How Much is a 1956 Wheat Penny Worth? (Price Chart)

The 1956 Wheat penny is known for its numismatic value, rising since its production decades ago. Most coin dealers like this coin because it’s among the most iconic Lincoln cents in US history. Since the 1956 penny is not minted anymore, most people who aren’t passionate about coin collecting are unaware of its existence.

A 1956 penny is worth about $0.12 if it’s in extremely fine condition. The value of one in fine condition is about $0.10. If you get your hands on a proof penny, don’t think twice about selling it for up to $8, but other cents have fetched a lot more. For instance, in 2005, the Professional Coin Grading Service graded a 1956 D cent MS-67, and it sold for a whopping $7,475!

Interested in learning more about the 1956 Lincoln penny? Read on. This article provides essential information about this cent, including its history and factors affecting the worth of a specific 1956 cent.

What is the 1956 Penny?

What is the 1956 Penny
Image

The 1956 penny is one of the copper Lincoln wheat pennies whose mintage surpassed one billion. A few of its features are similar to those of other Lincoln pennies. These include the Abraham Lincoln profile at this coin’s obverse side and the slogan “In God We Trust” engraved on the same side.

History

Victor David Brenner designed the 1956 Lincoln penny, as he did all Lincoln wheat pennies. So many of these cents were minted in 1956 that some of them are still in circulation today.

When the mint made the 1956 penny, other significant, interesting things transpired in the US.  For instance, the United States interstate system was introduced. In addition, famous American actress, Grace Kelly, became Monaco’s princess through marrying Prince Rainier.

The 1956 penny’s mass production means that it’s readily available. Hence, its value is not that high. A roll of these cents in uncirculated condition could sell for $3, which most coin dealers deem affordable.

Which US mints produced the 1956 Penny?

Only two varieties of the 1956 Lincoln penny exist today; those minted at the Philadelphia and Denver mints.

While the 1,098,201,100 1956 pennies produced at the Denver mint bear a “D” mintmark on their obverse sides, the 420,745,000 coins made at the Philadelphia mint don’t have any mint mark.

1956 Wheat pennies produced at the Philadelphia mint include over 669,000 proof pennies.

This year, the San Francisco mint did not make any wheat pennies, unlike the years before.

Why was the 1956 penny minted?

Like all Lincoln Wheat pennies, the 1956 penny was minted to respect former US president Abraham Lincoln. Many Americans argue that he was one of the most exemplary leaders ever to serve the nation.

Features of the 1956 Lincoln Wheat Penny

To have an easy time identifying the 1956 Wheat penny, master its features.

These are as follows:

Portrait

The 1956 penny has the image of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, on its head. In this portrait, President Lincoln is facing the right.

Obverse (Head) Features

Obverse (Head) Features 2

Expect a raised engraving reading “LIBERTY” to the left of President Lincoln’s image on the 1956 penny’s obverse side. To the left of the profile, just opposite “LIBERTY,” there’s the date “1956” to indicate when this coin was minted.

The inscription “IN GOD, WE TRUST” is arching over the 1956 penny’s head.

Reverse (Tail) Features

Reverse (Tail) Features 2

Two engravings dominate the middle part of the 1956-Penny’s tail. One reads “ONE CENT,” and the other, which is right under it, reads “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

There are two stalks of wheat along the outer edges of the 1956 penny. One’s on the right, and the other one’s on the left side.

Arching over the 1956 penny’s tail is the phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” a well-known US motto, which means “one from many.”

Mintmark on the 1956 Penny

Mintmark on the 1956 Penny

The Philadelphia mint produced 1956 pennies without a mintmark. Cents made at the Denver mint bear the mint mark “D,” conveniently situated under the date on the coin’s head.

Slogans on the 1956 Penny

“IN GOD WE TRUST”

Metals Used to make the 1956 Penny

The 1956 Wheat penny was made from three metals: copper (95%), tin & zinc (5%).

Weight and Dimensions

According to the United States Mint, which issued the 1956 penny, it weighs 3.11 grams. It has 19.05 mm (0.75 inches) in diameter.

Value of the 1956 Lincoln penny

Value of the 1956 Lincoln penny

The 1956 Wheat penny with a “D” mintmark and one without have the same value. One in fine condition could sell for about $0.10.

A 1956 penny in extremely fine condition is worth a little more and is typically priced at $0.12.

1956 pennies in certified mint state (MS+) condition can fetch up to $5 at an auction. The value of proof pennies is more than all others. It could be as much as $8.

Finding the accurate value of a 1956 penny is not difficult, as long as one identifies where the coin was minted and grades it according to its condition.

Denominational value of the 1956 penny

$0.01, or one cent.

How much is the 1956-penny worth at a pawn shop?

The pawnshop doesn’t determine the value of a 1956 penny by looking at it. It must identify its condition or hire an expert to grade it.

If a 1956 penny is in extremely bad shape, the pawnbroker may offer between 5 and 10 cents for it. Most pawnshops are ready to pay about $0.15 for 1956 pennies in uncirculated condition.

 

A comparison table showing the value of the 1956 penny

Date/ 1956 Penny Mintmark Condition of 1956 Lincoln Wheat penny
Good Fine Extremely Fine Uncirculated
1956 $0.10 $0.10 $0.12 $0.15
1956 D $0.10 $0.10 $0.12 $0.15

Factors influencing the value of the 1956 penny

Factors influencing the value of the 1956 penny

Several factors help coin dealers or collectors determine the value of a 1956 Wheat penny.

Rarity

If a 1956 Wheat penny is rare, it becomes more valuable.

Over a billion 1956 coins were manufactured. This means they are not scarce, and collectors don’t struggle to find them. Their availability minimizes their value.

Grade

If you have a 1956 Lincoln penny and would love to sell it, let a professional check it and grade it. With an official grade, pricing will be a breeze. Below are the various coin grades for 1956 Lincoln pennies.

Uncirculated – This 1956 penny looks as if it’s just left the mint. It has been preserved in a safe place for a long time. Therefore, it doesn’t have any flaws despite its old age.

Uncirculated 1956 wheat pennies still have their original luster. The copper texture over its surface is consistent.

Extremely fine – This 1956 coin looks flawless from a distance. However, a closer look might reveal one or two flaws. For instance, Abraham Lincoln’s temple might have a slight smoothing. This coin might also have a small scratch that’s hard to notice.

Fine – A 1956 penny in fine condition has exchanged many hands. It has some smoothing on various parts of its surface. It may also have a few scratches.

Despite this coin’s damage, the imaging and lettering are still clear.

Good – If a 1956 penny has this grading, it doesn’t look appealing. Years of being in circulation have rendered it heavily damaged. It’s impossible to spot all the lettering and imaging on a 1956 coin in this condition.

The better the condition of a 1956 penny, the higher its value.

Error/misstruck coin

Errormisstruck coin

A misstruck 1956 penny left the Philadelphia or Denver mint looking different from other cents made that year.

To know if a 1956 penny has a minting error, take some time to look at it. Does it have die scratches, lamination breaks, or other features that make it unique?

One of the minting errors you may find on the 1956 penny is the D above shadow D. Since this coin is rare, it could fetch about $25 in extremely fine condition.

Some 1956 pennies have the clipped planchet error. This means that part of their planchet is missing.

How clean or new is the 1956 penny?

Most coin dealers deem a new or clean 1956 penny more attractive. Even so, they still consider other factors when pricing the coin.

FAQ

1956 Wheat Penny FAQ

Does the 1956 Wheat penny have any errors?

Yes. The 1956 Wheat penny might have the D above shadow D minting error or the clipped planchet error.

Are 1956 D pennies rare today?

No. 1956 D Wheat pennies are not hard to find these days. Some people still preserve them because of their history.

How many 1956 Pennies were minted?

1,518,946,100 1956 pennies were minted at the Denver and Philadelphia mints in the United States.

Who designed the 1956 Wheat penny?

Victor David Brenner, a Latvia-American sculptor, designed the 1956 Lincoln cent.

How much is a 1956 proof coin worth?

A 1956 proof coin is worth about $8. Its value could exceed this if it has any special features such as errors.

Winding Up: Is the 1956 Penny Worth Collecting?

If you’re a passionate collector, the 1956 penny is unquestionably worth your attention. At the pawnshop, the 1956-penny value is about ten cents.

The value of one coin might differ from that of another based on its rarity, grading, and newness.

Do you have any questions about the 1956 penny? Be sure to tell us!

11 thoughts on “How Much is a 1956 Wheat Penny Worth? (Price Chart)”

  1. I have a 1956 D penny. It is not copper in color. It is very shiny and looks almost silver in color. Has it been altered? Is it a proof? Is it worth anything?
    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  2. Value changes daily on coins. So how much is 1926 Wheat Penny is now and have 1925,1937D with defects,1941,1941D, 1945,1955D,1956, 1958, 1958D. Would have sent photos but site shows no position for them

    Reply
  3. I found a 1956 Philadelphia mint Lincoln wheat cent with an error on the reverse extra wheat leaf is this a discovery coin?

    Reply
  4. I have a 1956 no mint penny very glossy and looks like it was just came out of the mint it’s uncirculated great shape and color

    Reply
  5. I have a 1956 no mint penny very glossy and looks like it was just came out of the mint it’s uncirculated great shape and color

    Reply

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