Q:

What is a 1943 nickel?

A:

Quick Answer

A 1943 nickel is from the Jefferson nickel design set, which the U.S. Mint began using in 1938. Those minted from 1941 to 1943 are considered wartime Jefferson silver nickels because of their increased silver content.

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Full Answer

The Jefferson nickel features a left-facing bust of Thomas Jefferson as the principal design and an engraving of Monticello, the home of Jefferson, on its reverse side. The 1943 Jefferson nickel is composed of 56 percent copper, 35 percent silver and 9 percent manganese. Regular Jefferson nickels are composed of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel. Prior the introduction of the Jefferson nickel, the U.S. Mint used the Buffalo nickel design.

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  • Q:

    How do you tell if a 1943 steel penny is truly uncirculated or reprocessed?

    A:

    An uncirculated 1943 steel wheat penny generally appears in excellent condition with no wear, with only a few scuffs or dings caused by contact with other coins in a bank bag, and a highly polished surface. Though minor hairline scuff or dents affect the value of an uncirculated coin, obviously cleaned coins display circular wear marks from rubbing, damaged luster from chemical dips or abrasives and a severely reduced value.

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  • Q:

    What is special about the 1943 wheat penny?

    A:

    The 1943 wheat penny is unique because it is made of steel-coated zinc, rather than copper and nickel, according to the U.S. Mint. In 1943, copper and nickel were needed for ammunition to fight World War II rather than coin production. However, 40 coins were minted in copper inadvertently, making them amongst the rarest and most sought-after U.S. coins.

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  • Q:

    What makes a 1943 D steel penny unique?

    A:

    Unlike most U.S. pennies, the 1943 D steel penny was composed of zinc-coated steel instead of copper, giving it a unique silver look. These "silver pennies" were minted during World War II, when copper resources were rationed for the war effort.

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  • Q:

    What is a 1943 copper penny worth?

    A:

    Due to the coin's rarity, the value of a 1943 copper penny likely exceeds $82,500, the price paid by a collector at a 1996 coin auction. Prior to that occasion, a 1943 copper penny sold for $10,000 in 1981 and for more than $40,000 in 1958.

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