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    1943 Bronze Cent, Famous Off-Metal Error, AU58
    Ex: Bob Simpson Collection
    Among the Most Celebrated U.S. Error Coin Issues

    1943 1C Struck on a Bronze Planchet AU58 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Simpson. This Platinum Night session is shaping up to be among the most impressive auction offerings of the off-metal error Lincoln cents in -- perhaps forever! It must be noted that, despite consigning four different issues from the six 1943-44 off-metal cent issues, Bob Simpson still retains, to our knowledge, a complete 1943-PDS set of bronze cents, all Uncirculated. His 1944-PDS steel cents appear elsewhere in this auction, including most especially the 1944-S steel cent in MS66 PCGS, the sole finest certified steel cent from any mint. Between the present 1943 bronze cent certified AU58 PCGS; the 1943-S bronze cent in this auction (from a different consignor), AU55 PCGS; three 1944-P steel cents (examples in MS64, MS63, and MS61 PCGS); a 1944-D steel cent MS62 PCGS; and the 1944-S steel cent MS66 PCGS, one aggressive, deep-pocketed collector will have at least a statistically viable chance to obtain five of the six coins needed for a complete Registry Set of the Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes (1943-1944) as defined by PCGS.

    Only the 1943-D bronze cent -- a coin considered to be unique and still (as far as we know) in the Simpson Collection, MS64 Brown PCGS -- would be required to complete the set.

    This AU58 PCGS 1943 Philadelphia bronze cent with the CAC approval is Simpson's duplicate, second behind a MS62 Brown PCGS example.

    How Many Genuine 1943 Bronze Cents Survive?
    The question is complicated not only by the many myths, fakes, and wishful thinking that surround this issue, compounded by the tendency on the part of some numismatic pundits to lump together the smaller number of 1943-S bronze cents with the larger number of 1943-P (no mintmark) bronze cents when estimating the number of survivors. In our description of the 1943-S bronze cent in this Platinum Night session, AU55 PCGS, we account for six examples, although one or two more could exist.

    The MS64 Brown PCGS 1943-D bronze cent in the Simpson Collection is unique as noted, despite decades of searching, fame, and publicity surrounding these coins.

    This brings us to the question of, how many 1943 Philadelphia bronze cents survive? The best estimate, excluding branch mint issues, is 10 to 12 coins. A census published of 1943-PDS bronze cents in the Flynn and Wexler 1996 Lincoln cent reference is of limited use today; although it lists numerous ANACS (or ANAAB more properly, the old ANA Authentication Bureau which was discontinued in 2002) authentications, it is difficult to conclusively match those coins with the more recent certifications at PCGS and NGC.

    Bob Simpson gained national fame not only in the numismatic press but also in the popular media in September 2010 when he completed his 1943-PDS bronze cent collection by acquiring the 1943-D bronze Lincoln cent for $1.7 million. More notoriety followed two years later, when Simpson obtained the finest known 1943-S bronze cent, MS62 Brown PCGS, for $1 million. Both coins were brokered through Legend Numismatics.

    The Present Coin, 1943 Bronze Cent, AU58 PCGS
    David Lange in his Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents calls the 1943 bronze cents "error coin royalty" (from the Things We Wish We Had Said department), and it is certainly true that no other U.S. error coins have spurred the popular imagination nearly so much as these pieces have. In fact, Bob Simpson himself discovered a counterfeit 1943 bronze cent in circulation as a youngster, and for a short while he, too, thought that he had come into possession of a tremendous treasure. He still retains that coin today, although it was soon revealed as a counterfeit -- likely by a magnet, as most are copper-plated 1943 steel cents.

    This piece is easily identified by its lack of singular distractions and limited wear, far finer than most survivors of this rare error. A bit of smudging in the right obverse field, directly above the 4 and about in line with Lincoln's chin provides a clear identifier, as does a similar area at the rear of the coat below RTY.

    Another Extraordinary Bidding Chance
    It is seldom that a numismatic auction contains one example of the 1943 bronze cent, much less a spectacular chance to bid on bronze cents from both Philadelphia and San Francisco, as this Platinum Night auction does. Bidders who have long desired these coins will make the most of this unparalleled opportunity.

    1943 Philadelphia Bronze Cents Certified Populations
    This is a listing of the certified grading events at PCGS and NGC. Duplications and crossovers are likely; some genuine examples may be omitted.
    PCGS-Certified Coins
    1. MS62 Brown. Found in circulation by Marvin Beyer, Jr., age 14, around 1957; ANA Convention Sale (Abe Kosoff, 1958), where the coin was withdrawn by Marvin Beyer Sr. before the sale; reportedly sold to the Greer Company of Los Angeles for $40,000 in 1959; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 10/2000), lot 4146, as MS61 ANACS, $60,375; Benson Collection, Part II (Goldbergs, 2/2003), lot 148 as MS61 Brown PCGS, $97,750 (certification #50035361); subsequently graded MS62 Brown PCGS Secure; Bob Simpson (9/2012); Simpson Collection. Beautiful blue-brown surfaces with generous luster, softly struck on Lincoln's beard and coat. Certification #18523486.
    2. MS61 Red and Brown. "James Schirrippa," per PCGS CoinFacts. Sharply struck with deep orange and purple-blue patina and some brownish toning on the lower reverse, hints of green in the obverse field. Carbon spot at L(IBERTY). V-shaped mark right of C(ENT). In the Staten Island Collection Lincoln Cents, Off-Metal Strikes Registry Set (#2 behind the Simpson Collection). Certification #50040291.
    3, 4. MS61 Brown. Two submissions; one is certification #19228068, last seen in the High Desert Collection. Lovely orange-gold and light-blue surfaces on both sides. PCGS still shows two in this grade, although as mentioned, one with certification #50035361 was later upgraded to the #1 Beyer-Simpson coin above. It is unclear if there are still two other PCGS coins in the MS61 Brown grade.
    5. AU58. The present example. According to a photo (page 322, #8) in the 1996 Wexler-Flynn Lincoln cent Authoritative Reference, this coin was earlier certified by ANAAB with certificate #FD0251. Bob Simpson. PCGS certification #25510132.
    6. AU55. Americana Sale (Stack's Bowers, 1/2013), lot 13257, brought $317,250; Regency Auction (Legend-Morphy, 5/2014), lot 12, realized $329,000. Currently in the Numism1 Set Registry inventory at PCGS and contained in the Hoiner 100 Greatest U.S. Coins Registry Set. Well-struck overall with medium milk-chocolate surfaces, small flecks at bottom of coat (below 1) and front of Lincoln's head above the eyebrow. Weakness shows on O(NE) and AM(ERICA). Certification #26441689.
    7. AU50. Sandy-tan example with a few scattered marks. Softly struck on 43 in the date. Photo on PCGS CoinFacts. Certification #22052180.
    8. XF45. Listed in the PCGS Population Report; no further info.
    9. Genuine PCGS (VF Details). A "teenaged newspaperboy"; bought at a Dearborn, Michigan, coin show around 1987; Goldberg Auctions (9/2007), lot 2462, brought $60,375. PCGS #21445581, no longer listed. Some unfortunate test cuts are made in the surfaces. Photographed as #4 in the Wexler-Flynn reference.

    NGC Certifications
    These grading events will undoubtedly duplicate some coins listed above. We know of no public trades of any of these listings.
    10. MS63 Brown.
    11. MS61 Red and Brown.
    12, 13, 14. AU58; three grading events. One coin is depicted on NGC Coin Explorer, unidentified as to grade or certification number -- but it is the present Simpson coin, now in a PCGS holder.
    15. AU55.
    16, 17. AU50; two submissions.
    Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 22E5, PCGS# 82709)

    Weight: 3.11 grams

    Metal: 95% Copper, 5% Tin & Zinc

    View all of [Selections from the Bob R. Simpson Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,034

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    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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