Famous Bronze 1943 Lincoln Cent Featured in our November 2020 Showcase Auction

The Bronze 1943 Lincoln cent is perhaps the most famous Mint
Error to ever emerge from the United States Mint. Just about 20 distinct
examples are known from the Philadelphia Mint and they are highly prized at all
grade levels. When the U.S. mints switched to zinc-coated steel planchets in
1943, it is supposed that a small quantity of bronze planchets from 1942 were
somehow caught up in the folds of the delivery carts. These blank planchets
worked their way loose and were fed through the presses along with the new
steel cent planchets, creating this famous rarity.

The standard alloy for bronze planchets leading up to the
change to steel was 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc. The steel planchets used in
regular production required greater striking pressure to execute the designs,
so these softer bronze planchets are typically very sharply struck,
particularly since they would theoretically have been produced at the beginning
of 1943 when the dies were fresh.

Offered in our November 2020 Showcase Auction is a desirable
and newly-available specimen of this famous 20th century rarity. Attractive
despite the light cleaning noted by NGC, the surfaces are evenly glossy, free
from distracting areas of brightness, and have with pleasing shades of caramel
and olive-brown. The usual softness is noted at O of ONE and AM of AMERICA, but
the devices are otherwise sharp. Magnification reveals hairline scratches
behind Lincoln’s head and a few marks at the right obverse rim, but these are
largely not noticeable without magnification.

This specimen was first discovered in 1976 in the gumball
machine of a restaurant located across the street from the Philadelphia Mint.
The owner of the restaurant then offered it to a local butcher who advertised
as a coin buyer in the window of his shop. The butcher purchased it for $1,000
once it had been authenticated by ANACS in November 1976, and he subsequently
brought it to our staff at Stack’s Rare Coins in New York City for additional
confirmation. Over the following decades, the coin was passed down to the
butcher’s children, who elected to have it certified by NGC in February 2019
with the help of Mitch Battino at Hudson Rare Coins. It is now available at
public auction for the first time ever and will surely draw considerable
attention from Mint Error and Lincoln cent specialists!

This sharp Bronze Lincoln cent will be offered in our
November 2020 Showcase Auction, appearing alongside rarities from the Larry H.
Miller Collection, the E. Pluribus Unum Collection, the Larry Ness Collection,
the Monterrey Collection, the Abigail Collection, and many other significant
cabinets. The sale will be available for viewing and bidding on our website or you
can contact our offices to secure your copy of the printed catalogs at and 800-566-2580.

Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

We are sorry, an unexpected error occurred!
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.