The value of a 1943 steel penny depends on its condition, wear, and whether or not it has been cleaned. Are you interested in knowing the value of your 1943 Steel Wheat Penny? Continue reading.

If you’re looking to cash in on the value of your 1943 steel penny, you’ve come to the right place. The 1943 steel penny is one of the most sought-after coins in American numismatics and can fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on its condition.

Learn more about the history and value of this coin, as well as tips on evaluating its condition and spotting counterfeits. So if you’re wondering whether your 1943 steel penny is worth more than a few cents, read on.

History of the 1943 Steel Penny

1943 Steel Penny

The Lincoln cent was initially made of copper. Before 1943, the United States Mint used a copper-alloy composition for the one-cent coin. However, due to the copper price increase during World War II, the mint switched to using steel to produce Lincoln cents.

Before 1943, the penny had been made mostly of silver since its creation in 1787. It was not until 1857 that Congress passed a law allowing for the minting of coins made from two metals: gold and silver. The new law allowed for coins made from more than one metal to be used as legal tender in transactions.

The Lincoln cent was first issued in 1909 with no nickel content to prevent counterfeiting. The cost of making a penny then was only 25 cents, so this seemed a good idea at the time. But the cost increased to 37 cents after 1913 when nickel prices rose because World War I created a demand for nickel for munitions production.

In 1943 Congress passed another law authorizing a nickel alloyed with copper (75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel) for legal tender in transactions instead of silver or gold coins because they could be stamped more easily using machines.

They decided to make this change because World War II was raging then, and copper was needed for things like airplane parts and bullets. So the Mint wanted to ensure that the coins could be used again after the war ended.

1943 Steel Cent Value

The steel cent was a one-cent coin minted by the United States Mint in 1943 and composed of steel with a zinc coating. Due to wartime restrictions on copper, the steel cent was developed as a replacement for the standard bronze penny. Although nearly 1.2 billion steel cents were struck in 1943, they were only circulated briefly before being replaced by copper-alloy cents. Steel cents are, therefore, relatively scarce compared to other U.S. coins, and their value depends on condition and grade.

1943 Philadelphia Mint Cents

1943 Philadelphia Mint cents

The Philadelphia Mint cents, also known as the 1943 Steel Penny without a Mint Mark, are some of the most valuable penny coins. These pennies were minted in 1943 and didn't have a mint mark. This is because the Mint tried to save on copper during World War II, so they used steel instead. The coins can be worth $0.15 in good state and go up to $1.50 in uncirculated condition.

1943-D Denver Mint Cents

1943-D Denver Mint cents are some of the most popular and highly sought-after wheat pennies. Because of their high demand, these coins can command a higher price than other wheat pennies. Some 1943-D Denver Mint cents can sell at $0.68 in their best state, while the lowest grade sells at $0.15.

1943-S San Francisco Cents

1943-S San Francisco cents are worth more than regular wheat pennies. The cents were minted in very small quantities compared to other wheat pennies. Their “S” mint mark can distinguish them from regular wheat pennies. If you have the 1943 S coin in a fine mint state, you can sell it at $5.63.

How Rare Is the 1943 Steel Penny?

The odds of finding a 1943 steel penny in circulation today are about as rare as winning the lottery. There are only a few known examples of this coin in existence. The steel penny was created during World War II to save copper for the war effort. The U.S. Mint produced a small number of these coins by mistake and they were released into circulation by accident. These coins are precious; if you find one, you could be rich.

Factors That Impact Value

Many factors impact the value of a Steel Penny. The most crucial factor is the condition of the coin. A steel penny in poor condition is worth much less than a steel penny in mint condition. The history of a coin is also an essential factor in determining its value.

The authenticity of a coin is also essential to collectors. An authentic coin will have been issued by the United States Mint and never been altered or tampered with by someone else.

Other important factors include the coin's date and whether it is a rare variety. The circulation of a coin is another major factor affecting its value because there are many different ways a coin can be determined as being “in circulation” or “in date.”

1943 Steel Wheat Cent Errors Value

A few different types of steel wheat-cent errors can affect the coin's value.

  • DDO

A doubled die obverse (DDO) is when the date and mint mark appear to be doubled. This is caused by misalignment during the die-making process and is relatively rare.

  • Off Center Strike

An off-center strike is when the coin is struck outside the intended area on the blank planchet, resulting in a missing part of the design. This is also relatively rare.

  • Struck on Dime Planchet

A struck-on-dime planchet error occurs when a steel wheat cent blank is mistakenly fed into a press for striking dimes, resulting in a smaller coin with a diameter of 18mm instead of 19mm. This type of error is relatively rare as well.

  • Struck Through

A struck-through error happens when foreign matter gets caught between the die and planchet during striking, leaving an impression or “ghost” image on the coin. This type of error can be caused by grease, dirt, hair, etc., and is relatively common.

  • Wrong Coating

The wrong coating error happens when the wrong type of paint or metal plating is applied to the coin during production, resulting in an unusual color or finish. This type of error is relatively common and does not generally affect the coin's value unless it is highly noticeable or unique.

How to Grade the 1943 Steel Penny

Philadelphia Mint cents

As most people know, the 1943 steel penny was minted in limited quantities and is quite valuable. However, many people don't know that there are four different grades that these coins can be classified Uncirculated, Extra Fine, Fine, and Good Condition. Here's a quick guide on how to grade your own 1943 steel penny:

Uncirculated: An Uncirculated coin has never been used in circulation and remains pristine. These are the most valuable 1943 steel pennies and can fetch a pretty high price from collectors.

Extra Fine: Extra Fine coins may have circulated for a short period but remain in excellent condition with very little wear and tear. These are also quite valuable and can command a reasonable price from collectors.

Fine: A Fine coin has been circulated for some time and shows signs of wear and tear but retains most of its original luster. These are less valuable than Uncirculated or Extra Fine coins but can still be worth quite a bit to the right collector.

Good Condition: Good Condition coins have been heavily circulated and show significant signs of wear and tear. These are the least valuable of the four grades but can still be worth a few dollars to collectors specializing in this type of coin.

Is 1943 Steel Wheat Penny Worth A Million Dollars?

A 1943 steel wheat penny is worth a million dollars. In recent years, an error cent from 1943 fetched over $1 million at auction. The coin was discovered by a teenager in 1947 and kept in his collection for decades before being sold.

In 2010, one of these rare coins sold for a world record price of $1,700,000 at a public auction. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous, but we know he is a serious collector with an extensive pedigree collection. This particular coin is graded MS-64RB by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), meaning it is an uncirculated specimen with red surfaces and very few imperfections.


Collecting coins is a great hobby that can provide you with many years of joy and satisfaction. The 1943 steel penny is precious due to its rarity and historical significance, so if you have one, you should consider having it appraised. You never know; it might turn out to be worth much more than what you initially thought.

Similar Posts