Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1943 Five-Piece Experimental Set of Cents
    Includes Three Different Blanks and
    Judd-2054, Judd-2085 Cents

    1943 Five-Piece Set of Experimental Cents NGC. Copper was an important war metal for the United States during World War II. The U.S. Mint pursued replacements for the copper cent, which led to the 1943 zinc-plated steel cent. The five experimental pieces in this lot were part of that effort, and are housed in a single large NGC holder. Each piece came in a brown envelope with notes and include:

    1. A blank planchet for a zinc-coated steel cent, Type One, before passing through the upsetting machine to form a raised lip for the border. This piece retains its bright bluish-tinted gray surface with little evidence of corrosion. 2.7 grams. This piece is reportedly from the first test run of 1943 zinc-plated steel cents.

    2. 1942 Pattern Cent, Judd-2054, Pollock-2074, High R.7, AU55 NGC. Burdette's Second Reverse. This piece combines the LIBERTY and JUSTICE obverse with the UNITED STATES MINT reverse. It is struck on a zinc-coated steel planchet that shows pale blue-gray color and minor corrosion. Only about half a dozen of these experimental pieces are believed known today. 2.56 grams. The accompanying envelope is annotated: "No denomination 'coin' used for testing metals at Philadelphia Mint."

    3. A copper-coated steel blank, Type One, showing slight corrosion and other minor imperfections. 2.9 grams. The accompanying envelope identifies this as a "test blank of copper-plated steel for one cent piece--January 1943."

    4. 1943 Judd-2085, RB43-81, R.8, Lincoln cent. AU58 NGC. The alloy is 90% zinc, 4% antimony, and 6% iron, per NGC. Lightly worn with dark gray-brown surfaces. 2.7 grams. According to David Camire, an NGC consultant, this is an unlisted pattern for the 1943 cents that was "subjected to nondestructive, X-ray fluorescence." Camire continued that, "the testing determined the composition to be '90 percent zinc, 4 percent antimony, 6 percent iron plating.' " according to a September 21, 2009 Coin World article.

    The website reports that, "It differs from the regular zinc coated steel cent of this year in that the plating includes antimony and iron. According to researcher Roger Burdette, it is probable that the antimony was added to make the coin darker in color in order to make it less likely to be confused with a dime which, apparently happened often."

    5. A blank planchet for a zinc-coated steel cent, Type One, with bright blue-gray surfaces and minor corrosion. Also from the first test run at the Philadelphia Mint in 1943.

    Accompanying this lot is the aforementioned Coin World article, written by Coin World reporter Paul Gilkes. It identifies the owners as "the children of a former Philadelphia Mint metallurgist [now deceased] who worked on finding an alternative to the pre-1943 bronze cent."
    All five coins are ex: New York Signature (Heritage, 11/2013), lot 3509, which realized $58,750.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    25th-29th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,560

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

    Sold on Apr 26, 2018 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 17 days left to consign to the 2021 December 11 - 13 HKINF World Coins Signature® Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    The outcome of the auction far exceeded my best hopes and would not likely have been as successful with out your sound advice on where to present the coin and how best to set the reserve. Throughout the process your availability , support and knowledge were exceptional.
    Mike K.,
    Mahpopac, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search