How Much Is a 1970 Penny Worth?

If you have a 1970 penny in circulated condition, it’s only worth its weight in copper. The current copper melt value for each penny is about $0.02. However, if you have a 1970 penny that’s in uncirculated condition, it could be worth $1 or more! Of course, this all depends on the specific coin’s grade.

Collecting unique pennies can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but it can also be quite lucrative! Most people have a few old coins lying around the house that they inherited from a grandparent or saved over the years.

A penny may not be worth much these days, but a 1970 penny could be worth a lot, depending on several factors! So if you have any pennies from 1970 lying around, it might be time to start cashing them in! Keep reading to learn more about the value of a 1970 penny and how you can go about selling yours.

A Brief History of Lincoln Pennies

Abraham Lincoln was one of the most influential figures in American history. He was born in Kentucky in 1809 and later moved to Illinois, where he started his political career. Lincoln became President in 1861, at a time when the country was on the brink of a Civil War. He is best known for his leadership during this difficult time, as well as his famous Gettysburg Address. Lincoln also played an important role in the abolition of slavery, signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

In 1909, the United States Mint released a new one-cent coin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The composition of the Lincoln cent has changed several times over the years, but it always featured a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse. The original design of the Lincoln cent was created by Victor D. Brenner. Brenner’s initials (V.D.B.) appear on the reverse of the coin below the Lincoln Memorial.

Despite its seemingly simple design, the Lincoln penny has a surprisingly rich history. The coin was first introduced as part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s effort to redesign American currency. Roosevelt believed that the current designs were too busy and cluttered, and he wanted to create a more streamlined look.

The 1970 Lincoln penny was released during a tumultuous time in American history. In January, the Beatles gave their iconic performance on the roof of Abbey Road Studios. Apollo 13 launched in April, and five days later, the crew was forced to abort their mission after an explosion occurred on board. The country was embroiled in the Vietnam War, and public opinion was deeply divided. Thanks to its historic significance and beautiful design, it is prized by collectors and historians alike.

1970 Penny Identification Guide

1970 Penny Identification Guide

On the obverse, Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is flanked by the inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY, with the date 1970 appearing next to the portrait.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in 1959, the reverse design was changed to feature a representation of the Lincoln Memorial instead of wheat. The words ONE CENT and the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surround the memorial image. Finally, E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed above the memorial building.

In 1960, the composition of the penny was changed to bronze (95% copper, 5% zinc), as opposed to pure copper. The total weight also increased from 2.5 grams to 3.11 grams. These specifications have remained unchanged since 1960. The 1970 penny is therefore composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc, with a total weight of 3.11 grams.

There are three different varieties of coin. Each variety was minted at a different location and has a different mint mark. The most common variety is the one without a mint mark, which was produced at the Philadelphia Mint. The “D” variety was minted at the Denver Mint, and the “S” variety was minted at the San Francisco Mint.

Small Date Penny vs Large Date Penny

Small Date Penny vs Large Date Penny
Photo: Silverrecyclers

While most people think of pennies as being uniform in appearance, there are actually two different types of 1970 pennies: large date and small date coins. These varieties can be found only in the 1970 S series.

The small date penny has a high 7 on the date, whereas the large date penny has a low 7 on the date. On the small date penny tail of the loop of the “9” in the date points directly to the “7”. On Small Date pennies, the bottom of the “7” is on the same plane as the “1” and “0.” On Large Date pennies, the base of the “7” slips just below that imaginary line.

Another difference can be found on the obverse of the coin, where the word LIBERTY is inscribed. On Small Date pennies, LIBERTY is often weakly struck, while it is generally stronger on Large Date cents.

U.S. coin collectors often speak of the “Small Date” and “Large Date” varieties of 1970-S Lincoln cents. While the difference may seem small, it’s actually quite significant – and it can have a big impact on the value of a coin. So if you have an old penny lying around, it might be worth taking a closer look before spending it!

How Rare is a 1970 Penny

Most of them were made at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, with more than two billion coins coming from each facility. A smaller number was also minted at the San Francisco Mint.

Series Mint location Quantity
1970 Philadelphia 1,898,315,000
1970 D Denver 2,891,438,900
1970 S San Francisco 690,560,004

So, while a 1970 penny may not be particularly rare, it’s still an interesting coin to find in your change.

Factors That Influence the Price of a Lincoln Penny

If you’re a coin collector, then you know that a 1970 penny can be worth a lot more than its face value. But how can you tell if your 1970 penny is valuable? Here’s a quick guide.

Condition

While it may be tempting to cash in on these valuable finds, it is important to understand that the condition of a coin can have a big impact on its value. For example, a Lincoln penny that has been circulated (that is, used in daily transactions) will be worth much less than an uncirculated (or un-used) coin. This is because circulated coins show signs of wear, such as scratches and nicks, while uncirculated coins retain their original luster.

The Sheldon Grading Scale is a system of seven grades used to evaluate the condition of coins. The scale was developed by William H. Sheldon in 1949 and is widely used by numismatists today. The grades range from Poor (P) to Mint State (MS), with each grade indicating a different level of wear and tear. Coins in Poor condition are heavily worn and may be difficult to read, while Mint State coins are effectively pristine.

Lincoln memorial cent is often only valued at a premium if it’s in MS 65 grade condition or better. A coin graded MS-65 shows an attractive high quality of luster and strike for the date and mint. The coin may have a few small scattered contact marks, or two larger marks may be present. However, these marks should not detract from the overall appearance of the coin.

Coins that are graded lower than MS 65 are usually not valued as highly by collectors. Consequently, if you’re looking to invest in coins from the 1970s, be sure to look for those that have been graded MS-65 or better.

Rarity

The price of a 1970 penny can be influenced by its rarity. The 1970 S series is less common than the 1970 D and 1970 with no mint mark. As a result, the former is worth more to collectors. However, all three types of coins are relatively common, so the price difference between them is not significant.

The 1970 S small date penny is one of the rarest pennies in existence, and as a result, it can command a high price. Of course, you have to be very careful when buying coins advertised as 1970 S Small Date pennies as they could be fake. But if you do your research and invest in a genuine coin, you could see a healthy return on your investment. The 1970 S large date Lincoln cent is less valuable than a 1970 S small date variety, but it’s still worth more than regular Lincoln pennies.

So, if you’re looking to add some rare coins to your collection, the 1970 S Small Date penny is definitely worth considering.

Errors

For many collectors, the thrill of the hunt lies not in finding the perfect coin, but in finding one with a mistake. Coin errors can take many forms, from misprints to doubled die coins.

While most coins are minted with great care and precision, there are always a few that slip through the cracks. As any collector knows, coins with errors can be extremely valuable. Even a small mistake can increase the value of a coin significantly. Here is the most common 1970 penny error list:

  • Double die error coins – the date and some design elements are minted twice on the obverse of the coin. These coins are relatively rare and highly sought after by collectors.
  • Struck on a wrong planchet – A coin that has been struck on a wrong planchet is one that has been minted on a blank that is the wrong size or composition for the intended coin. For example, a quarter struck on a dime planchet would be considered a wrong planchet error coin.
  • Off center error coins – Off center coins are those that have not been centered properly during the striking process, resulting in a coin with an off-center image. These errors are also quite collectible.
  • Spiked head error – If there is a raised line or “spike” extending from the middle of Abraham Lincoln’s forehead, then you have likely found a Spiked Head Die Crack Penny. These coins can be valuable, depending on the severity of the die crack and the condition of the coin.

There are a few things to keep in mind when examining coins for errors. First, it is important to know what type of errors to look for. It is also important to have a magnifying glass or loupe so that you can get a close look at the coin. When examining the coin, take your time and look at it carefully from all angles.

One way to tell if a coin has been struck on a wrong planchet is by the weight of the coin. If the coin is significantly lighter or heavier than it should be, then it’s likely that it was struck on a planchet of the wrong size.

If you find an error, be sure to research it so that you can confirm its value.

How Much Is a 1970 Lincoln Penny Worth

If you have a 1970 penny that you think might be valuable, it’s important to know that most circulated 1970 pennies are only worth their weight in copper. The current copper melt value for each penny is about $0.02.

If you have a 1970 penny with no mint mark and in uncirculated condition, it could be worth around $1. The same price is for a 1970 D penny.

The 1970 S small date penny is worth up to $40 while the 1970 S proof penny with the large date is valued at around $1 in PR 65 condition. So, if you have a few old pennies lying around, it might be worth your while to take a closer look.

Lincoln cents can usually be found on eBay where you can compare the prices of recently sold items to your own coins. For example:

How Much are 1970 Error Lincoln Pennies Worth

If you stumble across a 1970 error penny, it’s important to know how much it’s worth before spending it. While the value of any coin is based on a number of factors, including condition and scarcity, a 1970 error penny can be worth a significant amount of money.

There are only around 50 double-die error pennies in known circulation, and they generally sell for $1500 or more. Because they’re so rare, this estimate is not definite.

Some errors, such as coins that are off-center or struck on a wrong planchet, can be relatively common. However, they can still be worth hundreds of dollars. They often sell for a premium at auctions, so if you have one of these coins it’s worth looking at previously sold coins to find the value. For example:

So, if you have a few old pennies languishing in your coin jar, it might be worth taking a closer look to see if you have a valuable error coin.

FAQ

How many 1970 S pennies are there?

As of 2022, there are a total of 690,560,004 1970 S pennies in circulation. This includes both the regular penny and the proof penny. The regular coins were minted for general circulation, while the proof coins were specially made for collectors.

Do they still make presidential dollar coins?

In 2011, production of the coins was suspended due to lack of demand. In 2007, the United States Mint began producing dollar coins featuring the likenesses of former Presidents. The program was popular with collectors, but it failed to gain traction with the general public. Although some have called for the program to be restarted, it does not appear that the Mint has any plans to do so.

Can I melt down pennies and sell the copper?

Yes, you can melt down pennies and sell the copper. The United States Mint actually recommends it as a way to recycle old, damaged, or worn-out coins. So if you’re looking to cash in on the current high price of copper, melting down your pennies is a perfectly legal way to do it.

Are pennies with no mint mark valuable?

While pennies with no mint mark are relatively rare, they are not necessarily more valuable than other pennies. So if you come across a penny with no mint mark, don’t get your hopes up too high – it’s unlikely to be worth a fortune.

Final Thoughts

If you have a 1970 penny, the first thing you need to do is check its condition. A coin in circulated condition is only worth its weight in copper, while an uncirculated coin could be worth $1 or more. Once you’ve determined the condition of your coin, you can look up its value in our price guide.

Error coins, however, can be worth even more – sometimes hundreds of dollars. So, if you have a 1970 penny that’s in good condition, it might be worth checking to see if it’s an error coin. Even if it’s not, though, it’s still a cool piece of history that you can keep in your collection!

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