From the August 17 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Did you once dream of finding a bronze 1943 cent in change?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
Yes, anyone who lived in this era did dream of getting one of these cents in their pocket. Of course, mostly, it did not happen Occasionally, a steel cent did make its way to most of us. My dad had a corner store, so it was easier to come by these cents and other items. I’m sure a few items came through our hands as well!
No, I never expected to be so lucky. Imagine my surprise when I found one in a roll of pennies! Unfortunately, a magnet uncovered the fact that my find was copper plated.
Bruce R. Frohman
I believe I have a contractor who has one of these. Any information about the mintage and value would be appreciated.
Editor’s note: See magnet comment below.
I once worked for a contract manufacturer of the CoinStar machines and, in the beginning, they used a lot of oddball coins to calibrate. One time, we found a bronze-colored 1943 cent and called an East Coast dealer. He told us that if we passed one test, he had a plane ticket in one hand and a big fat check in the other and he would be flying out to buy it.
Of course, the test was the magnet test, and the coin failed the test. It was a plated steel cent. Bummer!
Any collector worth his or her salt has of course dreamed about finding the Holy Grail of Cents. The same as winning the lottery ... fat chance.
I would guess, in a basement, attic, or some rusting coffee can in a closet, or in a long-forgotten penny album, there are a few more out there.
Last year, I inventoried a 94-year-old nice neighbor’s shoebox full of coins. No 1943 copper cents, but two 1955 doubled-dies appeared instead. She ended up getting $500 apiece. So you never know what you’re gonna get (Forest Gump).
That’s one of the great benefits of being a collector. I love surprising people who don’t have a clue about our great hobby and the passion we devote to it.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today
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• More than 600 issuing locations are represented in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800.
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