How Much is a 1942 Wheat Penny Worth? (Price Chart)

Might it be said that you are a coin broker or numismatist? The 1942 penny is an old collectible mint piece worth premium costs above face esteem. Assuming you are searching for a currency to get, it ought to be important for your collectibles. The US mints struck the 1942 penny to recognize Abraham Lincoln’s introduction to the world commemoration. It includes a front-facing profile of Lincoln and a couple of wheat strands on the converse side. Additionally called the ‘Lincoln penny’ or the ‘wheat penny,’ this coin is worth one penny at face esteem.

In this article, you’ll become familiar with the historical backdrop of the 1942-penny and the amount it is worth. You’ll likewise find how to grade your coin and decide its definitive worth.

What Is the 1942 Penny?

It is one of the single-cent coins struck for circulation from 1909 to 1958. Designed by Victor David Brenner, the obverse features a profile bust of Abraham Lincoln and a pair of wheat stalks on the reverse side. The US mints officially issued the penny in 1942.

What Is the 1942 Penny
What Is the 1942 Penny

Brief Summary of the 1942 Penny

  • Name of Coin: 1942 Wheat Penny
  • Series of coins: 1942, 1942 D, 1942 S, Proofs
  • Portrait: Abraham Lincoln
  • Main Reverse Feature: Wheat stalks
  • Denomination: $0.01
  • Pawnshop Value: $0.19-$3.22+
  • Metal Composition: 95% copper, 5% (tin/zinc)
  • Diameter: 19 mm
  • Mass / Weight: 3.11 grams
  • Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Mintage Number: 864,579,590 coins

History of Design

The historical backdrop of the 1942 penny traces all the way back to over thirty years before its true issue. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt communicated worry at the absence of imaginative allure of the American money. Subsequently, there was a dire need to decorate the money available for use.

There wasn’t a Congress limitation forestalling the re-plan of circling money. The President, through the US mint, employed artist Saint-Gaudens for the assignment. In spite of the fact that Saint-Gaudens died prior to finishing the task, the US mint continued and finished the cycle in 1908. All concentrate then, at that point, moved to a couple of staying one-penny coins. During the quest for a talented artist, President Roosevelt ran over a decoration planned by Victor Brenner for the Panama-based Canal Commission. Intrigued by the honor, he asked about the award’s creator.

In the meantime, the 100th birth commemoration was quickly drawing closer, in the midst of expanded strain to have a Lincoln penny. Hence, the US mint formally employed Victor Brenner to plan a coin in memory of Abraham Lincoln. After various recommendations, the US mint acknowledged Victor Brenner’s plan and marked the calendar for its uncovering in July 1909.

Reason for Minting

The main idea behind the Lincoln penny was to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the late President Abraham Lincoln. Additionally, none of the US coinages featured the portrait of an American President. So, it was time for the Lincoln penny to begin circulating.

Famous numismatists, collectors, and a section of the population mounted pressure on the US mint to design a coinage in honor of Abraham Lincoln. At the onset of the design, the main mint specified that it wanted a coin featuring the profile of Lincoln. Victor Brenner drew inspiration from an old photo of Abraham Lincoln reading a book with his son by his side.


Three mints struck the 1942 penny, namely Philadelphia (657,796,000), Denver (206,698,000), and San Francisco (85,590,000). Collectively, all mints struck a total of 864,579,590 coins in 1942.

1942 wheat penny obverse scaled
1942 wheat penny obverse scaled

Features of the 1942 Penny

Similar to other coinages, the 1942 penny has distinct features on both sides. Features include inspiring slogans, images, face value, and metal composition. Below is an in-depth look into the features.


The picture is a profile bust of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States of America. The front elements a right-confronting Lincoln at the focal piece of the coin. He seems made in a decent necktie and a coat.

Along the upper edge of the coin is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” composed clockwise in block letters. Somewhat behind President Lincoln is a motto, “Freedom,” beginning from the left edge. It shows up as a straight line of square text. The following Lincoln’s jawline is the authority year of issue (1942), showing up nearer to the lower, right edge


The converse highlights two indistinguishable wheat stalks remaining along the left and right edges. The Latin proverb “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is on the upper edge,” perusing clockwise in block text.

Two spots separate the three words in the Latin expression. Underneath the Latin expression is the coin’s denominational worth (ONE CENT) in block letters. The words “US OF AMERICA” show up at the lower segment, close to the edge.

Trademarks and Mottos

The 1942 penny has three critical trademarks in the two countenances:


An emblematic American goddess shows up on the Liberty sculpture in New York as Liberty. The country got fine art as a gift from France during the Great American Revolution. The trademark is an authority maxim that connotes freedom and the opportunity to win in the country.

The 1942 series of the Lincoln penny has unmistakable mint denotes that show the area of the mints that struck the coin. Investigating the cash, you will probably see the accompanying mint imprints: ”S” (San Francisco) and “D” (Denver). Be that as it may, as a standard, coins struck at the Philadelphia mint didn’t have a mintmark.

E Pluribus Unum

America took on the trademark to insist on the arrangement of a country out of many states. A Latin expression indicates ‘Out of many, one.’

In God we trust

The trademark is the public maxim of the United States of America. It is an outflow of the solid strict feelings of the country. Individuals of America accept that their political and monetary fortunes rely upon God.

Mint marks

The 1942 series of the Lincoln penny has distinct mint marks that show the location of the mints that struck the coin. Taking a closer look at the currency, you will likely see the following mint marks: ‘’S” (San Francisco) and “D” (Denver). However, as a norm, coins struck at the Philadelphia mint did not have a mintmark.

Weight of Metal Used

The US Mints struck the 1942 penny utilizing 95% copper. Likewise, a compound of zinc and tin structures 5% of the coin. The 1942 penny weighs 3.11 grams and is 19 mm wide.

Mint marks
Mint marks

1942 Penny Value

The 1942 Wheat penny has high worth as a numismatic coin and jewel in unblemished condition. By and large, you can procure $0.19 from pawnbrokers for your Lincoln penny. Moreover, the high copper content gives the coin a higher worth than its presumptive worth. The following is how much the coin is at different numismatic levels.

1942 Penny Value
1942 Penny Value

Denominational Value

The coin is worth one penny ($0.01) at face esteem. The assumed worth shows up on the opposite side of the coin.

How Much Is the Metal in 1942 Penny Worth?

The 1942 penny contains 95% copper, thus worth its weight in copper. The ongoing spot cost for copper remains at $0.26 per ounce. Along these lines, it has a liquefy worth of $0.0291. Coin trackers gauge that the softened worth will change when the copper spot cost changes.

How Much Is the 1942 Penny At the Pawnshop?

At a pawn shop, gatherers can pay premium qualities for high-grade 1942 pennies. The least beginning cost is $0.19 for a coin in normal condition. An uncirculated MS+ penny sells between $1.11-$3.22 or higher. In the event that you have a proof coin in PR 63 state, it could get as much as $44 or more.

The Standard Value of the 1942 Penny

The standard value for the 1942 penny ranges from $0.35 in average condition to $3 in certified mint state.

Factors That Influence The 1942 Penny Value
Factors That Influence The 1942 Penny Value

Factors that Influence the 1942 Penny Value

The US mints struck more than 800 million pennies in 1942. Because of the high mintage and relatively long circulation time, only a few are available in uncirculated conditions. Regardless of the mintage, some factors still play a critical role in determining the value of the 1942 penny. Here is what to look for in a 1942 Lincoln penny:


It is the most important determining factor in the value of the penny. Premium quality coins have a limited supply and a relatively higher value. Judging the condition begins with a first impression of the overall appearance. Does the coin appear flat, tired, or worn out? Does it have a shiny mint luster with distinct features? With the help of a magnifying glass, you should judge the condition of your coin. Below are the four main grading conditions suitable for a 1942 penny:


An uncirculated Lincoln penny did not circulate after its issuance by the mints. As a result, it has no wear to the surface. Additionally, it has a shiny mint luster to the high points, and every detail is as it was at the time of mintage. You should see a fine grade of luster and well-defined features through a close inspection of Lincoln’s profile. There should be no scratch marks or abrasions on the surface of the penny.

Extremely Fine

In this grade, the coin had little circulation time before collectors withdrew it from the market. As a result, it has minor wear on its surface. It has a shiny mint luster, although not similar to an uncirculated coin. There is slight wear on the high-point features, a mark-free surface, and a light-brown tone adds an eye appeal.


A fine-grade coin features Lincoln’s portrait with significant flattened features. A wide flat surface connects the ear and the upper cheek. The once high features now appear dull, without substantial distinctions.


A wheat penny in good grade has large flat portions throughout the central part. The area around Lincoln’s ears is a flat plane, and the jaws connect with the cheeks. Additionally, the contour areas are flat, and the hairline merges into the lower back.

Mintmark (Location)

Due to a high mintage of wheat pennies, the mintmark recognition is a unique feature that determines the value of the penny. In the 1942 series, three main varieties exist; Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. Philadelphia’s mint struck the highest number of coins in 1942. The high mintage contributed to an abundant supply of Lincoln pennies. The 1942 pennies without the mintmark are therefore low in value in all conditions.

Denver’s mint struck the second-largest number in 1942. Although many still survive, there is a market for those with minimal to no wear. San Francisco mint struck the least amount of wheat pennies in 1942, which created a particular interest in the San Francisco variety. They equally stand out with the highest value in average and uncirculated conditions.

Mint mark Location
Mintmark Location

Special Rarity

Unique rarities exist in the 1942-penny series. They are a group of coins that appear different from others of the same quality, category, dimension, and type. Error coins, for instance, fetch between $150 and $200 or higher. An example of an extraordinary rarity is the 1942 Ecuador 20 centavos. The US mint accidentally struck Lincoln’s profile on a brass planchet intended for circulation in Ecuador. Unlike other 1942 pennies, it weighs a record 4 grams.

People also Ask

Which 1942 Penny is worth very much cash?

The 1942 proof penny is worth premium qualities. A proof penny sells at $35+ with somewhat over 32,000 struck.

Where could the mint blemish on a 1942 Penny be?

The 1942 D and 1942 S have a mint blemish on the front side underneath the date. Coins struck in Philadelphia bear no mint imprint.

How might I let know if my 1942 Penny is uncirculated?

An uncirculated 1942 penny has a gleaming mint brilliance on every high point. On the off chance that it has broken areas of the mint radiance, it is “circled.”

Is the 1942-Penny Value Worth It?

The 1942 penny shapes part of the wheat pennies struck to recall Abraham Lincoln. The coin contains 95% copper, 5% (tin/zinc), and weighs 3.11 grams. A high-grade assortment of the coin, mint area, and unique mintage mistakes can promise you high quality.

Is your wheat penny worth some money? We can assist you with deciding its worth and the right market. Reach us today for questions with respect to the worth of your 1942 penny.

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