5 Fun Facts About 1943 Steel Pennies

1943-steel-pennies-photo-by-joshuaatthefuntimesguide.JPG 1943 steel pennies are among the most popular Lincoln cents of all time.

Why? One reason may be that they look so different from all the copper Lincoln pennies made over the decades.

1943 pennies were made because the United States was, at the time, engaged in World War II. Copper was being rationed to make artillery.

Here are 5 Fun Facts about 1943 steel pennies:

  • More than 1 billion 1943 steel pennies were made — so they aren’t rare.
  • 1943 steel pennies weigh 2.70 grams — lighter than traditional copper Lincoln pennies that weigh 3.11 grams.
  • 1943 steel pennies stick to a magnet.
  • There is a coating of zinc on each steel penny.
  • Most 1943 steel pennies are worth 25 cents to 75 cents each. Well-worn or rusted steel pennies are worth less. Uncirculated specimens are worth more.


Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez

My love for coins and numismatics began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I've also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, and living green with others.

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  • Bob Brydon

    I have a collector coin set (encased) of 1943 steel cents (Wartime Emergency Issue). How can I find out their current value and where can I sell them?

    • Anonymous

      Hi, Bob —

      1943 steel cents with any signs of wear are worth less than $1 each, but if you were interested in still selling them, you would want to go to a coin dealer.

      If you don’t live near a coin dealer, you might try selling the on eBay.

  • Mylarb

    thanks!!!! my dad lied to me!!!!

  • Crabdigger

    i have a1941 penny that looks like this 194/1 the straght one lighter than the sideways one i don’t know if it is a era coin can you help my e mail addess  crabdigger@gmail.com if you could help thank you.

  • Raphi_nlproductions

    Have a 1943 steel penny, But it does not have the 3 on the end? It’s 194*. what’s the value?

    • JoshuaTheFunTimesGuide


      Sounds like your coin was either weakly struck or was struck by a filled die. In either case, the value is usually nominal, around $1 in most circumstances.

  • Lonelyangel1985

    I have a 1848 penny..i found it at my mom’s when i as about 14years old and i still have it..what is the value of this penny..its in fair condtion..atleast you can read whats on it..