Cent. [13,520] Much like the 1937's. Date normal or with second 9 small and thin. 1973 GENA: 621.
Five Cents. [12,535] Like the 1938's. No presentation coins and no thin letters coins, though.
Dime.  Like the 1937's. Single or double rev. ribbon end, the former with "broken nose", the latter normal. 1973 GENA: 620-1.
Quarter.  Like the 1938's. Popular as lowest mintage; in demand for assembling sets.
Half Dollar.  Like the 1938's.
Proof set. Not more than 8795 could have been made, probably less. Many sets now extant have been assembled. Small hoards exist even as of former years.
Cent. [15,872] Like the 1937's.
Five Cents. [14,158] Like the 1939's.
Dime. [11,827] Like the 1937's. Sometimes with "broken nose" (lapped die).
Quarter. [11,246] Like the 1938's.
Half Dollar. [11,279] Like the 1938's. Sometimes with only microscopic traces of A W monogram, with normal or open D in GOD, later with tail of R in TRUST too short, all these from excessive lapping or polishing of the dies.
Proof Sets. Not more than 11,246 could have been made, probably less. First year of over 10,000 mintage. Much hoarded.
Cent. [21,100] Like the 1937's.
Five Cents. [18,720] Like the 1939's. Letters on some are thinner than usual but nothing like the 1938 variety.
Dime. [16,557] Like the 1937's. Quarter. [15,287] Like the 1938's.
Half Dollar. [15,412] This design is normally found with Weinman's monogrammed A W at lower right reverse. Many specimens, individual and in sets, lack the monogram. I have examined these and they are all from the same working die which had been much repolished or lapped, probably to obliterate clash marks. An earlier state shows weak AW. Not an intentional variety. Somewhat commoner than those with the A W showing, in a ratio of possibly 5 with to 8 or 9 without it. However, as there are thousands of 1941 halves in hoards of individual coins or hoards of proof sets, examination of these might alter the ratio somewhat. The variety is nevertheless common enough so that any collector wanting it for comparison can get it for a price -not unusually high at the moment.
Proof Sets. Not more than 15,287 could have been made, probably less. First year of 15,000 or more mintage of proof sets.
Cent. [32,600] Like the 1937's.
Five Cents. Type I: Nickel alloy, similar to preceding years. Without large mint mark above dome. [29,600] Like the 1939's.
- Type II: Wartime silver alloy. Large P above dome. [27,600] Many of these were added to existing proof sets. A large number went into hoards. Genuinely a type coin: first year of the new alloy, only domestic coin of the Philadelphia Mint showing a P mintmark. The high Guidebook listing and recent market quotations reflect hoarding based on those considerations.
Dime. [22,329] Like the 1937's. Quarter. [21,123] Like the 1938's. Half Dollar. [21,120] Like the 1938's.
Proof Sets. Not more than 21,120 could have been made, probably fewer. These had the Type I nickels, but many of them were converted into 6-piece proof sets by collectors buying the new Type II proof nickels as soon after the issue date of October 8, 1942 as possible. Five-piece proof sets are now very seldom offered and when available usually have the silver nickel added thereto. Such is conformity. Hoards of 6-piece proof sets exist; I myself have seen one hoard of nearly 900 sets and one other nearly as large, andI can well believe that others are around.
Experimental cents were made dated 1942 in various metals and compositions. At least two of these have a matte finish but the other coins so far offered do not have the earmarks of proofs.
Proof coinage was discontinued at the end of 1942 because increased wartime demands for coins (to meet payrolls, principally) strained the mint's facilities to a then unprecedented degree. Various wartime proofs have been reported but authentication is lacking. Judging by previous mint history, however, almost anything is possible.
The first proofs coined this year had a comparatively dull finish but sharp inner and outer edges to rims. Later proofs were far more brilliant. The analogy is not quite to the two types of 1936 proofs, as the first ones were not nearly matte in surface. They are, nevertheless, easily distinguishable. As in 1936, the second issue -more brilliant -brings a higher price. No information is available on respective amounts coined.
From now through 1964 proofs were coined only in sets, no extra individual specimens being issued. Dies were brilliantly burnished; only the first few impressions from each die show frost on head or other relief device, though that was the intention for all. It is rare to see more than one frosted-head coin in a set, uncommon to see even one, all but unheard of to find 3 or 4. Frosted coins are known of all dates and denominations, however.
Set. [51,386] Hoarded in vast quantities as the first year of the new series; the first year to show the Roosevelt dime or Franklin half dollar. The quarter is from the retouched hub introduced in 1944 with back hair (queue) sharper than previously; designer's initials JF large and well formed as on those made from 1945 on. The half dollar has the first style eagle (1950-55 and early '56 proofs, 1950-63 unc. except 1959), with low relief and 4 feathers left of perch, the lower wing feathers somewhat indistinct.