1953 Wheat Penny Value (“P”, “D”, “S” & Rare Errors)

Jenson Cambell

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Perhaps you stumbled upon an old 1953 Wheat Penny in your grandma’s old purse. Or maybe you’re looking to add the 1953 Lincoln Wheat Cent to your already extensive coin collection.

Either way, you’re curious about the value of a 1953 Wheat Penny. And I’ll say you’ve come to the right place because that is exactly what we’re here to establish: the value of the 1953 Wheat Penny.

1953 Wheat Penny

So you can get a gist of what we’re talking about, below are some figures you can expect.

1953 Wheat Penny Valuation Chart

Mint Good (G4) Fine (F12) Extremely Fine (XF40) Uncirculated(MS60) Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65)
1953-P Wheat Penny $0.01 $0.06 $0.17 $6.00 $30.00
1953-P Proof Wheat Penny $4 (BN)

$6 (RB)

$12 (RD)

$18 (CAM)

$7 (BN)

$40 (RB)

$55 (RD)

$175 (CAM)

1953-D Wheat penny $0.01 $0.06 $0.17 $3.00 $24.00
1953-S Wheat penny $0.01 $0.06 $0.17 $3.00 $24.00

1953 Wheat Penny: Historical Background

The 1953 Wheat Penny belongs to the Wheat Penny series of coins that ran between 1909 and 1958. We call them Wheat Pennies or Lincoln Wheat Pennies because they feature two stalks of wheat on their reverse. The Wheat Pennies were the first in the greater Lincoln Penny series.

Speaking of firsts, the Lincoln Wheat Penny was the first American coin to feature the image of an actual person. Before it debuted in 1909, our coins bore the images of legends or generic people. But this pioneering spirit doesn’t end with slapping Abraham Lincoln’s face on the penny. It was also the first coin to feature its designer’s initials on the reverse.

The use of initials was a huge source of controversy, forcing the U.S. Mint to remove Victor Brenner’s initials, “VDB,” from the reverse of the coin.

1953 Wheat Penny: Physical Features

The 1953 Lincoln Wheat Penny was struck on planchets made of 95% copper and 5% tin mixed with zinc. This combination of metal gives the 1953 Wheat Penny a bronze appearance and a total weight of 3.11 grams. The coin is circular with a smooth edge.

To summarize, below is a highlight of the 1953 Wheat Penny’s physical features:

Physical Feature Notes
Metallic Composition 95% Copper

5% Tin & Zinc

Weight 3.11 g
Diameter 19.05 mm
Edge Plain/Smooth

Obverse Design and Features

1953 Wheat Penny Obverse Design and Feature

The 1953 Lincoln Wheat Penny’s obverse features the Abraham Lincoln design commissioned in 1909. This design was created by Victor D. Brenner to celebrate the centennial of President Lincoln’s birth.

Victor Brenner’s obverse design included the following characters and elements:

  • The right-facing portrait of Abraham Lincoln at the center of the coin
  • The motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” just above the 16th President
  • The legend, “LIBERTY,” on the left side of the coin
  • The year of issue, “1953,” on the right side of the coin
  • The mint mark (D, S, or None) is under the year of issue

Reverse Design and Features

1953 Lincoln Wheat Penny Obverse Design and Features

The reverse was also designed by Victor Brenner with initial designs bearing his initials, “VDB.” This initial 1909 design was subject to a lot of backlash, with certain elements in the Treasury Department feeling that it was a form of advertising.

When all was said and done, these are the elements that were left on Victor Brenner’s reverse design:

  • The denomination “ONE CENT” is on the top half of the coin
  • The country of issue, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” is on the lower half
  • There are two arching stalks of wheat on either side (left and right) of the coin
  • The U.S. motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” arches over the denomination

1953 Wheat Penny: Varieties and Valuation

For the Issue year 1953, all U.S. mints took part in the production of that year’s Lincoln Wheat Penny, giving us three varieties. They included:

1953-P Wheat Penny Value

1953-P Wheat Penny
1953-P Lincoln Wheat Penny

In 1953, the Pennsylvania Mint struck 257 million Red Lincoln Cents (Wheat Reverse); not the highest mintage, but also not the lowest. Most of these coins enjoyed heavy circulation, with most of them still retaining their face value.

Good-condition 1953 Wheat Pennies are only worth the one-cent value struck on the reverse. The same applies to very good-condition 1953 Wheat Pennies.

Valuation starts going up with fine examples, each being worth a modest $0.06 (six cents). Extremely fine 1953-P Lincoln Wheat Pennies could sell for 17 cents ($0.17).

Uncirculated coins are worth more, with 1953 Wheat Pennies graded MS60RD valued at $6 by PCGS. The same firm values brilliant mint state 1953 Wheat Pennies (MS65RD) at $30.

Not many 1953-P Wheat Pennies can boast the almost pristine grade of MS67RD. One of these coins sold in an auction for a record-shuttering $14,100.

1953-P Proof Wheat Pennies

1953 P Proof Wheat Penny value
1953-P Proof Wheat Penny

The Pennsylvania Mint also made 128,800 proof coins, all with no mint marks. Proof coins are targeted at coin collectors and are not heavily circulated. As a result, they are worth more.

The value of a 1953 Proof Wheat Penny depends on the color and grade of the coin. Let’s see how much they cost.

1953-P Proof Wheat Penny Valuation Chart

  Brown (BN) Red & Brown (RB) Red (RD) Cameo (CAM) Deep Cameo (DCAM)
PR60 $4 $6 $12 $18 $
PR62 $4 $10 $20 $25 $100
PR64 $6 $30 $42 $100 $400
PR66 $25 $60 $80 $275 $900
PR68 $260 $3,500

1953-D Wheat Penny Value

1953-D Wheat Penny Value
1953-D Lincoln Penny

The Denver Mint also contributed its fair share in 1953, striking 701 million Wheat Pennies. You can identify them by the “D” mint marks on their obverse faces. The Denver Mint made red pennies, designated “RD,” during grading.

This is the most abundant mint variety, and most of the heavily-circulated examples still retain their face value.

Below is a highlight of the value of the various grades of the 1953-D Wheat Penny.

1953-P Wheat Penny Valuation Chart

Coin Grade Estimated Value
Good (G4) $0.01
Fine (F12) $0.06
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.17
Uncirculated (MS60) $3.00
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $24.00

1953-S Wheat Penny Value

1953-S Wheat Penny Value
1953-S Lincoln Penny

In ‘53, the San Francisco Mint injected 182 million 1953-S Wheat Pennies into circulation. To identify these coins, look for the “S” mint marks on their obverse faces. Despite having the least mintage among all the mints in 1953, the 1953-S Wheat Penny is just as valuable as the 1953-D Pennies.

Below is a highlight of the value of the various grades of the 1953-S Wheat Penny.

1953-S Wheat Penny Valuation Chart

Coin Grade Estimated Value
Good (G4) $0.01
Fine (F12) $0.06
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.17
Uncirculated (MS60) $3.00
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $24.00

1953 Wheat Penny: Valuable Error Coins

Historically, error coins have offered a little more value than regular-struck coins. And with the level of detail on the 1953 Wheat Penny, there should be some interesting error coins out there. Below are some of the 1953 error coins we were able to track down.

1. 1953-D Wheat Penny with a Repunched Mint Mark: Sold for $3,525

1953-D Wheat Penny with a Repunched Mint Mark

We start off with a coin that has a repunched mint mark (RPM). This is an error that occurs when the punch is shifted between taps. In this particular coin, the “D” mint mark appears to be doubled on its upright, earning it the designation 1953-D/D.

Besides the RPM, the coin is in superb condition, graded MS67RD, the finest example of its variety—no wonder it costs a pretty penny.

2. 1953-P Lincoln Wheat Cent with Cracked Skull and Die Cud Errors: Sold for $24.95

1953-P Lincoln Wheat Cent with Cracked Skull and Die Cud Error

Here’s a cool find for you. This particular penny has a combination of two errors: a cracked skull on the obverse and a die cud on the reverse. The cracked skull manifests on President Lincoln’s head, just parallel to his ear lobe.

The seller claims that the coin is in very good condition. But without a third-party grading, verifying the coin’s condition is hard.

3. 1953-D Penny with RPM Error: Selling for $14.95

1953-D Penny with RPM Error

Here’s a coin in better condition. The penny still retains most of its natural luster, looking like a mint-state 1953-D Wheat Penny. But the main reason it appears in this section is the RPM error on its mint mark. Even though the penny is yet to be graded, the seller calls a grading of MS63RD.

4. 1953-D Penny with RPM Error: Selling for $10

1953-D Penny with RPM Error

Here’s another 1953-D Wheat Penny with a repunched mint mark error. It may not be in the same or near the same pristine conditions as our first and third entries, but the “D” seems to have a shadow on its left. This penny is not graded, but the seller estimates a grade of VF20.

5. 1953-P Lincoln Wheat Cent with Filled Die Error: Selling for $3.75

1953-P Lincoln Wheat Cent with Filled Die Error

Also known as grease error, a filled die error occurs when grease or foreign objects obscure part of the coin’s design. In this particular coin, the error occurs on President Lincoln’s shirt, just below his bow tie.

1953 Wheat Penny: Is it Worth Collecting

In the right condition, absolutely. Steer clear of the circulated varieties; most of those aren’t worth much. What you want are pristine mint-state 1953 Wheat Pennies. Brilliant condition 1953-P Proof Wheat Pennies offer the most value, especially examples with a deep cameo. Such examples can fetch you thousands of dollars.

1953 Wheat Penny value chart

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