Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1981 penny


Hello, I have a 1981 penny.  Lincoln and everything on the front appears to be there but the back is blank.  Is this worth anything?

Hi Cari,

Most likely, it isn't worth anything.  I say this because when a coin is struck the front and back are struck by the dies simultaneously.  Chances are that the back either wore off, or was polished off.

The coin would have to be inspected to determine otherwise.  However, there is something you can do.  Weigh the coin on an accurate gram scale.  It should weigh 3.11 grams, or there about.  If it is substantially less, the back was polished off, thereby reducing the weight.

If the weight is correct, it is possible that you have a die trial piece, but that's a long shot.

Joe Hylas

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Joe Hylas


Numismatic professional with over 30 years experience can answer your questions about US coins, their values, how best to sell them and where to buy them. Interested in starting a collection? Find out which areas are undervalued and how to acquire those coins at the best price.


Ex-Head Precious Metals trader for Deak-Perera International with 42 offices worldwide. Industry experience since 1978. Has worked co-operatively with US Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Austrian Mint, Chamber of Mines of South Africa, World Gold Council and Platinum Guild International. Professioanl numismatist specializing in US Coins. Always buying collections, will travel if size of collection warrants. Website: www.AllCoins.US

PCGS, NGC, Rotary

Physician's Money Digest

Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration

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