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Discovering the Value of the 1947 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Discovering the Value of the 1947 Lincoln Wheat Penny

The 1947 Lincoln wheat penny was produced in large numbers at all three mints, and is not especially scarce. Prices for the year’s pennies are not high, and collectors should be able to find ample choice in all but the very highest grades. A doubled die variety, and a repunched mint mark variety exist, which attract interest from error collectors and other specialists. These are sought after, and may be harder to come by at any given time.

Production of the 1947 Lincoln Wheat Penny

The year 1947 saw the U.S. Mint return to ordinary production after the war. The metallic composition of the penny returned to the pre-war standard, and all three mints produced nearly half a billion pennies between them.

DatePhiladelphiaDenverSan Francisco
Source: Red Book

Values for 1947 Wheat Pennies

The high mintage numbers for the 1947 Lincoln wheat penny means the coin is readily available in all grades and from all three mints. Prices for circulated specimens and for the lower grades of mint-state coins are not high, and collectors should be able to find a choice of many nice specimens at all grade points. At the very highest uncirculated grades, bright red “gem” coins are comparatively scarce and can command good prices at auction.

At the highest levels of quality, or grade, distinctions of a few points may result in price swings of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. While it is unreasonable to expect a beginning collector to become familiar with the fine points of evaluating or grading coins overnight, anybody considering assembling a collection of Lincoln wheat pennies should try to read about some of the basic elements of grading. Many fine references exist for American coins in general, and Lincoln pennies in particular, which can be found at any local public library.

1947 Penny Value Chart
Good G4Extra Fine XF40About Uncirculated AU55Uncirculated MS63Uncirculated MS65Uncirculated MS67
1947 1C BN$0.22$0.30$0.35$0.80$3.38$47.25
1947 1C RB$0.90$4.05$61.00
1947 1C RD$1.35$10.80$1,420.00
1947-D 1C BN$0.22$0.30$0.35$0.80$3.38$47.25
1947-D 1C RB$0.90$4.05$61.00
1947-D 1C RD$1.35$10.80$240.00
1947-S 1C BN$0.22$0.30$0.35$0.80$3.38$49.95
1947-S 1C RB$0.90$4.05$63.00
1947-S 1C RD$1.35$10.80$188.00
Source: CDN CPG® (Retail)

Values for 1947 Pennies

Image credit: PCGS

Circulated examples of 1947 wheat pennies minted in Philadelphia, which traditionally used no mint mark, are readily available and quite inexpensive. Coins ranging in grade from “Good,” at the lower end, to “About Uncirculated” at the higher end can be purchased readily for prices ranging from $0.22 to $0.35. These are prices which even beginning collectors can afford, and a collector will have several nice choices at any grade level to pick from.

Uncirculated or “mint-state” coins are also fairly common, especially in the “brown” (BN) or “red-brown” (RB) classifications, and in the poorer grade numbers, between MS-60 and MS-64 or MS-65. Such coins can be found for prices ranging from $0.80 for uncirculated pennies graded MS-63-BN, to $10.80 for pennies graded MS-65 RD. Such prices are easily affordable to almost all collectors.

Higher graded coins, MS-66 or MS-67 can be harder to come by, especially with a shiny “gem” or “red” tone.  In December 2022, a 1947 wheat penny, graded MS-67 RD, and certified by PCGS, sold for $3,600.

Values for 1947-D Pennies

Image credit: PCGS

The situation for 1947-D wheat pennies, struck at the Denver Mint, is similar to that of Philadelphia. While the Philadelphia Mint had been the main mint for most of American history down to the end of World War II, the Denver Mint began gradually to produce more coins, and eventually achieved its spot as the main center of U.S. coin production. In 1947, Denver and Philadelphia produced roughly the same number of pennies.

Circulated 1947-D wheat pennies, graded between Good and About-Uncirculated can be found for roughly the same price as 1947 wheat pennies from Philadelphia. Any collector should be able to find very nice specimens to add to the collection for under $1.

Lower grades of uncirculated 1947-D wheat pennies should also approximate the same prices as 1947 wheat pennies. Brown and Red-Brown specimens can easily be found for under $1, while a very nice1947-D  MS-65 RD coin should cost no more than $11.

Uncirculated coins at higher grades can be quite rare, and the very best specimens can realize significant sums at auctions. In December 2022, a 1947-D wheat penny, graded MS-67+, and certified by CAC, sold for $18,000 at auction. The Heritage Auction catalog pointed out that while the coin was reasonably available at MS-67, it was quite rare at the 67+ or higher grades.

Auction prices for the 1947-D wheat penny reflect this distinction in availability. In December 2023, Heritage Auctions sold a 1947-D wheat penny graded MS-67 RD for $129. Another 1947-D wheat penny, of the same grade, sold a month later for $125.

Values for 1947-S Pennies

Image credit: PCGS

The San Francisco Mint produced approximately half as many wheat pennies in 1947 as either Denver or Philadelphia. Nevertheless, at just under 100,000,000, the overall total was quite high, and so specimens are readily available for collectors.

Prices for circulated wheat pennies range from $0.22 for specimens graded as “Good” to $0.35 for specimens graded as “Extremely-Fine.” Scarcity is not an issue and collectors can find many examples of coins which meet their requirements.

Lower grades of uncirculated pennies, especially ones lacking the preferred red tone, are also easily found and inexpensive. Even though the San Francisco Mint produced only half the number of pennies as either of the other two mints, 1947-S uncirculated coins graded lower than MS-65 will sell for about the same price as 1947 or 1947-D coins of the same grade. Excellent examples can be found for under $11.

Higher grades of uncirculated pennies are less common, and are reflected in higher prices. A 1947-S MS-67 BN coin should cost approximately $50, while red-brown and red examples should be progressively more expensive. Recent auction results may indicate the price of high grade uncirculated 1947-S pennies is inching higher. In December 2023, a 1947-S MS-67 RD coin sold for $75.  A second coin sold for the same price at the same auction.

Were any 1947 Proof Lincoln Wheat Pennies Produced?

The Mint suspended the production of proof pennies after 1942, because of wartime needs. The Philadelphia Mint, which had struck proof coins, instead turned its attention to making military equipment, as well as medals and decorations. Proof coinage would not reappear until 1950.

Error Values for the 1947 Lincoln Wheat Penny

Value of the 1947 Doubled Die Obverse Variety

Image credit: Heritage Auctions

The 1947 wheat penny doubled die variety FS 01-1947-101  is best spotted by closely examining the motto “In God We Trust,” the date, and the word Liberty. All three show clear signs of the double image to the left of the main image. The bust of Lincoln also shows signs of doubling. Check the eye and the vest closely, especially when evaluating uncirculated specimens. These features can sometimes be quite prominent.

According to The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins, the 1947 doubled die variety was first described as late as the 1990s, nearly a half-century after the coin was first issued. Numismatics is a living field, and discoveries are still occasionally made, even among very old coins.

At higher grades, the 1947 doubled die wheat penny can be expensive. In 2015, a 1947 doubled die wheat penny graded MS-66 sold for $705. In November 2023, a 1947 doubled die wheat penny, graded MS-66, sold for $660 at Heritage Auctions. In April of the same year, another, similar coin, graded at MS-64, fetched $302 at auction. Three years earlier, in May 2020, a doubled die wheat penny graded MS-64 sold for $432, again at Heritage Auctions.

Had these coins been struck on a correctly engraved die, they would have been worth, at most, $10.80 for the very best MS-65 RD examples, and less than $2 for coins graded MS-63 RD.

Value of the 1947-S/S Repunched Mint Mark Variety

Image credit: Heritage Auctions

Until relatively recently, the U.S. Mint added the date and the mint mark to coin dies in a separate step. An engraver took a punch with the mint mark, and struck a completed die. Several strikes were usually needed to create a sharp image. Ideally, these blows would fall upon the same point on the die, but if they did not, a double image would appear, known as a repunched mint mark.

In 1947, the San Francisco Mint created just such a repunched mint mark coin die, cataloged in The Cherrypickers’ Guide as FS-01-1947-S-504.

The second S is below the first S. The distinction is that the engraver preparing the die not only struck the die in two different places, he used two different punches. Te first punch is a so-called “trumpet-tail” variety. The main punch was a “sans-serif” type. This unusual feature makes the variety sought after by collectors.

In August 2021, a 1947-S/S repunched mint mark wheat penny, graded MS-65 RD sold for $69 at Heritage Auctions. A similar coin graded MS-66 RD sold at the same auction for $79.

These are not prices vastly higher than were reached about twenty years ago, when another 1947-S/S repunched mint mark penny, graded MS-65, sold as part of a three-coin set which included a 1938-S/S/S penny and a 1941-S/S graded MS-67 The three coins together realized $161.

As with regular Lincoln wheat pennies, grade and tone matter in determining price, and the differences can be significant. In September 2018, a 1947-S/S repunched mint mark, graded MS-67 RD sold for $552 at auction. In November 2023, a 1947-S/S wheat penny, graded MS-66+ RD sold for $276.

Off-Center Strikes and Broadstrikes of 1947 Lincoln Wheat Pennies

Many coin collectors specialize in seeking “off-center” strikes and “broadstrikes.” These errors arise when a coin blank fails to enter the coin presses correctly. The result is either a coin in which only a partial image is struck, called an off-center strike, or a misshapen coin which is not perfectly round, called a broadstrike.

In January 2022, a 1947-S 25% off-center strike, graded MS-62 RB sold for $139.00 at auction. A properly struck specimen would have sold for no more than $1, according to the value chart.

In March 2021, a broadstruck 1947 Lincoln penny, described simply as uncirculated, but with a damaged obverse, sold for $35. In ordinary circumstances, a similar coin would probably have sold for no more than $5.

Other idiosyncratic errors sometimes happen during the minting process. Although the U.S. Mint tries to maintain vigorous quality control checks, mistakes sometimes slip through the screening process. In March 2023, Heritage Auctions sold a 1947 wheat penny graded XF-40 with an unusual error. A piece of scrap metal had somehow been caught in the coin stamp, and impressed right into the coin. This oddity sold for $324. An ordinary coin of that grade would have sold for $0.30.

Occasionally, the machine that creates round coin planchets will create a blank with a clipped edge, called an “elliptical planchet.” Elliptical planchets should be screened out in the quality control process, but also occasionally slip through. A 1947-S wheat penny graded at MS-64 RD on an elliptical planchet sold for $218.50 at Heritage Auctions. A properly struck coin of similar grade would sell today for at most $10.

Technical Specifications of the 1947 Lincoln Penny

During the war, the Mint experimented with various metal compositions for coins, based upon military needs. The five cent piece, usually made of nickel, was minted in silver for a time, and the penny, usually a bronze coin of 95% copper, 5% zinc and tin, became a steel coin, and then a brass coin of 95% copper, 5% zinc. In 1947, the normal penny composition of 95% copper, 5% zinc and tin resumed.

The Lincoln wheat penny design first appeared in 1909, as part of a larger overhaul of American coinage. The designer, Victor D. Brenner, was a sculptor and engraver who first gained attention by creating a bust of then-President Theodore Roosevelt, the proponent of the changes to American coins.


The 1947 Lincoln wheat penny is not an unusual or uncommon coin. The basic forms should not pose any challenge to even starting collectors, who should be able to find basic specimens for penny books, and nicer specimens for display. Higher grade varieties, especially bright shiny red “gem” examples, can be harder to come by, as time has reduced the number available through oxidation and loss. The known die varieties, the repunched mint mark and the doubled die obverse, are less common, and somewhat sought after. Specimens may not be available at the exact moment a collector may wish to acquire them, and may not be available at the desired grade. Still, with perseverance, a collector should be able to find even these coins for a collection.