Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent, MS62 Brown
    Famous Wrong Planchet Error
    10-15 Specimens Known

    1943 CENT Struck on a Bronze Planchet MS62 Brown PCGS. CAC. Ex: Albert Michael Platt. 3.07g. The 1943 bronze Lincoln cent is one of the most famous and sought-after error coins of all time. The rare Mint errors became legendary when nationwide rumors surfaced in the late 1940s that Henry Ford would give a new car to anyone who could find him a 1943 "copper" cent. The rumors were false, but they made the 1943 bronze cent an overnight sensation. When a few bronze cents actually turned up in circulation in 1947, they inspired numerous ads and stories in magazines and comic books throughout the 1950s and '60s. The publicity engendered by these coins captured the imagination of the general public to a high degree. Although the issue was controversial, the coins brought high prices whenever offered and the public's fascination with these pieces has never diminished. Heritage Auctions is privileged to offer a Condition Census example of this fabulous rarity in its second auction appearance.

    Even non-numismatists are familiar with the 1943-dated zinc-coated steel cents that were produced to conserve copper for the war effort in that critical year. The "steelies" have always been extremely popular with Lincoln cent collectors, and the great majority of those coins were culled from circulation by 1960. Apparently, a small number of cents were erroneously struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942 and slipped into circulation undetected by the Mint's quality control measures. This occurred when some bronze planchets from the previous year became lodged in the trap door of the tote bin used to feed planchets into the delivery system of the coin presses. When the tote bin was refilled with steel cent planchets the following year, the bronze blanks were dislodged and fed into the coin press along with the new steel planchets, creating the fabulous Mint errors. This phenomenon occurred at all three active U.S. Mints in 1943, and examples of 1943 branch mint bronze cents have survived, as well as the Philadelphia issues. A single 1943-D bronze cent is known, and five or six 1943-S specimens have surfaced over the years. The Philadelphia Mint coins are more numerous, and we have compiled a roster of survivors below, based on population data from the leading grading services. It is likely that some duplication is included in these grading events, due to resubmissions and crossovers. PCGS CoinFacts estimates only 10-15 examples of the 1943 Philadelphia bronze cent are extant.

    The present coin is tied with one other specimen at PCGS for second-place in the Condition Census. The design elements are sharply detailed in most areas, with just a trace of the always-seen softness on Lincoln's beard. The glossy walnut-brown surfaces show a few hints of olive and only minor signs of contact are evident. One tick above the 4 in the date acts as a possible pedigree marker. We expect intense competition from series specialists and error collectors when this lot is called.

    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 (Goldberg Auctions, 2/2003), lot 148 as MS61 Brown PCGS, $97,750 (certification #50035361); subsequently graded MS62 Brown PCGS Secure; Bob Simpson (9/2012); Important Selections From the Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part IV (Heritage, 2/2021), lot 3008, realized $372,000. Beautiful blue-brown surfaces with generous luster, softly struck on Lincoln's beard and coat. Certification #40273606. Pictured on PCGS CoinFacts.
    2. MS62 Brown. CAC. Albert Michael Pratt; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2017), lot 3899. Formerly in an NGC holder, certification #2067200-002. An attractive walnut-brown specimen with a tick over the 4 in the date. The present coin.
    3. 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.
    4, 5. 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.
    6. AU58. 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; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2016), lot 5266, realized $305,500. PCGS certification #25510132.
    7. 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. Pictured on PCGS CoinFacts.
    8. XF45. Summer FUN Signature (Heritage, 7/2019), lot 3012. Sandy-tan example with a few scattered marks. Softly struck on 43 in the date. Photo on PCGS CoinFacts. Certification #37650115.
    9. XF45 PQ. CAC. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 2/2017), lot 756. Not identified by certification number.
    10. 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.
    11. MS63 Brown.
    12. MS61 Red and Brown.
    13. MS61 Brown. Albert Michael Pratt; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2018), lot 4763. Certification #2067200-001. Reddish-brown and steel patina, with a large obverse die break on the rim at 6 o'clock.
    14, 15, 16. 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.
    17. AU55. Donald G. Partrick. Certification #5746962-013. Note: This coin is being offered in the Partrick Platinum! section of this auction.
    18. AU55. Another AU55 submission.
    19. AU53. Discovered in a school cafeteria in 1947 by Don Lutes, Jr.; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2019), lot 4362, realized $204,000. Certification #4629671-001. Pictured on NGC Coin Explorer. Lightly worn olive-brown example with a short horizontal gouge below the 3 in the date.
    20, 21. AU50; two submissions.

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

    Weight: 3.11 grams

    Metal: 95% Copper, 5% Tin & Zinc

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    22nd-25th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 39
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,794

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold on Apr 24, 2021 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 35 days left to consign to the 2022 February 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    It is with a sense of tremendous gratitude that I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to you for the manner in which you managed the recent sale of my currency collection.
    Thomas Flynn,
    Scottsdale, AZ
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search