Ned Ludd Coins » 1946 Wheat Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1946 Wheat Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

The wheat penny is one of the most emblematic coins in the United States. Its value may be as little as a penny, but depending on the year it was minted and various factors, your penny can be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

For all those who are coin collectors or just entering this fascinating world of collecting, we have a complete guide to the 1946 Wheat Penny, also known as the Lincoln Penny.

We will see all the details about this coin, which are the different minting houses, the value of each coin, its history, and an approximate amount of how much this coin can be worth in the collectors market and how to know if you have a treasure in your hands.

1946 Wheat Penny Details

1946 Wheat Penny Details
Image Credit: Amazon
  • Category: Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse (1909-1958)
  • Mint: Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver
  • Mintage: 1,505,445,000
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Composition: 95% Copper and 5% Tin and Zinc
  • Weight: 3.11g
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Edge: Plain

The wheat penny is one of the longest-lived coins in United States history. Its minting began in 1909 and is maintained with various modifications.

But the coin that we will review in this article is the 1946 penny, a very symbolic coin since it was made the year after the end of the Second World War when the United States was struggling to recover its stability and good economy.

The 1946 Lincoln Pennies are the last to be made with zinc and iron. This change was due to the war and the difficult situation that all the countries involved were going through.

But zinc and iron are not good parage and after a short time, it begins to corrode. People were not happy with this coin, so the experiment only lasted for three years, with 1946 being the last year pennies were made that way.


The Lincoln Penny is the first coin to have the face of a personality in the United States. Since the founding of the American nation, the founding fathers did not agree with putting real people’s faces on coins.

It seemed to them a very monarchical custom and they were interested in distinguishing themselves from nations like England or Spain, which were still monarchies.

They did not put on the face of any president for many years, but to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Lincoln, it was proposed to mint his image on one-cent coins and the initiative was very successful.

It is not well known where the artist was inspired to coin the face of Lincoln. Some say it was based on earlier work, others on the photo Lincoln took in 1864, which bears the name “The Penny Profile.”

Lincoln faces to the right, with the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST bordering the top and the word LIBERTY at the bottom left. In the bottom right is the year of minting.


The coin’s reverse is one of the simpler yet more effective designs. This time they did not print eagles or coats of arms. The one-cent coin has two ears of wheat minted on the reverse, one to the left and one to the right.

In the center of the coin, the words ONE CENT. Below ONE CENT we have the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the well-known Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is found bordering the top of the coin. Each word of the Latin phrase is separated by a period.

Also Read: Top 20 Most Valuable Old Pennies Worth Money (Penny Collection)

1946 Wheat Penny Value Chart

Quality 1946  Philadelphia Wheat Penny 1946  San Francisco Wheat Penny 1946  Denver Wheat Penny 1946  Wheat Penny Errors
God $11
Very Good $16
Fine $0.05 $0.11 $0.05 $27
Very Fine $0.11 $0.16 $0.11 $38
Extra Fine $0.22 $0.22 $0.22 $81
Uncirculated $0.38 $0.38 $0.38 $137
MS 60 $0.66 $0.66 $0.66 $278
MS 65 $2.22 $2.22 $2.22 $616

1946 Wheat Penny Value and Varieties Guides

The 1946 penny was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. Each coin has a particular value. In general, the coins minted in Philadelphia have less value because the Philadelphia mint was the one that minted the most coins, therefore they are the most abundant in most cases.

Each minting house put a mark on their coins, to know where they came from. Philadelphia coins generally do not have any mint marks, while the “S” belongs to San Francisco and the “D” to Denver.

1946 Philadelphia Wheat Penny

1946  Philadelphia Wheat Penny
Image Credit: eBay
  • Type: Lincoln Wheat Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint Mark: No mint mark
  • Place of minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of minting: 1946
  • Face Value: $0.01 (one cent)
  • Price: $0.50 to $17 (or more)
  • Quantity produced: 991,655,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Composition: 95% Copper and 5% Tin and Zinc
  • Mass: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm

The Philadelphia mint house does not have any dry marks. In this mint, 991,655,000 coins were minted. Many of them never went on the market and remain uncirculated.

That is why, unlike most coins, we can find 1946 pennies without a mint mark at very high prices. The most expensive copy of this type of coin that has been sold was in 2006 for $14,950.

1946 San Francisco Wheat Penny

1946  San Francisco Wheat Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Wheat Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint Mark: S
  • Place of minting: San Francisco
  • Year of minting: 1946
  • Face Value: $0.01 (one cent)
  • Price: $0.50 to $12 (or more)
  • Quantity produced: 198,100,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Composition: 95% Copper and 5% Tin and Zinc
  • Mass: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm

In San Francisco only 198,100,000 were minted, a number slightly less than in Denver and well below the production of Philadelphia. That is why these coins command a slightly higher price on the collectors market.

However, the Lincoln Penny is an easily accessible currency. For anyone who wants to start coin collecting, you can find this coin at a very reasonable price. That is why it is one of the favorites to start a collection. It is distinguished by having an “S” as a mint mark.

1946 Denver Walking Wheat Penny

1946 Denver Walking Wheat Penny

  • Type: Lincoln Wheat Penny
  • Edge: Plain
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Year of minting: 1946
  • Face Value: $0.01 (one cent)
  • Price: $0.50 to $15 (or more)
  • Quantity produced: 315,690,000
  • Designer: Victor David Brenner
  • Composition: 95% Copper and 5% Tin and Zinc
  • Mass: 3.11 grams
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm

315,690,000 were produced at the Denver Mint. These coins are very abundant and strangely not many specimens are found in a gem state, so the few that do exist are very valuable. Denver’s mind mark is the letter “D”.

1946 Wheat Penny History

The history of the Lincoln Penny dates back to 1904 when US President Theodore Roosevelt called his secretary to complain, telling him that US coins were not made of great artistic value.

At the request of the president, artists were hired privately and not by public competition to re-design several coins that had been in circulation for more than 25 years. In the United States, the minimum time to change the design of a coin is 25 years.

Among the many designs that the artist Saint-Gaudens submitted for various coins was the one for one cent, which was originally intended to use the image of an eagle on the obverse of the coin.

The proposal did not prosper because the law prevents one-cent coins from being made with an eagle as an image.

Saint-Gaudens fell ill and was never able to complete the design for the new penny.

Roosevelt took advantage of this situation to change the design of the coin. They were about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the great assassinated president.

So Roosevelt decided to listen to the people who sent numerous letters proposing the image of Lincoln for a new coin.

This broke with the tradition of coins in the United States since from its inception there were efforts never to put a real person on the coins. The United States wanted to distinguish itself from European monarchies, not centering power on one person but in a group of states.

Roosevelt was on his way out, so he decided not to consult the matter with Congress and contacted sculptor Victor Brenner, who had done a great job designing a medal with Roosevelt’s face.

It is said that Roosevelt also admired a plaque that Brenner made of Lincoln in 1907. So the artist proposed a single design, knowing what Roosevelt wanted and it was approved to be struck in 1909.

But the 1946 penny also has an important historical context, as it was minted at the end of World War II.

A few years earlier the penny had been exchanged for coated steel coins, as copper had become a very valuable resource in wartime. But the coin was not popular at all and just two years after it was minted, its production stopped and they tried to discreetly take it out of circulation.

1946 Wheat Penny Grading

This penny does not have a particularly high value, it is a coin that you cannot easily find on the collectors’ market, but it is good that you know how to distinguish the degrees of value they have.

Some coins are considered uncirculated and others “in gem state”, which can be worth significant amounts. Here is a video for you to see in detail.

List of 1946 Wheat Penny Errors

The 1946 pennies have a very famous error and it is the one that most collectors look for in this coin. It is called the 1946 S over D Penny.

1946 S/D Penny

1946 S/D Penny

This error was only produced at the San Francisco mint, so to know if you have it you must first find the minted letter S, but at the same time, you must see a slight mark of the letter D.

This is a rare mistake and that makes this coin a great value on the collectors market. Although the 1946 penny is not a coin with great value, it does have one of the most sought-after errors these days.

One of these coins sold a few years ago for $3,173. It was a quality MS66 coin.

So look carefully at your 1946 pennies that have the mnt marc of San Francisco on them, because if you can see traces of a D on the wedge, you may have a treasure on your hands. Look at this video to have an image of what you have to look for.

1946 Wheat Penny FAQ

Does the 1946 wheat penny without a dry mark have any value?

The 1946 penny without a mint mark is the coin that was minted at the Philadelphia Mint. Yes, they are valuable, but at the same time, they are very popular and easy to find.

That is why its price is low and it ranges from $0.50 to $2.50 on the collectors market. The mint quality or uncirculated coins have other values and can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

What makes my 1946 wheat penny valuable?

It will depend on several factors. The first thing is to know if it is in good condition. There are degrees of conditions to evaluate them and to give them a price.

Uncirculated coins, for example, are those that begin to have a high price. And the ones that are valued with gem quality are the ones that are worth thousands and are sought after by all seasoned collectors and on a budget.

4 thoughts on “1946 Wheat Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?”

  1. I have a no mint mark of 1946 with a clipped rim obv & reverse and the condition looks like a gold. I weigh 3.4 is a beauty but my concern if the error was authentic. I could send a photo but I don’t know how. thank you.

    • Tengo tengo varias monedas de diferentes años entre eyas una mui valiosa de 1946 y kiero negosiarlas

  2. hi again my 1946 with a clipped rim is active in ebay , you can see the coin. I list it too high as I don’t want to sell it but want to know about it. thank you again.


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