1980 Penny Value Guide – What Is Special About?

Originally posted on December 27, 2022 @ 1:47 pm

In change, the 1980 Lincoln Penny is frequently seen. The 1980 penny’s value, unless it’s a rare mistake coin, is determined by its sentimental value. One of the most fascinating aspects of coins and coin collections is their capacity to serve as a record of historical occurrences that occurred in a particular year.

Additionally, they can be used as a keepsake for someone who was born in that year or who experienced a significant life event in that year.

The commemorative 1980 Lincoln cent’s obverse was designed by Victor David Brenner to coincide with the president’s 100th birthday, and it is substantially identical to the 1909 version.

The primary difference between the 1980 obverse and the 1909 edition is Brenner’s initials, V.D.B., which were transferred from the reverse in late 1909 and placed beneath President Abraham Lincoln’s bust in 1918.

To Lincoln’s right is a depiction of the year 1980, and above the presidency is the words “IN GOD WE TRUST.” To the president’s left, the word LIBERTY emerges.

The 1909 Brenner wheat stalk design that debuted on the 1980 cent was replaced with the 1959 Lincoln Memorial reverse created by Frank Gasparro.

Gasparro’s initials, FG, can be seen on the lower right side of the Lincoln Memorial. While the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are printed all the way around the upper portion of the reverse along the rim, the words “ONE CENT” are written beneath the structure and around the rim.

Between the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the top of the Lincoln Memorial is written the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The edge of the Lincoln cent is simple and without any engraving or reeding.

Before it was changed to a copper-plated zinc alloy in 1982, the Lincoln Cent was made of copper and nickel.

1980 was a rather gloomy year with the Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington killing 57 people, the launch of CNN (Cable News Network) on June 1, and the murder of former Beatle John Lennon.

Are 1980 Pennies Copper?

If the date is earlier than 1982, 95% of the copper in your Lincoln Memorial cent comes from copper. If the date is 1983 or later, it is made of 97.5% zinc and has a thin copper plating.

The best method to identify the metals inside coins is to weigh them; coins from 1982, when both copper and zinc cents were made, should be weighed. Solid copper pennies weigh 3.11 grammes (+/- 0.130 grammes), compared to the 2.5 grammes (+/- 0.100 grammes) of copper-plated zinc coins.

Due to the rising price of copper during the beginning of the 1970s, the cost to produce a penny was greater than its face value of one cent. Fortunately, the price of copper dropped, and manufacturing continued.

Unfortunately, because of the rising price of copper in the early 1980s, the United States Mint was forced to permanently change the composition of the penny.

To prevent pennies from melting off, this was done. When a coin’s melt value is higher than its face value, it has historically been seen in the US that people will melt the coins to sell the raw metal and make a profit.

1980 Penny Varieties

1980 P Penny (With No Mint Mark)

1980 P Penny (With No Mint Mark)

 Type: Lincoln Penny
 Year: 1980
 Face Value: $0.01
 Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
 Weight: 3.11 grams (or over)
 Diameter: 0.750 in. 19.05 mm
 Thickness: 0.0598 inches (1.52 mm)
 Edge: Plain
 Minted in: Philadelphia
 Quantity Minted: 7,414,705,000

1980 D Penny

1980 D Penny

 Type: Lincoln Penny
 Year: 1980
 Face Value: $0.01
 Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
 Weight: 3.11 grams (or over)
 Diameter: 0.750 in. 19.05 mm
 Thickness: 0.0598 inches (1.52 mm)
 Edge: Plain
 Minted in: Denver
 Quantity Minted: 5,140,098,660

1980 S Penny

1980 S Penny

 Type: Lincoln Penny
 Year: 1980
 Face Value: $0.01
 Composition: 95% copper, 5% zinc
 Weight: 3.11 grams (or over)
 Diameter: 0.750 in. 19.05 mm
 Thickness: 0.0598 inches (1.52 mm)
 Edge: Plain
 Minted in: San Francisco
 Quantity Minted: 3,554,806

List of errors

Doubled Die Error

One reason why so many people (even non-collectors) are aware of doubled die penny errors is the fact that some of them are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The bulk of doubled dies, regrettably, are not very valuable.

And such is the case with the 1980 double-die pennies you’re likely to encounter. Since 1980 double-die Lincoln pennies are exceedingly scarce, only specialists seek for them.

On the other hand, a 1980 double die obverse (heads side) penny with a thicker date and the word “LIBERTY” might cost anywhere from $35 to $250+, depending on the coin’s condition.

Repunched 1980-D and 1980-S Pennies

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Mint coiners manually punched the mintmarks (“D” and “S”) onto each active die. There was a lot of possibility for error in this process, and mistakes did occasionally happen.

Some 1980-D and even 1980-S proof penny dies exhibit traces of repunched mintmarks because the coiner repunched the mintmark after the previous effort was either misplaced or not oriented correctly – sideways, tilted, etc.

The value of a repunched mintmark is mostly determined by the size of the error and how well-known (or desirable) a certain repunched mintmark fault is. 1980 mintmark repunched pennies typically sell for between $3 and $10.

‘BIE’ Penny

Coin dies are not impervious to damage. These specially made tools eventually wear out, occasionally becoming brittle and fracturing, and they are used to stamp the design of a coin onto a blank.

These die cracks show up on the struck coins as elevated lines, squiggles, or bumps. Between the letters “B” and “E” in the word “LIBERTY,” there is a vertical, straight line that resembles the capital “I” die crack that is unique to Lincoln cents.

This specific type of die crack, which is correctly referred to as a “BIE” variant, is quite popular among coin collectors. An “typical” 1980 BIE penny is anticipated to cost between $5 and $15.

Are There Any Rare 1980 Pennies?

The value of 1980 pennies originates from their extraordinarily good condition, with the exception of some of the mistake varieties described above. The highest valuable 1980 penny without a mintmark sold for $2,232.50 in an auction in 2017.

The most valuable 1980-D penny sold for a staggering $546 at an auction in 2008. An very well-preserved example of a 1980-S penny sold for $3,680 in 2003 and was the most valuable coin of the generation.

How Much Is A 1980 Penny Worth Today?

Due to the dramatic increase in copper’s value, all Lincoln Memorial pennies produced prior to 1982 (the year the United States Mint started producing these coins in a less expensive copper-plated-zinc form) are now worth more than their face value.

Because the Mint believed that the value of the copper inside the coin would rise above the coin’s nominal value of “ONE CENT,” it switched metals in the early 1980s. A 1980 penny is therefore worth 2 to 3 cents just for the copper it contains.

For coins with the designation “Red,” the prices are mentioned below. (Colors in the red, brown, and brown family will be less expensive)

  • Grade AU58 = $4-$6
  • Grade MS60 = $4-$4
  • Grade MS61 = $4-$6
  • Grade MS62 = $5-$8
  • Grade MS63 = $6-$10
  • Grade MS64 = $11-$19
  • Grade MS65 = $15-$25
  • Grade MS66 = $26-$44

How Does The Grading System Work?

Numismatists use the Sheldon Scale to assign coins a numerical value. From poor (P-1) to pristine mint state (P-1) is the Sheldon Scale (MS-70). Words were first used to describe the state of coins (Good, Fair, Excellent, Etc.). Unfortunately, the meanings of each of these phrases varied among coin dealers and collectors.

In the 1970s, a group of expert numismatists created CoinGrading guidelines. These numismatists now issue grades at significant points on the seventy-point scale by combining the original adjective grade with the most frequently used numeric points. The following coin grades are the most typical ones:

(P-1) Poor – Unrecognizable and likely damaged; if used, must have a date and mintmark; if not, is fairly battered.
(FR-2) Fair – Nearly smooth, but without the wear that a coin with a Poor grade frequently has. The coin must be identifiable and have enough details.
(G-4) Fair – Some inscriptions have blended into the rims, and the majority of significant details have been removed.
(VG-8) Very Good- Although a little worn, the main design components are all still clearly discernible. There isn’t much, if any, central information left.
(F-12) Good – The object is heavily used, yet the use is uniform, and the overall design elements are still readily visible. Nearly all of the field is isolated from the rims.
(VF-20) Moderate weathering and some finer characteristics are still discernible. Very Fine. All letters of the motto, LIBERTY, may be read. The complete rims on both sides of the coin are isolated from the field.
(EF-40) Extremely Fine – Gently used; all devices are apparent, with the most crucial ones standing out in bold. Although there may be some little wear, the finer elements remain bold and distinct.
(AU-50) Uncirculated – Slight signs of wear on the coin’s high points; possible contact stains; acceptable eye appeal.
Uncirculated Choice (AU-58): Slight wear traces, no significant contact marks, nearly complete mint lustre, and excellent eye appeal.
(MS-60) Mint State Basal – Strictly uncirculated; there are no obvious contact marks, hairlines, or other faults on the coin’s highest points, but it is unattractive because to its diminished sheen and other flaws like apparent contact marks and hairlines.
(MS-63) Mint State Acceptable – Uncirculated; nonetheless, it has contact nicks and scratches, a little diminished sheen, and a generally pleasing aspect. The strike is marginal to weak.
(MS-65) Mint State Choice – Uncirculated with outstanding eye appeal, superb mint lustre, and hardly any contact flaws. The strike is exceptionally bad.
Uncirculated with excellent lustre, no visible contact marks to the naked eye, and remarkable eye appeal. (MS-68) Mint State Premium Quality. The strike is enticing and rapid.
Uncirculated (MS-69) Almost Superb Mint State coin with perfect brilliance, a pleasing strike, and excellent eye appeal. A coin with minor flaws in the planchet, strike, and contact markings that is almost flawless (seen only under 8x magnification).
(MS-70) Mint State Perfect – There are no minute flaws visible at an 8x magnification; the strike is crisp, and the coin is precisely centred on a lovely planchet. This coin has a design that is extremely uncommon on coins, and it is bright and whole with its original lustre.

Where To Buy Or Sell 1980 Pennies?

Flea markets, estate sales, and online marketplaces like eBay are the ideal places to get 1980 Pennies because they are mostly regarded as a novelty or sentimental coins for those who were born in the year, got married in the year, or had other major events occur in the year.

Working with trustworthy coin dealers and auction houses (like Heritage Auctions) is essential for added peace of mind when dealing with unique or rare coins, such as the 1980 Pennies with defects or those in fantastic condition.

Ask for advice in online communities for coins if you’re unsure whether your penny has a more valuable mint flaw or not.


What are the most a 1980-S penny has ever sold for?

A particularly well-preserved specimen of a 1980-S penny that sold for $3,680 in 2003 was the most valuable one ever sold.

Where is the mint mark on a 1980 penny?

On the obverse side of the coin, to the right of Lincoln’s breast, is where you can find the mint mark for the 1980 Penny.

What is the value of a red cent from 1980?

Due to their vibrant coloration, “Red” pennies are the most sought-after variety of Lincoln pennies. You can see the average values for pennies marked as “red” in the list above.


Parag Banerjee is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer. He has a wide knowledge of Google Updates, Analytics, and many others. He studied Computer Application from Techno India.

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