Amount minted: 28,020,000
1926-D wheat pennies are common in the grades of Good and VG. These grading Fine through AU are usually available, if one is not too a prticular about strike and surface quality. Mint State pieces are not rare in overall numbers but their consistently poor quality is a major obstacle to locating an attractive example and prevents most from achieving the MS65 level. Fully red gems are very rare and tend to have hte pinkish color so characteristic of early D-Mint cents. Many of the potentially high grade 1926-D wheat pennies have been spoiled by irremovable black spots.
Varieties: a single cud die break is known, this appearing opposite Lincolns face in the 3 o’clock position.
Comments: The vast majority of 1926-D wheat pennies were coined from dies displaying advanced wear. Among the possible causes for this lack of quality control that of economy has already been mentioned. Another possible cause, however, is poor die steel. Improperly hardened tool steel will succumb rapidly to the erosive effect of continued use. If the incoming planchets are not adequately annealed (softened through heating and slow cooling), this situation is then further aggravated. Any one of these abuses or a combination of one or more may have led to the mediocre quality of coins struck by the Denver and San Francisco Mints throughout most of the 1920s.
In addition to begin poorly struck the typical uncirculated 1926-D will display irregularities of color, including spotty or blotchy surfaces. As described by Sol Taylor, “the Mint state red coins seen both raw and slabbed tend to be dark or dull red. Those coins graded MS65 RD by the grading services will not be equal in their aesthetic qualities to a 1926-P in the same certified grade.