This penny could be worth up to $85,000 and there are certain features to identify it
Check those change jars!
Jake Manning

When you think of a penny, you probably don’t think of much. After all, what is one cent really worth these days? Well…if it was made in 1943…it could be worth a lot more than that.

According to Coin Trackers, the New York Post, KHOU, and Daily Mail UK, a mint condition 1943 copper wheat penny could earn you more than $85,000!


According to KHOU (who consulted with Royal Coin and Jewelry, a Houston dealer specializing in rare coins), in 1943, pennies were made of steel and were additionally zinc-plated to prevent rust.

Coin Week explains, “Because copper was needed for purposes relating to World War II, all 1943 cents were planned to be struck on zinc-coated steel planchets.”

At some point during that year, however, a few copper blanks made it into the minting process— and it is these “mistake” coins that are now being sold for amounts somewhere in the 5 and 6 figures.

As mentioned, these 1943 copper wheat pennies must be in mint condition to net values in the $85,000 range. But even in lesser conditions, they have still been selling at an average price of $60,000 (according to Coin Tracker).

Saul Teichman, an expert in U.S. Mint errors explains (via Coin Week) that collectors drive up the value of the coin, explaining:

“1943 copper cents have a special cachet with collectors. As for market value, the 1943 cents sell for much more than other errors struck around the same time. ”

“Many other World War II errors are rarer than 1943 copper or 1944 steel cents but bring a fraction of a price as they lack that special cachet.”


According to media sources, coin collectors must be cautious about 1943 copper wheat penny dupes.

Now that these pennies have been getting a lot of attention, the market is rife with counterfeit copies. Coin Trackers said that many fraudsters will file down the left side of the number 8 on a 1948 copper penny to make it look like a genuine from 1943. Others will take a regular steel penny and coat it with a copper covering in order to make it appear like the real deal.

If you’re concerned about a counterfeit, Coin Trackers advises using a magnet to test the coin.

As Daily Mail UK explains, “A solid copper penny will not stick to a magnet, while a steel penny with copper plating will.”

So, what are you waiting for?

Check your change jars, people! You might just have a fortune!

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By Jake Manning
Jake Manning is a senior writer at Shareably. He can be reached at