Have A Silver Penny? Here’s How to Find Out Whether You Have An Error Coin, A Rare Coin, Or A Damaged Coin

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A lot of people leaving comments here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins have been asking me about their silver pennies.

Of course, many of these silver one-cent coins are 1943 pennies, which really aren’t silver pennies — they’re actually made with zinc-coated steel.

However, many of these questions about silver pennies have nothing to do with 1943 Lincoln cents or even the highly rare 1944 steel cent (a mint error caused by leftover steel coin blanks getting accidentally getting stamped with the 1944 coin die).

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about their 1961 silver penny. Or their 1978 silver penny. Or their 1986 silver penny.

Since I’ve been getting so many questions about silver pennies on a regular basis, I’ve decided that it’s time to write a post about them and hopefully help answer some readers’ questions.

Why Do Some Pennies Look Silver?

There are many reasons why a penny could appear silver.

Silver pennies can be caused by:

  • An error at the U.S. Mint
  • Plating with silver, pewter, or mercury
  • A common science experiment

Of course, determining what might have caused your penny to look silver requires digging a little deeper.

Any of the causes listed above could apply to your penny — so to figure out what’s going on, you’ll need the help of a trusty coin scale. (Any scale that can measure items by the gram or the fraction of a gram will work.)

How To Determine If Your Penny Is Silver Due To A Mint Error

I have 4 examples for you.

Most of these U.S. Mint errors have resulted in rare coins that collectors are eager to find!

#1 – The most valuable circumstance for your coin would be if it was struck on the wrong planchet (or coin blank) at the U.S Mint.

Such is the case for 1944 steel cents, as mentioned earlier in this post.

Approximately 35 1944 pennies were struck on the zinc-coated steel planchets used for the iconic 1943 steel cent.

  • Steel pennies can stick to a magnet.
  • Steel pennies also weigh less than their copper counterparts — 2.70 grams versus 3.11 grams.

Steel cents are worth a lot more:

  • A 1944 steel cent can auction for upward of $75,000,
  • A typical 1944 copper Lincoln cent is worth around 5 to 10 cents.

#2 – A second reason some pennies look silver is because they were struck on dime planchets at the U.S. Mint.

These types of errors, though not as rare or valuable as the 1944 steel penny, are still highly unusual and sought-after by coin collectors – especially those who prize error coins.

You can tell a penny on dime planchet error relatively easily:

  • First, part of the design (likely the rim) would be cut off — because a dime planchet is smaller than a penny planchet.
  • Also, the coin would weigh less. Silver dime planchets (made before 1965) weigh 2.5 grams, and copper-nickel clad planchets (made since 1965) weigh 2.27 grams.

If you think you have such a piece, you will want to send it to a third-party coin grading company to have it authenticated — because penny on dime planchet error coins are worth around $300 and up.

#3 – A third U.S. Mint error that has caused some pennies made since the 1980s to appear silver is faulty copper plating:

  • In some instances, the copper plating on zinc-based Lincoln cents (produced since 1982) isn’t fully articulated.
  • In other cases, the plating is completely missing.

These error pennies are worth $50 — or more.

Modern zinc-based pennies that appear silver should be carefully evaluated, since some of these coins have had their copper coating chemically removed after leaving the Mint. Only a coin authentication firm or metallurgist can determine whether the coin was chemically altered.

#4 – A fourth U.S. Mint-derived cause of silver pennies has to do with pattern coins.

A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced for the purpose of evaluating a proposed coin design. They are often off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. They are collected or studied by many coin collectors because of their historical importance. Source

Over the years, the U.S. Mint has tried striking pennies using other metals — to lessen production costs. (Today, it costs the U.S. government nearly 2 cents to make 1 penny).

One such experimentation happened in 1973, when the U.S. Mint began striking more than 1.5 million 1974-dated aluminum pennies. These 1974 aluminum Lincoln cents weighed less than a gram each and had a brilliant silvery color.

While many were provided to government representatives, the coin failed to gain traction. Opposition toward the coin came from several groups — including pediatricians, who were concerned the aluminum composition of the coin would not be picked up by x-ray machines. The vending industry also scoffed at the coin over concerns that they would cause mechanical failures in vending machines.

Though the U.S. government eventually recalled all 1974 aluminum pennies, about a dozen are still missing. All are considered government property and subject to seizure by the U.S. Secret Service.

How To Determine If Your Penny Looks Silver Due To Some Other Reason

So if your silver penny isn’t a steel penny, a penny on dime planchet error, a U.S. Mint pattern coin, or a copper plating error — what might you have?

In all likelihood, you have a penny that has been plated with silver, pewter, or mercury.

Countless U.S. pennies have been altered in appearance with the application of silver-colored (as well as gold-colored) metals.

Whether done as a science experiment in school or purely for the sake of novelty, plating pennies has long been a popular thing to do — especially for those who have no numismatic interest in coins and are unaware that plating coins is considered post-mint damage (or PMD), which can actually lessen the value of a coin.

You can tell if a coin has been plated by weighing it:

  • If your penny was made after 1982 and it weighs greater than 2.5 grams, it was likely plated.
  • Pennies made before 1982 (with the exception of some mid-19th century one-cent coins) shouldn’t weigh more than 3.11 grams.

Always treat plated pennies with caution, since there is a very strong likelihood that it was plated with mercury – a poisonous element that can be absorbed through the skin and cause neurological injuries.

So… What Kind of Silver Penny Do You Have?

Have you been able to determine what type of silver penny you have from reading this post?

While my intention is to educate whether than to burst the bubble on the value or mystique of your silver penny, I hope you have one of the scarce error coins that I mentioned early in this article.

Rare coins like the ones mentioned above can be found:

  • In loose change …check your pocket change constantly!
  • In estates …either passed down by relatives or at estate sales.
  • In the ground …you’ll need to use a metal detector to find them.

Good luck! And, if you have any questions, remember that you can always drop a line here in the comments below.
Here are our other articles about rare coins, error coins, and damaged coins.

My favorite coin scale is the Weigh Gram scale.


I'm the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!

501 thoughts on “Have A Silver Penny? Here’s How to Find Out Whether You Have An Error Coin, A Rare Coin, Or A Damaged Coin

    1. Hi, Whitney –

      It almost sounds like you are describing a type of replica, like the type used with doll playlets. These are fairly common but are still interesting pieces nevertheless.

    1. Jose,

      It sounds like your 1977-D Lincoln cent was probably dipped in mercury or coated in another silvery colored, non-magnetic metal. This is something that has been commonly done with pennies after they leave the mint.

  1. I have a 1981 silver penny. I took it to our local coins company and they were not able to prove or disprove what I may have and want me to spend $35 to have the penny sent out and looked at from a third party company. I am wondering if I should do such a thing or would I be wasting $35 for a penny? what do you think?

    1. Hi, Beverly –

      Great question. It is true that the best way to determine the origin of an apparent error, such as silver coloration on a penny. A mint-caused error involving a silvery color might have to do with the coin being struck on either a dime planchet or a foreign coin planchet. It could also be due to a plating of pewter or mercury.

      Here’s some more info on coin authentication: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

  2. Hi Joshua,

    We found a 1976 silver penny that has a bell and the USA stamped in it…Got any ideas??


    1. Yes, Chelsea! You have a popular type of novelty coin; back during the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, many Lincoln cents were counterstamped by a private minting company with an image of the Liberty Bell to commemorate our nation’s 200th birthday. These coins are worth around $1 to $2 each.

      1. Thanks Joshua! I didn’t realize this before but the back has a circle in the middle and some of the lettering is messed up. Could this affect anything?

  3. I have a half penny with a sail boat on one side and nothing on the other side. Is this worth anything??

    1. Hi, Brooke –

      It sounds like you have an altered British half penny. Most British half pennies are worth less than a dollar if they are well worn, but given yours was apparently altered (probably for the sake of being used by an illusionist), yours would really only have monetary value to novelty coin collectors.

  4. I have a 1943 Steel penny . It does stick to a magnet . It has the wheat emblem on the back . It is not in mint condition by any means, but you can tell what all the details on it are . Is it worth anything ?

    1. Hi, Rochelle –

      A 1943 steel cent with an average amount of wear is worth between 10 cents and 25 cents – and is a novel little treasure to hold on to!

  5. We found a 1986 penny (no mint city marking) with the raised rim, not the outside edge, on both sides, being shiny metallic, like silver, pewter or something. Descriptions here don’t exactly seem to fit. Close looks have it perfect…not painted or anything. What is it?

    1. Hi, Jonik –

      It is highly possible that the zinc core of the coin is exposed either due to a mint error (the blank may have not been coated with copper) or because a science experiment resulted in its copper coating being removed by exposure to chemicals. It is highly probable that the latter is the situation, given the commonality of such experiments.

      1. Thanks. A close look at this penny shows silvery (zincky ?) metalic color exposed in places on the coin faces, not just the entire rim on both sides….as if the “copper” coating has been worn off a bit. And there’s some small black smudges…which I will not try to remove without expert advice.
        We all love a mystery. Solutions good too.

      2. What kind of experiment would focus on just the raised rim? Outside edge is copper color…as is most of the faces, except where wear rubbed off some of the coating. If the copper was entirely rubbed off, would we have a “silver” coin?…like a ’43 penny?

  6. I found a 2002silver penny marked with a D its bigger than a normal penny but smaller than a nickel. Also marked on the back next ed to the Linkin memorial is the letters fd, I can’t seem to find anything on it can u help

    1. Hi, Robert –

      It sounds like your Lincoln cent was silver plated by somebody outside of the U.S. Mint. The “FG” on the reverse, near the Lincoln Memorial, stands for Frank Gasparro, who designed the Lincoln Memorial design in 1959.

  7. my 1977 silver penny weighs in at 3.09 grams on a jeweler’s scale. looks to be same thickness as control 1984 penny. if it is plated, it certainly has retained a great deal of detail; if the coating has been been chemically tampered with, they did a good job getting rid of all the copper. next step? i live and in the nyc area.

    1. It is still possible that your 1977 silver penny was thinly plated, but you may want to take your coin to a local coin dealer to have them look at it in-person and see what they think.

      Here’s some info on finding a reputable coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      1. Thanks much. I’ll give it a shot. Shouldn’t be hard to find someone in NYC.
        All the best,


        Sent from a rotary phone. Top that!

  8. All I cans see is 19? Kinda look like 1991. Its faded. Just the round edges are Silver. I’ve never seen nothing like it. It Looks real
    Didn’t know what to do with it?

  9. Hi robert, I am a cashier at a Pharmacy and a customer came in with a silver looking penny that seemed to be dated in the 1950s if I remember correctly. He decided to keep it but I was just wondering how much that could be worth?

    1. Delani,

      A silver-colored 1950s penny is almost assuredly one that has been plated with another metal. Such pieces are only considered novelty coins (altered coins), and has no numismatic value.

  10. I have a very shiny silver penny I saved for like 25 yrs.( Just because it was pretty and different) It says 1974 d on the front. and its magnetic?? could it be one of those “missing” aluminum pennies?? Im not a fan of the Secret service or the Men in Black showing up at my house…

    1. Hi Mark,

      You can tell if your 1974-D pennies are aluminum by their weight and appearance. If they weigh less than 1 gram and are silvery in appearance, they are aluminum.

      1. Here are for you to look at to see if they are aluminum? I also have a 1936 Buffalo head nickel and a 1930 dime. Are they worth anything?

        1. Hello, Mark –

          From the photo, I can tell these are all regular copper Lincoln cents. However, your 1936 Buffalo nickel and 1930 Mercury dime do have extra value. The ’36 Buffalo nickel is worth around $1 and the the ’30 Mercury dime has a value of about $4. Thanks for your question and for posting that great photo!

  11. Hi Joshua!

    I have a 1947 wheat penny that is silver in color and holds slightly to a magnet. I haven’t been able to find any information about it. Do you think it could be plated, or something else?

    1. Hello Caitlyn,

      Given your description of the 1947 wheat cent, I venture to say the coin was plated with steel by somebody outside the U.S. Mint attempting to replicate the novelty of the 1943 steel pennies.

      Thank you for your question!

    1. Hello, Larry –

      Would you please post a photo of the one-cent coin you think may be silver?

      Thank you!

  12. I have a 1986 Lincoln Cent that is silver in color, no copper anywhere on the coin. Under magnification cannot see anything different than a normal coin. The coin’s weight is 2.52 grams. Any ideas?

    1. Thank you for providing me with the weight of your coin, John. Given he weight is 2 100ths over the typical weight of the coin, I suspect that could be due to a thin coating of silver-colored metal on the coin (possibly zinc). Further metallurgical tests could verify or invalidate this theory.

  13. Hi, i work in retail and i found a 1961 silver in color penny, it has a d under the date, i dont know much about coins but it was different. do you think it may be worth anything?

    1. Hello, Melissa –

      While your 1961 silver-colored penny may look different, it sounds like that’s because it was plated with another metal to mimic the appearance of a 1943 steel cent. While your coin is worth face value, it is still an interesting find nonetheless!

      Thank you for your question!

  14. Hello Joshua, I have come across a 1973 silver colored penny. It has no mint mark anywhere. It is dated 1973. It is the size of a penny, I am unsure of weight. It also does not have groves around the outside like a penny or a dime. It is flat on the outside like that of a nickel. Do you think I have something special?

    1. Hello, David –

      Well, your Lincoln cent WAS minted around the time that the U.S. Mint was experimenting with aluminum compositions and other metals to help lower the cost of striking the one-cent coin. However, knowing the weight of your coin would be important to deducing the cause of its color. If it weighs less than 3 grams, you u MAY have something, but in all likelihood, it is a coin that was coated in zinc or another silver-colored metal to mimic the appearance of the distinctive 1943 steel cent.

      1. Ok im sorry i wrote 1973. But, its a 1974. Its non magnetic and it weighs exactly 3 grams. If that means any extra.

        1. Hi, David –

          Given the weight of your coin, it sounds to me that your coin is a regular copper Lincoln cent that was plated with pewter, silver, or zinc to mimic the experimental 1974 aluminum cents.

          Thanks for your question!

    2. If you check the other cents in your pocket you’ll see that they all have smooth edges. The only current US coins that have grooves (two O’s; actually called “reeds”) are dimes, quarters, and half dollars so a smooth edge on a penny isn’t an error.

    1. Hi Laticia,

      This coin appears to have been plated by somebody with zinc to resemble the appearance of the novel 1943 steel cent. While this piece is worth a few cents, it is still a neat find nevertheless!

  15. Hello Joshua,I have a 1991-D Kennedy half dollar that I came across.It is smooth around the edges and the silver color seems to be flaking off and where it is it looks gold.Can you tell me anything about it.Thank you in advance ,John

    1. Hello, John!

      Hmm… Sounds interesting. If you could, would you mind posting a photo of your 1991-D Kennedy half dollar here so I can take a look and see if I can figure out what’s going.

    1. Hello, Tineessa,

      Those are great photos. It’s very possible that your coin was not properly coated with its copper outer layer, and such a piece could be worth around $50.

      HOWEVER, I would not rule out the possibility that it was altered, as there are chemicals that can completely dissolve the copper and leave the zinc behind, seemingly untouched. Therefore, I suggest authentication.

      Here’s a link that discusses authentication and lists out some of the reputable coin certification services: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

  16. I found a 1976 no P penny in a bicentennial mint cent. It has the marks like someone cleaned or removed the coating, but at the same time, it has almost a silver like mirror appearence. I’m taking it to my coin shop today just to confirm. I’m guessing it’s mercury or zinc, but I would like to know what you think. The rim is also the same color and shows no copper coloring. It is not attracted to a magnet and it also has a different sound when dropping it.

    1. Hi,

      I have a 1981 mint set with a Philadelphia penny of similar appearance. I do know that a metal wash the mint used in the case of the 1981 cent caused some one-cent coins from the Philly mint that year to have a much lighter appearance than others. Given that your coin is roughly from the same era, I’d suggest a similar situation happened in the case of your cent.

      Thanks for your question!

      1. Thanks. Looks like it was a science experiment. At least that’s what other coin collectors were saying on a forum.

  17. Hi i have stumbled upon a silver 1943d penny..wheaty.. and i have no idea about it . Any suggestions? Thx

    1. Hi, Chan –

      In 1943, the U.S. Mint chose to make Lincoln cents out of steel to ration copper for the World War II effort – we needed copper for artillery and other crucial materials. Steel cents are common and are generally worth 10 to 25 cents for worn specimens.

      Thanks for your question!

  18. Hello. I have a 1974 silver colored penny. No mint mark. Magnet does not stick to it. Not sure how much it weighs. Thoughts?

    1. Hello, Tonya —

      Hmm… without knowing the weight I can’t say for certain what you have, but it’s very possible that your coin may have been silver plated to resemble the 1974 aluminum penny, which was an experimental piece that was struck back when the U.S. Treasury was looking for a cheaper metal to use for our one-cent coins besides copper.

      Of course, it’s also possible that you could have the actual 1974 aluminum penny, of which only a few are thought to exist. You could tell the difference because the aluminum pennies weigh only about 1 gram — 3 times less than copper pennies of the era.

      If you can get a weight and/or a photo, I can tell you more!

      Thanks for your question!

    1. Hi Bob,

      I will venture to say the coin was plated in silver or mercury (very common back in the day), but without seeing an image I can’t say for certain.

      If you wouldn’t mind posting an image, that would be great, thanks!

  19. I have a 1943 silver penny it sticks to the magnet wat can it mean where in Chicago Illinois can i take it to b examined

    1. Hello, Kennella —

      Since your 1943 penny DOES stick to a magnet, you have a regular steel cent that’s worth between 10 and 25 cents.

      Nice find! These are historic coins that tell part of the story of the World War II era.

      Here’s some more info on these really cool 1943 steel pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1943_lincoln_cent/

      1. I have a 1944, 1943 penny. The 1944 doesn’t stick to a magnet where the 1943 penny does. I also have a few silver dollars one 1921,1922,1890 I am wondering if they have any value.

        1. Hello, Chris —

          It sounds like you have a 1943 steel penny (common) and 1944 bronze penny (common again). But god thing you checked anyway. The 1943 steel cent has a value of about 20 cents while the 1944 bronze penny is worth about 5 to 8 cents.

          Does your 1921 silver dollar have the same basic design as the 1890? If so, then each is worth about $20. If the 1921 looks like the 1922, then the 1921 is worth $100+. The 1922 is worth roughly $18. (All silver values dependent on the value of silver, which is right now worth about $17 an ounce).

          Here’s more info on the silver dollars you have: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/morgan_silver_dollars/

          I hope this helps!

    1. Hello Anna –

      Would you mind posting a photo of your silverish coin so we can see what the cause of the coloration might be?

      Thank you!

  20. I’ve tried posting a photo but it doesn’t show up. I’m thinking it might be too large. What size does the photo need to be?

    1. This photo looks good to me! It looks like somebody treated your coin with a stain to accentuate the design/devices on the coin.

  21. Hi again Joshua, I was looking at this 1993-D Lincoln penny. Is it just me or does it looked doubled? Especially in date/mint mark area, LIBERTY, and Lincoln’s bust and bow tie… I am still learning how to identify between machine doubling and actual double die. What do you think?

    1. Here’s another picture of the same coin. I made it b/w to better highlight the doubling. What do you think?

    2. How’s it going Lissa? Thanks for checking in. The doubled appearance on your 1993-D cent is indeed very striking (pun intended), but the flattish, shelf-like appearance of the doubled, or ghost, image, lends this to be machine doubling.

      Die doubling usually results in a secondary image that has a pronounced, rounded edge much like the primary design. If you need any further explanation please let me know!

      You’re making some really neat-looking finds at any rate!

  22. i have this penny it sounds funny when mixed with other pennies and it is bigger and concave too… it also looks to not have copper coating….what is it?

    1. Hi Stefanie,

      When this coin was hallowed out, the deformation spread the metal out, making the diameter wider than original. Presuming this to be a piece made for novelty presentation (such as part of jewelry), it was either pewter coated or chemically altered to remove the thin copper coating.

      I hope this info helps!

    1. Hello Joe –

      I see what happened here… Notice how the “silvery” parts are only on the areas of the coin that stick up highest from the surface? It looks to me like somebody wore the metal down, exposing the coin’s zinc interior.

      Thank you for your question!

    1. Hi Joe,

      Great determination; yes, if your Lincoln cent is silvery in color and weighs more than 3.11 grams, it has likely been plated. The 1994 penny, however, has been sanded down, exposing the inner zinc core under the remaining copper outer layer.

    1. Hello, Joe –

      This is a token that came from an uncirculated set assembled by the United States Mint. Uncirculated sets made during the era this piece was made, which was the 1980s and 1990s, included coins from Philadelphia and Denver, with the coins from each mint in their own cellophane pouch.

      The “P” token (seen here) went with the coins from Philadelphia, and a similar-looking “D” Mint token accompanied coins in the set from the Denver mint. These are worth about 25 cents each.

      Here’s some more info about uncirculated sets: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/uncirculated-mint-sets/

  23. Hello Joshua, my father wanted me to look for his coin on the internet and I came across your site, we have a 1986-D penny that appears steel/metal, it does not stick to a magnet. We do also not have a gram scale, but my father said he automatically noticed it weighed less than a normal copper penny. Any ideas?

    1. Hello, Savannah —

      Is there any chance I may see a photo of your dad’s 1986-D penny, please? All pennies made since 1982 (except for some in 2009) were made with a silvery colored zinc inner core.

      It’s possible that either the copper was stripped (something that’s done in a common science experiment) or the copper was inadvertently left off the coin (a $50-100 mint error).

      Only a chemist or coin authenticator who can examine the coin can say for certain with the coin in hand. I hope this helps. Again, feel free to submit a photo so I can provide some more insight.

      Thanks for your question,

  24. I have a 1977D silvery penny,I’ve been told it is a Mint error and that is has no copper at all in it,they are not sure what metal it is made from. It is smaller and looks different then a regular penny,any ideas??

    1. Hello, Mychelle —

      Who told you this? Do you know what your coin weighs? It’s possible it may have a foreign coin planchet that was accidentally struck by a Lincoln cent die; this was very common in the 1970s as the U.S. Mint struck coins for some foreign nations.

  25. I have a 1957 silver penny – I was just told that it might be coated- but the fine lines in the reverse
    and the date and the wording on the coin are not filled in- if it were coated all the fine lines should
    have been filed in? Also sometime back a fellow coin collector scratched the back side of the coin to see if
    it were coated and found no residue from the scratching on the coin. I have had the coin since 1960 when my Grand father worked at a NJ bank and would pick up the coin from the Phil mint and bring them back to the bank to be rolled in the bank basement. He said he would find the silver pennies and usually send them
    back to the mint to be destroyed. I feel the the coin dealer I just visited might have been to hasty in his decision about my coin

    1. Hello,

      What does your coin weigh? It should weigh right around 3.11 grams. If not, it could’ve been struck on the wrong metal and is therefore worth more (that amount would depend on what metal it was struck, something we could tell once a weight is determined). If it has a normal weight (right around 3.11 grams), then your coin has been plated and wouldn’t have any value over face.

      Thank you for checking with us!

  26. I found a 1940 silver wheat penny in my register the other day and it weighs 1 gram, can you tell me anything about that?

    1. Hi, Rachel —

      Thanks for providing the weight of your coin. I’d be interested to know if your coin is attracted to a magnet. If you can post any photos of your coin, that would be helpful too, please.

      Thank you!

    1. Hello, Marilyn —

      A 1976 penny isn’t rare, but since it does contain almost pure copper (worth about 2.5 to 3 cents), it is worth holding aside.

      Thanks for checking with us!

      1. Hi Marilyn, most late-date Liberty nickels are worth at least $3 in worn condition. But they’re not silver, though. Unlike older dimes, quarters, and halves pre-1964 nickels are almost all made of 75% copper and 25% nickel metal. The only US nickels that ever contained silver were special “war nickels” minted from late 1942 to 1945.

  27. Hello, I think I have found a 1943 steel penny, it will stick to a magnet but I do not have access to a gram scale. See pictures

    1. Hello, Michelle –

      Yes, that’s a nice-looking steel cent, too! Pieces like that are worth 50 cents to $1 and are great souvenirs from the World War II era, when the U.S. Mint struck over 1 billion pennies from steel to help save copper for the war effort.

      Thank you so much for your question and those great photos!

    1. Hello, Aa —

      It appears this coin may have been gold plated. While that means this coin has been altered and therefore doesn’t have any extra numismatic value, it is still a neat-looking piece worth keeping.

      Thanks for your question!

    1. Hello, Mike —

      Thanks for providing the weights of your 1943-D pennies. Given that the weight of a typical steel cent is 2.7 grams, and minor differences in wight can occur between coins of different wear states (and also be interpreted differently on certain scales), I don’t think your coins sound out of the ordinary for steel cents. Without a photo I can’t say for certain, but I believe you have six regular 1943-D steel pennies worth between 20 and 50 cents each, if they’re worn.

      Thanks for your question!

  28. Any ideas on this one? Its a nice silver color with copper toned edges. Seems to have a stamed 800 on it.

    1. Hello, Marc —

      This is a pretty coin. It looks like there are three little gouges toward the base under the wheat stalks, which would unfortunately detract from the value, but overall I’d say the coin is worth at least 25 to 30 cents as, from every indication in the photo, it appears to be uncirculated.

      Nice piece!

  29. Hey Josh, I’m trying to help my father out. We’re trying to figure out what coin we have. It is a “silver” 1909 penny. No clue what it may be but he had it tested to see what it contained. Compared to a normal 1909 penny which has zinc and copper, his also has nickel iron and Tin. The test reports that a normal penny is 94.37% Cu and 5.42% Zn. The other penny shows 52.94% Cu, 0.483% Zn, 41.26% Ni, 2.02% Sn and 2.77% Fe. Any ideas on what it may be? Thanks.


    1. That sounds like you’ve really done some homework! It’s possible your coin was struck on a planchet (blank) intended for a foreign coin, but further examination would be needed. One of the larger numismatic services (ANA, PCGS) should be contacted to see if they can provide more information.

    1. Hello, Mark —

      Worn 1943 steel cents are worth 10 to 25 cents each.


        1. Hi, Mark —

          Are you sure on the year? There were no silver dollars officially made from 1936 through 1970.

          If you wouldn’t mind posting a photo, I’d be glad to take a look and help determine your coin’s value!

          Joshua @ TheFunTimesGuide

        2. Check the back of your coin to see if it says “half dollar” at the bottom. If that’s what you have it’s worth at least $6 or $7 at current silver prices.

          These coins were used in ordinary commerce, but today they confuse a lot of people because the front design has been reused on special non-circulating “eagle” coins that have an artificial $1 denomination.

        1. Hi, Mark —

          Here are the answers to your other questions:

          *1776-1976 quarter – face value if worn; $2 if it has an “S” mintmark
          *1974 Kennedy half dollar – face value if worn
          *1976 Eisenhower dollar – $1.05 if worn; $8 if it has an “S” mintmark on it.
          *Most Susan B. Anthony dollars are worth face value if worn, though 1981 dollars are worth an extra 10 cents or so. What year is your Susan B. Anthony dollar, please?

    1. Hi, Mark —

      A worn 1945 Lincoln cent is worth 5 cents.

      Thanks for your question,

  30. I’m trying to understand the difference in the 1943 silver Pennies that are worth lots and he ones that aren’t

    1. Hi, Maria —

      The difference comes in the metallic composition of the coin. Bronze/copper 1943 Lincoln cents are worth $100,000 and up. Steel 1943 pennies are worth 10 to 25 cents in worn condition. Basically, if your 1943 pennies stick to a magnet, they’re steel and are worth 10 to 25 cents each, for the most part. If your 1943 Lincoln cents DON’T stick to a magnet, you may have the much more valuable copper penny.

      Please let me know if you need any further assistance with this question!


  31. I have a few old coins 1800s from Canada England Germany during the war with swastikas on them American large cents steel penny I live in Massachusetts where’s the best place to take them to have them appraised

    1. Hello, Rugger —

      I’d be willing to help provide you some idea as to value for a 3-5 of your coins if you would so kindly provide photos of each, please.


    1. Hi, Shari —

      Yes, a 1943 steel cent is worth 10 to 25 cents in worn condition.


      1. I have several in mint condition but I guess thatshe irrelevant, but thanks for responding I appreciate it

        1. A 1943 cent in mint condition could be worth around a dollar depending on its mint mark, but be careful of so-called “reprocessed” coins that have been cleaned at replated. While they look nice, replating makes them altered coins with little or no collector value.

    1. Hi, Melody —

      Would you please post a photo of your coin? If you can determine this, it would also be helpful to know how much your coin weighs, down to the hundredth of a gram (I understand this part can be difficult; don’t worry if you can’t get the weight).

      Thank you,

  32. I have a 1975 penny that is silver in color. One of my friends works with coins occasionally and he ran it through some kind of X-ray machine and told me that it is composed of half copper and half nickel. It seems to be in very good condition, do you have any idea if it’s a mint error and what it could be worth?

    1. Hi, Michelle —

      It’s also possible that your coin was nickel plated, which is something that has been done to many pennies to create fantasy pieces.

      One way we could determine what this coin is made of is to weigh it. A “regular” 1975 Lincoln cent should weigh 3.11 grams. A coin of any other composition in that size would weigh more or less depending on the metal. If you’re somehow able to weigh the coin down the hundreths of a gram, that would help answer this question.


    2. A friend of mine does a ‘magic’ trick that turns the pennies a different color by using some sort of chemical reaction. I had many, many of these pennies and I am sure he did as well. Mine have long gone back in to circulation. Wonder if it is one of them.

    1. Hi, Maria —

      Aluminum pennies look silvery in color and are much lighter than copper cents. An aluminum Lincoln cent weighs just under 0.937 grams, whereas 1974 copper cents weigh more than three times as much, or 3.11 grams.

      Thanks for your question,

    1. Hi, Jay —

      Would you please post a photo of your silver-colored 1960-D cent?


  33. Hello I just bought several 5000 wheat penny bags on ebay and while counting one I found a 1949s penny that was silver in color, I grabbed 3 other random wheats and 1 1943 steel wheat and put them on a scale. The steel penny was slightly worn and with a weight of 2.9 grams, the other 4 pennies including the 49s all had a weight of 3.1 grams and all were the same diameter so it is not cut from the dime planchet. also the 43 stuck to a magnet the other 4 did not. any guess’s??

    1. All 1976 US cents were struck in the then-standard bronze alloy. The 1976 date makes me think your coin may have been plated for use in a privately-produced Bicentennial set. Alternately it could have been unintentionally exposed to heat or chemicals.

      In either case it would be considered to be an altered coin with no added value.

    1. Hi, Kim —

      I’d need to know how much your coin weighs, its size, and other factors relating to its physical characteristics, please. If you could post a photo that would be helpful, too.


  34. My Penny Is The Year 2000 I Just Found It Today. It Is Not A Steal Penny. I Dont Know What It Is. Its A Penny, Same Everything Except It Looks Like A Dime….????

    1. Hi, Lee Ann!

      Wow, this sounds interesting! Would you please post a photo so I can try and determine what may be going on here?

      Thank you!

  35. Hi I have a 1966 silver color steel american one cent penny because it sticks to a magnet. Can someone give me any suggestions about its worth or if it might be a counterfeit? Thank you

    1. Hi, Diana —

      Interesting… The next step I advise is weighing the coin to determine the metal type.


  36. I just started collecting. Actually looking, am I looking correctly?I have a 1937&1944 mercury dime,1954 dime, 1937 buffalo nickel,1943 steel penny, just curious if they have any value or hold on for keepsake. I have been reading this a lot. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read

    1. Hi, Lisa —

      Thanks for taking the time to ask your question! Welcome to the hobby! Yes, your coins do have a bit of extra value. Here are the approximate values of your coins, given average amounts of wear:

      1943 steel cent — 10 to 25 cents
      1937 Buffalo nickel — $1
      1937 Mercury dime — $2
      1944 Mercury dime — $2
      1954 Roosevelt dime — $1

      Here’s some more info that you may find helpful:

      If you have any more questions about coins or coin collecting, please feel free to let me know!


  37. hi I found a buffalo nickel but on the other side its a silver penny.im not really sure what it means? ive tried looking it up and cant find anything on it.my family keeps telling me its super glued together but its flattened together and the buffalo nickel is the same size as any other.is this an error coin?

  38. Yes I have a 1973 Lincoln memorial cent that looks like it could be aluminum or steel can someone give me some insight on this thank you I’m dave

    1. Hi, Dave —

      How much does your 1973 penny weigh? That’s the first step in determining what your coin may have been made from.


  39. I don’t know of I’m even doing this right anyway again I have a 1973 Lincoln cent that appears aluminum or steel some info.?

    1. Hello, Josh —

      Would you please submit a photo of this coin so I can get a better idea of the piece? It might also be a foreign coin planchet (the U.S. Mint has struck coins for many foreign governments over the years).


        1. Hello there, Marcus!

          It certainly appears as though your Lincoln cent is silver in color. I would still need to know its weight to see what’s going on. For clarification, a regular bronze Lincoln cent weighs 3.11 grams, whereas the other silvery colored planchets from that era of the “penny” size weigh considerably less.

          Given the appearance of the surface (which is a bit muddled), I lean toward thinking this coin was plated with a metal — perhaps pewter, zinc, or silver, giving it the appearance of the famous 1974 aluminum cent, which is currently illegal for private citizens to own.


  40. 1990 penny metal https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a17d620914972c648076db153dcfb9e62a4169be6c4954ffa38ab0b9dc589688.jpg

  41. I have a 1993 D silver penny. After doing research, I can’t figure out what the deal is. I have seen numerous people asking about the same year and mark. People keep saying science projects, science projects. So you mean to tell me, that all the same year same mark pennies were used for the experiment all over the US? I don’t buy that. My penny seems to weigh loss(I don’t have a gram scale available) please enlighten me

    1. Hi, Tim —

      I’m afraid science project is the most likely explanation. Yes, there are some rare errors that result in the copper plating going absent (these are worth $50-$100); these can be identified by professional coin certification firms, which have high-tech diagnostic tools to determine whether the copper plating was stripped off by chemicals or absent from the zinc core. However, grading costs $15 to $20 per coin; in most cases, these coins come back as chemically altered.

      I think of it this way: if one teacher in a class of 50 kids bought a roll of 1993-D Lincoln cents from his bank 22 years ago to conduct this experiment, most of those 50 coins are floating around somewhere today. Now, imagine how many science teachers, each year, conduct these simple (yet fascinating) chemical stripping experiments. Surely, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of altered coins from each date that have returned to pocket change after having their copper stripping wiped away.

      Long story short, if you suspect you have a metal error, by all means get it tested by a third-party coin authentication firm. But be prepared that the coin might come back simply as “altered.”

      I hope this provides some insight on the matter!

      All the best, and keep on checking your change!

  42. Hi, I have a 1971 d silver? Penny , I’m not sure of the weight but compared to a regular and steel penny it is very light. It barely moves when touching to a magnet. I’ve searched around some and I have had no luck, it looks brand new condition wise. I’m going to try and get a good picture of it front and back if my tablet camera will do it justice. Any help or info will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  43. I have a 1943 steel penny…didn’t know i had it until I checked…a 1977 penny that appears to be the same color as a dime and a coin I have never been able to identify. Can’t weigh them though.

    1. Hi, Anthony —

      Your 1943 steel cent is worth around 5 to 10 cents. The 1977 Lincoln cent is likely plated, though I can’t confirm that unless the piece was weighed and tested by a metallurgist. The other piece looks like an ancient coin from the Middle East, though I am unfortunately not an expert on ancients and thus would not want to misinform as to specific date, denomination, or precise origin; my areas of expertise are U.S. coins from the 1790s-on and modern foreign coins.

      Keep on checking your change!

      1. Thanks for the reply. I actually have a lot of change…A 1880 silver dollar, Mercury Dimes, wheat pennies galore, silver quarters, dimes (love that different tone when change hits that lets you know its silver and makes you check 🙂 don’t get as much these days though. Do you know of a site where I can check that foreign coin?

    1. Hi, Carlos —

      It may be damaged from a cleaning, though I can’t say for certain without seeing a photo of your coin, please.


  44. Just stumbled on a 1994 penny. It is dirty and darkened, has a couple of dings, otherwise has great details on both sides. The interesting part: is larger than the standard 3/4″ by approx. 1/16, just shy of a nickel size. It is not elongated and definitely not hammered, as there are no evidence of intentional damage or alteration. I research many sites talking about penny mint errors and couldn’t find one to address this type. Any thoughts?

  45. Josh, thank you for your response. I did add pics to my original message, but for some reason they don’t show. Here they are.

    1. Hi, Paul —

      Thank you for the photos. From what I can tell, it appears that your coin may have been exposed to intense heat, perhaps even from being in a fire. That would explain the color as well as the misshapenness of the rim and other areas of the coin.

      While it’s worth face value, it might be an interesting coin to hang onto nevertheless.

      Thank you for your question,

      1. Hi I was hoping you could take a look at this recently discovered coin. It appears to be a 1944 steel penny. It is silver in color and can be picked up with a magnet. It has been in a coin box for about 45 years.

      2. Hi I was hoping you could take a look at this recently discovered coin. It appears to be a 1944 steel penny. It is silver in color and can be picked up with a magnet. It has been in a coin box for about 45 years. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/43912cba238f21c8884ab5d4f03fd3a7b1843371e3f6e740c067566c45b77f67.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/55203801e491f4daf30a79b63885f4eaffaf811280e2d9f35542edee47624743.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5054fa63212d8b43d21a012f534ec8d380739bca9e6e170b3fbd2116d60dac58.jpg

        1. Hi, Paul —

          It would need to be weighed to ensure authenticity. A steel cent should weigh 2.7 grams.

          I hope this pans out for you!

          1. Thanks Joshua. Do not have a precise enough scale – plan to go to an appraiser next week. It is a long shot but who knows….

            The strange nick on the edge makes me think something is off.

  46. There is also something strange about the rim: it is slightly concave, with some copper coating visible; very, very small areas of copper coating visible on any of the sides, it is mostly gray with silverfish tones on the raised points

  47. Hello! I just discovered a silver looking penny but the date is either not there at all or unreadable. It does not stick to a magnet. How could I tell what it is?

    1. Hi, Matt —

      If it doesn’t stick to a magnet, it is most likely plated. Still, it could be an off-metal error. Knowing the coin’s weight would be most helpful.

      If you wouldn’t mind posting a photo of the coin here, I’d be glad to check it out.


  48. Seeking appraisal on this penny that I am thinking about Selling.
    It’s a 1944 steel Penny zinc-coated bronze weight:3.1 grams.
    I believe it’s genuine, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi, Vernon —

      If this piece weighs 3.1 grams zinc-coated 1944 cent, then it is an altered coin designed to replicate the appearance of the rare 1944 steel-zinc cent. This piece might look like the real McCoy in some respects, but it is worth only face value to a collector because it was altered.

      It might fetch 10 to 25 cents among novelty coin collectors, but unfortunately this isn’t worth what a genuine 1944 steel cent is.

      Keep checking your change!

      1. Vernon Joshua explain the magnet strong pull another expert same as your self said the coin has not been altered. the date look great

        1. Hi, Vernon —

          Based on the shape and position of the “S” mintmark and “VDB” initials, the coin appears legitimate from the photos. It does appear the coin may have been whizzes or abrasively cleaned at some point given the innumerable striations on the obverse and reverse. Still, if this checks out as it seems to in the photos, it looks like a nice coin and one worthy of a spot in any Lincoln cent collection!

          I do suggest having this coin authenticated; in this day and age of increasingly convincing counterfeits, people will sometimes pay you a slight premium for expensive pieces ($850+, more or less) if they are slabbed by a major third-party coin grading company (PCGS, NGC, ICG, SEGS, ANACS).

          Here’s more info on coin slabbing: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/


      2. Seeking appraisal on this penny that I am thinking about Selling.
        It’s a 1944 steel Penny zinc-coated bronze weight:3.1 grams.
        I believe it’s genuine, any help would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Hi, Vernon —

          The color is very curious on this coin. I want to say it is plated with steel, but the weight checks out as a 95 percent copper, 5 percent zinc coin, as was the composition for Lincoln cents made from 1944 through 1946; (so-called “shell case cents”).

          The weight also suggest it is not an off-metal error, which rules out the coin being struck on a silver dime planchet. I can’t test the coin to determine its metal content; if I were in your shoes, I’d consider sending it to a major third-party coin grading firm for authentication.

          Here’s more info on coin slabbing: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/


  49. I’ve read over several of your articles (and comments) in search of an answer to our somewhat puzzling penny we came across. We have a 2009 Lincoln Penny with the the cabin on it’s reverse side. The penny seems to have a very light gold tint to it, rather than the typical copper coloring. Is this common? I’ve tried uploading a picture, but have been unsuccessful, so I apologize for that.
    Maybe they all look like this and I just haven’t noticed?!?! Lol!
    Thank in advance for your info! 🙂

    1. Hi, Jennifer —

      Patina variances are common with Lincoln cents, though you might be interested in knowing that the U.S. Mint did strike a limited number of copper 2009 cents, which weigh 3.11 grams versus the 2.5-gram copper-plated zinc cents more commonly made that year. The copper versions are worth about 10 cents.


        1. Hi, Dana —

          It must be plated with a light coating of steel, because this cent weighs about what it should (copper cents weigh 3.11 grams whereas a steel cent weighs about 2.8 grams) and retains its usual coppery appearance.

          The obverse looks like it may have some steel on it, based on what looks to be light, spotty rust on various parts of the surface.

          I hope this helps,

  50. Hi, Vernon!

    My inclination is plating , because, as you keenly pointed out, there has been no record in the 73 years since the 1943 steel cents were released of any unusual alloy mixes. I’m not about to say that it’s impossible, especially as I can’t examine the coin in person and am not a metallurgist. Nothing is impossible. But I suspect it’s extremely unlikely that this coin is a mint-made error. I would suggest anybody with coins that “check out,” so to speak, but have inexplicable properties such as this to get them authenticated. I suggest ANACS only because of the lower fees and open submission policy.

    Those are my two cents anyway!

    1. Hello josh, I took your advice and sent the coins to a certified metallurgist, and I wanted to know the truth about the coin I own. After sending 132 dollars to this company who’s name is not worthy of being mentioned in our conversation, your advice was greater than his for free. The coin returned and their reply was, no reply. I asked if the coin has been x-rayed for the content of metal within the coin. I also asked if the date on the coin had been tampered with, and also about the weight of the coin. After our telephone conversation, his only explanation was that it was probably a copy. As I searched the computer, I could not find any material other than what’s been mentioned above on what constitutes a copy from the authentic coin. After sending this for a second attempt to ask if they would revisit my coin, I got no reply. If you have any type of reply it would be greatly appreciated, I would like to send the coin to another metallurgist.
      Need Help.
      Vernon Thomas.

      1. Hi, Vernon —

        No reply? Did you already pay the $132 or is that the charge? I’d first be interested in getting that money back if you paid and they won’t reply. That’s a separate topic, though. Oye veh…

        As for my best answer, it is something that would definitely deserve a sight-seen inspection. The advice to get it tested is the best idea, but I wonder if there is somebody else who can provide you with those services for less money.

        Another means of coin testing is submission to a third-party coin grading service, such as the ANACS. I’d entrust any coin to ANACS or another of the top, reputable third-party coin grading companies.

        Here’s more info on ANACS (the cheapest and easiest to submit to without membership to a coin organization): https://www.anacs.com/

        I’m wishing you all the best,

    1. Hi, Charles —

      The circumferential marks along the words E PLURIBUS UNUM are due to post-mint damage. This 1953-D Lincoln cent, however, is still worth 3 to 5 cents.

      Neat find!

    1. Hi, Bob —

      The photo is a tad blurry on my end, but it looks like it may have been gold plated, with some areas chipping off, turning a lighter color in those regions.

      It’s worth face value if this is the case. If you want to resubmit the photo with greater clarity, if possible, I’d be glad to look further!


    1. Hi, Jacob —

      I’m afraid the 1980 cent, made from highly reactive copper, is oxidated, but it’s not an error.

      It’s still worth 2 cents for its copper value though!


  51. I found these 2 pennies, 1991D, 1990D. There silver, in color. Not sure what is going on, thought you could help. Thank’s

    1. Hi, Donnie —

      It appears these coins may have been chemically striped. This is a fairly common experiment done in science classes. The weight checks out for an ordinary zinc cent, as does the size (these pieces were not struck on, say, dime planchets); third-party evaluation by a coin authentication firm can do testing on these coins that will confirm rather or not these coins were stripped of their copper by chemicals or struck without their copper plating, though their appearance suggests the former.

      Good luck!

  52. These pennies weight 2.7gram’s or less, so I guess I will try to find a coin grading co. to clear this up.

  53. I have two silver pennies. One is a 1943 wheat penny and it sticks to a magnet. The other is a 1970 and it does not stick to a magnet

    1. Hi, Mickenzi —

      The 1943 steel cent is worth 10 to 50 cents in circulation condition, and the 1970 Lincoln cent is likely plated with pewter or zinc, given the description of its metallic properties; knowing the weight of the 1970 cent would help me further determine what’s going on for sure.

      Thank you!

  54. Hi Joshua,
    I would like your opinion on the 1990 D penny, it weighs 2.56g is non-magnetic. Also I have a 1943 steel cent that weighs 2.65g that does not have mint city letter on it is that a common thing?
    Thank you, Jeff

    1. Hi, Jeff —

      It looks like the coin may have been zinc plated; it does help that you provide the weight and the fact that the coin is non-magnetic (thank you). The 1943 Lincoln cent was made in Philadelphia; in fact, of the three mints that made Lincoln cents in 1943, the Philadelphia Mint produced the most. Still, it’s worth around 25 cents.

      Neat finds!

  55. Hello Joshua, I’ve been trying to find some info on this odd penny that I found. It looks to be silver but it is larger and lighter than a copper penny. It’s larger and also has a slight oval shape to it. It weights 38.8 grains or 2.52 grams. It is dated 1994 with no letter included. I’m having issues with photo’s on my computer and I am trying to include photo’s. Thanks, Doug

    1. Hello, Doug —

      I’ve been trying to enlarge the photo but I can’t; does the 1994 penny appear thinner than its normal-sized counterparts. I’m inclined to believe the coin was mechanically flattened outside of the Mint. If the planchet were that wide at the Mint, it wouldn’t have been sorted into a Lincoln cent die; it would have likely been fed into a Jefferson nickel line. Also, if the coin had been broadstruck (struck without a retaining collar) the design would have wide margins around the edge or appear more mis-shapen. However, the coin retains all ordinary detail in the right places, suggesting this is not a Mint error.

      I hope this helps,

      1. Hi Josh, Thanks for getting back to me. Sorry about the poor photo’s, I took some more with a better camera than my phone, I hope you can see them better. The penny is the same thickness as a regular 1994 penny, .055 in. But also weights the same 38.6 gr. as the smaller 1994 penny. I measured it with my dial calipers. To me it doesn’t appear to be flattened as all the detail does not look like it was pressed in any way. The detail looks the same as a standard penny , just larger. I also believe it is made of something different than copper. I can see silver on the areas where it got worn from being in my pocket and since it is the same thickness but larger diameter the the other one but yet weights the same. Thanks again for all the help. Doug

        1. Hi, Doug —

          That 1994 Lincoln cent is certainly larger — and what’s interesting is that the design looks normal in terms of its relative proportions to the planchet (metal disk). Though virtually impossible in the case of the Lincoln cent design being struck on a nickel, this rules — along with the measurements and weights you provided me — rules out that this is, say, a five-cent planchet.

          One clue may be the ashen discoloration and warped appearance. I am not positive, but leaning toward the possibility that this coin may have been exposed to a source of extreme heat, possibly causing the coin to expand; of course, the mass wouldn’t have changed, which is why the coin may still weigh the same as a standard penny.

          At this point, based on the information and photos (great in both regards, thank you!), this is the most logical and likely explanation I can think of.

          Thank you so much for your questions!

          1. I also have the same coin. Looks exactly the same. Weighs less then a zinc penny silver looking collar and light brown images. It also sticks to a magnet. Mine is a 1990 D penny

      2. Hi Doug – I have a 1989 penny that, other than the year, holds the exact same description as yours. Mine also has no mint mark. Crazy!….Have you found out any more information about yours?

    1. Hi, Nikki!

      Your 1943-D steel cent is worth about 30 cents! This is a nice specimen.


  56. Hi! Ok i found a silver looking penny, from 1947, no mint, its also a wheat penny. Its magneticn and im very curious as to if it has any worth? Tried googling everything and found nothing.

    1. Hi, Steph —

      You said the coin IS magnetic? You don’t by chance know the weight of this coin, do you?

      If it weighs 3.11 grams or more, it’s a regular penny coated with a magnetic, silvery metal — something that happened outside the U.S. Mint. If it weighs less than 3.05-3.11 grams, please let me know!

      Thank you,

  57. 1971 d Lincoln cent.

    Obverse is copper but reverse seems to be partial steel. The edge also has the steel. It looks to be error and not PMD but I’m not 100% sure.
    Pictures do it no justice for sure. There is some slight doubling of letters on reverse as well.

  58. Hi
    I have a shield penny that is magnetic and blank on the obverse.
    I was wondering if you would be able to tell me anything about it please.

    It seems Copper plated with partial steel.

    I have tried googling it but havent been able to find out anything.

    Thank you for your time. 🙂

    1. Hi, CM —

      Based on the photos, you have an illusionist’s coin. These altered pieces are worth $1 to $2 to magicians and others who collect such novelties.


  59. Hello Josh,

    I am hoping you can help me with a possible value on a couple of coins I found that have been really hard to research. It is almost impossible where I live to find qualified individuals who could give me an honest appraisal. Thankfully I stumbled across your article and discussion board, hopefully it’s fate.

    The first coin is a 1943s Non-Ferrous silver wheat that unlike the rest of my steel pennies appears to tarnish like silver.

    The second coin is a 1944 with no mint mark that is Non-Ferrous and is almost mint, it appears to be either aluminum or silver, the photo does not do it justice.

    The third is an absolutely bizarre Lincoln Wheat 195? (cannot make out the year) with protruding edges on both sides.

    I would appreciate any information you could give me about these coins the 1944 in particular has almost become an obsession and it’s driving my wife nuts.

    Thank You,

    1. Hello, Rob —

      I’m so glad you found our site! Let’s start with the 1943-S steel cent, which, in the photo, looks like a well-preserved specimen of the coin. While it looks typical of other high-grade, high-quality steel cents, I can’t weigh the coin myself to determine if it is made from another metal. It is possible that your 1943-S cent is made from a silver dime planchet, though in the photo it doesn’t appear to be the case given the strike characteristics. The only way to tell that for sure would be to weigh the coin; a silver dime planchet from 1943 should weigh 2.5 grams.

      The 1944 cent, from the angle of the image, appears to be a harshly cleaned copper piece. Cleaned copper coins such as Lincoln cents often take on a lighter shading of color that can mimic silver. However, it’s certainly possible it could be a steel cent. Only a weight and magnet test could help here now. If the coin DOES stick to a magnet, it could be a steel cent. If it does NOT, it’s not a steel cent. Also, copper pennies from that era weigh 3.11 grams. If it weighs any less than about 3 grams (accounting for wear on the copper cent), it may have been made from another metal.

      The 195- cent with the rolled edges looked a bit at first like a capped die error, but the striking characteristics in the photo seems to rule that out. Rather, the coin looks to have been centrifuged on its edge in a machine, quite possibly a clothes dryer. The result of having been spun at a high rate of speed in a centrifugal device will cause the edges of the coin to roll upon itself.

      I hope this info helps a bit. If you can reply back with weight info on the 1943-S and 1944 cents, as well as insight on whether or not either sticks to a magnet would be helpful moving forward.

      Thank you,

      1. Hello Josh,

        Thank you for the quick reply. Both the 43 and the 44 are not magnetic. I do not have a scale but will order one from Amazon and get back to you on the weights of the coins.


        1. Hi, Rob —

          I look forward to hearing what you find. Hoping you get some unusual results!

          Good luck,

          1. Hello Josh,

            Well I purchased a scale. The non magnetic 1944 is 3.10 grams, and the non magnetic 1943 is 2.81 grams. Look forward to hearing from you.

            Thanks Again

          2. Hi, Rob!

            The 1944 Lincoln cent is a regular bronze cent based on the weight info. The 1943 cent is curious because it apparently has the weight of a non-bronze planchet yet is non-magnetic. A silver dime planchet (also non magnetic) from that era would weigh 2.5 grams, so that seems to be ruled out, too. May I have a good look at the obverse and reverse of the 1943 cent again, please? Also a side shot of the edge?

            Thank you!

  60. I have this 1974 Lincoln Cent and it’s the same weight (roughly; my scale isn’t very accurate) as my 1943 S Steel Cent. It’s not as magnetic but I can still pick it up with the rare earth magnet. Any ideas? I can’t recall how I got it, I’ve been collecting coins for years. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Mackenzie —

      Without the info about the magnet picking up the coin, I’d say it looks like an ordinary, cleaned 1974 Lincoln cent. However, photo lighting can greatly skew the appearance of what a coin actually looks like. The weight would have to be pretty much spot on for it to tell me much of anything. Without an in-hand examination and only a couple really solid details to go on, I suggest the coin may have been plated with a magnetic material, such as a nickel alloy.

      Perhaps another weight test may help answer some more questions!

      Good luck,

      1. I’ll try to get better pictures and a more accurate weight. It’s a silver in color as a US Quarter though.

  61. I have a 1990 D penny with a silver looking collar and Obv and Rev are a light brown. It weighs less then a zinc penny and it sticks to a magnet. Would you know the value?

    1. Hi, Charles —

      It appears the outer layer of copper has been worn away from the zinc core on the rim, thus rendering the silvery appearance. This coin is worth face value.


  62. Have a 1992 D penny that is silver sticks to a magnet and weighs between 2.8 and 2.9 scale is semi accurate. I have several 1943 steel pennies and they vary in weight between 2.7 and 2.8 most are pretty warn. I have had my penny checked out by a dealer who says it’s a penny that missed it’s coating. I asked him why it sticks to a magnet and he stated most zinc pennies missing the coating stick to a magnet. He next offered me $5 for my penny lol. How can I be certain to what exactly I have since It sticks to a magnet

    1. Hi, Maria!

      You have a 1943 Lincoln steel penny! Here’s some more info about your historic coin: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1943_lincoln_cent/


    1. Hello, Olivia —

      Based on the description of the coin, including its weight, it sounds like it has post-mint alteration. I would still be interested in trying to help you figure out what happened to the coin if you’d like to submit a photo of the coin here in the comments section.

      Thank you,

        1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/49cc1123e6d75354055b32fea8b3b3f524b192c1b392c820625bfa112222d545.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b30a9ddc454fdcf8023975f6982bf0408848bf93764f314eacb9f5a4b34b98e1.jpg

          1. I have several hundred coins and don’t know who or where to take them to. Here’s a pic of first page just to give u an idea. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/efd5258a34d84d694168edbae0e9a3e194873c53597568d2a4e86023bed00406.jpg

          2. Hello, Olivia!

            It looks like you have a very nice collection of world coins. While we don’t really cover world coin values here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins at tis time, I think you’ll really get a lot of great use from this book: https://www.amazon.com/Standard-Catalog-World-Coins-1901-2000/dp/1440246548/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474683081&sr=8-1&keywords=world+coins+krause

            As for any U.S. coin values, please be sure to check this link out for some guidance: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/us-coins/

            All my best,

          3. Hi, Olivia —

            It appears in the photos that this 1977-D Lincoln cent has generally normal lighter brown coloring. If what I see in the images is close to what the coin looks like in-person, then this is a desirable color for a copper coin. This piece is worth two cents for its copper value.

            By the way, here’s a guide on what old copper pennies you’ll want to hang onto: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/copper-pennies/

            Good luck!

          4. Hi, Olivia —

            Dull gray is an unusual color for a bronze cent. It sounds like it may have either been cleaned or was exposed to a chemical that altered its color. I have seen lighter gray copper pennies before and those suggestions are usually the cause of the discoloration.


  63. Hi Josh:
    Glad to have found your page, I have come up with nothing on my penny, but learned a lot in the process 🙂 I didn’t want to invest in a coin scale if you had a simple answer for me… It is a 1968 D silver colored penny. Comparing it with a 1969 penny, it feels lighter. By comparison to a 1990 penny, it feels heavier. And yes I know that our hands and judging weight can be deceiving but I just wanted to say that I can tell a bit of a difference. My first thought was that it was a penny stamped into a dime planchet as the letters curve up the rim – but here’s the kicker – it sticks to a magnet. I was then of the mindset that it has been plated with something, simply bc I can’t find anything about 1968 pennies being special for anything. But I cannot find anything on the web where science students use any metals that attract magnets. My research shows that they use mostly, zinc, mercury, silver, tin and chromium. Plus, it looks more like something has been been wrapped/melted on it as Lincoln’s features are not as defined as the 1969 penny. But….There is also a discoloration on the back that leads me to believe there is copper under there…? So confusing!

  64. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e1abfeb6bce2c6405e05e3d374dca2db47788789d08a6e19b8140f20edfc82f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30c6498577d0d38f0b2ed32c4e973f6ab48a6a0834e22e59f49c2833e2ffc37b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d7aea8b6155243dfe5c098b76a0b03f1e725b098ea816cd5b18f0051878978a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f24958541b434af7b379f9d9cb17d19498584c046bd1354939ff7afdb7ceccd6.jpg

    1. Hi, Brock —

      Checking an accurate weight will be a vey important part of determining what the story is behind this coin. What I can say is that it looks like a bunch of plated bronze pennies that I’ve seen in the past, and I believe that may be the case here. I think the discoloration at the 10 o’ clock position is due to a chemical reaction between the metals on the coin or perhaps environmental damage.

      You could get the coin graded and slabbed for $20 (or so) by a third-party coin grading company, which might cost less than buying a scale. Just a thought… I do think this will come back as an altered coin though.

      By the way, great thought on the coin perhaps being an off-metal dime planchet error, but too much of the Lincoln design is present… actually, the entire design is there, essentially ruling out that possibility.

      If you want more info on slabbing services then please check this link out: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Josh:

        Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me! I got my hands on a scale and weighed 3 pennies:
        Mine – 3.63
        1975 – 3.06
        2012 – 2.51
        You can see there is a little room for error there, but the 2012 penny came up pretty close to standard, so I don’t think the scale is too badly off.

        So – Seeing as a pre-1982 penny should be 3.1, what the heck is on my penny that adds the weight, keeping in mind that it stuck to a magnet? Just hoping for an idea so I don’t pay to grade a worthless coin.

        Thanks in advance for your wisdom!

        1. Hi, Brock —

          Great detective work! Nickel is a magnetic metal that could explain both the weight and appearance of your coin. That is my thinking… a metallurgical test would answer a lot of questions, but I don’t think I’d spend the $20+ to get your coin certified.

          I hope this helps!

      2. Also, you mentioned bronze pennies…I didn’t know they ever made pennies out of bronze? I know there is copper in bronze…were there years where they used it to save money on copper?
        Thank you!

        1. Hi, Brock —

          Bronze, in the case of the composition for small-diameter U.S. one-cent coins during the majority of their history, contains mostly copper with tin and zinc.

          The bronze alloy was used from 1864 through 1942, until steel was used in 1943 to save use of copper for in World War II ammunitions. Copper resumed in 1944, but since it did not contain tin at the time it may not technically be bronze. The traditional bronze alloy resumed in 1947 and was used until 1962, when tin was removed again.

          In 1982, the U.S. Mint began using a zinc-base composition, which it has continued using to this day. One caveat is that in 2009, the U.S. Mint did strike some collector versions of the Lincoln Bicentennial cents in the bronze composition as used in 1909, when the first Lincoln cents were struck.

          I hope this info helps!

        2. Thanks for all the information! Great to know what I have, although bummed we didn’t have something crazy spectacular on our hands 😉
          All the best and keep sharing your wisdom, people really do appreciate your expertise, I’m sure.

  65. Hi I just found this 1973D silver-looking penny in my change. I have weighed it – 3.1 grams, and I weighed other pennies of that age to be sure. On the back side it looks like someone scratched it to see if it was coated. Unclear to me. Do you have any thoughts on it? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a641351b0a335d8cf4b35a2b2a1e5e51eb308eff12b2906b7f4b050b6174e27.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/274880d79eec20f2d2519dd73bec62d53be91c39d6e183f6eb5a09440e001120.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e3728887f83cf916a9d4ab38dcbd8e5483526655594bb04d9216409da2925de.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b89c01c95a52103f82c86ad76d6d0d56048187f1e687b478b204d6acf759f863.jpg

    1. Hello, Karen —

      The 3.1-gram measurement is normal for a 1973-D penny, so this is definitely a copper cent. It looks like the plating is made from gold. The gold in such a coin is, perhaps surprisingly to some, worth only a couple cents. Pieces like this are considered altered and have no numismatic value, though I still hang on to them as novelties anyway.

      Neat find!

  66. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f86d81c1e9862dc052d205764c34845826df4ddd66df6975f95bf4f66bc6d535.jpg Hello Joshua, not sure if you are still able to review this, but if so then perhaps you will be able to help me out. I have this “silver penny,” it’s dated 1986, no location, weighs 2.7grams. I got it a little over a decade ago, and my father tried acetone on a q-tip then to see if it was just spray-paint (that’s the shinier part on the top left). Obviously nothing came off, but it’s not magnetic. From other posts I’m thinking perhaps missing the copper coating? What do you think? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73f08d4275aa7710f5b82dd29c84bbe484cfa0477880842c7c6431f3e76adf97.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b7afee5da58162907c54b6eef5d548a60b5756fdfd7ed0e8ff1863661b43435b.jpg

    1. Hi, Lily!

      Very astute to check the weight of the coin — thanks for doing that. The weight checks out as a zinc cent, but what we need to figure out is if the coin is a missing copper error/metal error or one of the thousands of zinc Lincoln cents whose copper was removed post mint in a common science experiment taught in schools.

      For that, a professional in-hand examination would be the recommended path. Something like this requires very close review and metallic testing of the coin itself. The difference is everything – a coin that was altered in a school experiment is worth face value, but a zinc Lincoln cent that is missing its copper layer due to a Mint issue is worth $50 or more.

      Here’s some info to help you track down a coin professional near you:

      5 Surefire Tips For Finding A Good Coin Dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
      Reputable Coin Certification Companies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/
      A Searchable List Of Coin Dealers Near You: https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer

      Good luck!

  67. I have found a 1957D wheat pennies that is silver color, does not stick to magnet, and was wondering could I have something that needs maybe a third party check it out and could be worth something?

  68. Hi I’ve read your discussion and https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8eda61eb075b9b99d4ebb4ff5e9ec5a3253cd585324ca2cff1388ffe43f9a80d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1408692faf263d7830e64608715a8bc9581a94d1d56acce2a5dbe49b291f7a05.jpg comments but I’m still confused I’m sorry. Question I have is what should a 1984 silver penny weigh? I’ve got one that is silver and weighs 2.5
    (Notice the “chuck” missing above the date, IDK if it can help determine anything, but it appears to be silver possibly all the way through.) Hope you can help and thank you for your time…

    1. Hi, Kerry —

      It looks like the silver-colored, zinc core of your 1984 cent, which should weigh 2.5 grams, may have been exposed through heavy wear or post-mint chemical alteration. This coin is worth face value.

      Thank you for your question and photos!

  69. i have 8 1943 steel pennies they all weigh 2.7g are they worth much and its the 1944 that is the valuable one ?

    1. Hi, Eric —

      Assuming the 1943 steel cents exhibit average circulation wear, they are worth 15 to 25 cents each. The 1944 bronze cent is worth about 5 to 10 cents.

      The really valuable pennies from that era are the 1943 bronze and 1944 steel cents, each of which are off-metal mint errors worth $80,000 to $125,000 each.

      Good luck,

  70. Hi Josh, any ideas as to the story behind the center coin? For color comparison, the one on the left is a 1938 from my childhood coin folder, and the one on the right is a 2016 from my pocket. The center coin was also issued in 1938 but has a very different finish. Knowing pretty close to nothing about coins, would this be a proof? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf03c2f1d7e944f4088c4b722023507ad0afa5f07483a6600db4a9382768a22b.jpg

    1. Hello, Carol —

      Great question, and thank you for aiding this with a photo. The 1938 cent was cleaned a long time ago, and that stripped away the coin’s natural copper patina. The 1938 cent in the center should look more like the 1938 cent on the left.

      The 1938 cent on the left, incidentally, is worth about 15 cents whereas the one in the middle has a value of about 3 cents. While not a huge difference in value monetarily, the percentage difference reflects the type of drop in value a coin will generally experience when it is cleaned.

      I hope this info is helpful!

      1. Josh,

        Thanks you so much for the response. Loved the example of why you shouldn’t clean coins. I don’t think I realized the difference if could make. Glad I’m not a clean freak, I have enough problems keeping the house clean without adding to the job by cleaning coins also!

        Thanks again,


        1. Hi, Carol!

          My pleasure to help! Imagine if we had to clean coins AND tend to the house… Yes, that WOULD be frustrating!


  71. Hey Josh ..hope u can help little confused on a 1959 D lincoln penny …i weigh all my coins (i know crazy right?! ) anyway i know my scale is good ive weighed plenty to know its calibrated so no issue there i understand the history and dates and weights of all the pennies so im well aware weaties weigh 3.1 or 3.2 average and i happen to have a steal 1943 penny and it weighs 2.7 to 2.8 depending if u move it around thats not the issue i know they made steel pennies that yr and arent that rare but i weighed the 1959 D penny and it weighs the same as the steal penny 2.7 to 2.8 so whats going on here is it some kind of wrong metal error ?! Mind u its in great condition and not silver like the steal it looks copper coin..i will take pics with it on scale if u need to see what im talking about..thanx in advance

      1. Sure…thanx for responding! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0b55071bffd49f1ef01d387adef217dec873c40e43730657c479c5dfd7c721fd.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae2b51a2cf6cc49d94102b0bc6379b94115dabfd55aebee7455043d7a0be2dc8.jpg

        1. Hi, Heidi!

          It looks like this coin has some heavy porosity; given the lesser amount of surface metal, that would account for the lower weight. This piece appears damaged, and as such is worth 2 to 3 cents for its copper value.

          Thank you for your question and photos!

          1. Thanx Josh really appreiate ur thoughts…i have some more pics wondering if u could help me out and tell me what these crazy lines on this nickel are?!..first 3 pics are of one coin last are from another..obvious lines above united states and under E pluribus umun…ok looks like it will only attach one pic hope u can see https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/620b62341c975b9ef5bd84887da59d83587880efbcf17d6485250f9d1e860183.jpg

          2. Hi, Heidi —

            Those look like flow lines — lines created in the metal when the coin was struck by its die. The letters are thick and I, looking at the photo twice, think it might be doubling of some sort but can’t blow it up large and clear enough to see if its a doubled die or simple (common) machine doubling.

            Cool find!

          3. Josh..
            Maybe these will help…if not i will try and take with different camera..thanx:-) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ecb439dd2b6bb1804adf7408919f97e8a2701311c426c51f8909b4e93ce4b88.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f43ff40e2d139ea30e6d1a17f483c7206b51150702f7a8a4e17b3565995b961d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d32d57451abc368ebbcc9a19953273f1111cf88cb205739766749a2c8eaf0b63.jpg

          4. Hello, Heidi –

            I’m not seeing doubling on the reverse lettering at this point, but I’d still hang onto this coin anyway. While I believe this might just be a late die-state coin (meaning it was struck from a well-worn die) it still might be a doubled die, though perhaps would require a close look under a 10x magnifier to attribute. While we don’t accept submissions here, I know a coin expert named John Wexler does accept such coins for in-hand viewing — or at least he did last time I checked. Here’s his info: https://www.doubleddie.com/

            Good luck!

          5. Josh
            Thanx so much for advice will definetly ask him for his …u have been awesome and i really appreciate the push in the right direction…i will back with more questions soon and i will let u know what he says:-)

  72. Hi Josh, I am a bit puzzled by this penny I have. Noticeably different in color, similar to a nickel. Not sure if it’s steel or silver but it does not stick to a magnet. 1970 s penny. Any info would be great thanks. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4253c59b5156194b84b06eda658a975d2ed03ad4dcbf15c1abf27bd6a5aa7b13.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b66a90a711502d3728f9569272c3282d19107ae1e26862ff26f431afbf805843.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/539a08b12993326a48427a3358fc78efab55607698a65499de937e9397702d04.jpg

    1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/218a5185731ad082a28301bd55ae801180ff34588a16ef75858e0b95414aba9a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85a614917c6db6f79957723acb40a94aed0aee7260a49c3a93b83fc07b2f051a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8f00f530645f4ef16ef4cddc551b47273e44302e238f1f24cfa2fa798a439c3.jpg

    2. Hi, Joshua —

      It’s always hard to say for certain without knowing how much the coin weighs (a copper Lincoln cent weighs 3.11 grams), but it appears this piece has been plated with a metal, perhaps pewter, and antiqued. Such a coin has no numismatic value but may be worth 25 cents to $1 to exonumia collectors.

      Cool find!

        1. Hi, Joshua —

          That is interesting… 2.8 grams is a significant difference from the coin’s base weight of 3.11 grams. The only explanation I can think of without seeing the coin in-hand is that it is either really well worn (though it doesn’t appear all that worn) or that it’s an off-metal error. There were foreign coins struck at the U.S. Mint that year, including the Haiti 5 Centimes, which has a nickel appearance, measures 20 millimeters, and weighs 2.7 grams. It would be virtually impossible for a 20-millimeter coin to show up in a 19.1-millimeter one-cent feed, but this piece might be worth having evaluated in-hand for some answers and a closer inspection.

          Good luck!

  73. I have a 1974 1C Aluminum Penny. Actually my father has it, the provenance is he got it in 1975 in Miami Florida as change. After watching a report on the new last week about the 1974-D 1C Aluminum Penny, he asked me to start researching it. Measurements are spot on at 19mm, smooth edge, no mint stamp so Philadelphia, no magnetic properties, I know the alluminum cent is .93 grams according to PCGS, NGC, and the US Mint as opposed to the 3.1 grams for 1974 1C-RD. Here is the most important and telling detail as the suspension is building, took it to the jeweler to weigh it, 3.14 grams. So it is over the aluminum weight mark and a bit over the bronze as well. I guess my question is this, who would have thought to alter this coin in 1975 if it has in fact been chemically altered, since that run only went from 1974 and only 66 were supposedly made in 1975 that were in a bag a dumped out on the mint floor. They claim that retrieved them all and turned them in, but the 2 individuals who were making them admitted many years later that not all of them were recovered and were removed from the mint, but would not divulge any more details than that. or could it be another testing mistake that the US Mint doesn’t want to acknowledge. This is the identical coin we have, however this is a conceptual illustration and not the actual coin and they state there is no PCGS Population and the Mintage is unknown, however they list it on their site https://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/C… with the .93 grams weight, but how would they know that if it doesn’t exist. Of course the one we have could be a 1974 1C-RD that has been altered with Sodium Hydroxide, Zinc Powder, Distilled Water heated up for a couple of minutes. Attached is our actual penny. What are your conclusions to this? Even though it is heavier, I would like to verify the properties to see if it is aluminum which my father really belives it is or is it chemically altered and what is the best way to go about that without spending too much cents? Thanks in advance, JT Middleton https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72bee197ea771caac22ca757205cbec1492fe6917e2abfc2682f627d4b990c62.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2e40d5f98adaef2373238132ecf015e3748e265d22c338b4872fde9b04bc07c.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/283717cefeb32d888d9c43fee91501c260f5197efc86caaf780833309444623e.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12edf640f7da67e92466c32cb08b22c0a30e4160c7c44987ece30ca5cf8ccd02.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65f65e09ca5c77be50a58313e9411dd5d0b770697bfa6e6a6909333c5913e241.png

    1. Hello, Jim —

      An in-hand metallurgical test would be the ultimate verification, but everything I read in the comments points to a regular bronze 1974 cent that was chemically altered, or most likely plated. The buzz surrounding the production of the 1974 aluminum cent trials was great, but the coin was never officially released into circulation, and all trials that were offered to Congresspersons and others were recalled. The coin became generally illegal for private ownership, and virtually all were destroyed. This saga prompted many individuals to create their own versions of the aluminum cent — a coin they’d dream about having but would never be able to own. In most cases, such coins were dipped in aluminum or other silvery-colored metals or dyes. The fact that your coin weighs a tad more than the usual 3.11 grams would be consistent with the addition of a small amount of material on your coin, suggesting it was plated.

      If in fact your coin is plated, it would have no value above its intrinsic copper bullion (about 2 cents at present) but is probably far more valuable to you and your dad as a memento of that time in Miami so many years ago. If you want to get it verified in-hand, I’d suggest taking it to a local coin dealer or having it inspected in-hand by a numismatic specialist.

      Here’s a searchable list of coin dealers nationwide: https://png.memberclicks.net/find-a-png-dealer
      And more info on how to find a good coin dealer: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/
      If you want to send the coin in for visual inspection, I believe die variety expert John Wexler does such in-hand exams for about $5 (last time I checked); here’s his info: https://www.doubleddie.com/

      Good luck!

  74. HI Josh. I have a 1944 steel looking penny. It weighs about 3.18 on my scale. Do you think it could be authentic?

    1. Hi, Terri —

      An authentic steel cent should weigh about 2.7 grams; your 1944 cent weighs in much closer to the 3.11 grams that a common 1944 bronze cent should register. This suggests perhaps there is a plating or coating on your coin that would make it look like the rare 1944 steel cent. While I can’t see the coin in-hand to confirm, all indications I see here in the comments point to your coin being a regular 1944 bronze cent, perhaps with steel, pewter or another silvery-colored plating. If so, your coin is worth its weight in copper, or about two cents; it would have actually been worth more if it wasn’t altered and left in its original state, but perhaps your coin is best kept as a novelty piece or memento.

      I hope this info is helpful,

  75. Joshua. Good day sir. I have found a 1968 silver looking penny with a big rim on it. Considerably larger than a penny. Not sure on the weight. No Mark from the mint. Wondering what I should do with it. I need a professional opinion. Btw it is magnetic. I know that much. Trying to upload pic. I will have to try later.

    1. Hello, Corey –

      It appears your 1968 cent was encased in a jewelry mount of some sort, thus the larger diameter and unusual rim/edge. It also looks like it was plated with a lighter metal, perhaps pewter, though it may have also been cleaned, giving it a lighter color. It’s hard to tell for sure in the photo due to lighting variances, etc. I’d take a guess this coin was special to a former owner, perhaps being a birth year, year of a marriage, or something of the like, thus why it was mounted in such a way. The coin itself is worth 2 cents for its copper value.

      Interesting piece! Thank you for your question and photo!

  76. Hi. I came across this mint looking penny that appears to have no coating on it. The penny is from 1993 …what do you think? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5915ec98fb152f2711db220913f1d0cd7bc1b67c00a061ff32e68b5ca92703bf.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1d39786464df6f922c18392cdd329a1468a3e73c31729d92f0661caea0e5cce.jpg

    1. Hi, Marci —

      Your 1993 Lincoln cent would have to be metallurgically tested or evaluated in-hand by a numismatic professional with metal-testing abilities to determine if the copper plating the piece was chemically removed in a very common school experiment that strips away copper plating from zinc-based Lincoln cents. Here’s a video showing how the experiment works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRiBYMv6Tz4

      The piece may also be a zinc cent planchet that did not receive its copper coating. If that’s the case, your coin would be relatively scarce and worth $50 or more.

      By far the more common explanation is that your coin was chemically altered in a science experiment after the piece left the U.S. Mint. But, again, it would take an in-hand evaluation to ascertain this info.

      Thank you for your question and photos! Good luck!

    2. My name is Yvette I have a nickel that has a #4 in front and a B P on back can you tell me anything about it https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a0e285d5a2ec856d8f940a2faa81df1dd979b512c50e1be290508ed960127ef0.jpg l OK https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1abfa9b917af465db4aef974db47de288fb2cce1b3f2dfadd3ea89856dc6a71.jpg

      1. Hello, Yvette —

        What you have is a cool counterstamped Jefferson nickel — somebody, likely a storeowner, stamped the “4” and “BP” on the coin to use it as some type of token or novelty. Many stores and other businesses often did this as giveaways to be used as tokens, coupons, etc. If we could trace back the origins of the counterstamps, the coin would likely be worth several dollars. As it stands, the value of the coin is probably 50 cents to $1. Not all altered coins are worth more than their face value, but counterstamped coins like this have gained a following and are seen as novelty coins.

        Really neat find!

        1. I have a 1961 d penny I don’t know what it is can anyone help me https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e029bfff1f58681eea46e3a3005ceb4f27beac573af0567da1d1480ba2b866c6.jpg

          1. Hi, Yvette —

            It looks like your 1961-D Lincoln cent is encased in a jewelry mount and may have been plated with another metal for keepsake purposes. The coin is worth its copper metal value, or 2 cents.

            Thank you for your question and photo,

          2. I have a 1968 s double on the S /date /in God we trust /liberty and all the back of the penny ……I also have a 1958 d double on the D

          3. Hi, Yvette —

            It sounds like you may have some repunched mintmarks. Would you mind uploading images of these coins so I can tell for sure?


          4. Here are some coins alum notnsure which ones your talking about can u please help me out https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0ef116e87b24b949b6f28d3ca02e93c097d20ef005eb58dd0825c1f3bdae00e6.jpg h https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19e8d646dab7cc9b7ed0ccb37e959e19881521a8d745eb744ea59285a00a566a.jpg ttps https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe4ff268b6a6a786a52f2b502b79887b82255e1b1e6f68c3f3dbb01a42de106c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b0d66c1b3a7d7ebe830361388aea35d9c677c60a74d773c8fbb9fc255f39678.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/832007aa5e865c460a139b41ac607ee5d5844fcfeba9ec7a1e5f6974803c56b3.jpg ht seetps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/161566bfe3dd7f8ae2ca544e3078660a9372521bbe59be4a4fe7070ba5c648c6.jpg ://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a15828911e98ac649af9a29f2723bb3b6f2a62e785f962f1a42bda77914e0fbf.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/579f6d6ea024fd349bd1011cc https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f5d4c412dfe3ff22cb819fa23b6ee555c31f7e0032118333d4cf4cb0a071eff.jpg e5df690046beaae7f4d801ee0a961dbe61ce7af.jpg

          5. Hello, Yvette —

            I’m afraid I don’t see a 1958-D Lincoln cent as you had mentioned; you don’t by chance mean the 1985-D penny seen here, do you?

            I’m looking at the images on zoom and don’t see any signs of these coins being doubled dies or showing repunched mintmarks, but unfortunately some of the photos, especially the 1968-D cent, is blurry on zoom, so perhaps I’m missing something. You don’t seem to mention anything about the nickels or dime. What were you asking about with those? Maybe the off-center 2017 Roosevelt dime? If so, it isn’t off-center enough to be worth anything extra.

            If you don’t mind letting me know what you wanted to know about the nickels I’d be glad to assist.

            Thank you for the photos,

          6. Here are some more https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f325222f68e4ac525d3fef140de2b96515279c7722e751ca1c8bcd7f9176fd8.jpg ko

  77. I also have every one cent except 1909/11/12/13/14/15/17/22/24/25//27 .***** But all the reast of the one cents ii have them all some one cents I have about (15) to (30) of each does anyone want to buy these onecent**†* I also have a 1955 double penny ND an1969 s double date and liberty also I have 1968 S double date liberty &in God we trust ill cut it short for now can anyone help me ..That possible ay I can send photos of the pennys

    1. Hello, Yvette —

      Here’s some more info on the some of the coins you’re asking about:

      43 most valuable pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/valuable-pennies/
      1955 penny value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1955-penny-value/
      1969 penny value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1969-penny-value/

      You should find the info you’re looking for in these posts!

      Good luck,

      1. Can you tell me what this coin is..Its a 1998 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c2e3a4e9050d5f242a90bfc3bf9e3b1cd39c179a32c7453b0b793af5efafdfc.jpg d https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ffb684fc92a1aeedc4b264e8140fafba9cf5069ce7f2c82145e6b263aae9126.jpg penny looks double

        1. Hello, Yvette —

          This coin is definitely off-center by at least 2 or 3%, but that itself isn’t really enough in and of itself to give this coin any premium value as an error coin. I’m trying to zoom in enough to see the doubling but I’m afraid the image is just a bit blurry at that resolution. Is it possible that you might please kindly resubmit a photo that’s just a bit clearer?

          Thank you for your question,

  78. I found a Copper penny plated with a silver color (probably zinc) in a gumball machine. It is dated on the front…2001D, it’s a Lincoln). The back is torn away so you can see a tiny bit of copper underneath. The scrunched piece of zinc plate as the image of the Lincoln memorial and under the first zinc piece is another indentation of the Memorial. I didn’t rip the zinc off to see is the 2001 D s printed. What have I got? I may lose this site before I get an answer. My name on facebook is as posted.

    1. Hi, David —

      Without seeing a photo of the coin I can’t say for certain what’s going on with your piece, but 2001-D Lincoln cents have a zinc core and copper coating. It’s possible much of the copper coating was stripped away in a common science experiment that dissolves the copper from the coin’s zinc core.

      Here’s more info on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRiBYMv6Tz4

      If you’d like to post a photo of your coin I’d be glad to further advise.

      Thank you for your question,

      1. Thank you Josh,

        I appreciate the timely response. I will try to get a picture to you. My kids have phone cameras. I don’t even have a cell phone! Anyway, it is clear that the Zinc foil is on top and the core is copper. The front with Lincoln’s bust is “silver” color and sealed onto the coin perfectly. The back looks like maybe it got caught in the gumball machine.

        1. You’re welcome, David! I will do my best to ascertain an explanation on this coin, but no worries if you can’t get a photo posted right away! I’ll be here and ready to help when you can.

          Have a great day,

  79. Hi I found a penny that is 1974 and looks silver. I believe it is very rare coin may be worth million dollars. It feels lighter then a regular penny. Do you think it is?

    1. Hello,

      It’s very likely this coin was plated with a silvery-colored metal to make it appear like the 1974 aluminum cent, which at present is illegal for private citizens to own. The only way to know for certain is to weigh your coin. If it weighs about 3.11 grams or more, it’s a regular copper cent that was plated. If it weighs 0.937 grams, it’s an aluminum cent.


  80. Hey Joshua,

    Thanks for your informative post. I think I have found a penny that doesn’t fit into any of the situations you described. My guess is this penny may be an all out counterfeit coin because it doesn’t seem to make sense. It appears silver but is dated 1930. It has a wheat back but has also been stamped with a Masonic symbol. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this oddity. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/17e0a92fed4031615a6b5957ca1a0baf9d830942afb51d045cb3314a43f8c505.jpg

    1. Here is the back. It also appears “brand new” with no signs of age or use. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65244b5a1357e1fc517437204b93fc928889563493bfd0643ecda06f9adf3610.jpg

    2. Hi, Craig —

      You have a plated 1930 Lincoln cent that was counterstamped with the Masonic symbol. This piece actually has more value has a Masonic novelty coin than for its being plated or even its date (most 1930 Lincoln cents are worth about 10 cents, and plated coins are considered altered and worth only metal value — 2 cents for a bronze cent.) However, Masonic coins are highly popular among some exonumia collectors, and pieces like this tend to be worth between 50 cents and $2.

      Cool find,

  81. Hello. I figured i would post in here and see if I could get some info on a penny my daughter found about a year ago. When she took it to a coin dealer for information he tried to keep it and she had to force him to give it back. We have both search the internet for info and have come up with nothing. The penny hasn’t fit into any categories we have read about. She has a 1947 penny. Silver in color and it IS magnetic. We find very little on 1947 pennies in general and nothing that fits the description of her penny. Thoughts?!

    1. Hello, Michelle —

      Hmm…. The first thing I’d suggest to you and your daughter is to weigh the 1947 cent. A steel 1947 cent would, in theory, weigh the same as a 1943 steel cent, or 2.7 grams. If it weighs 3.1 grams, it is more than likely a regular copper cent that was coated with steel or another magnetic, silvery-colored material. If you could kindly verify the coin’s weight and post a photo, I’d be more than happy to assist further!

      Thank you,

  82. Hey, my room mate found and gave this 1990 silver colored penny to me the other day. I was wondering if you might have some insight. I haven’t weighed it yet as I’ve only had it a few days and don’t have a scale.

    1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/352adabe65817ee80c74f62cb74b60d7a3b7cb473a0c2b89e1a345a33e38031e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c7d0bc562ee2f1a2ae19f22610b39aec1621c9202f633ebe2d295b19cfa5aea.jpg

    2. Hello, Mike —

      Without weighing the coin or seeing it in person it’s hard to say for certain what might be going on here, but it’s likely a coin that has been chemically altered in a relatively popular experiment that strips the copper coating from zinc-plated Lincoln cents such as those made since 1982.

      Here’s a video of the experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRiBYMv6Tz4


      1. I replied to my own comment with photos, I could not put them in the original for some reason. I’ll weigh it on Monday to find out and post here what I find.

  83. Hi,
    I have a 1940 penny that is silver in color and does not stick to a magnent. I have searched the internet and cannot find any others like it. Any insight on what kind of penny I have would be awesome. Oh and I did weigh it and it weighs 2.8g

    Thanks so much

    1. Hi, Sarah —

      Would you kindly provide a photo of this curious 1940 Lincoln cent, please? I’d love to weigh in further but would need a photo of the coin to get a better idea on what might be going on here.

      Thank you very much,

      1. Sure thing. I will attached them to this comment. Hopefully they will upload correctly.
        Thanks so much! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a899a3f3d5823e3d52a24fdf7f13ffdbb3a209fe7b2773b65722a08340c6bf6.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f5fd04c4066b934b575715cf75ec4e08c782ee90479822a4a75a859b92e8143a.jpg

        1. Hi there, Sarah!

          Well, this is very interesting. So the coin weighs 2.8 grams and yet is not magnetic? While the lighting in a photo may make the coin appear lighter or darker here than it looks in-person, this does look like it’s silvery in color.

          Given the weight and the fact that the design fits perfectly within the canvas space on the planchet, I rule out this coin being a Lincoln cent struck on a silver Mercury dime planchet, which weighs 2.5 grams. As you probably also know, a 1943 steel cent planchet weighs 2.7 grams, so your coin seems to weigh very close to the standard weight of a steel cent. However, as you also know, a steel cent does stick to a magnet.

          There is wear on this coin, which could theoretically bring down the weight from the usual 3.1 grams to 2.8-ish grams. If so, the likely explanation is that the coin is zinc plated to mimic the appearance of a steel cent.

          At this rate, I’d suggest getting the coin inspected in-hand by a numismatic professional who is skilled in varieties. Perhaps try John Wexler or the folks at CONECA. Here are their links:

          Wexler: https://doubleddie.com/
          CONECA: https://varietyvista.com/index.htm

          I’m wishing you all the best,

  84. I have a 2013 penny with a grey border. The border is separate! Looks as if the penny was filed a little smaller, and a grey border added to it for some reason. There is even a little “wiggle room” between the penny and the border. Any thoughts?

    1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ffef518f4dab2069bec69a8832deaba0fdc7722bc9f3c24128891f556ba81e62.jpg

      1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75a89bebf0c3ac90c2fe37c9aeb8fac3960127b3d0a81d95f704db757777f3e1.jpg

      2. Hi, Shawnda —

        My best guess based on what I see in the photo is that this is a zinc-plated 1960-D cent. While unusual-looking indeed, this novelty is worth 2 cents for the coin’s intrinsic copper value.

        Thank you for the terrific and helpful photo,

    2. Hello Shawnda —

      If it feels greasy, it’s likely a mercury-coated cent. These are pretty common from that period. Otherwise, it’s likely zinc or silver plated. At any rate, the coin is worth its copper value of 2 cents. Of course, I advise you to handle this coin with caution in the case that it is coated with mercury.

      Best wishes,

  85. I have a 1960 silver colored penny. My question is if it is plated with silver, pewter or mercury, would any of those make it magnetic? Because mine is.

    1. Hi, Kathy —

      It may have been plated in steel, though this would have presumably rusted by now. Would you please provide an image of this coin?

      Thank you,

      1. Thank you, that’s what I thought. But here is a picture of it anyway…thank you. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c352d9ffe6a345dd64cecca728150858ddf1f88c55f98e272ba7d32a9e04df25.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b7c94e2d1695ece61fd89134b9fdb86f2f5fa268cddc8f7d82ccd70e9139882.jpg

        1. Hi, Kathy!

          Thank you for posting these great photos. Yes, from everything I see here this 1960 Lincoln cent has been plated with what appears to be possibly zinc. In the strictest sense, it’s worth only the coin’s copper value, or about 2 cents. I should add there are some novelty coin collectors who may pay a little more for something plated like this.

          I hope this info is helpful,

  86. I have this 1944 silver wheat penny that does stick to a magnet. I have not weighed it yet but the outer rim is brown and it is cut funny/ un even on the edges. Any thoughts??

  87. I have this 1944 silver wheat penny that does stick to a magnet. I have not weighed it yet but the outer rim is brown and it is cut funny/ un even on the edges. Any thoughts?? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a65822a6f8d10a0f10e01fe6e38885b96706ed92eccda08e8f8301a019fa6dc.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/10a0a30e3a346ce360cfc0cc654ae258be3e63ac5ea24c173af764ca9e0927d5.jpg

    1. Hi, Glo —

      It looks like this is a regular 1944 copper cent that was not only plated but also ground down on its edges, perhaps to see if it’s a real 1944 steel cent. The fact that the outer rim (the inside) of the coin is brown proves its copper and thus an altered coin. It us, however, worth about 2 cents for its copper value.

      Thank you for your question,

  88. Here’s a better pic.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b78ab48d9e040d261874a7e1e8da44c8c71ba41787b4a0700b28beb0fe6f7cc5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc58685d06d1861b1215dd360e308c54d133facdfc1421b40cd97412c685efb0.jpg

  89. 1987-D penny silver in color. Need help



    1. Hi, Trystan —

      It’s likely this coin was subjected to a common chemical experiment in which the coin’s copper outer coating was removed. You can see how this is done in this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRiBYMv6Tz4

      While it might be a zinc Lincoln cent whose copper outer coating was never applied, this is a rare error and one that would need to be metallurgically tested to ensure the coin wasn’t altered post-Mint.

      If this coin is indeed one that was the subject of the common experiment, it’s worth only face value. If, however, it is a real error (and they do exist!), it’s worth between $50 and $100. It’s your call if you want to get it tested. You can have it authenticated by a third-party coin certification firm, several of which are listed here: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/coin_dealer/

      Good luck!

  90. https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/331958081162444823/339538392230658048/image.jpg 1943, can stick to magnets, would this be worthit to selll? and if so how much.

    1. Hi, ORiONBEATS,

      If your 1943 cents stick to magnets, they are normal and worth about 10 to 15 cents each. These appear to be reprocessed, which means they were given a new coat of zinc outside of the U.S. Mint.

      Thank you for your question,

  91. I found a 1950d leaf Penney that is silver . It was from a box my grandmother kept . It has a masonry sign on the front and back . Excellent condition . Can anyone tell me about it? Thanks

    1. Hi, Mark —

      Would you please post a photo of this coin? I’m not sure if you’re referring to a wheat penny — do you see two stalks of wheat on the reverse? Or is this a 1950 Canadian cent, with the maple leaf on the tail’s side? If it’s a 1950-D Lincoln wheat cent, it was likely silver plated or coated in another type of metal and is worth 2 to 3 cents. However, it may also be an off-metal error in which a dime blank was accidentally fed through the Lincoln cent presses. A photo would definitely help us figure out what this is.


  92. I have a penny and the date looks like 1988, and it is hard to tell as it is so worn. But on each side on top, it is silver looking, but not on the edge of the coin. Would you know anything about a coin like that ?

    1. Hi, Jim –

      I would need to see a photo of the coin, please, but it sounds like you’re describing a zinc-based Lincoln cent (as all circulating Lincoln cents have been since 1983) with the copper coating worn off on parts of the coin. If that’s the case, this piece is worth face value.

      I hope this info is helpful,

  93. I have a 1965 Silver penny it’s not magnetic it is brown around the edges. Is it worth anything?

    1. Hi, Mimi —

      Based on your description of the coin and the photos, it has been plated, post-Mint, with zinc, silver, or perhaps pewter. It’s worth the copper value of the coin, which is 2 cents.

      Neat find,

  94. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90a5c655f4510922768df16b3b0abc121b4989ceeeb6e50d5ec82312d97cc3d8.jpg .jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c48eb85cbbea46bccad371939b2272bfe3ee89fc513f307f5bdf27d7b5f73881.jpg
    Do you think its worth anything 1965 silver penny not magnetic brown around the rim?

  95. I have a silver penny from 1968,it has a circl stamp indention on it,im trying to find out how much its worth,please respond

    1. Hi, Donald —

      I’m not sure about the round stamp (it might be either a post-Mint counterstamp or some type of damage), but in most cases a silver penny has actually been plated from somebody outside the Mint. However, there are rare cases where the coin was actually struck on the wrong planchet, such as a dime. If you don’t mind submitting a couple photos of the coin along with its weight (down to the hundredth of a gram) I’d be glad to assist further and see if this might be an error.

      Good luck,

  96. I have a silver penny or what looks to be silver I don’t know what it is?maybe some one can help and tell me what it is

    1. HI, Ann-Marie —

      For some reason the photo you had uploaded isn’t showing up. What’s the date of the coin and how much does it weigh?

      Thank you,

        1. Hi, Ann-Marie —

          Those figures sound about right and is within the 0.10-gram tolerance for the zinc cent, which should weigh 2.5 grams. I think your penny was likely striped of its copper coating in a common experiment in which the copper is removed by way of a chemical bath. Here’s a video showing how this is commonly done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRiBYMv6Tz4&t=4s

          Assuming this is the case with your coin, it’s worth face value.

          Best wishes,

  97. I have a 1989 penny that has a gift with a bow etched on it. It is silver (the color not the metal)

    1. Hi, Katharine —

      Would you please send a photo of this coin? It’s certainly been altered outside of the Mint and was probably sold as a gift novelty, but I’d be happy to help identify its value and such after I can look at it more.

      Thank you!

  98. my daughter found this penny yesterday. it shows a 2013D stamp. I can find no differences between it and a normal 2016D penny. I have a scale, but it only is accurate to 1 gram, so can’t see if it more or less than 2.7grams. Any ideas how it got this way?


    1. Hi, Adam —

      It looks like someone plated the 2013-D cent, perhaps with gold or another material, but I can’t say for certain with the photo alone due to lighting variables. Plated coins are generally worth face value, but they are neat to hang on to.

      What a cool find!

    1. Hi, Miz —

      Based on the information provided here, it sounds like you have a plated Lincoln cent that was counterstamped with a Liberty Bell/USA insignia. This is definitely an aftermarket piece, and such novelty coins tend to be worth between 50 cents and $1 to those who collect such coins.

      Best wishes,

  99. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d3ccbcb4e693921642db76c0695e0d1854c1049dbc0d152a2c5b7a599c747b87.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/162b149808bd740c5c52e3ce914163603fd9dd931ca0e2cb8bd1c6be3c7e2030.jpg Greetings,

    I found a silver penny minted in 2010 with the new shield design on the reverse. It is lighter than a normal penny, and the metal feels a bit softer and flimsier. I have not been able to figure this out. Any ideas?

    1. Hi, Kylee —

      Hmm… with something like this, it’s hard to say for sure what’s going on with a photo alone. Did you say you have a weight on this coin (“lighter than a normal penny”)? What does it weigh? A typical zinc-based Lincoln cent (like this one) should weigh around 2.5 grams.


  100. hey josh! I have a mystery. A 1938 wheaty, mirror-like silver in appearance, non-magnetic. Same dimensions as a normal one, but weighs 3.0 grams. I would think plated, but it isnt even 3.1 grams (I weighed others to verify scale accuracy; steel 43s i get 2.5g, pre 82s 3.1g, and post 82s 2.7g). What is this thing?? Working on uploading pictures, thanks for your help!

    1. Hi, Evan —

      I’ll be happy to look, but I’m thinking what you have is a plated copper 1938 Lincoln wheat cent on the low end of the weight tolerance range. For copper Lincoln cents, the legal tolerance ranges from 2.98 grams to 3.24 grams, so a penny weighing anywhere in that range is acceptable, with 3.11 grams the legal standard. I hope this makes sense….

      If your coin is a regular 1938 Lincoln cent that was plated, it’s likely worth 2 to 5 cents, but — again — I’d be absolutely happy to look at any photos of this piece to make sure.

      Best wishes,

  101. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e6dd7f7e4c27a4f28cdd7e717ff25a8368d7219773b849bedcbbba35dfdc9d71.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf018991b361d6582daee15ed7bc67c632f0b1c3aeb9b3ab7d60842c40bf35af.jpg

    1. Ah, I just saw these photos, Evan…

      Hmm… You see, the color is getting thrown off a bit in the photo, I guess. I can tell in the photo the color on the 1938 penny is lighter than normal, but it looks like a regular Lincoln cent to me. I think the gram scale is probably rounding down to 3 grams (maybe this piece weighs 3.0 to 3.49 grams, which is normal). I’m not sure. What is neat about the 1938 penny is that it appears either uncirculated or only lightly circulated at the worst, so it’s worth more than the 5 cents I quoted (a figure based on average-circulated pieces). This one’s worth closer to $1 or $2, if not more should the surfaces prove to be neatly flawless.

      Very nice Lincoln cents all around, by the way!

      1. Thank you Josh. It is, I would say, AU..it really surprised me when I found it with a bunch of other 43 steelies from a great aunt’s stash. The other two are probably some level of EF.
        Indulge me though; lets say my scale is accurate and I can rule out plating. What would your next step be?

        1. Hi, Evan —

          If you think the coin has some unusual characteristics and scales, magnets, and 5X magnification can’t conclusively determine the situation, you have at least two options:

          1. You can get a second opinion from an error/variety expert such as John Wexler or the folks at CONECA; here’s their info —
          *CONECA: https://varietyvista.com/index.htm
          *John Wexler: https://doubleddie.com/
          2. You can submit your coin for certification to a major third-party coin firm such as PCGS, NGC, ANACS, or ICG. Here’s more info on those companies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/slabbed_coins/

          Wishing you the best of luck!

  102. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fde02a73bca187465f3304ba83831c0d2d2aac608261faf5d03558d555f1d8f8.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5aca0652998404a423ac698ac837a8d3f84e3be8b26cd7409652660023c789f2.jpg

    1. Hi, Breanna —

      Would you please upload a photo of this coin so I can help you further?

      Thank you so much!

      1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7de49272e6446c5a1931f55fecbbc300502146d457e5a7bd68db77264ec0407e.jpg

        1. Hi, Breanna —

          It’s hard to tell what’s going on with this coin with a single photo and the light, but given its unusual surface color in this photo, it appears that this coin was either cleaned or gold plated.

          In either case, it would be worth 2 to 4 cents…

          Best wishes,

  103. okay i got a weird one for you. i got this non copper/zinc 1990D penny in my change about 2 years ago. at first i thought i got a 43 steelie as it looked just like an old used 43. anyways i think its a high quality fake of some kind. its steel in color but its not magnetic. its very slightly larger than a standard penny but the details on it are near perfect to a regular penny just a bit cruder looking overall. i decide tonight to clean it so i put it in vinegar for 15 minutes and then hit it with a fine steel wire brush. now it looks like new. but the weird part is the brush left no fine scratches that would show on any regular coin i clean. so theres no way its zinc or aluminum so maybe stainless????? i took a half dozen pics to show it off.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1210845b86dfc661f3140b27c6ce162c4b50c42a5a28d94b8008369ed2b9dae7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/739e5b0252bbfd72a6d76425fdc248104b26f2adf9bad3e9565540242ad55c33.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a94dfbf78f6de3ff027037c8fdb04ba411f9da6bc846f0e5bcf9aff0b33d8225.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a38e6ab8a2e3d857af371f8252f2f55ab90b07c7af2c8b735929c069716a2bb5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b91f3d1af30b7207686132c33a56f88a0862d88595c434b7609dbef0c9e6e81.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ac6c1b281e1d285f16467dbe100507613eee922ca0941b3a16ceb9beafa85e0.jpg

    1. Hi,

      I’m thinking the piece you have is some type of cast replica, as the surface and strike characteristics don’t quite look right to me for it to be an authentic business strike. Also, it would have been mechanically impossible for a larger planchet (coin blank) to wind up in a Lincoln cent press — I.E., a nickel blank can’t get into a one-cent press. I’m thinking that, without seeing this coin in-hand, this is likely a replica piece, and I’ve seen several like this one. So, I’m pretty confident that’s what you have here.

      Interestingly, ordinary circulating Lincoln cents made since 1982 are actually zinc coins with thin copper coatings. There’s a common science experiment that entails using chemical agents to remove the copper coating, leaving a silvery looking color on the coin — the zinc core exposed. If you find a silvery Lincoln cent made since 1982, it’s very likely it was the subject of just such an experiment.

      A kind FYI… In the future, you do NOT want to clean your coins, as this ruins them and cuts their value in half. Had this been a significant error coin, that cleaning could have cut its value by thousands of dollars! The best thing to o with coins is to leave them as they are found and in original condition.

      All my best wishes,

      1. thanks for the reply. yes, i am a coin collector as well. and i only clean low grade common coins as they are not worth anything to begin with so i make some look nice. and about this penny i know its not zinc as zinc dissolves in vinegar, in fact it takes about 3 days to eat a zinc penny. most zinc pennys found in the ground or on the floor of an old car that have turned green/white means that it has corroded and when yo clean them you often have large zinc craters in the penny. even old copper pennys and nickles and dimes and quarters will corrode as well after sitting long enough. gold and silver coins are the only ones truly immune to that.

        1. No worries, RainbowDash! Happy to know you’re enjoying the hobby so much, and I hope you enjoy the posts here… If there’s anything you want to learn about but don’t see an article for here on TheFunTimesGuide.com, please let us know, and we’ll consider covering it in an upcoming post!


  104. Is there there such a thing as a 1943 nickel-coated, steel penny? I supposedly have one, but am not really sure. However, it is much shinier than the other 1943 steel pennies I have. Thoughts? Wisdom? Thanks!

    1. Hi, WH —

      Steel cents were coated with zinc; it is possible yours might be an uncirculated or “reprocessed” (aftermarket recoated) piece. It would take an in-hand examination to determination to know whether yours is genuine uncirculated or simply a worn example with a new zinc coating (reprocessed).


  105. Thank you for the explanation of the different reasons pennys can appear silver. I have a 1937 wheat penny with not mint mark that appears silver in color, full size and sticks very well to a magnet. any thoughts.

    1. Hi, Thomas —

      Would you please post clear photos of this coin — both sides?


  106. Hi there, I see this is an old post, not sure you’ll read this, but I found this silver colored penny, it doesn’t look to be plated, judging by the silver colored gouges (unless it was plated post gouge?) I don’t have a scale, but I’ll take it to a jeweler to see. Just wondered what you thought of this one: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9a1b6762f38851146dc074b3e375ddd7f6daae560fe79ba9735986b2f9efc5fb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/603d43d0e270cf144e022f22e5a6044f9dfdaf6170de9b729439eeed86736bc5.jpg

    1. Hi, Jenny —

      What does this coin weigh? It looks like this coin may have been plated some time ago, as was commonly done by individuals decades ago.

      I hope I can help further,

      1. I haven’t weighed it, I’m sure someone plated it, since the mint sure didn’t make it this way haha!! It’s well done, it sure made me wonder.

        1. Yes, Jenny —

          Exactly right, these coins are commonly plated and thus are more of a curiosity than numismatic rarity. Still, what an interesting find!

          Best always,

  107. So I found this weird penny it looks silver almost steels colored in the center in both sides. And has ridges all throughout both sides it looks almost scratched but is silly smooth. The ridges aren’t in the raised up features either it almost goes right under them. Any idea how this might have happened. It also has a few raised features that seem to come out around some of the letters but I can’t make out what it could be
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ed921db2d0cc9d780d859c4c7bc027434eeb5c856aaa36bb69aa5b880e52a70.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/423740d41b04261a9d7e6d6f3fea42463c4ac086233f50

    1. Hi, Cheryl —

      I just saw both sides of this coin. What does it weigh? Something about the date, the “VDB” stamp under Lincoln’s shoulder, and other diagnostics don’t look right — almost as if this is a replica. A weight on this coin would help me know more, if that’s something you might be able to provide.


      1. It weighs 2.44g . Doesn’t look rubbed off in any way and it doesn’t look like it has any coating . It almost looks like there wasn’t enough copper coating in the outer layer over the zinc

    2. Hey, Cheryl —

      In the photo the coin appears coppery colored but you say it’s silver in color? The weight sounds consistent with what zinc-based Lincoln cents weigh (2.5 grams, with a tolerance of plus or minus .13 grams). These newer Lincoln cents are made from a copper-coated zinc core, and sometimes the copper coating comes off the zinc base. There’s also a popular school science experiment in which the new pennies are subjected to a chemical debaser that removes the copper from the zinc core, making those pennies appear to be silver in color. This may be what happened to your penny, especially given that the weight is a tad lighter than the typical 2.5 grams.

      In any case, the ridges on your coin are likely due to a planchet flaw, and while unusual it’s not drastic enough by coin error standards to really add any value. It’s still a neat-looking coin and I’d hang onto it if I were you.

      Best wishes,

  108. i have a 1996 silver penny. i have a coin dealer looking at it now,,he siad its beyond his expertise..it isent plated cause its silver all the thru and it weighs 2.7

    1. Hi, Jeanie —

      Would you please post clear photos of your 1996 penny so I can try and help you further?


  109. I have a 1959 silver penny that I found mixed in with the dimes several years ago at work in the register. I read up on it a while back like 5 yrs ago and thought it might be just plated after someone told me to weight it and it weighted more than 2.5 grams I recently ran across it again and decided to give it a second look after seeing a 1959 “d” sliver penny on YouTube sell for 10,575.00 at some auction I read what you wrote and it appears to meet the requirements that you stated above it appears to be off from other pennies on the strike were the L in Liberty is right on the edge of the coin almost missing other words like God appear to be closer to the edge compared to other pennies and I did weight it the weight was 3.1 grams I notice you said before 1982 it should weight no more than that I’ll attach some pics for you to look at and let me know what you think thanks Billy https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cbff8f912ef4a390ac9c4604c58fa68bb580a51845591e3515393244897efe2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/76e55867bac22c39b87135a86c1ae26c12c4687f2bcdc069d3c13e46098e6ab5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/641078c0bfef87e08a7236092bdfd488ebb04132d10eb0f660a4863b9f0e1cdf.jpg

    1. Hi, Bill —

      Thank you for reaching out… Given the coin’s weight of 3.1 grams, it checks right in on the normal range of a bronze 1959 cent. The surfaces strike me as having been plated, most likely with zinc. If this were, say, a Lincoln cent struck on a silver dime planchet, it would weight right around 2.5 grams and the lettering would be touching the very edge of the coin. As a novelty, this piece might sell for a buck or so, but unfortunately it’s numismatically considered an altered coin.

      Best wishes,

  110. i have a silver-colored lincoln cent as well mine is a 2004, not magnetic, weighs 2.5, does not have any signs of error not even on the rim or chemical treatment.. no one can give me any further info beside “send it and hope you don’t get it back in a body bag.. ” …..curiosity is killlllinggg meeeee

    1. Hi, Ashley —

      May I please see some clear images of this coin? I’d be glad to help further!


  111. Hi. I have 2 silver like pennies. I think one is plated but not sure about other one. Neither is magnetic. Shiny one weighs 3.1g and is from 1956 other is 1983 and weighs 2.46.

    1. Hi, Benjamin —

      Yes, based on the descriptions here the 1956 penny is definitely plated. I’d need to see a photo of the 1983, which COULD be an error in which the copper wasn’t plated onto the coin, but is most likely a situation in which the copper was chemically removed as part of a common school experiment.

      Best wishes,

    2. Here is both
      Thank you for taking the time to respond!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b73237f065583f8a8008a0748bee9b23503515aa13ff9efbaa7a0e075c828394.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f38c3b11bd2d02d88a660403e122b009e163a5a5bb19f59a9bf57be6f239f4ca.jpg

      1. Hi, Benjamin —

        The 1956 cent was definitely plated and given the it appears the surface was altered on the 1983 cent also, suggesting it was likely chemically stripped of its copper plating.

        Assuming these to be the cases, the 1956 cent is worth 2 cents for its intrinsic copper value and the 1983 cent is worth face value.

        Best wishes,

  112. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/15528c92ad22e0f161e75647f9b6c0f680a89fce5a873fc0f165814d031dab93.jpg… has anyoan seen a penny like this

  113. Hi Joshua well I have what appears to be a 1979 penny in awfully bad condition weighing 2.6 grams. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c359561ef0ea3ffcb547f9b07b9360a2c265357d73ce19efbf2bb5d74dcb63fb.jpg

    1. Hey, LivelyB23…

      Yes! This is one well-corroded 1979 cent. Not sure what happened to it. Maybe it was dipped in acid? Perhaps spent years under water? Either way, it’s worth maybe two cents in copper value and that’s about it.

      Neat find nevertheless!

      1. Good morning Joshua!!!

        I know your probably tired of looking at all these “two cents” Lol But maybe just maybe could this be a 1966 ddo. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/613210d26277411f2d1007d3a24a27388d82887bbd3d639fb5228fb8c87ed082.jpg

        1. Hi, Lively!

          Always great to help however I can… What I see here is machine doubling with a possible light clash as best evidenced on the obverse near the upper rim. It could bring at least a couple bucks if that’s verified in-hand.


      2. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ead1f95e3f2004e2805cb3b4be4cebbb26c6da506cc7e00261c9d23aad7332a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/91b3434d5cf06e3245507e0d4eb979d1801a0d037306d744049c6e6b854e2fb0.jpg

  114. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f4b80d6bca6ba8f4850290291d9aac79efbb855d27e33635a666f42e1d00782b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8e85516fd48122bfbb91bb91f04fe9ee4f407f6f3b2c9882596eef641c97832.jpg

  115. Machine doubling?


    1. Hey there,

      I seem to see something that loosely resembles an S near the S mintmark but it’s not machine doubling. However, that second scribble looks too small to be a second S, as in a repunched mintmark. It might be worth having someone else look at in-hand to see if they can find diagnostics indicating a possible repunched S, but I doubt from what I see here that it would be attributed as a variety.


  116. I have a 1974 silver looking penny that looks like the picture in this….what is that one? Doesnt stick to a magnet. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce27946bf32cd14da450fdca282bc590671beb9498765947c0dfd3f3d6464696.jpg

    1. Hi, Amanda —

      Do you have a some clear photos of YOUR coin? That would help me in determining what you have. Also, do you have weight, down to the tenth of a gram? If your coin weighs about 3 grams or more than you have a normal bronze cent that was plated with a silver-colored metal, such as zinc, pewter, or silver. If the coin weighs significantly less it may be either an off-metal strike or experimental metal strike, of which many were made in 1974.

      If you please send me clear photos of your coin plus the weight of your coin down to the tenth of a gram I will be able to help you further.

      Thank you!

      1. It weighs about 3 grams so guess it is one of those fakes that has been going around… thank you for your help https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2db0782e34ff071ba067d4cc7bb8a499c8d5b0c8318a82b0e1c197d4769beb15.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce27946bf32cd14da450fdca282bc590671beb9498765947c0dfd3f3d6464696.jpg

        1. Hi, Amanda —

          If it weighs 3 grams or so then I’m afraid that is a post-mint alteration. However, I wish you good luck in finding an authentic and valuable error!


  117. Hi, I have a silver penny from 1962 and it looks in perfect condition. It weighs 3.11 grams and has the peculiarity of being slightly attracted to a magnet.
    I was investigating the composition of the metal used and in that year it was modified. Before 1962, it was bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc) and after that brass (95% copper, 5% zinc) was used until 1982.
    What is the possibility that this penny contains a different composition?https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/82f30f3cfcb1ee4772c0d4886d528bf171589fef43a44a86aea944af7cfd718a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3984c571cc0548d03fb6136f0a560c04dab76b5ae59e3e234f8e206b18f4fed3.jpg

    1. Hi, Ronald —

      The 3.11-gram weigh points to this being a post-mint plated Lincoln cent. It was probably played with zinc, pewter, etc. While it’s not really worth any more than two cents for its copper value, it’s a neat novelty piece to hold aside.

      Best wishes,

  118. I just found 1993 D penny that looks like it is silver. It is in pretty bad shape but it sounds and feels like copper when I drop it. It doesn’t look painted over or anything. Let me try to get a good pic

    1. Hi, Richard —

      Yes, if you could please get a couple clear photos and the weight of the coin down to at least the tenth of a gram, that would help!

      Thank you,

  119. I have a 2013 D silver penny…does not stick to magnet…checked weight with 2 other pennies from 2013…..2013 copper penny…and 2013 D copper penny…all weigh the same 2.5 grams…any idea https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9264a82f8b06aa6651490a6fc257f60899427895b30908aacd204136ecd67c87.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec9a1e8f47c41a5f387f740ff1b271ccea23ec45c3b8031d5b6ef7bf7d45aa79.jpg s

    1. Hi, Jonathan —

      Your pennies are all regular zinc-based cents, but the one showing the “silver” had had its copper coating removed through some sort of post-Mint alteration… It’s evident based on how much wear that one particular piece has on the left that somebody tried removing the copper coating intentionally, perhaps with a sander or another form of heavy abrasion. All of these pieces in their state/condition are worth face value. But, I can see why the piece missing the copper coating caught your eye!

      Best wishes,

  120. I have a 1987 D penny with the face side edge is silver. I read your information and I weighed it and it does indeed weigh 2.48 grams on the dot. Also the feel of the edge with the silver feels the same as any other edge of a penny, which is why I ruled out an occurrence such as skidding on concrete. Also the rest of the penny face does not show signs of such. Is this penny anything or just another penny?

    1. Hi, JBrand —

      Would you please post some clear images of this coin here so I can further advise?

      Thank you,

    2. I also have a 1987-D penny silver colored penny that is not copper or silver. It weighs 2.38 grams and has a silver looking side. It is quite worn on the front but the back looks OK. From what I been able to fine out, it looks like the penny must have had a copper coating that was removed. In addition, it does not pick up a magnet. I wonder what material it is made of?

      1. Hi, Don —

        You’re correct in that the copper coating was worn off one side of the coin. The silvery metal is zinc, which is at the core of virtually all Lincoln pennies struck since 1983. Because this coin has a post-mint alteration and is circulated it is worth face value.

        Thanks for reaching out,

  121. I have a 1959 (not D that I can tell) Silver Lincoln penny with a raised edge. Looks like it is 3 grams (it may be less, the scale I used doesn’t go as low or accurate as some) and sticks to a magnet. Any ideas?

    1. Hi, EL —

      Based on the weight and description it sounds like your coin is a regular 1959 Lincoln cent that was plated in steel or another magnetic metal; believe it or not it’s quite common that such coins are plated this way to create the appearance of a rare error (like the 1944 steel cent transitional wrong metal coin). Such a piece as yours is worth 2 cents for the coin’s inherent copper metal value, but unfortunately nothing more.

      Best wishes,

    1. Hi, Tanya —

      It’s most likely a penny whose copper plating was chemically removed post-Mint as part of a school scientific experiment; could you please upload a photo and perhaps I could further advise?


  122. Hello , I have what looks to be a silver penny , in somewhat rough shape , can’t see the date , but has one cent on the back , like a wheat penny.. tried to attach photos but was unsuccessful.

          1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/18aff2c5e488358cb5c99f902abe9f27687f590d536b41517625de5bd01a9549.jpg

          2. I tried to.get a better pic of the back side ,I think that last pic auto roatated it to the side

          3. Hi, Sherry —

            Thanks for the photos, which help me to confirm that your coin is in fact, and unfortunately, damaged through corrosion.

            Best wishes,

  123. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d4bb8f8a7e14d950c995e6a3fe09154bd52a644cf964cd3e1bd2029d3ec139f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0025bfcbef7e6b8d36ce6df1637d46f42b4696bd62482737bdb14892ee54a72d.jpg

    Hi Josh, I have had this coin for a while. Think it is worth anything. I do not know what it weighs. Probably not but thought I’d ask! Thanks for your thoughts ~~Starlyn

    1. Hi, Starlyn —

      Unfortunately this is a large-date 1982-D bronze, and that’s one of the common ones. However, it is still worth about two cents for its copper value!

      Best wishes,

    2. Hi, Starlyn —

      The surface appears extra reflective. It’s a little hard to tell with the lighting if this 1980 penny was cleaned, gold plated, or something else. If it’s cleaned it’s worth it’s copper metal value (about 2 cents) and the same goes if it’s gold-plated (there’s not enough gold on a gold-plated penny to really add any value). Did something else stand out about this coin that I may not be seeing here that spurred you on to ask about it?

      Hope I can help further,

  124. i beleive i have a 1959 double die https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/431d5daa40669eaa661cdee654d8b7b6952d3da65a926908832fc0d4279f899b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/35ec4b2a077ffa7ef33f63ef3fd0824bf85f5b0f030be5cafd5a11f4d43be0f2.jpg

    1. Hi, Adam —

      Thanks for the closeup; it appears this is machine doubling as described here: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/machine-doubling-doubled-dies/

      Best wishes,

  125. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e68b7de0d50e8a21bb8fac429034c7e7842942708d362b65ca7b0cf9c610bc04.jpg Hello Josh
    I have a 1944 wheat cent that has something on the reverse , is it possible that it happened at the Mint?

    1. Hi, Denise —

      It appears someone outside of the Mint applied what looks like solder to the reverse of your poor coin — one of countless things folks with perhaps a little too much time on their hands has done to deface or alter Lincoln cents…

      Best wishes,

        1. Hi, Sheila —

          I would love to help but don’t see a photo of your coin; would you please post one here so I can provide further assistance?

          Thank you,

          1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/746075b01e12db5a7f6aec59600e9ffabacf0bb3dffc39a5b51d404073778066.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c4633735f1e34cd2824ebf68d1fb661deef5e6c6ee19125c7287a7a7e065bdd.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30dd30a4784fada20e6f5a37481d266baec75b4dfbd24d4b7bd0f1b73350870a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/79d9247d180c131b494cf655dcfec7b9c82c59e9a50ef44331a53cd28e9f9e2f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7088e98e91857a56b12b12972b8aff5367bf88d4f839aae65837c9d662bb2fc5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/044f1d35bf7471f6e33c745426d35ff8cab76f4822215f54fea6e91fd672bdc9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/50cd5135ebc1420ddb12025c1c2b6aa331a601021f938ef17e1d7e43b281c0a9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03f6aa9692f89588a18c7b14923915174e771175de573e5cefc09a1e9d9fa8dd.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/652c20f609e0b8b82e4c5d7e93b553cac6745b1ba64d40248d0917aa35cfe977.jpg

            1984 P classic doubled ear with a die chip.

            1983 D doubled ear.

          2. Hi, Sheila —

            I unfortunately don’t see any indication of a doubled die on the 1983-D in these images… As for the 1984, I am trying to check for a diagnostic of doubling on Lincoln’s bow tie to confirm this is the 1984 doubled ear. The photo is blurry to me upon zoom and thus I can’t comfortably confirm this. For a rarity of this value — $125 and up — I would suggest passing this by the variety experts at VarietyVista.com for a second opinion in-hand if you wish. Minor die chips and plating issues are quite common on this era of pennies and add only nominal value when large and prominent in size.

            Best wishes,

          3. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a2a2ad6b5b3f094855486f48399533f1ddd9724896006eacec78889d76a2f05.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c8f43b88d033ea2ef2183a66cfa37c9b85280216696dca79fa42580cc28c43b.jpg

            Confirmed by John Wexler

          4. Question for you:

            I can’t find any information on this particular question. I know that machine doubling is worthless overall, but it is acceptable on some proof coins.

            I found a 1999 S that has machine doubling in the IGWT. I can’t find anything about this particular year. I was wondering if you happen to know or are able to locate some information for me?

          5. Hi, Sheila —

            As proof coins are intentionally struck twice, (non-hub) doubling is actually rather common on these pieces. From any and all information I have ever read about non-hub doubling on proofs these pieces aren’t especially rare and do not tend to bring any premiums. Thus machine doubling is at best a curiosity on proofs, but nothing bound to bring any extra money.

            The only catalogued 1999-S doubled die I know of involves an area of the reverse around the little Lincoln statue inside the Lincoln Memorial and columns around him. Nothing as far as I am aware involving the national motto on the obverse.

            Best wishes,

          6. Hi, Dallas –

            I’d be happy to give you my opinion right here in the forum; you have a nice uncirculated 1964 Lincoln cent, which is worth about 15 to 20 cents in this grade. Beautiful find!

            Best wishes,

          7. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1ec08776cb28e93ea1d25bfb0ba78515efee29a2036a1a238089d4116832a0d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/321c2d40b6a18625e31d32b3da57d8688f6646997a072e1b493e74270402123f.jpg Very yellow, don’t know much about it. Any ideas?

          8. Hi, Dallas —

            It’s hard to tell for sure in the photo because of lighting, shading, etc., but it appears this coin either has sustained some type of environmental damage that gave it off-color toning or perhaps this coin was gold plated by someone outside the U.S. Mint. In the latter case, the gold plating is extremely thin and is of a lower-grade gold that really doesn’t add more than a couple cents of bullion value to the coin. The penny would then become a novelty collectible perhaps able to garner 25 or 50 cents from an interested buyer.

            Best wishes,

  126. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/943f3c2363fb1e109d14c7f97d3e1c39297f2d62987d007e32ab0fa3dff43c13.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/71635619bce515128cb5b6ccbb6c933d81fd2c6a014201658c6f253a619c4945.jpg

  127. Hi Josh,
    The reason I ask if solder adds weight to the coin was because the weight of the coin is normal, in fact it weighs 3.11 grams, so could that mean this could be an error?

    1. Hi, Denise —

      While your coin may register 3.11 grams that doesn’t necessarily mean that it weighed that amount prior to the application of something like what appears to be solder here. How come? Because cent planchets have a tolerance of plus or minus .13 grams, meaning your piece could have technically weighed as little as 2.98 grams at the Mint and still be considered legally acceptable for distribution.

      As for your coin, my suggestion of solder is an educated guess based on what I see in the image, but if you wish you might consider submitting the photo or the very coin itself to an error expert for a second opinion. You might consider Fred Weinberg — he’s one of the top experts in the country on errors: https://www.fredweinberg.com/

      Good luck,

  128. i have 2 1943 silver looking pennies that weigh 2.7g are they what they call a steel scent and any idea if they are worth anything?

    1. Hi, Karen —

      Based on your description you have two 1943 steel cents, and in circulated condition they would be worth 5 to 15 cents each, assuming they are in average circulated condition.


  129. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4778c3d0f38465dd144169cb209ea84e3051f5e98b3446aa2c372aee791a3a23.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dfb0e7fe7b585eaf19ca1cbdde5d223e86ed5872931d6f9a6bd3083aea65e710.jpg Any help on an opinion for this

  130. I have a 1987 D LMC that appears to be silver with a weight of 2.4 grams. I was wondering if just maybe I found something special? Anything you could inform me about this coin would be greatly appreciated.

    1. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0045bd81a4d8a9a9860bddab6a89c0a9ea35915ee04a25f3290b7f28aaf9c750.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8a916b0ddedc9825da982668f0f14769aa2958b86f4199785ffcf653a7018853.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/850b28c813164ba5913a1039968659416002f23ef5c5d59518029f1104964bc3.jpg

    2. Hi, William —

      As the photos you included so helpfully show me (thank you), the silver color on your penny is simply the coin’s zinc core exposed through the worn high points of your penny where the outer copper coating has worn away. I’m afraid your piece is therefore worth face value.

      Thank you for reaching out!

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