Whenever a 1943 Bronze Cent or a 1944 Steel Cent are sold, headlines are made! Heritage Auctions is honored to offer a rare 1944 Steel Cent error in the June US Coin Auction 1331. The 1943 and 1944 error Cents are so engrained in the public consciousness as being rare that Heritage receives inquiries literally every day from hopefuls who are wishing that they found one of the rare versions, but very, very few people actually have the "right" coin.
These transitional error coins occurred when the US Mint was supposed to resume the use of the normal bronze planchets in 1944. The Mint had temporarily used zinc/steel planchets in 1943 to save copper for the war effort and was switching back to the regular pre-War composition the following year as things began to normalize. However, a few accidents secretly escaped the Mint that were unintentionally struck on the wrong planchets--the previous year's steel version!
Approximately 25 to 30 of these dramatic error coins are believed to exist in all grades, although there are not actually that many certified. NGC has certified only four 1944 steel cents, all in AU grades. PCGS has graded ten examples, two in AU and eight in Mint State, but none finer than MS64. We can locate only a single price realized at the MS64 level, a PCGS CAC example that brought $158,625 as lot 4411 in an August 2013 Stack's Bowers sale. This attractive example is graded MS64 by PCGS.
This six-figure error will be a true coup for whatever lucky collector ends up purchasing it!