Collecting coins is a popular hobby, and certain coins can be quite valuable based on factors such as rarity, age, and historical significance. A 1973 penny, despite being nearly 50 years old, might not receive as much attention as other older or rare coins. However, it is still an interesting piece of currency. In this article, we will explore how much a 1973 penny is worth and what factors might influence its value.

The value of a 1973 penny can vary greatly depending on its condition, whether it has any errors or unique features, and its mint location. Coin collectors and enthusiasts often look for these details when assessing the worth of a coin. While many 1973 pennies may not be worth more than their face value, there are some instances where they may hold a higher worth.

To gain a deeper understanding of the worth of a 1973 penny, we will discuss the factors that contribute to its value, such as material composition and demand among collectors. This will provide insight into whether a 1973 penny deserves a special place in your collection or is simply just pocket change.

Value of a 1973 Penny

Circulated vs. Uncirculated

The value of a 1973 penny varies depending on its condition. Circulated pennies have been used in everyday transactions, while uncirculated coins have never been in circulation. Uncirculated coins typically hold more value due to their pristine condition.

  • Circulated 1973 pennies are quite common and usually worth only their face value, $0.01.
  • Uncirculated 1973 pennies, on the other hand, can be worth significantly more depending on factors such as the coin’s grade, rarity, and mint mark.

Mint Mark Influence

The mint mark on a 1973 penny can also impact its value. There are three main mint marks to be aware of when assessing a 1973 penny’s worth:

  1. P – Philadelphia Mint, no mint mark
  2. D – Denver Mint, marked with a “D”
  3. S – San Francisco Mint, marked with an “S”

Mint marks act as a way to identify the origin of the coin and can contribute to its overall rarity. The San Francisco Mint produced fewer coins, making the 1973-S penny more rare and potentially more valuable than its counterparts from Philadelphia and Denver.

To summarize, the value of a 1973 penny depends primarily on its condition and mint mark. Uncirculated coins from the San Francisco Mint are the most valuable, while circulated pennies from either the Philadelphia or Denver Mints typically hold little more than their face value.

Factors Affecting the Coin’s Worth

The Condition or Grade of the Penny

The value of a 1973 penny largely depends on its condition or grade. A coin in pristine condition with sharp details and minimal wear is considered to have a higher grade and, therefore, higher value than a coin with visible signs of wear, scratches, or damage. Coin collectors and enthusiasts use standardized grading systems such as the Sheldon Scale to determine a coin’s grade, with numbers ranging from 1 to 70. The higher the grade, the more valuable the coin is likely to be.

Rarity of the 1973 Penny in Different Grades

Rarity is another major factor that affects the worth of a 1973 penny. Some grades or conditions may be more common than others, making those coins less valuable in comparison. For instance, a high-grade 1973 penny may command a premium due to its scarcity, whereas a lower-grade example might be more common and therefore less valuable. It’s important to research the population figures for 1973 pennies in various grades to gain a better understanding of their rarity and value.

Mint Marks and their Impact on Value

Mint marks, which are small symbols indicating the mint where a coin was produced, can significantly affect a 1973 penny’s value. The United States Mint produced pennies at three different facilities in 1973: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (marked ‘D’), and San Francisco (marked ‘S’). Typically, mintages from one facility may be rarer than those from another, leading to differences in value depending on the mint mark. Collectors should be aware of the mintage figures for each mint facility to better assess the value of their coins.

Demand and Market Trends for the 1973 Penny

Lastly, the value of a 1973 penny is directly influenced by demand and market trends. As interest in collecting and investing in coins changes over time, so does the value of individual coins. Factors such as economic shifts, collector interest, and the availability of similar coins on the market can all impact the worth of a 1973 penny. Staying informed about the current market dynamics and the popularity of specific coin types or series can help you make more informed decisions when buying, selling, or trading 1973 pennies.

Current Valuations and Notable Sales of the 1973 Penny

Average Market Value and Price Range

The value of a 1973 penny can considerably vary depending on factors such as condition and rarity. The average market value for a circulated 1973 penny is between $0.01 and $0.10, while a coin with exceptional condition, like an uncirculated 1973 penny, is worth between $0.15 and $1.00.

Record Auction Prices for the 1973 Penny

The 1973 penny has not seen record-breaking prices at auctions, given that it’s quite common. However, there have been some notable sales:

  • In April 2017, a 1973 MS penny with a PCGS grade of MS67+RD was sold at Heritage Auctions during the 2017 April 26-30 CSNS U.S. Coins Signature Auction in Chicago, IL. The penny fetched a price of $3,760. It was lot number 3593.
  • A 1973-D MS penny, graded MS67 by PCGS, was auctioned off at Heritage Auctions during the 2014 February 27 – 28 & March 2 ANA National Money Show US Coins Signature Auction in Atlanta. The lot number for this penny was 3172, and it sold for an impressive $4,994 in February 2014.
  • A 1973-S MS penny with a grade of MS67RD by PCGS was sold for $2,233 at the 2016 August 10-14 ANA U.S. Coins Signature Auction in Anaheim, CA, hosted by Heritage Auctions. This penny was lot number 3273 and was auctioned off in August 2016.
  • In January 2004, a 1973-S PR penny, with a perfect PCGS grade of PR70, was auctioned at Heritage Auctions during the 2004 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale. The penny, which was part of the John Troy #1 PCGS Registry Set, sold for a record-breaking $12,075. It was listed as lot number 4954.

Selling Your 1973 Penny

If you possess a 1973 penny and want to sell it, you have a couple of options. It is essential to determine the value of your coin before deciding where to sell it.

Coin Dealers and Auctions

One option for selling your 1973 penny is to visit a coin dealer or participate in an auction. Coin dealers have the expertise to accurately determine the value of your coin based on its condition, rarity, and demand. Factors that can influence the value of your penny include:

  • The mintmark
  • The grade or condition of the coin
  • The mintage, or the number of coins produced
Mintmark Value range (USD)
No mintmark 0.01 – 0.50
D or S 0.01 – 0.75

Remember that coin dealers may charge fees or commissions for their services. Additionally, auctions can have varying levels of success, meaning the final selling price may not reflect the true value of your penny.

Online Marketplaces

Another option is to sell your coin through an online marketplace. Websites like eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and others offer platforms for individuals to sell their collectible items. Before listing your 1973 penny, consider the following:

  • Research prices: Browse through similar listings to understand the current market value.
  • Images: Provide clear, high-resolution images of the coin’s obverse and reverse to showcase its features and condition.
  • Description: Accurately describe the details of the coin, including mintmark, grade, and any unique features.

While selling your 1973 penny online may provide a wider audience, remember that marketplaces often charge fees and may require shipping and handling. Additionally, transactions with online buyers carry some risk, so take necessary precautions, such as using a secure payment method and shipping with tracking.


How much is a 1973 penny worth?

A 1973 penny’s worth varies depending on its condition, rarity, and any specific mint marks. In general, circulated pennies from 1973 are worth a small amount, usually between 1 and 5 cents. However, uncirculated pennies in mint condition can fetch significantly more.

Are there any special mint marks to look for?

Yes, there are three different mint marks found on 1973 pennies:

  • No mint mark: These pennies were minted in Philadelphia and are the most common variety.
  • D: This mark denotes pennies minted in Denver. These might hold a slightly higher worth than the ones from Philadelphia.
  • S: The S mint mark represents the San Francisco mint and generally have a higher value, particularly the proof coins.

How can I determine the condition of my 1973 penny?

To determine the condition of a 1973 penny, one can use the following grading scale:

  • Poor (P-1): The coin is barely identifiable, but the date can still be read.
  • Fair (F-2): Details are worn and very flat, but can still be identified.
  • Good (G-4): Design details show significant wear, but are still somewhat visible.
  • Fine (F-12): Most details still intact, with moderate wear throughout.
  • Very Fine (VF-20): Slight wear on high points, with most details still clear.
  • Extremely Fine (EF-45): Light wear on high points, all major details sharp and clear.
  • About Uncirculated (AU-58): Traces of wear on high points, most mint luster still intact.
  • Mint State (MS-60 to MS-70): No trace of wear, with the coin essentially in its original mint condition.

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