The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (2023)

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Ed. note: This article is periodically updated to reflect the current price of most valuable coins.

Compared to the millions of pieces that were minted from the Steel Penny in 1943, the 1943 Copper Penny (aka Bronze Lincoln Penny) is much scarcer. In fact, the 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent is on the list of the 100 most sought-after and valuable coins in the United States of America, regardless of the mint.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1943 Philadelphia Bronze cent remains the most auctioned, up to 3 times in 2021.
  • Its auction prices in 2021 have ranged from $240,000 for an NGC AU55 to $372,000 for a PCGS MS62 Brown.
  • We also had the opportunity in 2021 to see a Denver MS64 Brown from PCGS go for $840,000 (see reference below).

1943 Copper Penny Value Estimated Value of 1943 Copper Penny (aka Bronze Lincoln Penny) is:

  • In average gradescan be found between $0.09 and $0.20.
  • In high grades (MS67, MS68), Proofs, Uncirculated (MS+) or Mint Condition can be Worth until $1,700,000 (see below).
The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (1)

In our article on the rare 1943 steel pennies, we talked about why the US Government decided that in 1943 the Lincoln penny, or Wheat penny, would have a different composition than the usual 95% copper and 5% zinc and tin.


What are the rarest and most valuable 1943 Copper Penny pieces?

All 1943 Lincoln Penny copper coins are on the list of the 100 most sought-after American coins by collectors, although the one that stands out most of all is the ONE Denver coin, for which $1,700,000 was paid.

#1 D Copper Penny 1943-D BN (BROWN)

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The 1943 Lincoln Cent Bronze from the Denver Mint is the rarest and most sought-after of all the mints. In fact, it is a unique specimen.
Unlike the 1943 Philadelphia and San Francisco Mint varieties, which many experts agree were unminted 1942 coin blanks in the hoppers at the time of the 1943 mints; the story of the 1943-D Lincoln Penny Bronze is shrouded in mystery.

What many numismatic specialists agree on regarding the origin of this piece is the story behind the coinage of this specimen.
In The Authoritative Reference On Lincoln Cents, Second Edition (2009), authors John Wexler and Kevin Flynn support the theory that the 1943-D Lincoln Cent was made by an employee of the Denver Mint so deliberately that it was struck twice and then kept by this employee until his death.

Dr Sol Taylor in Making Cents (2008), who maintains the same theory, even goes so far as to name the employee who minted and kept this copy. Specifically, Dr Sol Taylor holds John R. Sinnock, Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, responsible. However, Sinnock was Chief Engraver of the Philadelphia Mint, not Denver.

This copy of MS64BN was auctioned in 1996 and sold for $82,500. In 2003 it was auctioned again and reached $212,750. Later, after 4 years of negotiations, it was acquired by the famous collector Bob Simpson for $1.7 million.
The most incredible thing of all is that this unique specimen will be auctioned again in December 2020 by the Heritage Auction House. You can check it out just here.

#2 1943-S BN (BROWN)

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The number of copies certified by both Brown Bronze Lincoln Cent graduation houses rises to 11 coins, in qualities ranging from VF35 to MS62.

1943 S Copper Penny BN Value Chart


In 2016 a Bronze Lincoln Cent 1943-S AU58 BN was auctioned off at $282,000 (a record for a single copy at auction). That same year an AU55 BN reached a price of $211,500.
In 2018 an AU53 BN reached a value of $228,000 and last year, another copy of identical graduation was sold for $216,000.

In a few days (Thursday, November 19, 2020) the famous Heritage Auction House will auction a Bronze Lincoln Cent 1943-E MS63 BN from the Simpson Collection.
It is the most known of the 11 copies we have seen to date, and it is said that collector Bob Simpson bought it for $1,000,000 in 2012.

#3 1943 BN (BROWN)

At the Philadelphia Mint, the 1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny number we know of reaches 22. Most of them correspond to the Brown (BN) typology, about 19 specimens.
The second-rarest type of the 1943 Philadelphia Bronze Penny is the Red and Brown (RB) with two specimens. The rarest is the Red (RD) with only one specimen.
See below the specimens listed by the two largest grading companies (PCGS and NGC) in different qualities within each type.

A Denver MS64 Brown from PCGS was sold on 01/24/2021 for $840,000 (source).

1943 Copper Penny BN Value Chart

1943 BNXF45AU50AU53AU55AU58MS61MS62MS63

A 1943 Bronze Lincoln Cent AU55 BN from the Philadelphia Mint, which reached a price of $329,000 in 2014, holds the highest valuation record. Compared to prices reached by sister mints in 2019, even in higher qualities such as AU58 BN, one can see how valuations have decreased considerably since 2014.

2019 PricesBN

#4 1943 RB (RED & BROWN)

We are not aware of any of these two specimens having appeared at auction or in public sale.

1943 RBMS61

#5 1943 RD (RED)

The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (4)

PCGS reports a copy in MS63 quality but we have only seen the photo. It is valued at $1,000,000, but this is an estimated value, since to date, we have no evidence that this copy has appeared for sale.

1943 RDMS63

What is the origin of the 1943 Copper Penny?

A possible origin of these specimens – Lincoln Copper or Bronze Penny 1943 – so scarce and sought-after, was the use of uncoined copper sheets from the year 1942 (click to see 1942 penny). Although it is not known if the reason for this was the use of these blank units that were in the hopper with the rest of the “Steelies”, or a mistake or any other circumstance.

How many Copper Pennies are there?

There are no official documents that record the exact number of copies manufactured of the 1943 Lincoln Copper Penny, but some experts estimate only about 40 copies. Others deduce between 20 and 30 Bronze Cents, or between 10 and 12 coins in total, that are known to originate from the three mints.

In any case, the U.S. Mint has always denied that a 1943 Wheat Penny Bronze came out of any of the mints, even when a year later the young numismatic collector Kenneth Wing Jr. found a 1943 copy from the San Francisco Mint.

What types of Copper Pennies are there?

In this article, we will try to update data on known specimens to best explain the scarcity of each type of 1943 Lincoln Bronze Penny and give you an idea of how valuable they can be.
The 1943 Lincoln Penny Copper was minted at the three mints, Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (“D”) and San Francisco (“F”).
As explained above, there are very few known specimens left and their value, regardless of graduation, is several hundred thousand dollars.

Identifying the 1943 Copper Penny’s value

In order to know the value of a 1943 copper penny, it is essential to discern its scarcity by the number of pieces that are publicly known (pieces that have not been certified or have not appeared in auctions in recent years are difficult to trace and locate).

How can you tell if your 1943 Lincoln Copper Penny is authentic or a forgery?

Due to its high monetary value, the 1943 Lincoln Bronze Penny is widely counterfeited. The methods used to forge these pieces can differ. From here we will discover how to detect the most common forgeries.

Lincoln Steel Penny Copper Clad

The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (5)

One of the first options, perhaps the easiest, is to copper-coat a 1943 Lincoln Steel Penny (which obviously has the same design as the 1943 Bronze Lincoln Penny).
Detecting it is very easy but not at first sight. To know if your 1943 Bronze Penny is authentic and not actually a 1943 Steel Penny, you only need a magnet and a scale.
If it is a copper-coated Steel Penny 1943 it will stick to the magnet because its core is made of low quality steel. If it is authentic it will not react to the magnet as it is 95% copper.
Also, we remind you that the Steel Penny weighs less than the Copper Lincoln Cent. The “Steelies” weigh 2.7 grams and the Copper Pennies 3.11 grams.

Rectification dates in Lincoln Cents 1945, 1948 or 1949

Other dates are used for this forgery of the 1943 Lincoln Bronze Cent and some of those dates are “deleted” or rectified. The Lincoln Cents used for this are the dates 1945, 1948 and 1949.

The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (6)

However, the shape of the digit “3” of the date 1943 is very characteristic, both in the upper left corner and in the lower left corner, and is very difficult to copy.

The Ultimate Reference Guide - 1943 Copper Penny Value (2023 Update) (7)

The shadows in the areas of these corrections or reductions of the last digits of the dates 1945, 1948 and 1945 can be visible with a magnifying glass because they are difficult to hide.

References and sources


  • 2009 D Penny Value Guide

Rafa Sánchez

Numismatic collector with a passion for history, particularly Spanish history.
I have a degree in Business Administration and Management and numismatics studies at the University of Murcia (Spain).


How much is a copper penny worth 2023? ›

$0.0256275 is the melt value for the 1909-1982 copper cent on June 16, 2023.

How much is a 1943 copper penny worth today? ›

The 1943 copper pennies are one of the most valuable coins. At auctions, the average price of a 1943 copper penny ranges from as low as $100,000 to $250,000 in average condition. At PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), the graded 1943 copper penny can be valued from $1 million to $1.5 million.

What is the error on the 1943 penny? ›

A lot of people talk about 1943 pennies and that they may have a silver one, and while they may have the right color penny, most of those are zinc plated steel. The famed error for the 1943 penny is the copper one, as the USA switched metals from copper to steel in order to conserve metal for their war effort.

What is the most valuable 1943 copper penny? ›

If your 1943 penny is made out of copper, it is worth quite a bit of money, generally $10,000 or more! The reason is that the 1943 copper penny is an error coin. The United States Mint accidentally used the wrong planchet metal when striking the coin. But very, very few of these left the U.S. Mint facilities.

How much is a 1943 penny worth in 2023? ›

1943 Zinc penny is worth from $0.1 to $2 as an uncirculated coin on average. The 1943 D Zinc value is from $0.2 up to $3.

What 2023 penny is worth money? ›

Here's a list of the top 10 most valuable pennies for 2023: 1) 1944 Steel Wheat Penny - $408,000. 2) 1943 Copper Wheat Penny - $250,000. 3) 1856 Flying Eagle Penny - $25,000.

How much can I sell a 1943 penny for? ›

According to USA Coin Book, a steel penny from 1943 in circulated condition is worth between 16 cents and 53 cents. However, Heritage Auctions sells 1943 steel pennies in pristine, uncirculated condition for more than $1,000.

Are all 1943 copper pennies valuable? ›

Like all valuable rare coins, condition is a factor in how much the penny is worth. However, because the coin is so rare, all 1943 copper pennies are extremely valuable. According to Heritage Auctions, these rare coins regularly fetch thousands of dollars at auction.

What to look for in a 1943 penny? ›

A 1943 wheat penny with no mint mark, Philadelphia mint, is the most common of the 1943 pennies and is worth around 15 cents in average condition and up to a few dollars for nongraded coins in fine condition. Graded versions of this coin need to place MS66 or higher to be valuable generally.

Is the rare 1943 penny magnetic? ›

The easiest way to determine if a 1943 cent is made of steel, and not copper, is to use a magnet. If it sticks to the magnet, it is not copper. If it does not stick, the coin might be of copper and should be authenticated by an expert.

Are 1943 pennies worth $1000000? ›

Yes, the PCGS-graded 1943 and 1943-S copper pennies were priced at $1 million, and the 1943-D copper penny was priced at $1.5 million. Today at auction, the standard 1943 copper penny can sell for $100,000 to $250,000.

How many 1943 pennies have been found? ›

The 1943 Copper S penny is one of the most rare coins in circulation in the United States. There are 12 that are known, with an additional 28 that may exist, but no one knows for sure, the number of 40 is an estimation based on the theory of how they were accidently produced.

When was the last 1943 copper penny found? ›

1943 copper cent

Examples were discovered after the War, with the first two in 1947, and another in 1958. That example appeared in a 1958 Abe Kosoff sale, but was withdrawn prior to the sale; one mint condition Denver Mint specimen sold for over $1.7 million in 2010.

Is 2023 the last year that pennies will be made? ›

The U.S. Mint has no plans to discontinue the penny, and such a move would require congressional approval. However, the “Penny Debate” continues in the United States, with pro- and anti-penny advocates both making some pretty solid points in their arguments.

Will there be a 2023 penny? ›

2023 is the 14th year the U.S. Mint will strike and release into circulation Lincoln cents bearing the Union Shield reverse design. The reverse design was introduced in 2010; the obverse portrait dates to 1909. Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

What year penny is worth $20000? ›

1992 Lincoln pennies with this special reverse sell for thousands of dollars. Learn how to identify this rare and valuable coin.

How much is the 2023 coin worth? ›

These features will make the coins more difficult to counterfeit. The 2023 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof (W) is priced at $80.00.

What year penny is worth $50000? ›

The 1959 D Lincoln Mule Memorial penny remains one of the most controversial and rare coins. Though not graded, it remains one of the rarest coins. The penny is worth about $50,000. 1959 pennies you need to look for!

Which 1943 steel penny is valuable? ›

1943-S Steel Penny Value

The highest known grade is MS 68+ and it sold in March 2021 for $19,200. PCGS has graded five of them and estimates their 2023 value at $25,500.

How much is a 1943 s steel wheat penny worth? ›

1943 S Wheat Penny Value

According to the NGC Price Guide, as of June 2023, a Wheat Penny from 1943 in circulated condition is worth between $0.05 and $2. However, on the open market 1943 S Pennies in pristine, uncirculated condition sell for as much as $7000.

What coins are worth money in 2023? ›

Valuable Coins list 2023
U.S. Rare coinWorth
1. $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle 1933 “King Farouk of Egypt”$18,872,250
2. Brasher doubloon, initials on the chest 1787 “Ex Bushnell-Garret Collection”$9,360,000
3. Dollar Bust Drapped 1804 “Walter H. Childs”$7,680,000
9 more rows
May 4, 2023

What are the new pennies for 2023? ›

2023 is the 14th year the U.S. Mint will strike and release into circulation Lincoln cents bearing the Union Shield reverse design. The reverse design was introduced in 2010; the obverse portrait dates to 1909. Images courtesy of the United States Mint.


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