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Scarce Gem Red 1914-D Lincoln Cent at GreatCollections

1914-d Lincoln Cent

1914-D Lincoln Cent by CoinWeek ….
On Sunday, July 19, bidding ends on for this 1914-D Lincoln cent, graded MS-65+ RD by PCGS.

Having one of the lowest mintages of the “Wheat Penny” era (the third lowest, to be precise, behind only the 1931-S and the iconic 1909-S VDB), the 1914-D would naturally be harder to find than most early Lincoln cents. But the 1914-D also has the lowest survival rate of the series, since it was not hoarded like other, more famous issues.

Adding to the rarity of the piece being offered by GreatCollections, most examples of the date are weakly struck, and lustrous fully red specimens that qualify for the “RD” designation are likewise hard to come by. PCGS reports 11 pices graded MS-65+ RD, with six higher at MS-66 RD and a sole top pop example listed as MS-66+ RD. According to PCGS, a specimen most recently sold for $28,800 in April of this year, while pieces went for $15,600 and $15,500 in August 2019 and October 2018, respectively. Another specimen sold at the Baltimore Coin Expo in March 2016 for $17,625, and a fifth MS-65+ RD 1914-D sold for $28,200 in October 2014.

It should be noted that this coin is a frequent target of counterfeiters, who add mint marks or vandalize dates in order to pass off more common Lincoln cents as this more scarce date. Coins certified by a respected third-party grading service therefore command even more of a premium for this valuable authentication.

As for the 1914-D’s performance on, be sure to check out their Auction Archives of over 600,000 certified coins sold in the past seven years.

At the time of writing, the high bid on the current example of an MS-65+ RD 1914-D Lincoln cent being offered by GreatCollections is $12,555 after 10 bids.

Background of the Wheat Reverse Lincoln Cent

The Lincoln cent (1909 to present) is and has been a favorite of collectors for many decades. It was the first circulating U.S. coin to feature the likeness of a real person: 16th president Abraham Lincoln, one of the most respected and admired presidents in this country’s history. First issued in 1909, the Lincoln cent was released in time for the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

And with but a few exceptions, millions (if not billions in more modern times) of Lincoln cents have been issued each year. Combined with its low face value, it is a coin that almost anyone can collect, including kids and others of more modest means. On the other hand, the series contains enough rarities and varieties to hold the interest of the serious numismatist.

The first year of the design includes the issues that prominently display on the reverse the initials of the designer, Victor D. Brenner – which caused controversy at the time of release, even though designers initials had previously been placed on U.S. coins. Because those initials were subsequently removed (and then reinstated in a less conspicuous location on the obverse in 1918), the 1909 V.D.B. and 1909-S V.D.B. cents are considered a separate type.

Lincoln cents were made of a bronze alloy in most years, with a couple of variations during the years of World War II. Because copper was a critical war material, cents in 1943 were produced on zinc-coated steel planchets. That resulted in the inadvertent creation of two Lincoln cent rarities, the first being the copper cents dated 1943, and the second being the steel cents dated 1944. From 1944 through 1946, cents were produced from reused shell cases, whose bronze composition was nearly identical to the original issues minus the tin.

Millions of business strike Wheat Lincoln cents were produced almost every year of the type’s run (1909-1958). Collector interest in the type grew slowly, not taking off until the low-mintage 1931-S was extensively publicized, along with the advent of collecting boards in the early 1930s.

Frank Gasparro designed the 1959 Lincoln Memorial reverse that replaced the original 1909 Brenner wheat stalk design.


On the obverse, Brenner’s portrait of Abraham Lincoln depicts the President from the shoulder up. Lincoln is dressed in a period suit and is wearing a bow tie. At the top of the design, wrapping around the rim is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. “LIBERTY” appears behind Lincoln’s neck, on the left side of the coin. The date appears slightly lower, in front of Lincoln’s portrait, on the coin’s right side. The mint mark “D” is below the date.

On the 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 is plain, as it is for all Lincoln cents.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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