1965 Penny Coin Value: How Much Is It Worth?

1965 Penny Value Guides (Rare Errors, SMS & No Mint Mark)

This particular year, the US Mint changed the US coin system. It included eliminating about 90% silver pieces, replacing proof sets with Special Mint Sets, and temporarily removing mint marks.

Even though some older Lincoln pennies can be worthy, the 1965 penny value is pretty low but still higher than its face value. However, some errors can be valuable and desirable even for experienced collectors.

1965 penny value chart

Condition 1965 no mint mark penny
Mint state 60 $0.22
Mint state 65 $0.56


1965 Lincoln Penny Value Guides

The Philadelphia mint struck 1,499,584,900 Lincoln pennies in 1965, including 2,360,000 SMS pieces. It was the typical mintage for this coin type. Many are still available, making this coin abundant and inexpensive.

Interestingly, this piece contains 95% copper. Since this metal price is worth twice the coin’s face value, you can sell it for two cents.

Unfortunately, US law forbids melting this metal for sale, and taking pennies worth over $5 out of the country is illegal. You can only melt a few pieces to make jewelry within a creative project.

1965 No Mint Mark penny value

Many serious collectors never consider collecting pennies because of their high mintage. For instance, the Philadelphia mint produced 1,497,224,900 Lincoln memorial pennies in 1965, making it common on the coin market.

Even though some novices appreciate these coins, no one wants to add circulated or damaged pieces to their collections. The reason is the low price of those in the mint state.

1965 Lincoln penny value

Condition 1965 No Mint mark RD penny
MS 60 $0.40
MS 61 $0.50
MS 62 $0.60
MS 63 $0.75
MS 64 $1.50
MS 65 $4
MS 66 $14
MS 67 $320

However, they are still more pricey than their face value, and you can find one with beautiful red toning for $0.40 to $14, depending on their condition. Some rare pieces in the MS 67 grade sometimes cost up to $320.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, one 1965 MS 62 BN Lincoln penny was sold for $633 at Stack’s auction in 2009. On the other hand, one specimen in MS 67 grade with red-brown toning won an auction record after reaching $690 at Heritage Auctions in 2012.

The most expensive 1965 Lincoln penny ever sold at auctions is a piece with MS 67 rating, precise details, and beautiful red toning. One collector spent $7,638 at Heritage Auctions in 2014 to add it to his collection.

1965 SMS penny value

1965 SMS Lincoln Penny

You can’t find proof Lincoln pennies struck in 1965 since the Philadelphia mint never produced them. That year, the US mint replaced this coin type with the Special Mint Set containing five coins that reminded the proof coins’ surface.

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They are different from pieces intended for circulation. Thanks to their shiny surfaces with sharply struck details, you can recognize any of 2,360,000 of these pennies. Keep in mind that:

  • They passed through the special handling process while minting
  • The US Mint used special blanks and dies to make these pieces
  • It is impossible to use them as money since these sets are specifically created as collectibles

When deciding to add these coins to your collection, you should be aware of one crucial thing. Unlike proof coins, these SMS pennies were not struck twice, so you can’t consider them as proofs.

1965 special strikes Lincoln penny value

Condition 1965 SMS RD penny 1965 SMS RD CAM penny 1965 SMS RD DCAM penny
MS 65 $3 $180 /
MS 66 $6 $550 /
MS 67 $30 $1,000 $4,000

As I have already mentioned, over two million SMS cents were generated, and they are recognizable by setting since their finish is more matte. However, it is quite difficult for nonprofessionals to distinguish between regular and SMS Lincoln pennies.

One would think that coins from the special strike are more expensive than those from the regular strike, but it is not the case with pennies minted in 1965. The most expensive is the 1965 SP 68 SMS RD Lincoln penny that was paid $2,990 at Heritage Auctions in 2009.

Those without unique red toning are worth even less. For instance, the most pricey piece with red-brown toning is the 1965 SP 67 SMS RB Lincoln penny. One collector bought it on eBay for $260 in 2016. The one with brown toning in SP 66 grade was even cheaper and was sold for $250 on eBay in 2020.

Only the ultimate specimens are pricey, and one collector paid $1,725 for the 1965 SP 68 SMS CAM Lincoln penny on eBay in 2018. The most expensive was the 1965 SP 67 SMS DCAM. One collector set aside an impressive $4,140 for this piece in 2004 at Heritage Auctions.

Related Posts: 16 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Errors

1965 Lincoln Penny Errors

You can find a few error coin types among Lincoln pennies struck in 1965. The most typical are:

1965 Doubled Die Lincoln penny

1965 Doubled Die Lincoln Penny

This famous error type occurred when the hub makes two impressions at different angles on the working die when transferring the coin design onto it. Coins with more minor imperfections typically cost $10 to $50, depending on their condition and the rarity of specific errors.

On the other hand, some rare significant doubled die pennies are worth several hundred and sometimes thousands of dollars. That makes these pieces highly collectible.

1965 Die Breaks Lincoln penny

1965 Die Breaks Lincoln Penny

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This penny type came with raised lines when the mint used the worn die for minting. Damaged places transferred onto coins and left raised lines, bumps, or squiggles on their surface. Their size varied depending on the die damage degree.

These specimens are worth $5 to $10 when the crack is small, but you should pay about $100 for a piece with a significant error.

1965 BIE error Lincoln penny

Some Lincoln pennies have a tiny, vertical die crack between the letters B and E in the word LIBERTY, which is a specific die break error unique to this coin series. In most cases, the 1965 BIE error Lincoln penny costs $5 to $10.

Related Posts: 19 Most Valuable Lincoln Memorial Penny Worth Money

History of 1965 Penny

The US Mint started minting the Lincoln penny (cent) in 1909 to commemorate Lincoln’s 100th birth anniversary. Since Victor David Brenner created the reverse with two stalks of wheat, Americans quickly named this one-cent coin the Wheat penny.

The last one was struck in 1958, and the Lincoln Memorial penny design replaced it in 1959. The idea was to create the coin reverse to commemorate the first assassinated American President’s 150th birth anniversary, but it stayed in circulation for decades.

1965 Lincoln penny

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1965 1,497,224,900
Philadelphia 1965 special strike 2,360,000
Total / 1,499,584,900

In 2008, the US Mint replaced this piece with the Lincoln bicentennial one-cent program. That was the way to commemorate two events:

  • The most respectful American President’s 200th birth anniversary
  • The 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial penny

Nowadays, this lovely penny is one of the most recognizable coins worldwide, and there is no American who doesn’t keep a few pieces in their home.

Most are highly familiar and common on the coin market, but a few varieties are collectible, and collectors consider them rare. The most sought after are the doubled dies error coins, like the most expensive 1969 S and those struck in the Philadelphia mint in:

  • 1972
  • 1983 and 1984
  • 1995

You should also need to set aside a lot of money for:

  • 1960 and 1960 D varieties with large and small dates
  • 1970 S with a small date

As you can guess, the Lincoln penny is technically an obsolete series in every possible sense. Even though their production stopped almost 15 years ago, you can still find billions in circulation. In fact, it is reasonable expecting that they will exist on the market as long as the law against melting copper coinage is actual.

Related Posts: 19 Most Valuable Wheat Penny Worth Money

How to identify 1965 Penny?

The 1965 Lincoln memorial penny is a copper alloy coin struck exclusively in the Philadelphia mint. You can find two types, those from the regular strike and pieces in the special strike. Even though there are differences in the minting process and these coins’ features, both look pretty similar.

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The obverse of the 1965 Lincoln penny

Obverse of the 1965 Lincoln Penny

Engraver and coin designer Victor David Brenner created the Lincoln penny obverse. This design was made for the so-called Wheat penny striking from 1909 to 1958 and has remained unchanged until today.

You can see the Lincoln image in the obverse center with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST along the top rim. In front of the 16th President’s portrait facing right is the minting year, 1965, while the word LIBERTY is behind his back.

None of these coins have the mint mark since only the Philadelphia mint produced them this year.

The reverse of the 1965 Lincoln penny

Reverse of the 1965 Lincoln Penny

Engraver and chief coin designer Frank Gasparro designed the Lincoln memorial penny reverse that replaced wheat stalks in 1959. The new design was the way for the US Mint to commemorate Lincoln’s 150th birthday and has been in use until 2008.

This coin with a plain rim has the centrally positioned Lincoln Memorial erected in Washington, DC. The curiosity is that you can notice a tiny Lincoln statue between the pillars. In other words, this coin contains the favorite American President on both sides.

The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the ONE CENT denomination are placed along the coin rim surrounding the Memorial. The required motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM, is struck above it, while the tiny Gasparro’s initials are next to the steps on the right side.

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1965 Lincoln penny

Face value 1 cent ($0.01)
Compound 95% copper with added zinc and tin
Coin diameter 0.74803 (19 mm)
Coin weight 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g)
Coin thickness 0.05984 inches (1.52 mm)
Edge Plain
Shape Round

Other features of the 1965 Lincoln penny

The 1965 Lincoln penny is a one-cent coin made of 95% copper. This 0.05984 inches (1.52 mm) thick piece weighs 0.10970 ounces (3.11 g) and has 0.74803 (19 mm) in diameter.

What makes a 1965 Lincoln penny rare?

The best way to determine how rare is the 1965 Lincoln penny is to discover possible errors. In this case, the real rarities are coins with a unique error known as Die Breaks. They are recognizable by the unobtrusive luster that can bring at least $100.

Which 1965 Lincoln penny is worth a lot of money?

  • 1965 No Mint mark MS 67 RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $7,638 at Heritage Auctions in 2014
  • 1965 SMS PR 67 DCAM Lincoln penny that was sold for $4,140 at Heritage Auctions in 2004
  • 1965 SMS SP 68 RD Lincoln penny that was sold for $2,990 at Heritage Auctions in 2009
  • 1965 SMS SP 68 CAM Lincoln penny that was sold for $1,725 on eBay in 2018
  • 1965 No Mint mark MS 67 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $690 at Heritage Auctions in 2012
  • 1965 No Mint mark MS 62 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $633 at Stack’s auction in 2009
  • 1965 SMS SP 67 RB Lincoln penny that was sold for $260 on eBay in 2016
  • 1965 SMS SP 66 BN Lincoln penny that was sold for $250 on eBay in 2020

How much is the 1965 No Mint mark Lincoln penny worth?

Well-preserved 1965 No Mint mark Lincoln penny in the mint state costs $0.22 to $0.56. However, rare specimens in MS 67 grade can reach a price of $320 at auctions.

How to recognize the Lincoln penny metal composition?

The quickest way to differentiate the Lincoln penny’s metal composition is to check the date struck on the obverse. Coins produced from 1909 to 1942 contained 95% copper with tin and zinc alloy. The same is with pieces struck from 1944 to 1982.

All pennies minted after 1982 contain 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. The only year when the US Mint produced these coins of zinc-plated steel was 1943.

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