» 1945 Penny Error List & Value

1945 Penny Error List & Value

1945 Penny Value

The 1945 penny may not be the most valuable coin out there, but the right coin (or error) may just give you a few hundred dollars (or more.) It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes peeled for such details.

So if you want to make a pretty penny over your 1945 Lincoln wheat cent, then make sure to read this guide on the 1945 penny value.

Let’s begin!

1945 Penny Value Chart

Mint Mark Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1945 No Mint Mark Penny $0.05 $0.06 $0.23 $0.98-$2.33
1945 D Penny $0.05 $0.06 $0.23 $0.98-$2.33
1945 S Penny $0.05 $0.11 $0.23 $0.98-$2.33

1945 No Mint Mark Penny Value

1945 No Mint Mark Penny Value
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The 1945 no mint mark penny, also known as the Lincoln wheat cent, is named after its obverse and reverse designs. This version was minted in Philadelphia at a whopping quantity of 1,040,515,000.

Like the rest of the 1945 pennies in this list, this coin has a diameter of 19 mm and a weight of 3.11 grams. Its composition, meanwhile, features 95% copper and a 5% tin and zinc combination.


The front, which features President Abraham Lincoln’s profile, was designed by Victor David Brenner.

Many believe that Brenner’s design was based on a 1907 plaque made for a manufacturing company. But, according to the sculptor, he designed the president as if he was reading to a child. He believed that this action would make Lincoln appear more appealing.

Brenner’s design continued to be imprinted on the one-cent coin for such a time. However, Charles Barber tweaked Brenner’s portrait by removing the president’s cheek wrinkles and coat in 1916.

Apart from Lincoln’s profile, the obverse side also features the phrase “In God We Trust” on the top arc, the word “Liberty” on the left and the year “1946” on the right. As you’ll notice, there’s no mint mark underneath the year – a feature the 1945 D and S pennies have.

The reverse, meanwhile, features two wheat stalks. Although Brenner also designed it, it wasn’t his original plan. He wanted to include the image of a tree branch, which is similar to what you’d see on French coins.

Upon discovering this, the US Mint Director Frank Leach decided that Brenner’s reverse design was ‘unsuitable’ for the Lincoln penny.

Because of this decision, Brenner revised his design. This became the defining image of the Lincoln wheat penny: the two wheat stalks.

Brenner’s new design would eventually remain as the penny’s back image for several decades – together with the motto “E Pluribus Unum,” the denomination “one cent,” and “United States of America.”

Brenner’s initials, however, did not appear on the coin when it first circulated in 1909. He protested this, but to no avail.

Eventually, his initials were imprinted in Lincoln pennies minted from 1918 onwards. You can find Brenner’s initials on the obverse, right below Lincoln’s bust.

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The value of the 1945 no mint mark penny is $0.05 for good condition and $0.06 for fine condition. Extremely fine coins are worth $0.23, while uncirculated coins are valued at $0.98 to $2.33.

This range in price varies according to the coin’s state. For example, if the coin is 95% red, it will have a higher value than pennies with a red-brown or brown color.

1945 D Penny Value

1945 D Penny Value
Image Credit: usacoinbook

The 1945 D penny was produced in a quantity of 255,268,000. As the name suggests, this smooth-edged cent was minted in Denver.


The design of the 1945 D penny is similar to the two other pennies on this list. It features the design Brenner put forth in the year 1909.

According to reports, Theodore Roosevelt sat with Brenner when he was designing the Panama Canal Commission medal. The president was impressed with the sculptor’s 1907 Lincoln plaque. They also discussed the president’s plans for coinage redesign.

Eventually, US Mint director Frank A. Leach contacted Brenner and inquired about his design fees.

As with most Lincoln wheat cents, you will find the Illinois native on the obverse, together with the phrase “In God We Trust,” the word “Liberty,” and the year “1945.” The only difference is the letter D under 1945 – the Denver facility’s mint mark.


The 1945 D penny’s value is similar to that of the no-mint-mark coin. Good-grade coins are worth $0.05, while fine-grade coins are worth $0.06.

Extremely fine coins are valued at $0.23. These pennies are known for the light wear on the highest points of the coins.

As such, an extremely fine 1945 S penny is one that features Lincoln’s rounded, completely-defined cheek. Some wear on the ear is expected, but the features should remain bold.

Uncirculated coins may sell for $0.98 to $2.33. Such pennies are known for the absence of wear, especially on the part below Lincoln’s eye. This area is often smoothed out in heavily-circulated coins.

Uncirculated coins also have a bright luster, thus giving them a significantly higher value. In fact, a mint state 1945 D penny has sold for a whopping $14,400 in a 2019 auction.

1945 S Penny Value

1945 S Penny Value

The 1945 S penny is minted at a lower rate compared to the Philadelphia and Denver-produced coins. There are only 181,770,000 pieces minted at the San Francisco facility, which is known for mostly creating proof coins and collectible sets.


The 1945 S penny’s design features the traditional Lincoln wheat cent icons. There’s Abraham Lincoln on the obverse, flanked by the phrase “In God We Trust” on top and the word “Liberty” on the left. The year “1945” can be found on the right.

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Beneath the year, however, you’ll see the mint mark S – which stands for the San Francisco facility.

The 1945 S penny is made with 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, but this composition was revised a few years earlier. During wartime, the US military needed the copper and tin that were used to make such coins. So in 1943, the US Mint decided to make Lincoln pennies with 99% steel – covered with a thin zinc layer.

These steel cents were discontinued after 1943, so the 1945 penny – and those minted after that – were made with copper, tin, and zinc.


Despite the low number of 1945 S pennies, their value remains fairly similar to the 1945 no mint mark and D pennies. A good-grade coin is worth $0.05. The low value is due to its mediocrity. Despite the term ‘good,’ this coin is worn out – although it retains most of the currency’s designs.

A fine-grade coin, meanwhile, is valued a little higher at $0.11. This coin is said to have worn areas – only on the highest raised surfaces.

Extremely fine coins are still worth $0.23, while the price of uncirculated coins ranges from $0.98 to $2.33.

1945 Penny Value Grading

As with most coins, 1945 pennies are graded according to their attractiveness, preservation, and luster, among many other factors. But what sets the penny grading apart is the color.

One-cent coins are categorized as red, red-brown, or brown. Of course, pennies graded red sell higher than those marked red-brown or brown.

Rare 1945 Penny Error List

Mint state 1945 pennies are valuable, but the erroneous ones may sell more. Here are some errors that could fetch you a hundred (or thousand) bucks in the auction house:

1945 Penny Double Die Error

A double die error is one of the more common mistakes you can find in coins – including that of the 1945 penny. It occurs when the die, which creates the design, is struck several times. And, if one of the strikes becomes misaligned, the coin will end up with some double designs.

In this video, you’ll find a double die error where the word “Liberty” is affected. Likewise, the same coin has some doubling on the numbers “9” and “4.” The said penny has sold for an impressive $437 at auction.

1945 Penny Clipped Planchet Error

1945 Penny Clipped Planchet Error
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A planchet is a round disc where the coin is imprinted. They’re fed into the blanking press for the minting process.

However, when this planchet is misfed, it can become clipped – thus resulting in the aptly-named error.

1945 pennies can have different types of clipped planchet errors. One is the curved clip error, where a curved section of the coin is left missing. Another is the straight clip error, where a right-angle section is missing from the coin.

As for the value, a 1945 penny with a 7% clip sold for a modest $92 at auction.

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1945 Penny Lamination Error

1945 Penny Lamination Error

A lamination error occurs when the coin surface flakes and cracks. This happens when alloy contaminants cause the metal to separate along the horizontal plane.

This error, which is also featured in the video above, shows a vertical line running through the reverse part of the coin. The obverse side, meanwhile, has horizontal strikes – while the lower part of Lincoln’s feature is seemingly shaved off.

This unique coin was sold at auction for a good $162.

1945 Penny Broadstrike and Brockage Error

A broadstrike error happens when a coin is struck sans a collar. The result is a broader, flatter coin because there was no collar to form the penny’s rim and edge.

Interestingly though, this coin also features a brockage error. This occurs when the penny is incompletely ejected from the press. Since another planchet is loaded, coins with a brockage mistake often appear off-center.

This unique coin was sold for $168.

1945 Penny Cud Error

A cud error occurs when a part of the coin loses image detail. This happens when the die break touches the coin edge as it’s being minted.

A 1945 S penny with a cud error has been known to sell for $126 at auction.

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1945 Penny FAQs

How much is a 1945 penny worth now?

Nowadays, the 1945 penny’s value is dependent on the following:

  • Good condition – $0.05
  • Fine condition – $0.06 to $0.11
  • Extremely fine condition – $0.23
  • Uncirculated – $0.98 to $2.33

How much is the 1945 no mint mark penny worth?

A 1945 no mint mark penny is worth anywhere from $0.05 to $2.33. That said, coins in excellent condition (MS 68 or higher) could sell for as much as $4,300.

Are all 1945 pennies valuable?

While not all 1945 pennies, some of them are. For example, a red MS 68 1945 penny can sell for as much as $3,700 to $4,300.

What is a 1945 penny made of?

The 1945 penny is made of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc.

Why is the 1945 penny rare?

A 1945 penny is technically not rare because 1.04 billion coins were minted in Philadelphia, while 255.2 million and 181.7 million were minted in Denver and San Francisco, respectively. However, 1945 pennies that are in excellent condition are considered rare (and valuable) by many. MS 65 coins are already hard to find, while MS 67+ coins are harder to come by.

Likewise, 1945 pennies with double die, clipped planchet, or cud errors are rare – and as such, are deemed valuable.

How do you clean a 1945 penny?

Depending on the state of your 1945 penny, you could clean it in several ways:

  • Wash it with water
  • Use a pencil eraser to remove the oxidation on the coin
  • Clean it with gentle dish soap and rinse it with warm water
  • Soak your pennies in a mixture of white vinegar, lemon juice, and salt
  • Clean the coin by using a toothbrush and ketchup
  • Rub the penny clean with a mixture of baking soda and water

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