Coin Value Finder » 1969 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1969 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

The 1969 penny is a rare and valuable coin that holds a significant place in numismatic history. Due to its scarcity and historical significance, the 1969 penny has become a highly sought-after collectible item among coin enthusiasts and collectors alike.

In this blog, we will explore the history behind the 1969 penny, its rarity, grading, and its current value in today’s market. This article offers valuable insights into the history and significance of the 1969 penny, a highly sought-after collectible item among numismatists and coin enthusiasts.

1969 Penny Details

1969 Penny Details

  • Year Of Issue: 1969
  • Country: United States
  • Mintage: 544,375,000 (Business Strike); 2,934,631 (Proof); 100 (Doubled Die, estimated)
  • Alloy: 95% Copper, 5% Zinc
  • Observe Designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Denomination: 1 Cent
  • Diameter: 19 mm
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Smooth, Plain
  • Quality: Business Strike, Proof
  • Weight: 3.11 grams


The 1969 Lincoln cent is a significant coin for collectors, as it features the famous bust of Abraham Lincoln designed by the acclaimed sculptor Victor David Brenner. The design was created over sixty years prior, making it a timeless tribute to the 16th president of the United States.

The coin’s obverse prominently displays Lincoln’s profile, facing to the right, during his time as commander in chief at the height of the Civil War. The year 1969 and the mintmark are positioned to the right of Lincoln, while the word “Liberty” appears on the center-left of the coin.

The upper rim of the coin is adorned with the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST,” a reminder of the nation’s commitment to faith and values. The word “Liberty” can be seen on the center-left of the coin.

One of the most interesting features of the 1969 Lincoln cent is the tiny inscription of Victor David Brenner’s initials, “VDB,” which can be found beneath Lincoln’s shoulder. This was a tribute to Brenner’s artistry and contribution to the coin’s design.

It’s worth noting that Brenner’s initials were only present on the coin for a short period before they were removed due to public outcry. Today, coins with Brenner’s initials are highly sought after by collectors and can command high prices in the numismatic market.


The reverse side of the 1969 Lincoln Memorial cent features an elevation view of the Lincoln Memorial, which was dedicated in Washington, D.C., in 1922. The design is the work of Frank Gasparro, a renowned coin designer who also created the reverse design for the Kennedy half dollar.

The beauty of the coinage also extends to its inscriptions, which are rich with meaning and symbolism. Along the top center of the rim is the legend “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” a reminder of the nation’s proud heritage and enduring values. Beneath that, in two lines, is the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” which translates to “out of many, one.”

At the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial design are Gasparro’s initials, “F.G.,” a subtle but meaningful tribute to the designer’s skill and creativity. The coin’s denomination, “ONE CENT,” is inscribed below the image of the Lincoln Memorial.

Other Features

The 1969 penny has a composition of 95% copper and 5% zinc, giving it a polished look. It has a smooth edge and a standard weight of 3.11 grams, which can decrease with age and use. The penny is relatively tiny, with a diameter of 19 millimeters or 0.75 inches.

Only two series of the 1969 penny have mint marks, with the “D” mark for the Denver series and the “S” mark for the San Francisco series. The mint mark is located on the obverse side of the coin beneath the date mark between the first number “9” and the number “6.”

1969 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark Extra Fine Fine Good Uncirculated
1969 “S” Proof Penny        1 USD
1969 “S” Penny  0.40 USD  0.25 USD  0.10 USD  0.60 USD
1969 “D” Penny  0.20 USD  0.25 USD  0.10 USD  0.40 USD
1969 No Mint Mark penny  0.25 USD  0.25 USD  0.10 USD  0.50 USD

1969 Penny Value and Varieties Guides

1969 No Mint Mark Penny Value

1969 No Mint Mark Penny

  • Mint mark: none
  • Denomination: One cent
  • Edge: smooth
  • Diameter: 19 mm (0.75 inches)
  • Year: 1969
  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Face Value: 0.01 USD
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
  • Weight: 2.5 g
  • Metal composition: 95% copper

The Philadelphia mint is one of the largest mints in the United States and played a significant role in producing the 1969 penny. With over 1 billion coins produced, the Philly coins are relatively abundant, making them less valuable than some rarer counterparts.

In fact, most of the Philly coins only have a value of around $0.10 for circulated coins and $0.50 for uncirculated ones. The lack of mint marks on the coins further reduces their value, as collectors tend to prefer marked coins.

However, it’s worth noting that rare errors can increase the value of these coins significantly, with some selling for hundreds of dollars. So, while most 1969 Philly pennies have low values, a few rare ones could be worth a significant amount.

1969 D Penny Value

1969 D Penny

  • Face Value: 0.01 USD
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Edge: Plain
  • Year: 1969
  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
  • Total minted: Over 4 billion
  • Mint: Denver

The Denver mint struck over 4 billion pennies in 1969, making it the highest producer of this coin that year. The mint mark on a 1969 D penny can also affect its value. The D mint mark is located on the obverse of the coin, just under the date, and is the only thing distinguishing it from a coin minted in Philadelphia.

While the mint mark does not always add significant value to the coin, collectors generally prefer coins with mint marks. This can drive up the price of a 1969 D penny with a particularly well-struck or clear mint mark.

The coin’s value is also affected by its condition, with uncirculated coins having higher values than circulated ones. In most circulated grades, a 1969-D penny can be sold for at least 0.20 USD, while those in the uncirculated grade can sell for at least 0.40 USD. The high number of coins produced by the Denver mint makes it easier to find them in the market today, and they are generally less valuable than those from Philadelphia.

1969 S Penny Value

1969 S Penny

  • Denomination: 1 cent
  • Year: 1969
  • Mint: Philadelphia Mint
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Face Value: 0.01 USD
  • Edge: Plain

Due to the low production numbers by the San Francisco Mint, the 1969 “S” penny is expected to command a high price compared to those struck by the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. Typically, in circulated grades, the coin will sell for at least $0.40 USD. However, if the coin is graded AU 50 or higher, its value will start at a minimum of $0.60 USD.

1969 S Proof Penny Value

1969 S Proof Penny

  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Face Value: 0.01 USD
  • Edge: Plain
  • Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Proof coin: Yes
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
  • Denomination: One cent
  • Mint: San Francisco (S mint mark)
  • Year: 1969

The 1969-S penny is a penny that bears the letter “S” below the year “1969,” indicating that it was minted in San Francisco. With a production of over 3 million coins, it is one of the most commonly found pennies from this year.

While circulated S coins have similar prices as those without mint marks or D coins, the value of Proof coins is significantly higher, especially when they have a mirror-like shine on both sides. Collectors typically look for such luster and shine, which can increase the coin’s value considerably.

You can buy or sell a 1969 “S” proof penny for at least 1 USD; it can even fetch a higher price if it is in mint condition.

Also Read: Top 19 Most Valuable Mexican Coins Worth Money

1969 Penny History

The 1969 penny is a significant coin in the history of US coinage. With over 5 billion units produced by the three US mints, it’s no wonder collectors and coin dealers alike find it fascinating.

One of the most notable features of this penny is its reverse design, which features the Lincoln Memorial Hall. This design replaced the previous wheat sheath design and has become an iconic US coinage symbol.

Among the three US mints, the Philadelphia mint produced the least number of units, totaling 1,136,910,000 coins. Conversely, the Denver mint made a staggering 4,000,832,000 pieces, while the San Francisco mint produced only 544,375,000 coins.

Additionally, the San Francisco mint struck 2,934,631 proof coins, not circulated but only distributed to Mint officials and coin collectors. Because of their limited number, 1969 pennies from the San Francisco mint are considered rare and highly valuable. However, due to the coin’s popularity and the high copper value, many fake 1969 pennies are also in circulation.

As a result, collectors and dealers must be vigilant when examining these coins to ensure their authenticity. If you’re looking to discover the value of the 1969 penny, then this is dependent on a few factors. These include its condition, mint mark, and its rarity.

For example, a 1969-S proof penny in the mint state can fetch upwards of $1 or more, while a circulated 1969-D penny may only be worth a few cents.

Additionally, coins with rare errors or unique markers may be worth significantly more than their standard counterparts.

1969 Penny Grading

The 1969 penny can have various grades depending on its wear, damage, and overall quality. The grading scale ranges from Poor to Mint State, with higher grades indicating better condition and higher value. Collectors and dealers use grading to determine a fair price and to ensure the authenticity of the coin.

Lists of 1969 Penny Errors

1. 1969 Penny Doubled Die Error

1969 Penny Doubled Die

These errors are caused by a misalignment in the coin’s striking process, resulting in multiple images of certain details on the coin. The 1969-S penny has been known to have doubled die errors on the legend LIBERTY, the mint date, and the country’s motto.

Additionally, you may notice a doubling on the Memorial Hall’s pillars and the president’s ears. These errors make the coins extremely valuable to collectors, with some selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

In the past, a 1969-S penny with doubled die errors sold for $16,700, but recently, one sold for as much as $70,000. Coin collectors and dealers continue to search for these rare coins, and their value is likely to increase in the future.

2. 1969 D Floating Roof and Missing Details Penny

1969 D Floating Roof and Missing Details Penny

The missing initials and the separated roof of the Lincoln Memorial on the 1969 penny are known as the “floating roof” and “missing FG” errors, respectively. These errors occurred due to the over-polishing process during production.

The “missing FG” error is particularly notable because it refers to the initials of the coin’s designer, Frank Gasparro, which were supposed to appear near the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse side.

The absence of the initials made the coin appear incomplete, which is why collectors consider this error valuable. The “floating roof” error, on the other hand, is a bit more subtle but still significant to collectors.

This error occurs when the roof of the Lincoln Memorial appears to be floating above the pillars. If you have a 1969 D penny with either or both of these errors in a high MS grade, you can expect it to be worth a considerable amount to collectors.

1969 Penny FAQs

What makes a 1969 penny rare?

1969 pennies can be extremely rare, often due to various minting errors that make them unique. One notable example is the 1969 S penny, which may have a doubled die error, resulting in the date and design outlines being struck twice.

Is a 1969 S penny worth anything?

In uncirculated (MS+) mint condition, the 1969-S Lincoln Memorial Penny is estimated to be worth $1.16 or more according to USA Coin Book. Proof coins may also be worth $1.16 or more.

What is the error on the 1969 penny?

The Cherrypickers’ Guide-fifth edition includes a variety called “Missing Designer’s Initials.” According to the authors, the initials were completely polished away during die polishing. However, some individuals believe that the die may have been filled with grease or dirt, causing the missing initials.

What is the most expensive 1969 penny?

A 1969-S doubled die obverse penny in mint state is valued at a minimum of $44,000 and potentially as much as $100,000 or more based on its grade. According to experts, there are only approximately 40 to 50 known specimens of this rare penny.

How do you clean a 1969 penny?

The most effective way to brighten your pennies and achieve a vibrant orange-copper hue is by utilizing the natural low-level acids present in vinegar and lemon juice to eradicate the patina or brown oxidation on the penny.

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