1975 Penny Value Guide (“P,” “D,” “S,” & Rare Error Coins)

Jenson Cambell

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There are many reasons to consider the 1975 Penny as a new addition to your collection. It is dirt cheap even in mint condition, and you can easily fish good examples from bank-issued coin rolls. But what is a 1975 Penny really worth?

1975 Lincoln Memorial Penny Value Overview

Before we go any further, you must understand that the value of any 1975 Penny is dependent on its condition and variety. The coin’s condition does affect the color of the penny, and both factors affect the coin’s value.

In a nutshell, a circulated 1975 Penny is worth between five and ten cents, depending on its variety and condition. Uncirculated examples are worth between $0.10 and $195.

Coin Condition Estimated Value
1975-P Penny 1975-D Penny 1975-S Proof Penny
Heavily Circulated

(G4 – XF40)

$0.05 $0.05
About Uncirculated (AU50 – AU58+) $0.05 – $0.10 $0.05 – $0.10

(MS60 – MS69)

$0.10 – $100 $0.10 – $195 $0.25 – $85

History of the 1975 Penny

History of the 1975 Penny

The 1975 is a member of the second generation of Lincoln Pennies, the Lincoln Memorial Pennies. This sub-series of the Lincoln Pennies gets its name from the depiction of the Lincoln Memorial on their reverses. So, it’s not wrong to refer to the 1975 Penny as the 1975 Lincoln Memorial Penny. The name is kinda wordy, but it’s encouraged; we may even use it a couple of times in this presentation.

West Point and Aluminum Pennies

West Point mint
image: US MINT

In 1975, the U.S. Mint struck close to 10 Billion pennies, a record they didn’t break until 1979. To strike these almost 10 Billion pennies, the U.S. Mint enlisted the help of its West Point facility. The New York-based mint struck close to 1.6 billion pennies. Since they did not strike mint marks on their coins, 1975 West Point Pennies are indistinguishable from Philadelphia Pennies. Due to this indistinction, they have equal values in similar grades.

Speaking of the Philadelphia Mint, the Pennsylvania-based facility struck 66 aluminum pennies. Unfortunately, these coins were not released to the public. They were only used as experimental planchets.

1975 Penny: Physical Features

Historically, the penny has been a bronze coin, both in its metallic composition and color. However, there are (at most) 66 silver-colored 1975 Aluminum Pennies out there, but those are the minority.

Bronze is made of copper, tin, and zinc; so is the 1975 Lincoln Memorial Penny. And while we don’t know the specific proportions of zinc in relation to tin, we do know that copper contributes 95% of the coin’s metal composition. The remaining 5% is a mixture of tin and zinc.

The 1975 Penny Obverse

1975 Penny obverse feature

The 1975 Lincoln Penny owes its obverse to the original Lincoln Penny of 1909. That design was drawn and engraved by Victor D. Brenner.

Brenner chose to populate his obverse with the following elements:

  • The right-facing profile of President Lincoln
  • The legend “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
  • The inscription “LIBERTY
  • The date “1975
  • The mint mark “D,” “S,” or neither
  • His initials: “VDB.”

The 1975 Penny Reverse

1975 Penny reverse feature

The reverse of the 1975 Penny adopted its design from the original 1958 Lincoln Memorial Penny. This reverse was installed on 1958 Penny to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of President Lincoln’s birth. This Lincoln Memorial reverse was designed by Frank Gasparro, a future chief engraver of the U.S. Mint.

Frank Gasparro chose the following articles to populate his Lincoln Memorial reverse:

  • The front-facing profile of the Lincoln Memorial
  • The country “UNITED STATES of AMERICA
  • The inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • The denomination “ONE CENT
  • His initials: “FG

1975-P Lincoln Penny Value

1975-P Lincoln Penny Value
1975 1C, RD (Regular Strike) Lincoln Cent

In 1975, two mints struck coins without mint marks: the Philadelphia and West Point Mints. As is custom with coins that lack mint marks, we’re calling this variety the 1975-P Penny. Because there’s no way to distinguish these pennies, they hold equal value. And that’s why we’ve combined them as a single variety.

  Philadelphia Mint West Point Mint
Mintage 3,874,182,000 1,577,294,142
Mint Mark None None

If you’re familiar with your pennies, you’ll know they brown depending on the conditions we put them through. Circulation is one of the instigators of browning, and that’s why all circulated 1975 Pennies are brown.

In circulated condition, these Brown 1975 Pennies are worth five cents in Good Condition and 10 cents in AU58 state. These coins are quite plentiful and will pop in your change occasionally.

Brown 1975 Pennies are plentiful in uncirculated condition, too, and their value has suffered for it. These coins are available up to the MS67 condition, yet they still struggle to break the $10 ceiling. In uncirculated condition, a Brown 1975 Penny is worth between 10 cents and $7.50.

The 1975 Red and Red-Brown Pennies are readily available in uncirculated state from MS64 up to MS66. At these states, their value bob between $2.50 and $25. The Red 1975 penny is very rare in MS67 condition. To get your hands on one of these gems, you need to be ready to spend about $100 in an auction.

Coin Condition Estimated Value
Brown Red-Brown Red
Good (G4) $0.05
Very Good (VG8) $0.05
Fine (F12) $0.05
Very Fine (VF20) $0.05
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.05
About Uncirculated (AU50) $0.05
About Uncirculated (AU58) $0.05
Uncirculated (MS60) $0.10
Uncirculated (MS64) $1 $2.50 $7.50
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $2.50 $7.50 $15
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS66) $5 $15 $25
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS67) $7.50 $100

Speaking of auctions, there are 1975-P Pennies that have sold for mind-blowing prices. An example that pops to mind is a Red 1975-P Penny that was sold in April 2018 on Heritage auctions. The coin was graded a deserving MS68RD and sold for an astonishing $9,000.

1975-D Lincoln Penny Value

1975-D Lincoln Penny Value
1975-D 1C, RD (Regular Strike) Lincoln Cent
  • U.S. Mint: Denver
  • Mintage: 4,505,275,300
  • Mint Mark: D

There are trends in value that the 1975-D Pennies share with their 1975-P contemporaries. For example, equally-graded Brown 1975-P and 1975-D Pennies have equal value. What that means is Brown circulated 1975-D Pennies are worth between five and ten cents. The uncirculated Brown 1975-D Pennies have values that range from 10 cents to $2.50

It’s common to find Red and Red-Brown gems in uncirculated condition between the grades of MS64 and MS66. Coins with these grades range between $2.50 and $20 in value.

The Red 1975-D Penny is quite elusive in MS67 condition. Based on our research and market trends, examples in this state are worth $195.

Coin Condition Estimated Value
Brown Red-Brown Red
Good (G4) $0.05
Very Good (VG8) $0.05
Fine (F12) $0.05
Very Fine (VF20) $0.05
Extremely Fine (XF40) $0.05
About Uncirculated (AU50) $0.05
About Uncirculated (AU58) $0.05
Uncirculated (MS60) $0.10
Uncirculated (MS64) $1 $2.50 $7.50
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS65) $2.50 $5 $15
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS66) $5 $12.50 $20
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS67) $7.50 $195

To snatch up an exceptional coin, you must be willing to go the extra mile with your bids. Back in 2014, an MS67+RD example popped up on Heritage Auctions. The coin still retained its red luster and was possibly the highest-graded 1975-D Penny. This example sold for $4,112.50.

In 2019, another MS67+RD-graded coin popped up, this time on an auction by Legendary RC. The coin once belonged to the Jack Lee collection and was sold for $3,055.

1975-S Proof Penny Value

1975-S Proof Penny Value
1975-S 1C, DCAM (Proof) Lincoln Cent
  • U.S. Mint: San Francisco
  • Mintage: 2,845,450
  • Mint Mark: S

In 1975, the San Francisco Mint only struck proof coins. These are coins that are struck with highly polished dies. This practice gives them some cameo, which is the contrast between the frosted relief and the mirror-like field.

The 1975-S Proof Coins that you will encounter on the market today will be well taken care of with most of their redness intact. There are only two levels of cameo for this coin: Cameo and Deep Cameo.

And while Deep Cameo coins look better than Cameo pennies, this market is run by supply. Until the PR68 state, Cameo 1975-S Proof Pennies are more valuable than their Deep Cameo equivalents. The Cameos have values that range from $1.80 to $19 in these conditions, while the Deep Cameos are worth between $0.25 and $8.50.

In PR69, both sub-varieties go through a surge in value as their population is thin. Examples of these grades are relatively rare. At this state, the Deep Cameos win the value contest as their members are valued at $85. A 1975-S Proof Penny in Cameo is worth a measly $35 in PR69 condition.

Coin Condition Estimated Value
Red Cameo Red Deep Cameo
Uncirculated (PR60) $1.80 $0.25
Uncirculated (PR61) $1.85 $0.50
Uncirculated (PR62) $2 $0.75
Uncirculated (PR63) $2.40 $1
Uncirculated (PR64) $3 $1.50
Uncirculated (PR65) $5.50 $2
Uncirculated (PR66) $8.50 $4
Uncirculated (PR67) $14 $6.50
Uncirculated (PR68) $19 $8.50
Uncirculated (PR69) $35 $85
Uncirculated (PR70)

While the prices of 1975-S Proof Coins were relatively higher in 2002, they were nowhere near the $1,150 this penny sold for. The coin was graded PR69 and was flaunting a rather obvious Deep Cameo. Not even a scratch can be seen on this gem.

1975-S 1C PR69 Deep Cameo
1975-S 1C PR69 Deep Cameo Sold at $1,150.00

Another similarly-graded 1975-S Penny sold a year later for $748. Like the previous coin, this one was graded PR69 DCAM. Although $748 is a good price, it demonstrates that the final selling prices of these coins are dictated by demand.

1975 Penny: Common Error Coins

Some hobbyists prefer collecting error coins. And to those hobbyists, the 1975 Lincoln Memorial Penny offers a lot of options in error coins. Below are just the common ones:

1975-P Aluminum Pennies

After the 1973 rise in copper prices, the U.S. Mint flirted with the idea of replacing copper with a cheaper metal. Later that year, they struck a little over a million 1974 Pennies in Aluminum. Even though Congress shut down the operation before the coins were distributed to the public, 66 Aluminum pennies were struck in Philadelphia in 1975.

At some point, it was illegal to hold aluminum pennies. They are considered as government property. While these coins are extremely rare, they live in a legal grey zone and hardly appear in any auctions.

1975 Pennies Struck on Dime Planchets

1975 Pennies Struck on Dime Planchets

It’s a fairly common mistake to strike Lincoln pennies on the wrong planchet. Some examples were struck on dime planchets. One example was sold on Heritage Auctions in 2020 for $900. It was graded MS65 by NGC. Apart from being struck on a dime planchet, the coin is slightly struck off-center, with part of the “L” in “LIBERTY” being cut off.

Other 1975 Lincoln Memorial Cents with similar errors include:

Variety Grade Selling Price Auction Firm
1975-P Penny MS63 $243.40 Heritage Auctions
1975-D Penny MS62 $595 eBay

Double Die Errors

1975 penny Double Die Error

Double-die errors are pretty common among the 1975 Pennies. Some coins will have a Double-Die Obverse error, while others will exhibit a Double-Die Reverse error. On the obverse, the error mostly affects the date, the “LIBERTY” inscription, and the legend “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

The value of a 1975 penny with a double die error depends on the coin’s condition. An uncirculated example is currently on sale on eBay with a DDO error. The seller has quoted a price of $299. Another example is on sale on the same platform for $29.65. This one appears to be in About Circulated condition.

Off-Center Errors

1975 off center error

Off-center errors occur when the die and planchet are out of alignment. The die only ends up striking part of the coin. The value of a 1975 Penny with an off-center error is dependent on the condition of the coin, the severity of the error, and demand.

This 1975-D penny had a combination of off-center and double-struck errors. The coin had two “IN GOD WE TRUST” mottos and was graded MS63BN. This penny sold for $139.

Below is a highlight of other 1975 Pennies with similar anomalies:

Variety Off-Center Severity Grade Selling Price Auction Firm
1975-D Penny 40% MS63RB $162 Heritage Auctions
1975-D Penny 75% MS62BN $89 Heritage Auctions
1975-P Penny 90% MS60BN $120 Heritage Auctions

Die Break Errors

1975 penny Die Break Errors

Dies do break when striking planchets. In the aftermath, coins develop cuds, a blob of metal the shape and size of the broken piece. A coin with a prominent cud was sold in 2021 for $70. This 1975-D Penny was graded MS63RB by PCGS, and its cud appears on the obverse in the 2 O’clock position.

Another penny with a bigger cud sold in the same year for $162. This penny is of the 1975-P variety and brandishes the MS62BN grade. The cud occupies a huge chunk of the left side of the obverse, blocking out most of the “LIBERTY” inscription.

Final Thoughts

The 1975 Penny is an excellent coin for beginners to collect. They are fairly cheap, even in the lower-mint states. They also have enough variety to make collecting a little more challenging and interesting. While the aluminum pennies are impossible to find, you can keep yourself busy with the many error coins that flood the market.

1975 Penny Value chart

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