Welcome to the exciting world of coin collecting, where even the tiniest coin can be worth money. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a 1965 penny and are curious about how much it’s worth.
In this review, we’ll explore the details of the 1965 penny value, talk about its history, and show you some of the most valuable special strikes out there. Get ready to learn about the value of your pocket change—you might be surprised!
1965 Penny Value Details
- Category: Lincoln penny
- Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
- Total Mintage: 1,497,224,900
- Obverse Design: Abraham Lincoln
- Reverse Design: Lincoln Memorial Building
- Designer: Victor D. Brenner; Frank Gasparo
- Composition: 40% silver plus 60% copper
- Diameter: 38.1 mm (1.5 inches)
- Mass: 24.624 grams
- Thickness: 1.52 mm (0.059 inches)
- Edge: Plain
1965 Penny Value Chart
|1965 Lincoln Penny Value Chart (CPG*)|
|1965 No Mint Mark Penny Value (Regular Strike)||$0.75||$1.50||$4||$14||$320|
|1965 Special Strikes Penny Value Chart|
|1965 Memorial Reverse Penny Value||$1.10||$2.15||$5.40||$18.90||$416|
|1965 Cameo Penny Value (SMS)||
|1965 Deep Cameo Penny Value (SMS)||
With over 1.49 billion units produced, the 1965-P Lincoln Cent is highly prevalent. However, it’s only considered relatively rare in MS66 state. Nonetheless, a substantial number of MS66 specimens likely exist. It’s advisable to seek out premium MS66 versions as they’re considerably scarce, particularly given the extreme rarity of MS67 specimens, despite their high mintage.
In a 2012 auction, the highest-valued 1965 penny ever sold received a grade of MS67RB from the Professional Coin Grading Service and was purchased for $690.
In 2014, a collector spent $7,638 to acquire the priciest 1965 Lincoln penny ever auctioned. This particular penny boasted an MS 67 rating, stunningly intricate features, and a striking red toning that added to its allure. The acquisition was made at Heritage Auctions and remains a treasured piece in the collector’s collection.
Currently, the worth of the copper content in a 1965 penny is double its nominal value. As such, every 1965 penny, regardless of its condition, is estimated to have a value of roughly two cents each.
1965 Penny Values and Varieties Guide
- Type: Lincoln Memorial penny
- Edge: Plain
- Mint mark: None (P)
- Place of minting: Philadelphia
- Year of minting: 1965
- Face value: $0.01
- $ price: $5.40 to $2,250
- Quantity produced: 2,360,000
- Designer: Obv: Victor D. Brenner; Frank Gasparo
Three Lincoln Penny Special Mint Strikes
- 1965 SMS RD
- 1965 SMS RD CAM
- 1965 SMS RD DCAM
SMS Lincoln Memorial pennies have polished surfaces and clear strikes, making them easy for experts to identify, but non-experts may need help to tell them apart from regular pennies and may assume special strikes are more expensive. However, it’s the other way around.
Although there are differences in how they were made and their characteristics, the coins look similar. In 1965, the US produced 2,360,000 pennies without any mint mark, and no other penny series were minted that year. As a result, there is no 1965 D penny in existence.
SMS coins are not considered proof coins because they were not minted twice. They were made using carefully prepared blanks and underwent special treatment during manufacturing. The 1965 SMS pennies were only distributed in SMS sets. They were not meant for general circulation or use as legal tender.
On the obverse side of the coin is a depiction of Abraham Lincoln’s bust surrounded by the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” at the top. To the left of the portrait is the word “LIBERTY,” while the date appears on the right side. It was designed by Victor David Brenner for the Wheat penny striking from 1909 to 1958, and the design remains the same today.
The reverse side features the Lincoln Memorial building in the center. The words “ONE CENT” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” appear at the top and bottom periphery. Above the top of the memorial, the words “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are centered. Frank Gasparro designed the Lincoln penny in 1959, replacing the wheat stalks design.
This coin is distinct because of the miniature statue of Lincoln positioned between the columns. It serves as a tribute to the former President of America and is featured on both sides of the coin.
1965 Penny Value History
In 1965, the US Mint significantly changed the country’s coin system due to a coin shortage. They removed 90% silver coinage and mintmarks from all coins and replaced proof and uncirculated sets with Special Mint Sets (SMS). Therefore, the 1965 Lincoln Memorial penny (one-cent coin) made of the copper alloy was only minted in Philadelphia and comes in regular and special strike versions.
The US Mint first minted the Lincoln penny in 1909 to celebrate Lincoln’s 100th birth anniversary. The coin was popularly known as the Wheat penny due to the design by Victor David Brenner featuring two stalks of wheat. In 1958, the Wheat penny was replaced by the Lincoln Memorial penny design, created to honor the 150th birth anniversary of the first assassinated US President.
The Lincoln Bicentennial one-cent program was introduced in 2008 to commemorate Lincoln’s 200th birth anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial penny. The penny was modified in 1982, transitioning from being composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc to being plated with copper on top of a zinc core. This has caused complications for collectors as both the large- and small-date varieties of 1982 exist for both compositions.
There are also transitional errors, including the 1982-D bronze small-date Lincoln cent, which sold for $18,800 in 2017. Similar errors are known for the 1983-D and 1989-D Lincoln cents.
According to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, the 1965 SMS (Special Mint Set) penny that was graded MS67 Red Ultra Cameo and sold in 2004 for $4,140 is the most valuable of its kind.
Lincoln Cents – Memorial Reverse Copper Alloy Penny was produced from 1959 to 2008 and are globally recognized coin. They are still circulating and expected to remain common unless US laws change.
The copper in a 1965 penny is worth twice the coin’s nominal value, making every penny from that year worth 2 cents regardless of condition.
But it’s important to keep in mind that it is against the law to melt a 1965 penny and export the resulting metal for business purposes, with a value exceeding $5. However, a minimal quantity of metal can be melted to craft jewelry within the context of a creative enterprise.
1965 Penny Value Grading
Coin grading evaluates a coin’s condition and assigns it a grade based on a standardized scale. Coin grading provides a consistent and objective way to describe a coin’s condition, which can affect its value to collectors and investors.
As for the 1965 penny, MS-63RB coins may have blemishes and be lackluster with a red-brown color, while MS-65RD coins have a strong luster and few noticeable contact marks with a red color. A 1965 penny without a mint mark can be worth $0.20 in MS-63RB grade if it remains uncirculated. Its value can increase to $1 if it stays uncirculated and achieves an MS-65RD grade.
Check out this Youtube video and identify the characteristics you should look for in your 1965 penny to know its worth.
1965 Penny Value Error
Errors are relatively rare and can significantly increase the value of a 1965 (one-cent) penny. Collectors should be aware of these 1965 penny errors and carefully inspect potential purchases to ensure they are authentic and not counterfeit.
1. 1965 Doubled Die Lincoln Penny Error
A common mistake in transferring coin designs leads to two impressions of this error type at different angles. While there are no major 1965 doubled die penny errors, minor doubled dies with slightly doubled lettering on both sides are worth collecting. 1965 Penny (cent) with minor flaws can be worth between $10 to $50 depending on their rarity, while rare doubled-die pennies can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars and are highly sought-after by collectors.
2. 1965 Die Breaks Lincoln Penny Error
This type of 1965 Penny error has ridges due to a damaged die used in the minting process, resulting in raised lines or irregular shapes on the surface. These imperfections can increase their value, with small cracks worth $5 to $10 and significant errors up to $100.
3. 1965 BIE error Lincoln Penny Error
A unique die crack on Lincoln pennies between the letters B and E in the word LIBERTY is known as the 1965 BIE error. These coins usually have a value of $5 to $10. The ridge on old Lincoln pennies is caused by a die crack, not an intentional mistake. This distinctive 1965 Penny error is valued at around $5 to $10.
4. 1965 Pennies Die Breaks
The raised lines on a coin may indicate a die crack, which can be valuable to collectors. 1965 pennies with die breaks can be worth anywhere from $5 to over $100, depending on the severity of the error. Die cracks occur when the dies used to strike a coin become damaged, resulting in raised lines, bumps, and squiggles on the coin.
The crack size can vary from coin to coin, with more prominent and noticeable cracks being more valuable to collectors.
Coin AZ analyzed the 1965 coin errors and provided a guide in this Youtube video on how to sell them so you can get the right value for what you thought was a simple pocket change.
1965 Penny Value FAQs:
Q1: How do you know if a penny is valuable?
Determining the value of a penny depends on several factors, such as its type, date, mintmark, and grade. Market and coin dealer variations may also affect the coin’s value.
Q2: How much is a 1965 penny worth no mint?
If the 1965 penny is in Average Circulated (AC) condition, it is worth approximately 1 cent. However, suppose it is in certified mint state (MS+) condition. In that case, it could potentially fetch up to $15 at an auction, according to the Coin Trackers website.
Q3: Is a 1965 coin silver?
Yes, a 1965-quarter coin is not made with any silver content. This was the first year the US produced quarters without silver due to a crisis surrounding silver coins. The coins were only minted in Philadelphia and in high quantities.
Q4: What are the most expensive memorial pennies?
The most expensive memorial penny is the 1969-S doubled die cent. While it may not be as well-known as the 1955 doubled die cent, it is rare and carries a high price tag, making it the most valuable Lincoln Memorial cent.
Q5: Where can I sell pennies worth money?
You can sell pennies worth money at your local coin shop. This is the best place to sell old coins. It’s important to check online reviews and feedback to find reputable coin stores in your area and visit a few.
So get your hands on one of the 1965 pennies, and join the legions of numismatists who have fallen under its spell. If you already have a 1965 Lincoln Memorial penny and you are interested in determining its value, you may want to have it appraised by a professional coin dealer or use a coin value guide to help you assess its approximate worth.
For more valuable facts about coins, feel free to look around this page and discover more about coins you’ve never known before. And if you have some valuable pieces, let us know for an expert review.