Posted 7 years ago
The emergency coin collection was given to me by my parents back in the 1980's. Wartime Priorities demanded that the U.S. Treasury find substitute metals for minting nickels and pennies.
On Oct 8, 1942 , a new 5 cent piece was issued. They were made of 56%
copper, 9% manganese and 35% silver. To distinguish the new alloy, enlarged mint marks were used. These marks and their year of mintage, incorrectly used, helped catch both a counterfeiter and a spy during WW2.
The 1943 "Steel Cent" was issued in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. these cents are made of zinc-coated steel. often called "Silver Pennies", they are slightly lighter in weight than copper cents.
The 1944-1946 "Shellcase Copper Cent". The "Silver Pennies" of 1943 proved themselves to be unpopular. They were often mistaken for dimes and the zinc coating quickly wore away. The U.S. Treasury found an acceptable source for copper--used cartridge cases. from 1944 to 1946, all cents were made from these recycled shellcases in a 95% copper and 5% zinc.