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Plastic 1/2 cent during WWII


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I'm helping My son Erich look at some primary sources for the WWII war time coinage, inparticular the Nickel, Cent, and Canadian Nickel. We came upon one article in the NYT talking about a proposal to make 12.5 cent coins but the min actually preferred a 1/2 cent piece of plastic. The reason for the 1/2 denomination was to deal with sales taxes. Obviously that proposal didn't become law, it'll be interesting to find out why not.

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That's an interesting project you're working on. I've not heard of the 12.5 cent plastic before but I too would like to know more about it. Perhaps the ANA has some info..

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USPatterns.com has information on the plastic patterns that were considered. Of course, a Judd or Pollock reference book would be helpful in cross-referencing.


In my Scott's Encyclopedia, he mentions in 1942 (S-499):

Cent. Experitmental Peice. Obv. Liberty head .... Struck in various metals and plastics. Cannot be legally held.


So, at least the one cent was a consideration for plastic. Now with regards to a proposed 1/2 cent piece, I don't have any knowledge or information off-hand. But a search of legislation or mint reports for that era may produce some further information.

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Your mistaken as to it was not inacted. They were not Cents, not half Cents either. In many States they used what was called Tax Token Mills. They were made in denominations of 1/10 of a Cent and 1/2 of a Cent. They were both metal and plastic. And yes they were made and used in many States about in the 30's or 40's, not sure. I have a roll of them from Missouri. Mine are mostly the 1/10 of a Cent in Plastic of both Red And Green colors. My only metal one is a 1/2 Cent one and has a hole in the middle. The hole is not what someone did but that is the way it was made and I can not find out why. I got mine from an Aunt that lived in Missouri back in those days.

Imagine going to a store and buying something for a dollar and having to pay $1.001. Or $1.005.

By the way I have no idea how or where you can buy these today.

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