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1956 Wheat Penny Value: are “D”, No mint mark worth money?

1956 Wheat Penny Value: are “D”, No mint mark worth money?

Are you a coin collector or simply interested in the worth of vintage coins? If so, then the 1956 Wheat Penny, also known as the Lincoln Cent, is a coin that will pique your attention!

This small penny has significant historical value and is a must-have for every coin collector. Keep reading to learn more about its specifics, such as its value chart, grading, and errors.

1956 Wheat Penny Details

Any coin collector or history aficionado will be interested in the 1956 Wheat Penny. This tiny penny is a priceless treasure that may be worth a lot of money in addition to being a piece of history. This part of this guide sheds light on the coin’s peculiarities.

Let’s take a look at the design of the 1956 Wheat Penny. On the front of the coin (obverse), you’ll see a depiction of none other than Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President, facing the right direction. But that’s not all; some inscriptions are engraved on the coin worth checking out. These include “LIBERTY” to the left of Lincoln’s bust, “IN GOD WE TRUST” over Lincoln’s head, and of course, the year “1956” to the right of Lincoln’s bust.

Turning the coin over reveals two wheat stalks on the two extremes, curled towards each other and pointing in different directions. Now, you know why the coin is called “Wheat Penny.”

In addition, the coin’s reverse bears the words “ONE CENT,” “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” boldly engraved at the center and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” on top. The latter is a Latin phrase that translates into “Out of Many, One” — the first proposed US Great Seal’s motto.

Here’s a fun fact: the Wheat Penny was created by the American artist, engraver, and sculptor Victor David Brenner and introduced in 1909 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The coin was a tremendous success because it was the first one ever to have a president on it.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting: the 1956 Wheat Penny was the last of its series. The design was changed the following year — the wheat ears on the reverse side were replaced with a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial. This makes the 1956 Wheat Penny a must-have for any coin collector.

Additionally, specific versions and errors of the 1956 Wheat Penny can make them especially valuable. For example, if you find a 1956 Wheat Penny with a “D” mint mark, it means it was made at the Denver Mint, and it’s considered a rare variety.

In the same vein, if you come across a 1956 Wheat Penny with a double die error, it’s also considered rare and valuable. These are just a few examples, but we’ll discuss this in the sections to come. So, keep an eye out for those particular varieties and errors when examining your 1956 Wheat Pennies.

Let’s now discuss the coin’s technical specifications. The 1956 Wheat Penny comprises 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc alloy. It weighs 3.11 g and measures 19.05 mm in diameter.

Furthermore, the coin is available in a variety of colors, including red (R.D.), brown (B.N.), and reddish-brown (R.B.). The various hues can serve as an important metric when grading the coin, making color an essential factor to consider if you’re a coin collector.

Below is a summary of the coin’s information:

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Year of minting: 1956
  • Mint: Philadelphia, Denver
  • Face Value: $0.01 (One cent)
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Victor D. Brenner (obverse).
  • Composition: 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Mass: 3.11 g

1956 Wheat Penny Value Chart

The table below summarizes the various values ascribed to different grades and mint marks:

Mint Mark Good (G4) Fine (F12) Extremely Fine (EF40) Uncirculated Condition (MS 60)  Mint State (MS 63)
1956 No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value $0.02 $0.05 $0.13 $0.39 $1.13
1956 “D” Wheat Penny Value $0.02 $0.05 $0.13 $0.33 $1.13
1956 “D” Above Shadow D Wheat Penny Value $3.30 $7.78 $28 $39 $83

1956 Wheat Penny Value and Varieties Guides

This section highlights the different 1956 Wheat Pennies and their respective details.

1956 “P” No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value

1956 “P” No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value

  • Category: Lincoln Penny
  • Year of Minting: 1956
  • Mint Mark: None
  • Mintage: 420,745,000
  • Face Value: $0.01 (One cent)
  • $ Price: $0.01 to $7.00 (or more)
  • Mass: 3.11 g
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Victor D. Brenner (obverse)
  • Composition: 95% copper; 5% tin and zinc
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm

The Philadelphia Mint manufactured the “P” Lincoln Penny in considerable quantities in 1956 but didn’t include any mint mark on them. This coin is relatively common because more than 420 million were produced that year. This implies that it ought to be relatively simple to locate, even in perfect condition.

When it comes to value, the 1956 “P” Wheat Penny can be worth anywhere from just a few cents to $7, depending on its condition and grade. Coins of this type are regarded as standard up to MS 66, but when the grade rises to MS 67, the coin becomes increasingly rare, increasing its value.

1956 “D” Wheat Penny  Value

  • Type: Lincoln Penny
  • Year of minting: 1956
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Mintage: 1,098,201,100
  • Face Value: $0.01 (One cent)
  • $ Price: $0.01 to $7.00 (or more)
  • Mass: 3.11 g
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Victor D. Brenner (obverse)
  • Composition: 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm

The largest mintage for this cent series came from the Denver Mint, which produced overn 1.05 billion 1956 “D” Lincoln Pennies. The Denver Mint had never produced beyond a billion pieces before, but some developments had led to this new happening. Notably, the San Francisco Mint was shut down during this time, so the Denver Mint had to work extra hard to compensate for the deficit in coin production volume.

The 1956 “D” penny is available from $0.01 to $7.00 in grades as high as MS 66.

1956 “D” Above Shadow D Wheat Penny Value

  • Type: Lincoln penny
  • Year of minting: 1956
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Place of minting: Denver
  • Mintage: N/A
  • Face Value: $0.01 (One cent)
  • $ Price: $100 to $105
  • Mass: 3.11 g
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designer: Victor D. Brenner (obverse)
  • Composition: 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc
  • Diameter: 19.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm

This coin is a variety of the standard 1956 “D” Wheat Penny. It’s the product of repunched mintmark (RPM) errors which we’ll discuss in subsequent sections.

The value of a standard 1956 “D” Wheat Penny is generally not so high, as they were produced in large quantities and aren’t particularly rare. However, the RPM error adds a level of rarity and collector interest, resulting in an increased value. It’s estimated that the value of a 1956 “D” Wheat Penny with an RPM error is around $100.

The 1956 Wheat Penny History

The 1956 Wheat Penny History

The first set of the Lincoln Penny series was struck in 1909 to mark Abraham Lincoln’s birth’s 100th anniversary and was designed by Victor David Brenner. Brenner’s design for the Lincoln penny featured a bust of Lincoln on the obverse (front) side of the coin and two ears of wheat on the reverse side, representing the nation’s agricultural heritage. This design remained unchanged for 47 years until the United States Mint decided to update the coin for the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln Penny in 1956.

The task of redesigning the coin was given to Frank Gasparro. Gasparro’s design for the reverse of the 1956 penny featured the Lincoln Memorial, an iconic landmark in Washington, D.C., honoring the 16th President of the United States.

This design change marked the first time in 47 years that the coin’s reverse design had been altered, and it was a significant change in the coin’s history. The Lincoln Memorial design was used on the penny’s reverse until 2008 when it was replaced with a depiction of the “Union Shield.” by Lyndall Bass.

Brenner’s original design included his initials “VDB” prominently displayed at the bottom of the coin’s reverse side, which caused controversy among some members of Congress who felt that the initials were too large and detracted from the design of the coin.

As a result, the United States Mint eliminated Brenner’s initials from the coin after only a few weeks of production. Brenner was disappointed with this decision and felt that his artistic contributions to the coin were not being recognized. However, his initials were later added to the coin again in 1918 and have remained on the coin since then, but in a much smaller size.

Brenner’s initials “VDB” on the coin are considered a rarity among coin collectors, and these 1909 VDB Pennies are highly sought after by coin enthusiasts. They’re considered to be the first year of issue and the coin that started the Lincoln cent series, which is still in production today.

The 1956 Wheat Penny is considered a valuable coin by collectors due to its historical significance and relative rarity. While millions of 1956 pennies were produced, many were lost or damaged over the years, making surviving examples relatively scarce.

In summary, the coin carries the legacy of two talented designers, Brenner and Gasparro, who left their mark on the coin and made it a piece of American history. If you come across a 1956 Wheat Penny, hold onto it, as it could be worth quite a bit to the right collector!

1956 Wheat Penny Grading

Grading is a crucial aspect of coin collecting as it determines the condition of a coin and its value. Coins can come in different grades, like “uncirculated,” indicating the coin has never been used and is in the best condition, or “poor,” indicating the worst condition.

This video explains how to know the grade of your Wheat Penny, while this guide outlines the various existing grades in detail.

Lists of the 1956 Wheat Penny Errors

Have you ever found a 1956 Wheat Penny with an error? While most of these coins were made without significant flaws, some errors are worth looking out for, as we’ll see below.

1. 1956 Wheat Penny Repunched Mintmark Error

A repunched mintmark, also known as an RPM, is an error that occurs when a mint employee accidentally punches the mintmark onto a coin twice, resulting in a slightly offset or overlapping image. This can happen for various reasons, such as the mint employee misaligning the punch or the punch itself being worn or damaged. This is seen in the 1956 “D” Above Shadow D Wheat Penny.

2. 1956 Wheat Penny DDO Error

A scarce and expensive error coin is the 1956 Wheat Penny DDO, or “Doubled Die Obverse.” In this case, the design on the coin’s obverse (or “heads” side) was inadvertently stamped twice, resulting in a twofold image. The United States Mint made this mistake during the production process, and only a few of these pieces were produced before the problem was identified.

Due to its scarcity and distinctive features, collectors and coin lovers see the 1956 Wheat Penny DDO as a highly prized collectible. In MS 65 condition, a 1956 Wheat Penny DDO can be worth up to $100; in MS 66 condition, it can be worth as much as $325.

3. 1956 Wheat Penny Wrong Planchet Errors

Wrong planchet errors happen when a coin from a smaller denomination is struck with a design from a different denomination of a physically more comprehensive coin. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), it’s often termed a double denomination error.

Keep an eye out for 1956-D pennies struck on unused dime planchets, and hold onto them firmly! These extremely uncommon and expensive coins are referred to as “1956-D penny Minted on a Dime Blank.” It might be worth $1,560 if it’s in AU 58 condition. That’s a pretty good amount for a penny.

1956 Wheat Penny Value FAQ

Why is the 1956 Wheat Penny worth so much?

The 1956 Wheat Penny coin is more valuable than most other Wheat Pennies because it’s the last of its series (i.e., those sporting the same design). Furthermore, many people retained specimens of the currency as keepsakes, causing the supply to be lower than the demand and driving up the price. However, certain conditions, such as rarity and the particular variety of the 1956 Wheat Penny coins, may influence their value.

Are there Wheat Pennies worth $1,000,000?

Yes, there are.

Simpson, Co-Chairman of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, spent a staggering $1 million for a 1943-S Lincoln Wheat Penny. This penny is the finest known and is minted with a bronze planchet.

Conclusion

Here we have it, the Wheat Penny coin and all its quirks. This coin has become a favorite among numismatists, so keep an eye out for one the next time you come across some vintage US coins. If you’re fortunate, it might sell for a high bid.

Ricky Shaw

Sunday 29th of January 2023

I have a 1956-D wheat penny