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Rare Wheat Penny Is Worth $85,000 - But Watch Out For Fakes

Numismatic experts are reporting that a rare 1943 coin made from copper has sold for close $85,000 at recent coin auctions.

It seems that the copper wheat penny was minted by accident and released into the money supply by error. It turns out the pennies are made entirely from superior copper plating because of shortages during the war.

However, it is also worth noting that because of the worth of these coins, there are thousands of fakes.

Disreputable dealers are taking a 1948 copper penny and filing the 8 down to make a 3.

“Coin analysts suggest that copper plates may have been tested or left mixed among the other steel plates from 1942 and thus the error,” according to the online coin value database CoinTracker.

“No matter what the cause, these coins are selling for just under $100,000 dollars according to our resources,” the database notes.

Keep in mind that pennies were made of other materials during 1943 because of shortages of copper and tin during World War II.

Apparently, the zinc-plated steel coins tarnished if they got wet, so public complaints led to the discontinuation.

By 1944, wheat pennies were once again being produced using a high-percentage copper alloy, but any copper pennies minted in 1943 were brought into circulation in error.

However, the US Treasury and law enforcement sources note that counterfeiters have become creative as they try to cash in on the value of this coin.

Experts say all pennies went back to their pre-World War II composition in 1946, so counterfeiters may attempt to file down the “8” in 1948 minted coins to make it appear like a “3.”

Another known scam is just copperplating the mass-distributed steel wheat pennies from 1943.

The easiest way to avoid buying a fake, or to see if you've got a real 1943 copper wheat penny, is to use the magnet test. That’s because a solid copper penny will not stick to a magnet, but a steel penny with copper plating will.

Source: Mail Online
Photos: Coin Tracker

Some counterfeiters file down the '8' in 1948 minted coins so it will look like a '3' and cash in on the fake

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