Coin Value Finder » 1994 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1994 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

Though one of the lowest-valued coins, the American penny has enormous historical significance and is highly collectible in the USA and worldwide.

Depicting the 16th president Abraham Lincoln, the coin has undergone several iconic design changes and compositions over the last hundred years.

The 1994 penny, while still relatively recent by today’s standards, is an exciting addition to the series. While many coins are only worth their face value, certain variations and errors unique to this penny can make it fetch hundreds, and sometimes thousands, at auction.

So how much can your 1994 penny be worth? This article will explain everything you need to know about your penny, including typical values, unique features to look out for, and examples of how well the penny has sold in the past.

1994 Penny Details

1994 Penny Details

  • Category: Lincoln Penny
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Total Mintage: Over13,635,884,923
  • Obverse designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Reverse designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Edge: Plain
  • Diameter: 05 mm
  • Thickness: 52 mm
  • Composition: Zinc (97.5%), Copper (2.5%) 
  • Weight: 5 grams
  • Face Value: $0.01

The 1994 penny is part of the iconic Lincoln series of coins, which dates back to 1909. The coin’s obverse side remains essentially the same as the first edition. Designed by Victor David Brenner. It depicts a profile of 16th President Abraham Lincoln with the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust.’

The reverse went through some redesigns throughout the series. From 1909 to 1959, pennies had a simplistic Wheat design, with two shafts of wheat with the simple words ‘United States of America’ and the ‘e Pluribus Unum’ imprinted.

The design changed in 1959 to celebrate Lincoln’s 150th birthday anniversary and featured the Lincoln memorial, designed by Frank Gasparro. This design lasted until 2008.

Another signature feature of the 1994 penny is its composition. After 1982, pennies were primarily made of zinc, making them cheaper to produce and much lighter than older pennies in the Lincoln series.

The 1994 Lincon penny was minted in three locations across America, including Philadelphia, Denver, and Philadelphia. Philadelphia and Denver produced most of the pennies that year, with only a few million produced at San Franciso. This makes the 1944 S penny the most uncommon and potentially most valuable at auction.

The 1994 coin has a plain, smooth edge, typical of low-value, mass-produced coins. Made using a generic collar to give them a circular shape, 1994 pennies were minted in such large volumes, and production errors were common.

By today’s standards, the 1994 penny is still in circulation. As such, it usually will only sell for its face value of 1 cent. That said, there have been record-breaking auctions for these coins, ranging from hundreds of dollars to thousands. Coins can be considered priceless if they are in mint condition or have a unique error.

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

Value chart

1994 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1994 No Mint Penny $0.01 $0.01 $0.01 $0.34
1994 D Penny $0.01 $0.01 $0.01 $0.34
1994 S Penny $0.01 $0.01 $0.01 $10.00 +

Because of their sheer numbers, 1994 pennies are common and usually only worth their face value. Usually, valuable coins will have exceptional quality or unique errors.

Below is a quick guide to the four most common value categories:

  • Good – this is when the coin has obvious signs of wear on the coin surface, especially raised parts of the design. It is almost always worth only face value.
  • Fine – the coin may have sharp details, but these can only be seen with the help of a magnifying glass.
  • Extremely fine – the coin is incredibly detailed in specific parts of the design, such as with hair or brickwork. The lettering is sharp, with only minimal signs of damage.
  • Uncirculated – no obvious signs of wear and tear, and the coin has much of its original mint luster.

1994 Penny Value and Varieties Guides

There are three main variations of the 1994 penny in circulation and in auction houses today. They are:

1994 No Mint Penny value

1994 No Mint Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: No mint mark
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1994
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ Price: $0.01 – $0.30+
  • Quantity produced: 6,500,850,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner & Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Zinc (97.5%), Copper (2.5%)
  • Mass: 5 grams

Philadelphia coins rarely had a mint mark. If your 1994 penny has no small letter on its obverse, you know it was minted here.

With over 6 billion pennies made in 1994 here, there is little demand for no-mint 1994 pennies, as many are still in circulation today. With a melt value of about $0.0078, these pennies are usually worth just their face value. Even well-preserved, the 1994 no-mint penny only sells for between 30 cents to $1.

You shouldn’t discard your penny without first checking its condition. Some pennies, classified as in mint condition, have sold far beyond their market price at auction. Take this 1994 penny, for example, which sold for $646 in 2013.

1994 D Penny value

1994 D Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1994
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ Price: $0.01 – $0.34+
  • Quantity produced: 7,131,765,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner & Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Zinc (97.5%), Copper (2.5%)
  • Mass: 5 grams

The 1994 penny was also minted in Denver, with a small ‘D’ mint mark on the obverse side. Denver produced the most pennies this year, at an incredible 7 billion.

As such, there is no real shortage of 1994 D pennies, which often sell for their face value of 1c to about $1. D pennies sell on average for a little more than Philadelphia coins, perhaps because collectors from the region are interested in collecting coins with distinct local mint marks.

Well-preserved coins with a mint state above 68 may sell as high as $40. But given the increased circulation of pennies and their tendency to wear and tear, finding a coin in this condition is rare.

But like any collectible, there are, of course, exceptions. This 1994 D penny sold for $633 in 2010, proving that if the coin is in exceptional condition, it can still sell well above market expectations.

1994 S Penny value

1994 S Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint mark: No mint mark
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1994
  • Face value: $0.01
  • $ Price: $10+
  • Quantity produced: 3,269,923
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner & Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Zinc (97.5%), Copper (2.5%)
  • Mass: 5 grams

The final variety of 1994 pennies is the San Francisco-minted coin. You will easily spot these with the signature ‘S’ mint mark on the coin’s obverse.

San Francisco mined considerably fewer pennies in 1944, with just 3 million coins on record. As such, they are pretty rare in today’s market, and you can expect these coins to sell for upwards of $10 or more, depending on their quality.

Some 1994 S pennies have also sold for small fortunes online. One example is this 1994 S Penny which sold for $1,955 in 2002. The listing noted that the coin had amazing shimmer and a richly frosted design.

1994 Penny History

As one of the Lincoln pennies, the 1944 penny is part of America’s most recognizable and historic coin series.

Initially designed in 1909, the coin underwent many different transformations, both design-wise and in composition.

The obverse “heads” side of the coin is a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, designed by Victor David Brenner, a Lithuanian sculptor, and engraver. The picture sees Lincoln in profile, with the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘IN God We Trust’ surrounding him, and has remained unchanged since the coin’s creation.

The reverse side of the 1994 penny is something that makes it distinctive from older pennies. It features the Lincoln Memorial building, designed by the United States mint engraver Frank Gasparro. This design was adopted into the coin series in 1959 to mark Lincoln’s 150 birthday anniversary.

US pennies are of great historical significance because their composition often changed to mirror what was happening in the world then. For example, the first series of pennies in 1909 comprised 95% copper and 5% tin or zinc.

The penny changed composition in two significant periods. Because copper was a needed resource for the war effort in World War 2, pennies switched to zinc-coated steel for one year only. They reverted to their original composition afterward.

But everything changed in 1982. Rising inflation rates and the cost of copper again prompted the US Mint to change to 97.5% zinc and 2.75% copper. This change became permanent.

Zinc has lower-density requirements than copper, meaning the US mint could produce more pennies for a lower cost. Additionally, zinc made the Lincoln penny series much lighter, dropping from 3.11 grams to 2.5 grams.

Production of the 1994 penny centered in two main areas; Denver and Philadelphia. Both mints produced billions of pennies, which are still in circulation today. Their value is face value unless the coin in question is in pristine condition.

While San Francisco produced 1994 pennies, the mint recorded 3 million coins. These coins are much less common and can fetch quite a premium at auction.

1994 Penny Grading

Like any collectible, coins follow a specific grading system that can affect their value. Additionally, coins with higher luster (sheen), quality, and preservation will often be worth much more than worn coins.

Below is a useful guide on how you can grade and value your 1994 penny:

List of 1994 Penny Errors

1994 pennies can be worth considerably more if they have one or more common coin errors. This is because mistakes make a coin unique in the eyes of a collector.

Below are some common errors to expect:

1. 1994 Double Die Penny Errors

1994 Double Die Penny Errors

Double die errors are when the coin is struck twice during minting. As a result, part or all of the coin’s design will be pronounced and easy to notice.

The 1994 penny had many double-die errors, especially on the reverse side of the coin. Depending on the severity of the error, pennies with these errors can sell incredibly well.

For example, this 1994 penny sold for an incredible $2,875, with the auction listing it as having exceptional “doubling” details on the coin’s reverse design.

2. 1994 Off-Center Penny Errors

1994 Off-Center Penny Errors

An off-center error is when the coin is struck at the incorrect angle. As such, the portrait of Lincoln can be off to one side or with parts of the design completely missing.

The value of this error largely depends on the severity of the off-center. On average, circulated 1994 coins with an off-center can fetch upwards between $6 – $30, while uncirculated with severe off-centering can go for as much as $200.

3. 1944 “BIE” Penny error

Because of their mass production, dies used to strike pennies would often become worn out and break during production. This usually happened between the letters B and E in the word Liberty, on the obverse of the coins, creating an extra letter ‘I.’ Hence the name ‘BIE.’

While the coin’s value depends on the severity of the error, you can expect between $5-10 at auction.

1994 Penny Value FAQ

What is the melting value of a 1994 penny?

Because these pennies are made of zinc, they have a lower melting value than their face value. Zinc, on average, melts for $0.0078, meaning your penny is worth far more to you as a coin than otherwise.

What makes the 1994 penny rare?

While the 1994 penny shares many similarities with other Lincoln pennies, the 1994 San Francisco coin is uncommon. Only 3 million of these coins were made, making them highly collectible.

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