1981 Penny

A 1981 MS65 RD Lincoln Penny is usually valued at $11.00 , while one in average condition will only be worth $2.00 A 1981 1c in AU-53 that has the color brown on the other hand might just be worth 25 cents . Many factors like color and condition will effect the pricing for this and generally speaking all pennies. - Last updated: January, 24 2024


1981 Penny
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  • Year: 1981
  • Mint Mark: No mint mark
  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Price: 25 cents-$11.00+
  • Face Value: 0.01 USD
  • Produced: 749,750,000
  • Edge: Smooth





Notes:


1981 1c Off-Center Error $10-$35


These generally sell for between $10 and $35 but weve seen them sell for as much as $175 in MS-65 RD condition.

This coin error is fairly common and very easy to spot amongst pocket change, or when coin roll hunting. These are generally not certified unless the coin is a higher mint state.


1981 1c DDO / DDR Error $5-$25


Double Die Obverse (DDO), and Double Die Reverse (DDR) are a common error that is rather hard to spot without a magnifying glass. When the die is worn down or not in perfect condition it will create double die errors until replaced.

Look at the edges of numbers and letters for partial duplications, if found this is likely a double die error.



Mintages

Production Chart





How much is a 1981 Penny worth?

In Average Circulated (AC) condition it's worth around 25 cents, one in certified mint state (MS+) condition could bring as much as $11 at auction. This price does not reference any standard coin grading scale. So when we say Average Circulated, we mean in a similar condition to other coins circulated in 1981, and mint state meaning it is certified MS+ by one of the top coin grading companies. *** [?].


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Use the handy-dandy calculator below to find the real value of any lincoln penny in your collection.


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Specs & Design

This coin has a total mass of 2.5 g, a diameter of 19.05 mm, and a thickness of 1.52 mm. It's edge is Smooth, and the coins are composed of 95% Copper Pre 1982, 97.5% Zinc, 2.5% Copper after 1982.


Designer: Victor D. Brenner (obv), Lyndall Bass (rev)


Front (Obverse): The obverse or front of this coin contains the bust of President Lincoln the 16th president of the United States. The words In God We Trust are engraved in an arching manner on the top most portion of this coin. The date is present along with the mint mark. If the mark is missing the coin was issued from the Philadelphia mint. With the exception of 2017 P, the only year to contain a P mint mark to honor the 225th anniversary of the United States Mint.


Back (Reverse): The reverse of this coin has been described as Lincoln Memorial design. Nice clean lines on the steps and buildings are important for a decent grade. The Lincoln Memorial replaced the reverse after the last Wheat Cent was issued in 1958.



Most Valuable

The most valuable Lincoln Penny's. Prices listed are for MS-65 certified. Visit the link to learn more about each coin.

Image Year Mint Worth
Lincoln Penny 1982 $55
Lincoln Penny 1967 $50
Lincoln Penny 1975 $45
Lincoln Penny 1959 D $40
Lincoln Penny 1962 D $32
Lincoln Penny 1975 D $30
Lincoln Penny 1982 D $30
Lincoln Penny 2002 D $30
Lincoln Penny 1962 $29
Lincoln Penny 1961 $28
Lincoln Penny 1961 D $27
Lincoln Penny 2002 $27
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1989 P $345.22
1989 $345,000
1989 D $345
Image Name Mint Worth

Want more? Click here to see the most valuable coins ever minted.

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***Price subject to standard supply and demand laws, dealer premiums, and other market variations. Prices represent past values fetched at online auctions, estate sales, certified coins being sold by dealers, and user submitted values. While we wholeheartedly try to give honest price estimates there are many factors besides appearance, metal content, and rarity that help make up the coins overall value. Call or visit your local coin dealer for more information.

We use user submitted pictures please read that article if you are interested in adding your own.

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