1935 Penny Value Guide (“P”, “D”, “S” & Rare Errors)

Jenson Cambell

Content last reviewed

Penny

They say that the penny is a great starting point for anyone looking to get started on coin collecting. And what better way to start than grabbing yourself a 1935 Penny? It’s fairly valuable in almost every condition, and it is as detailed as the latest penny.

Speaking of value, what is the current market value of a 1935 Penny? Well, below are some figures to consider:

1935 Penny Valuation Chart

Mint Color Good (G4) Fine (F12) Extremely Fine (XF40) Uncirculated

(MS60)

Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65)
1935-P Penny Brown (BN) $0.12 $0.2 $0.6 $6 $15
Red-Brown(RB) $7 $22
Red (RD) $8 $40
1935-D Penny Red (RD) $0.17 $0.23 $0.57 $9 $50
1935-S Penny Red (RD) $0.17 $0.28 $2.33 $14 $125

Source: PCGS, 2023 & USA Coin Book

1935 Penny: Historical Background

1935 Penny value

The 1935 Penny is the 27th iteration of the Lincoln Wheat Penny, a coin series that ran between 1909 and 1958. We call them Lincoln Wheat Pennies because they feature the likeness of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse and a pair of wheat heads on the reverse.

The first Lincoln Penny (1909) was a commemorative issue meant to celebrate what would have been Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday. It was also the first coin in U.S. history to bear the image of an actual person, a breath of fresh air coming from the Barber era that was punctuated by generic faces.

The 1935 Penny did not have any proof coins as the U.S. Mint stopped making them in 1916. Optimism prevailed the next year as the U.S. Mint resumed proof coin production. These 1937 proofs were struck on highly polished dies; that’s how they made them back then.

1935 Penny: Physical Features

To the untrained eye, all 1935 Lincoln Pennies look alike; that is, they have identical designs, and they are all bronze colored. While they may look the same, the 1935 Penny came in three color variations: Red, Brown, and Red-Brown. To achieve these colors, it took a mixture of copper, tin, and zinc.

Below is a highlight of the 1935 Penny’s key physical attributes:

1935 Penny: Physical Characteristics

Physical Feature Notes
Metallic Composition 95% Copper

5% Tin and Zinc

Weight 3.11 grams
Diameter 19 mm
Edge Plain

Obverse Design and Features

1935-Penny-obverse-feature
The angle of the photograph makes the “VDB” difficult to discern.

The task of designing the Lincoln Penny fell on the capable hand of Victor D. Brenner. He did a good job on his design that was adopted in the 1909 Penny.

However, in 1916, his design was modified by Charles E. Barber, removing wrinkles from Lincoln’s cheek and coat. This update was not meant to make President Lincoln prettier but rather to extend the life of the dead.

If it weren’t for Barber, the 1935 penny would look slightly different than it does. Below is a pictorial comparison between the 1909 Penny and the 1935 Penny:

From the images above, you can see the wrinkles on Lincoln’s upper arm disappear after Barber’s involvement. So did his side bands and the details on his shirt.

While Barber made a few tweaks, he cannot claim credit for the design. The obverse is fully credited to Victor Brenner.

The obverse of the 1935 Lincoln Penny includes the following elements:

  • The right-facing profile of Abraham Lincoln is prominently struck at the center of the coin
  • The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” is embossed directly above President Lincoln’s image
  • The word “LIBERTY” is struck on the left side of the coin, just behind President Lincoln’s neck
  • The year of issue “1935” is struck on the lower right side of the coin, just adjacent to President Lincoln’s chest
  • The mint mark punched right below the year of issue
  • Victor Brenner’s initials “VDB” can be found on the cutoff of President Lincoln’s shoulder.

Reverse Design and Features

1935-Penny-reverse-feature

The reverse of the 1935 penny was also the handiwork of Victor Brenner. He included the following elements:

  • The denomination “ONE CENT” is struck prominently at the top half of the coin’s center.
  • On the lower half of that center is the country of issue, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
  • Two wheat heads, each occupying either side (left and right) of the coin
  • The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” arches along the coin’s rim on the upper half of the coin

Initially, Victor Brenner’s design for the reverse was meant to bear his initials “VDB,” but after a trial run in 1909 led to an overwhelming backlash.

1935 Penny: Varieties and Valuation

In 1935, all the big three mints participated in the penny’s production, giving us three varieties of that year’s penny. These varieties included:

1935-P Penny Value

1935-P Penny Value
1935-P Penny (no mint mark)
  • U.S. Mint: Philadelphia
  • Mintage: 245,388,000
  • Mint Mark: None

The Philadelphia Mint was the busiest in 1935, striking 245 million pennies. These pennies came in three color varieties: Red, Brown, and Red-Brown. The coin market favors the Red variation of the 1935-P Penny over the two other varieties.

Red Pennies are better taken care of than Brown and Red-Brown pennies. They are almost impossible to find in circulated conditions, and they command more value.

In uncirculated condition, a 1935-P Red Penny can be worth up to $10,500. But that coin will need to have the pristine grade of MS68+.

Red-brown variations of the 1935-P Penny are worth between $3 to $65, depending on condition and grade. Brown 1935-P pennies can easily be found in circulated condition. Its availability is the main driver to why they are valued at $1.50 or under in this condition.

In mint state, they are worth $6 to $50, also depending on condition.

Below is a highlight of the value of 1935-P Lincoln Pennies of various grades:

1935 Penny Condition Estimated Value
Red (RD) Red-Brown (RB) Brown (BN)
Good (G4) $0.10
Very Good (VG8) $0.15
Fine (F12) $0.20
Very Fine (VF20) $0.30
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.50
About Uncirculated (AU50) $1
Uncirculated (MS60) $3 $1.75
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $30 $21 $17
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS67) $235 $65 $50

Source: NGC, 2023

It’s important to note that the figures above are only value estimates. A penny can sell for more or even less, depending on its demand.

That said, the 1935-P penny has sold some valuable pieces over the eight decades it has been in circulation. The most notable sale of a Brown 1935-P Penny was a member of a year set that sold for $1,150.

The Red-Brown variety of the 1935 Penny has made bigger splashes, with its most expensive sale transacting at $2,185. It was also among another year set.

Red 1935-P Pennies tend to fetch better prices than similarly-graded Brown and Red-Brown varieties. The biggest transaction ever completed on auction is a 1935-P Penny graded MS68+RD that sold for a record-shattering $55,812.50.

1935-D Penny Value

1935-D Penny Value
1935-D Penny
  • U.S. Mint: Denver
  • Mintage: 47,000,000
  • Mint Mark: D

The Denver Mint made all three color varieties of the 1935-D Penny. The most precious among the 1935-D Pennies is the Red variety. Most examples will be in mint condition, and they are worth the most. In MS68RD condition, the Red 1935-D Penny is valued at $8,000 dollars.

Red-Brown 1935-D Pennies are also valuable in mint condition. They are worth between $7 and $85.

Brown pennies are the least valuable among the 1935-D Lincoln Cents. Circulated examples of this variety have valuations that range from 15 cents to a little under $3. Mint condition Brown pennies can sell for $25 in MS66 condition.

The following is a highlight of the estimated values of 1935-D Pennies across various grades:

1935 Penny Condition Estimated Value
Red (RD) Red-Brown (RB) Brown (BN)
Good (G4) $0.15
Very Good (VG8) $0.20
Fine (F12) $0.25
Very Fine (VF20) $0.35
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.75
About Uncirculated (AU50) $2
Uncirculated (MS60) $7 $5
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $30 $26 $17.50
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS66) $95 $42.50 $25

Source: NGC, 2023

The biggest sale of a 1935-D Penny was this MS67+RD Lincoln Wheat Penny that sold in auction for $4,080. The coin is pristine, with no discoloration or visible signs of damage.

1935-S Penny Value

1935-S Penny Value
1935-S Penny
  • U.S. Mint: San Francisco
  • Mintage: 38,702,000
  • Mint Mark: S

The San Francisco Mint also produced all three color variations of the 1935-S Penny. The Red variation of the coin is the most valuable, estimated to be worth $16 to $6,100. The Red-Brown 1935-S Penny is worth between $13 to $450 in mint condition.

The Browns are not as valuable as they are estimated to be worth between $12.50 and $150 in mint condition. Circulated examples are worth a little under $7.

Below is an outline of the estimated value of these pennies:

1935 Penny Condition Estimated Value
Red (RD) Red-Brown (RB) Brown (BN)
Good (G4) $0.15
Very Good (VG8) $0.20
Fine (F12) $0.35
Very Fine (VF20) $0.75
Extremely Fine (XF40) $2
About Uncirculated (AU50) $4.50
Uncirculated (MS60) $13 $12.50
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS62) $20 $16.50 $14.50
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS64) $48 $30 $23
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS67) $6,100 $450 $150

Source: NGC, 2023

As you already understand, the values above are only estimates; prices can soar beyond or fail to reach these targets. An excellent example is a 1935-S Penny that sold for $23,000. It is graded an incredible MS67RD.

Another 1935-S Penny sold for $5,040 on Heritage Auctions. It is graded by both PCSG and CAC at MS67RD. No 1935-S Red Penny is finer.

1935 Penny: Valuable Error 1935 Pennies

The Lincoln Penny is notorious for yielding very interesting error coins. Here are five error coins we found on the 1955 penny’s roster:

1. 1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse Error: Sold for $3,055

1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse Error

One error that was common among 1935 Pennies was the Double Die Error. And while error coins of this nature don’t sell this high, we have to consider that the coin is in brilliant, uncirculated condition. PCGS graded this example MS67RD, just a few points below perfect.

2. 1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse Error: Sold for $499.99

1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse Error value

During punching, a coin may shift from its axis, yielding a Double Die error. If this error occurs on the obverse, we call it a DDO or Double Die Obverse error. DDO errors cause doubling or shadows around the edges of the coin’s details. In this coin, President Lincoln appears to have a double ear.

3. 1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse Error: Sold for 127.50

1935-P Penny with Double Die Obverse value

Here’s another 1935-P Penny with a DDO error. In this particular example, the error occurs in the year of issue “1935.” Despite its appearance, this coin is graded pretty high. It’s an MS63BN penny, as per the coin’s description.

4. 1935-S Penny with Repunched Mint Mark Error: Selling for $19.95

1935-S Penny with Repunched Mint Mark Error

A Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) error is like a DDO error, except it only occurs on the Mint Mark. This coin has visible signs of doubling around the “S” mint mark. Had the coin been in better condition, I bet it would be worth more.

1935 Penny: Is it Worth Collecting

The 1935 Penny marks is a great place to start for anyone looking to get their feet wet in the coin collecting hobby. They are still attainable, quite affordable, and have some interesting error coins. They also have the potential to go up in value as we edge closer to the coin’s centennial anniversary. Uncirculated coins are the most valuable with the market in favor of the 1935-S Penny.

Leave a Comment

coin folly logo

Coin Folly provides coin value insights and free Coin Valuation Services. It promotes coin research and collection.

Services

Coin Valuation

Contact

support@coinfolly.com