Did you know that owning a 1943 steel penny is like having a rare gem? But how much would this coin earn you in today’s coinage market?
The 1943 steel pennies have a unique history in the family of wheat pennies. They were among the two coins to be made from steel by the three US mints. So, this history makes collectors yearn to add the coins to their list.
It will be greater if you own a 1943 steel penny with errors. Such coins have a high rarity and market price.
Here you’ll learn everything about the 1943 steel penny value. Let’s start with the price table of different 1943 steel penny types.
1943 Steel Penny Value Table under various Versions
Below is a table with a helpful guide to today’s prices of 1943 steel pennies. The values vary with their current status and the mints that struck them. It will help you get the best bargain in today’s market.
1943 Steel Penny Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine (EF)||Uncirculated|
|1943 No Mint Mark Steel Penny Value||0.15 USD||0.35 USD||0.48 USD||1.50 USD|
|1943 “D” Steel Penny Value||0.18 USD||0.50 USD||0.68 USD||2.81 USD|
|1943 “S” Steel Penny Value||0.23 USD||0.75 USD||1.05 USD||5.63 USD|
History of the 1943 Steel Penny
The 1943 steel penny’s history has a solid touch with World War II. During those tense times, the USA decided to intervene in the great war from 1941 to 1945.
Most coin collectors treasure it because of how the US fell for its final look. In that war period, the US had scarce metal resources.
It pushed the US government to invest more in its armor. So, the US army used most of the items for the war’s success. Some of the metals were copper and nickel.
Since the mints used these metals to make coins, the US had to pick another choice. The US Congress chose the Lincoln cent and Jefferson nickel as the temporary choices. Both coins were the first ones the US made using steel.
A designer, Victor D. Brenner, made the 1943 steel penny coins art. It was after President Theodore Roosevelt’s order in 1909.
So, the US government allowed the mints to strike the coins with this design to honor Abraham Lincoln’s 100 birthday. Such an aspect makes the 1943 steel penny sell, especially in good condition.
The Philadelphia mint struck 684,628,670 pieces of the 1943 steel penny. Denver made 217,660,000 coins, while the San Francisco mint struck 191,550,000 units.
Remember, the government chose this way because it was cheap. Today, most collectors and miners go for this coin because of its history.
Also, the looks of this coin confused some people who weren’t keen on details. People thought they were dimes. Thus, they lost around 9 cents on each trade.
Besides the confusion in their looks, people claimed that these coins lost their beauty fast. After they went through various hands of trade, the coins rusted. It is because the steel became naked after the zinc coating came off.
In 1944, the US government heard its citizens’ cries. So, the mints stopped making Lincoln cents using steel.
The 1944 copies now had 95% copper and 5% zinc. Though the war was still on, the US collected the metals from their military training areas.
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Features of the 1943 Steel Penny
Today, you may be planning to buy or sell these coins but aren’t sure how to identify them. So, besides using a magnet to know if they are silverish, these coins’ aspects are easy to learn.
The Obverse of the 1943 Steel Penny
On the head, the 1943 steel penny has Abraham Lincoln’s head as he faces on the right. If the coin is uncirculated, you’ll see the collars of Lincoln’s suit in an eat shape.
The coin has the lettering “IN GOD WE TRUST” curving above Abraham Lincoln’s head. His hair appears to have amazing curls. It can add more value to today’s coin market.
On the center-left, there is the word “LIBERTY.” The year mark “1943” is also on the head but almost to the bottom right. Remember, these aspects appear great if the coin is in a crisp status.
The Reverse of the 1943 Steel Penny
You’ll get more features on the reverse than on the obverse. Curving on the top, the coin has the lettering “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
The first two letterings, E and PLURIBUS, have a dot between them. It means, out of many, one. At that time, it was the US de facto motto. Also, it shows how the US was determined to urge various states to form one united country.
The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are on the tail’s bottom half along the smooth rim. The lettering “ONE CENT” has the largest font size and is close to the center. It appears as a single-line text.
At the sides, the coin has wheat sheaves. If in excellent condition, the sheaves attract many miners and collectors.
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Other Key Characteristics of the 1943 Steel Penny
All 1943 steel pennies weigh about 2.702 grams. The silver pennies have a smooth edge. They also have a diameter of 19.05 millimeters.
Also, they have 99% steel and 1% of zinc coating. If you get the Philadelphia 1943 steel penny, it has no mint mark.
All the 1943 steel pennies that the San Francisco mint made have the mark “S.” As for the ones from Denver, they have the mint mark “D.” Both the “D” and “S” marks are below number 9 of the year mark on the obverse.
1943 Steel Penny Value Guides
Like most ancient coins, the 1943 steel pennies vary in value because of their general state, rarity, and mintmark.
The 1943 Steel Penny without a Mint Mark
These 1943 steel penny coins have the lowest value in all the grades. It’s because the Philadelphia mint made the highest number.
The coin can sell for around 0.15 USD when in a good state. Expect the value to rise to 0.35 USD in fine grade, 0.48 USD in extremely fine form, and sell at 1.50 USD in the uncirculated grade.
The 1943 “D” Steel Penny
Expect these coins to sell for at least 0.15 USD in their lowest grade. In their fine class, it will earn you 0.50 USD; in their excellent state, the coin sells for 0.68 USD.
1943 “D” steel penny sells for around 2.68 in their best class. They have a better value than the 1943 steel pennies without mint marks. It’s because the Denver mint made them in lesser numbers.
The 1943 “S” Silver Dollar
Any 1943 “S” steel penny in its best grade will give you the highest profit among the three types. The San Francisco mint made them in the lowest numbers.
As for their value, these coins go for around 0.75 USD in their fine grade. You can sell them for at least 0.23 USD in the lowest state. If you have it with the highest mint state, the coin can earn you around 5.63 USD. In their EF class, you’ll buy or sell such a coin for 1.05 USD.
How to Grade the 1943 Steel Penny
Every collector should have excellent coin-grading skills. The learning process takes some years of deep study of coins.
But it is not bad if you haven’t attained the skills yet. Below are the skills you can use to know if your 1943 steel penny is in excellent grade or not.
The 1943 steel pennies in this grade never went through many hands of trade. If you have these coins, expect them to have little or no sign of physical marks.
Coins in this class have a sweet luster. It makes them look new every time you view them in light.
Every detail on the head and tail is in its best state. You’ll see a sweet glow on President Lincoln’s cheeks and jaw. So, if you have such a 1943 steel penny, please treasure it.
Even if they are old, you’ll need a magnifying glass to see any possible marks on them. Expect them to have a grade ranging from MS 60 to MS 68.
2. Extremely Fine
Your 1943 steel penny would be in this class if it circulated only through a few hands of trade. The coin can have a few wear signs on the surface.
Still, seeing these signs with your naked eyes is not easy. Most of the details in Lincoln’s portrait are visible. The wheat sheaths on the reverse have in-depth details.
Some coins in this grade can feel smooth if you touch them. It is because of going through various hands of trade.
Such coins are still attractive. Any collector will still fall in love with them. So, they range from at least EF 40 to around EF 49.
The details are still visible if your 1943 steel penny lies in this grade. But the coin will have wear marks you can see with your naked eyes.
Also, you can feel the scratches with your fingers. It shows that the coin went through many hands of trade. As for the remaining ones, collectors kept them in a proper state.
Such a move helps maintain their quality. The coins start at a grade of F-12.
A 1943 steel penny in this class has much damage, including rust. Also, the owner isn’t taking care of it. The coin went through many hands of trade.
Most of the details on Lincoln’s face aren’t present. It has the lowest value, which is close to its face value. You’d get it at grade G-4.
1943 Steel Penny Errors
Getting a 1943 steel penny with errors makes it sell for more money. It’s the rarity of the mistake that raises the coin’s value. Here are the 1943 steel penny error coins with their values.
1943 Steel Penny Double Die Error Obverse (DDO)
With the best auction record of 5,999 USD, collectors fell in love with this error coin. It’s because the double strike is well present on the lettering and year mark.
The artisans from the Philadelphia mint made this error after a regular strike. If you won such a coin, you’d earn more if it was uncirculated.
1943 Steel Penny Wrong Coating
All 1943 steel pennies had a zinc coating. But the artisans made an error by covering this coin with a bronze covering.
In 2010, the coin sold for a record USD 1 million. It is because the coin is one of a kind and in fantastic condition. It has an MS 62 because of its excellent luster.
1943 “D” Steel Penny D Over D Error
The Denver mint also made a punching mistake on the 1943 steel coins. You’ll see the error on the D mark.
Sometimes, using a magnifying glass, you’ll see that the first D mark is faint. At the MS 67, the coin can sell at least 10,200 USD.
1943 “S” Steel Penny Repunched Mark
With an MS 66 grading, this coin’s rare error will earn you a huge profit. Here, the artisans struck the S mark twice.
Such errors may be hard to see with your naked eyes. The coin’s market price is around 475 USD.
Here are the other top queries that most collectors and coin traders tend to ask. They’ll help you know the best 1943 steel pennies on the market and where to buy these coins. You’ll also learn how the fake 1943 steel pennies came about.
Where can you sell or buy your 1943 steel penny?
You can sell your coin at a bidding event, pawn, or coin shop. Also, various online markets like eBay allow you to sell or buy 1943 steel pennies.
Are there any fake 1943 steel pennies?
Every 1943 steel penny has a significant market value in the mint state. It makes people make various dupe versions of this coin.
One can take a 1948 or 1945 steel coin and alter the dates. The coins can also have a copper coating to appear among the rare 1943 steel pennies.
What is the most valuable 1943 steel penny?
The 1943 “D” steel penny with the D over D error has the highest record price. In 2011, it sold for around 21,000 USD with an MS 67 grade.