HomeUS Coins1914-D Lincoln Cent : History and Value

1914-D Lincoln Cent : History and Value

The Lincoln cent is the United States’ longest-serving coin. Its 1909 debut marked the centennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and its elegant sculptural design served as the vanguard of a new wave of American coin art. But while the golden age of American coin design is most associated with medallic artist and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gardens, it is the early 20th-century work of Litvak-American sculptor Victor David Brenner that remains in circulation.

The obverse of a 1914-D Lincoln Cent
The obverse of a 1914-D Lincoln Cent

Although struck in a denomination that has very little purchasing power, the Lincoln cent is a coin collecting powerhouse that has driven untold millions of people to enter the coin hobby over the years and continues to be a cornerstone series for new collectors.

As is the case with most coin series, collecting Lincoln cents can be as simple or as complex as a collector wants to make it. A simplified view of the Lincoln cent series divides it into five major types:

  1. The “Wheat Cent” of 1909-1958;
  2. The “Memorial” cents of 1959-1982;
  3. The “Zincoln” cent of 1983-2008;
  4. The four Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth commemorative reverse designs of 2009; and
  5. The “Shield” reverse of 2010 to present.

For many, collecting Lincoln cents by date and mintmark is sufficient. Penny boards and coin albums have long proved popular methods of conveying the completeness of a collection.

Reverse design of a 1914-D Lincoln Cent
Reverse design of a 1914-D Lincoln Cent

Collectors interested in digging deeper than simply having one of each date and mintmark may consider a host of challenging collecting possibilities. Variety collectors can seek out hundreds of collectible doubled dies, repunched mintmarks, and mint errors in the series, while quality-conscious collectors might attempt to complete the United States’ longest-running coin series in high grade. When venturing down these two paths, it’s best to arm oneself with up-to-date market information and work with professionals when questions of authenticity and condition rarity are encountered.

The 1914-D in Specific

The 1914-D’s mintage of 1,193,000 coins is slightly higher than the famous 1909-S VDB, but in real terms, the 1914-D is the scarcer of the two issues. In our opinion, it is the key to the date and mintmark series. However, those digging deeper will find half-a-dozen or more Lincoln cent objets de désir far more difficult to acquire (e.g. the 1943 copper cent, the 1944 steel cent, the 1959 “Wheat” cent, the 1955 and 1969-S doubled dies, and the 1983 copper just to name a few).

Most 1914-D cents that survive are well-worn. These long-traveled coins have served dutifully as hole fillers in penny boards and albums for more than 60 years. For problem-free coins in the lower circulated grades, expect to pay $175 USD and up.

For discriminating collectors, acquiring examples in Mint State will increase the cost factor by a multiple of 20 or more. On December 6, 2019, Heritage Auctions sold an example graded MS63 BN by PCGS and approved by CAC for $2,640. A recent auction high price paid for a 1914-D was $81,075 in 2016 for a PCGS MS66 RD. That coin is tied for the finest known with four other examples, according to the PCGS census.

A mint state 1914-D Lincoln Cent.
A mint state 1914-D Lincoln Cent.



The obverse of the 1914 Lincoln cent, which features a right-facing bust of President Abraham Lincoln, was designed by Victor David Brenner. The date 1914 appears to the right of Lincoln and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST appears above the president. Below the date is the mint mark “D” for the Denver Mint. To the left of the 16th president is the word LIBERTY.


Brenner’s “Wheat Cent” reverse. Two sheaths of wheat wrap around the right and the left side of the coin. At the top of the design, the motto “E ·PLURIBUS · UNUM” wraps around the rim. ONE CENT is inscribed in large letters, sans serif, the bottom arm of the E extends beyond the arm at the top. The middle arm is recessed. Beneath, in the same font, but smaller type: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


The edge of the 1914-D Lincoln Wheat cent is plain, or smooth.


Lithuanian-born coin designer Victor David Brenner is best known for his iconic design for the Lincoln cent (1909-Present) (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications

Country:  USA
Year Of Issue:  1914
Denomination:  One Cent
Mint Mark:  D (Denver)
Mintage: 1,193,000
Alloy:  95% Copper, 5% Tin and Zinc
Weight:  3.11 g
Diameter:  19.00 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer  Victor David Brenner
REV Designer  Victor David Brenner
Quality: Business Strike


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CoinWeek IQ
CoinWeek IQ
With CoinWeek IQ, the editors and writers of CoinWeek dig deeper than the usual numismatic article. CoinWeek IQ provides collectors and numismatists with in-depth information, pedigree histories, and market analysis of U.S. coins and currency.


    • It’s possible but unlikely, unless e.g. your coins were acquired a long time ago. Your best path would be to have them examined by an expert, especially as there are numerous counterfeits that were made by altering genuine 1944-D or 1914 (P) cents, among other ways.

      • My friend found a 1944 steal cent. Along with other wheat pennies that are without mint marks dates are before 1930s. Did he find something that could be worth alot of money? He found in an 100 yr. old farm house they were tearing down.

  1. Only 484,000 1909-S VDB cents were minted. Describing the 1914-D mintage of 1,193,000 as only “slightly more” seems IMO to be a be a bit of a stretch.

  2. To the above comment, there are more or far more 1909-S VDB than 1914-D. Both are common but the 09-SVDB is more common, especially in MS.

    • The “slightly more” phrase was in reference to the coins’ original mintages which differ by more than a factor of two. However as you note, PCGS census estimates show significant skewing among survivors. While there are still a lot more estimated surviving 1914-D cents than 1909-S VDB (~120,000 versus ~50,000) overall, among those in MS-60 and above the latter predominate (~6,000 versus ~1,500). Arguably publicity around the 1909-S VDB cents probably led to a higher fraction being saved early on.

  3. I stopped collecting coins after my father sold my 1792 half disme.He received $10,000 for it. I was 21 years of age. I would love to know when this coin is now. It was given to me by my grandmother who grew up in the Shrewsbury Massachusetts area. The coin is gone and so is my dad.


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