1971 Penny Value

The 1971 Lincoln cent is a common coin because investors frequently bought them for the stockpile. Most of this year’s cents are easy to find in circulation, and they are often inexpensive. However, the 1971 penny value is high for hard-to-find pieces in the mint state and high grade, and you can sell them for a premium.

Three US Mints produced the Lincoln Memorial reverse pennies this year. The Philadelphia mint was responsible for releasing No Mint mark coins, while the one in Denver struck regular pieces with the D mint mark. The mint in San Francisco produced both proofs and the regular strike coins.

1971 Penny Value Chart

Condition 1971 no mint mark penny 1971 D penny 1971 S penny
MS 65 $22 $22 $18
PR 65 / / $8


The 1971 Penny History

The 1971 Penny History

The first US cents with Lincoln’s image were released in 1909, replacing the Indian Head coins. The reason was the President’s 100th birthday commemoration. From that year onwards, the obverse design was dedicated to the 16th President of the United States.

One of the most worshiped US presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a skilled politician whose presidential mandate lasted five years. The nation has respected and remembered him as the one who saved the Union and facilitated freedom for enslaved ones.

1971 Lincoln Penny Types

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1971 no mint mark penny 1,919,490,000
San Francisco 1971 S penny 525,133,459
San Francisco 1971 S proof penny 3,220,733
Denver 1971 D penny 2,911,045,600
Total / 5,358,889,792

Victor David Banner, the US coin designer and engraver, created the initial penny design, which remained unchanged until 1959. Half a century after the first Lincoln cents were released, the reverse side was re-designed, honoring the 150th Lincoln birthday.

For this occasion, coin designer Frank Gasparo created a new reverse look featuring the Lincoln Memorial with the statue inside. Besides getting a different design, Lincoln pennies went through composition changes.

Initially, these cents contained 95% copper, but their composition was zinc-plated steel in 1943, in the middle of the war. After that, the US Mint went back to copper alloy pennies.

The 1971 Lincoln pennies have the Memorial reverse. During this year, three US Mints released over five billion coins into circulation. This year is also known for a high number of DDO error cents coming from the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints.

Also read: 12 Most Valuable Lincoln Penny Worth Money

Features of the 1971 Lincoln Penny

Between 1909, when the first Lincoln pennies were released, and 1971, there were some changes in their composition and design. In 1959, the coin reverse changed from the Wheat to Lincoln Memorial.

The 1971 Penny obverse

1971 Penny Obverse

The penny obverse design is the same as it was in 1909 when Victor David Banner created it. Like other pieces in the set, the 1971 pennies depict Abraham Lincoln’s bust as a dominating relief element.

The portrait is positioned in the center and facing right, with other design elements surrounding it. You can see the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, between the bust and the cent rim. The left side’s field area contains LIBERTY, aligned with the back side of Lincoln’s neck.

The minting year, 1971, is on the right, in front of the President’s chest, with the mint mark D or S below it. There are also initials, VDB, on the lower edge of the shoulder, standing for the coin designer.

The 1971 Penny reverse

1971 Penny Reverse

The Lincoln Memorial was built in 1921 in Washington, but its image with the President’s statue inside appeared on the cent reverse side in 1959. Above the Memorial is the Latin motto divided into two lines (E PLURIBUS UNUM), referring to the Union of the numerous States.

The UNITED STATES oF AMERICA frames the upper coin’s edge while the denomination (ONE CENT) is positioned along the lower edge. The reverse side design was Frank Gasparo’s work, and you can see his initials FG in the lower right corner.

1971 Lincoln Penny Details

Compound An alloy of 95% copper with zinc or tin
Coin diameter 1.75 inches (19.05 mm)
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Edge Plain
Coin thickness 0.03937 inches (1 mm)
Shape Round
Face value One cent ($0.01)

The 1971 Lincoln Penny other features

The Lincoln cents from 1971 are round coins with a plain edge. Their diameter is 1.75 inches (19.05 mm), and they weigh 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g). These copper-zinc alloy pieces are 0.03937 inches (1 mm) thick, and you can find them in three red and brown color variations.

Also read: 13 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Worth Money

1971 Lincoln Penny Grading

Grading is the process of assessing the coin to ascertain its condition. The final penny grade depends on many factors, such as contact marks, scratches, holes, and die condition.

The Poor is the lowest grade for non-collectible coins with heavy signs of wear. On the other hand, Perfect Uncirculated rank marks coins in outstanding condition.

# Grade
1 Basal State-1
2 Fair
3 Very Fair
4, 5, 6 Good
7, 8, 10 Very Good
12, 15 Fine
20, 30 Very Fine
40 Extremely Fine
50 About Uncirculated
60 Mint State
65 Mint State
70 Mint State

Please check our grading guides to know your coin scale, It’s the necessary step to know the exact value of your coin.

Check out now: How to Grade Lincoln Wheat Penny?

1971 Penny Value Guides

The 1971 Lincoln penny’s face value is ONE CENT. The total mintage this year was 5,358,889,792 coins, including regular pieces from three mints and proofs with the S mint mark.

1971 No Mint Mark Penny Value

1971 No Mint Mark Penny

No mint mark red pennies from 1971 are typically inexpensive, and their value in MS 60 grade is $0.20. The prices are slightly better for higher-grade coins, ranging from $0.25 to $8.

The most expensive coins are those with MS 67 rating, with an average price of $200. However, auction records are often significantly higher. One of these pennies in MS 67+ grade reached $4,406 at Heritage Auctions in June 2014.

1971 D Penny Value

1971 D Penny

The red pennies from 1971 with the Denver mint mark in MS 60 grade are of the same value as similar coins from Philadelphia, $0.20. Higher-rating ones are also affordable, ranging from $.25 to $1. Only red coins in MS 66 grade cost approximately $30.

The highest-known 1971 D penny grade is MS 67. Such ranked coins are estimated to be $275, but the auction prices are higher. In August 2007, one MS 67 RD penny was sold for $1,380.

1971 S Penny Value

1971 S Penny

The San Francisco pennies from 1971 in circulated condition are worth their copper weight. On the other hand, the lowest-graded red coins in uncirculated conditions cost at least $0.30. The better-ranking ones have a price ranging from $0.40 to $2, but you can count on $36 for the 1971 MS 66-graded red penny.

The 1971 S red cents from regular strikes found in MS 67 grade are assessed at $300. However, you can sell such a coin for much higher prices at an auction. The most valuable regular piece from this mint is in MS 67+ grade. This red specimen sold at $4,500 on eBay in 2013.

1971 S proof Penny Value

1971 S Proof Penny

The proof pennies from 1971 are not particularly expensive except those with DCAM quality in PR 69 grade. Their estimated price is $2,750.

All others cost $3 to $6, depending on color and rank, while those graded PR 68 often reach to $135. The record price for one of the best-graded coins (PR 69) was $17,250 in 2014, making it the most expensive piece in the set.

Also read: 17 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny Worth Money

Rare 1971 Penny Errors List

Pennies minted in 1971 come with a few error variations, but the most valuable are DDO pieces. Let’s take a look.


1971 Penny DDO

The 1971 No Mint mark DDO Lincoln pennies come in three colors. Their prices range from $100 for brown PR 60-graded coins to over $1,000 for those with PR 66 ranking.

You can expect the highest estimated price of $1,800 for red coins in this grade, but the costliest piece reached $14,950 at Stack’s Bowers in November 2011.

Struck through

When something gets between the die and a planchet during the strike, it results in struck through error. This object ends up between the die and a planchet and stays pressed there.

You can see its pattern and impression on the penny surface. The 1971 D Lincoln cent with this error on the reverse was sold for $74 in 2020 on eBay.

Double strike off-center

1971 Penny Double strike off-center

This error happens when a coin is not entirely rejected from the die after the first strike and is struck the second time off-center. It is the most frequent double-strike type, meaning that the part of the design is struck off-center.

The off-center error includes the planchet part without the design. In double strike off center, it is the first strike’s design visible part. The 1971 D Lincoln cent, with 85% double struck off-center, was sold for $101 in 2014.

Also read: 11 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Errors

Where to Sell Your 1971 Lincoln Penny ?

Now that you know the value of your coins, do you know where to sell those coins online easily? Don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of these sites, including their introduction, pros, and cons. 

Check out now: Best Places To Sell Coins Online (Pros & Cons)

FAQ about the 1971 Lincoln Penny

What makes 1971 Lincoln cents/pennies rare?

The Lincoln penny from 1971 is a common coin. Scarce can be the only pieces with significant and famous errors, especially those in the high mint state with doubled die obverse.

Which 1971 Lincoln cents/pennies are worth a lot of money?

  • The 1971 S DCAM penny in PR 69 grade – $17,250 in January 2004
  • The 1971 RD DDO penny in MS 66 grade – $14,950 in November 2011
  • The 1971 RD DDO penny in MS 65 grade – $10,925 in August 2007
  • 1971 S CAM DDO penny in PR 68 grade – $9,775 in September 2003
  • The 1971 S CAM penny in PR 68 grade – $4,700 in July 2018
  • The 1971 S RD penny in MS 67+ grade – $4,500 in September 2013
  • The 1971 RD penny in MS 67+ grade – $4,406 in June 2014
  • The 1971 S DCAM penny in PR 69 – $3,600 in February 2022
  • The 1971 S CAM DDO penny in PR 67 grade – $3,220 in May 2005
  • The 1971 S RD DDO penny in PR 68 grade – $3,000 in September 2018
  • The 1971 S RD DDO penny in PR 67 grade – $2,990 in November 2004
  • The 1971 S RD penny in PR 68 grade – $1,725 in September 2007
  • The 1971 S CAM penny in PR 67 grade – $1,438 in January 2004
  • The 1971 D RD penny in MS 67 grade – $1,380 in May 2007
  • The 1971 RB DDO penny in MS 62 grade – $1,265 in January 2012
  • 1971 S DCAM DDO penny in PR 67 grade – $764 in January 2015
  • 1971 S RD DDO penny in PR 66 grade – $748 in May 2007
  • The 1971 S BN PCGS Genuine – $510 in July 2020 on eBay
  • The 1971 RD DDO penny in MS 64 grade – $353 in March 2010
  • The 1971 BR penny in MS 63 grade – $276 in February 2007
  • 1971 S RB penny in MS 62 grade – $219 in July 2006
  • The 1971 RB DDO penny in MS 64 grade – $207 in November 2010
  • The 1971 BN penny NGC Genuine – $200 in March 2023
  • The 1971 S BN DDO penny PR Details – $200 in June 2022
  • The 1971 D BN penny in MS 63 grade – $199 in April 2018
  • The 1971 BN DDO penny in MS 64 grade – $173 in November 2010
  • The 1971 D RB penny Double Struck, Second Strike 85% off center in MS 60 grade – $101 – in December 2014
  • The 1971 D penny UNC Details – $74 – in January 2020

How much are the 1971 Lincoln cents/pennies (No Mint mark) worth?

The Lincoln coins cost their face value, while those in the mint state are a bit more valuable. In the MS 60 grade, their price is $0.25, while those ranked MS 67 sell for $125. Be aware that the auction prices are often significantly higher, so these pennies often reach auction records of several thousand dollars.

What are the most valuable Lincoln cents/pennies?

  • The 1943 D brown bronze penny in MS 64 grade with the wrong planchet error had a sale price of $840,000 in 2021
  • The 1943 S brown bronze penny in MS 63 grade had a sale price of $504,000 in 2022
  • The 1944 S steel penny in MS 66 grade had a sale price of $408,000 in 2021
  • The 1999 penny in MS 66 grade with die error had a sale price of $138,000 in 2006
  • The 1969 S penny in MS 64 grade with DDO had a sale price of $126,500 in 2008

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