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Heritage Auctions Presents a 1943 Bronze Penny Bonanza
Published on October 21, 2020
Despite these large quantities of regular issue coinage, a few rarities managed to be accidentally struck in tiny numbers and sneak out of the US Mint. 1943 "pennies" were meant to be struck in Steel, but just a few were accidentally created on bronze planchets, producing a rarity that has fascinated collectors ever since.
1943 was a strange year for the US Mint in several ways. First of all, Cents were struck in a silvery-colored Steel composition rather than the normal coppery-looking Bronze because of a shortage of industrial metals during World War II. Next, another change was made to the composition of Nickels because nickel was needed for the war effort as well. So-called "War Nickels" were created on 40% silver planchets to free up more nickel to be used for the Allied forces. Meanwhile, mintages of circulating coins were generally very high, with large numbers of small coins being produced in the 1940s overall. For example, nearly 1.1 billion Steel Cents were struck between the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints.
Despite these large quantities of regular issue coinage, a few rarities managed to be accidentally struck in tiny numbers and sneak out of the US Mint. Specifically, the famous rarity of 1943 is the Bronze Cent. 1943 "pennies" were meant to be struck in Steel, but just a few were accidentally created on bronze planchets, producing a rarity that has fascinated collectors ever since and sent many "roll hunters" on a search of rolls of pennies, looking for the ultimate numismatic prize.
Having just one 1943 Bronze Cent in an auction would be a major deal given that these are generally six figure coins. However, Heritage Auctions has a Bronze Cent bonanza going on due to the wonderful Bob Simpson collection, which contained more than one of these rare pieces!
The San Francisco 1943-S version will be offered in Heritage's November sale here and is one of only 6 such coins known from the California minting facility: https://coins.ha.com/itm/lincoln-cents/small-cents/1943-s-1c-struck-on-a-bronze-planchet-ms62-brown-pcgs-cac-pcgs-82715-/p/1321-12274.s?ic4=ListView-Thumbnail-071515
Its Philadelphia counterpart was originally discovered back in 1957 and will be offered in February 2021 at auction here: https://coins.ha.com/itm/lincoln-cents/small-cents/1943-cent-struck-on-a-bronze-planchet-ms62-brown-pcgs-pcgs-82709-/p/1327-11143.s?ic4=ListView-Thumbnail-071515
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