1964 Lincoln Penny Value (“D” Mark, SMS, Errors, & More)

If you found an old 1964-dated penny, keep it safe, as it can be worth more than you think!

That’s right! A 1964 Lincoln Cent may appear as an insignificant collectible due to its rich availability. But it can be found with scarce, precious errors and SMS satin finish, which can hike its price from a few cents to thousands of dollars!

Want to know more about such errors, design, and historical features of the 1964 Lincoln Memorial penny? This value guide is what you need!

Key Takeaways

  • The 1964 Penny is the continued 1959 Lincoln Cent series that features the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse. 
  • The value of a 1964 Penny largely depends on its condition, grades, proof or SMS strike, colors, and minting errors. 
  • Among the three coin colors, the Red 1964 Lincoln Pennies are worth the most, fetching up to $1,200 in high-grade mint state. 
  • The 1964 SMS Pennies are extremely rare, and an SP67 or higher graded SMS penny can make up to $10,000 – $15,000 at auctions.

A Quick Time of the Lincoln Memorial Pennies History

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155303887765967992/

Let’s take a look at the historical journey of the Memorial Cent:

  • 1959: Replacing the traditional wheat Lincoln cent, the US Mint commenced the Lincoln Memorial penny series. It featured Lincoln’s profile on the front and the Lincoln Memorial at the back, commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s 150th anniversary. 
  • 1960-1981: The Memorial cents circulated with minor changes in the design, minting locations (in 1964, the pennies were not struck at the San Francisco mint), and relief, shifting from high relief to low to make the coins sustainable. 
  • 1982 – 2008: The Congress changed the composition of 95% copper and 5% zinc to copper-plated zinc in 2008. The Memorial cents were produced with the new configuration until 2008. 
  • 2009: To celebrate Lincoln Cent’s 100th anniversary and Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Anniversary, the US Mint released new Bicentennial cents with four reverse designs. These designs displayed Lincoln’s life from his birth & childhood to his Presidency. 
  • 2010: The new Lincoln coins with the popular Union Shield reverse started and continue to date! 
1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny Key Facts
Material (Composition)Copper (95%) and Zinc (5%) 
Minting Location Philadelphia, Denver, & San Francisco
Year of Minting 1964
Weight3.11 grams 
Diameter19.05 mm 
Thickness1.52 mm
EdgePlain
DesignerVictor D. Brenner (Obverse) and Frank Gasparro (Reverse)
Face Value$0.01 
Mint Marks“D” (Denver Mint)No mintmark (Philadelphia Mint)
Total Mintage 6,447,646,500 (Two facilities)

1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny Design Features

Interestingly, the 1964 penny coin was designed by two different US Mint engravers. Let’s learn more about the front and back designs and their designers:

1. 1964 Lincoln Penny Obverse:

The front or obverse of the 1964 Memorial Cent features the customary Lincoln design curated by Lithuanian sculptor Victor D. Brenner as follows:

  • The right-facing profile of the 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln
  • The word “LIBERTY” inscribed on the left side of the obverse
  • The mint date “1964” etched on the lower right in front of Lincoln’s chest
  • The motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST,” written above Lincoln’s head, running along the upper edge of the obverse

2. 1964 Memorial Penny Reverse:

The 1964 penny’s reverse will have the following design, prepared by Philadelphia Mint’s then Assistant Engraver, Frank Gasparro, in 1959.

  • The nation’s name, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” etched running along the upper half edge
  • The remarkable motif of the Lincoln Memorial building at the center 
  • A small statue of Abraham Lincoln standing inside the memorial, right in the middle
  • Face value “ONE CENT” carved in large font below the Memorial along the lower edge 
  • The US motto, “E. PLURIBUS UNUM,” carved in small font between the Memorial motif and the nation’s name

3. Composition & Dimensions of 1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny:

The 1964 Memorial cent is entirely made of copper and zinc, with 95% copper and only 5% zinc. This content percentage remained unchanged until 1982.

Besides, the plain-edged 1964 penny would weigh close to 3.11 grams and measure 19.05 mm in diameter and 1.52 mm in thickness (height).

4. 1964 Penny Mint Marks:

In 1964, the Lincoln Memorial cents were only struck at Philadelphia and Denver. Among these, only Denver-minted 1964 pennies had a mintmark.

  • 1964-D 1C Coin: These pennies can be spotted by the small “D” mintmark right below the date “1964” on the obverse. They generally won’t cost more than $10 – $15 in a low mint state, but high grades like MS67 or more can fetch up to $700 – $800. 

6 Factors That Decide the 1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny Value

Designs and composition are okay, but the value of an old 1964 Memorial Penny largely depends on the following six factors:

1. 1964 Lincoln Memorial Cent Mintage and Rarity

In 1964, the Philadelphia and Denver mints together produced a total of 6,447,646,500 Lincoln pennies. Naturally, these coins can be found quite easily today, making them common.

That’s why the 1964 pennies won’t fetch more than a few cents, even in an Almost Uncirculated state.

1964 1C CoinsMintage
1964 Memorial Cent (No Mintmark)2,648,575,000
1979-D Memorial Cent (D Mintmark)3,799,071,500

2. Condition Grades of 1964 Memorial Cent

If your 1964 Memorial Cent is graded something like MS68 or MS68 by a popular coin grading service, such as NGC, PCGS, or ANACS, it can be worth up to $800 or more.

That’s because this 1964 penny will be in a new-like state, with less or no signs of wear and tear, intact reliefs, and a shiny surface! On the other hand, the circulated, worn-out Lincoln pennies aren’t valuable at all.

This price chart with detailed research of e-commerce sites like eBay, Etsy, and recent auctions will help you find the correct value of your 1964 penny based on its grades.

Coin’s Condition Grades1964 Lincoln Memorial Cent Value1964-D Lincoln Memorial Cent Value
Good to Very Fine (VF20+) 1-10 centsBelow 5 cents
Extremely Fine (XF40) – Almost Uncirculated (AU50+)50 cents – $5Below $2-$3  
Mint State (MS60 – 65)$1 – $15$1 – $10
Mint State (MS66 – 68) $5 – $900$5 – $800
1964 1C MS RD Penny Value

3. 1964 Lincoln Memorial Proof Coin

The Philadelphia Mint struck over 3,950,762 1964 Lincoln Cent proof coins in regular and deep cameos, apart from the regular circulating coins.

Among these, the “regular cameo” 1964 proof penny will fetch up to $100 for the highest proof grade of PR69, while the red “deep cameo” penny can be worth up to $500 or more for the same grade.

In contrast, the low-grade 1964 proof cents won’t cost more than $5 – $20, based on a regular or deep cameo.

1964 Lincoln Penny Proof Coin Value

Want to learn how to check if your 1964 Memorial Cent is a proof coin, look for these features:

  • No mintmark (since all proof coins were minted in Philadelphia)
  • A mirror-like shine surface/field
  • Frosted finish on high-relief motifs like the profile, memorial, etc. 
  • High relief and sharp details on Lincoln’s portrait and the memorial building
  • A clear contrast between the field and relief carved design
  • Better and more detailed strikes than circulating coins

4. 1964 1C Special Strike

Apart from the proof coins, the Philadelphia Mint also made the 1964 Special Strike proof coins, which were discovered later. Although they didn’t belong to the Special Mint Cent series, they’re still called SMS due to their similar features.

1964 Lincoln Penny SMS Coin Price

These coins have a special smooth and non-reflective surface with a satin finish. A high-grade 1964 1C SMS coin, ranging from SP65 to SP67, can be worth around $2,000 up to $15,500, according to previous auctions at Heritage Auctions.

5. Valuable 1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny Errors

Due to their extremely huge production, the 1964 Memorial Cents have a low demand as collectibles. It’s only the minting errors that hike their values.

Below are some extremely valuable anomalies that you can find on an old 1964 Penny:

1. 1964 Triple Strike Penny Error: This error happens when a 1964 penny planchet is struck three times, resulting in three overlapping designs. Such a rare 1964 Memorial Cent can cost up to $1,000 or more for high (63+) mint state grades. 

2. 1964 1C DD Error: If the reverse or obverse of your 1964 Penny has a double-struck design, it’s a 1964 1C DDO/DDR coin. You can expect a price of up to $100 for a high-grade mint cent. 

3. 1964 D/D (RPM) Penny Error: If you notice a bold, double-struck “D” mint mark on your 1964-D Penny, it has a “re-punched mint” error. Such a penny may cost up to $30 or more for MS65 or higher grades. 

4. Clipped Planchet: If a portion of your 1964 penny is broken off, it’s a 1964 1C Clipped Planchet error coin. This flaw is a result of a sharp mint die striking the coin. Such coins can range from $5 – $150 or more based on grades. 

5. 1964 Off-Center Strike Penny Error: When the coin planchet is misplaced or slipped inside the mint die due to a faulty collar, the result is an off-center strike error. An ungraded 1964 Off-center Strike penny can cost up to $80, while the high-grade ones can cost more, up to $700. 

6. 1964-D 1C Struck Over 1963-D Cent Error: This rare coin is a result of the faulty striking of a 1964-D Penny over a 1963-D cent. You’ll see “1963” on the coin’s reverse, costing up to $4,000 at high mint state grades like MS64 or more. 

7. Letters on the Edge Error: If you see the letter “L” of Liberty or the tops of letters in “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” etched over the rim of the obverse, it’s an error. Such a 1964 penny coin cost up to $1,300 in a high-grade state. 

6. 1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny Colors

You will find the 1964 Lincoln Memorial Cent in three different colors: red, brown, and red-brown

Among these, the only high-quality 1964 Red Cents and 1964-D Red Cents will be the most valuable, costing up to $1,200 in a high-grade mint state. The brown or red-brown 1964 pennies won’t attract any eye at all.

How Can You Tell if a Penny is a 1964 SMS?

You can spot a 1964 SMS or Special Strike Penny by its sharp reliefs, satin surface, non-reflective finish, and clear mint strikes, and die lines.

Are 1964 cents worth anything? 

Due to their large mintage and handy availability, the circulated 1964 Lincoln Cents don’t value more than 5 to 10 cents. But mint-state coins with grades like MS67 or higher can cost $800 to $900. And if the 1964 Cent has some rare minting errors, it can be priced at up to a few thousand.

The 1964 Lincoln Memorial Penny is the continuation of the new Memorial design inaugurated in 1959. But due to a surprisingly high mintage of Memorial Cents in 1964, these coins are historic! The 1944 Wheat Penny and 1943 Steel Penny are other valuable pennies from the Lincoln series. Join me to learn more about them!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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