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Value of a 1953 wheat penny attracted to a magnet?

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One day when separating hundreds of '43 steels from amongst 1000s of wheat pennies with a magnet a curious thing transpired. While removing the 'stuck' steels from this somewhat powerful magnet the one 1953 'dirty copper' at issue reattached itself to the magnet. Obviously, a normal copper would have simply dropped away.

After many online discussions and replies with 'the experts' I'm left with the council to send the coin to a grading service of some sort to legitimize the coin before continuing.

My question, which to date no one wants to answer is: At no better than a generous G-4 rating, assuming this 'error' claim is validated is the cost of validation going to be worth it given any presumable value determination? What could such a coin be worth since validation could be from $50 to maybe over $100? Currently I'm not in the position of needing to waste such funds.



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As of this date really don't have a means of sending any pics of any quality. Likely if I were to need to do this more often I should invest in a dental camera for wonderful pics assuming its outer range could include silver $1

For now, all I can say is its that darken aged shade. with slight marring on Lincoln's face. This fact alone belies those experts claiming this could only be a 'novelty' coin. Their position is that it was prepared and plated with some magnetic element and then [presumably] replated with copper. So after that the penny returned to circulation, went through who knows how much abuse, became discolored as most all circulated wheats have, received the aforementioned facial marring [showing that shiny copper look at 2 places on Lincoln's face] and all this with no rubbing off or chipping. Really unbelievable.

To date the US mint has not responded in any fashion and I've been waiting for weeks for any explanation as to why a copper shou ld have significant magnetic 'affinity'. If this proceds I might find the funds to purchase a 'sufficient' used dig camera.

But for now, the inquiry is as to wether the pursuit of validation has sufficient reward attached to it as to render it worthwhile?


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If the date 1953 is correct and it is not a damaged 1943, then you need to consider if it appears to be a genuine cent, i.e. is it the right size? If so, does it correspond in size to a foreign coin struck at the US mint in 1953? If so, were any of those coins struck on a magnetic planchet? If so, it might be an off-metal error, although its condition might not make it very valuable. If there were no magnetic planchets being used for foreign coins, then it would be extremely unlikely that any 1943 planchets were lying around. Have you taken it to a local coin store to have anyone else look at it?

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There are a number of possible explanations. Could be struck on a foreign planchet which is composed of something magnetic. It's really hard/impossible to say, let alone verify, without seeing good quality pictures or the coin in hand.


Virtually any digital camera sold today will have a close focus macro setting (usually denoted with a flower) which will enable you to take a decent picture. If you don't have access to a camera, try taking it to a local coin dealer (or coin club) and seeing what they think.

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  • 10 years later...

⁷I also have a 1953 magnetic penny it weighs 3.35 grams it looks exactly like every other 1953 penny I have same color same size just different weight and it's quite magnetic not a weak attraction it's farily strong attraction. I just found it 5 days ago while doing the same thing you were doing running a magnet thru my wheats. I'm so curios Icant find anything about it. I couldn't believe it when I found your post.

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