NGC Certified Experimental Glass Cents in Heritage Aug. 4 ANA Sale

by on July 25, 2017 · 3 comments

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation has authenticated and graded a number of experimental cents and tokens made in glass, the company announced in a news release on Monday, July 24.

NGC certified glass cent and glass token

An experimental glass cent and glass token certified by NGC

In 1942, the United States Mint researched and experimented with alternative materials to make cents because of wartime copper shortages. The agency also invited private companies to test various types of materials.

Blue Ridge Glass Corporation of Kingsport, Tennessee, struck glass patterns (test cents) using blanks supplied by Corning Glass Works and dies prepared by the U.S. Mint.

NGC certified 17 experimental pieces by Blue Ridge, including 9 pattern cents struck on amber-colored glass blanks and 8 glass tokens. Seven of the glass cents are intact, and were graded from NGC MS 62 to NGC MS 64. Two are fragments NGC attributed but did not grade.

Numismatists were previously aware of just two Blue Ridge glass pattern cents, one of which was a fragment. The unbroken example recently sold at auction for $70,500.

Of the glass tokens, three were struck with a die depicting the factory with the text of BLUE RIDGE GLASS CORP. The others show more modest design elements. The tokens graded from MS 64 to MS 66, excluding two that are fragmented.

Heritage Auctions will offer the 17 experimental glass cents and tokens on Aug. 4, 2017, at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Denver, Colorado. View these lots at

"Following the success of Heritage’s $70,500 sale of a rare glass cent in January of this year, we were delighted to be presented with several high-grade examples," said Mark Borckardt, Senior Cataloger and Numismatist at Heritage Auctions.

Images of the pieces are also available at

Roger W. Burdette, author of the book United States Pattern and Experimental Pieces of World War II, noted that Blue Ridge Glass had some employees carry glass blanks in their pockets, but those blanks chipped, creating sharp edges.

These experimental glass pieces have been cataloged by Burdette and will appear in the next edition of his book. NGC used Burdette’s catalog numbers on its certification labels.

The fragmented pieces highlight the impractical use of glass for coins — they break too easily. The U.S. Mint eventually turned to zinc-coated steel as their composition solution for cents in 1943.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard July 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Very interesting. I have a porcelain sort of coin a city in Germany made at the start of the 1923 inflationary period, and Japan had some clay coins minted at the end of World War 2, but obvious these didn’t work very well.

Munzen July 26, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Richard: Those are interesting pieces! My wife has a few porcelain “coins” from Weimar Germany as well. They were called “Notgeld”, or “emergency money” (the word “Not” in German having a very different meaning from its English cognate, of course). The particular pieces in her set were made in the city of Meißen, about 30 km northwest of Dresden. Meißen’s been famous for centuries as a center for fine porcelain work, so it wasn’t a big leap for them to experiment with coinage substitutes.

Joe Brown July 27, 2017 at 5:03 am

People out there with Hi – IQ and no common scents. First thing that came to my mind, I was maybe 9 or 10 during a stick ball game in the school yard. These two younger kids were shouting at each other at the top of their lungs driving us mad. They were fighting over marbles. One kid, all his pockets even back ones were full with marbles. The other kid had none. The kid with marbles would not even give him 1. I did not want to here no more. So I yelled some choice words, my voice ekoo oh so loud off all the granite and brick walls. They shout up right then. Kid with marbles face drops and looks at me. Other kid still pissed off, scored the point after with his Converse canvas All Star, you know where. Marbles flew every where, kid drops he could not shed a tear, it hurt so bad. I walk over drop my bat next to him. I was making sure he could breath, other kid still standing there with sh t eating grin. Marble kid rolls over there were at least 3 or 4 crushed marbles innbedid into his flaby sweaty belly. I would think he was that fast. He grabs my bat and a good marble it was one off the bigger marbles. Other kid he like a deer in head lights. Marble kid only 4 maybe 5 feet away, from other kid. I must have been in shock, he like frozen & it was really hot that morning. Marble kid winds up whips big marble right between his eyes. Crazy noise when marble hit, kid you not it shadderd. Kids eyes cross and slowly drops. Marble kid lets out big whale sound, going in for the kill. Like I said he was fast for a chunky kid. Grab my bat just in nick of time. Every time I see this seen on TV I crack up. He went to town on the kid like Rallfee that movie X mass story. I peeled him of. told them to get out of here you go that way, other kid pick him self up. He has 2 small chunks of marble in forehead. I kind of bink one off other one was in there. He flew home. My buddy & I had batting practice very good hand eye quordnation smashing marble with a stick ball bat. Those coins were flat rounded marbles, how stupid is that a glass coin. I swear lot of these Hi -IQ people are from some place else. Their people must have pushed them out of there space craft and they fell on their head. Did they at least put some type of rim around flying sawsir and give that a try. A rock would have been a lot better. Never should have made it to the drawing board. Some 1 was missing some marbles back then. Dumb waste of tax money. Peace.

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