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    Description

    1943 Experimental Pieces Including
    A Previously Unreported and Unique Experimental Piece
    Struck in 1942 with 1943 Lincoln Cent Dies

    Five-Piece 1943 Experimental Cent Collection NGC. The five individual pieces represent only part of the experimentation that took place during World War II to assist the war effort. Copper and other elements including tin and nickel were desperately needed for ammunition, so a substitute was sought for the cent and five cent pieces.
    The five pieces in this lot are housed in an 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 zinc plated steel [in] 1943."
    2. 1942 Judd-2054 AU55 NGC. 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 Lincoln cent. AU58 NGC. Reportedly on a blank plated with 4% antimony and 6% iron, per NGC. We are unable to state if they had actual metallurgical analysis performed on this piece. Lightly worn with dark gray-brown surfaces. 2.7 grams. The accompanying envelope is annotated: "Experimental Zinc & Antimony on steel. Dec. 1942." According to David Camire, an NGC consultant, this is a previously unreported 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 the Coin World article mentioned below.
    The USPatterns.com 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 a Coin World article about the five pieces from the September 21, 2009 issue of that weekly newspaper. The article, written by Coin World reporter Paul Gilkes, identified 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."


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 33
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,602

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