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The elusive 1943 Copper penny.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Toto'sDad, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011

    When I was a kid, I got wind of the existence of this penny, and went about desperately trying to find it. I've mentioned that I was an only child who grew up like a weed beside the highway, I was always trying to find a way to make a little money. I would collect pop bottles from every source I could scrounge, during the potato season, I had a little business where I would sell pop and sandwiches and make two or three dollars a day, sometimes more. I cut lawns, did all sorts of things in the summer to gather cash.

    When I had ten bucks or so, I would always convert it to pennies searching for that elusive gold mine that was a 1943 copper penny! Now it shows just how much of a hick I was because I lived in a little okie town out in California that only had a population of about 3,000, but I was just sure, if I looked long and hard enough, I'd find that penny, and me and momma's financial burdens would be lifted for all time!

    I was thrilled to read that there actually was such a penny, and that it is very valuable even today. Dreams of kids are precious at the time, I'm glad I had mine, even though most of them didn't come true. The summer of my tenth year was the last time I tried to find the penny. The next summer, I got a job chopping cotton, I'd hit the big time, I was making twenty bucks a week, at fifty cents an hour. I bought a Cushman Three Start Deluxe Bicycle on the credit from King Lumber Company and paid it off.
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  2. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2008
    Man... if only today's kids had such dreams, such work ethics and experiences... perhaps all the squealing about College Debt, and all the idiotic staring at cell phones would be less.
    I don't care what most of the people do, most of the time... but I'm sad that these experiences from the youths of us oldertimers literally cannot be duplicated.
  3. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Any idea how many of them were made to begin with? Estimated still in circulation today?
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  4. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    Was that during the Depression? Just how old are you, TD??? ;) :D
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  5. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    Great story TD. As a boy born in 1950 I also knew of that penny, and while I didn’t go to your level of engagement we sure did look closely at every penny we encountered. I believe that one us thought he’d found it more than once, only to be shown that it was just a dirty steel example.

    Those were little money but good times.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    No I missed that! That was during the mid fifties! I am old, old, old, old, but I'm still kicking!!!

  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    What's a penny?
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  8. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 5, 2006
    Sinatra's World
    On the left...

  9. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Jul 4, 2008
    Number Manufactured
    1943 Steel: 684.6 million
    1943-D Steel: 217.7 million
    1943-S Steel: 191.6 million

    I think the article said 20 or so copper 1943 pennies were made.
  10. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    One year for my birthday a friend gave me a Whitman Lincoln Penny folder and a roll of pennies. I popped open the roll and found none that went in my folder, each week I would go to the bank and take the old pennies back and get a new roll, after about six months I had maybe three spots filled. My dad looked at it.. "I think I see the problem" It was volume I of three, covering 1909-1929..this was in the early '70s lol. I stuck with it and over the years have found perhaps a dozen.. My latest project is trying to find the remaining three ( I have one) "Life of Lincoln" pennies from a few years back that have been hoarded out of circulation.
  11. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Jul 4, 2008
    4092A86B-2042-42F0-A39D-C406BDEA6D3F.jpeg 54CABC28-B70B-4FD4-8DD9-63A0AD2AD46D.jpeg A7E1B6DA-D220-423E-A277-8BACB3871C4B.jpeg I’ve had these for over 50 years.
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I had a buddy with maybe 5 canvas coin bags full of pennies.
    Maybe he used to knock over gumball machines...I dunno.
    We found out about these 1943 pennies and looked through EVERY FREAKIN' PENNY.
    Surely there would be one or 2 among so many, right?
    The steel ones were not uncommon.
    Dad called them "lead pennies."
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  13. stratofortress

    stratofortress Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 25, 2011
    I collected stamps as a kid and this was the holy grail in stamp collecting at least for me..

    never found one though...


    × 606
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  14. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Jul 4, 2008
    20 copper out of over a billion made?
    Indeed, a very good chance to find one or two out of, what, thousands?

    Still, my brother and I did the same thing when we were collecting as kids.
  15. Euphonica

    Euphonica TDPRI Member

    Nov 28, 2018
    New Orleans, LA
    HAHAHAA that’s really funny! Cracked me up.

    One time I fell backwards while sitting in a lawn chair at a soccer game, around age 6 or 7. It was a short and soft fall, and I landed sitting with my back on the ground. I turned my head to the right, and found a 1908 penny! It was very exciting. Once I found a Chinese coin too.

    I always thought those pennies were zinc haha!
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  16. Mouth

    Mouth Tele-Holic

    Feb 13, 2018
    I still look for copper 1943 pennies. I throw all my pre-1982 pennies in a coffee can. Any wheatback pennies, buffalo nickels, mercury or silver Roosevelt dimes go into a medicine bottle and bicentennial and silver quarters go into a different container.

    My Grandad got a gold coin as a penny in change when I was a kid, so that has always made me look at my change. I average a bicentennial quarter and a wheatback penny every month or so, and I get a few silver coins per year.

    Now there's another tale from childhood with a million dollar treasure that I know the location of, but I'm trying to figure out how to cash in on it. Someone else owns the land. I guess I'd have to buy the land.
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  17. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 23, 2003
    there is a highly sought-after penny - the 1909S-vdb. It was minted in 1909 in San Francisco, and the 'vdb' refers to the initials of the artist(?) in the final minted coin.

    When we were kids collecting pennies, this was the holy frail. The ads in the comic books said it might be worth $100 or more! Well of course, I was a penny collector, using those blue collection folders like nvilletele showed above. I had loads of pennies, even 1909's from different mints... but that '1909S vdb' was too rare!

    Fast forward to 1978 or so... I come back to to my mom's house in Oakland, after an all-nighter in the SF punk clubs. Mom's working in the back yard... me and Dennis (the singer) are chatting with her; I look down and see a penny in the dirt. Being a childhood collector, I am interested. Rub the dirt off - it's a 1909. There's the mintmark - S. Turn the coin over, and there - sure enough! - there are the initials VDB!!!

    That was a truly transcendent moment in my life! I still have that penny. It is worth several hundred dollars, I have heard. I have no urge to sell it. It is just so cool to my 10-year-old mind to have that one single penny that was always so rare and sought-after.
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Pennies have been nixed in Canada, and I have a pile at home. I may just have to pass them off one by one whenever I'm in the State, heh, heh...

    I don't collect coins, but there's always change hanging around that is left over from vacations. I have this 50 yen coin on my desk right now, I like the hole:

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  19. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2003
    Kittery, Maine
    I started collecting in 4th grade. Most of my friends had collections - we even had a coin club in junior high. 40+ years later one of my twin sons picked up the hobby. He's way more advanced and knowledgeable than I ever was. Great to see a 14 year-old into coins and history. Rare these days. Glad we can share it.
    Toto'sDad likes this.
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    My FIL collected coins and stamps, nothing really worth a lot it seemed. I was going through the coins and found a 1964 50 cent piece and it had "Heads" on each side and I thought "wow, a mistake coin from the mint". It was a magic joke coin where 2 coins are cut and joined together. Hahaha, he got a last funny on me.
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