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Question from newbie member: found 1943 "steel" pennies

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My mother recently passed away and as executor, I am responsible for identifying all assets. In her safe deposit box I found 6 sealed clear plastic rolls of what appear to be uncirculated 1943 pennies. I knew she had these because my dad (who passed away in 1990) collected coins. Mom gave most of dad's coins to us kids, but kept the pennies because they held some sentimental WWII value to her and dad. Using a pair of gloves (to avoid oils and prints on the coins), I opened one container and found it to contain 50 1943 pennies in perfect almost mirror-like condition. The mint marks were about evenly split between D, S and no mark (P?). I have to assume the other five containiners are of similar content and quality.


So.. what should I do? Do I just sell them to a coin dealer? Do I have each coin graded? What does grading cost? I know they minted a lot of these coins in '43, but due to their condition, I'm thinking they might have some value.


Any help out there?

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I'm sorry to hear of your loss.


It sounds like you have mixed rolls of cents. You are also correct in the assumption that the no mint mark coins are P-mint coins. Since rolls of uncirculated coins are typically from only a single mint there is the possibility that these are uncirculated rolls that were at one point mixed together or that these might be lightly circulated coins pulled from circulation. The statement that they have mirrored fields leads me to believe that they are mixed rolls of uncirculated coins.


Coin grading is not cheap, it's about $15 per coin, and most of your cents will not be worth the grading fee. Some coins might be worth more, even significantly more, but the problem then becomes one of identifying the possibly valuable pieces within the vast majority of low value coins. My advice to you, if you are interested in selling the coins, is to make them each solid rolls from a single mint and then sell them on ebay, list them on these boards or even take them to a local dealer or two. I don't recall what these rolls are currently selling for, but I think it is in the $60-$80 range.

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