1959 Penny Value (‘’P‘’, “D” & Rare Errors)

Jenson Cambell

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The 1959 Lincoln Penny is the first among the Memorial Reverse Series. The circulated coin value starts at $0.50, while the uncirculated condition can reach $6,000 in an open market.

In this article, we’ve collated the valuable information you need to know about the 1959 Penny. That includes its history, price guide, and the error list. So, stick till the end to see which variety is rare and worth a fortune!

1959 Lincoln Cent Value Guide

Regular Strike MS BN MS RB MS RD
1959 P (No Mint Mark) One Cent $0.05-$12.50 $2.50-$25 $5-$400
1959 D One Cent $0.05-$7.50 $2.50-$15 $7.50-$2,400
Proof Coins PF PF RDC PF RDU
1959 P (No Mint Mark) One Cent PF $2.40-$375 $14-$625 $30-$6,250

The 1959 Lincoln Cent History

1959 Lincoln Cent value

The 1909-1958 One-cent Wheat Reverse Series first featured the bust of the beloved president on the obverse side. It was designed by Victor Brenner—a known Lithuanian sculptor-engraver of medals, badges, and plaques.

He was also responsible for the two wheat sheaves on the reverse side of the Lincoln penny. However, the latter element underwent a redesign after half a century.

The 1959 Penny is part of the 1959-2008 Memorial Reverse Series. It is the first year of release, wherein it fashioned a new design by Frank Gasparro. From the well-known wheat element, the denomination reverse side subsequently depicts the Lincoln Memorial. That is to mark the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

Aside from it, Brenner’s previous wheat elements frame the inscriptions ONE CENT, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. But in the 1959 penny, you’ll notice it’s the other way around since the principal figure is at the center.

In terms of mintage, the 1959 Lincoln Cents reached over 1.8 billion. It is higher in number than the previous years, making it within reach of numismatists.

1959 (P) Penny: Value and Grading

1959 (P) Penny value
1959 (P) Penny (no mint mark)

The Philadelphia Mint produced over 609 million Regular Strike 1959 Lincoln Cents. PCGS currently estimates a survival of 150,000 across all grades. It’s still a common coin based on the Numismatic Rarity score.

Circulated $0.05-$0.10 / /
MS-60 $0.10-$0.15 / /
MS-63 $0.75-$0.85 $2.50 $5
MS-64 $1 $4 $7.50
MS-65 $2.50 $7 $12.50
MS-66 $12.50 $25 $30-$70
MS-67 / / $400

According to NGC Coin, an MS brown (BN) circulated condition 1959 Lincoln cent has a value of $0.05 to $0.10. Conversely, the red-brown (RB) and red (RD) start at $2.50-$5 because of the retained hue of copper.

Although typical, the latter colors are hard to obtain and often on top of the list of most aggressive coin collectors. MS67, specifically, features a sharp strike with original red luster.

The eye appeal is pristine and has no other detracting marks, thus the high value of $400. Now, let’s see the auction records of these coins to determine the valuable ones.

1959 (P) Lincoln Cent Auction Record

PCGS recorded two major auction appearances of the 1959 cent. The first was the 1959 1C MS67+ Red in 2016, valued at $5,887. The plus sign designation means it is at the high end of the given grade.

The die looks fresh, the surface is carbon-free, and the orange-red hues offer an excellent eye appeal. The second auction occurred in 2019 and has a similar designation as the first one. The only difference is it sold a little lower for $5,040.

1959 D Penny: Value and Grading

1959 D Penny value

The Denver Mint released 1 billion Regular Strike 1959 Pennies, making them common in the market. As of today, the PCGS recorded a survival estimate of 200,000, which is no shock due to the high volume release.

Circulated $0.05-$0.10 / /
MS-60 $0.10-$0.15 / /
MS-63 $0.75-$0.85 $2.50 $7.50
MS-64 $1 $5 $10
MS-65 $2.50 $7.50 $12
MS-66 $7.50 $15 $27.50-$30
MS-67 / / $135-$2,400

A 1959 D cent in circulated condition is valued at $0.05-$0.10, similar to the Philadelphia Mint. The distinction between them lies in the MS-67 RD grade, which sells at a premium price. Why so?

The quality of coins minted in Denver is far superior to those in Philadelphia. So, whether Denver produces many of the 1959 pennies, its quality remains the same.

1959 D Lincoln Cent Auction Record

The highest auction record for this coin was by Goldberg Auctioneers in 2003. It is a 1959-D 1C MS60, reaching a whopping $48,300—a history that no 1959 version came close to surpassing.

Aside from that massive amount, PCGS also noted two other premium-priced 1959-D 1C MS67+ RD. The first was by Heritage Auctions in 2021, which fetched $2,640, while the other sold at $2,625 by David Lawrence RC.

1959 Philadelphia Proof Penny: Value and Grading

1959 Philadelphia Proof Penny
1959 Philadelphia Proof Penny

Aside from the regular strike, Philadelphia also minted over 1 million Proofed 1959 Lincoln Cents. This variety has four designations based on the strike characteristic and toning. Each has different values summarized in the table below.

PF-63 $3.75 $5 / /
PF-64 $5 $7.50 $14 $30-$35
PF-65 $7.50 $13.75 $26-$29 $45-$50
PF-66 $12.50 $19 $37.50-$42 $65-$70
PF-67 $18 $30-$35 $60-$70 $275-$300
PF-68 $27 $75 $150 $1,000
PF-69 / $375 $625 $6,250

Since 1959 is the first in the series, there is no question that most have a grade of PR63 and PR65. However, the PR67 falls steeply in number since some are removed from the Proof Sets.

According to PCGS, the 1959 Cameo is hard to obtain yet can be found at coin shows or at online auctions. However, examples of the 1959 Ultra Cameo condition are scarce, with no more than 175-225 known instances.

1959 Proof Lincoln Cent Auction Record

The PCGS noted two remarkable auction records for a 1959 Proof Coin. The first is a PR69 by Heritage Auction, sold at $20,700. And the second is a PR69 Deep Cameo by Stack’s Bowers, sold at $19,200.

Each features a bright, vivid surface with a sharply struck device. And both sides are in pristine condition, piquing the interest of the sophisticated numismatist.

The rest that follows in the list have either a grade of PR65 to PR69, boasting an auction range of $400 to $2,000.

1959 Lincoln Cent Error Coins

With over a billion coins in production, it is inevitable to mint an error coin. Some of this may be due to mechanical problems or human error. Either way—these unintended flaws offer unique characteristics that make them valuable.

1959 Cent Double Die Obverse (DDO) Error

1959 Cent Double Die Obverse (DDO) Error

DDO coins present a doubled image on the obverse side due to an incorrectly manufactured die. Sometimes, the doubling effect is so minimal that it requires a microscope to inspect it.

In the photo, you’ll notice the device with an extra outline. If the error is more prominent, you can expect the value to be higher. An example of a high auction record for this error was the 1959 1C MS66 RD, sold for $823.

1959-D Clipped Planchet Error

1959-D Clipped Planchet Error

A Clipped Planchet Error occurs when misaligned sheets are fed into a cutting device. Sometimes, it can result in straight-edge clips or irregular clips. But it’s the curved clip types that are typical.

This error is valued at $5 to $10, although it can be worth much more based on some factors. First is the percentage of clipped error. Second is the overall coin condition, and lastly, the mint mark.

1959-D Misplaced Mint Mark Error

1959-D Misplaced Mint Mark Error

As the name suggests, this type of error has a mint mark outside its designated place. In the 1959 Lincoln Penny, you’ll find the letter D below the date. However, an error coin may leave a mintmark punch on the bust or the coin year. This type of error can sell at less than $10.

1959-D RPM Mint Error

1959-D RPM Mint Error

Repunched Mint Marks (RPM) happens when the punched die gets misaligned with the previous punch. The result is the presence of two or more offset impressions that usually overlap.

You can also notice that the second mark is a lot thinner than the first mint mark. Based on PCGS records, a 1959-D error sold for $9 with a grade of AU53 and $176 with a grade of MS65.

1959-1982 Off-Center Strike Error

1959-1982 Off-Center Strike Error

According to PCGS, a coin should be missing a part in order to qualify as an off-center error. If the percentage is 10%, you can expect it to be less valuable. Circulated condition, for example, is valued at around $6 to $10.

Conversely, a coin in uncirculated condition can fetch up to $200. However, many collectors find the 40% and 60% off-center a sweet spot for an error coin. Based on Heritage Auctions record, a 1959 1C 85% Off-center MS 64 was sold at $1,620.

1959 Penny Value chart

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