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.Know More
Steel pennies were only minted in 1943, and the USA Coin Book states that nearly 500 million were produced in the San Francisco, Denver and Philadelphia mints. In 2014, the value of a steel penny ranges from about 14 cents for a circulated coin in good condition to $7.65 for an uncirculated coin in perfect, or "mint," condition. The wheat penny is so named because two durum wheat ears appear on the reverse, while Lincoln appears on the front.
The Huffington Post reports that Bill Simpson, co-owner of the Texas Rangers and coin enthusiast, paid $1 million, the highest amount known as of 2012, for a copper 1943 wheat penny. Because of its collector value, the 1943 wheat penny is frequently counterfeited by changing the date on 1945, 1948 or 1949 pennies or by coating the steel cents with copper, according to the U.S. Mint. One can easily test a penny's metal, though, by applying a magnet. A steel penny will attract a magnet, while a true copper penny will not.Learn more about Coins & Currency
Quarters and dimes minted by the U.S. Mint contained silver up until 1964, when the precious metal was removed in favor of a more economical composition: copper and nickel. Washington quarters and Roosevelt dimes minted through 1964 contained 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.Full Answer >
As of 2015, zinc, copper and nickel are used for making coins in the United States. Historically, a variety of metals have been used to make coins.Full Answer >
Based on its 2014 price guide, CoinTrackers values a 1936 Lincoln wheat penny at between 35 cents and $15, based on the condition of the coin. Coins in uncirculated condition with sharp edges and no discoloration are worth the most, while well-worn pennies are worth little.Full Answer >
As of 2014, the value of a 1933 Lincoln wheat penny ranges from 95 cents to $20.75, depending on the coin's condition and mint mark, according to CoinStudy.com. Coin collectors grade the condition of a coin on a scale of good, fine, extremely fine and uncirculated.Full Answer >