Error 1943 Copper Penny Sells For Nearly $300,000


An error 1943 Copper Penny realized $298,125 in GreatCollections’ auctions on Nov. 13. The rarity saw 138 bids, nearly 10,000 page views, and 226 GreatCollections members tracking its sale.

1943 Copper Penny, PCGS AU50
1943 Copper Penny, graded PCGS AU50. Bidding is already up to $167,500, with 119 bids received, over 2,700 page views, and 91 members tracking.

Graded PCGS AU-50, CAC, the auctioned copper penny is among one of the roughly two dozen known to exist, although many believe they have seen one.

"Over the past decade at GreatCollections, we have had countless calls, emails and letters about people purporting to have a new discovery of this famous error. Not a single coin was genuine, and this is only the third authentic example we have had the pleasure to handle," said Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections.

In 1943, the United States Mint switched to using zinc-coated steel in manufacturing Lincoln cents to save copper for the war effort. All cents for the year were supposed to be struck on these steel planchets. Experts speculate that some copper planchets leftover from 1942 made their way into one or more press hoppers when production started on the new steel pennies, resulting in the circulation of some 1943 copper cents.

Although there were rumors of some 1943 pennies being struck in error, none were found until 1947. They were instantly coveted, becoming one of the most famous and sought-after error coin in American numismatics. Because of their values, they have also been counterfeited.

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections, the official auction house of the American Numismatic Association, specializes in auctioning certified coins and banknotes, handling transactions from start to finish. Since its founding in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 1 million certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States with annual sales in 2021 exceeding $235 million. Ian Russell, owner/president of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild and member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information about GreatCollections, visit or call 800-442-6467.

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That’s what I call a “pretty penny”. Pays to check your change.

Kaiser Wilhelm

This one, Antonio, and its 1944 “in-reverse-counterpart” are two of my favorite coins.

Kaiser Wilhelm

I wouldn’t mind checking out the pavement in a parking lot – one of the better places to find coins, by the way – and stumbling upon either one of those.


I’ve been collecting coins for years. My Dad got me interested in collecting coins. I’m hoping I have some that are worth some money!

Kaiser Wilhelm

Never hurts to check, Rebekah, and good luck with that!
By the way, it’s always nice to see coin collecting hasn’t become and all-male field.


JUST out of may range. I wouldn’t pay a penny over $200,000.

Cyndi Kelley

I have a 1943 penny. How can I find out if it is an error coin? I have 43,44,and 45

Kaiser Wilhelm

What type of error, Cyndi Kelley? If it’s a copper coin you obviously have an as yet uncounted rarity, although quite frankly that’s rather unlikely.

Kaiser Wilhelm

If you’re going to be a skinflint, REB, you’re sure to miss out on the really big fish. 😉

Barry Culver

I have a 1943 copper penny I got at a gas station and 1943 bronze penny also

Kaiser Wilhelm

We have been seeing quite a few of these claims here lately, Barry Culver, but the odds of any of those being authentic and not counterfeit are just about slim to none.


Got rare coins who do i call

Kaiser Wilhelm

First look them up in a coin pricing guide, Shillings, and then equipped with that knowledge either check with some local coin dealers or try your luck on ebay.

Barry Culver

Mine are not counterfeit I got them from the store in the bank I know they’re real and I had to tell I got to wait them and everything they are real

Kaiser Wilhelm

Then I must say you are a very fortunate and potentially wealthy man.

Last edited 10 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm