US Coins

Market Analysis: Top-quality 1942-S Lincoln cent

The 1942-S Lincoln cent is a common coin. Even in full red Mint State grades, high-quality examples aren’t particularly challenging.

Still, the very top-graded coins continue to be in demand from registry set collectors, and the MS-68 red example certified by Numismatic Guaranty Co. and offered at Heritage’s Sept. 15 session was one of just two in this grade at NGC with none finer.

Heritage wrote that it was “a marvelous, pristine full Red example of the 1942-S Lincoln cent, showing a bold strike and glistening copper-orange luster. No spots mar the eye appeal.” It sold for $12,000.

The price is especially notable when considering PCGS has certified seven in MS-68 red, examples of which sold for $7,800, $7,200 and $7,800 in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

A nice NGC MS-67 red 1942-S Lincoln cent realized a much more modest $134 earlier this year.

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