All pennies are made of copper, except for the silver-looking ones made in 1943. Those are made of zinc and coated in steel. A 1943 copper penny is very valuable because only a few of them were accidentally made during World War II. During the war, copper was needed to make weapons, so most of the pennies were made of zinc. Coin collectors have placed a value of up to $85,000 on the 1943 copper penny. Due to its value, many counterfeit coins have been circulated. In order to test for authenticity, use a magnet. Counterfeit steel pennies are coated with copper, and they will stick to the magnet. Watch this video to see an example of the magnet testing process.
Coins of the Realm in the Gaithersburg area is an accurate grader of many collectibles, including coins, jewelry, diamonds, and stamps. If you are interested in purchasing or selling unique items, contact us today at (301) 637-6220.