1943 ONE CENT
Struck on a Bronze Planchet
PCGS No: 82709
Circulation strikes: Unknown
Copper - 95%
Tin and Zinc - 5%
grains (3.11 grams)
Mintmark: None (for
Philadelphia, PA) below the date
ASKED QUESTION: How can I tell if my 1943 Penny is the
valuable bronze error?
ANSWER: Try picking your coin up
with a magnet. If your coin is attracted to the magnet, it is made
of copper-plated steel. If the magnet does not attract your coin,
it may be made of bronze and you should have the coin authenticated.
Images courtesy of Ira
& Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.
In 1943, the U.S. Mint began using steel blanks for the Cents in an
effort to conserve copper for use in World War II. Over a billion
"Steelies" (as they are known popularly) were struck by the
three Mints combined in 1943; Philadelphia alone produced over
684,000,000 examples. However, a handful of rare 1943 Cents have
been discovered struck in error on old-style, bronze blanks.
Presumably, the error occurred when left-over bronze planchets were
mixed with a batch of the new Steel planchets, went through the usual
striking methods, then escaped into circulation, bypassing the quality
control procedures at the Mint. Today, 1943 Cents on Bronze
among the most desirable and valuable of all Mint Errors.
Approximately 10-12 examples are known
Cents on Bronze Planchets. Here are pedigrees of four of them:
1. NGC MS-61 Red and
Brown. Ex - Southern California collector - Allen Levy of Al's
Coins (National City, CA) - Columbia Rarities Group, Inc. on November 10, 1999,
sold for $85,000, ANACS MS-61 Red
and Brown - Fullerton, California collector and vest-pocket dealer Steve
Benson on December 22, 1999, sold for $102,500 - Fowler, California coin dealer
Sarkis "Sam" Lukes, December 27, 1999, sold for $112,500 - Staten
Island, NY stock broker. According to Lukes, there are 17 1943
Bronze Cents known (10 from Philadelphia, six from San Francisco, and one from
Denver); this conflicts with another census that lists 12 from
2. PCGS MS-61 Brown (illustrated
above). Ex - found in circulation circa 1957 by 14-year old Marvin Beyer,
who reportedly turned down an offer of $20,000 for the coin - Abe
Kosoff's "A.N.A. Convention Sale - A Festival of Coins" Sale,
1958, Lot 2055 (where it was withdrawn prior to the sale) - Superior
Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 4146,
illustrated, ANACS MS-61, sold for $60,375.00 - Ira & Larry Goldberg
Coins & Collectibles, Inc. "The Benson Collection, Part
III", February 24-25, 2003, Lot 148, illustrated, now PCGS MS-61
Brown (#50035361), sold for $97,750.00
EF-40, obverse and reverse stains and corrosion (illustrated below).
Medd Family (received in change) - Heritage
Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s 1999 ANA Signature Sale,
August 11-13, 1999, Lot 5171, sold for $32,200.00,
4. New discovery.
Purchased along with other off-metal 1943 and 1944 Lincoln Cents by
Sarasota Coin and displayed at the 2000 F.U.N. Convention.
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Beyers' 1943 Cent To Be Sold In Convention Sale", The
Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, page 933
"1943 Bronze Cent Sets Price Record" by Paul Gilkes, Coin
World, January 10, 2000
Numismatic News, January 11, 2000
Sam Lukes, Letter to the Editor, Numismatic News, February 1, 2000