1921 pennies were produced in large quantities and are not considered rare, which means that they have a relatively low value compared to other antique coins. However, there are some rare variations of the 1921 penny that are highly sought after by collectors and can be worth a significant amount of money. So should you invest? Let's take a look!
The 1921 Lincoln Penny is a type of Lincoln Wheat Penny that very closely resembles the modern-day single-cent coin. For a coin this old, it goes without saying that the 1921 Lincoln penny is the apple of any collector's eye.
The 1921 Pennies are absolutely the most sought-after when in the best condition. With that said, here is a guide to help you determine the value of the 1921 Lincoln Penny.
What Is the Actual 1921 Penny Value?
A 1921 Penny is a valuable coin to have in your collection. Its value can be as low as 25¢ or even more than $10000. You should determine your coin's value by grading it, identifying the mint marks, and looking for unique features that make it rare. Check every detail of the coin for signs of any wear or tear.
Here is a summary of the value of a 1921 Penny.
- Image from USA Coin Book
In 2019, a Lincoln Penny minted in 1921 was auctioned off for $36,000 after being given an MS-68 Red grade by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). It is widely believed to be one of the finest specimens ever discovered.
The Feature of a 1921 Penny
The obverse side of the 1921 Lincoln coin features an image of former US President Abraham Lincoln at the center. The word Liberty is inscribed on the right of the portrait, and the minting year 1921 is on the left. Above the portrait is an inscription of the motto In God We Trust.
On the coin's reverse side, you'll find the inscriptions E Pluribus Unum at the top, One Cent right in the middle, and United States of America below. On the left and right sides of the coin, you'll see a representation of two wheat stalks.
How to Determine the Value of the 1921 Penny
Here are the different factors that can influence the value of a 1921 Penny:
Mint Mark Variety
Mint marks were used to help distinguish the origin of a coin and its authenticity. While most 1921 Pennies didn't come with a mink mark, those minted in San Francisco Mint. The two varieties of the 1921Pennies included:
1921 Lincoln Penny
The 1921 Lincoln Pennies without the mint mark were produced at the Philadelphia Mint. These coins are quite common and typically worth a small premium above face value. If the coins are in a worn condition, their value ranges from 10¢ to 25¢. However, well-preserved coins in uncirculated condition can be worth a fortune.
In 2019, the finest 1921 Lincoln Penny, graded as MS-68 Red, sold at $36000 after selling for around $55200 in 2005. Therefore, you could have a 1921 Lincoln Penny coin worth more than you think.
1921-S Lincoln Penny
The 1921-S Lincoln Penny was produced at the San Francisco Mint. Their low production numbers make them more valuable than the Philadelphia variant. Unlike the Philadelphia variant, these coins have an S mint mark under the date of the coin.
When in excellent condition, a 1921-S Penny is more valuable. These coins can be worth around $3 to $10. However, coins in worn condition are even more valuable and can go for more than $100. When uncirculated, these coins can be worth around $100 to $10000.
The Grading Condition of the Coins
When determining the value of 1921 Penny, it's essential to evaluate its condition and assign a grade. Coin experts usually pass the coins through a grading process, closely inspect them and determine their grades. A coin in excellent condition will generally be worth more than one that is damaged or worn. Here are the different grades that may influence your coin's value.
Uncirculated 1921 Pennies are those that have never been used in circulation and, as a result, have not been subjected to wear and tear. They are in near-perfect condition and retained all their original details. 1921 Penny coins in this condition are very valuable to collectors.
To identify an uncirculated 1921 penny, check for any signs of wear on the coin's surface. A coin that has been in circulation will show wear signs in the luster. You can also look at Abraham Lincoln's coat or hold the side of the coin to face a light. Coins in uncirculated condition will not have any dulling on their surface. They have a shiny, mirror-like appearance. Coins in this condition can be worth $45.
The red uncirculated pennies, however, are the most coveted ones and are worth quite a bit. They can range from $500 to as much as $10,000 dollars！
Extremely fine condition
If a 1921 Penny is in extremely fine condition, it was likely kept in storage for safekeeping and was not in circulation for long. These coins have only minor signs of wear, with most of their original details still visible. They may have some light scratches and some minor imperfections. Despite that, the coin still looks almost perfect, and you may not notice any flaws.
When a coin goes into circulation, it will definitely show signs of wear, and there is a slight loss in its original design. You may see Lincoln's coat losing some details and its lapel smoothening out. However, the coin's overall appearance is still excellent, and its details are well-defined.
A 1921 Penny in fine grade is a coin that was in circulation but remained in decent condition. These coins show moderate wear and have lost some of their original details. Most of their details remain, and its overall design is impressive. The letters will remain visible, the tie and the shirt are still outlined to an extent, and the faint outline of the coat's lapel will be visible.
Coins in fine condition are considered to be of lower value than coins in higher condition grades but are still collectible and of some value.
Most worn-out 1921 Penny coins are good-graded. These coins are damaged and show signs of heavy wear. 1921 Penny coins that are graded good were in circulation and had been used for a very long time. You'll see a lot of scratch marks, and the lettering and main features are often partially worn away. However, the date and letters should still be readable.
Generally, the coin's overall appearance is still recognizable, but it is much softer than it would be in higher condition grades. Since signs of wear reduce the coin's value, a 1921 Penny in this condition will be of lower value.
The Coin's Unique Qualities
The 1921 Wheat Penny has some unique features that make it more valuable than other Wheat Pennies. Their low mintage and rarity make them valuable and desirable to collectors. While only a few 1921 Pennies are available, most are worn out.
Therefore, coins that are in fine condition are quite rare to find, making them worth a fortune. If you have a flawless or near-perfect 1921 Penny, then you can sell it for a much higher price.
1921 Pennies command a high value when they are in excellent condition. Therefore, you take care of your coin and keep it in the best condition possible to get value from it. You can get as high as thousands of dollars from your 1921 Penny if it's in decent condition. Other factors, such as rarity and uniqueness, play a role in determining a coin's value.