Graded PCGS Secure Plus MS62BN, he finest known 1943-S bronze Lincoln cent is now part of the Simpson Collection, the PCGS Set Registry'sSM number one all-time finest collection of Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes 1943 - 1944. (Photo courtesy of PCGS.)
The PCGS Set RegistrySM number one all-time finest collection of Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes 1943 - 1944, just got even better with a million dollar upgrade.
Well-known collector Bob R. Simpson, co-chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club, has paid $1 million for the finest known 1943-S bronze cent in a transaction arranged by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey. It was successfully acquired by Legend after "determined negotiations" with an East Coast dealer representing the seller who is described only as "a long-time collector," according to Legend President Laura Sperber.
The coin was certified PCGS Secure Plus™ MS62BN by Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) during the recent September 2012 Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo (www.LongBeachExpo.com) and briefly exhibited in the Collectibles Display area there. Sperber then personally delivered the coin to Simpson at his Fort Worth, Texas office.
"Mr. Simpson said, 'It's a beautiful coin.' As he held it he reminisced about the 1943 'copper' Lincoln cent he found in change when he was a youngster, but that turned out to be a fake," said Sperber.
PCGS President Don Willis stated: "We were extremely pleased to have this coin submitted to PCGS at the recent Long Beach Expo. The Simpson Collection now contains the finest known bronze cent from each mint, including the unique 1943-D. It's been a pleasure for PCGS to play a small part in the creation of this unsurpassable set. The finest collections belong in PCGS holders."
The MS62 coin is the finest of four known 1943-S bronze cents, and it is an upgrade to an example graded PCGS AU58 that was in Simpson's registry set.
"We were never satisfied with the AU58 because we knew there was a better coin out there. Our goal was to build the finest set," said Sperber.
"Mr. Simpson is thrilled and proud to own the absolute finest set of bronze 1943 and zinc-coated steel 1944 Lincoln cents. He ranks this as one of the highlights of his extraordinary coin collection, and he wants to eventually display the upgraded set at a major coin show. Even though there's a dollar value for what we paid for the coins in the set, Mr. Simpson and I agree it's priceless because it can not be duplicated."
Sperber explained that the AU58 bronze 1943 cent also will be exhibited in the future with the other coins in the set, and it is not for sale.
BJ Searls, PCGS Set Register manager, stated: "The Simpson collection of 1943 and 1944 off-metal Lincoln cents has a weighted grade point average of 63.556. It's in the PCGS Set Registry Hall of Fame and is the all-time finest collection of its kind with the current finest possible set rating."
The MS62BN 1943-S replaces an AU58BN example that previously was in Simpson's registry set collection when the set had a 62.889 GPA.
Two years ago Simpson became the first person to ever complete the three-coin set of 1943 bronze Lincoln cents. Legend and Simpson set a record for the price of any U.S. small cent in 2010 when they acquired the only known 1943-D bronze Lincoln cent for $1.7 million.
PCGS CoinFacts estimates there may be as many as 20 of the 1943 Philadelphia Mint bronze cents known and about a half dozen San Francisco Mint 1943 bronze cents. The Denver Mint 1943 bronze cent is unique.
The three off-metal bronze coins and their grades in the Simpson Collection of 1943 - 1944 Off-Metal Lincoln Cents are:
PCGS Co-Founder David Hall (right) holds the 1943-S bronze Lincoln cent graded PCGS Secure Plus MS62BN while Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics holds another off-metal coin from the Simpson Collection, a 1943-P bronze cent graded PCGS Secure Plus AU58. (Photo by Donn Pearlman.)
1943-P PCGS Secure Plus MS62BN
1943-D PCGS Secure Plus MS64BN
1943-S PCGS Secure Plus MS62BN
The three zinc-coated steel 1944 cents in the collection are:
1944-P PCGS Secure Plus MS64
1944-D PCGS Secure Plus MS62
1944-S PCGS Secure Plus MS66
The United States Mint switched from bronze planchets to zinc-coated steel for cents in 1943 because copper was a strategic metal needed during World War II.
"By error, some bronze planchets made it into the hoppers at all three Mints, were struck and released into circulation. These have become the most famous and valuable of all off-metal errors," states PCGS CoinFacts.
Since its founding in 1986, Professional Coin Grading Service experts have certified over 24 million coins with a total market value of over $26 billion. PCGS (www.PCGS.com) represents the industry standard in third-party certification. The PCGS Set Registry was established in 2001 and now hosts over 58,000 sets. For additional information about PCGS and its services, visit www.PCGS.com or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.