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    Front-Page-News 1944-D Steel Cent, MS61
    Discovered in California in 1966

    1944-D Cent -- Struck on a Zinc-Plated Steel Planchet -- MS61 NGC. The front page of the San Mateo Times (California) for Saturday, February 12, 1966, had a fairly normal mix of nerve-racking stories for a daily newspaper of the time: updates on a flu epidemic in the San Francisco Bay area, dueling claims of public support or disapproval of U.S. policy toward Vietnam, and a report of meningitis deaths among military trainees. In the midst of all that concern and worry is a feel-good story by reporter Tom Powell about a resident of the city of Pacifica who made the pocket-change find of his life. The headline: "Pacifican Finds Penny, One of 2 in the World." (A photocopy of the article accompanies the lot.)
    A 23-year-old man named Robert Collins found the second known 1944-D cent struck on a steel planchet. It was his habit to swap a regular cent for a steel cent whenever he found one in change. He brought the coin to two dealers, who found no reason to doubt it, and from there it went to Walter Breen, the most prominent authenticator of the time, who pronounced it genuine. The article gives an accurate description of how the 1944-D cents were struck, supplied by Breen: Leftover steel planchets from 1943 were fed into the coining press in 1944, creating the incredibly rare off-metal errors. Certain facts have changed in the intervening years: There are now about 10 known 1944-D steel cents, finer examples have been certified, and values have been established for various examples (many by Heritage itself). On the other hand, the rarity and appeal of the 1944-D steel cents remain timeless.
    This example, despite being pulled from change, was awarded a Mint State grade in its recent certification by NGC. Several shallow, almost parallel diagonal abrasions are visible only at certain angles to the light, while a narrow streak of gray paler than the rest of the coin's medium-steel hue is visible on the photograph of the coin printed in the newspaper. A number of smallish oxidation spots are also visible in the vintage photograph; these appear not to have progressed since then. The weight is listed at 2.9 grams, a touch heavier than some other 1944-D steel cents but within tolerance. A great coin with a great story behind it -- and the documentation to prove it.

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    4th-8th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,545

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