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1944 Off-Metal Lincoln Cents:
Experimental or on Foreign Planchets??

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Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Heritage Auctions just sold two 1944 Lincoln Cents from the Fred Weinberg Collection. Although the PCGS insert with the Fred Weinberg pedigree designates these as Struck on Experimental Planchets, they very likely were struck on foreign planchets.

In the Heritage auction archives, there is a 1944 Lincoln Cent, certified MS 63 by PCGS, and designated as Struck on a Netherlands 25C Planchet. A Netherlands quarter planchet from 1944 has a weight of 3.57 grams, a diameter of 19mm, and is 64% silver and 36% copper. This almost identically matches the 1944 Lincoln Cent certified MS 62 by PCGS, and designated as Experimental 3.6g Planchet. It also has a diameter of 19mm, a weight of 3.6 grams (which could have been rounded up from 3.57 grams) and is also silver and copper with slightly different percentages. It is 69% silver instead of 64% and 31% copper instead of 36%. It is most likely that Fred Weinberg's 3.6g experimental cent was struck on a Netherlands 25C Planchet.

Also in the Heritage auction archives, there is a 1944 Lincoln Cent, certified MS 62 by PCGS, and designated as Struck on a Philippines 5C Planchet. A Philippines five centavos planchet from 1944 has a weight of 4.92 grams, a diameter of 19mm, and is 65% copper, 23% zinc and 12% nickel. This almost identically matches the 1944 Lincoln Cent certified MS 63 by PCGS, and designated as Experimental 4.9g Thick Planchet. It also has a diameter of 19mm, a weight of 4.9 grams and is also copper, zinc and nickel with slightly different percentages. It is 64% copper instead of 65%, 20% zinc instead of 23%, and 16% nickel instead of 12%. It is most likely that Fred Weinberg's 4.9g experimental cent was struck on a Philippines 5C Planchet.

Mint Error News published a 69 page PDF report detailing the mintages of foreign coinage struck by the US Mint. This report contains all the potential planchet compositions that off-metal coins could be struck on. In the case of these two 1944 Lincoln Cents, the only planchets that match the metal compositions of these off-metal errors are the 3.57g Netherlands 25C Planchet and the 4.92g Philippines 5C Planchet. Click here to read the report.

Below are the auction details on Fred Weinberg's "Experimental" 1944 Lincoln Cents and comparable off-metal 1944 Lincoln Cents struck on a Netherlands 25C Planchet and a Philippines 5C Planchet.


1944 Lincoln Cent, MS62
Struck on an Experimental Planchet
69% Silver, 31% Copper

SOLD FOR $19,200.00

1944 1C Lincoln Cent -- Experimental Planchet -- MS62 PCGS. Ex: Fred Weinberg Collection. 3.6 grams. 69% Silver, 31% copper. During World War II, copper was an important munitions alloy, while silver was not. For example, silver was added to the wartime Jefferson nickel alloy, while copper and nickel were removed. One can speculate that the present cent was intentionally struck as part of an effort to replace the unsuitable 1943 steel cent alloy yet reduce the copper content of 1944 cents. In any event, this coin exists in its possibly unique silver-copper alloy. It is lustrous and nicely struck with unmarked surfaces and light golden-brown toning. The reverse has a railroad rim near 9 o'clock. The rim is widest on the reverse near 5 o'clock, and narrowest on the obverse near 5 o'clock.
From The Fred Weinberg Collection.


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1944 Cent, MS63, Struck on a
Netherlands 25 Cent Planchet

SOLD FOR $7,637.50

1944 Lincoln Cent -- Struck on a Netherlands 25 Cent Planchet -- MS63 PCGS. A Netherlands 25 cent planchet has a standard weight of 3.575 gm and a standard diameter of 19 mm. The silver alloy is 640 Fine. The U.S. struck coins for the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945 due to its German occupation. Though a 1944 cent on a zinc-plated steel flan is a costly off metal error, the present piece should prove much more affordable despite similar rarity. Lustrous, sharply struck, and unmarked with delicate wheat-gold and ice-blue toning.
From The Geyer Family Collection.


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1944 Lincoln Cent, MS63
on a Thick Experimental Planchet
64% Copper, 20% Zinc, 16% Nickel

SOLD FOR $12,000.00

1944 1C Lincoln Cent -- Experimental Planchet -- MS63 PCGS. Ex: Fred Weinberg Collection. 4.9 grams. The typical 1944 cent weighs 3.1 grams. Pollock (1994) states "1944 one-cent pieces are known struck on especially thick planchets. These are listed as "experimental cents" in the Judd pattern reference. Other numismatists regard them to be mint errors; i.e. struck on planchets cut from sheets of rolled stock intended for the production of foreign coins." Pollock listed them as P-2078. It is curious that the alloy is 16% nickel, since that metal was absent from 1944 Jefferson nickels. Regardless of whether the present piece is a pattern, an experimental cent, or a mint error on a foreign planchet, it is possibly unique in its alloy combination. It is well struck and coruscating with light peach-gold toning and minimal signs of contact.
From The Fred Weinberg Collection.


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1944 Lincoln Cent, MS62
Struck on a Philippines 5 Centavos Planchet

SOLD FOR $6,462.50

1944 Lincoln Cent -- Struck on a Philippines 5 Centavos Planchet -- MS62 PCGS. The Philadelphia Mint struck 5 centavos for the Philippines (KM-180a) due to the Japanese occupation. A standard five centavos alloy is 0.650 copper, 0.230 zinc, and 0.120 nickel. Crisply struck and coruscating with smooth surfaces and a hint of olive-gold toning. All design elements are intact.
From The Geyer Family Collection.


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Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com


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