Coin Specifications

Category: Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse (1909-1958)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 684,628,670
Obverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Reverse Designer: Victor D. Brenner
Composition: Zinc Coated Steel
Weight: 2.7000g
Diameter: 19mm
Edge: Plain
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1943 1C MS obverse 1943 1C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

After experimenting with various metals and plastics during 1942, the U. S. Mint determined that the best option for excluding copper from the cent was to use steel planchets having a coating of zinc for corrosion resistance. These coins proved to be a nuisance in commerce, being mistaken for dimes when new and sometimes nickels when worn. Since they were magnetic, the steel cents also failed to work in vending machines and turnstiles. About the only thing the Mint got right with these coins is their date style, the numeral 3 having the long tail that it so often lacked in earlier issues.

Vast numbers were saved in Mint State for their novelty, but their highly reactive composition has made preserving their beauty a real challenge. With exposure to moisture the underlying steel often rusted, even with the zinc plating. Gems are plentiful through MS 67, and encapsulation is perhaps the safest means of maintaining their original appearance.

A very popular doubled-die obverse variety shows the lettering and date swollen but not fully separted. These coins are scarce, especially in Mint State.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/9/2017

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1943 1C MS
Base $ 0.07 0.10 0.20 0.28 0.38 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.90 1.05 1.15 1.75 3.25 19.00 27.50 45.00 135 2600 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - 375 -

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Total Graded: 11609
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/18/1997 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 0972, 972/Lot# 1071 $11.75
10/7/2003 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23102, 23102/Lot# 11112 $19.00
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg May 27-31, 2012 The May Pre-Long Beach Auction, 69/Lot# 481 $80.50
12/13/2012 PCGS Genuine XF   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20086/Lot# 1075 $6,435.00
2/24/2013 NGC MS 67   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 740, 749/Lot# 1021 $120.00
10/6/2013 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/06/2013, 95/Lot# 119754 $15.00
10/13/2013 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/13/2013, 96/Lot# 106725 $25.00
6/16/2014 NGC   Stack's Bowers iAuciton 3486, 6035/Lot# 20947 $141.00

NGC Registry

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