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: 8/29/2019

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

1931 S 1C MS Brown
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 90.00 95.00 110 120 130 135 145 150 155 170 170 185 210 250 285 525 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 195 210 265 350 - - -
1931 S 1C MS Red Brown
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - 190 200 200 270 360 775 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 300 450 - - -
1931 S 1C MS Red
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - 220 260 330 550 3050 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 275 360 915 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 5310
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: 10/22/2019 1931 S 1C MS Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-2174959436559614015618213021287156165345----2692
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-2174959436559614015618213021287156165345----2692
 -0 %1 %2 %22 %14 %22 %5 %6 %7 %5 %0 %0 %3 %6 %6 %1 %0 %---- 
1931 S 1C MS Red Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-----1------28843790829511----1742
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-----1------28843790829511----1742
 -----0 %------0 %5 %25 %52 %17 %1 %---- 
1931 S 1C MS Red
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------75754624224----876
-----------------------
---------------1------1
-----------------------
Total-------------75754724224----877
 -------------1 %6 %62 %28 %3 %---- 

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
10/23/2019 MS 65  Red Heritage Auctions Tuesday & Wednesday US Coins Weekly Online Auction Session(1), 131943/Lot# 27099


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/26/2006 NGC MS 64   Red Brown David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 93, 98/Lot# 367 $184.00
10/23/2008 PCGS MS 63   Red Heritage Auctions 2008 October Dallas, TX Signature US Coin Auction #1117, 1117/Lot# 7254 $195.50
10/13/2010 NGC MS 65   Red Teletrade Auction 2942, 2942/Lot# 1053 $546.25
1/30/2011 PCGS MS 64   Red Brown Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1193 $414.00
5/8/2011 NGC XF 40   Brown Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131120/Lot# 22042 $99.00
4/21/2013 NGC MS 64   Brown GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/21/2013, 71/Lot# 110772 $176.00
7/27/2014 NGC AU 53   Brown GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/27/2014, 201/Lot# 165343 $85.32
10/10/2014 PCGS   Red Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 14477 $146.88
2/12/2017 NGC AU 50   Brown Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131708/Lot# 25634 $89.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1931 1C MS S Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base33635136038140943744546348950251553955158662072582011731276138615761785
34135436739041844045147249350652354356359765575793812071313144916460
00000045147249350652354356359765575793812071313144900
000000457480498511531547574609690788105512421349151300
1931 1C MS S Red Brown
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base36338138941243947147950050253955357959762065376494914771600173019542198
369384397421450474486501514544562585605631690826112515181643180520350
000000486501514544562585605631690826112515181643180500
000000493501527548570591612642727887130115591687187900
1931 1C MS S Red
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base395412420442471505515537539577593620661663725908147726712861306034003554
4014154274524825085225385525826026346626847861098187527342927317334510
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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