Metal Live Price Gold: $1,277.55 -4.60 Silver: $17.03 -0.12 Platinum: $921.70 -4.75

Penny Wise and Penny Hopeful

This afternoon there is a huge bag of wheat cents for me to inventory. At London Coin Galleries Mission Viejo we buy many coin collections each month. Not surprisingly, most coins are common coins – which is the natural outcome of our government’s plan for making coins for our economy. Simply stated, make many coins as fast as possible. However,...


This afternoon there is a huge bag of wheat cents for me to inventory. At London Coin Galleries Mission Viejo we buy many coin collections each month. Not surprisingly, most coins are common coins – which is the natural outcome of our government’s plan for making coins for our economy. Simply stated, make many coins as fast as possible.


However, there are times when the really large coinage numbers don’t happen. There may be an error in the production process that produces a rare coin. For example…


In 1922 it was decided that only the Denver Mint would produce cents. That part of the plan went smoothly. More than seven million cents were produced – all at Denver. Most, but not all, had the Denver “D” mint mark struck below the 1922 date. A small number were made without the mint mark. When these were spotted by collectors of the time it was first thought that somehow Philadelphia had struck of some pennies, but not so. The extra thorough efforts of a die polisher resulted in the removal of the mint mark from one of the working dies. As polishing was a measure to increase the life of an otherwise worn out die, and in view of the fact that only one working die of many was involved, it is rightfully assumed that very few 1922 cents without a mint mark were produced.

Another one cent anomaly is the 1943 copper cent. As many know, 1943 cents were planned as steel coins to save bronze for the war effort. Steel blanks were manufactured for the 1943 production. During the first week of the new year production schedule, somehow, a few bronze blanks from the prior year’s production apparently were left in the coin presses, in error. So, a dozen or so bronze 1943 cents were produced. These are some of the most sought after cents in the US series – and also one of the most frequently faked. As a note of interest, before we would consider purchasing one of these coins we would first recommend that the coin be authenticated by a reputable third party grading service such as PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.)

Suffice to say that the day has passed without my finding either a 1922 no mint mark cent or a 1943 bronze. Nevertheless, the search continues…


  • Penny Wise and Penny Hopeful