» 1964 Penny Error List & Value

1964 Penny Error List & Value

1964 penny value

A little over 59 years ago, 1964 saw the light of day. The Beatles was played across radio stations, the Civil Rights Act was just signed into law, and the entire country is still mourning over President John F. Kennedy’s death. Being a key year in American history, you might want a souvenir of such an eventful year, and perhaps a 1964 penny would suffice.

In this article, we’ll show you the value, varieties, grading, and errors that you can find on 1964 pennies, as well as frequently asked questions.

1964 Penny Value Chart

Mintmark MS60BN MS63RB MS65RB MS67RD
1964 No Mint Mark P Penny Value $0.10 $5 $10 $700
1964 D Penny Value $0.10 $5 $10 $485
1964 No Mint Mark Proof Penny Value $10 (PR65RD) $17 (PR66CAM) $22 (PR67CAM) $375 (PR69DCAM)

1964 No Mint Mark P Penny Value

1964 No Mint Mark P Penny Value
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The 1964 penny is part of a series of coins called the Lincoln Memorial Cents. Originally made as part of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, these coins were minted from 1959 to 2008. Its 1964 issue was produced in two mints, the Philadelphia Mint and the Denver Mint.

The 1964 penny with no mint mark indicates that the penny was minted in the Philadelphia Mint, where over 2.6 billion pieces were produced. Victor David Brenner made the coin’s obverse design, retained from the previous Lincoln penny design, while Frank Gasparro designed the reverse.

Their sheer number and recency would lend credibility to these coins being relatively common across all grade conditions. Coin grading companies such as PCGS and NGC do not have any specimens of these coins below Almost Uncirculated, and high-grade Brown and Red-Brown coins can be found cheap, even up to the gem grades.

Among the 1960s issues, the 1964-P penny is one of the harder-to-find coins at MS67, and finding a coin at a higher grade would be quite a rarity, with a matching price.

An MS60 Brown coin can be found for around $0.10, and you can get a Brown gem for $12.50 or a Red-Brown one for $17.50. Red coins command a higher premium, starting from $7.50. The price decently increases as the grade increases, until the highest grade available, MS67RD, demands a price tag of $700.

The current auction record price for this variety is $7,931 for an MS67RD piece.

1964 D Penny Value

1964 D Penny Value
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As the only other mint that produced 1964 Lincoln cents, the Denver Mint had the higher mintage, at almost 3.8 billion pieces produced. The difference between the coins minted in Philadelphia and Denver is that the latter produced pieces with a D mint mark, found just right beneath the date on the obverse.

You’ll also realize that the obverse design, designed by Brenner, was virtually unchanged across multiple variations of the Lincoln cents, starting from the wheat cent to the modern cents, even persisting until today.

As with the Philadelphia mintage, the 1964 D penny is common across all circulated grades, even until the mint state conditions, perhaps due to their large number and being minted quite recently. Gem specimens can get scarce, and the 1964 issue is known to be hard to find across the 1960s collection, especially the 1964 D. Less than 20 pieces are known to be graded at MS67, and it is believed that no pieces exist above this grade.

Brown pieces sell for a very low price, starting at $0.10 and peaking at $12.50 for an MS66 piece. Red-Brown coins have a similar price profile, from $5 to $20. As always, the Red specimens come with heftier price tags, starting at $7.5 for the common gem specimens and spiking as high as $485 for the rare MS67 pieces.

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The current auction record is an MS67RD piece, which sold for $4,025.

1964 No Mint Mark Proof Penny Value

1964 No Mint Mark Proof Penny Value

Aside from producing the standard circulation grade coins, the Philadelphia Mint was also tasked with producing proof coins, a special type of coin specifically minted for numismatists and coin collectors. These proof coins are made using dies specially manufactured to bring out all the details of the designs as well as produce a mirror-like finish on the piece.

The 1964 issue had almost 4 million proof coins minted. Since these coins are specially made, they are often of very high quality. Most of these coins also never join general circulation, carefully kept by coin collectors, so they have a high survival rate and generally maintain their mint quality. Their make commands a decent premium on the market, although it usually doesn’t break into 4 digits.

1964 proof pennies can be categorized into three: Red, Cameo, and Deep Cameo. Red proof pennies have the lowest price, and you can find them at around $7.50 to $120. A perfect PR70RD penny, if you can happen to find one, would set you back $2,500.

A Cameo proof penny can come anywhere from $15 to $175, while a Deep Cameo proof would easily command $20 to $400 in the market. Note that finding PR70 pieces with a Cameo or Deep Cameo finish is almost impossible, and PCGS and NGC do not have a record for a PR70 piece, irrelevant to the finish.

The current auction record price is a PR69DCAM, which sold for $504.

1964 No Mint Mark Special Strike Penny Value

1964 No Mint Mark Special Strike Penny Value
Image Credit: GreatCollections

Due to a coin shortage, the US Mint did not produce proof coins from 1965 to 1967. Instead, they opted to produce Special Mint Strike (SMS) coins, pieces that were not quite as well-made as proof coins but definitely of a better make than circulation strike coins. This move allowed the Mint to pool more resources into introducing new coins for circulation.

However, there have been a very limited number of coins issued in 1964 that are also considered to be Special Mint Strike coins. The NGC does not recognize 1964 SMS coins, but PCGS identifies that an unknown number of 1964 SMS coins may be present.

Theorized to be a test run for the 1965-1967 SMS coins, PCGS reports that these coins came from Eva Adams, Mint Director in 1964. Upon her death, Lester Merkins bought off some coins that were found on her estate, which may include the entirety of the 1964 SMS mintage.

Experts believe that only 20 to 50 sets are available in existence. Furthermore, some sets may have been lost due to being only properly identified 30 years after their mintage. The mystery behind these largely undocumented coins bolstered the prices of these rare coins.

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The SMS coins are known for their nice, smooth finish. Lincoln’s bust and the legends are very well-defined, especially when compared to coins minted for general circulation. However, it does not exhibit the same reflective surfaces that proof coins are known for.

Red-Brown and Red SMS coins have been found and documented by PCGS. With an estimated count of fewer than 100 pieces surviving, their price starts at $1,250 for an SP60RB piece. If you happen to hold the only known SP68RD piece, then you can sell it off for $27,500.

The current auction record for this coin is an SP67RD specimen, which sold for $15,600.

1964 Red Penny Value

1964 Red Penny Value
Image Credit: PCGS

The 1964 penny is made primarily of copper, and copper undergoes some reactions when it is left exposed to the atmosphere for an extended amount of time. Most coin collectors rate copper coins depending on the color of the surface of the coin.

Freshly-minted coins have a lustrous red finish to them. If a coin is preserved properly or kept away from extended exposure to the elements, the penny can keep that red finish for a long time. If the coin retains the red color on at least 90% of its surface, coin graders rate it as a Red coin.

Red coins can only retain that luscious color when they are kept uncirculated, so collectors reserve the Red designation for coins with a grade of MS60 and higher.

1964 Red-Brown Penny Value

1964 Red-Brown Penny Value

As the copper coin is exposed to air, water vapor, and oxygen react with the copper on the penny, which turns the coin into a brown color. If an uncirculated coin is left exposed to air, there might be instances when some parts of the coin oxidize into the brown color, while some parts retain the original red color. When at least 10% of the coin is still red, the coin is designated as a Red-Brown piece.

Similar to Red coins, the red color is only retained when the coin is left out of general circulation, so collectors also reserve the Red-Brown designation for coins graded MS60 or higher.

1964 Brown Penny Value

1964 Brown Penny Value

Most, if not all, circulated coins would have spent enough time in the open air to oxidize the copper on them. A chocolate brown color covers a majority of the coin’s surface, indicating a pretty exposed coin. These coins would be designated the Brown pieces.

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Unlike Red and Red-Brown coins, Brown coins can come in different grades, so the designation is not exclusive to high-grade conditions.

1964 Penny Value Grading

1964 pennies are generally graded according to the Sheldon coin grading scale, a numerical scale that determines the quality of a coin from 1 to 70, 70 being the highest quality. Qualitative descriptions also come together with the grade, from Good, Fine, Almost Uncirculated, and Mint State.

Additionally, copper pennies, such as the 1964 coins, are also categorized depending on their color. Red coins are considered the best quality coins, while Brown coins are those that have been in circulation for a while. Red-Brown coins sit in the middle of these two.

Rare 1964 Penny Error Lists

1964 Penny Doubled Die Reverse Error

1964 Penny Doubled Die Reverse Error

The doubled die error refers to a manufacturing error on the dies. The dies are made using a hub, which is struck multiple times to place the design onto the die. However, if the hub is misaligned slightly, it may cause the design to appear twice on the die. Then, all coins minted using that die will have that error.

It should be noted that a doubled die error is different from a double strike. A double strike damages the first impression on the coin, while a doubled die will show all impressions on the coin.

The 1964 penny has a doubled die reverse error variety, and you can see this prominently on the texts found on the reverse of the coin, such as UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE CENT. Two varieties of this error exist, the FS-801 and FS-802. The doubling on the FS-801 appears to the east, while the one on the FS appears to the south.

The current auction record for this coin is an MS64 piece, which was sold for $550.

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1964 Penny FAQ

Why is the 1964 penny so rare?

The 1964 issue of the Lincoln memorial cent is actually not so rare. In fact, both the Philadelphia and Denver mintages are known to be widely available across all conditions up to MS63. Even gem specimens are relatively common, although they are considered to be one of the scarcest across the 1960s issues.

However, what is truly rare is the 1964 SMS coins. Technically not officially identified as under the same series as the Special Mint Strike coins of 1965 to 1967, the 1964 Special Strike coins exhibit a lot of similarities with these SMS coins, so PCGS identifies them as such.

Since they are not officially identified, the true count for 1964 Special Strike coins is unknown. Experts estimate around 20 to 50 sets are available, but even fewer survived. Most, if not all, of these coins were also only found on the estate of a former Mint Director, making them quite a rare coin.

How can you tell if a penny is a 1964 SMS?

A 1964 SMS penny exhibits the same characteristics as the SMS coins from 1965 to 1967. These coins have a nice, smooth, satin-like finish. The design impression on these coins indicates that they are well-struck, with a bit more detail compared to circulation strike coins. However, their surface is not as reflective as proof coins.

What is the 1964 penny error?

The most prominent error found on some 1964 pennies is the doubled die reverse error. On the reverse side of the coin, you might see some duplication of the design, which is especially prominent in the texts like UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ONE CENT.

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One Comment

  1. AJ Hallman says:

    I have a 1964 Lincoln cent proof coin. It is fresh out of a mint set. It has a plethora of errors and I estimate it would grade an MS 67 or better.
    I can’t find numerous of error proofs as, DDR/DDO and crazy bright gold particals . I am going to submit to grading house but I would like some reference?

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