What Is the Composition of a 1943 Penny?


Quick Answer

Most 1943 pennies were made of zinc-coated steel. However, due to copper-alloy penny blanks being left in the press before production, a small amount of 1943 pennies were made with copper alloy.

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Full Answer

Due to World War II, copper and nickel were needed to make shell casings, so pennies were made with steel coated with zinc. As of 2014, there are still about 40 of the 1943 copper pennies in existence. According to the U.S. Mint, these pennies have sold for as much as $82,500. There have been many attempts at counterfeiting these coins by altering dates or coating steel pennies with copper.

Steel pennies are worth 12 to 15 cents in circulated condition. The value of uncirculated steel pennies is about 50 cents.

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