Face Value: 2023 Lincoln Cents

Posted on 8/15/2023

The newly struck coins have already produced an important variety that greatly increases the cent's value, potentially to more than $1,000.

Lincoln Cents have been struck since 1909, when they were first introduced to celebrate the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. The various Lincoln Cent series are identified by their reverses, which include: Wheat Ears (1909-1958), Lincoln Memorial (1959-2008), Bicentennial (2009) and Shield (2010-present).

To make a series more exciting to complete, collectors often look for die varieties that typically only show up in a small percentage of the coins that are struck. Leading examples among Lincoln Cents include the 1955 Double Die Obverse as well as the 1944-D/S, which is an example of a mintmark that has been punched over another one.

Even with the exceptional quality control procedures in place at the US Mint's world-class facilities in modern times, new varieties are being identified. For instance, doubling has been observed on certain Lincoln Cents dated 2004, 2006, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

An important variety has now been identified in 2023 Cents. When the first Lincoln Cents entered circulation in 1909, the initials V.D.B. (for Lincoln Cent designer Victor David Brenner) were included at the bottom of the reverse, but public resentment promptly led to their removal. Today, they are tucked discretely into the design near the bottom of the obverse, at the bottom of Lincoln's shoulder. Certain 2023 Cents have what appears to be an extra V after the initials.

2023 Extra 'V' Cent
Click images to enlarge

NGC has added this Extra 'V' variety to its NGC Variety Plus resource. The NGC Census shows that, as of August 2023, there are 37 certified examples, including four tied for highest graded at NGC MS 68.

2023 'Extra V' Cent graded NGC MS 68 RD that realized $1,114 via GreatCollections
Click images to enlarge.

Prices realized in recent sales include:

  • $1,399 for an NGC MS 68 RD example sold via eBay in July 2023
  • $1,114 for an NGC MS 68 RD example sold via GreatCollections in July 2023
  • $615 for an NGC MS 67 RD example sold via eBay in May 2023
  • $529 for an NGC MS 67 RD example sold via eBay in August 2023

Given the prices that this variety can command at auction, collectors are well advised to look for ones that have been authenticated and graded by NGC.

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