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Steel Penny

Move your cursor over the coin or tap it on your screen to see the reverse side.
Steel Penny front
Steel Penny back
  • In December 1942, Congress approved a one-cent coin that would conserve copper. The Mint selected zinc-coated steel as the substitute material.
  • Steel penny production saved enough copper to manufacture 1.25 million shells for American big-field guns during wartime.
  • The 1943 steel penny is the only regular American coin that a magnet can pick up.
  • About 40 copper pennies were minted in 1943, when copper blanks were accidentally left in the production hopper.