Transitional Treasures: A 1983 Lincoln Cent Mistakenly Struck On A Bronze Planchet Up For Auction

GreatCollections to Auction Finest Known 1983 Transitional Lincoln Cent.

by Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions | Published on July 10, 2024

The finest 1983 Lincoln Cent, mistakenly struck on a bronze planchet, is being auctioned by GreatCollections on Sunday, July 28th, with bidding already up to $7,250.

1983 Lincoln Cents are most notable for their major Doubled Die variety, which can fetch hundreds of dollars - but Transitional Errors also exist, where an incorrect planchet is used.  In this case, it was struck on a planchet that was left over from 1982 or earlier.  GreatCollections has sold two circulated examples over the past decade at $3,900 and $4,050 each.

“What’s fascinating about this transitional Lincoln Cent is the high grade - PCGS MS-65 RD - it is the finest graded by PCGS, the leading grading service for Lincoln Cents and varieties,” said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

Another famous Transitional Lincoln Cent is the 1943, also struck in Bronze, although commonly referred to as a “1943 Copper Cent”, which should have been struck in steel.  These can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more when they appear in auction, even in lower grades.  The last example to appear in a GreatCollections auction realized $298,125 in November 2022, which was graded PCGS AU-50 with CAC approval.  Transitionals also exist on 1965 dimes and quarters, being struck in silver, when they should have been struck in clad.

The continued presence and new discoveries of these cents in circulation adds to their allure and popularity among roll hunters, making them a popular segment of collecting. 

The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) recently graded the 1983 Lincoln Cent as Bronze after conducting an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer test on the coin to accurately determine the metal content of the planchet, combined with its weight of 3.1 grams.

GreatCollections has auctioned some of the most valuable Lincoln Cents ever sold, including the finest 1958 Lincoln Cent with a Doubled Die Obverse, graded MS-65 Red by PCGS, that achieved a record-breaking sale price of $1.13 million. Additionally, a 1969-S Lincoln Cent, also with a Doubled Die Obverse and certified by PCGS as MS-66 RD (CAC), realized $601,875.

The 1983 Lincoln Cent Struck in Bronze is currently listed at GreatCollections, with bidding to end on Sunday, July 28th.  To find out more, visit or telephone 1-800-442-6467.

How can you find your own Transitional Lincoln Cent?

Regular issue 1983 Lincoln Cents should weigh 2.5 grams, whereas Transitional Copper and Bronze planchets weigh 3.11 grams (give or take 0.13 grams). 

  • The diameter of a normal Lincoln cent is 19.05mm
  • The thickness of a normal Lincoln cent is 1.55mm
  • Both Copper and Bronze planchets weigh 3.11 grams (+/- 0.13g)
  • A Zinc planchet weighs 2.5 grams (+/- 0.10g)
  • A Steel planchet weighs 2.7 grams

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Source: Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions

Great Collections Coin and Currency Auctions image GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2022 exceeding $270 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild, member of the National Auctioneers Association and was recently named the ANA Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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