» 1989 Penny Error List & Value

1989 Penny Error List & Value

1989 Penny Value

The 1989 penny also referred to as the “Lincoln cent” has a face value of $0.01.

To know the real value of this coin, several factors must come into play, including the rarity and the coin’s condition.

This article will focus on the worth of the 1989 penny, its varieties, and of course, errors that make it more valuable.

Let’s begin.

1989 Penny Details

The 1989 penny has a weight of 2.5 grams, a thickness of 1.52mm, and a diameter of 19mm. It was minted in the three U.S. mint facilities; Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. These pennies are mostly composed of zinc, but they do have a copper coating.

The 1989 penny is color graded, and the coins with red color are more valuable than the ones that have lost their original color. If a 1989 penny stays too long in circulation, discoloration occurs, and a once-red penny will either be red-brown or brown.

1989 Penny Value Chart

Mint Good Fine Extra Fine Uncirculated
1989 No Mint Mark Penny Value $0.01 $0.01 $0.02 $0.03
1989 – D Penny Value $0.01 $0.02 $0.02 $0.03
1989 – S Proof Penny Value $0.01 $0.7 $1.5 $3.00

1989 No Mint Mark Penny

1989 No Mint Mark Penny
Image Credit: rarest

The 1989 – P penny is categorized by its lack of mint mark, and it’s known as the most common type of pennies minted in 1989. The Philadelphia mint produced a total number of 7,261,535,000 pennies, hence why it’s not a rare coin. All of these coins were distributed into circulation, and that’s why they are rarely worth more than their face value except in pristine conditions.

Coloration is a major factor in determining the value of your 1989 – P penny. A 1989RD averagely circulated penny is worth about $5 to $1900, while the same penny in RB (red-brown) or BN (brown) will be worth $0.05 to $10.

1989 – D Penny

1989 – D Penny
Image Credit: pcgs

The Denver mint produced 5,345,467,111 pennies in 1989. Although, lesser than the Philadelphia mint, it was still more than enough to go around in circulation. The 1989 – D penny has a “D” mint mark just under the date, so you can tell if your penny was minted in Denver or not.

In averagely circulated condition, this penny is worth just its face value, but if you are looking to get a fair price for it, then the 1989 – D has to be in mint state.

For 1989 – D pennies graded MS68, they are valued at $260, and if you are lucky and see a sample of this coin graded in MS68+ and above, you should be able to sell it for over $3,000. The only problem is that 1989 – D pennies in such premium grades are very rare to find. However, in 2020, a 1989 – D graded MS69RD was sold for a sum of $1,023.

The red (RD) 1989 – D penny has the highest value especially in mint state, although it’s almost impossible for you’re a 1989 – D penny to be in pristine condition, and not retain its red color.

When in Red-brown, the 1989 – D is worth about $10, that is if it’s graded MS67. So, to get more value than this, your RB 1989 – D penny needs to have a grade of MS68 and higher.

1989 – D pennies with brown coloration are the least desirable because they are worth just face value unless they are error coins.

Exploring the History and Modern Evolution of US Coins
Appraisal Today

Even in uncirculated condition, a brown 1989 – D penny is worth only five cents. But, if you can find a brown 1989 – D penny that’s graded MS67, you can expect it to fetch around $8.

1989 – S Proof Penny

1989 – S Proof Penny

The San Francisco mint did not produce regular 1989 pennies, rather it specialized in the mintage of only proof coins. 3,220,194 proof pennies were minted in San Francisco, and they are recognized by their “S” mint mark.

The planchet used for minting the 1989 proof coins was treated with special chemicals to ensure they have a reflective finish and sharpened haze. Proof coins are usually graded as Cameo, Deep Cameo, and Ultra Cameo, with Ultra Cameo being the shiniest and highest valued.

When minting, the first 50 pennies to be minted have the deepest grades, and subsequently, the contrast begins to fade for the other proof coins.

Generally, proof coins are harder to produce, and that’s why they were minted in slightly over three million instances. The 1989 – S proof coins are in better condition than the other 1989 penny variants because they never made it into circulation, however, they aren’t exactly as valuable as you’ll expect.

A PR70 graded 1989 – S proof penny is worth only $115, which is far less than the value of 1989 – D and 1989 – P in the same condition. The reason why they have a lower value is that there’s nothing spectacular to expect.

The proof coins are uncirculated, so it’s expected that they are in a mint state (nothing out of the ordinary). Coin collectors only add rare coins to their collections, and a 1989 – D penny with red rich coloration and grading of MS68+ is a more unique and rarer coin than the 1989 – S proof coin.

History of the 1989 Lincoln Penny

The 1989 penny is a Lincoln Memorial penny with a face value of one cent. It has a composition of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, but before this, pennies were produced with different compositions. Older pennies are composed of zinc, tin, copper, etc.

The Lincoln penny was first minted in 1909, which was the centennial birthday of President Lincoln.

In 1959, the reverse side of the Lincoln penny was changed from the “Wheat design” to the “Lincoln Memorial Penny design” and this was done by Frank Gasparro. On the observe side of the coin is the portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, which was designed by Victor Brenner. Based on media controversy and arguments, his initials were removed from the observe side of the coin.

In 1982, the U.S. Mint decided that it was time to change the composition of the Lincoln penny, which in turn affected the weight of the penny. Copper was removed from the production of pennies because it was becoming too valuable, and using it for one-cent coins made no sense, as the production cost was more than the value of the coin.

So, pennies were made using zinc, and thin copper was used for the outer layer, so it doesn’t lose its shiny appearance.

Sell Your Coins

1989 Lincoln Penny Grading

Stumbled upon an abandoned 1989 penny and you want to know if you have hit a gold mine or not? The only way to figure that out is to grade your coin.

Grading a coin is nothing complex if you know the right way to do it. There are certain terminologies coin collectors use in grading the value of a coin; Good, Fine, Extra Fine, Uncirculated, Brilliantly Uncirculated, etc. The value of your 1989 penny will depend on what grade your coin falls into.

Also, for the 1989 penny, the coloration is extremely important as well. Coins that still have their shiny red are more valuable than others with brown discoloration, as it signifies, they have been circulated too much.

To know more about the value of a 1989 penny, check out this video.

Rare 1989 Lincoln Penny Error Lists

1989 error pennies have more than face value, and it’s everyone’s dream to have an error coin, regardless of the condition.

Sometimes errors in coins are very easy to spot, other times you need to be familiar with the features and design of the coin, so you can tell when there’s an irregularity.

The 1989 penny has some interesting errors that occurred during the minting process, and remember that the magnitude and rarity of the error are what determines how valuable the coin will be.

Let’s take a look at some of the errors from the 1989 penny.

1. 1989 Lincoln Penny Dime Planchet Error

1989 Lincoln Penny Dime Planchet Error
Image Credit: ebay

When the wrong type of planchet is fed into the coin minting machine, it produces a coin with a different appearance than intended.

This was the case with the 1989 penny; the coin was fed into a blank planchet for dimes and this resulted in a penny that’s smaller in size and weight, and even appearance. Because these pennies were struck on dime planchets, they assumed a silver coloration, so it’s impossible to not even notice it.

Weighing this coin is another way to figure out if it was minted on a dime planchet. 1989 pennies made of dime planchets weigh less than regular pennies.

This error is a valuable one, and it’s worth about $700 in auctions if the coin is in premium grade. A 1989 penny-graded MS65 was sold for $370.

2. 1989 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

1989 Lincoln Penny Off-Center Error

The off-center error is a type of minting error that happens when the coin is not centered properly during the striking process. This causes the design of the coin to appear off-center relative to the edges of the coin. The off-center error can occur in varying degrees, with some being slightly off-center and others significantly off-center.

Exploring the History and Modern Evolution of US Coins
Appraisal Today

The value of an off-center coin will depend on the magnitude of the error.

In 2021, a 20% off-center penny was bought for $89 at an auction, while a high-graded 1989 penny with a 10% off-center error was sold for $20 on eBay.

3. 1989 – D Lincoln Penny Copper Planchet Error

1989 – D Lincoln Penny Copper Planchet Error
Image Credit: minterrornews

Before the implementation of producing pennies with 97.5% zinc, pennies were made of 95% copper and they weighed 3.11 grams.

Some of the 1989 – D pennies were minted on the 95% copper planchets, but because the error was quickly noticed, only very few were made.

In 2016 at an auction, a sample of this error coin was sold for a whopping $3,525. Also, another sample was sold in 2018, for $7,500. So, it’s indeed a very valuable and rare 1989 error penny.

The easiest way to know if you have a 1989 – D copper penny in your hand is to weigh it. It weighs 3.11 grams, which makes it heavier than the regular 1989 pennies.

If you are interested in more error coins from the 1989 penny mintage, you’ll love this video.

1989 Lincoln Penny FAQs

1. What’s The Worth Of A 1989 Penny?

The face value of a 1989 Lincoln penny is one cent, but depending on the condition of the penny, it can sell for way more than that. 1989 pennies in mint states and premium grades can go for up to a thousand dollars and even more. Plus, if it’s a rare error 1989 penny, you’d be surprised at how much it’s worth.

2. How Many 1989 Pennies Were Minted?

Over 12 billion 1989 pennies were minted in all three U.S. facilities (Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco). Due to its large quantity, the 1989 penny is not considered a rare coin.

Sell Your Coins

3. What’s The Composition Of The 1989 Lincoln Penny?

The composition of the 1989 Lincoln penny is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.

4. How Can I Determine The Condition Of A 1989 Penny?

The easiest way to determine the condition of a 1989 penny is to physically examine it. The samples that still have their red color are the most valuable. Then you can look out for signs of scratches and blemishes, plus coins in an uncirculated state have a more defined and sharper appearance.

5. Is It Legal To Melt Down A 1989 Penny For Its Metal Value?

Melting the 1989 penny for its metal value is illegal. It’s illegal to melt down any U.S. coin for its metal value.


The more you study the 1989 penny, the more you’ll learn about it. this coin has a lot of error variations that’ll make a nice addition to any coin collection.

While it’s true that it might have lesser worth than other older pennies with the 95% copper composition, it’s still a valuable coin when in pristine condition.

It’s even much better when you discover your 1989 penny is an error coin, because you’ll definitely sell it off for more than its face value.

Similar Posts