1943 Steel Penny Value: How Much is it Worth Today?

One of the most unusual American pennies was the silver-colored coin minted in 1943. Since most people were used to pennies made of copper, this piece was a real surprise at that time. The reason for such a coin was simple. During World War II, the military needed copper for making casings, so the US Mint decided to use galvanized steel instead.

Even though this penny is different, it is not particularly rare. Nowadays, most of them are worth only a bit more than their face value. Nevertheless, checking the 1943 Penny value is advisable, particularly if you have a bronze piece or one with an error.

 

1943 Steel Penny History

In 1943, World War II was in full swing. The military industry was run out of copper necessary for making castings. Since the US Mint was making pennies of this metal, it decided to contribute.

Therefore, it replaced copper in pennies with zinc-coated steel. That change made this penny look like a silver coin, setting it apart from all the pennies ever minted before.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny

Location Year Minted Value
Philadelphia 1943 684,628,670 $0.30 to $8
San Francisco 1943 S 191,550,000 $0.40 to $20
Denver 1943 D 217,660,000 $0.35 to $10
Total / 1,093,838,670 /

Unfortunately, this change in the material wasn’t an excellent idea. After a while, the coins quickly lost a zinc surface layer and were prone to rust. Another disadvantage was the similarity with Dimes.

People often mistakenly replaced these two coins for similarity and lost nine cents per piece when paying something. For all these reasons, the US Mint decided to reuse copper for producing pennies in 1944.

The 1943 Lincoln penny has the same look as other pennies in the series. A former US President Abraham Lincoln profile is on the obverse, with the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST located on the upper edge.

Above Lincoln’s shoulder is the word LIBERTY, while in front of the profile are the year of minting and the mint mark.

1943 Lincoln penny

Steel penny Copper penny
Face value 1 cent ($0.01) 1 cent ($0.01)
Compound 99% steel with a thin zinc coating 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc
Coin weight 0.09524 (2.7 g) 0.08818 (2.5 g)
Coin diameter 0.750 inches (19.05 mm) 0.750 inches (19.05 mm)
Coin thickness 0.0610 inches (1.95 mm) 0.0768 inches (1.95 mm)
Shape Round Round
Edge Plain Plain

You can see two stalks of wheat along the reverse’ rims, with the face value of the ONE CENT in the middle. As always, there are also two inscriptions, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

 

1943 Steel Wheat Penny Types

In 1943, three mints produced this penny:

  • The Philadelphia mint produced the 1943 penny that typically has no mint mark
  • The San Francisco mint produced the 1943 penny with an S mint mark
  • The Denver mint produced the 1943 penny with a D mint mark

These three mints struck over 1,000,000,000 Lincoln steel pennies in 1943. You can quickly distinguish them by the marks on the coin reverse.

1943 No Mint Mark Penny

1943 Penny without a mint mark
Image

The Philadelphia mint produced 684,628,670 pennies in 1943. It is the 5th highest number of all the pennies made in this mint. As a result, the 1943 penny is very low on the rare coin scale.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny value*

Quality 1943 1943 S 1943 D
Good $0.16 $0.27 $0.22
Very good $0.22 $0.32 $0.32
Fine $0.32 $0.43 $0.38
Very fine $0.38 $0.71 $0.43
Extra fine $0.43 $0.82 $0.49
About uncirculated $0.55 $1.11 $0.82
MS 60 $2.74 $6.4 $3.22
MS 65 $8.91 $22 $11

*by USA Coin book

Since most of these coins were in circulation, today is difficult to find a specimen in excellent condition. Therefore, you can sell the 1943 MS 68 Steel Lincoln penny for an impressive $4,690.

1943 S penny Value

1943 S penny

The S-marked penny comes from the San Francisco mint. In 1943, this mint produced 191,500,000 pennies, and it was the lowest production that particular year. If you have one in an MS 68 rating, you can sell it for $3,500.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny*

Year Quality
Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1943 $0.3 $0.4 $0.5
1943 S $0.4 $0.75 $1
1943 D $0.35 $0.45 $0.75

*by JM Bullion

1943 D Penny Value

1943 D Penny

In 1943, 217,660,000 pennies came out from the Denver mint. Even though they are pretty common these days, most collectors want to include them in their collections. Most are entirely inexpensive, but you can find the high-graded piece for $3,250 in the coin market.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1943 $0.1 $0.15 $0.3 $1.25
1943 S $0.15 $0.23 $0.63 $3.2
1943 D $0.1 $0.18 $0.4 $2.26

*by CoinStudy

 

Specific 1943 Penny

1943 Copper Lincoln penny

1943 Copper Lincoln penny

The 1943 copper penny was an accidental manufacturing error. Although the US Mint decided to replace copper with steel in the penny production, the machines mixed copper leftovers with steel plates.

1943 Copper Lincoln penny value*

Quality 1943 1943 S 1943 D
Extra fine $137,783 $240,271 $429,722
About uncirculated $214,194 $418,038 $723,645
MS 60 $389,968 $565,610 $846,689
MS 65 / / $2,196,797

*by USA Coin book

As a result, the first produced coins contained both metals and got reddish-yellow color. It is known that only about 40 copper pennies were minted in 1943, so they are considered exceptionally rare on the current coin market. As you can expect, they are precious and expensive.

1943 D/D Steel Lincoln penny

The 1943 D/D steel penny is an error coin minted that particular year. You can quickly notice the double-printed mintmark on the coin surface. A bold D is embossed on the reverse, and the other D is less visible and positioned closer to the coin’s left edge.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny value*

Quality 1943 D/D
MS 60 $338 to $389
MS 61 $370 to $426
MS 62 $384 to $441
MS 63 $403 to $463
MS 64 $520 to $598
MS 65 $1,020 to $1,180
MS 66 $1,180 to $2,250
MS 67 $7,500 to $9,380

*by Greysheet

You will have no difficulties recognizing them because there is a noticeable gap between these two marks. As you can guess, this mistake increases the coin value.

 

1943 Steel Penny Value Grading

1943 Penny Value Grading

Uncirculated¬†– This coin wasn’t in circulation and kept the entirely noticeable highest relief points and the glow on Lincoln’s cheek and jaw. You should always check the zinc oxidation levels. As you have probably known, this metal oxidizes in contact with moisture, creating stains on the surface. So, their absence proves that the coin is intact.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny value*

Quality 1943 1943 S 1943 D
Good $0.06 $0.07 $0.07
Very good $0.10 $0.15 $0.15
Fine $0.15 $0.25 $0.25
Very fine $0.25 $0.40 $0.40
Extra fine $0.35 $0.55 $0.55
Uncirculated $0.70 $0.80 $0.80
Brilliant uncirculated $1 $1.5 $1.5

*by Hobbizine

Extra fine – This coin wasn’t in circulation for a long, and you can notice only light signs of wear on its surface. You can see them on Lincoln’s portrait relief, particularly on high spots like hair curls. There are no rust signs on this penny, but you can often notice places where zinc coating is incompact.

Fine – This penny was in circulation for a while but without much damage. You can see scratches and damage to the relief, but details are still noticeable and recognizable.

1943 Steel Lincoln penny value*

Quality 1943 1943 S 1943 D
Good $0.28 to $0.3 $0.3 to $0.33 $0.28 to $0.3
Very good $0.28 to $0.3 $0.3 to $0.33 $0.28 to $0.3
Fine $0.28 to $0.3 $0.3 to $0.33 $0.28 to $0.3
Very fine $0.28 to $0.3 $0.35 to $0.4 $0.28 to $0.3
Extra fine $0.3 to $0.33 $0.55 to $0.7 $0.3 to $0.33
AU $0.35 to $0.5 $0.75 to $1.4 $0.4 to $0.85
MS 60 $0.75 to $0.8 $2.15 to $2.45 $1.5 to $1.85
MS 61 $0.75 to $0.85 $2.65 to $3.25 $1.5 to $1.85
MS 62 $0.75 to $0.85 $2.65 to $3.25 $1.9 to $2.15
MS 63 $0.8 to $1 $3.4 to $4 $2.15 to $2.45
MS 64 $1.9 to $2.15 $8.78 to $10.5 $4 to $4.85
MS 65 $4 to $4.85 $13.5 to $16.2 $13.5 to $16
MS 66 $47.25 to $68 $68 to $88 $68 to $88
MS 67 $214 to $247 $260 to $325 $214 to $325
MS 68 $3,120 to $4,690 $2,850 to $3,500 $1,690 to $3,250

*by Greysheet

Good – The coin with this rating was in circulation for a long time and has shown severe damage signs. It has lost initial shine, and nearly all relief has become flat. You can recognize only Lincoln’s profile, while almost all the details have merged.

It will also be impossible to distinguish the tiny details on the reverse, particularly the wheat grains that are almost unrecognizable.

 

Summary

Although it is not particularly rare, the 1943 steel penny is fascinating. Thanks to the high production, you will effortlessly find a specimen for your collection for a very affordable price.

You can consider yourself lucky if you have a copper specimen of this penny in your coin collection. Since only about 40 exist on the market, they are tremendously valuable.

19 thoughts on “1943 Steel Penny Value: How Much is it Worth Today?”

  1. Is a 1943.s steel Penney that it looks normal but the 4 in 43 is almost un detectable. You can tell it’s made that way. And in very good condition

    Reply
    • ROGER, DID YOU EVER GET AN ANSWER?
      I ALSO HAVE 1943 STEEL PENNY, IT’S OBVIOUSLY MISSING THE 4 IN THE DATE!

      Reply
      • Thomas G. Flammio:
        That might bring you $2 -$4 on EBAY maybe, but you need to show what they look like as well.

        Stephen Roche and Roger Felix
        go on line and type in 1943 or 44 penny Value
        It will bring you to a site were the P,D and S mints are.
        Take care Richard S.A. Texas

        Reply
  2. I have five very fine uncirculated 1943 Philadelphia mint pennies never been circulated the brand new in a plastic case sealed I would like to sell one is anyone interested in buying them

    Reply
    • They are worth about .10 ea. if that, sorry
      a UNC. one in real good condition might be worth $1-$7
      But that means top of the line. for a Philly.
      Hi Michael I have several the UNC. ones These are the ones no one has handled with their bare hands.
      Go on line and type in 1943 P, D or S pennies value
      a #8 might get you #1 maybe ?

      You can call around and ask for a coin grading place.
      PS: never send in your coins by mail or leave them there to be looked at.
      I buy coins in the mail and they are tracked to my address, but 50% of the time I get them and 50& of the time I don’t. the postal carrier says they put them in my box, but I still am looking for them.

      Reply
  3. I also have a very beautiful 1943 wheat penny without the mint mark. I’m not an expert anbit is not graded professionally. But if I an 10 others were to put a grade on it from 1-10. I would bet 1,000 each time it would be an 8 or higher. Guarenteed. If anyone out there may be interested I somthing like that your best bet would Def not try an get ahold of me through email. It would be txt. Anyway have a great day everyone out there

    Reply
  4. i have 54 philly version cents. all circulated and in good plus condition. What are they worth? who wants them?

    Reply
  5. I have a 1943 S mint mark copper penny. It was said to me it isn’t worth a grunion in market value. How true is that and that isn’t so what should I do with it????

    Reply
  6. I have a 1943 steel wheat penny that is in beautiful condition very shiny looks like a new dime no marks perfectly ledgable!!
    I would like to sell would anyone be interested??

    Reply

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