The 1943 wheat penny is unique because it is made of steel-coated zinc, rather than copper and nickel, according to the U.S. Mint. In 1943, copper and nickel were needed for ammunition to fight World War II rather than coin production. However, 40 coins were minted in copper inadvertently, making them amongst the rarest and most sought-after U.S. coins.Continue Reading
Steel pennies were only minted in 1943, and the USA Coin Book states that nearly 500 million were produced in the San Francisco, Denver and Philadelphia mints. In 2014, the value of a steel penny ranges from about 14 cents for a circulated coin in good condition to $7.65 for an uncirculated coin in perfect, or "mint," condition. The wheat penny is so named because two durum wheat ears appear on the reverse, while Lincoln appears on the front.
The Huffington Post reports that Bill Simpson, co-owner of the Texas Rangers and coin enthusiast, paid $1 million, the highest amount known as of 2012, for a copper 1943 wheat penny. Because of its collector value, the 1943 wheat penny is frequently counterfeited by changing the date on 1945, 1948 or 1949 pennies or by coating the steel cents with copper, according to the U.S. Mint. One can easily test a penny's metal, though, by applying a magnet. A steel penny will attract a magnet, while a true copper penny will not.Learn more about Coins & Currency
A 1944 copper wheat penny with an "S" mark stamped under the year has an average value of approximately 15 cents, but it may be worth as much as $8 if it is in mint condition, as of 2015. A 1944 copper wheat penny with a "D" mark also has an average value of 15 cents, but it is only worth up to $6 in mint condition.Full Answer >
In 2015, the estimated value for a 1943 copper wheat penny is roughly between $60,000 and $85,000. If the coin is in poor condition, it is valued toward the lower amount; in perfect condition, it can bring closer to $85,000.Full Answer >
The most accurate way of determining the value of a 1943 copper wheat penny is to have it appraised by a coin expert. The 1943 copper wheat pennies were accidentally minted and there are only 40 that are known to exist.Full Answer >
Quarters and dimes minted by the U.S. Mint contained silver up until 1964, when the precious metal was removed in favor of a more economical composition: copper and nickel. Washington quarters and Roosevelt dimes minted through 1964 contained 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.Full Answer >