Assessing the Value of 1943 Lincoln Steel Pennies


The 1943 Lincoln steel penny is a rare coin, and it is important to be able to distinguish it from ordinary coins. To avoid being tricked by unscrupulous retailers, it is essential to carefully check the authenticity of the penny. This article provides information on how to identify a genuine 1943 Lincoln steel penny.

The “Silver Penny” Is Not Rare

In 1943, the U.S. government implemented regulations to conserve copper for military ammunition production due to the ongoing war in Europe and the Pacific. As a result, coins were produced with steel and a thin layer of zinc, giving them a silver color instead of the usual orange/brown bronze.

The rarity of the 1943 Lincoln steel penny is determined by its composition. These coins were initially issued with a zinc-coated steel finish, which not only improved their appearance but also protected them from rusting. As a result, many people kept them as souvenirs, making them highly sought-after. Despite their popularity, however, an original 1943 Lincoln steel penny is only worth a few cents.


In 1943, the Lincoln penny was produced with a zinc coating, which gradually turned dark gray as it entered circulation. Over time, the zinc layer on the surface of the penny wears down, exposing the steel underneath. In humid environments, these coins may then begin to rust.

Coin retailers can restore the 1943 pennies to their original condition by re-galvanizing them with a new zinc plating layer. Despite their renewed shiny appearance, these coins are still greatly underestimated in terms of value due to their diminished condition.

The Rare 1943 Penny

The 1943 steel Lincoln penny is highly sought after due to its rarity, with only a few defective coins appearing on the
market. These coins are made of copper, rather than the usual steel, and are estimated to be worth around $10,000 or more. This is because the United States mints mistakenly used the wrong metal planchet when striking the coins.

In 1943, a fortuitous occurrence led to the discovery of coins; a copper plank became lodged in the corners of a large crate, shifting the blank boards around the foundry and inadvertently mixing them with galvanized steel planks. Subsequently, these planks were processed through a plating press, resulting in the creation of coins.


Due to a variety of factors, counterfeit 1943 Lincoln pennies have been circulating in the market. Some collectors are simply attempting to restore their coins by plating or dipping them in copper. However, some unscrupulous dealers are deliberately deceiving buyers by taking genuine 1948 coins and cutting the 8 in half to make them appear to be from 1943.

Expertly crafted counterfeits can easily deceive even the most experienced numismatists. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly inspect any 1943 Lincoln steel penny before making a purchase. Fortunately, there are several tests that can be conducted to verify the authenticity of the coin.

What to Do If You Think You Have One

Verifying the authenticity of a rare 1943 coin can be done in a few ways before sending it to a professional third-party coin validator. These methods include researching the coin’s history, comparing it to similar coins, and examining its physical characteristics. However, for complete assurance, it is recommended to send the coin to an expert for authentication. This process typically costs between thirty and fifty dollars.

  • Coin collectors with experience can assist in authenticating a 1943 steel lincoln penny by taking it to a local coin dealer. This method of authentication is cost-effective and once the value of the penny is confirmed, it can be submitted to a third-party grading service.
  • Attending a local coin show is an ideal way to have your penny authenticated by experts. To ensure its safety, it is important to keep the coin in your possession at all times.


Owning a 1943 Lincoln steel penny is a rare privilege. To ensure the authenticity of your coin, it is recommended to seek professional coin inspection services. Additionally, caution should be taken when making transactions involving these ancient coins to avoid potential scams.

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  Determining the Value of a 1966 Penny
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