The 1861 to 1865 Abraham Lincoln coin in the presidential coin collection honors one of the greatest men in U.S. history—Abe Lincoln himself. While it’s not a scarce coin that can get you thousands of dollars, it’s a fantastic addition to your collection of special U.S. coins.
Want to learn more about the 16th coin in the Presidential $1 Coin Program? Keep reading this guide to see us dissect its history, current value, and intriguing mint errors that can bump up its price.
|1861 to 1865 Abraham Lincoln Coin Value Chart(Prices for “P” and “D” mint marks are the same)
|AU58 About Uncirculated
|MS64 Choice Uncirculated
|MS65 Gen Uncirculated
|MS66 Gem Uncirculated
The 16th Coin in the Presidential Dollar Series
Back in 2005, then-president George W. Bush signed off on the Presidential $1 Coin Act—a law that issued the minting of one-dollar coins that paid tribute to all of America’s presidents. One of these presidents, of course, was Abraham Lincoln.
This law would prove to be very significant in honoring Lincoln in U.S. mintage. Apart from the presidential coin collection, the law also called for the redesign of the Lincoln penny as part of the bicentennial anniversary of his birth. But back to the presidential coins.
Every few months, a new dollar coin would be created that featured a president in chronological order of their time in office. It started with George Washington in 2007, then John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and so on. Check out information on these coins and more on Coin Value Checker.
By 2010, it was time to launch the Abraham Lincoln dollar. Each president had their period of service etched onto the coin as well, so this coin had “1861-1865” on it.
On the obverse, you’ll see a front-facing Abraham Lincoln portrait staring straight at you. At the top of the coin, his name is written. Below him is “In God We Trust” (a slogan that wasn’t there on presidential coins prior to 2009), “16th President,” and his period of service.
The coin’s reverse looks the same across all presidential coins. It shows the Statue of Liberty and the $1 denomination.
The most unique thing about these presidential coins is their edge lettering. Engraved on the edge of these coins is “E pluribus unum,” the mint mark, the year issued, and 13 stars to represent the original United Colonies.
Want to better visualize how the obverse and reverse of the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coin looks? Check out this majestic coin in all its glory through in quick clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esz1SiuEpOM
1861-1865 “P” Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Value
As with most U.S. coin mintages, the Philadelphia Mint produced the most 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar coins in 2010. It created a total of 49,000,000 coins—just one million more than the Denver Mint. These coins have a “P” mint mark on the coin’s edge lettering.
Unlike other U.S. coins, the prices of presidential coins are the same whether they were made in Philly or Denver.
In circulated condition, these coins go are valued at $1.05 whether they’re in poor or extremely fine condition. In about-uncirculated conditions, they go from $1.10 (AU50) to around $1.25 (AU58, the highest about-uncirculated grade).
And as always, the most valuable pieces in the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar coin issue are those in uncirculated, mint state. In the lower MS60s, these coins don’t differ much in price compared to the about-uncirculated coins. An MS60 would cost $1.50 and an MS62 is worth $2.
The prices do increase in the higher mint-state grades, though. These coins are most common in grades MS65 and MS66, where they sit at values of $10.50 and $14, respectively. One stunning MS67 coin minted in Philly was auctioned off on eBay for $64.
1861-1865 “D” Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Value
The Denver Mint produced just a little over 48,000,000 coins for the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar issue. You’ll know your coin was minted in Denver if it has a “D” mint mark beside the stars on the coin’s edge lettering.
The estimated values of these Denver-minted coins mirror the prices of their Philly-minted sisters to a T. Circulated coins will set you back $1.05 no matter the condition, poor or fine. About-uncirculated coins also go for as high as $1.25 in the highest grades in that category.
Just like the uncirculated coins of the Philly issue, the most common 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar coins from Denver are those in grades MS65 and MS66, costing $10.50 and $14 apiece. But PCGS records show that an MS67 Abe Lincoln dollar coin was once sold for $125.
Specimen coins—or coins that were struck to test out the new design—are always more valuable than regular strike coins. This is apparent in the Denver-minted Lincoln dollar coins. One of these specimen coins with a pristine grade of SP69 and a beautiful satin finish was sold for $350 in 2014.
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Grading
Trying to grade your 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar coins on your own? Here’s a quick guide to see what general condition they might be in:
● Circulated: Well-worn coins with obvious wear. Some details may look flat and lacking in detail, but for the most part, the design should still be seen.
● About Uncirculated: Minor wear that is visible in the high points of the design, such as Lincoln’s nose and cheekbones. However, none of these should be flat. Letters should also still be bold.
● MS63 Uncirculated: Mint luster is beautiful but has a couple of contact marks and hairline scratches. No signs of wear on the high points of the coin.
● MS67 Uncirculated: Original mint luster makes the coin shine and glimmer in the light. Little to no contact marks or hairline scratches are on it. The design elements on the obverse and reverse are striking and bold.
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Errors
Because each presidential dollar coin was minted for a short period only, you’d assume there weren’t that many errors on them. While that’s mostly true, there are several errors you can find in the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln dollar coins. Here are some that you should look out for:
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Missing Edge Lettering
Presidential coins with missing edge lettering are most common in the first few presidents, especially the George Washington dollar. But some 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coins managed to slip out of the Mints with this error.
This error is rare in the Abraham Lincoln coins. It has been found at least twice—once on an AU55 coin and another on a near-perfect MS70. The latter coin was sold at auction for $78.
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Star Next to Mint Mark
If you observe the letters engraved on the edge of the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coins, you’ll notice a significant space between each one. Some coins, however, show a mint mark that is too close to the stars, almost touching them. This is more often seen in “P” mint mark coins.
See how this error looks on the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coin through this video by TexCoin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp0O9IvzrM8
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Weak Edge Lettering
Some 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coins that do include the edge lettering might have it weakly stamped. That makes the words barely legible.
And no, this error isn’t from wear and tear in circulated coins. It’s visible even in uncirculated coins, which is how you can tell it is an obvious mint error.
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln Dollar Coin Double Edge Lettering
Lastly, we have 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coins with double edge lettering. On these coins, you’ll see the engraved words on the edge look like they were struck two times.
Now, this isn’t because the strike to the coins’ edge happened twice. On the contrary, these coins were probably only struck once with a damaged die that gave them a faint second image of the lettering.
How rare is a 1861-1865 dollar coin?
Although the Abraham Lincoln presidential one-dollar coin is special and is a great collector’s item, it’s not particularly rare. Almost 100 million of them were minted in 2010. There’s no doubt that thousands of people still have them in their pockets or lying around at home.
How much is the Abraham Lincoln $1 coin worth?
The face value of this coin is $1. However, in high, mint-state grades, this commemorative coin is worth a little more than that. At MS66, the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coin is worth around $14. One MS70 coin with a “D” mint mark is also known to have sold for $215 in 2014.
Are the dollar coins real gold?
Don’t be fooled by this coin’s rich, bright, lustrous gold tones. Although the 1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln one dollar coin looks like it’s gold, it actually doesn’t have any pure gold metal in it. It’s made of four different metals, namely copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel.