1956 D Wheat Penny Value
Coleccionistasdemonedas.com Estimated Value of 1956 D Wheat Penny is:
1956 D Penny Wheat MS60 MS61 MS62 MS63 MS64 MS65 MS66 MS67 Value $2 $2 $3 $4-5 $7-8 $12-16 $26-65 $240-2000
Pennies are probably among the most collected American coins in the world. Because they are coins intended for circulation (due to their low value), they are usually found quite worn. Therefore, conservation is one of the most important factors in their price.
How do we identify a 1956 Wheat Penny D?
Since 1909, U.S. pennies have featured on the obverse the bust of Lincoln, a design taken from a photograph of the U.S. president captured in 1864. It is a design by Victor David Brenner.
Today, that same obverse can be seen on the pennies we have in our pockets. However, the “Lincoln” coins minted today have a different reverse than the one we can see on the coin in this article.
Differences between a 1956-D Wheat Penny and today’s Pennies
As for the weight, it should be noted that it remained at 3.11 grams until 1982. The metals that make up a 1956 Wheat Penny are:
- 95% copper and
- 5% tin and zinc
Unlike the 1956 wheat penny, today’s wheat penny weighs only 2.5 grams, and is composed of copper-colored zinc.
On the reverse of the one-cent coins minted between 1909 and 1958, we can see two ears of wheat surrounding the central legend “ONE CENT – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” as if it were a laurel wreath. Just above this legend, appears the Latin motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (From many, one), common on American coins.
How to know the mint of a 1956 D Wheat Penny
It is precisely the spikes that give the wheat penny its name. To know the year of the coin we must look at the obverse. There we can see on the right side of Lincoln’s bust “1956“. Under this number there may or may not be a letter, this is the mint. Above the bust of Lincoln appears another motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, and to the left of it, the word “LIBERTY”.
Wheat Penny D Mint Types
The mints are the factories where coins are minted. In the United States, there are three main mints. Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
To identify the mints on our 1956 D Pennies, just look at the obverse letter above, under the number indicating the year of issue.
- No mint mark: Corresponds to the Philadelphia mint.
- One letter D: Denver mint
- One letter S: mint of San Francisco.
There were only two mints that issued the 1956 Wheat Penny: Philadelphia and Denver. If you want to know which of the two mints produced it, you should look at the letter under the year.
1956 D Wheat Penny value – the importance of the mint mark
Each mint issued a different quantity of coins, and this can vary the price enormously. Next to the quality of the coin’s conservation, the place of manufacture of the coin is one of the most important factors to take into account.
In 1956 they were minted:
-In Denver 1,098,201,100 wheat pennys.
-In Philadelphia, on the other hand, far fewer were minted: 420,745,000.
This is why, at the highest grades, a 1956 Denver penny can be half the price of a Philadelphia penny because of its rarity.
How do I know what quality my 1956-D Wheat Penny is?
The higher the grade, the higher the price increases exponentially, since it is a factor of great importance, especially in coins that tend to circulate a lot, as in the case of pennies.
To know the state of conservation of the coin we own or want to buy we need to have an expert eye that we can hardly acquire without experience. That is why it is not a bad idea to resort to TPG (Third Party Grading Service). These are companies dedicated to evaluating and giving a score to our coins according to their condition. In addition, they certify the authenticity and encapsulate the coin for security purposes, both for its conservation and to facilitate its sale.
Valuable errors in the 1956-D Wheat Penny
The Denver Mint has a peculiarity on the 1956 one-cent coins, and that is that they may have the “Double D” error.
What is the Double D error?
It is a double coinage in the letter indicating the mint (Denver), which as we already know is the letter “D”. We can therefore observe it under the year of the coin, on the obverse.
What does this error imply?
Collectors appreciate any peculiarity in a coin, as it makes it especially rare, and therefore valuable. Combining this feature with good quality, the price can skyrocket.
In the following table we can see the price that the wheat penny can acquire with this error:
|1956 DD penny Error||MS60||MS61||MS62||MS63||MS64||MS65||MS66||MS67|
As you can see, thanks to this error, prices are much higher in any of its grades. Combining the rarity of the error with an extraordinary quality can lead the wheat penny to be worth up to 1000 dollars.
There are of course more errors on the 1956 Wheat Penny minted at the Denver Mint. For example, double mintages exist elsewhere on the coin and although less conspicuous than the double D – they also increase its value:
Double Minting in Lincoln
In the image, we can see how the jacket has an “extra” border compared to the normal version. It can also be seen on the nose and other parts of the bust depending on the specimen.
In this table again we can see how the price can go up due to the error:
|D Wheat penny from 1956 “Double Coinage” error||MS63||MS64||MS65||MS66|
A phenomenon that collectors of errors love is when a coin has been minted incorrectly and the design has been displaced from its original place. This error can be very slight and almost unnoticeable, but in some cases, it can be greater than 50% or even 70% as in the example in the photo.
The value of these errors is difficult to calculate because the percentage of displacement is significant, but in cases like the one in the image, they can exceed $130 even without highlighting for conservation.
Why collect Wheat Pennies?
As we said at the beginning, pennies are one of the most collected American coins in the world, and this is due to several factors.
They are generally cheap: they are abundant, so if we do not demand quality, it will be easy to find the wheat penny we are missing.
Good initiation into numismatics: due to the previous factor and added to the great bibliography that exists on them, it can be a good idea to start with these coins on your own or with your children to forge a collection.
How to continue with the collection?
There are many ways to continue the collection of Wheat Pennies.
One is to continue with the following one-cent coin designs with Lincoln on the obverse.
From 1959 with the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse, or even with the current ones, which since 2010 include a coat of arms.
In 2009 there are one-cent coins commemorating the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Various designs may appear on their reverse, such as a cabin depicting his childhood in Kentucky, or the president sitting on a log studying, so they are a good series of coins to get your hands on. In total there are four different pennies.
Of course, once we have all the “Lincolns” we can consider going back in time and try to get all the pennies. However, these will not be so cheap, and we can find specimens from 1793, costing thousands of dollars per coin.
Collections per year, a safe choice
This is why we can focus on completing series of values of certain years, such as 1956, where we have from these wheat pennies to half silver dollar coins (50 cents) with Franklin on the obverse. Or simply get all the coins of a mint, such as Denver.
As you can see, the combinations are very varied, making for a very colorful collection.
What are you waiting for to start with a 1956-D Wheat penny for example?
Coleccionista Numismático con especial interés en la historia de España.
Graduado en Relaciones Laborales y Recursos Humanos. Poseo formación en numismática por la Universidad de Murcia. Soy especialista en moneda española (desde los Reyes Católicos hasta la actualidad), euros y módulos grandes de plata.
Numismatic collector with special interest in the history of Spain.
Graduated in Labor Relations and Human Resources. I have been trained in numismatics by the University of Murcia. I am a specialist in Spanish currency (from the Catholic Kings to the present), euros and large silver modules. My main sources are the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and numismatic publications: CoinWeek, COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter and Coin Values.