Have you ever wondered what your old change could be worth?

A viewer reached out to our Verify Team wanting to know if a penny from 1943 is worth $5,000 or more.

Our team took a closer look, and here’s what we found:

  • We talked to Royal Coin and Jewelry, a Houston dealer specializing in rare coins.
  • They told us that in 1943 pennies were made with steel and coated in zinc to minimize rusting.
  • But at some point during that year a couple of copper blanks made it into the minting process.
  • Those copper 1943 pennies are the ones that can go for five or six figures.
  • Royal coins warned us there are some fakes out there. People take the steel pennies and coat them with copper to make them look like the rare finds.

The dealer recommends taking a magnet to the penny. If it sticks, it's made of steel and worth one cent. If not, then we can verify your penny could be worth a lot.

VERIFY: Sources

Royal Coins and Jewelry


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.