The U.S. Mint has produced one-cent coins (pennies) since 1793. But although these coins have a listed denomination of $0.01, many are worth far more thanks to their rarity, age, condition, or high-value metals. This includes the 1928 Lincoln Wheat cent.
But what’s the 1928 penny value? To find out, you’ll need to consider each 1928 Wheat penny’s grade (condition), coloration, and origin (U.S. Mint facility).
Fortunately, this guide will break down all of that information, making it easier than ever to discover the true value of 1928 Lincoln Wheat pennies.
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny Value Chart
|1928-P Penny BN||$9.5||$16.5||$130|
|1928-P Penny RB||/||$25||$240|
|1928-P Penny RD||/||$37||$390|
|1928-D Penny BN||$36||$70||/|
|1928-D Penny RB||/||$95||$1,050|
|1928-D Penny RD||/||$120||$7,350|
|1928-S Penny BN||$75||$160||$1,200|
|1928-S Penny RB||/||$265||$5,700|
|1928-S Penny RD||/||$265||$32,500|
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny: History
The 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny (also called the 1928 Wheat cent) shares quite a lot in common with all U.S. pennies produced from 1909 onwards.
After all, 1909 was the year that the U.S. Mint adopted the Wheat Reverse design for its one-cent coins, and few changes were made to the penny between 1909 and 1928. As a result, the primary difference between 1928 Lincoln Wheat pennies and those produced between 1909 and 1927 is the listed year date on the coin.
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny: Design
The 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny is so-called because it features the Lincoln Wheat (also called the Wheat Reverse) design.
This design was created by an artist named Victor David Brenner in 1908, and it was initially implemented in 1909. In fact, the first batch of Wheat Reverse cents released by the U.S. Mint in 1909 featured this artist’s initials; VDB.
However, these initials disappeared from later pennies, so you won’t find them on the 1928 Wheat cent. Instead, you’ll find a series of features that make the Wheat Reverse design unique. If you’re a numismatist, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these design hallmarks.
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny Obverse
The obverse (front) side of the 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny features:
- The raised image (also called a device) of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln
- The year date (1928) in the lower right-hand corner of the coin, parallel with Lincoln’s chest
- The legend “LIBERTY” on the right side of the coin, almost center
- The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” at the top of the coin, above Lincoln’s head
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny Reverse
The reverse (back) side of the 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny features:
- The issuing nation “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” (lower middle)
- The coin denomination “ONE CENT” (upper middle)
- The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” separated by interpoints (top)
- Two raised images (devices) of wheat stalks, both encircling the issuing nation and coin denomination
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny: Features and Specifications
A shared design (the Lincoln Wheat design) isn’t the only thing all 1928 Wheat pennies have in common. These coins also share several characteristics, including size, weight, and metal composition.
For example, 1928 Lincoln Wheat pennies:
- Are 19 millimeters in diameter (about 0.75 inches)
- Weigh 3.11 grams (about 0.11 ounces)
- Are 95% copper (with the remaining 5% being tin and zinc)
- Have an identifying mint mark (a “D” or “S”) beneath the year date, except for pennies struck at the Philadelphia Mint (called No Mint Mark pennies)
How Much Is a 1928 Wheat Penny Worth?
The 1928-P (No Mint Mark) Wheat penny is worth about $0.15 in good condition (G-4) and $3.50 in about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. When these coins are found in uncirculated condition, they can be worth up to $130 (MS-66).
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny: Value Comparison
Before you list or purchase a 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny, you’ll want to check its estimated value. After all, 1928 Wheat pennies have a wide value range, with some worth as little as $0.15 and others having an approximate value of more than $30,000!
So, to ensure you’re familiar with the values of these one-cent coins, let’s explore the:
- 1928-P No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value
- 1928-D Wheat Penny Value
- 1928-S Wheat Penny Value
1928-P No Mint Mark Wheat Penny Value
The first and oldest U.S. Mint facility is the one found in Philadelphia. Historically, the Philadelphia Mint has produced more pennies than any other U.S. Mint facility.
In 1928, the Philadelphia Mint struck just over 134 million pennies, far outpacing the Denver Mint and San Francisco Mint. Consequently, 1928-P Lincoln Wheat pennies are the most common pennies from 1928.
Notably, these coins are also called “No Mint Mark” pennies because instead of featuring a small capital letter “P” beneath the year date, there’s no mint mark. This is true of all pennies produced by the Philadelphia Mint, with the exception of the 2017 Lincoln Shield pennies.
The value of a 1928-P No Mint Mark penny varies between $0.15 and $4,500. Coin coloration and condition are the most significant factors impacting this coin’s worth, which is true of all 1928 Lincoln Wheat cents, regardless of where they were produced.
Heavily circulated pennies are almost always brown, and there’s an excellent reason for that; oxidation.
When copper is freshly polished and pressed, it’s an orange-red color. But over time, the metal reacts with oxygen in air or water, causing it to darken and turn brown.
Pennies that are red (RD) or red and brown (RB) are often only partially circulated (or immediately removed from circulation by collectors). Their richer red coloration is one of the most reliable indicators of their condition.
As a result, brown pennies are often far less valuable than red ones.
A brown (BN) 1928-P Lincoln Wheat penny is worth about $0.15 in good (G-4) condition, and about $3.50 in about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. In uncirculated (mint state) condition, a BN 1928-P No Mint Mark Wheat cent is worth about $130 (MS-66).
Red and Brown
A red and brown (RB) penny from 1928 is likely to be in uncirculated condition, making it generally more valuable than a brown penny from the same year. An RB 1928-P Wheat penny has an estimated value ranging from $15 (MS-61) to $240 (MS-66).
Red (RD) 1928-P Lincoln Wheat pennies are generally far more valuable than brown (BN) or red and brown (RB) pennies. They’re also in better condition than heavily oxidized brown pennies.
An RD 1928-P Wheat Reverse penny is worth between $27 (MS-62) and $4,500 (MS-67+). One with a grade of MS-66 is estimated to be worth about $390, though one in MS-66+ condition can sell for upwards of $520!
1928-D Wheat Penny Value
The Denver Mint struck about 31 million pennies in 1928, all featuring a small letter “D” below the year date. Because these pennies are rarer than the “No Mint Mark” pennies struck by the Philadelphia Mint, they’re slightly more valuable.
The value of a 1928-D Lincoln Wheat penny varies between $0.75 and $7,350. The least valuable of these are good-condition brown (BN) pennies, while red (RD) pennies in uncirculated (mint state) condition are the most valuable.
A brown (BN) 1928-D Lincoln Wheat cent is worth about $0.75 in good (G-4) condition. However, in about uncirculated (AU-50) condition, the same coin has an estimated value of $20. That’s 2000 times its listed denomination of $0.01!
Still, the most valuable BN 1928-D Lincoln Wheat pennies are those in mint state (MS) condition. An MS-65 BN 1928-D penny is worth about $275.
In 2020, a rare MS-66+ BN 1928-D Wheat Reverse penny sold for $1,125 on eBay. Few brown Denver Mint pennies produced in 1928 are in such great condition, so those with a grade of MS-60 or higher tend to be quite valuable.
Red and Brown
According to the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC), red and brown (RB) 1928-D Lincoln Wheat pennies are worth between $47.50 (MS-61) and $1,050 (MS-66).
These coins are slightly oxidized than brown (BN) pennies and tend to be in better condition, making them more valuable to collectors. However, they’re less valuable than red (RD) pennies.
Red (RD) 1928-D pennies have an estimated value ranging between $100 (MS-62) and $7,350 (MS-66). However, in 2022 an MS-66 RD 1928-D Lincoln Wheat penny sold at auction for $12,600, setting a new sales record for this specific coin.
The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) estimated that fewer than 3,000 RD 1928-D Lincoln Wheat cents exist, making them comparatively rare coins. But 1928-S Lincoln Wheat pennies are even scarcer.
1928-S Wheat Penny Value
In 1928, the San Francisco Mint struck about 17.266 million pennies. That’s less than 13% of the yield of the Philadelphia Mint during the same year!
As you might imagine, this lower minting volume makes 1928-S Lincoln Wheat pennies the rarest type of U.S. penny struck in 1928. Thanks to this rarity, the 1928-S Wheat penny is worth far more than the 1928-P or 1928-D penny, even when heavily oxidized (brown) or in lackluster (good, fine, or about uncirculated) condition.
The value of a 1928-S Lincoln Wheat cent varies between $0.90 and $32,500. If you have one of these coins in your collection, you might have a high-value asset on your hands.
A brown (BN) 1928-S Lincoln Wheat penny is worth about $0.90 in good condition (G-4) and about $26 in about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. But a BN 1928-S Wheat Reverse penny in uncirculated (mint state) condition can sell at much higher prices.
For example, an MS-60 BN 1928-S Lincoln Wheat penny is estimated at $75. An MS-66 BN 1928-S penny is worth about $1,200.
Red and Brown
Red and brown (RB) 1928-S pennies are only found in uncirculated condition, so their grades start at MS-60 and get higher from there.
An MS-61 RB 1928-S Lincoln Wheat penny is worth about $110. An MS-66 RB 1928-S Wheat penny is estimated at about $5,700. Red (RD) 1928-S Lincoln Wheat pennies are worth slightly more.
A red (RD) 1928-S Lincoln Wheat penny is worth between $115 (MS-61) and $32,500 (MS-66). It’s believed that there are fewer than 200 RD 1928-S pennies in MS-65 condition or better.
1928 Lincoln Wheat Penny: Rare Errors
When collecting coins, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for error coins. Although these coins aren’t typically “ideal” specimens due to their striking or processing errors, they can be exceptionally valuable due to their rarity and uniqueness.
Some of the most notable 1928 Lincoln Wheat cent error coins include the:
- 1928-S Wheat Penny Large Mintmark (Large S) Error
- 1928-S Wheat Penny Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) Error
- 1928 Wheat Penny BIE Error
To help you better identify and search for these coins, let’s delve into each coin’s appearance, characteristics, and estimated value.
1928-S Wheat Penny Large Mintmark (Large S) Error
The most common type of error seen in 1928 pennies is the large mintmark (also called Large S) error. As the name of this error suggests, it’s caused by an unusually large “S” mintmark on some pennies struck at the San Francisco Mint.
It’s estimated that only about 100 Large S 1928-S pennies are in mint state (MS) condition. It’s unclear how many were produced in 1928. These coins can sell for between $50 and $400, depending on their coloration and condition (grade).
1928-S Wheat Penny Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) Error
Although the San Francisco Mint struck the lowest volume of pennies in 1928, it created more error coins than any other U.S. Mint facility that year. The 1928-S Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) error coin is a fantastic example.
An RPM error coin is created when the mint mark punch leaves multiple overlapping impressions. For 1928-S pennies, you may see this as an “S” mint mark with a shadow or slight doubling. These coins can sell for between $20 and $100.
1928 Wheat Penny BIE Error
The “BIE” error refers to a little vertical raised line on a penny’s surface, generally between the “B” and “E” in the legend “LIBERTY” along the coin’s obverse face. This raised line stems from a crack in the coin die and is not a natural defect of the planchet (the metal disc used to create coins).
Although 1928 BIE error pennies are exceptionally valuable, they tend to have a greater estimated worth than standard brown (BN), heavily circulated 1928 pennies. A 1928 BIE error penny can sell for up to $20, although some sell for less (between $5 and $10).
Frequently Asked Questions
Would you like to know more about the 1928 Lincoln Wheat cent? If so, peruse the frequently asked questions below!
How Many 1928 Lincoln Wheat Cents Exist Today?
The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) estimates that a little over 18 million 1928 Lincoln Wheat cents exist today. This includes coins of all mint marks, grades, and colors.
For perspective, more than 182 million pennies were struck in 1928, so less than 10% of the coins produced that year are still around today.
What’s the Most Ever Spent at Auction for a 1928 Lincoln Wheat Cent?
The most ever spent at auction for a regular strike (non-error) 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny is $45,600.
This record was set in 2020 when an MS-66 RD 1928-S Lincoln Wheat cent went up for auction via Heritage Auctions. Still, other pennies from 1928 have sold for thousands, with the most valuable tending to be red (RD) coins in exceptional (mint state, MS) condition.
Are There Any Steel Pennies From 1928?
The U.S. Mint didn’t produce any steel pennies in 1928. The only time the U.S. Mint produced pennies made of steel was in 1943.
That said, error pennies made of steel dating to that period (the 1940s) can be exceptionally valuable. For example, in 2021, an MS-64 1944 Lincoln Wheat penny (made of steel) sold at auction for $180,000!
The 1928 Lincoln Wheat penny has a value ranging between $0.15 and $32,500. Mint mark, coloration, and grading (coin condition) are the most influential factors impacting a 1928 Wheat penny’s value.
The least valuable 1928 Lincoln Wheat pennies are those produced at the Philadelphia Mint facility, most notably brown (BN) pennies in good (G-4) or about uncirculated (AU-50) condition. The most valuable 1928 Wheat penny is the red (RD) 1928-S penny in mint state condition (MS-66, to be precise).
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