Coin Value Finder » 1986 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1986 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

For a coin collector, any penny carries a whole story, and learning all the details about that penny is also essential from the profit-making aspect, especially if your goal is to either sell or purchase. 

This coin has a special place in American culture and history. The United States Mint produced millions of 1986 pennies, which feature an iconic portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side and the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse.

This article will explore the facts and background behind the 1986 penny, helping you understand its worth.

1986 Penny Details

  • Category: Lincoln Penny
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Total Mintage: 4,491,395,493 (around 4.5 billion)
  • Obverse designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Plain
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm
  • Composition: Zinc (97.5%), Copper (2.5%) 
  • Weight: 2.5 grams
  • Face Value: $0.01

This design superseded the previously used ‘Wheat Cent’ coins in 1909. Unlike other coins, these 1986 pennies were made of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper – undertook a modified composition to reduce production costs due to increased copper prices at that time.

Despite its uniqueness, the 1986 penny is not considered rare or valuable. Yet, collectors still eagerly seek special editions such as the 1986-D penny minted in Denver, which displays a small “D” mint mark on its obverse side. This results in more value than usual for this type of coinage.

1986 Penny Value Chart

The 1986 penny may be less valuable, as even the best-condition examples usually cost only a few dollars. When determining the worth of such coins, it’s essential to consider their rarity and condition. 

Mint Mark Extremely Fine MS63 MS65 MS67 MS68
1986 (P) No Mint Mark Penny Value $0.05 $0.75+ $2.5 $7.5 x
1986 D  Penny Value x x $5 $20+ $100+
1986 S Penny Value $1.31 $5.7 x $30 x

1986 Penny Variety and Value Guides

The 1986 penny stands out from other coins due to its unique combination of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. The outer layer of this coin is coated in copper, which gives it a classic look that collectors are pretty fond of, and this appearance is also very typical of coins or pennies. 

However, the copper plating serves another purpose – it helps protect the zinc core from corrosion. In addition to this, collectors should be aware that there are several varieties of 1986 pennies, the most noteworthy being the “Close AM” variety. This particular penny features an “AM” in “AMERICA” closer together than other versions, making it rare and valuable on the collector’s market.

Below are a few details about the value of different varieties of the 1986 penny. 

1986 (P) No Mint Mark Penny Value

1986 (P) No Mint Mark Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Mint Mark: None
  • Place of Minting: Philadelphia
  • Face Value: $0.01
  • Quantity Produced: 4,491,395,493
  • Obverse designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro

The 1986 Philadelphia Lincoln Penny was struck in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution and was issued to reflect the historic event. 

The 1986 Philadelphia Lincoln Penny is usually found in grades MS-64 or lower, with MS-65 being the most common grade for coins in circulation. Most coins that have been graded by PCGS are found to be in the MS-66 or higher range. 

While the best ones are the MS68 coins, as they have only the slightest flaws, such as faint scratches or blemishes, and are almost perfect, with only minor contact marks. However, the MS-67 grade for the 1986 Philadelphia Lincoln Penny is also quite desirable. MS-67 coins have just a few minor contact marks, scuffs, or scratches but are still considered to be very appealing coins.

Its high mintage, attractive design, and relative scarcity make it a worthwhile addition to any coin collection. Although it can be difficult to find an MS-68 or higher-grade coin, those that do exist can be quite valuable and deemed a good investment.

1986 D Penny Value

1986 D Penny Value

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Place of Minting: Denver
  • Face Value: $0.01
  • Quantity Produced: 4,442,866,698
  • Obverse designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro

This is one of the most beloved coins of the Lincoln Cent series. Over the years, these coins have become increasingly collectible due to their affordability and a certain nostalgic appeal.

The current estimated value of a 1986 Denver Lincoln Penny in uncirculated condition is around 30 cents. However, it can be sold at a much higher price and depends on the coin’s grade. 

PCGS) has graded these coins from Very Fine (VF) to Mint State (MS) 68. The MS68 grade for a 1986 Denver Lincoln Penny is the highest grade and is considered this coin’s best condition. The PCGS estimates the value of an MS68 grade 1986 Denver Lincoln Penny to be worth around $25. 

These coins in a lower grade, such as an MS65, are also considered to be in very good condition and are worth around $10. The MS67 grade for this coin is also quite desirable and has an estimated value of around $20. MS67 and MS68 grade coins are considered to be the best condition coins and are worth more due to their perceived quality. 

1986 S Proof Penny Value

1986 S Proof Penny Value

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Mint Mark: S
  • Place of Minting: San Francisco
  • Face Value: $0.01
  • Quantity Produced: 3,010,497
  • Obverse designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro

PCGS coin grades have often given the 1986 San Francisco Lincoln Penny a grade of MS65 or higher, with uncirculated examples being given a grade of MS67 or higher. This is typical because the coin has an excellent strike, strong luster, and no major flaws or defects. The MS68 grade is also fairly common for this penny, and this is a grade given to coins of near-perfect quality.

To accurately determine its grade and market value, you’ll need to inspect its surface for any signs of wear, such as scratches, dents, or discoloration. They use a scale of 1 to 70, with 70 being a perfect coin without any imperfections.

While it is estimated that only around 10 percent of the coins minted in 1986 are still in circulation, those that are can be quite valuable. 

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

History of the 1986 Penny

The 1986 penny is an iconic representation of American currency and history. It continues to capture the attention of numismatists and coin collectors worldwide today. This section will provide an overview of this unique penny – from its fascinating design to its detailed minting process to the quantities produced. It’s an in-depth look at one of the United States’ most beloved pieces of currency.

The penny has long been an iconic symbol of American culture, stretching back to colonial times. It was first minted in 1793 in pure copper. It was created to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday.

Over its two centuries of existence, the penny has gone through many design and material alterations. The 1986 penny is just one example from this extended lineage – though it remains to captivate numismatists and coin collectors even today.

The observation (front) of the 1986 penny features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln – the 16th President of the United States – facing right. The words “LIBERTY” are above him, and a mint mark “D”, indicating that it was minted in Denver, is below.

On its reverse (back), one can see the famous Lincoln Memorial inscribed with “ONE CENT” above it and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” below it. On the right side of this classic monument, an eye can make out designer FG’s initials.

Frank Gasparro created the design of the 1986 penny – an American artist and sculptor, and also the 10th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1965 to 1981. Thousands of entries in a nationwide competition chose his design. Featuring a bust of Abraham Lincoln facing right with “LIBERTY” inscribed above it and a mint mark “D” below it, its observe (front) commemorates our 16th president.

Flipping it over shows us the classic Lincoln Memorial with 36 columns representing the number of states in the Union during Lincoln’s death, inscribed with “ONE CENT” atop it. One can locate designer FG’s initials on its right side – another small detail included for posterity.

1986 Penny Grading

Grading 1986 pennies involves assessing their condition against a set of standards to determine their value. Critical factors considered include the visibility of the design details and luster and any signs of wear or damage.

Professional grade services analyze each coin carefully before assigning an accurate grade. In addition, here’s a helpful YouTube video that explains further how to grade a 1986 penny.

Lists of 1986 Penny Errors

The 1986 penny is highly sought-after by coin collectors due to its value. However, specific errors on the coins can make them even more desirable. This article dives into the different kinds of mistakes that can occur on the 1986 penny – from minor discrepancies in design to double strikes or incorrect metal compositions. These error coins can be scarce and worth thousands of dollars. 

1. 1986 Penny Double Die Error

1986 Penny Double Die Error

The 1986 penny double die error is one of the most popular and valuable errors associated with this coin. This rare event occurs when the coin’s die strikes twice in the same area, resulting in an off-center or doubled design on both sides. 

Depending on its condition and level of doubling, this error can be worth anything from a few hundred dollars (for circulated coins) to several thousand dollars (for mint-state coins). The location of this error is entirely random, however, it is mostly found on the eyes or bowtie of Lincoln or on the dates or inscriptions, or between the pillars of the memorial building. 

2. 1986 Penny Off-center Error

1986 Penny Off-center Error

The 1986 penny off-center error is another mistake found on this coin. When the cash is minted off-center, the minting process results in an off-centered design. 

Its worth varies depending on its condition and degree of misalignment – more off-center coins being more valuable – with mint state examples potentially fetching several hundred dollars and circulated ones a few dollars.

3. 1986 Penny BIE Error

Die cracks are a standard error found on coins, like the 1986 penny. These cracks typically occur in several areas of the coin – such as the obverse and reverse – and can vary in size, with larger die cracks generally having higher value. 

One of the most popular such errors resulted in a crack in the word “LIBERTY”, giving it a “BIE” appearance while reading it. The price generally varies from as low as 5 USD to as high as 20 USD (depending on the size of the crack and its appeal to the end user). 

1986 Penny Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a 1986 silver penny?

Yes, The mint produced a 1986 Silver Penny in honor of the Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary. It is made from 90% silver and 10% copper and weighs 3.11 grams. The obverse features Lady Liberty with raised torch surrounded by rays of light. It has the words “Statue of Liberty” on the upper border. The reverse has an American bald eagle above a shield, with thirteen stars representing the original colonies.

2. How much does a 1986 penny weigh?

A 1986 penny weighs 3.11 grams, which is about 0.11 ounces. It comprises 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, making it a distinctive reddish color. The coin’s diameter is 1.55 inches, and the thickness is approximately 0.069 inches.

3. How much is a 1986 Wide AM penny worth?

1986 Wide AM pennies in good condition are worth around $5-$10. However, if your coin is uncirculated or has some unique errors, it could be worth significantly more. It’s also important to note that certain mintmarks will make your coin rare and valuable.

4. Why do some of my pennies not have a mint mark?

Before 1968, the United States Mint did not put mint marks on coins made in Philadelphia. This changed in 1968 when the San Francisco Mint began making coins and putting an “S” mint mark on them. Since then, the mint has indicated coins with a Philadelphia date with a “P” mint mark.

5. How much does a 1986 D penny weigh?

The 1986 D penny weighs 2.5 grams or 0.088 ounces. The coin features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side and a Union shield on the reverse side. It was minted from 1909 to 1982 and then again from 1986 to 2019, making it the longest-running design for all US coins since its introduction in 1909.

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