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1952 D Wheat Penny Value Today & Errors

Over 740 million 1952 D wheat pennies were produced in 1952 in the Denver Mint, USA. At such a high volume, the penny doesn’t qualify as a rare cent.

However, the large production means several minting mistakes were made, thereby creating a sizeable list of rare and valuable errors.

The 1952 D wheat penny is generally relatively inexpensive in the collectors’ market. The only valuable 1952 D pennies are those in MS67 or higher grades, valued at about $280 – $480.

A few have sold at auctions for several thousand dollars, but the most attractive variety remains those with rare errors like the 1952 D/S Re-Punched Mint Mark that sold for $650 at an auction and the 1952 D Struck on a Silver Dime planchet error sold for $3,450

In this article, we will dive into the full list of errors you should look for in a 1952 D penny.

Read on to learn the true value of the penny, its historical significance, and specifications.

History of the 1952 D Penny

1952 D Penny

One of the developments that continued in 1952 was coin collecting, a practice that began in the mid-1800s in the United States.

Numismatic News, a numismatic magazine about coin collection, was launched in October 1952, marking the first issue in a 70-year-long production that still brings you content on coin values to date.

By the time the magazine launched, collectors were increasing in number, ready to profit from the 1952 coins.

The 1952 D penny is part of the Lincoln Wheat cent (also known as the Lincoln penny) series made between 1909 and 1958. The ‘D’ designation means it was minted in the Denver mint, and like other coins made in Denver, it features the ‘D’ mint mark on the obverse side.

1909 to 1958 Lincoln pennies featured designs from sculptor Victor David Brenner – the obverse depicting Lincoln’s bust and the reverse featuring two sheaves of wheat.

They are called Lincoln pennies because, in 1909, Abraham Lincoln became the first president to be featured on the penny, marking his 100th birthday. The reverse image was later changed in 1959 to the Lincoln Memorial image, ushering in the Lincoln Memorial Pennies from 1959 – 2008.

The two stalks of wheat on the reverse were used as a representation of the agricultural heritage of the United States.

1952 D Penny Features

1952 D penny specifications:

  • Series: Lincoln Wheat Penny 1909 – 1958
  • Year of Make: 1952
  • Mint Branch: Denver
  • Mintage: 746, 130, 000
  • Composition: 95% Copper, 5% Tin & Zinc
  • Weight: 3.11 grams (0.10970 ounces)
  • Diameter: 19.00 millimeters (1.75 inches)
  • Thickness: 1.52 millimeters (0.03938 inches)
  • Edge: Plain (no reeds)

1952 D Penny Varieties

Only one type of 1952 D penny was made – regular strike coins. Meaning the Denver Mint did not produce any Proof or Special Mint Sets (Special Strike).

Regular Strike coins are circulation coins made for commerce and general use. Finding one in good mint condition is hard since they have been circulating for over 70 years.

Obverse and Reverse Design

Victor David Brenner designed both the obverse and reverse sides.

The obverse (heads) features Abraham Lincoln’s bust facing the right. Inscriptions include the proclamations:

1952 D Penny Obverse

  • IN GOD WE TRUST – above the image of Lincoln
  • LIBERTY on the left of the image
  • 1952 on the right side of the image
  • ‘D’ Mint Mark – appears below the mint year (1952) and indicates the mint’s location: D for Denver.

The reverse depicts two sheaves of wheat and the following inscriptions:

  • ONE CENT – at the top center
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – below ‘ONE CENT’
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM – in concave at the top perimeter

What Makes 1952 D Wheat Pennies Valuable?

1952 D pennies with rare mint errors, higher mint condition, and higher demand are the most valuable in the entire lineup.

1. Mint Errors – Rarity

Mint errors are mistakes that happen during production, resulting in the creation of unique pennies that have some irregularities.

Collectors mostly search for these varieties due to their special features and price value. The re-punched Mint Mark error in the 1952 penny is among the most in-demand and valuable errors that make the coin more appealing to collectors.

2. Grading – Coin Condition and Colors

The Sheldon grading scale is the industry standard for coin grading. It is a system where a coin’s condition is scaled from 1 to 70. This is the scale used by notable grading services like the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC).

MS60 – MS70 (Mint State (MS) condition) is the scale range used to identify the grade of any 1952 D penny. MS60 is the lowest coin condition of the mint state uncirculated coins, while MS70 is the highest.

MS70 means the penny has no post-production imperfections when you magnify at 5x the magnification. MS64 or lower shows the coin has average strikes, imperfections, and weaknesses with moderate abrasions and hairlines in varying sizes.

Uncirculated coins are in better condition than circulated coins since they are well-preserved to keep the coin’s original quality (mint state).

Therefore, when looking for the best grades, opt for uncirculated mint state coins since their features are well-defined, and they will have a better resale value.

Some circulated coins can be in excellent condition; this usually includes coins in MS64 or lower grades.

The color of the coin is also used in gauging its condition. Red (RD) is the vest, followed by Red-Brown (RB), and the lowest color grade is Brown (BN). Therefore, MSRD refers to the Red coin in Mint Condition, MSRB- Red and brown penny in Mint State, and MSBN- Brown penny in Mint State.

3. Demand

Demand will drive the value and price of the 1952 D penny. Higher demand for a certain variety means that the value will go up, thereby increasing the coin’s price.

You can look up which 1952 D pennies coins are more in demand on coin grading sites like Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS).

1952 D Penny Value

The 1952 D penny has a minimal face value of $0.01 and a melt value of $0.0253.

According to the USA Coin Book, the estimated value of the 1952 D Lincoln Wheat penny in average condition is $0.06. Uncirculated Mint condition coins are valued between $0.87 and $2.33.

However, since pennies are valued higher than their intrinsic value, the 1952 D pennies sell for higher prices provided they have valuable traits like rare mint errors, higher mint condition, and are in high demand.

With all this in mind, the average 1952 D penny in the market today is valued at $0.50 in the MS60BN state (lowest quality) and as high as $430 in the MS67RD state (highest quality).

Below is a summary value chart showcasing 1952 D pennies and how much they are valued according to proprietary market knowledge of PCGS and the Numismatic Guaranty Company NGC:

1952 D Penny Grades  Red- RD  Red Brown – RB Brown- BN
MS60 $2 $1 $0.50
MS61 $3 $1.50 $0.75
MS62 $4 $2.50 $1
MS63 $6 -$7 $3.50 $1.50
MS64 $12.50 $5 $2.50
MS65 $18 – $24 $11 $5
MS66 $35 – $37 $22 $12.50
MS67 $285 – $430 N/A N/A
MS68 N/A N/A N/A

 Note:

  • The N/A in columns without a price guide does not mean the coins are rare. Instead, it shows that there isn’t enough data to publish an average price estimate.

The highest prices are realized when coins are sold at auctions. So far, the highest-selling 1952 D penny is the MS67+RD penny that sold for $3,840 in 2023 at the Heritage Auctions.

The ‘+’ designation is given to coins with higher conditions than their intrinsic grades, in this case, MS67+RD instead of MS67RD.

The second highest auction price realized was $1 400 in 2010 at Heritage Auctions for the MS67RD coin.

Below are the highest historical auction records for the 1952-D pennies:

Grade Price Firm Sale Date
MS67+ RD $3, 840 Heritage Auction 2023
MS67+ RD $1, 440 Heritage Auction 2020
MS67 $1, 271 David Lawrence RC 2012
MS67+ RD $1, 020 Heritage Auction 2021
MS67+ RD $999 Legend Rare Coin Auctions 2020
MS67 $862.50 Heritage Auction 2009

1952 D Wheat Penny Errors

Below is a list of the rarest, most valuable, and most common errors with their descriptions. If you are searching for the most valuable 1952 D wheat penny, then you should look for coins with these errors:

1. 1952 – D/S (Re-Punched Mint Mark)

1952 D Penny Re-Punched Mint Mark Error

The D/S Re-Punched Mint Mark error features a remnant of an ‘S’ mint mark underneath the ‘D’ mint mark. This shows that the coin production for this variety was scheduled for the San Francisco ‘S’ mint but ended up in the Denver ‘D’ mint.

Officially known as the 1952 -D/S 1C OMM FS-511 penny variety, these coins are valued at $700 at MS66 grade or higher. MS65 is valued at $185, $130 for MS64, and $70 for MS63.

The highest auction price to date for MS66 is $650, MS65 is $288, and $121 for MS64. Getting an MS66 coin would be great, but the most available grades in the market are the MS64 and MS65 coins.

2. 1952 D Lincoln Cent – Struck on a Silver Dime Planchet

1952 D Penny Struck On A Silver Dime Error

This is the rarest of errors in the 1952 D lineup, costing more than a few hundred in the open market. You can find listings of this error on eBay for above $1,000.

The error occurs when a 1952 D Lincoln Cent, which should have been struck on a copper planchet, is instead struck on a planchet intended for a silver dime.

3. 1952 D Lincoln Cent Struck (30% – 90%) Off Center

1952 D Penny Struck Off Center Error

An off-center strike occurs when the coin is not correctly aligned with the dies during the striking process. This can result in an image that’s partially off the center of the coin’s surface, creating a visually interesting and rare error.

The image can be off the center by a small margin as 10% or as high as 90%. In the case of 1952 D pennies, the struck-off center error has been noted to be between the range of 30% and 90%.

4. 1952-D Lincoln Cent – Double Struck

1952 D Penny Double Struck Error

In a double-struck error, the coin that’s stuck in the dies is inadvertently struck again. The second strike can also cause the coin to spread out and take on a larger diameter.

5. 1952 D – Double Struck (D/S) and Rotated in Collar, Small Indent Reverse

1952 D Penny Double Struck & Rotated Error

  • Mint Error: Double Stuck
  • Valuable Grades: MS63 – MS66
  • Auction Realized Prices: $1, 116 in 2017 at Heritage Auctions

During the double striking, as mentioned above, some coins can rotate or shift out of alignment with the dies, resulting in a shifted or distorted image during the second strike.

In the case of the $1 116 coin, the first strike went through, but the coin wasn’t ejected, so the coin was struck again.

After the first strike, the coin rotated about 30 degrees counter-clockwise, causing the second strike to strike the coin in an angled manner.

This resulted in a second strike that shows letters and images that have been struck at different points on the same coin.

6. 1952 D Lincoln Cent – Broad struck

1952 D Penny Broad Struck Error

  • Mint Error: Broad struck
  • Valuable Grades: MS64 – MS66
  • Auction Realized Prices: $28 in 2016 and $31 in 2021 at Heritage Auctions

This occurs when a coin is struck without a retaining collar. A collar is a part of the coin press machinery that helps shape the coin and provide its distinctive rim.

When a coin is struck without the collar in place, the metal is free to expand in all directions upon impact, causing the coin to spread out and become larger than intended.

As a result, the coin may have a flat, smooth edge rather than the raised rim normally seen on coins.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is A 1952 D Penny Worth Today?

Going by the US Coin Book rates, a 1952 D penny in average condition is $0.06 and $0.87 – $2.33 in uncirculated mint condition.

However, the prices can significantly increase if the penny is of a higher grade or contains rare mint errors.

The collector community greatly values these unique coins, making them more valuable and highly-priced. The highest sale record of the 1952 D penny so far is $ 3,840.

 Is A 1952 D Wheat Penny Rare?

With a mintage of over 740 million circulation-grade coins, the 1952 D penny is not a rare coin. It is pretty common, and most available grades are below MS66.

However, there are a few coins that are rare, and that include premium grade 1952 D pennies in MS67 or higher. These coins are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts who aim to acquire high-grade coins for their Lincoln cent sets.

 What Is A 1952 Proof Penny?

A 1952 Proof penny is a 1952 Lincoln cent without a mint mark, minted in Philadelphia, and featuring a ‘proof’ finish.

A proof finish means that the coin was made with the highest quality procedures and features a more refined finish with a mirrored effect.

Conclusion

Most 1952 D wheat pennies available are not going to cost much. However, if you pay attention to the errors and get a higher-grade coin, then you can make yourself a small fortune by selling it for at least a few hundred bucks or as much as a couple hundred thousand.

Our recommendation is that you look for 1952 D pennies with MS66 grades or higher. You can also search for coins with rare mint marks, like the 1952 D D/S Re-Punched Mint Mark penny. Happy Collecting!

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