1977 Penny Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?
While the penny saw some design changes, the 1977 penny was from the Lincoln Memorial design group, minted from 1959 to 2008. Even though most people believe their worth to be slightly above the face value, rare specimens are higher in value and demand.
Despite their low price, collectors always search for a better specimen due to the coin’s sentimental worth and historical significance or to complete a collectible penny set.
Here’s what you need to know about the 1977 penny value, its variations, a price chart comparison, and the errors that make the 1977 penny more valuable.
1977 Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Extremely Fine||Proof||Fine||Uncirculated||Good|
|1977 no mint mark penny value||$0.02||–||$0.02||$0.10 to0.26||$0.02|
|1977 D penny value||$0.02||–||$0.02||$40 to $50||$0.02|
|1977 S proof penny value||$0.02||$2.50||$0.02||–||$0.02|
1977 No Mint Mark Penny Value
Around 4,469,930,000 pennies were minted in Philadelphia without a mint mark. Typically, the Philadelphia Mint was used to mint proof coins, but this year, the minting of proof coins was shifted from Philadelphia to San Francisco.
As these pennies were minted in massive quantities, the circulated coins didn’t cost more than $0.02. These pennies range from $0.20 to $24, depending on their grade. Higher grade pennies start from $110 and can go upwards. In 2014, a 1977 pristine quality Lincoln penny was auctioned for $475. Likewise, a collector paid $2645 for an MS-66 grade 1977 penny.
Before we explore other penny varieties and their value, let’s read about penny design and its history.
A famous sculptor and artist, Victor David Brenner, was the Lincoln penny designer. Although some changes have been made to the reverse side, the coin’s obverse face still uses the same design. The obverse side has a portrait of the 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln.
The portrait is facing the coin’s right side and carries subtle details like the wrinkle lines on the coat, facial marks, and hair details. However, these particular details cannot be appreciated in circulated coins.
Above the portrait’s head, you’ll see the words, In God We Trust written along the coin’s rim. The word Liberty is struck on the coin’s left lower side, whereas the year of minting is struck on the coin’s right side. While there is no mint mark on the coins struck in Philadelphia, you’ll see the D and S mint marks on the coins in other mints.
These mint marks can typically be seen below the year mark. While the pennies with the D mint mark were circulated, the S pennies minted that year were proofs and were minted for collectors.
While the original reverse design was used until 1959, the US Mint’s chief engraver worked on redesigning the reverse side to commemorate Lincoln’s 150th birthday. The original reverse design depicted two wheat ears, whereas the newly designed reverse side depicted the Lincoln Memorial Building.
The phrase United States of America is written at the top rim above the building’s illustration, and on the bottom rim, the coin’s denomination, One Cent, is struck in bold letters. Above the building’s roof, there’s the phrase E Pluribus Unum written in two rows, covering the area between the top rim phrase and the building’s roof.
The Lincoln Memorial reverse design was used from 1959 to 2008 and is one of the most recognizable pennies around the globe. Due to their massive quantities, these coins can be found easily. While most people might have already melted the pennies to extract copper, the US law forbids the melting of US currency.
Although the penny doesn’t have much worth, it’s the first coin with a real person depicted on its obverse side. Throughout the timeline of penny minting, the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints have minted these pennies, and only the mint marks S and D can be seen in some penny variations.
The 1977 penny kept the original obverse side. In this coin design, you can see the President’s portrait on the obverse side and the President’s statue in the building illustrated on the reverse side.
Using the late President’s portrait on the coin faced opposition as several notable leaders had strong views on not depicting a person on the currency, as it resembled colonization. However, the design was approved and has been minted since then. 2009 marked the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln penny.
This year, the authorities decided to commemorate the President again by setting up several themes based on Abraham Lincoln’s life. These include his childhood in Kentucky, his career struggles in Illinois, the years of life spent in Indiana, and the presidential period in Washington, DC.
The 1977 Lincoln penny contains 95% copper and a 5% mix of tin and zinc. The penny weighs 3.11 grams and has a diameter of 19 mm.
1977 D Penny Value
The Denver mint produced exactly 4.149,062,300 pennies, out of which, most ended up in circulation. While the extremely fine condition coins sell for $0.1 to $0.25, higher-graded coins range between $40 to $150 and upwards. A red-toned 1977 D Lincoln penny was sold at the Heritage auction for $7050.
Brown and red-brown tones are less desirable and sell for a few hundred dollars. The rarest 1977 D pennies have a red tone. In contrast, coins with red-brown or a completely brown tone are less desirable.
1977 S Proof Penny Value
In 1977, the San Francisco Mint only minted 3,251,132 proof pennies making this penny variety the most sought-after. Although most proof pennies are well preserved, higher-graded ones are still rare. A PR 70 penny was reported to be sold for a little over $7000.
Most proof coins are minted using specialized dies, and the minting process is error-free to produce pennies with a striking outline and a mirror-like finish.
The first fifty to hundred-proof pennies minted have an extra glare known as the cameo effect. Ideally, a pristine condition 1977-proof penny with the cameo effect will be the most valuable penny minted in 1977.
Rare 1977 Penny Error Lists
Several errors are reported for the 1977 penny, which can make the penny more valuable. Here are some common errors.
1977 Penny Double Die Error
Although it’s the most common error, these coins are valued from $25 to a hundred dollars and more, according to the coin’s doubling error. If the coin has an evident doubling error, it will be valued higher. The phrases, dates, and some areas of the illustrations typically show doubling.
As the coin minting process is carried out quickly, an error in the coin takes some time to identify and fix. However, hundreds and even thousands of coins with the same error can be minted during that window. For example, experts estimate that around 250,000 coins with the double-die error were minted that year.
1977 Penny Off-Center Error
Due to the poor alignment of dies, this error can occur. The most common off-center percentage in these coins is one to three percent. While this percentage is considered worthless among collectors, the 10% off-center error pennies are valued from $15 to $25. However, these coins are only worth the money when the coin year and mint mark are visible.
1977 Penny Re-Punched Mint Mark Error
In the ‘70s, mint marks were still punched manually. During the mint mark punching process, the coin can be punched twice or multiple times due to a human error, poor engraving on the first strike, or when the mint mark was punched at a slightly off-angle.
These poorly positioned mint marks can be seen struck upside down, sideways, and at many angles. These re-punched pennies are seen as highly collectible due to the rare error. However, these pennies are not valued and sell for $5 to $15.
1977 Penny Die Crack and Cud Error
This is always a rare find, regardless of the coin year. While the average selling price of a penny with this error is $150, the price depends on the size of the imperfection and its area. These cuds appear on the coin due to a worn-out die for minting the coins.
Due to continuous minting, the dies usually crack or wear off at the border, making cuds on the coin’s edges. However, several specimens with these cuds are present at the coin’s center. Despite the error being unique, these error pennies are only valued from $5 to $10.
1977 Penny With Pale Mint Mark Error
While the least number of errors are reported from the Denver mint, this error occurs due to the manual mint mark punching process. If inadequate force is used during mint mark punching, it can result in a mint mark punched vaguely. These pennies are also valued between $3 to $15.
1977 Penny FAQ
What year penny is worth $7000?
You can find several examples of pennies valued at $7000 or sold in auctions at this price tag. Some examples are the 1977 PR 70-graded proof penny and several higher grades of the 1983 Lincoln penny.
What is the composition of the 1977 penny?
The 1977 penny is composed of 95% copper and a 5% mix of tin and zinc. Although the coin’s face value is $0.01, the melt value of copper is $0.02. These pennies only sell for a premium price when in pristine condition. The 1977 S-proof pennies are the most valuable and can sell for higher prices.
What are the most expensive D pennies?
Although several D pennies from many years are valuable, the 1944 D Lincoln penny is the most sought-after. The 1944 D Lincoln penny with a zinc-coated steel planchet error is one of the most expensive D pennies, valued at $115,000.
The Denver Mint in the year 1944 minted nearly 430 million coins which can be easily found in the coin market. The zinc-coated steel planchet error on the penny makes it one-of-a-kind.
Is the 1976 D penny rare?
Like 1977, the 1976 D pennies are pretty common as these pennies were minted in billions. Many of the coins found in the market are in circulated condition.
Which year penny is the most famous?
The 1943 copper-alloy cent penny is the most famous in the penny category. At the time, pennies were minted using a steel composition. However, these copper-alloy pennies were minted by accident due to the ongoing war escalations.
Only 40 coins were minted and stopped immediately, as the composition needed to be corrected. Several 1943 copper alloy pennies have been sold for decades, ranging from $40,000 in the 90s to over a million dollars in 2022.
How can you sell a penny?
It’s necessary to bring the penny to a coin dealer or a professional coin grading service to know its value. However, it’s best to evaluate yourself to determine whether the coin has value or is worthless. The best approach is to read the literature related to the coin, compare the coin market prices at different grades, and then decide your next move.
What is the oldest penny?
The large cent was a one-cent piece struck in 1793, a year after the first US mint opened. The coin was too heavy, making it difficult to use. However, the coin’s dimensions were not changed until 1857.