The 1970 penny has a special place in the history of United States currency. Not only is it part of the Lincoln penny series that began over one hundred years ago, but its features and varieties make it an interesting coin to collect. The value of these coins can range from just pennies for those in good condition to so much more for uncirculated or Proof examples.
In this blog post, we will explore the history, features, varieties, and values associated with the 1970 Lincoln Penny. We’ll also look at some errors that have made certain 1970 pennies highly sought after by collectors. Whether you’re looking to start collecting coins or want to know more about the money you already have, this blog post will help you understand all there is to know about the 1970 penny value!
1970 Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated||Proof|
|1970 “No Mint Mark” Penny Value||/||/||/||$1.16||/|
|1970 “D” Penny Value||/||/||/||$1.16||/|
|1970 “S” Penny Value – Small Date, Low 7||/||/||/||$64||$46|
|1970 Penny Value – Large Date, High 7||/||/||/||$1.16||$1.16|
Value by Mint Mark
The penny is one of the longest-running denominations in the history of United States currency. It was first introduced in the small sized one-cent form that we know in 1857 and has been issued every year since. And as we have said, the 1970 penny is part of a Lincoln penny series which began in 1909, making it an important part of coin collecting history.
The features of the 1970 penny are unique compared to other denominations. On its obverse, or front side, is a bust of Abraham Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner. This design has remained virtually unchanged since 1909 and serves as a reminder of our nation’s 16th President. On its reverse is the iconic Lincoln Memorial motif designed by Frank Gasparro, which has been used on most pennies since 1959.
It measures 19.05 millimeters (0.75 inches) in diameter and 3.11 grams in weight, with a thickness of 1.52 millimeters, a plain edge, and a composition of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc.
The 1970 penny is available in both business strike and proof varieties, with each having a unique mint mark to identify its origin. Business strikes were made at the Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark) and Denver Mint (“D” mint mark). Proofs were made at the San Francisco Mint (“S” mint mark).
The 1970 penny also comes in several varieties, which affect the value of the coin. Other things that affect the value of the coin are its mint mark, if there are errors, and the condition of the coin.
No matter what condition your 1970 penny is in, it holds an important place in United States currency history – so make sure you keep it safe!
Let’s look at the value of the different 1970 penny varieties and mint marks.
1970 No Mint Mark Penny Value
The 1970 “no mint mark” penny was minted at the Philadelphia Mint. It was produced in very great quantities – about 1,898,315,000 pennies at this location alone!
In terms of value, 1970 no mint mark pennies in “Good” condition are worth only one cent each, which is face value (although examples with errors can be worth much more). In “Fine” condition, these 1970 pennies are still worth about one cent each, as well as in “Extremely Fine” condition.
“Uncirculated” specimens are always worth more than those that have been used for everyday transactions. In “Uncirculated” condition, these coins can fetch about $1.16.
1970 D Penny Value
The 1970 D penny is a widely available coin that was minted at the Denver Mint in great quantities – a whopping 2,891,438,900! Therefore, the value that it brings in is not super high, though the higher the grade, the higher the price due to their rarity and collector appeal.
In “Good” condition, 1970 D pennies are worth around one cent, while in “Fine” condition they can also fetch about one cent. In “Extremely Fine” condition, these coins are also worth face value each.
However, in “Uncirculated” condition, this penny has an approximate retail value of around $1.16, same as the “no mint mark” variety.
1970 S Penny Value – Small Date, High 7
The 1970 S penny was one of the rarest coins minted that year, although the exact number struck is up for debate. There were two different varieties of the San Francisco pennies for this year. One of those varieties is the small date with a high 7 on “1970”.
What makes this variety unique is that on the small date, the “7” is prominently aligned with the “0”, and the print itself is smaller and more delicate in nature.
While 1970 S pennies with a small date and high 7 are still worth only face value for “Good”, “Fine”, and “Extremely Fine” conditions, in “Uncirculated” condition, they can be worth an impressive $64! That is a whole lot more than pennies are worth from the other two US Mint locations.
They are also available as Proof coin. Proof coins are “collector only” coins that feature completely mirrored backgrounds, compared to business strike examples, often with deeper relief than normal specimens. These highly detailed pieces typically command premium prices at the higher end of the scale, and the 1970 penny is no different.
You can find the 1970 S Proof penny worth about $46!
1970 S Penny Value – Large Date, Low 7
The other variety of 1970 S penny is the large date with a low 7 – meaning that on the larger printed date of “1970”, the “7” sits lower than the “0”, and the print itself is larger and thicker. This variety usually carries less value than its small date counterpart and is equal to the value of other varieties of this coin.
In other words, in terms of value, a 1970 S large date penny in “Good” condition will bring around one cent each, as well as those in “Fine” condition and “Extremely Fine” condition. Those specimens in crisp “Uncirculated” state can command prices of $1.16 or slightly higher. When it comes to Proof coins for this variety, you can expect to also get a valuation of $1.16.
1970 Penny Grading
As we have mentioned, the potential value of a penny depends on its condition. Grading a penny can help you understand the condition of your coin relative to other coins on the market and is also essential in determining its worth.
You can get your penny graded at a professional coin grading service such as PCGS or NGC, which will give you a more accurate idea of its value. It is important to note that these grading services are quite expensive and may not be the best option for coins worth less than a few hundred dollars.
Here are a few tips on how to grade a 1970 penny:
A “Good” condition coin will have obvious wear on both sides of the coin. The details of Lincoln’s bust will be mostly visible but there may be several amounts of “flatness” or missing areas in the design.
“Fine” coins show minor signs of wear and tear, but they still retain much of their details and are considered better than “Good”. Many parts and details of the design should be easily visible with only minor flattening or fading present in some areas.
“Extremely Fine” coins display only minimal signs of wear with all major details still present. There may be slight fading or flattening in certain areas, but these should not detract from the overall appearance of the coin.
“Uncirculated” coins are highly sought after by collectors due to their lack of any signs of wear and tear. All features should be sharp and clear with no evidence of contact with other coins or surfaces over time.
Rare 1970 Penny Error Coins
Although the 1970 penny is a highly minted issue, coins featuring errors can be worth much more than regular specimens. In recent years, certain errors on the 1970 penny have surfaced and have become highly sought after by collectors who are looking for rare finds.
There are many different kinds of errors that could possibly appear on a coin. A few possibilities, for example, are double die errors, repunched mint marks, and off-center strikes. While these errors make the coins much more valuable than their non-error counterparts, be sure to get the coin authenticated before spending too much money on it.
Here are some of the most valuable error coins to look out for from this year:
1970 S Penny – Double Die Obverse Error
One of the most sought-after varieties is the double die obverse error, which features two overlapping images on the obverse of the 1970 Lincoln cent. This unique error is created when a die used to press coins accidentally strikes twice with the same design, which causes doubled images on one or both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin due to malfunctioning coining presses during production. In this case, the doubling is on the obverse.
If you find this mint mark with this error, you will definitely want to hold onto it. It’ll likely be worth thousands even in mid-level conditions, but in “Uncirculated” condition, it is worth an impressive $14,247!
1970 S Penny – Repunched Mint Mark Error
Another error to look out for is the repunched mint mark variety.
This occurs when a coin’s mint mark has been stamped more than once onto it, resulting in blurring or doubling on just the letter. In this case, the “S” was struck multiple times with slightly different spacing, making the multiple punches easily distinguishable. It is something that you generally can only see under a coin microscope because of how small the error is – considering it’s on the mint mark, which is hard to see all on its own!
On the 1970 “S” penny, this error can be worth anywhere from $400 to over $1,000, depending on the condition of the coin.
1970 Penny Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know more about the 1970 penny and its potential value, here are some frequently asked questions about this issue:
What is the Value of a 1970 Penny?
The value of a 1970 penny can vary greatly depending on its condition and if it features any errors. “Uncirculated” and Proof specimens typically fetch higher prices than those that have seen use in circulation, ranging from as little as $1.16 all the way up to an amazing $64. Also, certain double die errors can command thousands of dollars, so it is important to have a professional authentication done before purchasing one of these coins.
Where Can I Find a 1970 Penny?
You can find 1970 pennies in circulation, but they may be difficult to come by depending on your location. Coin dealers and online marketplaces are another good source for finding these coins, such as eBay or Etsy, where you can buy individual coins or complete sets.
Be sure to check the condition of the coin before buying to make sure it’s authentic and not a counterfeit. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for any special varieties or errors you may come across!
What Are the Different Varieties of 1970 Pennies?
There are four varieties of the 1970 penny – the “no mint mark” from Philadelphia, the “D” from Denver, and the two “S” coins from San Francisco, which are the “large date” and the “small date”. These varieties can easily be distinguished by the size of the number “7” in the year, as well as the mint mark on the penny.
All in all, the 1970 penny is a great addition to any coin collection. Its historical significance, interesting features and varieties, and potential for error coins make it an exciting item to have! No matter if you’re new to coin collecting or an experienced numismatist, this is one issue you won’t want to miss!
Just be sure to do your research before buying any coins – know what you’re looking for and make sure it’s authentic. Good luck!
Do you have a 1970 penny in your collection? Let us know about it in the comments below.