The 1985 Lincoln Memorial penny is an American coin with a face value of one cent or $0.01. While many people assume that all pennies are worthless, there is a thriving market for rare coins, and the 1985 penny is no exception.
Minted at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints, these cents were made with different compositions and have varying values depending on their condition or grade. In this blog, we will be reviewing the 1985 penny value, including its variety, errors, some history overview, and of course, a chart of the 1985 penny value.
1985 Penny Value Chart
1985 Lincoln Memorial Penny Value Chart
|1985 No Mint Mark Penny Value
|1985 D Penny Value
|1985 S Proof Penny Value
1985 No Mint Mark Penny Value
The 1985 Lincoln Memorial penny is a United States coin with a face value of one cent or $0.01. This particular penny was minted at the Philadelphia Mint, as denoted by the lack of a mint mark on its obverse side, and is classified as having a mint state (MS) designation. The 1986 Lincoln Memorial cent features a standard design used for penny coins between 1959 and 2008, consisting of a Lincoln obverse and a Memorial reverse.
In contrast to the entirety of pre-1982 Lincoln Memorial pennies, composed of bronze and holding additional worth beyond their face value due to the valuable copper contained within them, the 1985 Lincoln penny lacking a mintmark, was manufactured utilizing a copper-coated zinc composition (99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper). This round coin weighs 2.5 grams and has a diameter of 19 millimeters. It falls under the business strike type, and its obverse was designed by Victor Brenner, while Frank Gasparro designed its reverse.
The obverse of the coin includes the year of mintage, “1985,” as well as the lettering “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “LIBERTY.” The reverse features the lettering “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “ONE CENT,” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
In 1985, a staggering 5,648,489,887 of these Lincoln Memorial pennies were minted.
The value of a 1985 penny depends on its condition or grade. The prices provided by the Greysheet website indicate the value of uncirculated and circulated 1985 pennies in various grades, with higher grades being more valuable. Mint state grades (MS) refer to coins that have never been in circulation and are in pristine condition.
For example, an MS68 1985 penny value is the highest grade and most valuable, valued at $208.00. An MS67 grade 1985 penny has a value of $16.20, which is significantly lower than an MS68 grade penny but still valuable. As the grade decreases, so does the value. The lowest grade and value listed for this coin is Graded MS60, which is $0.25.
The three highest-selling 1985 penny coins all have the same value of $5,875. They are described explicitly as graded as MS68+ (Red), which indicates that they are pennies from 1985 that have been certified as being in mint state 68 or higher, with a red color grading, by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). The sales of these three 1985 Lincoln Memorial pennies were conducted by Heritage Auctions on three different dates: March 2014 and January and June 2017.
1985 D Penny Value
The 1985 D Lincoln Memorial Cent is a popular coin among collectors and traders with a mintage of 5,287,339,926. It was produced at the Denver Mint and is easily recognizable by the larger letter “D” on the coin, indicating its production place.
Most of these coins are in good condition and have a pleasing appearance, clear details, and no significant flaws. However, some of the coins were affected by a manufacturing issue that resulted in less copper coverage than intended. This may cause some of the coins to appear less defined or slightly flawed.
Despite this issue, the 1985 D Lincoln Memorial Cent remains a valuable coin in the collecting community and can be found in various conditions.
But as a circulating coin, the 1985 D penny has a nominal face value of one cent ($0.01) and was used in transactions throughout the United States. As with most modern pennies, it has little numismatic value and is typically only worth its face value unless it is in a particularly well-preserved condition or has some other rarity or special characteristic.
Unlike the 1985 penny from Philadelphia, the highest grade for a 1985 D penny from Denver reached MS69, which has a value of $1,500 for its retail price and $1,200 for its wholesale price.
In the world of numismatics, the highest recorded sale of a 1985 D penny was achieved in a 2010 Stack’s Bowers auction. The penny in question was a 1985 D Lincoln Cent graded as MS69 by PCGS, and it fetched an impressive price of $6,480. Such a grade signifies that the coin has been nearly perfectly preserved, with its original luster and surface quality remaining intact. Additionally, the coin carried a Red (RD) designation, indicating that its original copper color was still present.
Another 1985 D Lincoln Cent, graded as MS69 (Red), was sold in 2018 by Legend Rare Coin Auctions for $2,702. Although it was also in superb condition, it was sold for a lower price than the 2010 sale.
The most recent sale of a 1985 D Lincoln Cent with the same grade took place in February 2023 through Heritage Auctions, which fetched a price of $2,040 as a rare find. The wholesale bid for NGC/PCGS MS69 was $1,200 at the time of sale, which suggested that the coin was sold for a premium above the current market of 1985 penny value.
1985 S Proof Penny Value
In 1985, the United States Mint issued a set of limited edition collector sets that included proof coins. These collector sets were available for purchase at $11 and featured additional proof coins, such as nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollars. Among the coins in the set was the 1985 S proof penny, which had a mintage of 3,362,821.
The 1985 S proof Lincoln Memorial penny was not released into circulation and is exclusively available by purchasing one of these sets. Even today, these collector sets remain available through authorized coin dealers.
The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has assigned grades to 1985 pennies ranging from PR60 to PR70, with PR70 as the highest grade and PR60 as the lowest. A 1985 penny in PR70 grade is considered a perfect coin with no flaws or blemishes visible to the naked eye. As such, it is highly valued by collectors and can fetch up to $208.00.
While not perfect, a 1985 penny in PR69 grade still has only minor imperfections and is considered a high-quality coin. It is worth significantly less than a PR70-grade penny, with a value of around $6.75.
The 1985 penny value drops significantly for coins in lower grades. A penny in the PR64 grade is worth only $0.40, while a PR63 grade penny is worth $0.33. Coins in PR62 and PR61 grades are worth the same amount as those in PR63 grades, at $0.33 each. A 1985 penny in PR60 grade is also worth $0.33.
The 1985 penny is a common coin that is not usually considered valuable, but a few have sold for high prices in recent years due to their excellent condition and high grades. A perfect Proof 70 RD DCAM penny sold for $240 in August 2021, indicating high demand for this rare grade. Another one was sold for $350 in November 2022. Additionally, two other 1985 S pennies of the same grade were sold for $180 each in separate auctions in 2020 and 2018, respectively.
1985 Lincoln Memorial Penny Grading
The condition of coins is graded on a 70-point scale known as the Sheldon scale. MS67 is the highest grade on the scale for mint state pennies and PR70 for proof strikes and is considered to be in “gem uncirculated condition” with virtually no visible flaws or imperfections. To learn more about the 1985 penny values and the factors that impact their worth, you can watch this YouTube video from JBCOINSINC.
Rare 1985 Lincoln Memorial Penny Error Lists
Before we dive into the list of rare 1985 pennies, we’d like to share a video with you that showcases some 1985 penny errors worth looking out for.
1. 1985 Penny Wrong Planchet Error
A planchet error refers to a mistake made while stamping a coin. The planchet is the blank metal disc used to create the coin, and an error occurs when an incorrect design stamp is used, resulting in an unintended design. This can happen in various ways, such as a stamp that was meant for a different type of coin or even a different denomination.
An example of this is a penny from 1985 that has been stamped on a dime valued at over $747.50! Right now, a two-planchet bonded error 1985 cent is also being sold at an auction for $1,322, which shows how valuable it is. You can see a sample of this in the second YouTube video above.
2. 1985 Penny Double Die Error
The double die error in the 1985 penny is a fascinating example of a numismatic rarity. Collectors and enthusiasts often look for this coin, which comes in various types and displays a slight double in the lettering and date. Due to their unique appearance, exclusive coins like this 1985 penny can be highly treasured by collectors, resulting in impressive sales, such as its recent transaction for $144 in 2021.
Depending on the level of doubling and the overall condition of the 1985 Lincoln Memorial Penny, these 1985 cents can have a value that falls within the range of $20 to $50. It is important to note that these values are subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the coin-collecting market. Nonetheless, 1985 doubled die penny remains a highly sought-after piece in coin collecting.
3. 1985 Penny Repunched Mint Mark Error
Among numismatists, coins featuring repunched mint marks are considered to be highly coveted collectibles. During the mid-1980s, the US Mint utilized manual processes to stamp mint marks onto dies, resulting in errors such as misplacement or misalignment of the mintmark. To rectify these mistakes, the dies were punched again, leading to the creation of repunched mintmarks.
For collectors, the value of a 1985 penny with a repunched mintmark is determined by the prominence and visibility of the additional punch. These coins typically sell for between $5 and $20 on the market.
4. 1985 Penny Broad Struck Error
Typically, coins are produced using a retaining collar to ensure they meet the correct dimensions and feature a raised rim. However, when coins are minted without this collar, they can end up wider and flatter than intended. This was the case with the 1985 broad-struck penny errors produced without the collar.
These unique coins have become quite popular among collectors and can fetch prices ranging from $10 to $20.
1985 Lincoln Memorial Penny FAQs
Q1: What makes a 1985-D penny rare?
In 1985, a mistake occurred during the manufacturing process of certain 1985-D coins. The zinc coating bath used to coat the coins was contaminated, producing coins plated with 90% copper instead of the usual 100% copper. This mistake created a different strike on the surface of the coins, which is noticeable to collectors and coin enthusiasts.
Q2: How much does a 1985 D penny weigh?
The 1985 penny weighs 2.5 grams, which is the standard weight for pennies produced by the United States Mint. Its diameter is 19.05 millimeters, which is also a standard measurement for the penny. Lastly, the thickness of the 1985 penny is 1.52 millimeters, which is consistent with the thickness of pennies produced around that time.