This looks a little unusual to any coin collector for a couple of reasons. The #1 reason is because pennies in 1943 were supposed to look like this:
If you happen to be one of the very, very few people to have a coin like the first one pictured above then you may be able to pay off your mortgage a little early. Let me explain:
In 1943 the United States was deeply involved in WWII which was in full swing, and there was a shortage of greatly needed copper for the war effort. The U.S. Mint temporarily made pennies in zinc-plated steel at all of their mints in 1943 only. These, albeit awesome to look at and collect, are really not worth very much even in uncirculated condition.
However, there were a couple of cases of folks (Kenneth Wing in particular) who had found copper pennies dated 1943, that defied logic. You can read Kenneth Wing's story here.
If you clicked the link then you're already ahead of me. It wasn't until 2008 that it was officially accepted that there were in fact, a handful of copper 1943 pennies made in error. As you can probably imagine, their value absolutely soared. A 1943-S can sell for 62k in average condition, while one that was uncirculated, in mint condition can go for as much as 400k. If that doesn't get you to searching through your loose change then I don't know what will. But of course, there has to be a down side to everything, so here it is:
There are a lot of counterfeit coins masquerading to be this rare and lucrative penny. Here's an example:
The altered fake is a 1948 penny that someone ground the eight in half on and passed it off as original. Also, a real copper penny will not stick to a magnet, and a fake copper coated penny will.
In short, if you think you've found one, examine the date and compare it to the one above. Then try passing a magnet over it. If it passes those tests, get it to a coin dealer. They usually don't charge anything to examine a coin and always remember to get a second opinion. You can certainly bet that they'll let you know what the next steps are.
Think you might have one? Send us an email, or leave a comment below. You can also reach us on Facebook, or just give us a call at 423-268-7195