Errors on Wheat Pennies From the 1940s

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Nobody's perfect--not even the U.S. Mint. Some copies of 1940s wheat pennies feature mintmark mistakes caused by stamping errors in some mint locations. These coins can be quite rare and valuable. These lucrative cents feature Abraham Lincoln on the front and wheat stalks on the reverse.

1943 Boldly Doubled Mintmark

  • Some 1943 Denver pennies were stamped twice with the mintmark and show a bold "D" below the date. Copies of this error can fetch 20 times the value of non-error coins from 1943. Due to a shortage of copper during World War II, these coins were made of steel, with a zinc coating.

1944D Stamped Over S

  • Some coins stamped with an incorrect mintmark were stamped again with the correct Mint location. That was the case with some 1944 Denver pennies. These very hard to find error coins feature a "D" stamped over an "S." While a standard 1944-D penny in very fine condition might fetch 10 cents in 2010 prices, an error coin from this year can sell for well over $100.

1946 S Stamped Over D

  • The opposite mistake happened in 1946 as some copies of the San Francisco penny feature an "S" stamped over a "D." This coin is not quite as rare as the earlier error. As of 2010 it sold for $30 in very fine condition.

1943 Bronze Penny

  • The U.S. Mint struck a handful of pennies on bronze planchets by mistake in 1943 during World War II. When these coins surface they can easily brings thousands of dollars at auction. These pennies are identical to regular cents of this year except for the composition.

1944 Steel Penny

  • Much like the 1943 bronze Lincoln cent, very few of these steel versions are known to exist as of 2010. Only a handful were produced in mistake after steel was phased out of penny production.

References

  • "Whitman's Red Book: A Guide Book to United States Coins 2008"; R.S. Yeoman; 2008
  • Photo Credit several wheat pennies image by Sean Arenas from Fotolia.com
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