1943 Copper Penny
One of the most popular variations of the Lincoln head US penny is actually the 1943 copper penny which is also very rare.
Prior to World War II taking place, this particular penny was made mainly with copper and there was also a touch of zinc and tin added into the mix which actually forms bronze if you want to get technical.
But, the US mint was no longer allowed to use copper in the 1943 copper penny because the military actually needed all of the copper they could get their hands on for the ammo shells that were being used to fight off the enemy during WWII.
It was at this time that a substitute formula was introduced and the copper penny was taken out of circulation at this point and replaced with a steel substitute that was known as the white penny.
There actually was actually small amounts of the 1943 copper penny minted that year.
To tell you the truth, it is estimated that there were only 40 of these pennies minted at the time and that is all that can be confirmed of being produced in this particular year during World War II.
And as of right now, there are only 12 copper pennies from 1943 that are positively known to still be in existence to this very day.
So obviously this coin is extremely rare, and because of it it’s also worth a whole lot of money.
The United States eventually went back to the original formula of 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc right after the war ended, so this is the only year that the composition of the penny was affected this way.
And like we said already, the 1943 copper penny is such a rare item because there are so few in existence, and there were so few created and about two thirds of those cannot be accounted for at this point in time.
Just to give you an idea of exactly how rare the 1943 copper penny actually is, one sold in the year 1958 for $40,000. This was a Copper 1943 S and the reason they added the S is that it signifies that this penny was minted in San Francisco.
To round out our story of the 1943 copper penny, and to give you an idea of what it’s worth in this day and age, another one sold in 2004. Do you have any idea what it sold for? A whopping $200,000.
That just goes to show you the true value of this extremely rare coin.
How To Clean A Copper Penny
Everybody has had some reason or other to clean a copper penny at some time in their life.
You may have come across a jar of dirty old pennies that you found buried under a pile of junk in the corner of your attic.
And you want to wrap up these coins and cash them in at your local bank, but you probably wouldn’t be doing anybody a kind service if you were to bring them to your bank in the unfortunate state that they are in.
So this is why you want to clean them off first so you can have the pennies looking shiny and new before you wrap them up and trade them in.
One thing you definitely want to pay attention to as you clean each copper penny, is you want to really look closely at each of these pennies because they may in fact end up being collector coins which could turn out to be a lot more valuable than one measly cent.
So you absolutely want to look through each and every penny individually and put the older ones off to the side so that you can possibly bring them to a coin collector or some kind of a coin dealer that will let you know the value of the coins in your possession.
Now that you figured out which ones may be valuable and which copper penny coins are probably only worth face value, then you should definitely begin the cleaning process.
Just remember that cleaning a copper penny is a lot different than cleaning any penny that was minted since 1982.
Because those pennies are mostly made of zinc and only have a tiny bit of copper in them. The zinc pennies will react very differently to the ingredients that you would want to use to clean a copper penny, so you definitely want to make sure you differentiate between the two so that you don’t ruin any of your pennies created from 1982 or later.
Here are a few good solutions you can use when cleaning a copper penny:
• you can rub a copper penny with a pencil eraser to help remove the dirt and grime
• you can soak them in a mixture of salt and vinegar
• taco sauce is another excellent way to clean a copper penny
• Brasso, which is a brass cleaner, is also another excellent way to clean up those pennies you have that are made mostly of copper
Now that you know how to properly clean a copper penny, please do so before you wrap them up and trade them in or deposit them into your bank account.
You may or may not already know this about copper pennies, but they actually do not get produced anymore through the US mint.
All of the pennies that get created, or better yet minted, during the current time are made mostly of zinc because this is a commodity that we have in mass abundance.
Unfortunately, we do not have a mass abundance of copper so our government decided that it’s no longer a good idea to use so much of it for our currency when it could get put to good use in other areas.
There was actually only one period in US history where the one cent piece consisted entirely of copper pennies.
And the period where pennies were made almost entirely of copper was between the years of 1783 through 1837.
But there are even variations of the amount of copper used in pennies during this point.
From the years 1837 to 1857, there was actually 5% tin and zinc mixed into the 95% copper which basically creates bronze.
So that’s a pretty interesting fact that I’m sure you never even heard of.
But then the US mint switched up how they produced their copper pennies and change the formula where 12% nickel was mixed in with 88% copper to create the penny.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this made the coins have a bit of a whitish appearance during this timeframe.
Once again, in the year 1864, they switched back to the 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc recipe for creating pennies and this lasted all the way up into 1962 with one quick change in 1943 during World War II.
For this one year, the copper pennies were actually changed to zinc coated steel in an attempt to conserve copper because it was needed for the war effort.
But copper pennies weren’t completely eliminated at this point, and there were actually a very limited number of these pennies that were minted that year.
So I’m sure you can imagine just how rare and valuable those 1943 copper pennies are in this day and age in the 21st century.
There was another content change for copper pennies in the year 1962, and the tin was removed from the equation so that the penny was only 95% copper and 5% zinc.
And from 1982 on, the copper pennies composition completely changed and it basically flip-flopped so now it’s 97.5% zinc and there is only 2.5% copper which is actually known as copper-plated zinc.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief history lesson about copper pennies.