How Much Is A 1986 Penny Worth?

Last Updated on August 24, 2022

Many 1986 pennies don’t have much numismatic value as they aren’t considered much old. However, some uncirculated condition coins may have a good value but depend on many factors. It is a great coin to collect for the long run as it will earn you a good profit. 

Here is everything that you should keep in mind about the 1986 penny. 


How Much Is A 1986 Penny Worth?

The 1986 penny with D mintmarks is usually worth around its face value in every condition. In uncirculated conditions with MS65, the value can be up to $1 for both variants of the penny. 

The 1986 penny with S mintmark produced in San Francisco was made only as proof coins. This is because the San Francisco mint didn’t produce any coins to circulate in the economy. Therefore, each proof coin of the 1986 penny is worth around $7.

Coin Good Very Good/Fine Extremely fine MS60 MS65 Proof Coins
1986 P Penny $1
1986 S Penny $7
1986 D Penny $1


What Is The Metal Composition of 1986 Penny?

The metal composition of the coins produced after 1970 was changed in many ways. Many factors led to such changes. For example, the 1960 penny had the same design but comprised 95% copper, 5% tin, and zinc. 

While on the other hand, the 1986 penny comprises 99.2% and only 0.8% copper. Therefore, the design may be the same for a long era, but many changes occur. 

That is why it is important to understand everything there is to know about these 1986 pennies. 

What Are The Features of 1986 Penny?

The features of the coin highlight the engravings present on both sides of the coin. This makes understanding what you can find on each side of the coin easier. 

On the front side of the coin you get to see America’s favorite president Abraham Lincoln while on the reverse side you get to see the Lincoln Memorial. Like majority of the other version of pennies you also see the motto and countries name on the coin along with the denomination.  On the front side of the coin you also see the year 1986 along with the word Liberty written on the opposite side of the year. 

Where Is the Mintmark Present on the 1986 Penny?

When present, the mintmark can be seen on the obverse side of the penny. You will find the mintmark if you look closely under where the year is engraved. The mintmark will be either a D or an S. 

However, the font of the mintmark is very small, so you need to have a very close look to notice it. If the mintmark is not present, it is the coin produced in Philadelphia. 

What Is The Difference Between 1986 Penny and 1970 Penny?

Both the pennies may be known as the Lincoln Memorial penny, but many changes took place in just 16 years. The surface design hasn’t changed; every year, just the year engravings were changed. 

The main difference between the 1986 and 1970 penny is the metal composition. The pennies in 1970 had 95% of copper and 5% tin and zinc. However, the pennies of 1986 were made of 99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper.

You can see the great metal composition change right here. In addition, the metal composition change also led to a change in the weight of the coins. 

The 1970 penny weighs around 3.1 grams. On the other hand, the 1986 penny only weighs about 2.5 grams.

The size and diameter remained the same, but these were the two significant changes in 16 years. 

Where To Get A 1986 Penny From?

The old mintage coins are one of the biggest markets in the world. You can easily find the 1986 penny anywhere. But the highest grade condition coin can sometimes be difficult to find. 

However, any physical marketplace is the best place to look for a coin. You can easily check the coin and verify if it is original. It will help you negotiate and pay the price the coin deserves and save you from overpaying for an old 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.