I have found a 1943 bronze or brass cent in my collection. Under a high powered microscope you can make out the 3, but it has been flattened. Do you think it is worth anything?
The damage to the 3 is almost a certain indication that your coin has been altered. If there is the slightest difficulty in reading the date the coin could not be authenticated. The only bronze 1943 cents that have been authenticated are in the very upper grades, with extremely sharp strikes because the dies were set for the harder steel cents of that year.
How do I tell a reprocessed cent from a normal 1943 steel cent?
Reprocessed steel cents have a totally different surface than the original coins. The original zinc plating is stripped off, and they are re-plated. This plating has a completely different appearance as it has not been struck by the die. The original zinc surface shows that die contact and will show the flow lines associated with struck coins. Reprocessed coins are altered coins and cannot be sold as ?genuine.? They have been tolerated by the hobby for many years, but only if clearly labeled as reprocessed when sold.
How many of the 1943 cents were copper plated?
One or two readers apparently missed the point of a comment about the copper plated 1943 steel cents. This was done outside the Mint, long after the steel cents got into circulation, so there is no record of how many were done. The genuine steel cent issue was zinc plated. The copper plating is an alteration and has no collector value. Technically it may be a violation of current federal law, especially if an attempt is made to sell such coins. Coins from all three mints were altered in this fashion. They can be detected easily by testing the coin with a magnet. If it appears to be copper but is attracted by a magnet, then it is an altered steel cent that has been copper plated and is worth only face value.
These alterations were done to simulate the small handful of accidental strikes on the brass 1942 cent planchets.
I have a recent date clad coin that was struck with too small a core. The clad layers hang over the edges, but you can see the reeding on the smaller diameter core. How did this happen?
I?m sorry, but from your description you have an altered coin. The quarter has been dipped in acid, which cut down the core more rapidly than the rest of the coin, leaving a ?slot? between the clad layers, but still showing the reeding on the edge of the copper core. As an altered coin it has no value.