Is My 1944 Steel Cent Real?

Discussion in 'Error Coins' started by SorenCoins, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. SorenCoins

    SorenCoins Well-Known Member

    The 1944 steel cent is the lesser known "cousin" to the 1943 copper cent. Many people, like the 1943 copper cent, think they have found one but aren't quite sure. Although there already is a forum for the 1943, I haven't seen one on these 1944 cents.

    How do they form?
    The 1944 steel cents have been found from Denver (D), Philadelphia (no MM), and San-Francisco (S). They were struck on planchets accidentally left over from 1943, when steel replaced copper for war efforts.

    How many exist?
    8-10 for Denver.
    20-25 for Philadelphia.
    2 for San-Francisco.
    Again, these are estimates as the complete number is unknown. And yours could be real, as new errors and varieties are found every year. I wouldn't be surprised if more are found.

    How much is it worth?
    If your cent is genuine, it could sell for over $100,000. But it all depends on if its genuine, its condition, etc. But now I will tell you some ways you can tell if your cent is real.

    So, is my coin real?
    One common way these are faked are by plating a copper 1944 in zinc, steel, or some other metal.
    -If coated in zinc, you could place it in some 5% acetic acid (white distilled vinegar) and it would remove the plating. Though that method isn't recommended as it could damage the coin. Also if you see where there have been some nicks or hits on the coin, if copper is visible it is plated and fake.
    -Using a good, strong magnet test for magnetism. I recommend a neodymium magnet. If it strongly sticks there's a nice chance its genuine.
    -If it sticks also check for ferromagnetism. Since the steel is an alloy of iron, it will be ferromagnetic. Meaning if you stick a magnet to it, it can carry the magnetic field through itself. If the coin itself can pick up a paper clip or staple, it is ferromagnetic; meaning it could be real. Fakes made of aluminum are merely paramagnetic and wont carry a field.
    -Weight. A copper cent from 1944 will weigh 3.11g give or take a few milligrams. A genuine steel planchet will weigh 2.70g, once again, give or take a few milligrams. If a copper cent is plated the weight will only increase to maybe 3.13g or so.
    -If there is bubbling around the coin (on the rims) where it looks poorly produced it could be a fake casted from real steel, these are rather obvious.
    -If the coin looks rather, "chromy" or polished it is likely a plated coin. However this is not definite as a genuine polished coin could show the same appearance. A genuine coin would likely show cartwheel luster if in high grade.
    -For lower grades, if you see any green environmental damage (verdigris not PVC) it is copper, however if it has grayish or rusty corrosion it could be real.

    So what comes next?
    If your coin passed all those tests, then it is very likely it could be real. The next step is to send it in to a verifier or TPG (third party grading service) like PCGS, NGC, or ANACS. I recommend ANACS for these coins. There will be a fee but it is worth it if it is genuine.

    I hope you liked my first educational post. If you have more I can add I would be happy to add it.
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  3. paddyman98

    paddyman98 No Common Cents! Supporter

    For a moment I thought you were going to say that you think you found one! I was like.. Oh boy, here we go again!

    Great information. Thanks for sharing! :watching:
    SorenCoins likes this.
  4. SorenCoins

    SorenCoins Well-Known Member

    Ha! I know right. Maybe this will help slow down the massive amount of posts relating to these. Im currently going to make one on the "No S" coins.
    paddyman98 likes this.
  5. COCollector

    COCollector Well-Known Member

    The 1944 Belgian 2-franc steel coin was also produced by the U.S. (in preparation for the Allied liberation of Belgium). Mintage was 25,000,000 according to Wikipedia.


    So I'm guessing the U.S. had a boatload of leftover 1943 steel planchets. And presumably we still needed copper for the war effort...

    So I'm not surprised that some steel cents were produced for 1944. Question is, how many? Maybe millions? And maybe most were destroyed?

    Or, maybe there's a long-forgotten hoard of 1944 steel cents hiding in a dusty corner of a U.S. Mint vault.
    paddyman98 likes this.
  6. SorenCoins

    SorenCoins Well-Known Member

    Yeah they probably were gonna make a lot more but found out the steel was bad for the dies/machines and that they had to pay more attention to war than coin minting. They were confirmed however to have been accidental. No one knows for sure but at maximum there are only a bit above 3 dozen known.
    paddyman98 likes this.
  7. jonathan43

    jonathan43 New Member

  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Yep. A lot of people don't know about those 1944 2-franc pieces struck for liberated Belgium. Obviously they were using up the leftover steel cent blanks. The Belgian coins make a nice companion piece to a '43 steel cent, as shown. They're pretty affordable. I get 'em in bulk lots occasionally.
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