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US Mint Bumble Created Rare 1943 Penny

By Edited Jul 23, 2016 3 8

A Mistake by the US Mint in 1943 is Worth Big Bucks Today

The US Mint bumble created a rare 1943 penny, and this is the story of one of the most publicized mistakes ever made by the United States authority that strikes coins for general circulation.

Followed up a year later, the error was achieved again with similar results.

There was a world war being fought and the United States found themselves firmly entangled with the rest of the world in this time of global unrest.

Us Mint Mistake Created a Rare 1943 Penny

Photo from Pixabay

Metal was at a premium and shortages were occurring for the manufacture of arms and ammunition to continue fighting our part of the battle.

Coinage consisting of copper for the US penny or cent, was suspended for the year 1943 and a steel planchet was introduced that would be much cheaper and help to keep the mint from depleting the available copper supply striking pennies.

When the machines were changed over and new coins started to be struck from the steel blanks, several copper planchets remained within the production line and apparently by mistake or by design were allowed to leave the mint.

These oddities which are also extreme rarities because only about a dozen are known to exist, have become the holy grail to US penny collectors. 

An uncirculated example if you could ever be so lucky to come across one would bring you millions of dollars in todays market.

Searching through your pocket change is not likely to gain you an uncirculated example but even a well worn example of this type coin will bring hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are just that rare and popular.

Again in the year 1944, the same mistake was duplicated and some steel planchets were left in the machinery which created the ultra rarity 1944 steel US penny.

Like it's predecessor the steel example made in error also can bring millions in the uncirculated condition that we all wish we could find one in. Several examples exist of this type as well and they could just be even more rare then the 43 copper penny.

There is a story that has circulated for years about a businessman who purchased an example of this error coin and placed it on his dresser for the night, only to have his young daughter pick it up and spend it on candy at the local five and dime.

US Mint Bumble Created Rare 1943 Penny

The story presses the issue that the coin was never located and to this day the numismatic world is on it's toes looking for this lost treasure. After all it does hold a lot of records in price and rarity who wouldn't want this treasure to fall into their hands.

Whether the coin existed or it was just an old husband's tale is still up for debate. The possibility of one of these turning up that hasn't been seen is still out there and I for one will always check my pocket change for my big payday from that magic penny.



Dec 16, 2010 10:34am
I never thought that numismatics could be interesting. You have achieved the impossible, in making an attention grabbing article out of this and I am very impressed. Thanks for a well-written article
Dec 16, 2010 10:41am
Thanks Phil, appreciate that from someone who's been here a while and seems to have a good grasp of what we're all trying to do here.
Dec 28, 2011 7:09am
Great article! I actually have a few in my collection (my great-aunt saved them for me).
Jan 1, 2012 2:04pm
This copper cent is worth a huge amount of money so if you have a few in your collection you have a fortune. I'd love to sell them for you for a small cut. Be carefull who you tell you have them.
Thanks for stopping by.
Dec 30, 2011 4:46am
I love learning unusual facts like these. To think, most of us never examine our coins at all. How many people have just let a rare coin pass through their fingers?
Jan 1, 2012 2:05pm
Your right, a ton slips through each day. Thanks for the visit.
Jan 6, 2012 3:14pm
That was a great story. I know I have done my share of buying coin rolls from the bank to look for various goodies!
Dec 10, 2015 10:54am
Interesting story. I wish I had started collecting coins when I first started work many years ago (1971).
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