1943 Steel War Penny Collector's Set
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1943 Steel War Pennies
As World War II raged, the U.S. Mint joined the American citizens in their support of the war effort by using steel and not copper to mint its pennies. In 1943, these became known as “war pennies.”
Today you can own these pieces of American history with Northwest Territorial Mint’s exclusive War Penny Package. Displayed in a museum-quality trifold laminate that conveys the history of the war pennies in vintage era photos and propaganda, this assortment captures the feel of the war effort’s scrap drives that can be felt even to this day, and makes a great gift or addition to any collection.
Museum-Quality Trifold Laminate
These pennies were minted across several of the U.S. Mint’s facilities, with those minted in Denver denoted with a “D” and those minted in San Francisco with an “S.” Steel pennies minted in Philadelphia bear no mint mark. These war pennies were only struck in 1943, and by 1944 they were replaced with the brass from spent shell casings. The U.S. Mint began to remove them from circulation in 1945, with most removed by 1960.
In order to divert copper to production of items such as bullets, shells, tanks, and trucks, in 1943, the U.S. Mint avoided the use of copper in the 1,093,838,670 pennies it produced, instead striking pennies in steel with a zinc coating.
According to the Department of the Treasury, the copper released for the war effort was enough to meet the combined needs of 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers, 1,243 flying fortresses, 120 field guns and 120 howitzers.
Rationing of metals – like copper – and scrap drives united Americans at home during World War II. Old tools, chicken-wire, tin foil, tin cans, farm equipment, car parts, even gum wrappers swelled the scrap drives. The young and the old and the rich and the poor contributed anything they could to provide our soldiers with essentials such as ships, munitions, tanks, airplanes, and radios in order to fight and stand victorious.