Description and Analysis

Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse
1944 1C MS

Description & Analysis

The Philadelphia Mint cents of 1944 were the first USA coins to have a mintage exceeding one billion pieces. The mint actually surpassed this figure by nearly 50 percent as it struggled to replace the 1943 steel cents which had proved so unpopular. The supply of virgin copper was supplemented with metal recovered from spent shell casing retrieved from military training bases in the USA. Reports of such casings being shipped back from combat theaters overseas were likely just wartime propaganda, as the servicemen clearly had better things to do.

This issue is readily available in all grades through superb gem. Reports that the color is different for these "shellcase" cents seem doubtful. They were satisfactory in all respects and indistinguishable from pre-war issues, with the exception of having no tin.