Coins minted in 1974 are worth a bit more than their face value today. The 1974 penny with no mint mark and the 1974 D penny are worth around $1 in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade. The 1974 S penny is worth slightly more, at around $5 in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade. Proof coins with the S mint mark are also available and they are each valued at around $1 in PR 65 condition.
A penny saved is a penny earned, as the old saying goes. But what if that penny is from 1974? How much is it worth today?
In this blog post, we will take a look at the value of a 1974 penny and discuss how to find its worth. We will also talk about some of the rarest pennies in existence and their values. So if you’re curious about how much your old pennies are worth, keep reading!
A Brief History of Lincoln Pennies
The Lincoln penny was first struck by the United States Mint in 1909, and it has remained in production ever since. It is the first American coin to show the portrait of a historical person, and it is also one of the most popular coins among collectors. The design of the Lincoln penny was created by Victor D. Brenner, and it features a bust of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous presidents in American history. In 1861, he was elected as the 16th president of the United States. During his presidency, Lincoln led the country through the Civil War, which was fought to end slavery. He also gave a famous speech called the Gettysburg Address. After the war ended, Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth. Even though he was only president for a few years, Lincoln made a lasting impact on America. That’s why he is featured on the one-cent coin, also known as the Lincoln penny.
The Lincoln penny has undergone several redesigns over the years, but the basic design remains relatively unchanged. It features a bust of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side. More than 1 billion Lincoln pennies are minted each year, making it one of the most commonly circulated coins in the world.
What Does a 1974 Penny Look Like?
A 1974 penny is composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc. It weighs 3.11 grams and has a diameter of 19mm. The obverse of the coin shows Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. The reverse depicts the Lincoln Memorial. There are also various inscriptions on both sides of the coin, including “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
In 1974, the U.S. Mint produced three different versions of the penny: one with no mint mark, one with a “D” mint mark, and one with an “S” mint mark. The mint mark, when present, can be found on the obverse side of the coin below the date. The 1974 penny with no mint mark was minted in Philadelphia and is the most common variety of that year. The 1974 D penny was minted in Denver, and the 1974 S penny was minted in San Francisco.
How Rare is a 1974 Lincoln Penny?
In 1974, Lincoln pennies were minted at three different locations: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. A total of 4,232,140,523 pennies were minted at the Philadelphia Mint, 4,235,098,000 were minted at the Denver Mint, and 409,426,660 were minted at the San Francisco Mint. Additionally, there were 2,612,568 proof coins minted.
In general, 1974 Lincoln pennies are not particularly rare but depending on the mintmark and condition it could be valuable to coin collectors.
Are There Any 1974 Penny Error Coins?
Many people who collect coins are always on the lookout for rare pennies with errors. A 1974 penny is no exception. While some classic errors can be found on 1974 pennies, they are not as common as errors on some other coins.
The most common type of error coin from 1974 is the so-called “double die” penny. This occurs when the design on the die is imprinted twice, resulting in a coin with a cloudy or fuzzy appearance. Other 1974 penny errors include pennies struck on the wrong planchet (the blank piece of metal that is stamped into a coin) or off-center strikes (coins that were not properly aligned when they were struck by the minting presses).
If you do find any 1974 penny error coins, you want to get them graded and professionally appraised as they can bring as much as a few hundred dollars!
How Much Is a 1974 Penny Worth?
Most 1974 pennies in circulated condition are only worth their weight in copper. The current copper melt value for each penny is about $0.02. These coins can only sell for more if they’re in uncirculated condition.
A 1974 Lincoln penny with no mint mark is worth around $1 in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade. MS 65 is a designation given to coins that have no visible imperfections and retain their original luster.
How Much Is a 1974 D Penny Worth?
If you happen to come across a 1974 D penny, you might be wondering how much it’s worth. In circulated condition, the coin is only worth the copper melt value, which is currently around 2 cents. However, if the coin is in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade, it could be worth around $1.
How Much Is a 1974 S Penny Worth?
Wondering how much your 1974 S penny is worth? In circulated condition, it’s just worth its weight in copper. The current melt value for each penny is about $0.02. However, if your 1974 S penny is in uncirculated condition, it could be worth around $5. Of course, the value of your coin will also depend on the grade, and this price goes for coins who are graded at least MS 65.
A proof coin with the S mint mark is also available and it’s valued at around $1 in PR 65 condition, meaning it has minor scratches or hairlines (none in the focus areas), and above average strike.
Determining the Value of Your 1974 Lincoln Penny
There are a few things you can do to determine the value of your 1974 Lincoln pennies, so let’s take a closer look at them!
Assess the Condition
When it comes to coins, condition is everything. A coin in pristine condition will always be worth more than one that is damaged or shows signs of wear and tear. This is especially true for old coins, like the 1974 Lincoln penny.
Circulated coins are those that have been used in everyday transactions and show some wear and tear as a result. Uncirculated coins, on the other hand, have never been used and are in mint condition. Generally speaking, uncirculated coins are worth more than circulated ones.
The Sheldon Scale is the most commonly used method for assessing the condition of coins. According to the Sheldon Scale, coins are graded on a scale of 1 to 70, with 70 being perfect. A 1974 Lincoln penny in circulated condition would typically fall somewhere in the range of 20 to 60.
So, if you’re looking to determine the value of your 1974 Lincoln penny, be sure to take its condition into account.
Get it Professionally Appraised
If you think you might have a 1974 Lincoln penny that’s worth more than its face value, then it’s a good idea to get it professionally appraised. Appraisers are familiar with coins and will be able to give you a reliable estimate of what your coin is worth. In addition, they can also provide you with a certification of authenticity, which can be helpful if you ever decide to sell the coin.
However, it is important to keep in mind that appraisals can vary depending on the appraiser and the current market conditions. Therefore, it is always a good idea to get your coin appraised by multiple appraisers before making a decision about selling it.
Compare to Previously Sold Coins
One way to find out is to compare it to similar coins that have been sold in the past. Take a look at auction records and see how much other 1974 Lincoln pennies have gone for. This will give you a good idea of what your coin might be worth. For example:
- Uncirculated 1974 penny sold for a little above $1.
- Two Lincoln 1974 D pennies sold for $5,50.
- A 1974 S proof Lincoln cent graded PR 69 by the Professional Coin Grading Service sold for $8,50. A similar coin only graded PR 68 sold for $3,25.
What is a 1974 Aluminum Penny?
So what’s the story behind this elusive coin? In 1974, the United States Mint proposed a new one-cent coin made of aluminum. The proposed coin featured the same design as the regular Lincoln penny, but it was composed of 96% aluminum with trace metals mixed in. The proposed aluminum cent was ultimately rejected, and the Mint recalled and destroyed all of the coins that had been produced.
However, despite the recall, a few aluminum cents were not returned to the Mint and remain in circulation today. These coins are now highly prized by collectors and are worth significantly more than their face value. While there are many counterfeits in circulation, genuine 1974 aluminum pennies are quite rare and can command a high price.
Many people mistakenly believe that there is a 1974 silver penny. However, this coin is actually made of aluminum and only resembles silver in color. The coin’s silver color is simply an optical illusion caused by its lustrous finish.
It’s important to note that all 1974 aluminum pennies are considered government property and are illegal to own because they were never issued for circulation. While the odds of finding one of these coins are extremely low, anyone who comes across one should avoid handling it or trying to sell it, as they could face criminal charges.
How to Know if You Have a 1974 Aluminum Penny?
Most people are familiar with the typical copper penny. However, there is another type of penny that is much less well-known: the 1974 aluminum penny. So, how can you tell if you have a 1974 aluminum penny? The easiest way is to do a 1974 aluminum penny test of weight.
1974 aluminum pennies weigh about 0.93 grams, while a regular copper penny weighs 3.11 grams (or more). So, if your 1974 penny is lighter than 3.11 grams, it’s possible that it’s in fact an aluminum coin. Of course, the only way to be sure is to take it to a professional coin dealer or have it appraised by an expert because there are many counterfeits out there.
1974 Aluminum Penny Value
1974 Aluminum Pennies are extremely rare and highly valuable. In fact, a single coin could be worth upwards of $200,000!
Even though the odds of finding a 1974 aluminum penny are about one in a million, that didn’t stop one lucky San Diego man from inheriting one from his father. Unfortunately for him, the U.S. Mint has now claimed ownership of the rare coin, which is valued at $2 million. While it’s unlikely that anyone else will be so lucky as to find such a valuable coin, it’s still fun to dream about what you would do if you did stumble upon one.
With a value of potentially over $200,000+, it’s safe to say that the 1974 aluminum penny is worth a pretty penny!
Is 1974 Canada Penny Worth Anything?
The 1974 Canada Penny is made of a copper alloy and weighs 3.24 grams. The obverse features Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, and the reverse features a maple leaf branch. The condition of the 1974 Canada penny affects its value; a well-preserved coin will be worth more than one that is damaged or worn.
If you have a Canadian 1974 penny, you might be wondering if it’s worth anything. The answer depends on the condition of the coin and its grade. At least, it can be sold for its melt value, which is $0.04 CAD or about 0.03 USD. However, if the coin is uncirculated it can be worth more.
Uncirculated coin with a MS-63 grade is worth $0.55 USD. However, if the coin is in uncirculated condition, it could be worth $14 or more. Coins with a MS-67 grade are even more valuable and can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
So, if you have a 1974 Canadian penny, it’s definitely worth checking to see what grade it is before deciding whether or not to sell it.
Is aluminum and aluminum the same thing?
Aluminum and aluminium are actually the same thing. The difference in spelling is simply a matter of preference. While there is no difference in meaning, there is a slight difference in pronunciation. Aluminum is preferred in North America, while aluminium is the preferred spelling in the United Kingdom.
Is it illegal to have a 1974 aluminum penny?
While these coins are now quite valuable, it is actually illegal to possess them. The reason is that these coins were never meant to be circulated, and so they are not considered legal tender. As a result, anyone who owns one of these pennies is technically breaking the law. However, the government has never prosecuted anyone for possessing an aluminum penny, and it is highly unlikely that they ever will.
How many 1974 aluminum pennies are there?
In 1974, the U.S. Mint struck more than 1.5 million aluminum pennies. However, none of these coins were released into circulation, and the Mint subsequently destroyed all but a handful of them. Despite this, a few 1974 aluminum pennies managed to find their way into the hands of collectors, and these coins are now highly sought-after by numismatists.
How do you clean a penny?
One method is to simply use soap and water. Just wet the penny and scrub it with a bit of soap. Rinse it off and dry it off, and you should see a significant difference. Another option is to mix together baking soda and vinegar. This forms a sort of paste that can be used to scrub the penny. Just remember to rinse the penny off afterwards so that the acid doesn’t damage it.
For those who are interested in collecting coins, the 1974 penny is a good addition to any collection. While a rare and forbidden 1974 aluminum penny can be worth millions, most 1974 pennies are only worth a little above their face value of one cent.
The 1974 D penny is worth around $1 and the 1974 S penny is worth around $5. Proof coins with the S mint mark are also available and they are each valued at around $1. While it may not be a lot, it is still more than what you would have if you spent it back in 1974. Thanks for reading!