap and won’t make you any profit if you have them graded.

So before you send off a penny for grading, ensure that it looks pristine. It’s also good to give precedence to rare varieties and errors.

Rare 1960 Penny Error Lists

1960 Penny Reverse Struck Through Detached Lamination

1960 Penny Reverse Struck Through Detached Lamination

A lamination error occurs when there are impurities in the planchet. It is evidenced by flaking or peeling on its surface. Sometimes, the resulting flake folds over before the planchet is struck.

So when striking occurs, the flake gets struck on the coin, creating a struck-through error. When this happens, it makes a coin more valuable. For instance, a PCGS MS62 red-brown 1960 D small date penny with this error on its reverse side sold for around $27 on eBay.

1960 Penny Die Chip

1960 Penny Die Chip

This error occurs when a small piece of the die falls off before coin striking occurs. So during striking, a piece of the planchet’s metal makes its way into the resulting cavity, leaving a bump on the coin’s surface.

In the 1960 penny, this can make the R in “LIBERTY” appear filled. This error makes this coin valuable, even when ungraded. For instance, a 1960 D penny with this error can be sold for a whopping $1,000 on eBay.

1960 Penny FAQ

How much is a 1960 penny value worth?

A 1960 penny is usually worth $2 to $4,000. The exact price depends on the variety, error, type (proof/regular strike), and mint mark on the coin.

How can you tell if a 1960 penny is a small date?

You can only tell whether a penny is of the small date variety by checking its date inscription. You need to particularly pay attention to the numbers nine and zero.

If the former’s top is at the same level as the top of the one digit and the zero has an oval shape at the center, the coin is a small date variety.

You will also notice that the top of the nine digits in small date pennies is less curled inside than the one in their large date counterparts.

How many 1960 small date pennies were made?

According to the American Numismatic Association, the Philadelphia mint produced around 2,075,000 small date 1960 pennies. These were significantly fewer than the large date pennies.

Ultimately, it contributed to the public interest in these coins and the hoarding that ensured. However, the Denver mint produced almost the same number of small date 1960 pennies as large date ones.

That’s why they aren’t as in demand as their Philadelphia counterparts and are almost the same price as 1960 D large date pennies.

Is there a 1960 silver penny?

No, 1960 pennies don’t have any silver.

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