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How Much is a 1992 Penny Worth?

How Much is a 1992 Penny Worth

The worth of a 1992 penny depends on whether or not it was circulated. A circulated 1992 penny is only worth its face value of $0.01. But getting an uncirculated coin can mean gaining a higher value when sold. For example, The 1992 S proof penny is worth around $5 in PR 65 condition.

However, old Lincoln pennies can be valuable if you find the right kind. And coincidentally, there are some versions of the 1992 penny that are so rare that they’ve become sought-after collectibles.

This article will discuss these rare coins, their other versions, and how much a 1982 penny is worth.

The 1992 penny

The 1992 penny is part of the Lincoln Memorial Pennies. Designed by Frank Gasparro, this penny had been in circulation for years before its 1992 new mint. While some versions of the 1992 penny might seem like a regular Lincoln penny at first glance, some defect in its make sets it apart from other memorial pennies and increases its worth.

1992 Lincoln Penny
Year 1992
Composition 97.5% Zinc – 2.5% Copper after 1982
Total Weight 2.50 grams
Diameter 19.00 millimeters
Edge Plain
Designer Victor David Brenner/Frank


Most people are already familiar with the Lincoln penny series that were first minted in 1909, with the obverse featuring the bust of late president Abraham Lincoln designed by Victor David Brenner.

Also known as the wheat pennies, the Lincoln pennies have seen several reverse designs since their first mintage. That’s why it was no surprise when almost 100 years later, there were new changes to the design.

The year was 1992, and congress decided it was time to make a few design changes to the beloved Lincoln penny. The portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the obverse, which Victor David Brenner designed, remained the same in the new coin.

The reverse side also didn’t experience any major change and remained the same.

Although most of the original design from its predecessors remained the same, it was a defect that caused the 1992 Lincoln penny to gain so much fame.

Frank Gasparro designed the 1992 memorial coin, and interestingly, two varieties of the coin exist; with one version being so rare, it has become a very valuable and much sought-after coin.

Both versions of the 1992 Lincoln pennies look very similar at first glance; however, upon closer inspection, you will notice a difference in how the first letters “AM” of America are spaced out.

The one of most value has the two letters so close together that they’re almost touching, and numismatists speculated that these coins are so rare that only 10 exist.


1992 Lincoln Penny
Location Year Minted
 Philadelphia (no mint mark) 1992 P 4,648,905,000
Philadelphia (no mint mark) 1992 P Close AM N/A
Denver 1992 D 4,448,673,300
Denver 1992 D Close AM N/A
San Francisco 1992 S 4,176,560

The US minted the 1992 pennies in different locations, and based on the locations, they were given identifying letters on the obverse side of the coin.

These identifiers or mint marks were the first letters of the city where the mint factory was found. The letter ‘D’ indicates the Denver mint, ‘S’ San Francisco mint, and no mint mark indicates the Philadelphia mint.

They can be found below the coin’s production year.

1992 D Penny

1992 D Penny

Denver had the second highest mintage from all three mints. They produced over 4 billion of the coins that are still in circulation even today.

The ‘D’ mint mark that distinguishes the Denver minted coin can be found under the date it was produced on the obverse side of the coin.

1992 No Mint Mark Penny

1992 No Mint Mark Penny

The 1992 Lincoln penny didn’t bear a mintmark, indicating that these pennies were minted in Philadelphia. So you will notice that the part of the coin you might see a mint mark is left bare.

With a total of 4,648,905,000, the Philadelphia mint struck the highest number.

1992 S Penny

1992 S Penny

The San Fransisco struck a total of 4,176,560 1992 pennies, making it the lowest mintage of the three. You can easily recognize the mint through the presence of the ‘S’ mint mark.

The 1992 Penny Error

The 1992 penny might have been just another mint in the Lincoln series were it not for a slight error that has now made it a coin of value.

You can find these errors on the reverse side of the coin. From 1959 to 1992, the bases of the letters “A” and “M” in the spelling of the word America were spaced apart, leaving a distinguishable gap between the letters.

However, all that changed in 1992. Around that time, officials at the United States mint decided to make a slight design change to the coin. The new modification was to bring the two letters in the word America, “A” and “M,” closer together.

Somehow, the reverse dies ended up been used for the 1992 pennies instead of the 1993 mints (which the mint intended them for) in both Philadelphia coins and Denver coins.

Before the Mints could catch on, it was already too late, and there were reports that up to five members of the public had already noticed the error. By closely observing the coin, you can identify this error, also known as the ‘AM’ error.

This unique error and the number of the 1992 Lincoln pennies with the error in circulation is why these coins are so sought after. There were over four billion of these coins minted, and to have just about ten of them in circulation gives them high rarity and value and will fetch for a great price if sold in good or uncirculated condition.


The coin’s composition didn’t change when it was redesigned. It still has its original composition of 99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper as these coins were first minted at a time when copper was being rationalized and put into the war efforts.

The 1992 penny weighs 2.5 grams and its bright orange coppery appearance might be misleading to its actual constituents.


On the obverse of the 1992 penny is the bust of president Abraham Lincoln which Victor David Brenner designed. Above the late president’s profile is the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

In the direction the president is facing is the year the coin was minted “1992,” and in the opposite direction is the word “LIBERTY.”


Centered on its reverse is a picture of the Lincoln memorial building. Words like “ONE CENT” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” lie struck at the top bottom periphery, and finally, the famous motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM ” centered above the top of the memorial.

How Rare is a 1992 Penny?

The US minted billions of the 1992 penny across all three mints. In Denver and Philadelphia, there was a combined mintage of 9 billion coins. Philadelphia, of course, had the most coins minted and San Francisco had the least total mintage.

However, even though there are millions of the coin in circulation right now there are versions of the coin minted at the Denver and Philadelphia mints that are only about 10 in total. This is the famous 1992 penny error. These coins have the letters A and M in America almost touching.

The mint caught it on quickly but not before it had already reached the hands of the public. A coin like that in your possession, especially in mint condition, can sell for thousands of dollars.

1992 Penny  Value

The worth or value of any coin is determined mainly by the grade condition of that particular coin and sometimes the state it was minted. The higher the coin’s grade, the more valuable that specific coin will be.


Grading simply refers to the process of determining the surface quality of a coin. It’s a necessary process; you shouldn’t skip it as it determines your coin’s value.

However, grading your 1992 penny might get confusing if not done correctly.

On your penny, certain areas are most likely to show the degree or indicate the level of wear. Observing these parts lets you determine the grade or quality of the coin in your possession.

Grading is necessary because while most coins might sell at face value, the higher the quality of your coin, the more value you can get for it with or without any unique error.

So if you’re not willing to leave it in the hands of an expert, you can still find out the grading conditions of your penny. All you need is a single light source. You can also use a grade reference picture to ensure you’re on the right track.

There are four main categories that your coin will fall into

  • Good condition
  • Fine condition
  • Extremely fine condition
  • Uncirculated

Good Condition

The name is quite misleading as a coin being termed as good simply means the coin is at its lowest quality.

In this state, heavy wear has flattened all the finer details on Lincoln’s portrait, and when you rub your finger against the picture, it will feel flat to the touch as all the finer details have worn off.

All you’re left with is a flat area extending across his portrait.

Fine condition

Fine condition is in a better condition than good grade coins. Even though some of the finer details on the initial profile are still present, some flattened areas are still across the coin’s surface.

You can feel these details while touching the coin’s surface.

Extremely Fine Condition

This coin is as close to perfect as a circulated coin can get. And even though it still shows signs of wear, it’s very minimal compared to the others.

The sign of wear is usually isolated to certain features of the portrait, but the flatness is discontinuous and doesn’t merge like the other grades.

Uncirculated/Mint State

The uncirculated/mint state coins are the “ideal” state of the coin. This means the coin never left the mint, nor was it used by the public. All details are present in this coin, and there’s zero sign of wear.

This coin is in the original state it was when it was produced, thus calling it a “mint state.” A coin in this state fetches a very high price.

1992 Penny Values

Extremely fine
1992 P mint value
1992 D mint value
1992 S mint value

The most valuable of all the 1992 pennies are the error pennies. Due to its unique error and the fact that not many are in circulation, these coins fetch the highest prices. Some have been reported to sell for a whopping $25000 at auctions.

5 Most Valuable 1992 Penny Ever Sold

5 Most Valuable 1992 Penny
No. Type Condition Sold Date Price
1 1992 Close AM Cent MS67 Red Jan 5, 2017 $25,850.00
2 1992 Close AM Cent MS64 Red and Brown Nov 20, 2020 $22,800.00
3 1992-D 1C Close AM MS64 Red and Brown Jul 12, 2012 $20,700.00
4 1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Feb 27, 2014 $14,100.00
5 1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Feb 7, 2013 $13,512.50

1. 1992 Close AM Cent, MS67 Red Sold on Jan 5, 2017 for: $25,850.00

1992 Close AM Cent, MS67 Red Sold on Jan 5, 2017 for $25,850.00

2. 1992 Close AM Cent, MS64 Red and Brown Sold on Nov 20, 2020 for: $22,800.00

1992 Close AM Cent, MS64 Red and Brown Sold on Nov 20, 2020 for $22,800.00

3. 1992-D 1C Close AM MS64 Red and Brown Sold on Jul 12, 2012 for: $20,700.00

1992-D 1C Close AM MS64 Red and Brown Sold on Jul 12, 2012 for $20,700.00

4. 1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Sold on Feb 27, 2014 for: $14,100.00

1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Sold on Feb 27, 2014 for $14,100.00

5. 1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Sold on Feb 7, 2013 for: $13,512.50

1992-D 1C Close AM MS65 Red Sold on Feb 7, 2013 for $13,512.50

Where to Sell Your 1992 Penny

If you have the 1992 penny in your possession, you’d want to get the best value for your coin for its grade.

As has already been mentioned, the higher the grade, the more valuable, but that’s not to say your penny is completely worthless just because it’s not in mint condition. In fact, you’re in luck as there are many options to choose from when getting the best value for your coin.

Online stores, pawn shops, and online auctions are available to you. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the best value from your coin. eBay, Heritage Auctions, and Etsy are all crowd favorites for online options and live auctions, but your local pawn shop works just as well.

Wrapping Up

The Lincoln penny was another memorial penny to honor a beloved president. It was already in circulation for almost a century before the decision to redesign. And it’s pretty remarkable that the popularity of the 1992 penny came as a total mistake.

The US wanted to redesign the Lincoln penny when the AM error was made. That little mistake has caused these coins (the 1992 penny) to grow in popularity and to be sought after by collectors. That’s not to say that the error pennies are the only versions of the 1992 penny that has real value, but they can fetch their owners up to thousands of dollars at an auction.

That should be all the motivation you need to look through all the loose change you have in your home.

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