Most coin collectors are fully aware of the 1943 steel cents. These were pennies that were minted during World War II out of steel with a zinc coating instead of bronze because of the copper shortage. Some people still call these zinc pennies because of their zinc coating. There were however some problems with these coins…
Besides the expected problems of being mistaken for dimes, they were also jamming up vending machines because of the use of magnets in those machine. Obviously the bronze pennies didn’t cause an issue since they weren’t magnetic.
Outside of the common problems, they also had a few minting errors. For whatever reason, some of the bronze penny planchets designated to be stamped 1942 got into the mix of steel planchets and were stamped 1943! This created an unmistakable rarity in bronze cents that is still sought after to this day! These coins when found uncirculated are valued at over 1 million dollars and up!
If you’re looking for one of these however, be very weary. Because of the extreme value, there are a lot of fakes. There are way more fake 1943 copper cents than there are real ones. The most common fake is a 1948 cent having part of the 8 shaved off to make the 8 appear to be a 3. Anyone with a trained eye can spot these, but if you don’t know what you are looking for, you can be fooled and lose alot of money. My recommendation with 1943 copper cents is to have them certified with either PCGS or NGC. That is the only way you can be 100% certain that what you have is a legit coin.
We’ll cover this coin in more detail in a Silver Seeker video sometime in the near future… but until then, leave a comment and let me know if you’ve had any history with this error or other penny errors!