In most cases, the 1972 Lincoln penny value is low, and practically no one wants to buy one in circulated condition. Even well-preserved pieces in the mint state cost a modest $0.33 to $0.85, depending on the mint mark.
However, you can also find penny proofs struck this year in the San Francisco mint worth approximately $1 and rare errors most collectors want to see in their collections. Therefore, pay attention when finding this coin because a double-die specimen can be pricey.
1972 Lincoln penny value
|1972 No Mint mark Penny||1972 D Penny||1972 S Penny|
|Mint state 65||$0.33||$0.33||$0.85|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1972 Lincoln Penny
The US Mint has produced the Lincoln penny (cent) from 1909 to these days. Augustus Saint-Gaudens got an assignment to create four gold coins and the cent in 1905.
Two of his proposed designs were adapted for the gold coins, but he died before submitting the one for the cent. Therefore, Victor D. Brenner created the penny with the 16th American President Abraham Lincoln in 1909 in honor of the centennial year of his birth.
1972 Lincoln penny
|Philadelphia||1972 No Mint mark Penny||2,933,255,000|
|Denver||1972 D Penny||2,665,071,400|
|San Francisco||1972 S Penny||376,939,108|
|San Francisco||1972 proof Penny||3,260,996|
The coin was issued to circulation on August 2, 1909, and immediately got the name Lincoln wheat penny, thanks to two ears of wheat on the reverse. However, that was changed in 1958 when the Lincoln Memorial cent with a new Frank Gasparro’s reverse design debuted.
The US Mint struck the Lincoln penny with this design until 2008. The following year, appeared the Lincoln Bicentennial one-cent program in honor of the bicentennial year of the beloved and reputable American President’s birth. The idea was to represent four significant moments of his life.
Mints in Philadelphia and Denver struck most of the 5.978.526.504 Lincoln pennies produced in 1972, with a significantly smaller share from the San Francisco mint.
Features of the 1972 Lincoln Penny
Engraver and sculptor Victor David Brenner designed the original coin’s obverse and reverse, and you can see them on pennies struck from 1909 to 1958.
President Eisenhower decided to change the reverse, and the Lincoln Memorial building replaced recognizable wheat ears. The new Frank Gasparro‘s design, released on February 12, 1959, was a way of celebrating a favorite American president’s 150th birth anniversary.
Interestingly, no one knew about that idea before the coin releasing because the new design resulted from internal competition.
Some engravers objected to the famous building’s appearance because the 10th Chief Engraver of the US Mint never saw it in person. Moreover, Walter Breen, a respectful numismatic historian, described this design as a genuine artistic disaster.
The obverse of the 1972 Lincoln penny
The central figure on the 1972 Lincoln penny is the Abraham Lincoln bust faced right, like in all pennies struck from 1909 until today. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is placed along the upper coin rim.
The favorite American word LIBERTY is placed on the left bust side, while the date is struck in front of Lincoln’s portrait. You can see a small letter S or D under the date, representing the mint.
The reverse of the 1972 Lincoln penny
The 1972 Lincoln penny comes with memorial reverse. You can see the centrally positioned Lincoln memorial building with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on the top.
The denomination ONE CENT is on the bottom coin rim, while the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, broken in two rows, is placed above the building.
1972 Lincoln penny
|Face value||1 cent ($0.01)|
|Compound||95% copper plus zinc and tin|
|Coin weight||0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)|
|Coin diameter||0.74803 (19 mm)|
|Coin thickness||0.05984 inches (1.52 mm)|
Other features of the 1972 Lincoln penny
The 1972 Lincoln penny is a one-cent round coin with a plain edge. It is made of copper with added 5% zinc and tin and weighs precisely 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g). Each piece is 0.05984 inches (1.52 mm) thick and has a diameter of 0.74803 (19 mm).
1972 Lincoln Penny Value Guides
Even the worst preserved 1972 Lincoln pennies are worth their weight in copper, or $0.02, based on this metal’s current market value. However, you should be aware that it is illegal to melt copper pennies at the moment, but this ban is likely to be lifted in the future.
1972 No Mint mark Lincoln penny Value
The Philadelphia mint struck 2.93 billion Lincoln pennies without the mint mark in 1972. While you can buy most of these pieces for 20 to 40 cents, you can find dealers prepared to pay $1 for specimens in grades over MS 65.
Despite relatively low regular prices, a few 1972 No Mint Lincoln wheat pennies reached impressive auction records. The most expensive specimen, with MS 67 rating and beautiful red toning, was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2013 for $3,290.
One brown piece reached $900 in 2021 on eBay, while one collector paid $374 for a superior MS 63 red-brown penny at Heritage Auctions in 2008.
1972 D Lincoln penny Value
Since the Denver mint produced 2.66 billion Lincoln pennies in 1972, you can expect their value to be relatively low. Most pieces will cost you 20 to 40 cents, but well-preserved coins can be worth up to $1.
The most expensive 1972 D Lincoln wheat penny is the one that paid $4,250 on eBay in 2012. This beautiful coin with red toning was highly graded, which is one of the reasons for this auction record.
One collector set aside $380 for one brown piece on eBay in 2020, despite its about-circulated condition. The third place went to the red-brown penny paid $207 on eBay in 2018.
1972 S Lincoln penny Value
The San Francisco mint had the lowest penny mintage in 1972, with only 376,939,108 struck pieces.
Therefore, you can expect well-preserved coins in high grades to cost more than coins from the other two mints. Most collectors will pay about 50 to 75 cents for those in the mint state, but some pieces in MS 65 grade often reach a price of $1.
However, the most expensive coin is worth much more. One collector paid $1,955 for one red 1972 MS 67 Lincoln penny at Heritage Auctions in 2007.
Those in less desirable colors are less expensive. For instance, the auction record for one brown piece is a modest $104 reached at Heritage Auctions in 2007. One red-brown coin was paid $29 on eBay in 2018.
1972 S RD DCAM proof Lincoln penny value
1972 S proof Lincoln penny value
This year, the San Francisco mint produced 3,260,996 proof pennies, and the price of those in PR 65 condition is $1 on the current coin market. However, the exceptional 1972 S PR EF 45 Lincoln penny reached an auction record of $11,500 in 1997 at Heritage Auctions.
1972 Lincoln Penny Errors
1972 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln penny
About 250,000 pennies with one of the error types were released in 1972, and it is possible to find at least ten different 1972 DDO Lincoln penny types. However, you can count on the high price for only those with easily visible doubling on obverse inscriptions:
- The word LIBERTY
- The motto IN GOD WE TRUST
- The date
It is estimated that the Philadelphia mint accidentally produced about 20,000 coins with this error. Their value is approximately $75, but some well-preserved pieces with striking doubling can be pricey.
For instance, the 1972 No Mint mark DDO MS 65 Lincoln penny with prominent doubling is typically worth $600. Rare pieces in high grades with a double-struck entire front side can reach $800.
|1972 DDO Lincoln penny value|
|1972/1972 BN Penny||1972/1972 RB Penny||1972/1972 RD Penny|
|MS 60||$225 to $258.75||$240 to $264||$280 to $322|
|MS 61||$240 to $276||$260 to $286||$295 to $339.25|
|MS 62||$250 to $287.50||$270 to $297||$315 to $362.25|
|MS 63||$275 to $316.25||$290 to $319||$340 to $391|
|MS 64||$290 to $333.50||$315 to $346.50||$475 to $546.25|
|MS 65||$340 to $391||$365 to $401.50||$600 to $800|
|MS 66||$500 to $575||$625 to $718.75||$920 to $1,200|
|MS 67||/||$1,850 to $2,128||$2,400 to $2,760|
Most brown penny errors produced in 1972 are worth $165 to $575, depending on their condition. However, one collector paid $1,150 for an impressive piece at Bowers & Merena auction in 2008.
You should pay $240 to $2,128 for most red-brown DDO penny errors. In 2015, one piece in MS 67 grade won an auction record at Heritage Auctions with a price of $2,585.
The 1972 No Mint mark DDO Lincoln pennies with red toning are the most pricey and typically cost $280 to $2,760. The most expensive specimen was a highly graded coin sold at Heritage Auctions in 2019 for an impressive $14,400.
Unofficial Lincoln 1972 Penny variety
Some entrepreneurs struck President J.F Kennedy’s image into the Lincoln penny. They created the double-head penny with Lincoln and Kennedy facing each other.
Even though these coins’ number is limited, they are practically worthless since they are not the official currency. In most cases, you should pay $0.01 to $0.04 for a piece.
1972 Lincoln penny off-center
Lincoln pennies struck this year with an off-center die are relatively rare. Uncirculated pieces typically cost $0.4.
1972 Lincoln penny struck-through grease error
This mint error type is visible to the naked eye since the entire inscription part STATES OF doesn’t exist. It appears when die recesses are clogged with a compact mix of dirt, lubricant, and metal dust.
1972 Lincoln penny with close AM
This penny variety has closer AM initials, but it is impossible noticing this error without a magnifying glass.
FAQ about the 1972 Lincoln Penny
What makes a 1972 Lincoln penny rare?
The 1972 DDO Lincoln penny is rare nowadays since only about 20,000 pieces with a noticeable doubling in inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY were struck.
Which 1972 Lincoln pennies are worth a lot of money (according to PCGS)?
- 1972 DDO MS 67+ RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $14,400 at Heritage Auctions in 2019
- 1972 S PR EF 45 Lincoln penny that was sold for $11,500 at Heritage Auctions in 1997
- 1972 D MS 67+ RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $4,250 on eBay in 2012
- 1972 No Mint mark MS 67+ RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $3,290 at Heritage Auctions in 2013
- 1972 DDO MS 67 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $2,585 at Heritage Auctions in 2015
- 1972 S MS 67 RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $1,955 at Heritage Auctions in 2007
- 1972 DDO MS 66 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $1,150 at Bowers & Merena Auction in 2008
- 1972 No Mint mark Genuine BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $900 on eBay in 2021
- 1972 D AU Details BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $380 on eBay in 2020
- 1972 No Mint mark MS 63 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $374 at Heritage Auctions in 2008
- 1972 D RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $207 on eBay in 2018
- 1972 S MS 60 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $104 at Heritage Auctions in 2007
- 1972 S MS 66 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $29 on eBay in 2018
How much is the 1972 No Mint mark Lincoln penny worth?
The well-preserved 1972 No Mint mark Lincoln penny in the mint state typically costs $0.33 to $0.85.
How much is a 1972 DDO Lincoln penny worth?
You can find rare 1972 Double Die Obverse Lincoln pennies for only $15. However, some species in top-notch condition can reach thousands of dollars on auctions, depending on quality and color.