We recently discussed the Don Lutes discovery specimen of the 1943 copper Lincoln Cent error. The publicity over its sale has caused another example to
surface. Here's the news release form NGC. -Editor
Fewer than two dozen Philadelphia Mint examples of these famous mint errors are known to exist.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has certified a 1943 Copper Cent that was found in a gumball machine decades ago. The 1943 Copper Cent is generally
regarded as the most famous of all mint errors.
All 1943 cents were supposed to have been struck in zinc-coated steel so that copper could be conserved for more important uses during World War II.
Nevertheless, a few were mistakenly struck in copper (its composition is technically bronze) and found their way into circulation.
Examples are known from all three mints that produced cents that year: Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver, with the Philadelphia examples being the most
numerous. Still, only about 20 Philadelphia examples are known to exist.
The 1943 Copper Cent recently certified by NGC was found in a gumball machine in Philadelphia in 1976. It was then sold to a collector for the
then-significant sum of $1,000.
The buyer passed down the coin to his children, who decided to submit it to NGC for certification after seeing that another NGC-certified 1943 Copper Cent -
the Don Lutes, Jr. Discovery Specimen - had sold for $204,000 at auction in January. That specimen is named for the teenager who discovered the first 1943
Copper Cent in 1947 in his change.
The family checked the NGC Dealer Locator on NGCcoin.com to find an NGC Authorized Dealer who could assist with the submission. They found Hudson Rare
Coins, which submitted the family heirloom to NGC on their behalf. NGC graded it XF Details.
"When someone calls to say that they have a 1943 Copper Cent, you never expect it to be real. It was therefore an incredible thrill when NGC confirmed this
coin as a genuine example," says Mitchell A. Battino, president of Hudson Rare Coins. "Now that it is certified by NGC there will never be any doubts about the
authenticity of this great rarity."
Hudson Rare Coins will represent the family in the sale of this recently NGC-certified example of the "king of mint errors."
So who remembers gumball machines? It seems every week I run into a reference to something that only reminds me of how old I am. Those used to be found
everywhere, including at the local drug store in the Pittsburgh neighborhood I grew up in. I don't remember if those took cents or nickels, but here's
an image of a 1960s one that took both.
I'm sure dealers all across the country fielded calls from people claiming to have one of these rare babies after the story of the Lutes specimen hit
the news wires. Occupational hazard, I suppose. But good finds do happen and this is a nice outcome for the collector's family. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
NGC Certifies Rare 1943 Copper Cent
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Gumball Machine Atlas Master Penny & Nickel
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
DISCOVERY SPECIMEN 1943 BRONZE CENT GRADED
MEDIA COVERAGE OF LUTES 1943 COPPER CENT
Wayne Homren, Editor
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