The US Mint started producing Lincoln pennies in 1909 and has continued minting them until today. The 1977 Lincoln penny is in a Lincoln Memorial design group minted from 1959 to 2008 with some reverse changes. Even though most people believe modern Lincoln pennies are worthless, you can be surprised that the 1977 Penny value can be high in some cases.
Many collectors include this coin in their collections because of its sentimental worth, historical significance, or personal memories. However, a few rare mistake specimens can reach high prices at auctions under certain conditions.
1977 Lincoln penny value
|1977 No Mint mark Penny||1977 D Penny||1977 S Penny|
|Mint state 65||$0.33||$0.33||/|
History of the 1977 Lincoln Penny
The US Mint produced Lincoln cents with a memorial reverse from 1959 to 2008, making it one of the most widely recognizable pennies worldwide. Even though this series is obsolete and is no longer produced, billions of these coins are still in circulation.
One of the reasons is two US laws. One forbids the nickel coins from melting, and the second makes taking more than $5 worth of nickels out of the country an illegal action. However, pressing them in the coin-pressing machine at festivals or using them for jewelry making is legal since there is no profit or it is a creative process, not a business.
1977 Lincoln penny
|Philadelphia||1977 No Mint mark Penny||4,469,930,000|
|Denver||1977 D Penny||4,149,062,300|
|San Francisco||1977 S Penny proof||3,251,152|
The Lincoln penny is unique because it was the first American coin containing a real person on the obverse. Three mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver struck this coin throughout history, and you can differentiate them based on the mint mark absence or the S or D letters presence.
The Lincoln Memorial penny kept the original Victor David Brenner’s obverse design from 1909, but its reverse differs from the old Wheat penny. These coins contain Lincoln Memorial instead of wheat stalks, and that change was made to honor Abraham Lincoln’s 150 anniversary of birth.
The first coins appeared in circulation on February 12th, 1959. The curiosity is that you can see the ex-President Lincoln on both coin sides. While his profile is on the obverse, his mini statue is placed inside the Lincoln Memorial, depicted on the reverse.
This design became out-of-date again in 2009 because that year marked the 100th anniversary of the first penny minting. The US government decided to commemorate this date by minting four special Lincoln penny anniversary editions with themes from his life on the reverse, including:
- Birth and childhood that he spent in Kentucky
- Formative years that he spent in Indiana
- His professional life while living in Illinois
- His presidency in Washington DC
Features of the 1977 Lincoln Penny
The 1977 Lincoln memorial cent penny is a common coin since three mints produced 8,622,243,452 pieces that particular year. Since the US Mint struck this penny from 1959 to 2008 and the US law forbids copper coins from melting, you can’t expect them to become rare ever.
The obverse of the 1977 Lincoln penny
Lithuania-born American sculptor and engraver Victor David Brenner designed the Lincoln Memorial cent in 1909, and its obverse has remained the same for over a century.
It includes the 16th American President’s bust facing right with the date in front of him. Behind his shoulder is the word LIBERTY, while the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST is placed above his head.
A small letter D shows that this coin was minted in Denver. However, those with a letter S struck in San Francisco were not intended for circulation. All pennies produced in this mint in 1977 were proofs.
The reverse of the 1977 Lincoln penny
The US Mint’s tenth Chief Engraver, Frank Gasparro, created the Lincoln cent redesign reverse side in 1959 to commemorate the President’s 150 anniversary of birth. The new look includes the Lincoln Memorial, the small initials FG on its right side, and the denomination ONE CENT along the bottom rim.
The lettering UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above the memorial, with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM below.
1977 Lincoln penny
|Face value||1 cent ($0.01)|
|Compound||95% copper with added 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 1977 Lincoln penny
Like all pennies struck by 1982, the 1977 Lincoln penny contains 95% copper and a small percentage of alloy made of zinc and tin. This round, 0.05984 inches (1.52 mm) thick one-cent coin weighs 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g). You can see the plain edge and measure the diameter of 0.74803 (19 mm).
1977 Lincoln Penny Value Guides
1977 No Mint mark Lincoln penny
In 1977, the Philadelphia mint struck 4,469,930,000 Lincoln pennies, but without proofs. It was a rare year when these coins intended for collectors were minted in San Francisco.
1977 Lincoln penny value
|1977 No Mint mark RD Penny||1977 D RD Penny|
These pieces with the No Mint mark came with a negligible number of errors. You can find them for $0.20 to $24, but the best-quality coins can be worth about $110. However, their prices at auctions can be significantly higher.
For instance, one collector grabbed one beautiful brown specimen offered on eBay in 2018 for $475. On the other hand, the most expensive piece struck in Philadelphia won an auction record in 2008. One collector paid $2,645 for the penny with MS 66 rating at Stack’s auction.
1977 D Lincoln penny
Precisely 4,149,062,300 Lincoln pennies were minted in Denver in 1977, and most went into circulation, so those in the mint state are rare. Most uncirculated pieces cost $0.10 to 0.25 cents, but some well-preserved coins are worth $40 to $150.
The most expensive 1977 D Lincoln penny with red toning was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2016 for $7,050. Those with less desirable colors were much cheaper. For instance, two collectors bought the most valuable brown and red-brown specimens on eBay for less than $100 per piece.
1977 S proof Lincoln penny
The San Francisco mint produced only proof pennies in 1977. Their number was limited to 3,251,152 pieces, making their price high in some cases.
1977 S RD DCAM Lincoln penny value
Even though most coins cost up to $2.81, you can expect to pay $1,000 for the one with a PR 70 ranking.
Believe it or not, one collector paid $7,050 for such a quality penny at Heritage Auctions in 2013. That was the auction record for this coin type that is still relevant today.
1977 Lincoln Penny Errors
You can recognize a few more or less rare 1977 Lincoln penny errors that significantly affect this coin’s price. The most valuable include:
1977 Doubled Die Lincoln penny
The 1977 Double Die Lincoln penny is the most common error, and you can often find these coins on the market for approximately $25 to $100. However, specimens with clearer doubling can be worth even more.
This error is actually doubling that appears on coin parts, typically on the President’s bust, some letters, or the dates. Since all existing doublings have been defined by today, it is impossible to find any rare new variation worth money.
Since this coin type results from minting errors, hundreds or thousands of them were struck before adjusting the incorrectly manufactured coin die. For instance, experts estimate that about 250,000 of these pennies were released with the doubled die.
Some 1977 double-die pennies are fantastic, thanks to the doubling degree in the inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY. Their prices can be high, and collectors are prepared to pay $100 to $500 for the unique piece.
1977 Lincoln penny with re-punched mint mark
Mint marks were still hand-punched on working dies in the 1970s. Sometimes, they were re-punched when the first punching was incorrect. You can find pieces with mint marks struck in the wrong place, or they are occasionally positioned sideways, upside down, or crooked.
Collectors recognize various re-punched mint marks, including minor and significant, and all are highly desirable and collectible. In most cases, such errors were struck in Denver and are worth $3 to $15 on the current coin market.
1977 Lincoln penny with off-center error
When the dies were not correctly aligned with coins on the line, the result was so-called Off-center pennies. In most cases, you can see a crescent moon-look coin’s blank area shape since typically miss about 1% to 3% of the design.
These odd-looking coins without unique significance look disappointing and unimpressive. However, some collectors consider pennies with over 10% missing design valuable and are prepared to pay $15 to $25 per piece.
You can expect to get $100 for a penny without 50% of the standard design, making it a valuable off-center error penny. However, they are worth more money only when the mint mark and date are fully visible.
1977 Lincoln penny with the pale mint mark
The Denver mint is a base for this atypical 1977 Lincoln penny error. The problem is the mint mark, which often looks pale and vague because of a lack of attention while punching. If you have one of those errors, you can sell it for approximately $3 to $15.
1977 Lincoln penny with a die crack (BIE coin error) and cud
The 1977 Lincoln penny with a die crack is a unique piece that can be worth some money. Coins with unique die cuds (flattish blank areas on the rim) cost at least $150, but the price depends on the imperfection size and shape.
On the other hand, you can recognize it after finding raised lines or cracks in the word LIBERTY, so it looks like there is a capital I between the B and E letters. This error appears as a result of worn or cracked dies.
Even though it is a fascinating die crack typical for this particular coin only, you should pay only $5 to $10 for most BIE pennies.
FAQ about the 1977 Lincoln Penny
What makes a 1977 Lincoln penny rare?
Lincoln pennies are rare in circulation, although billions of pieces were minted. The reason is the high copper price on the market, so people collect this coin and wait for the law to change. Once these coins melting becomes allowed, there is a chance for dedicated and patient collectors to gain some cash by selling them.
Which 1977 Lincoln penny is worth a lot of money (according to PCGS)?
- 1977 D MS 68 RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $7,050 at Heritage Auctions in 2016
- 1977 S PR 70 DCAM Lincoln penny that was sold for $7,050 at Heritage Auctions in 2013
- 1977 No Mint mark MS 66 RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $2,645 at Stack’s Auction in 2008
- 1977 No Mint mark MS 62 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $475 on eBay in 2018
- 1977 D MS 65 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $72 on eBay in 2021
- 1977 D MS 66 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $55 on eBay in 2021
- 1977 No Mint mark MS 65 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $20 on eBay in 2018
How much is the 1977 No Mint mark Lincoln penny worth?
Well-preserved 1977 No Mint mark Lincoln penny in the mint state costs $0.33 to $2.81. However, specimens with red toning in MS 67 grade can be worth about $110.
Are there any rare 1977 Lincoln pennies?
Besides a few rare errors, none of the Lincoln pennies struck in 1977 are highly sought-after or particularly rare. However, any price higher than their face value is a gain.