1943 Copper Cent

The most notable and probably the most talked about coin in the history of collecting is the 1943 Copper Penny. This Lincoln Head one-cent piece was actually made of a copper alloy, called bronze, and although there are many coins considered more rare, none have achieved the notoriety that this coin has. What about this coin has distinguished itself above all others?

In the June issue of the “Numismatist,” 1947, it was reported that a Dr. Conrad Ottelin had discovered a 1943 bronze Lincoln Head cent. A few weeks before Dr. Ottelin’s discovery, Don Lutes, Jr., a 16 year old from Pittsfield, MA, found one in his change from the high school cafeteria. Then in 1958, a boy named Marvin Beyer also found the 1943 bronze cent. With the publicity from all three finds, and estimates that these coins could sell for at least 5 figures (at that time) at auction, a national frenzy was created. Every man, woman and child sifted through their pocket change looking for their fortune. Everyone knew the U.S. Mint manufactured only the zinc-coated steel cents (“Steelies”) in 1943, so what’s the story behind the ’43 coppers?

Here’s a link to the full article.

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