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1993 Penny Value: Varieties & Error List

For an ordinary person, the value of a penny may seem insignificant. Nowadays, a penny can barely purchase anything and the coin often stays in our purse or piggy banks.

But to collectors and numismatists, they can hold incredible value, both historically and monetarily. One such penny that has caught the attention of coin enthusiasts is the 1993 penny.

Although its face value is just a penny, certain errors during the minting process have increased the value of some 1993 penny.

In the open market, the price of a 1993 penny starts a dollar each (for lower grade coins) to as high as $4,600 (for the highest PR70 graded coins). But how is this possible and why is it so valuable?

Join us in this article as we explore the history, types, value, and notable errors that make some of these coins more valuable than the lowest denomination in the US currency.

Historical Significance of the 1993 Penny

1993 Penny

The design change of the Lincoln penny holds historical value, from the wheat stalk in 1909, the Lincoln Memorial in 1959 up to the Lincoln Bicentennial in 2008.

But for the 1993 penny, it still has a monumental place in history when it marks a point in the development of coinage.

Although the design was derived from the 1959 Lincoln Memorial penny, what is special with minting the 1993 penny is that it was the era that transitioned from the traditional bronze material to a copper-plated zinc coin, where this change was driven primarily by rising costs.

While the shift was largely unnoticed by the general public, it has made the 1993 penny a unique and pivotal coin in American numismatics.

Types of Different 1993 Pennies

There are 3 types of 1993 penny and they all differentiate from their mint marks which tells you where the coin was minted.

1. 1993 S Penny

1993 S Penny

Total # of minted coins: 3,394,792

Minted in San Francisco, the 1993 S Penny bears the S mint mark. Since it is a proof coin intended for collectors, it is the least minted penny representing only 0.03% of the total 1993 Penny coins produced.

Furthermore, the 1993 S Penny is made from specially polished planchets and dies that gives the coin its unique depth, shine, luster and finish.

2. 1993 D Penny

1993 D Penny

Total # of minted coins: 6,426,650,571

The D mint mark of this penny tells us that this coin is minted in the Denver branch of the US Mint.

With over 6 billion coins minted, the 1993 D Penny is the most minted penny and considered a common coin where the majority is currently in circulation.

3. 1993 No Mint Mark Penny

1993 Penny No Mint Mark

Total # of minted coins: 5,684,705,000

Aside from San Francisco and Denver, the Philadelphia branch of the US mint also produced 1993 Penny with over 5 billion coins minted.

With this, you might be expecting to see P in its mint markings. Unfortunately, there is none, thus its name. This is an honest error made during the minting process, forgetting to place P in the dies when the coins are struck and made.

Value of Different 1993 Pennies

Being the lowest denomination in the US currency, the face value of a 1993 penny only stands at 1 cent ($0.01).

However, there are certain conditions and factors numismatists are looking for that makes the 1993 penny more valuable than its face value.

1993 S Penny Value

Free from tarnish and scratch, a mint state 1993 S Penny easily sells anywhere from $1 to as high as $5 each. For professionally graded coins, it fetches a higher price. In August 2023, a PR70 grade coin was sold for $29 at eBay.

But this is just a fraction of its highest auction price record that happened in 2004 where a PR70DCAM coin was sold for $650.

But why is it so expensive? Take note that a PR70DCAM graded coin means that it is in mint condition and clearly showing all the features of the coin with zero damage. In other words, it is a perfect coin.

Here are the top 10 highest auction prices of the 1993 S Penny:

Date Firm Grade Price ($)
Jun 2004 Stack’s PR 70 650
Feb 2003 Heritage Auctions PR 70 633
Jul 2003 Heritage Auctions PR 70 604
Ju 2003 Heritage Auctions PR 70 604
Nov 2006 Bowers & Merena PR 70 575
Mar 2003 Heritage Auctions PR 70 518
Jun 2002 Heritage Auctions PR 70 506
Jul 2005 Heritage Auctions PR 70 489
Apr 2008 Heritage Auctions PR 70 460
Dec 2004 Heritage Auction PR 70 431

1993 D Penny Value

Since it is a common coin, circulated stands at its face value while uncirculated coins only command a quarter of a dollar.

But on the higher end of the spectrum, the auction record for a 1993 D penny was a MS 69 graded coin priced at $4,600, making it the most expensive penny.

Here are the top 5 highest auction prices of the 1993 D Penny:

Date Firm Grade Price ($)
Jun 2010 Bowers & Merena MS 69 4,600
Nov 2008 Bowers & Merena MS 69 4,140
Mar 2019 Legend Rare Coin Auctions MS 69 RD 2,467.50
Sept 2003 Heritage Auctions MS 69 1,495
Nov 2022 David Lawrence RC MS 69 RD 975

Price of the 1993 No Mint Mark Penny

Since it is a largely minted coin, the 1993 No Mint Mark Penny stands at its face value and uncirculated coins only sell at 30 cents ($0.3). But for graded coins, the most expensive was a MS69RD grade coin sold at eBay for $3,375.

Here are the top 5 highest auction prices of the 1993 No Mint Mark Penny:

Date Firm Grade Price ($)
Feb 2022 eBay MS 69 RD 3,375
Dec 2021 eBay MS 69 RD 2,995
Jul 2011 Heritage Auctions MS 68 978
Apr 2007 Heritage Auctions MS 65 546
Jun 2023 eBay MS 66 RB 500

Here’s a summary of the 1993 Penny value:

Mint

Mark

Condition Highest Auction Price
Good Excellent Superior Uncirculated
S Penny $0.05 – 0.1 $0.1 – 0.25 $0.25 – 0.5 $1.00 – 5.00 $650.00
D Penny $0.01 $0.03 – 0.05 $0.1 – 0.25 $0.25 – 1.00 $4,600.00
No Mint Mark $0.03 – 0.05 $0.1 – 0.25 $0.25 – 2.00 $1.00 – 5.00 $3,375.00

Error List of The 1993 Penny

Although minting coins are done with machinery, it is the human side of operation that errors occur, like what happened in the 1993 No Mint Mark Penny.

Surprisingly, minting errors add more value to the coin. Here are some of the notable errors made in minting the 1993 Penny.

1. 1993 Double Die Penny

1993 Penny Double Die Error

Minting a coin only requires a single strike. However, in some cases, the die is struck twice or more, resulting in a distorted image, in which Lincoln himself will not like it.

Although this can easily be prevented, it is surprising to know that a double strike occurs frequently during the minting process.

The price of a 1993 double die penny depends on how distorted the image. If the distortion is vague and not pronounced, it can only sell anywhere from $20 to 50. But for more pronounced distortion and graded coins, the prices could go up high.

In case you want to collect this coin, there’s a few being offered at eBay, another in good condition for $370.

2. 1993 Off Center Strike Penny

1993 Penny Off Center Strike Error

Coins that are improperly placed at the center during the striking process of the mint will produce off-center designs. In general, most off strikes in the 1993 Penny deviate only from 3 to 5% which often gets unnoticed. But in rare cases, it can stray by as much as 25%.

The 1993 Off Center Strike Penny can easily sell for $15, up to as much as $30. But for coins that are obviously off-centered, their prices can go up $100 each.

Here are the top 5 highest auction prices of the 1993 Off Center Strike Penny:

Date Firm Grade Price ($)
Dec 2020 Heritage Auctions MS 66 RD 276
Jan 2022 Heritage Auctions MS 64 RD 84
Jan 2016 Heritage Auctions MS 65 RD 58
Dec 2015 Heritage Auctions Damaged 58
Feb 2016 Heritage Auctions Damaged 56

3. 1993 Close AM Penny

1993 Penny Close AM Error

While there are several possible errors in the obverse side of the 1993 Penny, there is only one in the reverse side and concentrated in the word “AMERICA”.

Since 1988, the reverse side of the penny has had a wide AM design. It means that the words A and M are farther apart.

However, and again due to human error, the two mentioned words were closely set to each other, accidentally earning them a new set of coins: the 1993 Close AM Penny.

Uncirculated 1993 Close AM Penny can easily fetch for $0.35. If you want to collect this coin, there is one MS-60 graded currently for sale at $50.

4. 1993 1C Lincoln Cent Struck on a 1993-P Dime

1993 Penny Struck On 1993 P Dime Error

Another error variety is the 1993 1C Lincoln Cent struck on a 1993-P Dime. Considered as a mule coin, this error coin features two different denominations on the same piece of metal.

But how is this possible? It can occur when a blank intended for one denomination is fed accidentally into a coin press for another denomination.

In this case, the 1993 Lincoln cent was struck on a dime planchet, resulting in a smaller coin with an off-center design.

When it comes to value, the error of this double denomination coin is sought after by numismatists and here are the top 2 highest auction prices of the 1993 1C Lincoln Cent Struck on a 1993-P Dime:

Date Firm Grade Price ($)
Apr 2010 Heritage Auctions MS 67 862.50
Apr 2011 Heritage Auctions MS 66 718.75

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How Is the 1993 Penny Graded and Valued?

The 1993 Penny is graded and valued according to luster, condition, strike, and overall visual appeal.

To evaluate and determine their value, pennies are graded from 1 to 70, where the rating MS63 to MS67 are considered highly collectible, sought-after, and commands a higher price.

The most valuable coins are graded PR-70 which means that the coin is in mint condition, clearly showing all the features, and with zero damage. In other words, a PR-70 coin is considered a perfect coin.

2. What Is the Highest Auction Price for A 1993 Penny?

In the June 2010 Baltimore auction, a MS-69 graded 1993 D penny was sold for $4,600, making it both an auction record for the coin and the highest price paid for collecting a penny.

Final Thoughts

Though seemingly ordinary for any person, the 1993 penny possesses a unique place in the world of coin collecting.

Whether you’re a seasoned numismatist or a casual collector, understanding the factors that contribute to its value can help you identify potentially valuable specimens.

Whether it’s a rare variety, a pristine proof strike, or does have a captivating error, the 1993 penny has something for everyone in the world of coin collecting.

Its historical significance, combined with its potential for value, makes it a compelling addition to any coin collection.

So, open those purses and piggy banks. Take off the dust, segregate your 1993 pennies and look for the features we have presented. Who knows, you might be in possession of a rare coin that could break existing auction records.

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