1989 Penny Value (“D”, “S”, ”None‘’ Mint Mark & Rare Errors)

Jenson Cambell

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In 1989, George H. W. Bush became the President of the United States, the Berlin Wall came down, and mints all over the country were pumping out 1989 Lincoln pennies. Back in those days, the 1989 Lincoln Memorial penny was only worth its face value; one cent ($0.01). But everything bends to the will of time.

It’s been 34 years since the 1989 Lincoln penny was released; what is the value of this old coin these days? And that, people, is the basis of our quest. We’ll study the value of the 1989 Lincoln penny, the varieties you want to look out for, and the error coins that are worth good money.

1989 Penny Value

Let’s jump in. But first, a valuation overview:

1989 Lincoln Penny Value Chart

Mint Good Fine Extra Fine Uncirculated
1989 Penny

No Mint Marks

$0.01 $0.01 $0.02 $0.03
1989-D Penny $0.01 $0.02 $0.02 $0.03
1989-S Proof Penny $0.01 $0.07 $1.5 $3.00

1989 Penny Physical Features

When you lay your eyes on a 1989 penny, the first thing that strikes you is the reddish-brown color of the coin. This penny may be made of 97.5% zinc, but it is coated with copper, giving it that reddish-brown appearance.

Using zinc as the core material and a copper coating made the 1989 penny lighter than the pre-1983 pennies. It only weighs 2.5 grams. As for diameter and coin thickness, those read 1.52mm and 19mm, respectively.

Obverse Features

1989 Penny Obverse Features

The Lincoln penny’s obverse face has had the same design since 1909. Even today, Victor Brenner’s design still lives on, except for changes in the year of issue.

Below are the design elements and characters you can expect from the 1989 Lincoln penny.

Enough with the history; below are some of the details you can expect on the front face of the 1989 Lincoln penny:

  • A right-facing portrait of the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, sits at the center of the penny.
  • Arched over the president’s head is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
  • Just behind the president’s neck is the word “LIBERTY,” embossed on the left side of the coin.
  • The year of issue, 1989, is embossed on the right side, just adjacent to Lincoln’s chest.
  • The coin’s mint marks(D, S, or none) are just below the year of issue.


1989 Penny Reverse features

While Victor Brenner designed the obverse of the 1989 penny, we have Frank Gasparro to thank for the reverse. His design made its debut in 1959 as a celebration of President Lincoln’s 150th birthday. The reverse then remained unchanged until new designs were made for the 2009 penny.

Below are the features you can expect from the reverse side of the 1989 penny:

  • The Lincoln Memorial at the center of the coin
  • The “E PLURIBUS UNUM” Motto is just above the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Along with the coin’s curvature is the embossed identity of the country of issue, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
  • Frank Gasparro was keen to leave his initials, “FG,” against the right edge of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • The coin’s denomination, “ONE CENT,” is arched below the Lincoln Memorial.

1989 Penny: Historical Background

The 1989 penny, in its entirety, is a tribute to the 16th POTUS, Abraham Lincoln. The penny’s obverse design was adopted in 1909 to commemorate the fallen president’s 100th birthday. To this day, the penny’s obverse remains unchanged, except for changes in the year of issue.

As for the reverse, that has seen many changes over the years. The 1989 penny’s reverse bears a detailed image of the Lincoln Memorial, a change that was effected in 1959 to celebrate President Lincoln’s 150th birth year.

With all these tributes to President Lincoln, it’s no wonder we call the 1989 penny names like “1989 Lincoln Penny” or “1989 Lincoln Memorial Penny.”

1989 Penny: Varieties and Mint Marks

All 1989 pennies may look identical, but they vary from one another based on the mint marks they carry. Below are the three types of the 1989 penny.

1989 Penny with No Mint Marks Value

1989 Penny with No Mint Marks
1989 Penny with No Mint Marks

As is tradition, the Philadelphia Mint pumps out coins with no mint marks. So we call coins from this money factory “P Coins.” Naturally, 1989 Lincoln pennies from the Philadelphia Mint are called 1989-P pennies.

In 1989, the Philadelphia Mint struck 7,261,535,000 coins, more than any other mint in the country. This mass manufacture of the 1989-P penny doesn’t do any favors to the value of the coins. Plus, enough time hasn’t passed yet to make these pennies valuable.

These days a good condition 1989-P penny only commands an estimated value of 2 cents or $0.02.

But there’s no need for gloom because the coin’s value could greatly increase with the penny’s coloration, condition, and grading.

Below are prices you can expect from the most pristine 1989-P pennies:

Coin Color Coin Condition Coin Grade Estimated Value
Brown (BN) Mint State (MS) 1989-P MS67BN $7.50
Red and Brown (RB) Mint State (MS) 1989-P MS67RB $10
Red (RD) Mint State (MS) 1989-P MS67RD $30

1989-D Lincoln Penny Value

1989-D Penny value
1989-D Penny

The 1989-D pennies came from the Denver Mint. In that year, they made 5,345,467,111 of these coins. Abundance is the enemy of coin value. On average, a good condition 1989-D penny is estimated to have a value of 2 cents ($0.02). And that, too, is subject to coloration and grading.

The most pristine examples can fetch the following prices:

Coin Color Coin Condition Coin Grade Estimated Value
Brown (BN) Mint State (MS) 1989-D MS67BN $7.50
Red and Brown (RB) Mint State (MS) 1989-D MS67RB $10
Red (RD) Mint State (MS) 1989-D MS65RD $5

1989-S Lincoln Penny Value

1989-S Lincoln Penny value
1989-S Penny

The 1989-S penny is a product of the San Fransisco Mint. Back in ‘89, they pressed 3,220,948 coins, the least of all the mints in the country. Considering how many coins they made and how much time has passed, the 1989-S proof pennies must be the most valuable of the 1989 pennies. That would be a safe assumption as a fine condition 1989-S proof penny boasts an estimated value of 7 cents ($0.07).

You can demand more money depending on the condition of the coin. Below are some of the valuations you can expect from a 1989-S proof penny:

Coin Grade Estimated Value
1989-S PR-60 $0.25
1989-S PR-70 $115

1989 Lincoln Penny Errors

From the figures we’ve quoted so far, you can tell there’s not much value in regular 1989 pennies. You’ll be lucky to find a 1989-S penny worth $115. And even then, that money can only afford you a ticket to Disneyland.

For serious money, you want to collect 1989 pennies with errors. They are quite rare and very valuable. Below are some 1989 Lincoln error pennies worth some money:

1. 1989-D Lincoln Cent with Double Die Error: Selling for $1,800

1989-D Lincoln Cent with Double Die Error

Sometimes, the dies U.S. Mints uses are not properly sculpted. Upon striking the planchet, you would think you’re suffering from double vision because the characters on the coin will be embossed with shadows or smudges on the edges.

This 1989 penny has a double-die error, causing visible ripples to appear on the president’s portrait.

2. 1989-P Penny with Double Ear Error: Bidding Starting at $400

rare 1989-P Penny with Double Ear Error value

Double ear error coins appear as though President Lincoln had two ear lobes. It’s a variation of the double die error, except it only appears around Abraham Lincoln’s ear. In this particular coin, the error is visible at the lower tip of President Lincoln’s ear lobe.

3. 1989-P Penny with Off-Center Error: Selling at $17

rare 989-P Penny with Off-Center Error value

Off-center errors arise when a planchet is not properly positioned between the dies. Off-center coins appear as though the penny’s details were shifted slightly to one side. Off-center error coins are quite common, and they are not worth much.

In this particular example, the details seem to be shifted to the left. It’s not a severe off-center error, but still a cool addition to any collection.

4. 1989-D Penny Struck on Pre-1983 Cent Planchet: Sold for $3,525

rare 1989-D Penny Struck on Pre-1983 Cent Planchet value

Before 1983, pennies were struck on 95% copper planchets. In 1983, U.S. Mints switched from these 95% copper planchets to 97.5% zinc planchets, making the penny lighter. But 1989 pennies struck on pre-1983 cent planchets do exist, and they are quite valuable.

To identify this error, you have to weigh the coin. The regular 1989 penny weighs 2.5 grams, while this particular coin weighs 3.1 grams.

5. 1989-P Penny Struck on Dime Planchet: Selling at $349

rare 1989-P Penny Struck on Dime Planchet value

Sometimes mint workers slip in the wrong planchets; we’ve seen that with the previous error coin. But what happens when they slip in silver-colored dime planchets? Well, you get this nickel-plated 1989 penny. It may not be in good condition, but it’s still rare.

6. 1989-P Penny Double-Struck on Dime Planchet: Sold for $2,530

rare 1989-P Penny Double-Struck on Dime Planchet value

Here’s another cool error coin to consider. This particular example bears two errors; it was double-struck on a dime planchet. Coins with multiple errors are valuable because they are quite rare. This piece exchanged hands at auction for $2,530.

6. 1989-P Penny with Major Die Break: Sold for $39

rare 1989-P Penny with Major Die Break value

Punching metallic planchets is no easy task. Sometimes the dies bow to the pressures of the job and crack or break. Striking a planchet with a broken or cracked die leaves a protruding impression of the crack.

Die break errors are common as mint dies fail occasionally, but the severity of the error increases the value of the coin.

Final Thoughts: Is the 1989 Penny Worth Collecting?

Yes, the 1989 penny is worth collecting when you pay attention to the right coins. Regular coins don’t fetch much because there are still many 1989 pennies floating around. If you have to grab a regular 1989 penny, get an S-proof coin in mint condition.

For the best value, hunt for rare error coins. Track down 1989 pennies struck on the wrong planchets. Such examples can sell for hundreds of dollars. Coins with multiple errors are worth the most money. Just from the examples above, they can fetch thousands of dollars.

1989 Penny Value

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