1944 Steel Cent, Borderline Uncirculated
    Among Finest Known

    1944 1C -- Struck on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet -- AU58 PCGS. 2.78 gm, similar to the expected 2.70 gm weight of a zinc-coated steel cent. Since copper was an important metal to U.S. forces fighting World War II, the composition of cents was changed in 1943 from bronze to zinc-plated steel. The steel cents proved highly unpopular in commerce, since they were readily confused with dimes, which had a similar color and diameter. In 1944, cents returned to a bronze alloy, with the copper purportedly secured from salvaged cartridge cases. Though billions of cents were struck in 1943 and 1944, no bronze cents were supposed to be struck in 1943, and no steel cents were supposed to be struck in 1944.

    Off-metal Lincoln cents from 1943 and 1944 rank among the most coveted rarities of the series. Best known among those are the 1943 cents struck on planchets made of bronze instead of steel. 1944-dated steel cents are nearly as famous, and are ardently pursued by collectors ambitious enough to seek a complete six-piece off-metal 1943 and 1944 PDS set.

    The Philadelphia Mint in 1944 struck 25,000,000 Belgian 2 franc pieces on zinc-coated steel planchets; a production that provided additional opportunities for the inadvertent coining of 1944 steel cents. However, the variety remains rare. Heritage has auctioned only eight different examples since 2000, in grades between AU58 and XF Details, Corroded.

    The present near-Mint representative displays essentially unbroken cartwheel sheen. The strike is incomplete on the hair above the ear, and on the O in ONE, expected since steel is a harder alloy than bronze, but there is no incontrovertible evidence of circulation wear. There is no consequential marks or spots, but we note a drop of translucent lacquer residue near 6 o'clock on the reverse.
    Ex: Rosemont Central States (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2245.
    From The Geyer Family Collection.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Geyer Family Collection ]

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  | PCGS Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    1st-3rd Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,959

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    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 25 days left to consign to the 2018 February 21 - 26 LB Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    In arriving at the selection of Auctioneer, ANA has considered primarily the reputation, proficiency, and character of the Auctioneer and its ability to provide personnel of corresponding quality.
    The American Numismatic Association,
    Colorado Springs, CO
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 December 7 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 December 7 - 10 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $6,852,289
    2017 December 7 - 8 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2017 December 7 - 8 HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,478,782
    2017 December 6 - 8 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    2017 December 6 - 8 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction - Hong Kong
    REALIZED SO FAR $1,017,763