Biding is now live on Greatcollections.com for a handsome example of the famous 1943 Copper Penny error, graded as AU 50 BN by PCGS and earning a blue CAC sticker. Interested collectors should note this is a rare opportunity to acquire such a numismatically important coin.
Bidding ends Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 4:12:20 PM Pacific Time (7:26 PM Eastern); at the time of publication, the highest of 100 bids stands at $127,500 USD.
One of the most sought-after and well-known error coins, the 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent was a product of World War II, specifically since the United States needed the metal for the war effort. As a result, virtually all 1943 cents were struck on zinc-coated steel planchets. Any bronze cents dated 1943 were accidentally struck on old 1942 planchets. The current theory states that a small number of bronze blanks became stuck in the tote bins used with the coin press feeders. Ultimately, these planchets came loose and were mixed in with the standard production line. While all branches of the United States Mint produced these errors, the most common type comes from the Philadelphia Mint.
These errors gained popularity nearly immediately after being struck. One rumor that was started in the early 1940s stated that famous American industrialist Henry Ford would reward the finder of a 1943 copper Wheat cent with one of his new cars. However, the company repeatedly denied this and never gave away cars in return for the coin. And despite the early rumors, the first authentic example was not found until 1947 by the 14-year-old Donald Lutes, Jr., who received it one day in change for his school lunch. According to Q. David Bowers, this wasn’t reported until March of 1957 when it was published in Scrapbook (Bowers, 190).
Eventually, this error inspired a number of magazine and comic book ads from companies and collectors offering rewards for a specimen. But as of 2022, only 10 to 15 are known.
This particular coin is a pleasing brown, with not unattractive circulation wear on the high points of Lincoln’s bust on the obverse and the wheat sprigs on the reverse. With only a scattering of minor tick marks and abrasions, no major scratches mar this coin.
Additionally, this coin does not display the usual softness in the the O in ONE and the AME in AMERICA. Recently, on July 14, 2022, a slightly nicer example also graded AU 50 was sold for $336,000. Regardless, the current example for sale by GreatCollections is sure to earn a large hammer price.
On the obverse, designer Victor David Brenner’s portrait of the 16th president Abraham Lincoln depicts the president from the shoulder up. Lincoln is dressed in a period suit and is wearing a bow tie. At the top of the design, wrapping around the rim is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. “LIBERTY” appears behind Lincoln’s neck, on the left side of the coin. The date appears slightly lower, in front of Lincoln’s portrait, on the coin’s right side.
This coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint, so there is no mintmark.
On the reverse, two sheaths of wheat wrap around the right and the left side of the coin. At the top of the design, the motto “E ·PLURIBUS · UNUM” wraps around the rim. ONE CENT is inscribed in large letters, sans serif, the bottom arm of the E extends beyond the arm at the top. The middle arm is recessed. Beneath, in the same font, but smaller type: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
The edge is plain.
Bidding for this 1943 bronze cent ends on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at 4:12:20 PM Pacific Time (7:26 PM Eastern).
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Bowers, Q. David. A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents, 3rd edition. Whitman. (2018)