How Much is 1978 Penny Worth? (True Value of This Lincoln Penny)

Last Updated on April 4, 2022

The price of Dollar, along with different currencies, can change over time. In 1978 most Lincoln cents were not worth a lot of money (but there are those that can fetch a hefty premium).


What is the Value of 1978 Penny?

A 1978 penny without a mint mark and another 1978 D penny are both worth about $0.30 when in uncirculated condition. A 1978 S proof penny is worth around $2.50 in PR 65 condition. 1978 was the first year that the US penny was 1.5 inches in diameter and replaced the wheat penny. All 1978 pennies are worth more than face value!

Some are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. The reasons for the different values vary — some may be better preserved then others, and some just happen to have the right number combination on their reverse side.

Most 1978 pennies are only worth the silver they’re made of. The current cup melt value for each penny is about $0.02. These coins can sell for a premium when they’re uncirculated (without wear).

Grading System

Coin grading is determining which grade a coin is in, for pricing purposes. This involves 5 key factors: strike (how readable the design on the coin is), preservation (how well worn it is), lustre (levels of brightness and reflection), clarity, and attractiveness.

Among the best quality coins you can find, 65 MS and PR are both VERY close. Proof coins sometimes have light blemishes, but these are barely noticeable on an uncirculated coin.

Where is the Mint Mark on 1978 penny?

A mint mark on coins identifies which mint made the coin. Usually it will be one of the letters ‘D’ (for Denver or Dahlonega), ‘S’ (San Francisco), or ‘P’ (Philadelphia).

The US Mint has released three different pennies in 1978. The first two were without a mint mark but the 1978 D penny and 1978 S proof penny had one? The mint mark appears on the obverse side of the coin and is located below the date.

What is the Common Error on The 1978 Penny?

Places where you’ll generally see that are missing include the chin, eyes, and ears. Look for any cracks, cuds (or blobs), or missing elements on the images. Flipping the coin to both sides will determine which side is facing up, moving side-to-side will not work), if your coin was right-side up before, it should be right side up now.

What Makes this 1978 Penny so Rare?

A 1978 penny in near-perfect condition (not just unblemished but also without any markings or damage) is worth much more than one that has any of these defects. These coins are usually in the high end of uncirculated condition, not just free of wear, but also showing no marks, dings or other abrasions on the surface. This thing makes this penny rare.

1978 Penny Values

The 1978 Lincoln penny had a huge mintage of 5.6 billion, so there are plenty to go around. However, with over 40 years of wear and tear on them, they may be harder to find in circulation than before.

The United States Mint used a 95% copper 5% zinc composition for the 1978 penny. This rare bronze alloy was later replaced by cheaper steel because copper prices were rising and coins were becoming too expensive.

History of the 1978 Penny

The Lincoln Memorial penny was the first U.S. penny to feature a President’s portrait on its obverse, and it was also the last U.S. coin to be minted for circulation with its original composition of 95% copper and 5% zinc.

In early 1968, Secretary of the Treasury Henry H. Fowler asked President Lyndon B. Johnson to approve a new design for the penny that would honour former President Abraham Lincoln on the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1909 (1968).

The United States Mint began production of these coins in January, 1969 and they were released into circulation followed by the 1970 penny with an initial design featuring an image of Lincoln based on a sculpture by Victor David Brenner at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. On August 16, 1978, the United States Mint issued a new design for the penny. The Lincoln Memorial was featured on the reverse of the coin. The words “In God We Trust” were added to the obverse of the coin.

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.