What’s so special about a 1973 penny? What’s it worth? Here’s how to determine whether a 1973 penny is worth anything. First of all, you have to consider its condition. Coins that are more than 10% off-center are rare. A 1% off-center coin could fetch $10, while a 50% off-center coin could fetch up to $100. The mint mark was manually pressed onto the dies, which left ample room for human error. If an error occurred, coiners would simply repunch it with another die to correct it.
These coins can be worth as much as two cents when they are worn. However, an uncirculated 1973 penny can sell for between 10 cents and $30. A single 1973 pennant with a higher grade, graded MS67+RD by the Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $3,850 in an auction in 2020. A 1973 Denver penny features a “D” mintmark below the date. These coins are worth more than the face value of their copper content.
In the center of the obverse, a portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II faces right. She wears the St. Edward’s Crown, one of the United Kingdom’s most recognizable Crown Jewels. The left side of the coin features a caption, “QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND.”
The change to the penny’s metallic composition was gradual and unfolded over nine years. The change in the composition of the coin began when the price of copper soared in 1973. During this period, the copper content of the Lincoln cent was approaching the coin’s face value. Consequently, the public began hoarding brass one-cent coins, leading to a coin shortage nationwide, similar to the early 1960s. The public also hoarded silver coins, which made it difficult for them to be sold.
From 1885 to 1973, British Honduras issued eight different types of 1 cent pieces. They were struck at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, and included the state title “BELIZE” on the reverse. The state title was first struck on the bronze 1 cent piece in 1973 and was minted annually until 1976. Afterward, the nation became independent and issued aluminum coins. After the coin became legal tender, it remained in circulation until 1980 and was withdrawn from circulation in 1981.
If you’ve got a 1973 penny with a rare error or lack of mint mark, it’s likely that it’s worth at least twice its face value. It may be worth much more. Its value stems largely from its sentimental value. If you were born in 1973 or had a significant event occur in that year, a 1973 penny might even be a valuable keepsake. If you’ve saved a few of these coins, you may be able to sell them for more than their face value.