1996 Penny Value

Do you have some pennies from 1996 and are curious to find out if they could be valuable? While regular pennies are just small changes, some of them can be worth much more than their face value. Rare pennies, such as those in mint condition or with errors can be valued in hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

In this article, we explore the value of the 1996 penny, including how to estimate its value and why some 1996 pennies are more valuable than others. You will also find a brief history of this coin featuring the portrait of the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

1996 Penny Details

1996 Penny Details

  • Category: Lincoln Penny
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Total mintage: 13,125,785,265
  • Reverse designer: Victor D Brenner
  • Obverse designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Diameter: 19.05 millimeters (0.75 inches)
  • Thickness: 1.52 millimeters (0.05983 inches)
  • Weight: 2.5 grams (0.08818 ounces)
  • Composition: 97.5% Zinc – 2.5% Copper
  • Face Value: $0.01
  • Melt Value: $0.005
  • The Obverse of the 1966 Lincoln Penny

The 1996 Lincoln Memorial penny features a portrait of the 16th American president Abraham Lincoln on the obverse. His portrait faces to the right and in the front of it is the date the coin was minted just below the level of his bowtie. The mint mark, when there is one, is below the date.

To the back of the portrait are the word ”Liberty” in capital letters and the phrase ”In God We Trust” also in capitals runs along the top rim above Lincoln’s head. The date is in a bigger font than the words included on the obverse of the 1996 Lincoln penny.

The Reverse of the 1996 Penny

The reverse of the coin features the Lincoln Memorial, which is a structure in Washington, DC. The building itself is unusual in America since it was built in the style of ancient Greek temples. It has twelve Doric pillars, which are clearly visible and precisely struck on the coin. Between the pillars in the center, you can see a statue of President Lincoln.

Above the Memorial building, are the Latin words ”E Pluribus Unum” ”meaning out of many, one”. Above this, curved along the rim are the words ”United States of America”. The coin’s denomination ”One Cent” is located below the Lincoln Memorial.

1996 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark MS65 Proof 65 Most Valuable
1996 No Mint Mark Lincoln Penny $0.34 $2,500
1996 D Lincoln Penny $0,34 $3,565
1996 S Lincoln Penny $5.26 $1,610

Also read: 17 Most Valuable Indian Head Penny Worth Money

1996 Lincoln Penny Grading

All coins are graded using the same system, which is known as the Sheldon scale. The scale runs from 1 to 70 and the higher the number, the better the condition of the coin is. Grades from 60 upwards are considered mint state coins and are the only ones from 1996 that are worth more than their face value.

The letter combination MS is used to describe their condition. For proof coins, the letter combination is PR.

# 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?

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1996 Penny Value and Varieties Guide

1996 No Mint Mark Penny Value

1996 No Mint Mark Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: None
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1996
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $0.10 – $0.34
  • Quantity produced: 6,612,465,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank Gasparro

You can identify the 1996 Lincoln pennies minted in Philadelphia by checking underneath the date on the obverse of the coin. If there is no mint mark, the coin came from the Philadelphia Mint. There were over 6.6 billion 1996 pennies struck in Philadelphia, so they are not considered rare, which means the value of regular-struck Philadelphia 1996 pennies is low.

Most no-mint mark pennies from 1996 are only worth their face value and are still in circulation today. Coins that were released for circulation and are in mint state are worth more than their face value, generally between $0.10 and $0.34. However, some rare specimens will sell for considerably more such as the MS68+ graded coin sold at an eBay auction for $2,500 in 2018.

1996 D Penny Value

1996 D Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1996
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $0.10 – $0.34
  • Quantity produced: 6,510,795,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank

1996 Lincoln pennies that bear the mint mark D are not considered rare either. There were over 6.5 billion pennies minted in Denver that year. You can identify the Denver-minted 1996 pennies from the letter D below the date.

Because of the high number of coins produced in Denver in 1996, the value of most 1996 you might come across is only their face value. Some, in mint state condition, can be worth around $0.10 – $0.34. As always, there are exceptions such as an MS69-graded 1996 Lincoln penny that sold for $3,565 at a 2008 auction in Baltimore.

1996 S Penny Value

1996 S Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: S
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1996
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $5.26+
  • Quantity produced: 2,525,265
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank Gasparro

The only Lincoln pennies minted in San Francisco in 1996 were proof pennies, which means they were struck for collectors and not intended for circulation. To check if you have a 1996 S-proof Lincoln penny, look for the letter S under the date on the obverse. There were over 2.5 million proof pennies issued in 1996 and therefore they are not considered very rare.

Because they are not seen as rare coins, the 1996 pennies graded at MS60 are valued at $1, while a PR65 graded 1996 penny is worth $5.26. 1996 Lincoln penny sets can be purchased for $7 to $10. The most expensive 1996 S Lincoln penny to date was sold at a Heritage Auctions sale in 2003 when a collector paid $1,610 for a PR70 DCAM-graded specimen.

Also read: 12 Most Valuable Lincoln Penny Worth Money

1996 Penny History

The Lincoln penny is a significant coin in the history of American coins. It was the first ever coin to feature a real person on the obverse and was designed to mark 100 years since the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

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The first Lincoln pennies were struck in 1909 and the idea came from Roosevelt who was the president at the time. He has seen the bronze plaque of Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner and chose him to design the new commemorative penny.

The process was not smooth since the chief engraver at US Mint, Charles Barber, disagreed with the decision and at first, refused to cooperate with Brenner, considering him to be too inexperienced.

However, the coin was approved and produced in the end and remained unchanged until 1959 when the design on the reverse was changed to commemorate 150 years since Lincoln’s birth. The new design was by Frank Gasparro who was the assistant US Mint engraver.

Composition Change

The composition of the Lincoln penny has changed, too. Initially, the Lincoln pennies contained 5% tin and zinc and 95% copper. Following the rise in copper’s value, the composition was changed in 1982. Since then, the Lincoln pennies have contained 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc.

Also read: 13 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Worth Money

Rare 1996 Lincoln Penny Errors List

1. 1996 Lincoln Penny Wide AM Error

1996 Lincoln Penny Wide AM Error

There are two different varieties of the 1996 Lincoln penny struck at Philadelphia Mint. Most of the coins are the so-called Close AM variety, while some pennies are known as the Wide AM variety.

In these coins, there is a bigger space between the letters A and M on the word America on the reverse of the coin. 1996 pennies with Wide AM can be valued higher than their face value depending on the overall condition.

2. 1996 Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Error

1996 Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Error

A doubled die error is created when the coin planchet is struck more than one time by error. This creates a doubling effect on the design of the coin. In 1996 Lincoln pennies doubled die errors can be seen in Lincoln’s eye and his tie on the obverse and between the pillars of the Memorial building on the reverse.

Coins with more visible doubling will be worth more than those showing only minor evidence of a doubled die error. 1996 Lincoln pennies, with a doubled die error are generally valued from $20 to $50.

3. 1996 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

1996 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

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Sometimes the planchet is not inserted into the coin machine correctly and the design is struck off-center. The error can be very slight on some coins with only a 1% to 2% off-centering. On other coins, it can be much more severe, even up to 90% off-center.

The higher the percentage, the more valuable the coin will be, depending on its overall condition. While a 1996 Lincoln penny with a 3% off-center error is worth only slightly above its face value, a 5% to 10% error can increase its value up to around $10. Coins with 40% to 60% off centering are often valued between $50 and $100.

4. 1996 Lincoln Penny Die Crack Error

1996 Lincoln Penny Die Crack Error

Die crack errors are caused by old and worn dies that have cracks on their surface. As they are used to strike the coin, they leave a raised line on the coin’s surface. Some Lincoln pennies from 1996 have a die crack error referred to as BIE. On these error coins, there is a raised line between the letters B and E on the word ”Liberty”. These coins are valued from $5 up to $15.

Also read: 11 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Errors

Where to Sell Your 1996 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)

1996 Lincoln Penny FAQs

Are there any 1996 pennies worth money?

There were over 13 billion Lincoln pennies struck in 1996, so they are not considered rare and most are only worth their face value. Coins that have been in circulation and are still in the mint state can be worth a little over their face value and proof coins struck in San Francisco are valued upwards from $0.50.

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The 1996 Lincoln pennies that are worth considerably more than their face value are specimens that are in exceptional condition such as the 1996 no mint mark penny graded as MS68+ that sold for $2,500 at an auction in 2018 or the 1996 D penny that sold for $3,565 at an auction in 2008. The most valuable proof coin sold for $1,610 in 2003 and was graded as PR70 DCAM.

How much is a 1996 D penny worth today?

Most 1996 D Lincoln pennies are not worth more than their face value because they were minted in such a large quantity, over 6 billion coins. However, there are some specimens of the 1996 D Lincoln penny that are worth more. Coins in mint state can be worth around $0.34, while those with errors are worth more.

For example, a coin with a doubled die error can be worth between $20 and $50. 1996 D Lincoln pennies with a severe off-center error can be worth up to $100 and coins with errors caused by cracked die, such as the BIE error coins, are valued from $5 to $15. Occasionally, 1996 D pennies in near-perfect condition can be worth hundreds or even over a thousand dollars.

How much is a 1996 penny with no mint mark worth?

There were over six and a half billion 1996 pennies with no mint mark struck at the Philadelphia Mint, which means that the coins are not rare and circulated specimens are not worth more than their face value. A 1996 Lincoln penny graded as MS65 (in the mint state) is only worth around $0.34.

However, there are always exceptions such as the MS68+ graded coin that sold for over $2,500 on eBay. Coins with errors, such as the wide AM coins (a larger gap between the letters A and M on America) can be worth more depending on the severity of the error and the overall condition of the coin.

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One Comment

  1. Billiejean Wright says:

    I have a bunch of coins that I think is worth something. I don’t trust some of these people.so I am hoping that you our 🤠 a Real Christian and will help me

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