Coin Value Finder » 1979 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1979 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

The Lincoln pennies are iconic American coins and some of them are worth large sums of money. But how do you know which Lincoln pennies are rare and therefore worth more than their face value?

In this article, we focus on the 1979 Lincoln penny and explore its potential value. You will also find information on how coins are valued and errors that can increase the value of 1979 Lincoln pennies. 

1979 Lincoln Penny Details

1979 Lincoln Penny Details

  • Category: Lincoln Penny
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco (proof)
  • Total mintage: 10,161,549,429
  • Reverse designer: Victor D Brenner
  • Obverse designer:  Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Diameter: 19.05 millimeters (0.75 inches)
  • Thickness: 1.55 millimeters (0.061 inches)
  • Weight: 3.11 grams (0.11 ounces)
  • Composition: 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc
  • Melt Value:  $0.0263

Obverse of the 1979 Lincoln Penny

The front, called the obverse, of the 1979 Lincoln penny features a portrait of the former US president Abraham Lincoln, hence they are known as Lincoln pennies. The portrait of the president is facing to the right and it is surrounded by the inscriptions ”In God We Trust” and ”Liberty”. The inscriptions are located to the right and left of his portrait, respectively.

Above the image of President Lincoln are the words ”United States of America” and the coin’s denomination ”One Cent” can be found below the president’s image. The design of the portrait on the 1979 Lincoln penny, is the same, apart from minor variations, as it has been since 1909 when a real person’s image was featured on a US coin for the first time.

The Reverse of the 1979 Lincoln Penny

Unlike the obverse, which still features the original design by Victor D. Brenner, the reverse of the Lincoln penny has changed twice. The 1979 penny reverse was designed by Frank Gasparro and features the Lincoln Memorial and a small statue of Lincoln in the center of the building. 

The words ”One Cent” and ”United States of America” surround the Memorial and the Latin motto ”E Pluribus Unum” is above the building. The designer’s initials are to the right of the steps. It was and still is, a unique design because it features the same person on the obverse and reverse of the coin.

Value Chart

1979 Lincoln Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark MS60/ PR60 MS65/ PR65 MS67 PR70
1979 No Mint Mark Lincoln Penny Value $0.19 $1 $45
1979 D Lincoln Penny Value $0.19 $1 $145
1979 S Proof Penny Type 1 Value $0.19 $5.70 $500
1979 S Proof Penny Type 2 Value $0.19 $6.65 $1,800

1979 Penny Value and Varieties Guides

1979 No Mint Mark Lincoln Penny Value

1979 No Mint Mark Lincoln Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: None
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1979
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $0.19 – $45
  • Quantity produced: 6,018,515,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank Gasparro

Because the no mint mark 1979 Lincoln pennies were produced in such a large quantity at the Philadelphia Mint, the prices for these coins are generally low and coins that have been in circulation are not at all collectible. However, 1979 Lincoln pennies that have not been in circulation are worth more than their face value, upwards from $0.19.

The exact value of 1979 no-mint mark Lincoln pennies depends on their preservation level. For example, coins graded MS60 to MS65 are worth $0.19 to $1, while coins graded MS67 are worth $45. However, the highest-graded specimens with red toning can be worth around $1,000, such as the MS68 RD Lincoln penny that fetched $5,463 at Heritage Auctions in 2012.

1979 D Lincoln Penny Value

1979 D Lincoln Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1979
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $0.19 – $145
  • Quantity produced: 4,139,357,254
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank Gasparro

Despite the Denver Mint releasing fewer 1979 Lincoln pennies than the Philadelphia Mint, the price of lower grade 1979 D pennies is the same as the no mint mark pennies, ranging from $0.19 to $1 for grades MS60 to MS65. However, 1979 D Lincoln pennies in the higher grades are more valuable than the ones produced by Philadelphia Mint. For example, an MS67 graded 1979 D penny is worth $145 compared to the $45 value of the 1979 no-mint mark penny.

There are no 1979 D Lincoln pennies graded MS68 or above. Therefore the most expensive specimens are those graded MS 67+. A collector paid $3,995 for an MS67+ graded 1979 D Lincoln penny at an auction in 2016.

1979 S Lincoln Penny Value Type 1 and Type 2

1979 S Lincoln Penny Value Type 1 and Type 2

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Mint mark: S
  • Place of minting: San Francisco
  • Year of minting: 1979
  • Face value: $0.01
  • Price: $0.19 – $1,800
  • Quantity produced: 3,677,175
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner/ Frank Gasparro

In 1979, the San Francisco Mint only produced proof pennies. There are two types of 1979-proof Lincoln pennies as the US Mint had to change the mint mark when the first S mint mark hardly resembled the letter S. Instead, it was a strange rectangular shape, almost unidentifiable even under a magnifying glass.

The Type 2 1979 proofs have a clear S and they are more collectible than Type 1 coins. While there is not much difference in their value in the lower grades, higher-graded specimens command different prices. Graded at PR70 a Type 1 1979 proof penny is generally worth $500 and Type 2 $1,800. However, both can sell for significantly more at auctions.

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


The penny was among the first coins produced by the US Mint after it had been established in 1792. The first design featured Lady Liberty and was larger than today’s coin. It was made of pure copper, while today’s coins use copper and zinc. 

Lady Liberty stayed on the coin until 1857 when the design was changed to an eagle flying on the obverse and the reverse had an image of a wreath. This was known as the ”Indian Head” design. 

The roots of the Lincoln pennies are in 1909 when the first coins depicting a real person were minted. Before 1909, only imaginary characters such as the Indian Chief and Lady Liberty had appeared on American coins. This changed in 1909 when the first pennies with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln were minted to commemorate one hundred years since the president’s birth.

The first series of Lincoln pennies were nicknamed Wheat pennies because the image on the reverse features two wheat ears. The second reverse design, from 1959 to commemorate 150 years since Lincoln’s birth, featured the Lincoln memorial and the 1979 design has the added statue of Lincoln in the center of the Memorial.

1979 Lincoln Penny Grading

Professional grading companies use a grading system known as the Sheldon system to determine the value of old coins. The grade range from 1 to 70 with the value from 60 onwards reserved for mint state coins. Coins graded at the lower end of the scale are generally worth no more or very little more than their face value.

Graded copper coins, such as the 1979 Lincoln Penny, also usually feature the letter combination of RD, BN, or RD. They refer to the color of the coin. Copper coins are red when new and change to brown as they age and get exposed to oxygen. Coins with over 95% red tones are graded RD and are worth more than BN (95% brown) or RB ( red and brown) coins.

1979 Lincoln Penny Errors

1. 1979 Lincoln Penny BIE Error

The BIE error is created when the die that is used to punch a design onto a blank coin begins to show signs of wear. As a result, fissures such as raised lines, lumps, or bumps may get struck on a coin. Normally, these errors are called ”die break” errors. However, the 1979 Lincoln pennies have a specific form of the error known as the BIE error.

The error, present on some of the 1979 Lincoln pennies, is known as the BIE error because the cracked die created a thin vertical line between the ”B” and ”E” on the word ”Liberty” on the obverse of the coin. The line resembles the letter ”I”. Even though the BIE error is not that rare, collectors like to have them in their collections and usually pay between $5 and $10 for them.

2. 1979 Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Error

1979 Lincoln Penny Doubled Die Error

A doubled die error results in two identical, slightly offset images on a coin. The error is caused by mistakes during the die hubbing process. While doubled die error can increase the value of 1979 Lincoln pennies, some doublings are caused by machine errors and will not increase the value.

The 1979 Lincoln pennies are known for doubled die errors in the inscription and the date. You can also see doubled die errors on Lincolns, face, bowtie, and ear. Collectors are likely to pay between $20 and $50 for 1979 Lincoln pennies with a doubled die error.

3. 1979 Lincoln Penny Repunched Mint Mark Error

1979 Lincoln Penny Repunched Mint Mark Error

Another error you may spot on a 1979 Lincoln penny is a repunched mintmark. In the late 1970s, the US Mint was still punching mint marks manually, which left room for plenty of mistakes. Sometimes, a mint mark would be punched slightly off and the coiners would repunch the mint mark in an attempt to repair the error.

However, repunching did not always eliminate the first, the incorrectly punched mint mark. The value of the 1979 Lincoln pennies with this error depends on the severity of the fault and the overall condition of the coin. Most of the time, the pennies with repunched mint marks are worth between $3 and $10.

4. 1979 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

1979 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

Some 1979 Lincoln pennies have an error known as an off-center error which was created when the coin was not positioned properly during the process of minting. If you see a 1979 Lincoln penny where the image is only partially visible or not centered, you are most likely looking at a penny with an off-center error.

The value of a coin with an off-center error will depend on the overall condition of the coin as well as the severity of the error. In general, the most expensive examples will be between 40% and 60% off-center but still have the date preserved and enough design details visible to identify it effortlessly.

1979 Penny FAQs

Is the 1979 Lincoln penny worth anything?

The 1979 Lincoln penny was minted in huge numbers, over 10 billion coins were minted in total, so the regular Lincoln pennies from 1979 are not worth much over their face value. In fact, circulated coins are not considered collectible.

The value of uncirculated coins starts from $0.19 and an MS67 graded 1979 penny with no mint mark is worth around $45, while a 1979 D penny with the same grading is worth approximately $145. However, perfect specimens of the 1979 Lincoln penny have sold for a lot more at auctions.

What makes a 1979 penny rare?

Generally, the 1979 pennies are not considered rare because over 10 billion of them were produced by the US Mint. However, uncirculated, mint-state 1979 pennies are not as common and therefore they are more valuable. 

1979 S pennies, which were proof coins and were printed in much smaller amounts than the no-mint mark or D pennies, are also more valuable though still not considered rare.

How much is a 1979 S penny worth?

The exact value of a 1979 S penny depends on a variety of factors including its overall condition and color. PR70 graded 1979 S pennies are valued at $500 for Type 1 and at $1,800 for Type 2. The most expensive 1979 S penny sold to date was graded PR69 DCAM (deep cameo) by PCGS and fetched $11,163 at a 2022 Heritage Auctions sale.

10 thoughts on “1979 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?”

  1. I actually have all of 1960s and all of 1970 with 15 to 30+for each year also 30+ 1957s and most of the 40s copper pennys l would like to sell

  2. I have 3 uncirculated 1979 no mint 5 uncirculated 1979D 9 1979D nice but nothing special 2 no mint nice but nothing special 4 sale

  3. I have a 1979 penny in great shape that has a raised bubbling under America on the reverse Sis this. An unknown error or have you seen this before it’s very smooth?.

  4. we have 15000 1977, 1978, and 1979 uncirculated pennies. 1978 and 1979 are still in mint bags – 1979 has never been opened. anyone interested

  5. I have a 1979 Lincoln cent that has die cracks on the front and the back very noticeable die cracks I’d like to know the value of it please I’d like to submit pictures of it pleasr

  6. I have a 1979 no mint mark with noticeable die cracks on. Front and back I’m trying to find out the value of it please I wish I could upload apicture

  7. I have a 1979 penny that has a couple die cracks the 1 on the reverse side goes from top of coin to the bottom the ones on the obverse and a liberty error. I have gotten alot of comments about how cool and nice it is and 1 lady said that’s a money coin. But, I can’t find anything talking about die cracks and it’s value.


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