1963 Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?
The 1963 penny is a type of Lincoln Memorial Cent. The obverse design features the profile of Abraham Lincoln, while the reverse demonstrates the Lincoln Memorial Building in Washington, DC.
While this penny may seem immaterial for most, it can sell for thousands of dollars! It’s just a matter of examining its components (and errors, if any.) As such, it’s important to explore everything there is to know about the 1963 penny value.
Let’s dive right in!
1963 Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated||Proof|
|1963 No Mint Mark Penny||$0.05||$0.05||$0.05||$0.17-$1.16||$1.75|
|1963 D Penny||$0.05||$0.05||$0.05||$0.17-$1.16||n/a|
1963 No Mint Mark Penny Value
The 1963 no mint mark penny, also known as the Lincoln Memorial Cent, was minted in Philadelphia to the tune of 757,185,645 coins. About 3 million proof coins were produced in the said location as well.
Each 1963 no mint mark penny is made of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. These metals give it a weight of 3.11 grams and a diameter of 19 mm.
When the Lincoln memorial cent was released, it was deemed the first of its kind. For years, there was no actual person on American coins.
Likewise, many dismissed putting a president on the coin. According to Thomas Jefferson, it was ‘monarchical.’
However, many supporters wrote to the Treasury Department, expressing their desire to see the assassinated statesman on the coin.
President Theodore Roosevelt, too, found it interesting to commemorate a fellow Republican on the coin.
So, in the end, Lincoln became the face of the penny.
The 1963 no mint mark penny’s obverse design, as with other Lincoln memorial cents, was created by Victor David Brenner. Commissioned by the US Mint in 1909, he designed a coin commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s birth centennial.
According to Brenner, his image is a vision of what Lincoln would look like if he were reading to a child. He believed that this would show the president at his “brightest.”
More than just designing Lincoln’s profile, Brenner also included the motto “In God We Trust” in the obverse. The text “Liberty” can be found on the left, and the year “1963” on the right.
The reverse, meanwhile, is the handiwork of Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro. His design features the Lincoln Memorial Building, which, ironically, he has never visited in his life. Even though many critiqued his design, that didn’t stop him from designing the coin’s tail side.
To quote historian Walter Breen, Gasparro’s image was an “artistic disaster.”
Undeterred by these negative comments, the chief engraver went on to design the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial cent.
Apart from the contested building design, Gasparro’s layout featured the texts “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and “One Cent.” His initials, FG, are neatly tucked at the right side – next to the stairs’ edge.
A 1963 no mint mark penny value with good, fine, and extremely fine grades are worth about $0.05. The price of uncirculated coins ranges from $0.17 to $1.16.
As always, coin prices can go higher depending on the grade and condition of the penny. A 1963 no mint mark penny graded MS 67 can be sold for $3,172 to $6,613.
Proof coins, meanwhile, are valued at a starting price of $1.75. They sell for a bit higher because they use specialty dies and burnished planchets.
The first 50-100 proof coins produced with such materials often have a cameo effect, where the image appears frosted while the background looks mirrored. The next 100+, meanwhile, will have what is known as a deep cameo effect or DCAM. This kind of penny is less hazy but still has stark differences between the field and the frosted image.
What’s great about proof pennies is that they sell for a premium price. A PR 69 DCAM coin may only be worth $540, but a PR 70 DCAM has been known to sell for a whopping $40,250.
1963 D Penny Value
Most of the 1963 Lincoln memorial cents were minted in Denver. In fact, a whopping 1,774,020,400 1963 D pennies were produced in this location. Seemingly a break from tradition, Denver would end up minting more pennies than the usual frontrunner: Philadelphia.
As mentioned, the 1963 D penny’s obverse design was made by Victor David Brenner.
A fun fact about Brenner’s design is that his initials weren’t put on the coin until 1918. Although he included them in his first draft, they were removed because they were deemed more of an ‘advertisement.’
While Brenner objected to this removal, there was nothing much he can do. The Mint went ahead to mint the sculptor’s obverse design – minus his initials.
As we all know, this design features Lincoln’s profile – as well as the motto “In God We Trust” on top and the word “Liberty” on the right.
But, in contrast to the Philadelphia-minted coins, you will find the mint mark “D” located under the year 1963.
Again, the reverse detail is the work of Frank Gasparro. It features the Lincoln Memorial Building, hence the coin’s name: Lincoln memorial cent.
It also features the texts “United States of America,” “ E Pluribus Unum,” and “One Cent.”
This design, however, was only introduced in the year 1959 – in alignment with the president’s 150th birth anniversary. Before that, the penny’s reverse featured two wheat stalks – hence the moniker “Wheat cent.”
Brenner also created the wheat design, which wasn’t his original submission. He originally drew a tree branch, similar to the etching found on French coins. Mint Director Frank Leach found this drawing unsuitable, so he asked Brenner to develop a new design.
Eventually, Brenner came up with the two durum wheat stalks – a design that stayed until 1958.
The value of the 1963 D penny is similar to the Philadelphia-minted penny. It costs $0.05 in good, fine, and extremely fine conditions, while uncirculated coins are valued at $0.17 to $1.16.
Pricing for high-grade 1963 D pennies can vary as well. An MS 64 RD coin sold for $20, while an MS 66 RD sold for a whopping $1,700. Meanwhile, an MS 67 RD coin was purchased for a good $2,820.
1963 Penny Value Grading
A 1963 penny might be worth one cent at face value, though it may sell for thousands of dollars as well. More often than not, this depends on your penny’s color and/or condition.
For example, an MS 67 coin, which bears the original luster and normal striking, can sell for as much as $6,613. Meanwhile, ‘Perfect’ proof coins, such as those with a grade PR 70, can sell for an unbelievable $40,250.
Rare 1963 Penny Error List
Although the US mint inspects their coins, some erroneous ones can escape the eyes of the officials. Lucky for most, these errors have given their coins a higher value.
Here are some good examples:
1963 Penny Double Die Obverse Error
A double die obverse (DDO) error occurs when the die shifts during the hub formation process. Because of this, coins minted with a wonky die will have doubled words, images, or numbers.
Some doubling errors are hard to spot, so it’s best to have them examined by an expert.
If you’re lucky, you might sell yours at a starting price of $20 to $40, to a special price of $305 (MS 65 RD.)
1963 Penny Double Die Reverse Error
Just like the example above, a double die reverse (DDR) error can occur when a planchet is struck with a defective die. In this case, the doubling can be seen on the tails part of the coin.
One good example is the 1963 proof penny featured in this video. Here, you’ll see the doubling of the word “America” and “FG.”
Such coins can sell for about $50 – to as much as $350 (PR 66 grade.)
1963 Penny Struck on a Silver Dime Planchet Error
As the name suggests, this error occurs when the die is struck on the wrong planchet. In this case, the penny is minted on a silver dime planchet – instead of the traditional copper one.
Although this error is easily visible because of the difference in colors, weighing the anomalous coin is a great way to confirm it as well. A coin struck on a dime planchet will only weigh 2.5 grams, whereas a penny struck on a standard planchet would weigh 3.11 grams.
An MS 62 penny with this rare error was auctioned off for an astounding $4,600.
1963 Penny Struck on a Defective Planchet (Blow Hole) Error
While a penny struck on a silver dime planchet is valuable, one that has been struck on a defective planchet will earn you some money as well.
At first glance, this coin seems to be defective. However, experts have ascertained that this resulted from a planchet with a blow hole.
An MS 64 coin sold at auction for about $300.
1963 Penny Struck Off-Center Error
An off-center strike error is one of the more common mistakes you can find in most coins. This happens when the planchet is improperly positioned during the striking process. As a result, only a portion of the design is imprinted on the coin.
The value of such errors depends on the off-center strike percentage. According to experts, rates of 50% to 60% sell for higher.
An MS 62 coin with a 45% off-center strike has been auctioned off for $250.
1963 Penny Repunched Mint Mark Error
Before 1990, all mint marks were punched manually onto planchets. This was done with a hand-held punch – as well as a mallet. As such, repunched mint mark errors happened quite frequently for coins minted during that time.
The 1963 penny is no exception. Many coins were found to have RPMs. However, this error didn’t sell for much in the market. If you’re lucky, you may get $3 to $5 for this minor error.
1963 Penny Die Break Error
A die break can result in an extra “I” in between the letters “B” and “E” in Liberty. Again, this mistake is quite common and, as such, is not as valuable as the other anomalies in this list. Similar to the RPM error, a die break error coin can sell for about $5.
1963 Penny Value FAQs
What is the error on a 1963 D penny?
There are several errors you can spot on a 1963 D penny. For example, you can look for a double die error either on the obverse or reverse side. You can also look for coins struck on the wrong planchet, such as a silver dime planchet or a blow-holed one.
How much is a 1963 mint mark D penny worth?
A 1963 mint mark D penny is worth $0.05 in good, fine, and extremely fine conditions. Uncirculated coins, meanwhile, sell for $0.17 to $1.16.
High-grade pennies, of course, sell for higher. An MS 64 RD coin may be worth $20, but an MS 66 RD coin can sell for as much as $1,700. An MS 67 RD coin, meanwhile, is valued at $2,820.
Is there a 1963 silver penny?
No. The 1963 penny is made from 95% copper and 5% tin/zinc.
Why is the 1963 penny rare?
1963 pennies are technically not rare, for more than 2.5 billion coins were minted that year. However, pennies with high grades and certain errors are deemed rare and, therefore, valuable.