Are you going through your pocket change in search of valuable pennies? If you are and come across a 1972 Penny, keep it safe. Your sample might be worth much more than its face value!

To shed some light on your 1972 Penny value, we will start from the coin minimum copper melt value of  $0.0264 and continue with high auction prices.

The most valuable 1972 Penny reached an amazing auction price of $14,400 in June 2019. It was one of the most demanded varieties by collectors, a 1972 Penny, Double Die Obverse, FS-101, in MS67+ condition. The Professional Coin Grading Service has verified only two superb gems among the 1972 Pennies.

The Double Die Obverse is the rarest and most valuable variety of the 1972 Pennies. The value of the 1972 (Lincoln Memorial) Penny in uncirculated MS+ condition (according to USA Coin Book estimations) is $674 or more. Unlike the uncirculated samples the value of the 1972 Penny in circulated condition is between $0.33 and $0.85 (depending on the mint mark) or $1.16 for proof pennies.

In this article, we will take you on a value journey of this collectible 1972 Penny. Our first stop is the historical significance of the coin and our final most valuable 1972 Pennies. In between, there is sightseeing of the factors affecting the coin’s value. So, buckle up, and enjoy the ride!

History of 1972 Penny

The 1972 Penny has a long and interesting history as part of the Lincoln Memorial Reverse Penny (1959-2008) series. In 1959 the Lincoln Penny (Cent) underwent a design change for its 50th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The obverse remained the same, but the reverse was altered. Instead of the old so-called “Wheat Ears” a frontal view of the Lincoln Memorial was portrayed.

If you are into numismatic trivia, you should know Lincoln appears twice on the new penny (on the obverse and the reverse as a miniature figure seating in the Memorial’s center). Here are some more historical changes affecting the Lincoln Penny since it entered circulation:

  • Lincoln Pennies (Cents) entered circulation for the first time in August 1909, marking the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth;
  • Victor David Brenner was the designer who portrayed the longest- running design of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side of the penny along with the wheat reverse (hence the name Lincoln Wheat Penny);
  • In 1959 Frank Gasparro designed the penny’s reverse with the Lincoln Memorial;
  • Over the years the Lincoln Penny structure changed (the 1972 Penny had 95% copper and the 1973 Penny 97.5% zinc and a small percentage of copper).

The 1972 Penny (Double Die Obverse variety) is one of the most popular, desirable, and valuable penny from this lengthy penny series. Because there are no date and mint rarities, you can easily collect an entire Memorial Penny set, including poofs. Whether you decide on an affordable set or a more valuable one it is up to you. One thing is for sure, if you have one of the 1972 Penny valuable samples in your collection the entire set could be worth a whole lot more.   

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Lincoln Wheat Penny Value ($840,000 for a 1943-S Bronze MS)

Mintage of 1972 Penny

The 1972 Penny was minted in these three US Mints in the following quantity:

  • 2,933,255,000 unmarked versions of the 1972 Penny were minted in the Philadelphia Mint (Double-Die varieties have been found among these samples);
  • 2,665,071,440 pennies carrying the “D” mint mark (1972-D) were minted in the Denver Mint;
  • The San Francisco Mint produced 376,939,108 pennies with the “S” mint mark (1972-S) along with 3,260,996 proof pennies.

The value of each of these 1972 Pennies depends on the coin’s condition (grade) and mint mark. Also, the 1972 Proof Pennies (minted in San Francisco) are usually more valuable than their regular counterparts (minted in Philadelphia and Denver). However, from the total mintage of over 5 billion coins, the highest auction value goes to the 1972 Double Die Obverse Pennies originating from the San Francisco Mint.

1972 Penny Features


  • Series: Lincoln Pennies (Cents), Memorial Reverse (1959-2008)
  • Mint: Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver
  • Mintage: Total of 5,978,526,504
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner (obverse side of the coin)
  • Designer: Frank Gasparro (reverse side of the coin)
  • Composition: Brass (95% Copper – 5% Tin and Zinc)
  • Weight: 3,11 grams
  • Diameter: 19,05 mm
  • Thickness: 1,52 mm
  • Face value: 1 cent or $0,01
  • Melt value: $0.0264 (8/1/2023)
  • Edge: Plain

The central feature in the 1972 Penny design is Abraham Lincoln on both sides of the coin:

  • On the obverse, Victor David Brenner portrayed Lincoln’s profile facing right based on a photo by Mathew Brady. Along the upper rim of the coin you can see the famous motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”, the word “Liberty” struck on the central left side, and the date 1972 in front of the President’s portrait. The “S” and “D” mint marks are struck under the date in small letters.
  • On the reverse, Frank Gasparro illustrated a simplified portrayal of the Lincoln Memorial Building to commemorate the late President. You can read the following inscriptions on the memorial reverse: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” at the top rim of the coin, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” written in two rows and struck above the building, while the denomination “ONE CENT” is below. Again Lincoln is at the center of it all! If you take a closer look you will spot his miniature statue between the structure’s Doric pillars visible on the coin surface.

It seems that the 1972 Penny features are the same as the other coins from the same period. However, unlike most pennies (only worth their face value) the 1972 penny has become a collector’s item worth far more than its face value.

1972 Penny Varieties and Value

The value of the 1972 Penny is closely connected to the coin’s varieties and condition. So, to discover the value of the penny in your pocket change you need to gather as much information as possible. Therefore, we are introducing you to the 1972 Penny varieties and their value through the PCGS price details:

1. 1972 Penny Value

A total of 2,933,255,000 pennies without mint marks were minted in the Philadelphia Mint. Even though you can buy most of them for a price between $12 and $60, a 1972 Penny in MS67 (RD+) condition can reach an impressive sum of $3,500. In 2013, such a piece was sold at one of Heritage Auctions for $3,290.

Type and design MS64 MS65 MS66 MS67
1972 Penny (no mint mark)


between $12 and $14


between $16 and $18


between $25 and $60


between $250 and $3,500

2. 1972 Double Die Obverse (DDO) Penny Value

Philadelphia Mint is responsible for the mintage of the most valuable variety (error) of the 1972 penny, the double die obverse. Even though this is an error penny known by the doubling on the obverse inscriptions it is included in the PCGS price guide under the 1972 Penny varieties.

Starting with a modest sum of $11 for a 1972 DDO FS-103 Penny (MS63 BN+), continuing with $500 for a 1972 DDO Penny in MS65 (BN+) condition it can reach thousands of dollars in MS68 (RD+) condition.

Heritage Auctions holds the auction record with a 1972 Double Die Obverse Penny FS-101 in MS67+ condition that was sold for $14,400 on June 9, 2019.

Type and design MS65 MS66 MS67 MS68
1972 Doubled Die Obverse


between $500 and $550


$750 / /
1972 Doubled Die Obverse


between $575 and $625


between $800 and $1,250


$2,250 /
1972 Doubled Die Obverse


between $850 and $900


between $1,300 and $1,700


between $3,200 and $9,000




We have also included the prices of five different types of 1972 DDO (FS-101 to FS-109) Pennies from over twenty listed varieties.

Type and design MS63 MS64 MS65
1972 DDO FS-102 (033.52)


between $40

and $42


between $50

and $55


1972 DDO FS-102 (033.52)


between $45

and $47




1972 DDO FS-103 (033.53)




between $21

and $22


1972 DDO FS-103 (033.53)


between $21

and $22


between $27

and $32




1972 DDO FS-104


between $775

and 1,000


between $1,450

and $1,600



3. 1972-D Penny Value


2,665,071,440 pennies minted in Denver carry the distinguished “D” mint mark on the obverse.  According PCGS price data you can buy a 1972-D Penny with red toning in MS64 condition for merely $8, but if you want a specimen in MS67 condition be prepared to pay at least $550.

The auction record goes to a 1972-D Penny in MS67 condition sold for $4,250 on eBay in 2012.

Type and design MS64 MS65 MS66 MS67
1972-D Penny (“D” mint mark)


between $8 and



between $16 and $20


between $30 and $50


between $550 and $2,850


4. 1972-S Penny Value


376,939,108 pennies were minted in San Francisco with the “S” mint mark, which is the lowest mintage in 1972. You don’t need much to add a 1972-S penny in MS64 (RD+) condition to your collection, but if you are after a piece with a higher MS67 grade you will need at least $185. Heritage Auction holds the record for a 1972-S Penny graded MS67 sold for $1,955 in 2007.

Type and design MS64 MS65 MS66 MS67
1972-S Penny (“S” mint mark)


between $10 and $12


between $16 and $18


between $32 and $65



5. 1972-S Proof Penny Value


San Francisco Mint produced proof pennies as well. Their value in general is between $10 and $1,600 depending on the coin’s condition (grade).

However, a 1972-S Proof Penny (EF45) reached an auction record of $11,500 back in 1997.

Type and design MS66 MS67 MS68 MS69
1972-S Proof Penny


between $10 and $12 between $14 and $15 between $16 and $24 $50
1972-S Proof Penny DCAM+ between $15 and $16


between $18 and $22 between $30 and $65  $350
1972-S DDO FS-101
$1,600 / / /

Now that you are familiar with the 1972 Penny varieties and their value it is time to see which errors increase the 1972 Penny value.

Errors Affecting the Value of 1972 Penny

Collectors are always after the rare error coins. Why? Because errors affect the value of a coin and the 1972 Penny is no exception. The rarest errors reach the highest value. To spot them you ought to know the coin’s features and have at least a proper magnifying glass. If you find the following errors affecting the value of the 1972 Penny you have a winner:

1. 1972 Penny Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Error


The 1972 Penny with a Double Die Obverse (DDO) error is the most famous and valuable coin from the 1972 Lincoln Memorial Penny series. The 1972 DDO Pennies with easily visible inscription doubling reach the highest prices. Approximately 20,000 coins bearing the DDO error were minted in Philadelphia Mint.

The well-preserved ones in great condition and striking doubling can be worth a fortune. We have already included the value of 1972 Double Die Obverse Pennies in the 1972 Penny varieties price tables so you can check out their price range and auction record price. According to the PCGS Price Guide if you happen to come across a 1972 Doubled Die Obverse in MS68 (RD+) condition you will hit a check pot worth $23,500.

2. 1972 Penny Double Die Reverse (DDR) Error

This error is just like the DDO only on the reverse of the coin creating a distorted image of the Lincoln Memorial. The doubling is visible on both the image and inscriptions. This error variety is not as famous and valuable as the DDO but it still has collectible value.

3. 1972 Penny with a Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) Error 

If you look closer at the coin’s mint mark and you notice it is stamped more than once you have a 1972 Penny with an RPM error. Usually, such error is visible to the naked eye and can be found in circulation or on pennies rolls.

4. 1972 Penny Die Clash Error

This is more interesting than a valuable variety to collect. The collision of the stamping dies when there is no blank planchet in between creates a die clash error. If you notice raised lines or incuse marks on the coin’s surface you have a 1972 Penny with this distinguished error.

5. 1972 Penny Broad Strike Error

If the coin has no reeding (struck without the retaining collar) it means that the 1972 Penny has a broad strike error. Such a penny has a partial or no rim, resulting in a much wider coin edge. This error adds to the value of the coin making it more popular among collectors.  

6. 1972 Penny Wrong Planchet Error

This error occurs when a different denomination planchet is used to strike the coin. A 1972 Penny struck on the wrong planchet has a different size, weight, and composition than its original version. This is a rare error that can be worth thousands of dollars.

7. 1972 Penny Double Head Error

When President J.F Kennedy’s image was struck into the Lincoln penny it created the double-head penny error. So, you can see Lincoln and Kennedy facing each other. Even though this error is rare it is practically worthless because these coins do not represent an official currency.

8. 1972 Penny Off-center Error

This is another rare and non-valuable 1972 Penny error struck with an off-center die.

9. 1972 Penny Struck Through Grease Error

If there is dirt, debris, metal dust, or a lubricant clogging the die it creates a penny with imperfections like omitted words or letters.

10. 1972 Penny with Close AM Error

This error occurs when the 1972 Penny with closer AM initials than usual. This is another error that requires a magnifying glass.

Some errors add more value than others. However, it is better to know them all if you want to spot the valuable error varieties of the 1972 Penny.

1972 Penny Auction Record Value

It is important to know the 1972 Penny auction record value to see how much collectors are willing to pay for this popular penny. Check PCGS auction prices under the Lincoln Cent (1959 to date) category if you want to find the 1972 Penny auction records.

Type Title Auction record
1972 Penny Memorial Reverse (Copper), MS


1972 Doubled Die Obverse MS $14,400.00
1972 MS $4,230.00
1972-D MS $4,250.00
1972-S MS $1,955.00
1972 Penny Memorial Reverse (Copper), PR 1972-S PR $11,500.00

These data are yet another proof of the most valuable coin from this collection, the 1972 Double Die Obverse Penny in Mint State.

Most Valuable 1972 Pennies

Besides the auction record prices to put a price tag on your 1972 Penny make sure you are familiar with the most valuable 1972 Pennies in the last three years. Visit PCGS auction prices details to see whether the piece in your possession is valuable enough to hit the market:

Grade SVC. Firm Sale Price
MS67+RD PCGS Legend Rare Coin Auctions The Regency Auction 38 $10,575
MS67+RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2020 November 19-22 U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1321 $7,200
MS67+RD PCGS Stack’s Bowers August 2021 ANA U.S. Coins Auction $6,900
MS67+RD NGC Heritage Auctions 2021 April 22-25 CSNS U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1329 $5,520
MS67+RD NGC Heritage Auctions 2020 November 19-22 U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1321 $3,960
MS67RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2022 December 15-18 U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1351 $3,120
MS67RD PCGS Stack’s Bowers June 2021 U.S. Coins Auction $2,880
MS67RD NGC David Lawrence RC Internet Auction #1260 $2,750
MS67RD PCGS David Lawrence RC Internet Auction #1265 $2,713
MS67RD PCGS Stack’s Bowers November 2021 Baltimore U.S. Coins auction $2,640
MS67RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2022 July 14-17 Long Beach Expo/Summer FUN U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1347 $2,520
MS67RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2022 February 24-27 Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature® Auction #1342 $2,520
MS67RD PCGS Heritage Auctions Internet U.S. Coin Auction #132227 $2,040
MS67+RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2020 October 15-18 U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1320 $2,040
MS67RD PCGS Heritage Auctions 2020 November 19-22 U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1321 $2,040

If your coin does not meet the condition and specifications of the most valuable 1972 Pennies, do not despair. Stay positive and keep looking for the next best thing. Who knows maybe the specimen you find can compete with the samples in our table. 

Also Read: 1972 Quarter Value: How Much Is A 1972 Quarter Worth?


If you are patient enough to go through every factor affecting the 1972 Penny value, you can put a fair price on the penny in your possession. If you are lucky enough to own one of the most well-known and valuable 1972 Penny with a Double Die Obverse in perfect condition cherish it well because you own a small fortune.

Either way, we hope our research will help you understand the value of this collectible coin and prepare you for a wise investment in a 1972 Penny.  

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One Comment

  1. Chao thao says:

    I have a 1999 lincon penny with no mint mark and also on the state of America below on the two state of America double print state of america.How would that value the penny and how much could the penny that I have worth.How would I know the value of the penny thst I have.

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