Are you among the lucky few who’ve come across a 1947 wheat penny?
Lincoln pennies from 1947 are quite rare, not because they are valuable but because collectors have hoarded these coins, taking them out of circulation.
That said, your 1947 Wheat penny might be worth more than face value.
In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about the 1947 Wheat penny value. You will learn about the interesting history of the Lincoln Wheat penny, its features, and errors that might be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1947 Wheat Penny Value Chart
|1947 No-Mintmark Wheat Penny Value||$0.05||$0.05||$0.10||$12.50|
|1947 S Wheat Penny Value||$0.05||$0.05||$0.10||$25|
|1947 D Wheat Penny Value||$0.05||$0.05||$0.10||$30|
History Of 1947 Wheat Penny
The Wheat penny is also known as a wheatback or a Lincoln wheat cent. This coin is one of the most popular, as it features President Abraham Lincoln, a beloved president.
The United States Mint first produced the Wheat penny in 1909, with production continuing for fifty years until 1958. The coin’s name comes from the design on the reverse, which features a pair of wheat leaves on each side.
President Roosevelt ordered the Mint to produce a coin to celebrate Lincoln’s 100th anniversary, and the first of the Lincoln Wheat pennies were released into circulation on August 2, 1909. The Wheatbacks were the first in U.S. history to feature the profile of a real person.
One thing that stood out was the designer’s initials on the coin’s reverse side. Engraver Victor David Brenner designed the coin and inscribed his initials VDB, but this was a source of great controversy.
In response to the uproar, U.S. Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh ordered that the designer’s initials be removed. But millions of Lincoln Wheat pennies featuring the controversial initials had already been minted in the first year of production.
The Philadelphia mint delivered 28 million Wheaties, while the San Francisco mint produced 484,000 coins with the VDB initials in addition to the usual S mintmark. Being so few, the coins from the San Francisco mint have become highly sought after among collectors. These coins are popularly known as 1909-S wheat pennies.
Between 1943 and 1946, during World War II, the U.S. Mint changed the metal composition of coins from copper to zinc-platted steel to preserve the copper reserves for wartime needs. Originally, Lincoln Wheat pennies were made of 95% copper and 5% zinc and tin mix. After the War, starting in 1947, the Mint resumed using copper to make Wheat pennies.
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Features of 1947 Wheat Penny
In this section, we’ll learn about the physical characteristics of the Wheat penny from 1947. This information can help you tell whether your 1947 Wheat penny is valuable.
The Obverse of the 1947 Wheat Penny
The top-facing side of the coin is the obverse, also known as the heads. On the 1947 Wheat penny, the obverse features Abraham Lincoln’s right-facing portrait.
The word LIBERTY is inscribed on the left side, behind the President’s back. The year of production appears on the right side, in front of his chest. On coins minted in Denver or San Francisco, the mint mark D or S appears underneath the year.
The motto IN GOD WE TRUST appears around the top of the coin’s obverse
The Reverse of the 1947 Wheat Penny
The reverse is the coin’s back side, also known as the tails. The 1947 Wheat penny derives its name from the design on the reverse, which features two wheat leaves positioned on both sides of the coin.
The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed around the top of the coin. The coin’s denomination, ONE CENT, appears on the coin’s face in a large font.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appear underneath the coin’s denomination.
Other Features of the 1947 Wheat Penny
The 1947 Wheat penny is reddish-brown in color due to its 95% copper metal composition. The remaining 5% is a Zinc and Tin alloy.
The coin measures 19mm and weighs 3.11 grams. The mintmark ‘S’ or ‘D’ for coins from the San Francisco and Denver mints appear right underneath the year of production.
The Wheat penny from 1947 has a plain edge.
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1947 Wheat Penny Value Guides
Are you curious about the 1947 Wheat penny value? Then this section is for you. You will find out whether your 1947 cent is worth more than face value.
The mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver produced hundreds of millions of cents in 1947. But collectors have hoarded these coins over the years, making 1947 Lincoln Wheat pennies a bit hard to find in pocket change.
The value of your 1947 Lincoln cent will depend on its condition. Other factors, such as the presence of a mintmark, can also affect the coin’s value.
When determining the value of your Wheat penny from 1947, you must consider from which mint it comes. The three types or varieties of 1947 pennies are:
- The 1947 No-Mintmark Wheat Penny
- The 1947 D Wheat Penny
- The 1947 S Wheat Penny
Let’s look at each coin variety and how much it is worth.
1947 No-mintmark Wheat Penny Value
The 1947 Wheat cents minted in Philadelphia do not have a mintmark. A total of 190,555,000 Wheat pennies came from the Philly mint in 1947.
Most 1947 no-mintmark cents were released into circulation and any that you will come across today is most likely damaged or worn. As such, these coins are worth little, with their value ranging between $0.50 and $0.35.
The 1947 Wheaties are rare in mint state grades and even rarer in uncirculated condition. In uncirculated condition, the coin is worth about $12.50.
The most expensive 1947 Wheat penny graded mint state (MS) 67 sold at $9,200 in 2012. Rare as it is to come across an uncirculated Wheat cent from 1947, if you are lucky enough to find one, it could fetch you thousands of dollars!
1947 D Wheat Penny Value
The Denver mint produced 194,750,000 Wheat pennies in 1947. You can identify these coins by their mintmark ‘D’ appearing underneath the year on the obverse.
Throughout the 1940s and 50s, coins from the Denver mint were of a higher quality than the ones from Philly and San Francisco. 1947 D Wheat pennies have a brighter, sharper appearance.
Generally, 1947-D Lincoln cents are not rare, even in mint, uncirculated condition, including MS67. There are many examples of such coins in MS66 and a few hundred in MS67.
In circulated condition, 1947-D cents are worn and are worth between $0.05 and $0.35. In uncirculated, mint state, the coin can fetch $30 because, as mentioned, the 1947 Wheat penny is readily available even in mint state.
The most expensive 1947 D Wheat penny was graded MS67 and sold at $1920 in 2020.
1947 S Wheat Penny Value
The San Francisco mint produced just 99,000,000 cents in 1947. The number of coins produced this year fell to half that of the previous year, thanks to a difficult economy and a tight post-war budget.
The coins the San Francisco mint produced were of remarkably lower quality. Working with a tight budget, the mint used the dies until they were completely worn, and still, they wouldn’t install new dies. Instead, they’d polish the old dies and continue using them.
The polishing would result in coins with a shiny surface like a proof coin, but the strike would be poor. Interestingly, despite the low-quality strike, collectors are attracted to 1947-S Wheat pennies with the shiny luster from eroded dies.
Shiny 1947 coins are readily available and generally attain higher grading despite their sub-standard strike. A 1947-S Wheat penny with both a lustrous surface and excellent strike is extremely rare.
The value of 1947-S Wheat pennies in circulated condition ranges between $0.05 and $0.35. The same coin is worth about $25 in uncirculated condition.
The most expensive 1947-S Lincoln Wheat penny was graded MS67 and auctioned at $5,250 in 2013.
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1947 Wheat Penny Errors
Lincoln Wheat pennies from 1947 are worth more or less the face value. Unless you have an uncirculated 1947 Wheatie in mint condition, your coin is probably not worth a fortune.
That said, some errors can significantly boost the value of a seemingly dingy 1947 Wheat Penny. Some errors can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, but you must know what to look for before buying or selling these coins.
Below, I outline the most common 1947 Wheat penny errors that can be worth a lot. Read on to find out:
1947 Doubled Die Wheat Penny Error
Doubled die errors are quite common in the Lincoln cents coin series. This error occurs due to hitches in the hubbing process. A hub is used to transfer the coin’s design to the die.
The hub strikes the die several times for all the design elements to be fully transferred. The hub may strike the die at slightly different angles, sometimes causing the design to appear doubled or even tripled.
1947 Wheat penny doubled die errors are common. That said, Lincoln pennies with an intense or visible doubled die error can be worth at least $15 or more, depending on the clarity of the error.
1947 Lamination Wheat Penny Error
Solid-alloy coins such as the 1947 Wheat penny can be prone to lamination errors. This error occurs when the coin’s surface cracks due to dust or debris inside the alloy.
The contaminants weaken the metal’s chemical composition, causing the metal to break to create a horizontal crack on the coin’s surface.
A lamination error can slightly boost a coin’s value but not by much. A 1947 Wheat penny with a lamination error on the obverse or reverse is worth between $3 and $5.
1947 Broadstrike Wheat Penny Error
Broadstrike errors are also very common and occur when the collar holding the planchet gets stuck in the hub causing only a partial design to appear on the coin while the rest remains blank.
Issues with the collar can also cause the coin to appear abnormally flat or wide in some areas. This error can also cause the reeding to miss from the coin.
There are many examples of 1947 broad-strike errors, but the value depends on the coin’s size and the image’s placement. Wider pennies with centered images are worth more than coins with an off-center design.
1947 Off-Center Wheat Penny Error
Off-center error pennies from 1947 are common. The error happens when the die strikes a blank planchet outside the holding collar. Because the planchet or blank coin is improperly centered, the image appears off instead of centered like a normal coin.
The value of a 1947 off-center wheat penny error coin will depend on how much of the design is missing. Coins showing the date and at least 50% of the image are worth more than those not showing the date.
The number of off-center coins also impacts the value of the coin. As mentioned, 1947 Wheat pennies with off-center errors are common. Still, these coins can fetch as much as $200.
1947 Chipped Planchette Wheat Penny Error
Improper punching of blank coin planchets can cause chipping. This error typically happens when the die does not go deep into the planchet in some instances. The result is overlapping strikes, with some deep and others shallow.
The size or depth of the chip affects the value of the coin. The 1947 Wheat pennies with deep, visible chips are worth more than those with a slight error. There are also only a few examples of chipped planchet Lincoln pennies, which boost the coin’s value.
The 1947 chipped planchet penny error coins are worth $20 to $25.
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Here are answers to a few common questions you may have about the value of a 1947 wheat penny.
Is a 1947 wheat penny rare?
The 1947 wheat penny is graded as abundant on the rarity scale. Many examples of these coins are cheaply available and are in circulation to date; it is not uncommon to find a 1947 Wheat penny in your pocket change. However, uncirculated 1947 pennies are relatively rare given that most of these coins were released into circulation and no proofs were issued that year for safekeeping among collectors.
Why is the 1947 penny worth money?
A 1947 penny is worth money if it is in mint, uncirculated condition. Red-colored 1947 pennies are considered gem quality and are of the highest grade. These coins are rare, but if you do discover or possess one, it could be worth thousands of dollars.
Where is the mintmark on a 1947 Lincoln penny?
The mint mark ‘S’ or ‘D’ for coins from the San Francisco and Denver mints, respectively, appear right underneath the year of production. 1947 Lincoln pennies minted in Philadelphia do not have a mintmark.