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Transitional Treasures: A 1983 Lincoln Cent Mistakenly Struck on Bronze Planchet up for Auction

1983 Lincoln Memorial Cent struck on transitional copper planchet. Image: GreatCollections.
1983 Lincoln Memorial Cent struck on transitional copper planchet. Image: GreatCollections.

The finest known 1983 Lincoln Cent mistakenly struck on a bronze planchet is being auctioned by GreatCollections on Sunday, July 28, with bidding already up to $7,250.

1983 Lincoln Cents are most notable for their major Doubled Die variety, which can fetch hundreds of dollars – but Transitional Errors also exist, where an incorrect planchet is used. In this case, it was struck on a planchet that was left over from 1982 or earlier. GreatCollections has sold two circulated examples over the past decade at $3,900 and $4,050 each.

“What’s fascinating about this transitional Lincoln Cent is the high grade – PCGS MS65 RD – we believe it is the finest known by a wide margin and also appears to be the sole example graded by PCGS, the leading grading service for Lincoln Cents and varieties,” said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

Another famous Transitional Lincoln Cent is the 1943, also struck in Bronze, although commonly referred to as a “1943 Copper Cent”, which should have been struck in steel.

These can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more when they appear in auction, even in lower grades. The last example to appear in a GreatCollections auction realized $298,125 in November 2022, which was graded PCGS AU50 with CAC approval. Transitionals also exist on 1965 dimes and quarters, being struck in silver, when they should have been struck in clad.

The continued presence and new discoveries of these cents in circulation adds to their allure and popularity among roll hunters, making them a popular segment of collecting.

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) recently graded the 1983 Lincoln Cent as Bronze after conducting an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer test on the coin to accurately determine the metal content of the planchet, combined with its weight of 3.1 grams.

GreatCollections has auctioned some of the most valuable Lincoln Cents ever sold, including the finest 1958 Lincoln Cent with a Doubled Die Obverse, graded MS65 Red by PCGS, that achieved a record-breaking sale price of $1.13 million. Additionally, a 1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse certified MS66 RD by PCGS and approved by CAC realized $601,875.

The 1983 Lincoln Cent Struck in Bronze is currently listed at GreatCollections, with bidding to end on Sunday, July 28. To find out more, visit www.greatcollections.com or telephone 1-800-442-6467.

How Can You Find Your Own Transitional Lincoln Cent?

Regular issue 1983 Lincoln Cents should weigh 2.5 grams, whereas Transitional Copper and Bronze planchets weigh 3.11 grams (give or take 0.13 grams).

  • The diameter of a normal Lincoln Cent is 19.05 mm
  • The thickness of a normal Lincoln Cent is 1.55 mm
  • Both Copper and Bronze planchets weigh 3.11 g (+/- 0.13 g)
  • A Zinc planchet weighs 2.5 g (+/- 0.10 g)
  • A Steel planchet weighs 2.7 g

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GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over one million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States, with annual sales in 2021 exceeding $235 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and a member of the National Auctioneers Association.

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  1. To Whom concern; Am member of pcgs, l have 6 certificated USA coins, could you help me to sell them? I just need to know how, step-by-step, Bi centennial quarters, States Quarters, commemorative Abraham Lincoln, 2009’s, banknotes with star, l need some money, thanks .


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