» 1996 Penny Error List & Value

1996 Penny Error List & Value

1996 Penny Value

The 1996 penny, while not considered rare in the numismatic world, retains a unique place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike. Because of its distinctive features and historical value, this common coin is highly sought-after. Many people appreciate it for its design, quality, and overall visual appeal, making it a valuable object for those interested in coin collecting.

Discover why the 1996 penny is highly valued by collectors despite being a common coin. We’ll explore its unique features value, historical significance, and aesthetic appeal in this article.

1996 Penny Details

The 1996 penny, a Lincoln penny is a small yet important piece of American history that has been in circulation for over two decades. This coin is composed of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper and weighs 2.5 grams. Its thickness of 1.52 mm and diameter of 19.00 mm is identical to other pennies minted after 1982. The penny features a plain edge and a round shape, making it easy to recognize.

The 1996 Lincoln penny was minted at three different locations across the United States: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The Philadelphia and Denver mints produced over 6 billion pennies each, while the San Francisco mint produced just over 2 million pennies. In total, 13,125,785,265 Lincoln pennies were minted in 1996, making it one of the most commonly found coins in circulation.

Victor D. Brenner, an American sculptor, designed the 1996 Lincoln penny, featuring a portrait of Abraham Lincoln with inscriptions of “In God We Trust” and “Liberty”. The reverse features the Lincoln Memorial with inscriptions of “United States of America” and “One Cent “. Frank Gasparro designed the reverse of the coin.

The 1996 penny has a face value of 1 cent, but its price can range from a few cents to several dollars depending on its condition and rarity.

1996 Penny Value Chart

Mint Good Fine Extra Fine Uncirculated
1996 No Mint Mark Penny Value $0.01 $0.01 $0.03 $0.34
1996 – D Penny Value $0.01 $0.01 $0.03 $0.34
1996 – S Proof Penny Value $4.10

1996 No Mint Mark Penny

1996 No Mint Mark Penny
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The 1996 Lincoln penny minted in Philadelphia is a special coin that lacks a mint mark on its obverse. This unique feature sets it apart from other pennies produced in the same year, and it is a distinguishing characteristic that coin collectors and enthusiasts pay close attention to.

With over 6 billion coins produced, the 1996 no-mint mark penny is far from rare, and its value is generally low. However, collectors find the no-mint mark penny exciting in mint condition, available at approximately thirty cents for uncirculated coins.

The 1996 penny, despite having a low value, has historical significance, making it an interesting coin for collectors to add to their collection. Its unique feature of lacking a mint, which seems insignificant, serves as a testament to the penny’s production and history. The US Mint experimented with removing mint marks from certain coins in the early 1990s to save on production costs, and this practice continued until 1996 when mint marks were restored to all pennies. Therefore, the 1996 penny without a mint mark is considered a fascinating coin for collectors due to its historical significance.

Despite having a face value of only one cent, the 1996 no-mint mark can be worth thousands to collectors. High-graded examples of MS68+ and MS69 have been known to fetch about $2,450 and $1,221 respectively at auction.

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1996 – D Penny

1996 – D Penny
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The 1996 D Lincoln penny is a readily available coin for collectors due to its high mintage of over 6.5 billion pieces. The Denver Mint produced these coins, and they can be quickly distinguished by the letter D, which is struck to the right of President Lincoln’s bust.

While a well-preserved circulated 1996 D penny is only worth one cent, coins in mint state condition can fetch up to 33 cents. However, it’s essential to note that some auction records show that collectors are willing to pay much more for these coins. For example, a collector paid a remarkable $3,565 for a 1996 D MS 69 red Lincoln penny at an auction.

The 1996 D penny is a reminder that even common coins can hold value beyond their face value, especially if they’re in excellent condition or have unique features. Collectors who specialize in pennies or those interested in US coin history will likely seek out the 1996 D penny to add to their collections.

1996 – S Proof Penny

1996 – S Proof Penny

The San Francisco Mint produced a limited mintage of 2,525,265 proof pennies in 1996, which were exclusively for collectors. The pennies bear an S mark on the obverse (back), next to Abraham Lincoln’s profile. Unlike regular pennies, these proof coins are highly reflective and have a polished appearance.

Typically, proof coins are sold in small sets by the United States Mint, and they can be purchased for a reasonable price ranging from seven to ten dollars. However, an individual coin’s value varies on its grade and polished surface, ranging from 6 cents to $4.10.

Despite their moderate value, proof coins can reach significantly high prices at auctions. In 2003, a single 1996 “S” PR 70 Deep Cameo penny was sold for an astonishing $1,610, making it the most valuable specimen to date.

Collectors are fascinated by the unique appearance of proof coins, which are produced using a specialized minting process that involves multiple strikes on specially prepared blanks. This process results in a highly polished and reflective surface that set proof coins apart from regular coins.

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Overall, the 1996 S penny is a highly collectible coin that was produced in limited quantities for collectors. while its value may not be significant, its unique appearance and limited mintage make it a sought-after item in the collector community.

History of the 1996 Penny

The 1996 Lincoln penny is a notable coin in the history of the United States currency. The penny has a rich history that began over eight decades earlier, in 1909, when the first Lincoln penny was minted to honor President Abraham Lincoln, who was born 100 years earlier.

The idea of featuring President Lincoln’s portrait on the penny came from President Theodore Roosevelt, who was impressed by a bronze plaque designed by Victor David Brenner, an artist he discovered. Roosevelt commissioned Brenner to design the new penny, but Charles Barber, the US Mint chief engraver, refused to work with Brenner, whom he considered inexperienced. Despite Barber’s protests, the penny was introduced in 1909 and remained essentially the same for the next five decades, with only minor design changes.

However, to honor the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth and the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln penny, the penny underwent a dramatic design modification in 1959. The new reverse design, developed by Frank Gasparro, an assistant US Mint engraver at the time, had the Lincoln Memorial as its prominent element.

The composition of the Lincoln penny has likewise altered over time, from 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc to 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper in 1982. This move was caused by the rising cost of copper and the public’s hoarding of pennies in the belief that the coins’ value would rise.

The 1996 penny bears the same portrait of Abraham Lincoln on its obverse side, as with the earlier Lincoln pennies. the reverse side features the Lincoln Memorial, which has been a staple design for the penny since 1959.

1996 Penny Grading

When it comes to grading a 1996 penny, trusted grading services like the Professional (PCGS) evaluate coins based on a grading scale from 1 to 70, with 70 being the highest possible grade. A high-grade penny would be free of wear and damage, with sharp details and a lustrous appearance. On the other hand, a penny with a lower grade may have significant wear and damage, resulting in a lower value.

To know the value of your 1996 penny, you should watch this video.

Rare 1996 Penny Error Lists

Have you ever wondered why some pennies seem to be worth more than others? One possible explanation is that they may contain some errors that occurred during the minting process. These errors can range from almost unnoticeable to blatantly obvious, and their rarity and type can greatly impact their value.

In this section, we will explore the various errors that can be found in 1996 pennies and how they affect their worth.

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1. 1996 Penny Wide AM Variety

In 1996, the Philadelphia Mint produced pennies with two distinct varieties: the close AM and the Wide AM. The Close AM is the more common variety, but the Wide AM is much rarer. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the space between the letters “A” and “M” in the word “AMERICA” on the coin’s reverse side. If the space is wider than usual, you have a Wide AM penny. These coins are sought after by collectors and can fetch a premium price.

2. 1996 Penny Die Crack Error

1996 Penny Die Crack Error
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One of the fascinating aspects of coin collecting is discovering coins with die cracks. These cracks appear as raised lines on the coin’s surface and are often associated with a specific part of the design. In 1996, Lincoln pennies with a die crack error were produced, which created a small line that connects the letter B and E in the word LIBERTY, looking like the letter “I”. These coins, known as BIE errors, can fetch a value of five to fifteen dollars in the coin market. So, if you happen to find a 1996 penny with this flaw, it could be a valuable addition to your collection.

3. 1996 Double Die Error Penny

The 1996 Double Die penny is an interesting error coin that is highly sought after by collectors. the doubling of the design appears on the coin surface when the die hits the planchet two or three times during the minting process. Lincoln’s eye and tie on the obverse (back), and between the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse, are areas where the doubling can be easily spotted. While coins with minor doublings are not particularly valuable, specimens with higher doublings can be worth hundreds of dollars. For example, a rare 1996 doubled die Lincoln cent in mint state condition is valued at about $550 according to PCGS.

4. 1996 Off-Center Error Penny

1996 Double Die Error Penny

This error occurs when a coin is neither well-centered nor adequately struck during the minting process. The off-center percentage can vary greatly, ranging from 1% to 90%, and the value of the coin is directly affected by this percentage. Coins with a small amount of off-center error, such as the 1996 Lincoln penny with only 3% off-center, have negligible value. However, those with 6% or 10% off-center can bring in around $12, while the most valuable pieces are those with about 60% off-center with the visible date and mint mark, which are typically worth about $100.

Learn about other error coins from this video.

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1996 Penny FAQs

1. Is The 1996 Lincoln Penny Rare?

The 1996 Lincoln penny is not considered rare due to its widespread circulation and lack of distinguishing characteristics from other pennies minted in different years. However, the Wide AM varieties are relatively uncommon and may be considered scarce.

2. Is A 1996 Penny Valuable?

1996 circulated pennies have little value beyond their copper content. Uncirculated 1996 pennies with no mint mark are worth about $0.20 in MS-63RB grade.

3. Which 1996 Penny Is The Most Expensive?

In 2008, a 1996 D MS 69 red Lincoln penny was sold at an auction for an astonishing $3,566, making it the most expensive example.


Finally, the 1996 Lincoln penny is a remarkable piece of American history that has captured the hearts of numismatics and collectors alike. The penny, with its widespread circulation and production across several mints, is a symbol of the country’s enduring spirit and perseverance. Furthermore, the 1996 penny’s multiple errors and die variants make it an unusual and desirable addition to any collection. Overall, the 1996 penny is a wonderful illustration of the beauty and intrigue that can be found in even the smallest and most commonplace objects.

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