1973 Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?
The 1973 penny is a coin to look out for, especially when in uncirculated condition. This Lincoln cent is quite popular because it was struck in over 4 billion quantities. You might expect that a coin so common will have a little just above face value, but that’s wrong.
The 1973 Lincoln cent is worth more than its face value, and we’ll find out why soon enough.
1973 Penny Value Chart
|1973 No Mint Mark Penny Value||$0.01||$0.02||$0.02||$0.03|
|1973 “D” Penny Value||$0.01||$0.02||$0.02||$0.03|
|1973 “S” Penny Value||$0.01||$0.02||$0.02||$0.03|
1973 No Mint Mark Penny Value
The 1973 penny minted in Philadelphia doesn’t come with a mint mark, which is quite normal for coins produced in Philadelphia.
This coin was minted in 3,728,245,000 instances, hence it’s a common coin. However, that doesn’t mean it has little value.
The beauty of the 1973 penny is that when found in uncirculated condition, it can be worth quite a lot. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the most valuable 1973-P penny which was graded as MS67+red was sold for $3,850 in 2020.
The 1973-P is constructed using a bronze alloy that is 95% copper and 5% zinc. Due to its composition, it still has great value in recent years. Uncirculated 1973-P pennies are worth about 20 to 30 cents.
1973 “D” Penny Value
When it comes to rarity, the 1973-D penny is not a rare coin either, as it was minted in 3,549,576,588 instances.
The 1973-D is only valuable when in MS 66 grade, otherwise it’s just worth a little above its face value. An MS+ 1973-D penny is worth about $9, but in its uncirculated condition, it’s worth about 10 to 30 cents.
In 2014, the most valuable of the 1973-D penny that was graded MS 67-red was sold for $4,993. The 1973-D penny has equal value to a Philly penny, and the reason why they are worth more than face value is because of their copper composition.
1973 “S” Penny Value
The 1973 mintage in San Francisco produced the lowest number of pennies – 319,937,634. However, it’s not still classified as a rare penny, because it was minted in over 300 million pieces. The distinguishing feature of the 1973-S penny is its “S” mint mark below the date.
The beauty of the 1973-S penny is that it’s worth more than its face value, and that’s also because of its copper composition.
In 2016, an MS67RD graded 1973-S penny was sold for $2,232.50 in an auction. The uncirculated pieces of this penny are worth about $0.01 to $0.03. A worn-out 1973-S penny is still valued at $0.02, because of the copper metal content. Even in auctions, they get better prices because of their low mintage, however, they have to be in excellent condition.
1973 – S Proof Penny Value
The San Francisco mint produced a total of 2,760,339 proof coins for collectors in 1973. They were sold at a slight price above face value and were always issued in proof sets.
The plan was never to disintegrate or distribute them, however, some of the proof coins were used by individuals who needed smaller currencies; hence it was used as regular coins.
Individual 1973-S proof coins are worth about $1, but of course, in PR condition, they’ll be worth a lot more.
The perfect example is the PR70-graded 1973-proof coin that was sold for $12,075 at an auction in 2004.
1973 Aluminum Penny
The aluminum penny was produced by the authorities and it’s worth its face value which is $0.01. It was minted in Philadelphia, and it also contains 95% copper and 5% zinc.
The exact mintage of the 1973 aluminum penny is unknown, but it’s estimated to be around 1.5 million pieces and very few survived the destruction.
In circulated and uncirculated conditions, this penny is worth over $200,000, but sadly, it’s illegal to sell or purchase it. After mintage, the aluminum penny was put out in circulation, but was given to Congress members, and not all the coins can be accounted for today.
The 1973 aluminum penny was rejected, hence why the mint withdrew and destroyed the coins. After the recall, not everyone who had the coin returned theirs, and that’s why some pieces are still unaccounted for.
In 2014, Randall Lawrence wanted to sell a piece at an auction, claiming it was a gift for his father, but the mint requested the coin to be returned because it was never approved as a currency, and Randall had to give back the coin.
Sometimes, people assume the 1973 aluminum penny is a silver coin, but it doesn’t have any silver content; although the aluminum finish has a shiny look that can somewhat imitate silver color.
History of the 1973 Penny
The 1973 penny was minted in the U.S. mint, and it’s composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc, with a weight of 3.11 grams.
During the production of 1973 pennies, different errors, and varieties occurred. So far, there are five different varieties of this coin and over 6 different error coin varieties.
The 1973 penny features the image of President Abraham Lincoln on the observe, including the inscription “LIBERTY” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
On the reverse, the Lincoln Memorial words “ONE CENT” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are both boldly inscribed.
Lincoln was the first recognizable person to be on the U.S. coin, and that’s because Roosevelt believed the American currency needed to be both valuable and aesthetically pleasing, and for this reason, he contracted professional artists to work on the design.
Sadly, before the completion of the design, he died and Victor Brenner his assistant completed the assignment. This reverse design remained unchanged until there was an announcement to revert to the Lincoln cent.
The new design was done by Frank Gasparro, and on February 1959, the Memorial Penny was released to the public.
In 1973, the Memorial Penny was still a legal currency, but because the cost of production was becoming more than the actual face value of the penny, the mint decided to produce aluminum coins. These coins were made in 1974, however, they were dated to 1973, but unfortunately, they had to be stopped, and recalled back to the mint.
The aluminum coins were usually referred to as silver pennies and that’s because of their colors. These coins are currently classified as contrabands, and if you happen to have one, you cannot sell it either, because it’ll be illegal to do so.
1973 Penny Grading
Knowing the exact value of your 1973 coin is important, so you don’t get short-changed when you decide to trade.
In uncirculated condition, the 1973-P penny with an MS65 grade is worth around $1, same goes for other 1973 variations.
You’ll get more than face value worth only when your 1973 penny is in pristine condition. So, you should know that the worth of your coin depends on its grade and condition.
Interested in knowing more about the grade of your 1973 penny? Watch the video below.
Rare 1973 Penny Error Lists
It’s easy to get deceived by collectors when it comes to error coins. A lot of people produce counterfeit error coins and sell them out as the original, and that’s why when dealing in coin exchange, you need to make certain it’s from a reputable source.
Some of the error coins produced by the U.S. mint in 1973 include;
1. 1973 Missed Centre Penny
Just like the name implies; this coin is characterized by an off-center strike, and it’s a very rare and obvious error. It only happens when the coins are not in the right alignment with the dies used in the production.
How much an off-center 1973 penny is worth depends on the severity of the error. Very dramatic examples of the off-center error are sold for thousands of dollars, and because it’s an unusual appearance, most collectors are always on the search for it.
Coins with up to 50% off center, and in pristine condition will be worth about $100, so you might want to take a second look at your 1973 penny.
2. 1973 DIE Break & BIE Penny
These two variations are quite interesting errors of the 1973 penny. The DIE break error happens due to a mistake in the minting process. Usually, a small piece of die cuts off, creating a bulge in the coin. These DIE breaks can happen anywhere in the coin, including on the design elements. Some of the appearances of the DIE breaks are unusual, and the more dramatic they are, the more their worth. The worth of 1973 pennies with the DIE break error varies; a DIE error 1973 error coin graded MS 63 BN was sold for $450.
On the other hand, the BIE error happens when there’s a small die break that causes a vertical lie to appear in between the letters “B” and “E” in the word “LIBERTY”.
You should know that not every coin with these errors is valuable, as some were artificially created by scammers. As with any coin purchase, make sure you are trading with reputable dealers, so you don’t pay the price of a high-quality coin for a knock-off piece.
3. 1973 Uniface Reverse Error Penny
The most obvious error about this coin is its weight. The 1973 penny weighs 3.11 grams, while this is 3.05g, so maybe you should check your 1973 penny on a scale first, as that will give you an idea of what to expect.
Another glaring error is the missing typical reverse design element. If you take a look at the reverse side of this coin, you’ll notice that the Lincoln memorial and other imagery are missing, and there’s just a completely blank and unmarked surface.
This error happened during the minting process, where the reverse dies failed to properly strike the coin.
The MS65BN grade of this error coin was sold for $80.
4. 1973 Penny Produced on a Dime
Producing a coin using the wrong disc denomination will cause it to have a different appearance and even melt value.
The 1973 penny comes with a specific weight and composition; however, this particular 1973 coin was struck on a dime, and hence it has different values. It contains devices from 1c and 10c. this error coin is worth about $860.
1. What Is The Value Of The 1973 Penny?
In circulated condition, the 1973 penny is worth a little above its face value – two cents. however, various factors can affect the value, and it’ll vary among collectors.
2. What’s The Total Mintage Of 1973 Pennies?
According to the U.S. mint, approximately 4,295,240,000 coins were minted.
3. Are There Valuable Errors Of The 1973 Penny?
Yes, some errors could be worth a small fortune to collectors. For instance, the 1973 penny with the double die observe error, is worth hundreds or thousands depending on the coin’s condition and rarity.
4. What Metal Is The 1973 Penny Made Of?
The 1973 penny is made of 95% copper and 5% zinc.
5. How Much Does The 1973 Penny Weigh?
The 1973 penny weighs 3.11 grams with a diameter of 19.05mm.
The 1973 penny is a popular coin for numismatists and collectors alike. The intriguing errors associated with the coin make it an interesting challenge for any collector.
If you are interested in adding the 1973 coins to your collection, it’s best to go for the error coins as they have more value. However, if you can’t seem to get your hands on one, you can opt for the ones minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco, but make sure that it’s in pristine condition.
I have a 1973 penny with and error on it and not sure if it’s worth anything so hopefully I get an answer here
I have lots of 1973 pennies in pristine condition…. how can I put it in auctions as it is preserved using a transparent glue.