Coin Value Finder » 1963 Penny Value: are “D”, No mint mark worth money?

1963 Penny Value: are “D”, No mint mark worth money?

Around 60 years ago, the late former President Abraham Lincoln celebrated the 150th anniversary of his birthday. The Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission was formed to help commemorate this special milestone. One of the major achievements of the commission was to create the Lincoln memorial cent.

The 1963 penny is one such issue of the Lincoln memorial cent. In this article, we will be talking about the coin’s value, varieties, history, grading, errors, and other frequently asked questions about the coin!

1963 Penny Value Details

1963 Penny Value Details

The 1963 penny is part of the series of coins called the Lincoln memorial cent. It succeeded the Lincoln wheat cent in 1959 as an homage to President Abraham Lincoln’s 150th birthday anniversary. The obverse design was unchanged from the Lincoln wheat cent, while the reverse design was freshly developed by Frank Gasparro for the occasion.

The coin was in circulation until 2008 when the reverse was again changed for Lincoln’s bicentennial birthday anniversary.

  • Category: Lincoln Memorial Cent
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver
  • Year: 1963
  • Total Mintage: 2,531,206,045
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Plain
  • Diameter: 19 mm (0.748 inches)
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
  • Weight: 3.11 grams

1963 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark MS-63BN MS-64RB MS-65RB MS-66RD
1963 P No Mint Mark Penny $0.75 $5 $7.50 $30
1963 D Penny $0.75 $5 $10 $45
1963 Penny Proof $10 (RD) $14 (CAM) $16 (CAM) $20 (DCAM)

1963 Penny Values and Varieties (by Mint Mark)

1963 P No Mint Mark Penny

1963 P No Mint Mark Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Cent
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: None
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1963
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ price: $0.75-$400
  • Quantity produced: 754,110,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/Frank Gasparro

This issue followed the same pattern as previous years, where the Philadelphia Mintage is usually around 30% of the total mintage. With over 750 million coins minted and the recency of 1963, there are quite a lot of them readily available across all conditions.

There are not a lot of 1963 pennies graded under Almost Uncirculated, and you will find plenty of these coins even at Mint State. Gem specimens are also easy to find, and you can get them for quite a low price, too. However, this only applies to Brown coins. Red coins can get pricier, especially at gem conditions.

You can get 1963 Brown coins for as little as $0.75, which peaks at $13.75 for an MS66 coin. Red-Brown coins start a bit higher, at $2.50 for an MS63 piece, and they can get as high as $145 for an MS67 coin. Red coins obviously command the highest premium, starting at $7.50 for an MS63 piece. You’ll find the best quality Red coin at $400, for MS67 pieces.

The current auction record is an MS67RD piece, which cost $6,613.

1963 D Penny

1963 D Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Cent
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1963
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ price: $0.75-$3,000
  • Quantity produced: 1,774,020,400
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/Frank Gasparro

Comprising almost 70% of the entire mintage, the Denver mintage reached over 1.7 million pieces. Given the sheer amount of coins, it is no surprise that you can find these coins to be abundant across all grade conditions.

High mintage is often proportional to high survival, and it shows in the 1963 D pennies. You can find graded coins starting from VF30 up until MS66, and you will not be left wanting more. There are also plenty of specimens across the uncirculated grades, and you can get a high-grade coin for a relatively inexpensive price, except when you want the highest one available.

Brown coins start at $0.75, then slowly rise up to $15 for an MS66 coin. Red-Brown coins command a modest premium, starting from $2.50 to $25. Red coins can start higher, at $10, but they peak at $3,000, for an MS67 piece.

The current auction record price for an MS67RD specimen is $2,820.

1963 Penny Proof

1963 Penny Proof

  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Cent
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: None
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1963
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ price: $6-$500
  • Quantity produced: 3,075,645
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/Frank Gasparro

You’ll find that proof coins, despite being coins made with such premium quality, do not command a high premium, irrelevant of their mintage. These coins were designed to be provided to numismatists and coin collectors, with no plans to join commercial circulation.

Since these specimens are expected to come into the hands of careful collectors, their survival rates are pretty high. That’s why you’ll find these proof coins often plentiful. As proof coins, they also have a different grading system: they rarely get a grade below 60 and may even reach as high as 70, and instead of MS, they are prefixed with PR.

They have their own categorizations: the lowest category is Red, which you can expect to cost you $6-$140. Cameo coins can go for $6-$150, while Deep Cameo coins will easily reach as high as $500.

The current auction record price is a whopping $40,250 for a PR70 DCAM specimen. Quite a lot of money for quite literally a perfect coin!

Also Read: Top 20 Most Valuable Old Pennies Worth Money (Penny Collection)

1963 Penny Varieties (by Color)

Copper makes up a great majority of the Lincoln memorial cent. In chemistry, copper oxidizes with oxygen and water vapor when it is exposed to the elements. This chemical reaction causes the coins to degrade, losing their original natural color.

1963 Red Penny

1963 Red Penny

Freshly-minted Lincoln memorial pennies will have a beautiful reddish-orange color. If preserved properly with little to no contact or exposure to the atmosphere, the coin will likely retain this color for a long time. Coins with 90% of their surface still having this original color are given the Red (RD) designation. These kinds of coins often command a high price on the market, and many collectors often look forward to completing a collection with these RD coins.

Lincoln memorial cents only get to retain their beautiful color when they are kept away from circulation. That’s why the RD classification is given only to coins with a grade of MS60 or higher.

1963 Red-Brown Penny

1963 Red-Brown Penny

When the copper on the coin starts to oxidize, it turns brown. If partially exposed to the atmosphere, only some parts might oxidize while some will keep the original color. When at least 10% of the coin is still red, the coin is given the Red-Brown (RB) designation.

The red color can only be retained if these coins are left out of circulation, so, like the RD coins, only MS60 or higher are eligible for the RB classification.

1963 Brown Penny

1963 Brown Penny

Circulated coins will have all the time to be exposed to the elements and oxidize the copper into a brown color. If more than 90% of the surface of the coin has reacted and changed into a chocolate brown color, they are labeled Brown (BN) coins.

Although Mint State coins are also found with a brown color, they usually don’t have a high price tag. RD and RB coins will almost always cost higher, at least at the same grade condition.

1963 Penny Value History

The 1963 penny was part of a series of coins called the Lincoln memorial cent. The Lincoln memorial cent is a modification of the previous Lincoln cent, initially released into circulation in 1909, where the obverse of the original cent was kept while the reverse was changed by the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission.

The obverse of the Lincoln memorial cent was derived from the previous Lincoln wheat cent. The 1909 Lincoln wheat cent design was originally part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s project of beautifying the American coinage. As a fellow Republican, Roosevelt was interested in honoring former President Abraham Lincoln, and Lincoln had also been garnering public admiration around that time.

The US Mint reached out to Victor David Brenner, a sculptor who had previously made works based on the likeness of Abraham Lincoln, to create a design for the cent. This marked the first time a real person has ever been engraved into a circulating coin design. The obverse of the coin had Lincoln’s bust, while the reverse had the words “ONE CENT” and the stalks of durum wheat on it, hence the name of the coin.

No news was ever announced regarding the change of the Lincoln cent to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday. In December 1958, President Eisenhower’s press secretary, James Hagerty, announced that they will be introducing a new reverse design for the Lincoln cent in February 1959.

The new Lincoln cent reverse design was developed by the Treasury as guided by the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission. The design was borne out of an internal competition among the Mint’s engravers. Frank Gasparro’s design of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. was chosen

Curiously, it has been noted that Gasparro has never visited the Lincoln Memorial. He has only based his design on pictures of the location. Numismatic historians Don Taxay and Walter Breen have been critical of the new design.

The original Lincoln obverse design has been in circulation since 1909, in celebration of Lincoln’s centennial anniversary of his birth. The new Lincoln reverse design was in circulation from 1959 to 2008 and was succeeded by the Lincoln Bicentennial coin in 2009, followed by the Shield cent, the current reverse design in circulation today.

During its initial run in 1959, the Lincoln memorial cent was made with the same composition as the original Lincoln cent: 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc. In 1962, the Mint proposed to tweak the composition: by removing tin, the coins would retain their current wearing qualities while improving their manufacturing processes. This composition would remain until 1982.

1963 Penny Value Grading

Coin collectors and numismatic agencies like the NGC and PCGS extensively use the Sheldon coin grading scale, a numerical scale used to judge the quality of a coin. The scale starts from 1 and ends at 70, with 1 being the worst quality and 70 being the pristine condition, mostly fresh from the mint.

Additionally, as copper coins, the 1963 pennies are also judged with another criterion: the color of the coin. As copper is exposed to air, it oxidizes and changes the color of the coin. A Red penny indicates that most of the copper in the coin has not yet oxidized, while a Brown penny indicates a fully-oxidized coin. A Red-Brown penny sits in between both categories.

Watch the YouTube video below to see how to grade these coins!

Lists of 1963 Penny Value Errors

1963 Penny DDO Error

1963 Penny DDO Error

The doubled die error refers to a die error that occurred in its manufacturing. During the hubbing process, which is when the die used to strike the coins is made, the hub be struck multiple times to transfer the design to the die. When subsequent strikes don’t align with the first one, the die will have multiple impressions of the design.

The doubled die error that is found on the 1963 penny can be found on the obverse. These kinds of errors are usually clearly found in the texts, like “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” and the date. This error is also only found on the 1963 D pennies.

The current auction record price for a coin with this error is $202, with an MS64 specimen.

1963 Penny Value FAQ

Is a 1963 penny rare?

The 1963 Lincoln memorial cent has a total mintage of over 2.5 billion pieces. With that high of a specimen count, quite a lot of these coins survived today. You will find these coins across varying grade conditions, and uncirculated coins are easy to find for a cheap price. Gem specimens are even plentiful across all colors.

What is the error on a 1963 penny?

A documented error on the 1963 penny can be found on the Denver mintages. A doubled die obverse (DDO) is a common error where the die used to strike the coins is erroneously manufactured during the hubbing process. The highest price a 1963 penny with this error was sold was $202.

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