Ned Ludd Coins » 1983 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

1983 Penny Value: are “D”, “S”, No mint mark worth money?

The 1983 penny is quite a common coin. But there are some defective rarities that have been auctioned at $1.7 million and $204000 back in 2010 and 2019, respectively.

The worth of these rare varieties has doubled with time. So, if you have a 1983 penny in your possession or happen to be looking for one, you’re in luck. In this post, we’ll introduce you to the rare varieties of this penny, along with the coin’s history, grading system, and common errors.

Let’s get started!

1983 Penny Value Details

1983 Penny Value Details
Image Credit: Rob Paulsen Coin
  • Category: Lincoln Memorial series
  • Mint: Philadelphia, Denver, and Sans Francisco
  • Mintage: 6,467,199,428
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: 97.5% Zinc – 2.5% Copper (Copper Plated Zinc Penny)
  • Diameter: 19mm
  • Edge: Plain and smooth
  • Weight: 2.50 grams

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

1983 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark Good MS-61 MS-63 MS-65 MS-66 MS-67 Proof Grade
1983 No Mint Mark (Philadelphia) Penny $0.05 $0.25 $0.75 $2.50 $5 $7.50
1983  “D” Mint Mark Penny Value $0.05 $0.25 $0.75 $2.50 $5 $7.50
1983  “S” Mint Mark Penny Value $1.5 to $1800

1983 Penny Value and Varieties

1983 No Mint Mark Philadelphia Penny

1983 No Mint Mark Philadelphia Penny
Image Credit: eBay
  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Series
  • Edge: Plain and smooth
  • Mint Mark: No Mint Mark
  • Place of Minting: Philadelphia
  • Year of Minting: 1983
  • Face Value: 1 cent
  • Price: $0.05 – $7.50
  • Quantity Produced: 7,752,355,000
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Copper-plated Zinc
  • Mass: 2.50 grams
  • Diameter: 19mm

In 1983, the Lincoln cents witnessed a major change in composition. These coins went from being solid copper to copper-plated zinc. Back then, the government felt this change was necessary because the value of copper in the coin had surpassed one cent.

Hence, the batch of Lincoln coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint in 1983, comprised 97.5% zinc instead of copper. The remaining 2.5% of the coin was copper-plating.

Plus, the coins produced in this batch possess a plain edge and lack a mint mark. Despite the absence of a mint mark, we can tell that these coins are from the Philadelphia Mint because 1983 pennies produced at other Mints carry unique mintmarks. In this way, the absence of a mint mark serves as an identifier.

This particular variety of 1983 pennies was produced in large quantities, with an estimated total production of over 7 billion coins. For that very reason, most 1983 no-mint mark Philadelphia cents are not considered rare.

The face value of a circulated 1983 no-mint mark Philadelphia penny is one cent. But it can be valued up to five cents.

However, an uncirculated 1983 penny can be worth much more. Consider the following varieties of the same coin, for example:

  • MS-67 Brown: $7.50
  • MS-67 Red Brown: $10
  • MS-67 Red: $55
  • MS-68 Red: $375

But that’s the best you can get for this coin even if it’s as fresh as new. And again, it’s because there are plenty of 1983 coins floating around!

1983 D Penny Value

1983 D Penny Value

  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Series
  • Edge: Plain and smooth
  • Mint Mark: D
  • Place of Minting: Denver
  • Year of Minting: 1983
  • Face Value: 1 cent
  • Price: $0.05 – $7.50
  • Quantity Produced: 6,467,199,428
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Copper-plated Zinc
  • Mass: 2.50 grams
  • Diameter: 19mm

In terms of appearance, a 1983 D penny is exactly the same as the 1983 no-mint mark Philadelphia penny except for a small mark. There’s a small D just below the date on the obverse or heads side of the coin.

The face value of the 1983 D penny is one-cent and its value as a collectible is more or less the same as the 1983 no-mint mark penny. The circulated variants are valued at only five cents.

You can get more value out of uncirculated variants, particularly the red ones. Here’s how their valuation varies:

  • MS-67 Brown: $7.50
  • MS-67 Red Brown: $10
  • MS-67 Red: $35
  • MS-68 Red: $215

Notice that the red variant of the 1983 D Penny is NOT as valuable as the red variant of the 1983 no-mint mark Philadelphia penny.

Why is that so? It’s because of two reasons:

  • The coins were produced in large quantities. So, there are plenty of 1983 D pennies around.
  • Most U.S. coins to date carry a mint mark. This means a coin with no mint mark is relatively more unique (and hence, valuable) as compared to a coin with a mint mark.

With that said, there’s a 1983 D penny that is crazy expensive and truly collectible.

It’s a 1983 D penny made from copper. It comprises 98% copper and 2% zinc. The copper content in this coin is higher than that of obsolete solid copper coins.

Today, Numismatics recognize this as a transitional error that occurred at the Denver Mint. And since only a few such coins exist, they are valued at $15000 or more.

1983 S Penny Value

1983 S Penny Value

  • Type: Lincoln Memorial Series
  • Edge: Plain and smooth
  • Mint Mark: S
  • Place of Minting: San Francisco
  • Year of Minting: 1983
  • Face Value: 1 cent
  • Price: $1.5 – $15
  • Quantity Produced: 3,279,126
  • Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
  • Reverse Designer: Frank Gasparro
  • Composition: Copper-plated Zinc
  • Mass: 2.50 grams
  • Diameter: 19mm

The 1983 S penny comes from the San Francisco Mint. It features the same design as other 1983 pennies, except there’s a small S just below the date on the head’s side of the coin.

These pennies were not intended for commercial use or circulation. They were produced to be collected. Hence, they have a PF grade.

Currently, the value of these cents happens to be the highest in all three 1983 penny variants. Consider the following:

  • PF-69 Red Brown Ultra Cameo: $15
  • PF-69 Red Cameo: $15
  • PF-69 Red Ultra Cameo: $25
  • PF-70 Red Ultra Cameo: $1800

Since about three million of these coins were produced back in the day, it’s relatively easy to find a 1993 S-value coin. So, coin collectors cannot expect to make massive profits with this variant.

Unless they’re dealing with PF-70, which is the highest possible grade and indicates that the coin is in perfect condition, with no visible flaws or imperfections.

1983 Penny History

The 1983 penny is basically known as the Lincoln cent or Lincoln penny. Its front side or the obverse side features the image of Abraham Lincoln along with the year 1983 and these two words/phrases:

  • LIBERTY
  • In God we trust

The backside or tail side of the coin features the Lincoln memorial. If you look closely enough, you’ll see wreaths decorating Lincoln’s Memorial and a tiny Abraham Lincoln statue in the middle of the Lincoln Memorial.

It also carries the following text:

  • United States of America
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • ONE CENT

The design of the coin was a combined effort of Frank Gasparro and Victor David Brenner. Early on, when the coin was first launched in 1909, Victor David Brenner included his initials on the obverse side of the coin. But many people felt it looked like an advertisement, and hence, the initials were eventually removed.

The cent was originally introduced in 1909 by Teddy Roosevelt to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 16th U.S. president. Also, note that this is the first coin in US history to comprise the portrait of a historical person.

1983 Penny Value Grading

Numismatists have a complex grading system for coins like the 1983 penny. They use several tools and techniques to assess the true worth of a coin.

If you’re willing to get to the roots and master the art of coin grading, we recommend you start your journey through the video below

But if you’re short on time and would like to grab quick chunks, here’s a simple route to grading coins that works for the 1983 penny as well:

Step 1: Understand the 70-Point Coin Grading Scale

The 70-point coin grading scale is basically known as the Sheldon scale. It comprises 70 distinct points, starting from 1 and ending at 70.

The starting point of the scale (i.e., 1) represents Poor. As the scale moves forward, the quality of the coin improves and 70 represents a flawless coin.

This coin is further divided into three sections. These are:

  • P-1 to EF-49: This section is for circulated coins. Most of these coins are heavily used and worn out.
  • AU-50 to AU-59: This section is for About Circulated coins. These coins have not been used commercially but they’ve been handled by a few hands or gone through a coin-counting machine.
  • MS-60 to MS-70: This section is for Mint State or uncirculated coins. They’re in the best condition with minimal scratches and flaws.

Here’s a detailed guide to the Sheldon Scale which explains each point on the scale in detail.

Step 2: Assess the Coin

You need two things to assess your coin. These include:

  • A 5x – 8x magnifier
  • A bright bulb (preferably 75-watt)

Use these to inspect the details on the surface of your coin. You want to notice any scratches, wear, and tear, etc.

This will help you categorize your coin into any of the three sections of the Sheldon scale. And then, you will be able to further find the exact point of its classification.

If you attempt this on your own, it will give you a lead about the actual grade of your 1983 penny. But we still recommend consulting with a professional coin appraiser or dealer for an accurate valuation.

List of 1983 Penny Errors

1. 1983 Double Die Reverse Penny Value

1983 Double Die Reverse Penny Value

Quite interestingly, the most highly valued variant of all 1983 pennies is a faulty one. It’s called the Double Die Reverse 1983 penny.

Technically, these coins are the same no-mint mark 1983 pennies. They were produced at the Philadelphia Mint. However, the manufacturing equipment malfunctioned during the production of these coins.

The stamping machine accidentally imprinted the images onto the coin more than once. This resulted in slightly overlapped imaging or double lines. You can easily spot these doubled lines with your naked eye.

Currently, these coins are valued as follows:

  • MS-58 Brown: $100 (purchased by coin collector’s at up to $207 in an auction)
  • MS-60 Brown: $115
  • MS-65 Brown: $210
  • MS-66 Red Brown: $375
  • MS-66 Red: $450
  • MS-67 Red: $1700
  • MS-69 Red: $7900

Overall, there are less than 5000 of these pennies. Hence, they are also the rarest 1983 penny.

2. 1983 Counter Die Clash Type 2

1983 Counter Die Clash Type 2
Image Credit: rubylane

Another error observed in 1983 pennies is the die clash.

In simple terms, a “die clash” is when the upper and lower dies that are used to strike a coin come into contact with each other without a planchet (a blank metal disk) between them. This results in the design of the dies being imprinted onto each other. So, when the next planchet comes through and the dies strike, each side of the coin receives a double image.

It causes the back of the penny to appear on the front, which in turn leads to a double image of Lincoln’s head. This mistake is highly prized by collectors and can be worth a lot of money.

So far, we’ve witnessed one 1983 penny-graded MS-65 with this error. It’s valued at $150.

1983 Penny Value FAQs

Are 1983 coins rare?

It depends! If you have the common versions of the 1983 penny (no mint mark or 1983 D penny), it’s not rare. But if you’ve got a high-grade defective version, then yes it’s rare.

What are pre-1983 pennies worth?

Pre-1983 pennies comprise 95 percent copper. Hence, each pre-1983 coin has a face value of 2.2 cents. If they have a high grade, a rare defect, rich history, or any other unique characteristic, they may be worth a few hundred or a few thousand dollars.

Always get your coins checked by a professional coin appraiser.

Why is my 1983 penny silver?

Pennies produced after 1983 comprise 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. So, if a penny is too worn out, it’s possible for the copper plating to wear off, leaving behind a silver penny.

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