Unknown but weird Cent - 194* something. Probably not a 1943 Bronze or Copper, so what is it??

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Money is Freedom, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Quick question - See pic. When I drop it, it has a higher pitch than any other cent. Anyone know why? I'm not a coin guy so I don't know much.

    Long Story - 30yrs ago, I found this wheat cent on the side of a road. When I came home, I threw it on a table and noticed it had a cool tone to it. I threw it in a container with other wheat pennies and forgot about it, even after I moved a couple times. Unemployed now, so I'm cleaning the house and found this container. Going thru the coins which are mostly worthless and beat up. I couldn't see the date at all until I gently cleaned with vinegar and carnuba liquid wax. The last digit is mostly gone, however you can make out "194" (Seeing it in person is a little more clear than picture). In one picture, it looks like a 2 but I was unable to take other pics showing that. In the other pictures, it could be a 3, 8 or 9. I tested and couldn't find any other coin that sounds like this one. I tried 1943 steel penny, Canadian, German, Hungarian coins, old, new, corroded worse than this cent. Nothing has this slightly higher pitch, yet musical "ting, ting, ting!" sound which is why I kept it. Did US make any weird coins made out of different alloys, other than Steel, Bronze or Copper during the 1940's? What does a Bronze cent sound like? I know beat up coins this bad aren't worth anything, but I just like this way it sounds and would like to know more about it. Thanks for any help and whoever started this great forum.

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  3. Lawtoad

    Lawtoad Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CT. Lincoln Cents from 1944 to 1946 were made from recycled shell casings so the alloy was slightly different, 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc (no tin). Cents from 1909 to 1942 were 95 percent copper and 5 percent tin and zinc. This could account for the slightly different tone it makes.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  4. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    Listening to the sound a coin makes when it's dropped on a hard surface is not a good way to determine the composition of a coin, especially if it's damaged.

    Your coin looks like it could be a damaged 1943 steel cent. Try testing it with a magnet
    paddyman98 likes this.
  5. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! Supporter

    A corroded 1942 Cent :yack:

    I don't believe in doing any kind of sound test.
    It's silly IMO.

    If it does not stick to a magnet then its not a 1943.
    It's still corroded.
  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    That last digit looks like a 4 to me. But what does it really matter? Anything in the forties in this condition it worth face value. And doing a drop test is crazy. All that can really do is damage the coin.

    Welcome to CT.
  7. I think Lawtoad is correct , as well as the others. It's probably a 1944 and worthless. I threw it out. Thanks.
  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    It's not worthless as it's always worth face value, which this coin was.
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