What makes a 1958 D wheat penny valuable? The 1958 D wheat penny can be an exciting find for coin collectors and numismatists. With a relatively low mintage and some rare varieties, a 1958 D wheat cent in top condition can fetch a tidy sum.
If you’re short on time, here are the key things that add value to a 1958 D wheat penny: rare mint errors like double dies or repunched dates, uncirculated condition, and full original mint red luster.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why this common yet sometimes scarce Lincoln cent date and mint mark combination can bring big money.
Scarcity and Demand for 1958 D Lincoln Cents
Lower Mintage Heightens Collector Appeal
With a mintage of 800,953,300 coins, the 1958 D Wheat Penny has a relatively low production compared to other dates in the series. This scarcity heightens collector appeal, as fewer examples were struck than the hundreds of millions churned out in other years.
Searches on eBay and dealer inventories reveal just how unusual high-grade specimens are in today’s scarce coin market.
The 1958 D cent also had a higher rate of melting and spending into circulation due to the copper and zinc metals being worth more than face value. As the coins exchanged hands, most succumbed to heavy wear and damage over the decades.
This steady outflow further reduced the pool of collectible 1958 D Wheat Pennies – especially in the Mint State red uncirculated condition most demanded by numismatists.
Condition Rarity of Uncirculated 1958 D Cents
High-grade 1958 D Lincoln cents are notoriously tough to locate even after 64 years of searching for pocket change. Most examples grade no higher than Extremely Fine due to heavy circulation and improper storage.
The PCGS Population Report reveals just 136 total 1958 D cents certified in the Mint State 65 Red category. This scarcity and strong collector demand push values to around $500 for an MS65 specimen. Lower MS 64 and MS 63 coins still fetch $75+ and $25+ each at auction or on dealer price lists.
For Wheat cent collectors assembling complete date/mintmark sets, the 1958 D Lincoln stands out as a noteworthy condition rarity.
Valuable Mint Errors to Look For
A repunched mintmark occurs when the mintmark on a coin shows evidence of more than one punch from the mintmark punch. This happens when the mint worker accidentally punches the mintmark into the working die, then realizes it is slightly crooked or in the wrong position and punches it again.
Coins with a repunched mintmark can be valuable to collectors.
According to the PCGS CoinFacts, some 1958-D wheat pennies with a repunched D mintmark have sold for over $100 at auction. While minor punching may only add a small premium, dramatic shifts in the placement of the mintmark make the coin more desirable.
Double dies occur when the working dies strike the coin blank twice, slightly offset from each other. This results in the doubling of design elements like the date, mottoes, or wheat stalks on wheat pennies. Coins with strong doubling tend to command significant premiums.
The 1955 double-die wheat penny is one of the most famous error coins, with a strong doubling of the date and lettering. Specimens in pristine condition have sold for over $80,000 at auction. While less dramatic, discoveries of new 1958-D doubled dies could still trade for upwards of $1,000.
Off-center coins occur when a blank slides out of position as it is being struck by the dies. This results in the coin design being dramatically shifted to one side of the coin or another. Off-center 1958-D wheat pennies exhibit a partial loss of design elements like wheat stalks or other lettering.
Off-center strikes are always dramatic and eye-catching. Strongly off-center 1958 wheat cents can trade for anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars depending on how far the design is shifted. A coin struck this far off-center is rare and desirable to many error collectors.
Inspecting wheat pennies carefully for mint errors can pay off handsomely. While common, workaday 1958-D cents have a nominal value, those few struck with mint errors stand out from the countless millions produced that year.
With sharp eyes and some patience, valuable repunched mintmarks, double dies, and off-center strikes can turn up in everyday pocket change.
Importance of Surface Quality and Color
Red Uncirculated Examples Most Prized
When evaluating 1958 D wheat pennies for collectability and value, surface quality and color are two of the most important attributes. High-grade examples with beautiful, original red surfaces are the most sought-after by collectors and command significant premiums over more worn specimens.
According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a perfect mint state (MS) example with unworn, original luster and no marks could be valued over $20. In contrast, a circulated specimen with wear and marks may only sell for a few cents over face value.
Why is this huge discrepancy based primarily on surface preservation? Collectors pay enormous premiums for factory-fresh pennies that look like they just came off the press at the Denver Mint in 1958. The redder and more lustrous the surfaces, the better.
In a 1958-D cent, the color and quality of the surface are what captivates collectors. A glowing red, unmarked penny harkens back to a bygone era when these coins circulated briskly with designs still fresh.
According to the PCGS population report, only around 100 1958-D cents have been graded MS66 Red or finer, making ultra-high-end gems very scarce and desirable. Even examples graded MS64 Red and MS65 Red with excellent eye appeal can sell for over $100 at auction.
|MS60 to MS62
|$3 to $10
As the comparison above shows, 1958 D wheat cent values rose exponentially based on surface preservation and lack of marks or disturbances. A little bit of friction or bag marks can mean the difference between a coin worth face value and one valued over $100.
Finding That “Red” Example
Since mint red examples were so avidly sought in the 1958 D cent, collectors prize coins with the best possible color. Those that exhibit original, vibrant red are the most desirable. Even slightly faded red or brown coins are discounted versus fully red pieces.
- Fully Red (RD) – 100% original mint color with no trace of fading or toning
- Red and Brown (RB) – Mix of original red luster and light brown or faded color
- Brown (BN) – Dull, brown surfaces with no traces of red
When searching for that eye-catching 1958 D Lincoln cent, be selective and patiently seek out the RD coins. Since most examples have long ago faded from circulation, finding a penny with complete red brilliance can be a challenge.
Carefully inspect the fields and high points of designs for any trace of mint red. Use strong lighting and magnification to look for even subtle fading or spotting. The difference between a red copper and dull brown example is like night and day in terms of collector appeal.
By focusing on surface quality and color when assessing 1958 D small cents, collectors can more easily locate the most valuable, prized examples of these classic Lincoln pennies. The coins that stand out with glowing red luster are the ones that will continue appreciating far into the future.
Grading Considerations for 1958 D Wheat Cents
Judging Wear, Luster, and Eye Appeal
When grading a 1958-D wheat penny, collectors and professional graders first assess the coin’s wear and tear. Examining the high points of the design for smoothing and flat spots gives insight into circulation history.
Ideally, coin details like wheat strands, lettering, the date, Liberty’s hair, and facial features show little friction. Retention of crisp edges on devices and lettering drastically elevates appeal.
A bright, untoned red-orange luster is also preferred on Lincoln cents of this age. Warm golden, brown, or deep rainbow toning can still be attractive but will trade for less than brilliant red pieces. Heavy dirt, spots, or verdigris are detrimental.
Eye appeal ties together wear and luster. A coin with smooth, unworn design elements and blazing mint red color will command the highest prices. Even with moderate rubbing, a 1958-D cent with vibrant rainbow colors can trade for over $100 in some instances.
Professional Grading Greatly Boosts Value
While 1958 was a heavily produced date with over a billion Philadelphia and Denver cents struck, gems in MS-65RB or better condition have values around $200-300. For circulated examples, a grade of AU-58 BN might trade for $75-100, while an XF-40 is worth $10-15.
For these reasons, professional grading services like PCGS or NGC provide useful opinions on quality and boost values substantially. The cost of service grading can run $30-50 but impartially assessed coins with sonically sealed holders tend to auction for multiples higher.
On eBay, the same About Uncirculated 1958-D cent might sell raw for $15 but in an MS-63BN PCGS holder for 10 times more — illustrating the tremendous value added by slab grading. Cherrypicking raw coins for submission can reap huge rewards if they get up under scrutiny.
What Makes A 1958 D Wheat Penny Valuable – Conclusion
With knowledge of mintage, condition rarity, errors, luster, and certified grades, you’ll be able to spot valuable 1958 D cents. Checking your pocket change or coin jars could yield this fun and scarce Lincoln wheat ear find.