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    1944-D Steel Cent, MS62
    Ex: Simpson Collection
    High-Grade Off-Metal Cent Error

    1944-D 1C Struck on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet MS62 PCGS Secure. CAC. Ex: Simpson. This 1944-D steel cent is pedigreed to the world-famous Simpson Collection of complete Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes (1943-44) assembled by Bob Simpson, a complete Registry Set of memorable quality that is unlikely to be equaled anytime in the future. This piece is the sole 1944-D steel cent in this grade at PCGS, although that service shows one MS63 finer. That MS63 PCGS piece was featured in our FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2013) as lot 5548, where it brought $82,250. It was offered again in our Rosemont Signature (Heritage, 8/2013) as lot 5522, where it garnered $79,313.

    It is likely that somewhere between seven and 10 examples of the 1944-D steel cent are known, positioning it squarely in the middle of rarity between the 1944 steel Philadelphia issue, of which two dozen could survive, and the 1944-S, which survives to the extent of only two known pieces. One of those, however, is an incredible MS66 PCGS coin also in the present Platinum Night session, the finest certified steel cent from any mint.

    The authors -- Nicholas Brown, David Camire, and Fred Weinberg -- of The 100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins posit that "eight to 10" survivors are known specifically of the 1944-D steel Lincoln cent, which they rank in their number 15 spot. (PCGS pegs the number at seven.) Curiously, the 1944 steel cents (all mints) are omitted from the latest (fourth, 2015) edition of The 100 Greatest U.S. Coins by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth, even though their counterparts, the 1943 bronze cents, are ranked near the top at number 11. Nonetheless, both cent issues are the hands-down keys to all the small cent issues, the only two small cents that can make the claim of "rare in all grades" and surviving in amounts exponentially smaller than the issue that comes in at best a distant third, the 1856 Flying Eagle cents.
    In addition to its innate rarity, this piece, like several other off-metal Lincoln cents in this auction, as mentioned formed part of the famed Bob Simpson Lincoln Cents, Off-Metal Strikes Registry Set (1943-44), which was exhibited at the 2011 FUN show in Tampa, Florida. In addition to a complete 1943-PDS set of bronze cents and a complete 1944-PDS set of steel cents, the Simpson Collection included 1943-P, 1943-S, and 1944-P cents struck on silver planchets (likely intended for the Mercury dime presses). Simpson's AU58 PCGS 1943-S bronze cent exhibited at FUN 2011 has since been upgraded with a MS62 Brown PCGS example, for which he paid $1 million in September 2012.

    This 1944-D steel cent was shown at that 2011 FUN exhibition. The satiny surfaces are largely silver with hints of blue and gold at the reverse rims, showing great eye appeal for the grade. A small, circular brown toning dot in the reverse field below OF A provides a pedigree marker, as do a couple of small obverse ticks on Lincoln's lower beard and goatee.

    Even among the wealth of high-grade off-metal Lincoln cent errors in the present Platinum Night session, this piece stands out as an extremely important potential acquisition for advanced collectors.
    Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 82725)

    Weight: 2.70 grams

    Metal: 100% Zinc Coated Steel

    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: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,045

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

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