Coin Specifications

Category: Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse (1909-1958)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 866,000
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Composition: Bronze
Weight: 3.1100g
Diameter: 19mm
Edge: Plain
Link to this coin

1931 S 1C MS obverse 1931 S 1C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

This issue has been a key coin in the Lincoln series since its inception, and examples were always extremely difficult to locate in circulation.

Nearly the entire mintage was produced early in 1931 before the demand for additional cents simply evaporated. Most pieces remained unissued until 1935, at which time dealers and speculators were waiting to scoop them up by the roll and the bag.

Due to this unusual pattern of distribution, 1931-S cents are fairly plentiful in Mint State while being rare in worn condition. Ones grading less than Very Fine are genuinely rare. This accounts for the very small spread in value from Good though the lower Mint State grades. Fully red examples are plentiful, though they seem to suffer from spotting and staining. At the gem level, this issue is scarce. Most 1931-S cents are reasonably well struck, but they seldom are found fully struck from fresh dies.

This issue has been widely faked by adding an S mintmark to a 1931(P) cent or by altering the date on a genuine S-Mint cent of some other date in the 1930s. Most of these alterations are easily detected, but collectors should seek a certified coin for peace of mind.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/12/2020

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1931 S 1C MS BN
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 85.00 90.00 110 120 130 135 145 150 155 165 170 185 200 250 300 525 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 195 210 265 350 - - -
1931 S 1C MS RB
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 190 200 215 270 375 775 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 300 450 - - -
1931 S 1C MS RD
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - 220 260 330 550 3050 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 275 360 915 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 5578
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 66

The chart showing G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 5/4/2021 1931 S 1C MS BN
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-2195462539263814617119713521392167174365----2868
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-2195462539263814617119713521392167174365----2868
 -0%1%2%22%14%22%5%6%7%5%0%0%3%6%6%1%0%---- 
1931 S 1C MS RB
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-----1------29345493830712----1807
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-----1------29345493830712----1807
 -----0%------0%5%25%52%17%1%---- 
1931 S 1C MS RD
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------176055325329----903
-----------------------
---------------111----3
-----------------------
Total------------176055425430----906
 ------------0%1%7%61%28%3%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1931 S 1C MS BN
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base33635136038140943744546348950251553955158662072582011731276138615761785
34135436739041844045147249350652354356359765575793812071313144916461874
00000045147249350652354356359765575793812071313144900
000000457480498511531547574609690788105512421349151300
1931 S 1C MS RB
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base36338138941243947147950050253955357959762065376494914771600173019542198
369384397421450474486501514544562585605631690826112515181643180520352308
000000486501514544562585605631690826112515181643180500
000000493501527548570591612642727887130115591687187900
1931 S 1C MS RD
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base395412420442471505515537539577593620661663725908147726712861306034003554
4014154274524825085225385525826026346626847861098187527342927317334513732
0000005225385525826026346626847861098187527342927317300
0000005305385645886116476627048471287227327982994328700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66 RD
Points: 2671
Owner: Robert Baker Trust
 
Grade: MS 66 RB
Points: 1477
Owner: D.M. Russo
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.