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1943-S 1C -- Struck on a Bronze Planchet -- VF35 PCGS....

2013 November 1 - 3 US Coin Signature Auction - New York #1191

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Auction Ended On: Nov 1, 2013
Item Activity: 9 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
445 Park Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022

1943-S Bronze Cent, VF35
Very Rare Off-Metal Error
1943-S 1C -- Struck on a Bronze Planchet -- VF35 PCGS. The 1943-dated bronze cents are the most famous rarities of the Lincoln cent series. Soon after their discovery, rumors ran wild that Henry Ford of Ford Motors would trade an example for a brand new Ford automobile. Variants of this story continued for decades without any basis in truth.

According to David Lange, "this error occurs when a mobile tote bin containing planchets of one type is emptied into the press delivery system and then filled with planchets of another type. A few of the first batch may wedge themselves into the trap door at the bottom of the tote bin as it closes. These are then dislodged when the door is opened a second time to release the new batch of planchets. Thus, a few of the old ones are coined in a press run for some other coin type. What made this particular instance of a wrong-planchet error so compelling is simply the novelty of the regular steel cents themselves and the dramatic contrast between the steel and bronze alloys."

More Philadelphia Mint 1943 bronze cents are known than their Denver and San Francisco counterparts combined. Recent censuses state that only one 1943-D bronze cent is known, plus seven 1943-S bronze cents. The latter figure, however, may overstate the actual population by one or even two pieces, since most of the known survivors are clustered in a narrow range from AU to low Mint State.

In that respect, this coin is unusual by virtue of its Choice VF grade. It is also a relatively recent entrant to the numismatic marketplace. It was unknown to David Lange in 1996, when he published his Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents, having been "kept for decades" privately by the owner, but sold alongside the Dr. Carl A. Minning, Jr. Collection in an August 1999 auction by Bowers and Merena. How the coin came to be VF, unlike its fellows, remains unclear.

As expected for a VF35 coin, this piece shows light to moderate wear over each side, and the mildly luminous sun-gold and plum-red surfaces show scattered minuscule abrasions under magnification. That said, the overall eye appeal is far better than the preceding sentence might suggest. The present piece is the only bronze 1943-S cent auctioned by Heritage since 1993.
Ex: The Dr. Carl A. Minning, Jr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1999), lot 1122; The Collections of Phillip Flannagan et al. (Bowers and Merena, 11-12/2001), lot 6076; Alfred V. Melson Collection, Part Two (Heritage, 2/2010), lot 178.
From The Geyer Family Collection.

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