The 1994 penny doesn’t hold much value when in circulated condition, however, there are exceptions.
Stumbling upon an old 1994 penny in your home might be what you need to secure better financial stability, wondering how?
This article focuses on the different varieties of the 1994 penny and of course, its error coins. Error coins are sometimes worth a fortune, so are you that lucky?
Let’s find out.
1994 Penny Details
The 1994 penny was struck in three different U.S. mints; Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Each of the variations is identified by their mint marks, although the coins minted in Philadelphia have no mint mark, and that’s their unique feature. With a face value of one cent, it’s considered a currency of low value. The 1994 penny has a smooth edge and a weight of 2.5 grams.
1994 Penny Value Chart
|1994 No Mint Mark Penny Value||$0.01||$0.3||$0.34||$1|
|1994 – D Penny Value||$0.01||$0.3||$0.3||$1|
|1994 – S Proof Penny Value||$0.01||$0.5||$3.00||$5.00|
1994 No Mint Mark Lincoln Penny
The Philadelphia mint produced 6,500,850,000 pennies in 1994, and none of them have a mint mark. The composition of these pennies is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, making them desirable only in mint conditions. With a face value of $0.01, you’ll be lucky to sell it above that when in circulated condition. In mint state, the value of the 1994 – P penny is about three cents.
However, if they do have a unique error while in circulated condition, you might be able to sell them for $3. Also, the color of your 1994 penny will play a great role in its worth. For instance, red pennies have more value than the ones that are red-brown or brown, and that’s because it’s an indication of how long they’ve been in circulation.
A 1994 penny that’s graded MS65 is worth about $10, and if you are lucky to find one graded at MS67, you might be able to sell it at $20 or slightly higher.
The value of the 1994 penny lies in the samples graded MS68 and higher, although it might be a bit difficult to get one. 1994 pennies graded MS68 can command a value as high as $270.
In 2013, a 1994 – P penny-graded MS68RD was sold for $646.
One rare sample of the 1994 – P penny that was graded at MS69 has a value of $13,000, but getting coins in premium grades like this, is almost close to impossible, especially coins that have been in circulation for more than two decades.
1994 – D Lincoln Penny
The Denver mint produced 7,131,765,000 pennies in 1994, and this was the highest mintage of the 1994 pennies. These pennies have a mint mark “D”, that indicates their mintage location.
In circulated condition, the 1994 – D penny is only worth face value, but in mint state, its value is about $1.
Since over 7 billion pennies were minted, it’s not exactly a rare coin, and to get a premium price for it, it needs to have an interesting error or be in the highest grade (which is very rare). Truth is, you’ll have an easier time finding a 1994 – D error coin than the ones graded MS69 and above.
For 1994 – D graded MS65, the worth is about $10, and while that may sound like a small figure, have you considered that it has a face value of one cent?
The only time you’ll get a premium price for your 1994 – D penny is when it’s graded MS68+ and above. Even in grade MS68, this penny is worth less than $250. At MS69, you can expect to sell this coin for $3,750, according to PCGS.
In a 2010 auction, a sample of the 1994 – D penny graded MS68RD was valued and bought for $633.
1994 – S Proof Lincoln Penny
The San Francisco mint didn’t produce regular 1994 pennies, rather they minted proof pennies in 3,269,923 instances. These proof coins were specially made for collectors, to prevent them from hoarding the regular 1994 pennies in circulation.
Proof coins are minted on highly polished planchets and quality dies, hence their shiny appearance and terrific details. Unlike regular coins, the 1994 – S proof coins were struck twice by specially made quality dies, to give the pennies a frosty design and reflective surface.
The proof coins minted in San Francisco were all graded deep cameo, meaning they even have a more attractive contrast than normal proof coins or cameo-designated proof coins. They are usually produced manually, to ensure that they have a perfect finish before leaving the mint facility. Hence why San Francisco was only able to produce a little above 3 million, because of the time and energy put into the production.
These coins were not distributed into circulation, so you might not easily find one laying around. But luckily a few pieces broke out of their proof sets and were spent as regular currency. So, if you are in luck, you might get one as a change, someday.
In 2002, a sample of the 1994 – S proof coin graded at PR70 was sold for $1,955. During the time of the auction, only 23 samples of 1994 – S proof pennies were graded PR70DCAM, but now there are over 200 samples with the same grade. Because it’s no longer a unique and premium coin, the value has dropped, and you can purchase one for as low as $40. Still, there’s the tendency for the value to increase again, depending on the market’s demand, so ‘fingers crossed.”
History of the 1994 Lincoln Penny
The 1994 Lincoln penny is only worth its face value, and even its melt value is lower — $0.0076. The design of the 1994 penny features an image of the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse side, and this was designed by Frank Gasparro. This design was first introduced in 1959 as a way to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
On the observe side of the coin is an image of Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner, and this design has been used on the penny since 1909. Underneath the edge of Lincoln’s shoulder, you can see David Brenner’s initially subtly inscribed there “VDB”, and this same initial was boldly inscribed on the reverse side of the coin, but due to the clap backs and criticism it received, it was removed.
David Brenner protested this move, but he was ignored, and in 1918, it was reinstated and placed on the observe side of the Lincoln penny, but in smaller letters.
The 1994 penny was minted in three facilities, and if you look just under the date inscription, you’ll be able to tell where the coin was minted.
The pennies with the “D” mint mark were minted in Denver, while those with the “S” mint mark were minted in San Francisco. For the pennies without any mint mark, they were produced in Philadelphia.
1994 Lincoln Penny Grading
To get the real value of your penny, you need to be familiar with the grading pattern of coins. In mint condition, the 1994 pennies are red in color, and once they have spent a lot of time in circulation, they become red-brown, and the further they still stay in circulation, they become brown. The reason for this color change is due to their zinc composition.
So, it’s easy to figure out that 1994 pennies that are red have more value than the samples in red-brown or brown.
Also, you need to know how to look out for errors in your 1994 penny, as this will have a significant impact on the value of the coin.
In case you have a 1994 penny, and you are interested in grading it yourself, check the video out. It contains everything you need, and if you find anything unique about your coin, reach out to a reputable coin appraiser to get the actual worth of your penny.
Rare 1994 Lincoln Penny Error Lists
You might be thinking having a 1994 penny with errors makes it worthless, on the contrary, it increases the value of a coin.
Errors mostly happen during the minting process of a coin, and depending on how unique the error is, collectors are willing to pay a ridiculous amount just to have it in their collection.
1. 1994 Lincoln Penny Double Die Reverse Error
The double die error can occur on both the observe and reverse sides of a coin. This error happens during the minting process when the coin die was struck twice, causing the inscriptions and details to appear twice on the resulting coin. You can easily recognize this error because it makes a coin more detailed and prominent.
So many people know about the double die error, as it is a very common error and doesn’t intrigue collectors so much. The value of a 1994 penny with the double die error will depend on the severity.
A 1994 – P penny graded MS67RD with this error was sold for about $1,500.
2. 1994 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error
When the coin die doesn’t align properly during the minting process, the off-center error happens. This error can cause parts of the coin’s design to go missing.
If your 1994 penny is 5-10% off-center, it can be valued for up to $10 or more depending on the grade.
3. 1994 Lincoln Penny BIE Error
Drastic BIE errors are valuable because of their rarity. This is an error that happens in the production stage, when the die used to strike a coin has a crack, thereby causing an extra letter in the letter “LIBERTY”, between “B” and “E”, hence the name BIE error.
A 1994 penny with this error is worth about $15.
To learn more about other unique 1994 penny errors, watch this.
1994 Lincoln Penny FAQs
1. What Is The Value Of The 1994 Penny?
The value of a 1994 penny is based on its condition and uniqueness. The face value of this coin is one cent, but in mint condition, it can be worth $0.03 to $5. Also, if it’s in premium grades like MS68+ and above, its value is in three figures already. For 1994 error pennies, the value can be thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the error.
2. Is The 1994 Penny A Rare Coin?
A coin produced in over 13 billion quantities is not a rare coin, even the proof variants were minted in over 3 million quantities, and it’s not considered a rare coin. However, 1994 error pennies are considered rare, like the 1994 penny double die reverse error.
3. How Do I Know My 1994 Penny Is Valuable?
If your 1994 penny is in mint condition, without any visible damage to its features and design, then it’s valuable and should be able to sell for more than its face value. Look out for any discoloration and scratches, as they might affect the value of the coin.
4. Can I Use The 1994 Penny For Everyday Transactions?
Yes, the 1994 penny is still a legal tender in the U.S. and can be used for daily transactions. However, there’s no guarantee that it’ll be accepted by you, as traders have the right to refuse it because of its low value.
5. Who Designed The 1994 Penny?
The reverse side of the 1994 penny was designed by Frank Gasparro, while the observe side was designed by Victor Brenner.
The 1994 penny is a very common coin that was minted in large quantities, hence it’s not so valuable unless it is in mint, pristine condition.
1994 pennies in premium grades like MS68+ and above are considered rare and valuable. Also, if you have a 1994 error penny, you might be able to sell it for hundreds of dollars, depending on how unique the error is.
So, take a second look at your newly found 1994 penny, because it might just be worth a hundred dollars or even more.