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1997 Penny Value: Varieties & Errors

With over 9 billion 1997 pennies minted for circulation, it doesn’t score the scarcity points that valuable coins do. Could this possibly mean that the 1997 penny isn’t valuable?

Maybe not. Beyond scarcity, many factors contribute to how valuable a coin is, and the 1997 penny isn’t any different. But first, what’s the value of the 1997 penny?

On average, a 1997 penny is worth at least $0.34 in uncirculated (MS+) mint state and $0.0066 at melt value. The highest amount paid for this coin was $6,360 in an auction in 2021, and the coin was graded MS69RD.

For a 1997 penny to sell at a high price, it has to be in excellent condition. Usually, the state of the coin determines its value, so your 1997 penny might sell for more than $0.34.

To just any individual, the 1997 penny is just a one-cent coin and nothing more. However, collectors and numismatics don’t share similar views about the 1997 Lincoln penny.

If you’re wondering what to do with your 1997 penny, this article helps you see clearer. Find out how valuable the 1997 Lincoln penny cost in different states.

History of The 1997 Penny

1997 Penny

The 1997 penny is one of the Lincoln cents produced and was designed by Frank Gasparro. The Lincoln cents were produced to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in 1959, and the 1997 penny is just a variant.

Hence, the 1997 pennies aren’t specifically connected to any historical event in the year they were produced. Although the coin features the “Lincoln Memorial,” earning the Memorial Pennies title.

Unlike the Lincoln cents, which were initially 95% copper and 5% zinc, the 1997 pennies were made of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. Therefore, thicker copper platings were used in the production to make the coins have a more copper-like look.

As with previous Lincoln pennies, the 1997 variants were minted in three Mints in the United States—explaining the coin’s varieties.

With as many as 9 billion of them in circulation, collecting high-grade 1997 pennies is the best thing to do.

Features of The 1997 Penny

Features Details
Composition 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper
Face Value $0.01
Weight 2.50 grams
Diameter 19.05 mm
Thickness 1.52 mm
Edge Plain

Varieties of The 1997 Penny

Usually, coins are identified by their mintmarks, and the 1997 penny is no different. While Frank Gasparro may have made one design for the coin, the 1997 penny has three varieties, depending on where they were minted.

The three varieties include:

  • 1997 P Penny (minted in Philadelphia with no mint mark)
  • 1997-D Penny (minted in Denver)
  • 1997-S Proof Penny (minted in San Francisco)

All three varieties amount to over 9 billion, but the mintage in each facility is broken down below:

  • Philadelphia Mint = 4,622,800,000
  • Denver Mint = 4,576,555,000
  • San Francisco Mint = 2,796,678

Obverse And Reverse Design

The three varieties of the 1997 Memorial Penny are the same, except for their mint mark visible on the coin’s obverse. The obverse of the coin has the right-facing portrait of Abraham Lincoln at the center of the coin.

Aside from that, there are inscriptions written around the portrait.

1997 Penny Obverse

  • IN GOD WE TRUST — the motto, curved above the portrait of Abraham Lincoln
  • LIBERTY — written behind Abraham Lincoln’s portrait on the left side of the coin
  • 1997 — written on the right side of the coin
  • D, S, or No Mint Mark — written directly below “1997”, with d or s signifying the coin’s mint mark. 1997 pennies with neither has no mint mark

The coin’s reverse has the following features:

  • LINCOLN MEMORIAL — the Lincoln Memorial is at the center of the coin’s reverse
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — curved at the top of the coin
  • E-PLURIBUS-UNUM — meaning “out of many, one” written directly below the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
  • ONE CENT — curved at the bottom of the coin below the Lincoln Memorial

1997 Penny Value

While the 1997 penny is a one-cent coin, it’s valued at $0.34 on average in an uncirculated mint state. Considering that there are billions of them in circulation, one would think that they aren’t worth much.

However, rare 1997 pennies have been sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars. On the other hand, 1997 pennies that aren’t rare but in excellent condition can still fetch a 2-digit value.

Some can sell up to $12 or higher if they’re in a good state. You should note that a few things contribute to how valuable a 1997 penny can be.

1997 Lincoln pennies between the grades of 60 and 70 can fetch a good amount. For example, a 1997 penny graded at 69 sold for $6,360 years ago, the highest the coin was ever sold for.

The coin had no mint mark—meaning a coin’s value can increase even without a mark.

Mint Mark Uncirculated Extremely Fine Fine Good
1997 P Penny Value $0.34 $0.1 $0.01 $0.01
1997-D Penny Value $0.34 $0.2 $0.2 $0.01
1997-S Proof Penny Value $11 $3 $0.01 $0.01

What Makes 1997 Penny Valuable or Not?

The 1997 penny value isn’t fixed. Its value can be a few cents or go as high as hundreds of dollars. A few things can elevate the value of your coin; some of which include:

  • Scarcity

Generally, one factor that contributes to a coin’s value is scarcity. However, scarcity isn’t a feature of the 1997 penny, as many of it was produced.

Only the coins produced at the San Francisco Mint with the “s” mint mark have a lower production rate. Therefore, they may be valued higher than the other varieties.

However, you should know that other features contribute to the value.

  • Condition

Coins are usually graded between 1 to 70 and from good (G) to Proof (PR) state. Therefore, the higher the grade, the higher the value.

If your 1997 penny is rated high, the value will also be high. The state of a coin is usually graded on how defined the designs are.

If a coin’s design is faded or worn, it won’t fetch much. For example, an uncirculated 1997 penny can fetch $11 since its design is still intact.

  • Minting errors

Minting errors are common with coin production. Usually, minting errors increase the value of a coin.

If a 1997 penny has an error, there’s a great chance it will be valued high. There are different 1997 minting errors you can watch out for in your coins, which you’ll discover in a bit.

  • Historic importance

Generally, coins with historical importance have more value. For example, reducing the use of copper for coin production during the war adds historic value to a coin.

As a result, they’re like souvenirs of history. The 1997 penny is produced with 2.5% copper and doesn’t directly have a link to historical importance.

Hence, they are less valued than other coins like the 1943 Lincoln Wheat Penny whose production was compromised during the war to preserve copper.

1997 P Penny No Mint Mark Value

1997 P Penny No Mint Mark

The 1997 penny with no mint mark is one of the varieties produced in Philadelphia. Since it has no mint mark, the worth tends to be lesser in the eyes of some collectors.

On the contrary, the 1997 penny is the highest sold of this production at $6,360 in an auction. The coin was rated at 68, indicating that it was uncirculated.

On the other hand, 1997 pennies with no special qualities will probably only fetch $0.01. Recent prices of the 1997 P penny are displayed below:

MAY 2023 186 MS66RD ANACS
MAY 2023 139 MS65RD PCGS
MAY 2023 89 MS65RD ANACS
MAY 2023 84 MS64RD ANACS

1997-D Penny Value

1997 D Penny

Over four billion of the 1997-D Lincoln penny were produced, so scarcity value isn’t on its side. Therefore, they’re not worth much beyond face value.

They can be valued up to 30 cents if they’re in uncirculated mint condition. The price could go higher if it is an error coin.

This is not to say the 1997-D penny is worthless. In fact, it was sold for $863 at an auction. However, it was in excellent condition, graded at 68 by PCGS.

The state of your 1997-D penny will determine how much it will fetch. You can gauge how much it will sell with recent prices of the coin.

APR 2023 53 MS68RD NGC
JAN 2023 85 MS68RD PCGS
NOV 2022 204 MS68+RD NGC
SEP 2022 119 MS68RD NGC

1997-S Proof Penny Value

1997 S Proof Penny

The 1997-S proof pennies are special and also regarded as proof coins. They are quite different from the other varieties and are often sold in sets.

What makes them special is that they were struck two times on high-tonnage presses. This enables them to have reflective surfaces.

While this should make them special, they’re only slightly more special than the other two varieties. Since they were produced in large quantities, they’re not so rare.

However, due to their good features, they can cost up to $5 in flawless condition. Some can be worth more than their face value.

In a 2004 auction, a 1997-S proof penny was sold for $1,898, the highest ever sold of this variation. The coin was rated PR70.

The value of the 1997-S proof penny depends on its condition. Recent prices of the coin differ.

AUG 2021 144 PR70DCAM PCGS

1997 Penny Error list

1997 Penny Doubled Die Error

1997 Penny Doubled Die Error

One of the common errors of the 1997 Lincoln penny is the double die error. This often happens when a coin shifts between two strikes of the minting die.

As a result, some of the coin’s features may appear a bit blurry or doubled. A 1997 penny with this error will probably fetch some cents and, in great condition, can cost $59.

1997 Penny Off-Center Error

1997 Penny Off-Center Error

You might get lucky and find a 1997 Lincoln penny with an off-center error. Coins with this error are rare and often more valuable than others.

This occurs when the coin’s design shifts off the center, causing some part of it to be absent. While this may occur during production, it doesn’t lower the coin’s value but increases it.

If the date is still visible, it can fetch a high price. A 1997 penny with this error is valued at $15.

1997 Penny Struck On The Wrong Planchet Error

1997 Penny Struck On Wrong Planchet Error

Striking coins on the wrong planchet is very common in coin production. Some 1997 pennies were struck on the planchet of other coins.

They are more commonly struck on a dime or foreign planchet. As a result, the coin’s price may go higher than the face value.

It is valued at $14 per lot.

1997 Lincoln Penny Strike Through Feeder Fingers

1997 Penny Strike Through Feeder Fingers

Another 1997 penny error you might discover is the one struck through the feeder’s finger. This type of error is rare and can increase the coin’s value to hundreds of dollars.

If the coin has other errors, it can improve its value. A 1997 Lincoln penny with a strike through the feeder fingers error can be valued at $325 on eBay.

1997 Lincoln Penny Doubled Ear Error

1997 Penny Doubled Ear Error

This is another rare variant of the 1997 Lincoln penny. It is similar to the double die error, where it seems that the coin shifted between two strikes.

In this case, this error makes the ear of Abraham Lincoln appear as if it has been struck twice on the coin. With the doubled ear error on your 1997 penny, you can get it at a price higher than the face value.

This error coin is valued at $208.


Generally, the value of the 1997 penny isn’t very high compared to other pennies or coins. One reason for this is that they’re not rare, making them fetch only a few cents in good condition.

However, you might be lucky and have a highly valued 1997 penny if it has an error. Also, if the coin is in a flawless, uncirculated state, it’ll be worth a lot.

Having a professional coin grader grade your coin will help determine its score and value. If it’s 65 or higher, it might sell for a good price.

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