Wednesday, 06 March 2019 16:09

Rare 1943 Copper Cent Certified

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 A 1943 copper cent has been submitted by Hudson Rare Coins and certified by NGC. One of the most famous of all U.S. Mint errors, less than two dozen have surfaced since the first coin was discovered in 1947. Examples are known from Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, the three mints that produced cents that year.

1C 1943 Bronze-obverse copy


All 1943 cents were struck in zinc-coated steel, as copper was needed for other uses during World War II. The Lincoln Cent design was first issued in 1909 with a standard composition of 95% copper and 5% zinc and tin and a gross weight of 3.11 grams. Although this alloy is actually bronze, cents typically are thought of as copper. In 1943, cents were struck in steel coated with zinc with a gross weight of 2.70 grams. The 1943 bronze cents evidently were struck on planchets (coin blanks) for 1942 cents that may have lodged in the hoppers that feed the coinage presses and then made their way into circulation.

 1C 1943 Bronze-reverse copy

A Philadelphia collector purchased the present coin in 1976 from a local acquaintance who obtained the coin from his father’s shop where it was found in the proceeds of a gumball machine.

As there were and still are today many more non-genuine than genuine examples of this error, the collector agreed to buy the coin only after it was certified by the then newly formed American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS). The authenticity of this rare error has now been confirmed by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), and encapsulated in one of their secure holders. The coin is a pleasing medium brown with Extremely Fine detail, moderate wear, and some obverse scratches. The condition is consistent with what may have been 30+ years in circulation, going through the gumball machine and handling. 


After reading that an NGC graded 1943 copper cent was sold for $204,000 in January 2019 (this was the coin discovered in 1947 by Don Lutes, Jr.), the collector and his family decided to act. They checked NGC’s website seeking an authorized dealer in New York who could submit their coin to NGC for authentication and grading. Hudson Rare Coins was entrusted with this numismatic treasure and will subsequently assist the family with its sale. The family long considered this coin to be their lucky penny and hopes it will bring luck to the next owner. 



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Mitchell Battino

A professional numismatist with over thirty years of experience, Mitchell A. Battino is a certified appraiser and numismatic consultant who specializes in buying, selling, and appraising U.S. and world gold and silver coins. Mr. Battino is a regular contributor to numismatic publications, attends major coins shows, and travels extensivley to purchase deals and collections.

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