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1912 Wheat Penny Value (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” & No Mint Marks)

1912 Wheat Penny Value (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” & No Mint Marks)

You can find several Lincoln coin varieties in the US Mint history, but the Wheat penny is something special. This collectible cent appeared in circulation in 1909 and lasted until 1959, when the reverse was changed.

Collectors appreciate these coins as the first among American coinage with a genuine person shown on the obverse. The 1912 penny value primarily depends on each specimen’s preservation level since most pieces spent years in circulation.

1912 Wheat penny value Chart

Condition 1912 No Mint mark penny 1912 D penny 1912 S penny
Good $1.42 $7.88 $27
Very good $1.88 $9.13 $29
Fine $2.55 $11 $33
Very fine $6.20 $28 $45
Extra fine $14 $74 $83
AU $28 $112 $121
MS 60 $39 $189 $204
MS 63 $55 $273 $285
PR 63 $607 / /

 

History of the 1912 Wheat Penny

The first Lincoln pennies with wheat stalks (Wheatie) on the reverse appeared in circulation in 1909. This historically significant coin featured the 16th American President, the first real person shown on state coinage.

The 26th American President Theodore Roosevelt chose medalist and sculptor Victor D. Brenner to create the new penny to commemorate a century of Lincoln’s birth. The designer did a great job but made a mistake and put his oversized initials, VDB, on the reverse.

Charles E. Barber objected to three letters occurring on the coin surface, causing dies to change. However, some pennies were already released into circulation, and collectors consider them highly collectible nowadays.

Besides, the 6th chief engraver Barber refused to support the artist who had knowledge and skill but was inexperienced in making coins’ designs.

Brenner produced medals by that moment, but that was a bit different from creating pennies for mass circulation. Therefore, he made several changes before getting the practical design acceptable for minting.

1912 Wheat penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1912 No Mint mark penny 68,150,915
Philadelphia 1912 proof penny 2,145
San Francisco 1912 S penny 4,431,000
Denver 1912 D penny 10,411,000
Total / 82,995,060

Believe it or not, these initials were less problem than the Lincoln image. By that moment, Americans never had coins with a real person struck on the obverse. Most included an Indian chief or Lady Liberty, imaginary characters based on someone’s face.

However, no one could connect the depicted profile with any living or deceased man or woman. Such a thing was considered inconvenient and tasteless, mainly because George Washington believed such a monarchical custom was inappropriate for the republic.

Many traditionalists were afraid that the new coin would be a disaster. However, the resistance to this novelty was negligible, probably due to Lincoln’s popularity.

Over the years, Lincoln pennies kept the obverse look, but their composition and reverse design were changed several times. Initially, these coins contained copper, but that was changed in 1943 when the US Mint minted them of steel. Since 1982, they have been made of copper-plated zinc.

 

Features of the 1912 Wheat Penny

The Wheat penny debuted in 1909 as a coin commemorating Lincoln’s 100th birthday, and pieces struck in 1912 appeared three years later. That made these early set precious and collectible for all collectors interested in pennies.

The obverse of the 1912 Wheat penny

The obverse of the 1912 Wheat penny

Image: coinbin

The 1912 penny obverse shows President Abraham Lincoln’s bust surrounded by the words IN GOD WE TRUST above his head. The LIBERTY is struck behind his back, while the mint mark, when existing, and the minting year are on the right coin side.

The reverse of the 1912 Wheat penny

The reverse of the 1912 Wheat penny

Victor Brenner created the simple reverse with two wheat ears placed along both coin sides. The top position was reserved for the required saying, E PLURIBUS UNUM, while the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination occupied the central space.

1912 Wheat penny

Face value One cent ($0.01)
Shape Round
Compound An alloy of 95% copper with zinc or tin
Coin diameter 19.05 mm (1.75 inches)
Coin weight 3.11 g (0.10970 ounces)
Edge Plain
Coin thickness 1.55 mm (0.06102 inches)

Other features of the 1912 Wheat penny

Beautiful Wheat pennies minted in three mints in 1912 are one-cent coins precisely 1.55 mm (0.06102 inches) thick. Their diameter is a standard 19.05 mm (1.75 inches), while the weight is 3.11 g (0.10970 ounces). Like all pieces from the early period, they are made of an alloy containing copper and zinc or tin.

 

1912 Wheat Penny Value Guides

In 1912, three mints produced 82,995,060 pennies with wheat stalks on the reverse. All three minted coins from the regular strike, but the one in Philadelphia also released 2,145 proofs for collectors.

1912 No Mint Mark Wheat penny Value

1912 No Mint Mark Wheat penny Value

Image: coinstudy

The highest mintage in 1912 had the Philadelphia mint with 68,150,915 struck pieces. Heavily circulated coins are typically worth $1 to $30 nowadays. On the other hand, excellently preserved pennies cost $25 to $6,000, depending on their color and rating.

1912 No Mint mark Lincoln penny value

Condition 1912 brown penny 1912 red-brown penny 1912 red penny
AU $21 to $27.60 / /
MS 60 $25 to $30 / /
MS 61 $28 to $33.60 / /
MS 62 $31 to $37.20 / /
MS 63 $35 to $42 $42 to $50.40 $75 to $90
MS 64 $65 to $78 $75 to $100 $120 to $150
MS 65 $85 to $102 $225 to $300 $360 to $500
MS 66 / $350 to $450 $800 to $950
MS 67 / / $4,900 to $5,880

The most pricey is a cent, sold for $21,850 in August 2006. One owner offered this rare penny in an MS 67 grade at Bowers & Merena and got an unexpectedly high price for this coin type.

1912 proof Wheat penny Value

1912 proof Wheat penny Value

Image: pcgs

Besides coins from the regular strikes, the Philadelphia produced 2,145 proof pennies in the fourth minting year. Depending on the grade, most brown pieces are worth $300 to $7,000. On the other hand, those with an attractive red toning often come to $22,500 at auctions.

1912 proof Wheat penny value

Condition 1912 PR brown penny 1912 PR red-brown penny 1912 PR red penny
PR 60 $300 to $360 / /
PR 61 $325 to $390 $400 to $480 /
PR 62 $350 to $420 $450 to $540 /
PR 63 $400 to $480 $550 to $660 $650 to $750
PR 64 $460 to $552 $650 to $780 $900 to $1,300
PR 65 $875 to $1,050 $1,100 to $1,400 $2,100 to $2,500
PR 66 $1,550 to $1,800 $2,000 to $2,400 $18,000 to $22,500
PR 67 $6,000 to $7,000 / /

The most expensive penny in the set is one proof coin. This beautiful red specimen in a PR 66 grade achieved $37,600 at an auction in February 2016.

1912 D Wheat penny Value

1912 D Wheat penny Value

Most circulated pieces of 10,411,000 minted in Denver are worth $5 to $125 on the current coin market. Prices of these in the mint state significantly vary, depending on their toning. Nowadays, you can find:

  • Red specimens for $300 to $4,800
  • Red-brown specimens for $265 to $750
  • Brown specimens for $135 to $540 

1912 D Wheat penny value

Condition 1912 brown penny 1912 red-brown penny 1912 red penny
AU $86 to $126 / /
MS 60 $135 to $162 / /
MS 61 $165 to $198 / /
MS 62 $185 to $222 / /
MS 63 $225 to $270 $265 to $318 $300 to $360
MS 64 $250 to $300 $325 to $390 $700 to $840
MS 65 $450 to $540 $625 to $750 $950 to $1,000
MS 66 / / $3,200 to $4,800

The 1912 Wheat penny sold in May 2005 is the most costly coin from the regular strike. This piece with the D mint mark and an MS 66 rating is worth $34,500.

1912 S Wheat penny Value

1912 S Wheat penny Value

The least valuable Wheat pennies from San Francisco are brown circulated coins. Their price range is from $12 to $60, but some pieces from the total 1912 mintage of 4,431,000 are still in the mint state.

1912 S Wheat penny value

Condition 1912 brown penny 1912 red-brown penny 1912 red penny
AU $82 to $132 / /
MS 60 $140 to $168 / /
MS 61 $160 to $192 / /
MS 62 $173 to $207.60 $200 to $240 $325 to $390
MS 63 $200 to $240 $300 to $360 $400 to $480
MS 64 $325 to $390 $430 to $516 $650 to $850
MS 65 $650 to $780 $900 to $1,080 $1,900 to $2,400
MS 66 / $1,800 to $2,160 $12,000 to $16,000

The price is $80 to $780 for brown pennies, while you can sometimes come across valuable red cents in an MS 66 grade. They are typically worth $12,000 to $16,000.

The 1912 S MS 65 Wheat penny with impeccable red toning is the most expensive cent struck in San Francisco in 1912. Its price achieved in May 2003 was an astonishing $27,600.

 

1912 Wheat Penny Errors

Some 1912 penny varieties or errors are particularly valuable. Even though the most recognizable imperfection among Lincoln cents is doubled die error, it is not reported among coins struck this particular year.

That fact doesn’t mean they don’t exist but that they have not been cataloged so far. On the other hand, you can come across some other error coins with this date, like:

1912 Wheat Penny Off-center

Several 1912 pennies with more or less sizable blank crescents are collectible, and you can get about $5 to $10 for those with small imperfections. Specimens with 5% to 10% off-center errors are worth more, while you can get a few hundred dollars for the 1912 Wheat penny with 50% of the design but with the intact date.

1912 Wheat Penny Re-punched mint mark

Some 1912 Wheat pennies minted in San Francisco came with the mint mark re-punched twice, resulting in a slightly doubled S letter on the obverse. These coins are rare and worth $5 to $25.

1912 Wheat Penny Die cracks

This error typically occurs when the old and worn-out die strikes the coin. The result is a small raised relief on the coin surface at the place of the die crack. Such pennies are worth $1 to $100, depending on the crack size.

 

FAQ about the 1912 Wheat Penny

What makes a 1912 Wheat penny rare?

Most pennies minted in 1912 are not particularly scarce. However, some errors and highly collectible pieces with desirable red toning can be rare on the market nowadays.

Which 1912 Wheat pennies are particularly expensive?

  • Red 1912 PR 66 Wheat penny ($37,600 at LRC Auctions, February 2016)
  • 1912 D MS 66 Wheat penny ($34,500 at Heritage Auctions, May 2005)
  • Red 1912 S MS 65 Wheat penny ($27,600 at Heritage Auctions, May 2003)
  • 1912 MS 67 Wheat penny ($21,850 at Bowers & Merena, August 2006)
  • 1912 PR 66+ Wheat penny ($14,100 at Heritage Auctions, August 2014)
  • Brown 1912 PR 67 Wheat penny ($9,500 on eBay, October 2018)
  • Red-brown 1912 S MS 65 Wheat penny ($5,175 at Heritage Auctions, March 2005)
  • Brown 1912 S CH BU Wheat penny ($2,530 at Stack’s, May 1999)
  • Brown 1912 D MS 66 Wheat penny ($1,540 at LRC Auctions, November 2017)
  • Red-brown 1912 D MS 65 Wheat penny ($1,400 on eBay, April 2022)
  • Red-brown 1912 MS 66 Wheat penny ($576 at Heritage Auctions, September 2022)
  • Brown 1912 MS 65 Wheat penny ($500 on eBay, October 2021)

How much is 1912 No Mint mark penny worth?

Such old coins like Lincoln pennies from 1912 are often valuable and collectible. Those minted in the Philadelphia mint typically spent years in circulation, so their price is about $1 to $30 nowadays. Collectors are prepared to pay $25 to $6,000 for well-preserved ones, depending on their color and rating.

What are the most expensive Wheat pennies?

The most expensive Lincoln cent sold at an auction is the brown 1943 D bronze MS 64 Wheat penny Type 2 ($840,000). The brown 1944 S steel MS 66 Wheat penny Type 1 was the second with the price of $408,000, while the most pricey proof is the 1909 VDB PR 67+ Wheat penny Type 1 ($258,500).