How Much is a 1956 Penny Worth?

The 1956 Penny belongs to a set commonly called the Lincoln Wheat Pennies, meaning you need it to complete the collection. Fortunately, the 1956 penny shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge to acquire.

The reason is that the 1956 wheat pennies were common back in the day. So much so that it is relatively easy to find one today. This post will explain everything you need to know about the 1956 penny. Whether it is the penny’s rarity, its value, or how to recognize one, we have got you covered.

What is the 1956 Penny?

What is the 1956 Penny

As one of the Lincoln Wheat Pennies, the 1956 penny has some interesting features that influenced its name. Also, the fact that it is no longer in production gives it a higher value than its modern-day counterpart.

The Denver and Philadelphia mints were responsible for striking the 1956 wheat penny, and there is a simple method to differentiate coins made in each facility. You can tell which facility minted your coin through the presence of a ‘D’ under the coin’s production year. If you find a ‘D,’ it’s from the Denver Mint, and the absence of the letter means the Philadelphia facility minted it.

However, every 1956 Lincoln penny has several general features, and they include the following:

  • Abraham Lincoln’s profile on the obverse side of the coin.
  • The word ‘Liberty’ on the left side of the profile
  • The year of production on the right side of the profile. In this case, you will see the year 1956.
  • ‘In God We Trust’ inscription above the late president’s profile.

You will find the following features on the reverse side of the coin:

  • A stalk of wheat on the right and left outer edges of the penny, respectively.
  • A large engraving of the coin’s denomination in words, i.e., ONE CENT.
  • The words ‘United States of America’ directly under the coin’s denomination.
  • The famous phrase ‘E Pluribus Unum’ arched above the other engravings. It means ‘one from many.’

Knowing these features will help you make a quick assessment of the condition of a coin. Check the section about the 1956 penny for the different conditions that can influence the value of your currency.

How Rare is The 1956 Penny?

The responsible facilities minted the 1956 wheat penny in huge volumes. In fact, according to Something Borrowed, the Denver minting facility minted about 1,098,201,100 1956 wheat pennies. On the other hand, the Philadelphia mint made around 420,745,000 1956 pennies.

One can say that these figures played a relatively direct role in the current value of the 1956 Lincoln penny. The reason is that with a somewhat abundance of the penny, getting it becomes more feasible, thereby reducing its value. This is why the 1956 penny has one of the lowest values of the Lincoln wheat pennies.

With such a massive amount of minted coins, the 1956 wheat penny is still available and quite common today. However, the fact that it is common does not make it the least of the wheat pennies for collectors.

How Much is My 1956 Wheat Penny Worth?

The value of a 1956 wheat penny largely depends on its condition at the time of sale. People generally prefer lighter shades on coins to darker shades. The reason is that a darker coin can hide the presence of scratches and damage.

Also, a coin’s condition always falls into one of four categories: good, fine, extremely fine, and uncirculated.

Good Condition

Even though coin collectors regard this condition as good, it is, in fact, the worst state for a coin. It means that the coin has visible defects and damage due to frequent exchanges. It is not unusual for a coin in good condition to have lost some of its identifying features due to its heavily worn state.

Its engravings could be heavily worn off too.

Fine Condition

A coin graded to be in fine condition has visible scratches and some damage. However, its inscriptions and engravings remain intact, and you can see them with your naked eye. It is common for some details on Lincoln’s profile to have been worn smooth from the wear.

The damages mostly come from frequent exchanges but are not as bad as a good condition grade.

Extremely Fine Condition

For a coin to have this grade, it means there are little damages you can almost not spot with the naked eye. These damages are expected since the currency is in circulation, but they remain as scratches. Any coin with heavier wear will fall into one of the abovementioned categories.

Uncirculated Condition

A coin in uncirculated condition has never been exchanged or circulated. It means it has been in proper storage from production until the sale. Coins in this grade are considered perfect as they have no scratch or damage.

Uncirculated coins have the rich luster of copper because they haven’t been exposed to wear from consistent exchange.

Generally, the more the degree of damage on a coin, the lesser its value. As a result, a 1956 wheat penny in uncirculated condition has the highest value of all its grades.

Proof Coins

Proof coins were initially made as early versions of coins to either test the *die or keep for the records. Even though proof coins are now minted for coin collectors, versions of older coins attract more value for any coin collector.

*A coin die is used to strike a dedicated side of a coin to imprint the desired engraving. Minting facilities use different dies for the head and tail of every coin.

Misprinted Coins

Coins with minting defects or errors have more value than standard coins. The reason is that misprinted coins are much rarer than others, as errors can be pretty challenging to come by.

Errors that yield more value include but are not limited to:

  • Double engraving: Sometimes, the ‘D’ on a Denver minted penny gets engraved twice on itself.
  • Letters fused: This error occurs more on the ‘Liberty’ inscription than the other words on the penny.
  • Clipped Planchet Error: The affected coin isn’t rounded because of an error that clips off a part of its boundaries. However, if the error was made close to Abraham Lincoln’s head, it decreases the coin’s value.
  • Missing Letters

It is important to note that some coins with minting defects errors can even fetch higher prices than Proof coins.

1956 Wheat Penny Value

1956 Wheat Penny Value

Denver Mint

Even though most sources placed its value at around $0.1, a 1956 wheat penny in good condition sold for as high as $1.99 on eBay. You can get as much as $7.99 on the same platform for one in uncirculated condition.

Also, Denver minted 1956 wheat penny with a double engraving error sold for $168.35 on eBay.

This means that while you might think your collection or wheat penny doesn’t have much value, you can get more for it by using the right platform.

Philadelphia Mint

A 1956 Lincoln penny in fine condition sold for $1.49 on eBay, and you can list yours for as high as that. Also, as seen here, having a coin with a unique feature can fetch you as much as over $130.

Generally, you can get a higher price for a 1956 wheat penny on online platforms than local coin dealers.

Proof coins

Proof coins have been listed for as much as $50 and sold for as high as $41 each.

Where To Sell Your 1956 Wheat Penny

The place you choose to sell your coin dramatically affects how much you can get for it. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the various options available to you to make a good choice.

First, a local coin dealer is a choice for some people for several reasons. These reasons include accessibility, ease of transaction (cash), and getting an appraisal in the same place. However, the disadvantage of this option is the tendency to receive less than the worth of your wheat penny.

This is why most people prefer the second option, which is the internet. You can use online platforms that allow you to enlist your penny for buyers. Sale goes to the highest bidder, and although the platforms charge a fee, you will still get better value for your 1956 wheat penny.

eBay, Etsy, and Heritage Auctions are platforms where you can sell your Lincoln penny. All you have to do is simply:

  • Sign up on any of the platforms based on your preference.
  • Enlist your 1956 wheat penny
  • Upload a good picture clearly that shows what you want to sell.

Once you have carried those steps, bidding can begin, and you can make your sale to the highest bid. Unlike transactions with local coin dealers, you will receive the proceeds from your sale via an online transaction.

Grading Your 1956 Wheat Penny

With the proper steps, you can carry out a personal grading for your coin, especially if you want to use an online platform for sale. Since you already know the various categories for a coin’s condition, we will go straight to grading.

Firstly, check the color of the coin and for any sign of wear from multiple exchanges. The darker the coin’s shade the greater the possibility of damage escaping your naked eye. This step assumes the wheat penny is circulated as an uncirculated one is quite easy to identify.

Next, you want to check for scratches and any sort of damage to the coin. If you find minor damage or light scratches, that means you can eliminate the ‘good condition’ category. If otherwise, you find heavy damage, the coin falls in the ‘good condition’ category.

Please note that you need to have a good light source and that will help in seeing any sort of obvious damage.

In the case that you can’t make a precise grading, do not hesitate to go to a professional appraiser. You can also make use of a local coin dealer to ascertain the condition of your 1956 wheat penny.

Wrapping Up

As a part of the Lincoln Wheat Pennies, the 1956 penny carries a profile of the former president on its obverse side. On the other side, you will find the reason why people attach the word ‘wheat’ to its name. It is because of the stalks of wheat on either side of the coin’s reverse side.

These features not only give the 1956 Lincoln wheat penny its name, but they also stand for something more. They represent the hopes and efforts of everyone who contributed to making that coin. This is the main reason why despite its low value, the 1956 wheat penny is well desired among coin collectors.

Finally, when it comes to selling your 1956 Lincoln wheat penny, don’t forget the following:

  • Get a good appraisal for your coin so as to sell it at the right price.
  • Make use of the platform that will yield the value you would prefer.
  • Proof coins fetch higher prices because of more rarity.
  • Coin with engraving errors can sometimes yield the most value.

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