Lincoln Memorial pennies appeared in 1959. That day, Americans celebrated the day when Lincoln was born in Larue County, Kentucky, on 12th February 1809. After 50 years of Wheat penny minting, the coin with the redesigned reverse occurred on the market.
These coins were struck from 1959 to 2008, and the 1992 penny value is typically low, like most pieces in the group of modern ones. Plus, US law protects these copper coins from melting, making them abundant on the market. Moreover, they are a part of history, so you can consider them collectible.
1992 Memorial penny value Chart
|Condition||1992 No Mint mark penny||1992 D penny||1992 S PR penny|
|BU MS 63||$0.33||$0.33||/|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1992 Memorial Penny
By 1909, all American coins featured imaginary faces on the obverse. They often depicted Lady Liberty, symbolizing the most prominent and recognizable American value, freedom. Another option was the American Indian image, based on a non-existent chief.
Before the Lincoln penny, none of the American coins showed a genuine person since Washington believed such a thing was typical for monarchist countries, like hostile England.
It took a great effort and Theodore Roosevelt’s authority and influence to change this widespread belief among Americans. He found the US coinage uninspiring compared to the one existing in European countries and looked for changes and fresh ideas.
The plan was to let Augustus Saint-Gaudens create a new inspiring penny, but a famous artist died before finishing the task. That way, a laurel-crowned Liberty went to history, and Brenner got a chance to break an old American taboo.
Lincoln was an excellent option for this purpose since Americans admired and loved the assassinated President and fighter against slavery. That was probably why the resistance to this idea was weaker than expected.
The new penny was the first circulated piece with a real person on the obverse, except for a commemorative half-dollar from 1892. This unique exception was created with Christopher Columbus on the obverse to support the exposition in Chicago.
Since most of these coins worth a dollar remained unsold, they were melted or used in circulation at face value. However, the Lincoln cent was the first in American history specially intended for circulation to depict a genuine person.
1992 Memorial penny
|1992 No Mint mark penny||Philadelphia||4,648,905,000|
|1992 D penny||Denver||4,448,673,300|
|1992 S penny proof||San Francisco||4,176,560|
Engraver Victor Brenner designed the first Lincoln pennies with wheat stalks on the reverse, and they were released into circulation in 1909. That was a unique occasion to celebrate the centennial of the birth of this significant man.
Fifty years later, the US Mint hired chief engraver Frank Gasparro to create the new reverse to honor half a century of coin minting and 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The next reverse change appeared in 2009 when the US Mint celebrated Lincoln’s bicentennial by releasing a new cent with four different reverse sides
Despite changes on the reverse, the coin obverse stayed almost the same all these years, making it the longest-running American coinage in history. Besides, the Memorial penny is the only example in American coinage with someone’s image on the obverse and his statue on the reverse.
Features of the 1992 Memorial Penny
Lincoln cent is one of the most popular American coins made to preserve a memory of one of the crucial people in US history. Interestingly, it has remained the same over a century of minting, but redesigning the reverse was a way to commemorate crucial events.
The obverse of the 1992 Memorial penny
While the coin reverse is changed over time according to needs, the Memorial penny obverse is the same as in any other penny from the first moment of minting.
You can see the original Victor David Brenner‘s vintage design containing the 16th American President in the center. Besides the lettering IN GOD WE TRUST above his head, there is also the minting year on the right. The word LIBERTY was struck on the left.
The reverse of the 1992 Memorial penny
Frank Gasparro designed this lovely reverse based on the Lincoln Memorial. It was built in Washington, DC, to honor the legacy of the American President who abolished slavery after the horrifying time of the Civil War.
Interestingly, the designer added his small Lincoln figure between the Memorial pillars. That makes this lovely coin unique among numerous American coinages since no other piece includes the same person on both sides.
The redesigned cent reverse also includes the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM along the top rim and ONE CENT on the bottom.
1992 Memorial penny
|Face value||One cent ($0.01)|
|Compound||97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper|
|Coin thickness||0.05985 inches (1.52 mm)|
|Coin diameter||0.75 inches (19.05 mm)|
|Coin weight||0.08819 ounces (2.5 g)|
Other features of the 1992 Memorial penny
Like other modern Memorial pennies, those struck in 1992 are round coins that contain 97.5% zinc and a small percentage of copper. This 0.05985 inches (1.52 mm) thick coin weighs 0.08819 ounces (2.5 g) and has a diameter of 0.75 inches (19.05 mm).
1992 Memorial Penny Value Guides
Three mints produced 9,101,754,860 pennies in 1992, but the one in San Francisco minted only proofs that year. These coins are affordable thanks to a high mintage, but the best-graded red-toned pieces can cost over $1,000.
No Mint mark 1992 Memorial penny
The highest mintage of Lincoln Memorial pennies in 1992 was in Philadelphia, but it was only a slightly higher number than those struck in Denver. Most of the 4,648,905,000 pennies spent a long period circulating, and these worn-out pieces are typically cheap.
1992 Memorial penny value
|Condition||1992 RD penny||1992 D RD penny|
You can find even specimens in the mint state for $0.10 to $125, depending on the condition. Despite being only 20 years old, rare pennies are in the highest grades, and only those with an MS 69 rating are expensive. You can buy one for about $1,000.
1992 D Memorial penny
The Denver mint produced a high number of Memorial pennies in 1992, 4,448,673,300 pieces. While circulated ones are not collectible, those in uncirculated condition are worth $0.10 to $25.
The only exception is specimens with an MS 69 rating. Collectors pay about $2,750 for such pieces in rare cases when they occur on the coin market. The most pricey is the 1992 Memorial penny in an MS 65 grade after reaching $14,100 at an auction in 2014.
1992 S Memorial penny proof
In 1992, the San Francisco mint produced only Memorial penny proofs. The mintage was 4,176,560 coins, making them inexpensive on the current market. You can get one of the perfectly preserved specimens for a modest $0.50 to $5, depending on the condition.
1992 Memorial penny (proof) value
|Condition||1999 S RD DCAM|
Despite such low average prices, one beautiful DCAM specimen with a PR 70 rating was sold for $1,380 in 2003.
1992 Memorial Penny Errors
The 1992 Lincoln cent has two typical varieties and a few standard errors that can increase their value. Let’s take a look.
Close and wide AM varieties
You can find two 1992 Memorial cent varieties with the visible difference in letters AM in the word AMERICA. Collectors recognize coins with:
- Wide AM with regularly spread letters
- Rare close AM with these letters closely placed to each other, so it seems like they almost touch each other
Additionally, the variation with wide AM has the designer’s initials FG struck closer to the Memorial. On the other hand, they are more distant in coins with close AM.
You can find close AM variation among coins made in both mints producing pennies from the regular strikes. Both are valuable and cost thousands of dollars, but the highest estimated pieces are red pennies with close AM in an MS 67 grade. You can expect to pay $20,000 for such a piece.
1992 Memorial penny value
|Condition||1992 close AM RD penny||1992 D close AM RD penny|
The most common errors among cents struck in 1992 are:
Struck-through coin – The common errors among 1992 Lincoln cents are those struck through retained debris stuck between the planchet and the die. You can see these particles retained on the coin reverse.
Doubled die cracks – Sometimes, the die cracked after numerous repeated strikes, leaving corresponding bumps on the coin surface.
Weak strike – This error occurred when the die weakly hit the coin and left it without a clearly visible and detailed engraved design.
FAQ about the 1992 Memorial Penny
What makes a 1992 Memorial penny collectible?
The most collectible Lincoln cent minted in 1992 is the rare, so-called Close AM variation. You can expect to get $20,000 for the specimen with MS 67 rating.
Which 1992 Memorial penny is highly expensive?
- At Heritage Auctions in 2017, the 1992 MS 67 close AM red Memorial penny went $25,850
- At Heritage Auctions in 2020, the 1992 MS 64 close AM red-brown Memorial penny went $22,800
- At Heritage Auctions in 2014, the 1992 D MS 65 close AM red Memorial penny went $14,100
- At Heritage Auctions in 2016, the 1992 MS 64 close AM red Memorial penny went $8,813
- At Heritage Auctions in 2020, the 1992 D MS 66 close AM red Memorial penny went $8,413
- At Heritage Auctions in 2015, the 1992 D AU 58 close AM brown Memorial penny went $5,640
- At Stack’s Bowers in 2012, the 1992 D MS 69 red Memorial penny went $5,175
- At Stack’s Bowers in 2018, the1992 MS 63 close AM red-brown Memorial penny went $5,040
- On eBay in 2022, the 1992 NGC Genuine close AM brown Memorial penny went $5,000
- At Bowers & Merena in 2010, the 1992 AU 55 red-brown Memorial penny went $4,830
- At Stack’s Bowers in 2012, the 1992 D AU 58 Close AM brown Memorial penny went $3,525
- At Bowers & Merena in 2008, the 1992 MS 69 red Memorial penny went $2,875
- At Heritage Auctions in 2015, the 1992 D MS 62 close AM red-brown Memorial penny went $2,820
- On eBay in 2018, the 1992 D MS 63 close AM red-brown Memorial penny went $2,500
- At Heritage Auctions in 2004, the 1992 MS 63 brown Memorial penny went $1,438
- At Heritage Auctions in 2003, the 1992 S PR 70 DCAM Memorial penny went $1,380
- On eBay in 2018, the 1992 D MS 66 brown Memorial penny went $85
- At Heritage Auctions in 2000, the 1992 D XF 40 red-brown Memorial penny went $253
How much money can you get for the 1992 No Mint mark Memorial penny?
The Memorial pennies minted in Philadelphia in 1992 are an excellent opportunity for new collectors. You can find these beautiful coins for $0.10 to $125, depending on their condition. However, those with an MS 69 rating can be worth approximately $1,000.
What is the most costly Memorial penny?
Several 1992 Memorial pennies reached high prices at auctions, and the most expensive pieces were paid:
- $138,000 (the 1999 MS 66 penny) in 2006
- $126,500 (the 1969 S DDO MS 64 penny) in 2008
- $48,300 (the 1959 D MS 60 penny) in 2003
- $40,250 (the 1963 PR 70 penny) in 2004
- $25,850 (the 1992 close AM MS 67 RD penny) in 2017