Only a single example is known of the 1943-D Bronze Cent. The story of this unique Cent is shrouded in mystery and speculation.
Here’s what John Wexler and Kevin Flynn had to say about this coin in “The Authoritative Reference On Lincoln Cents, Second Edition” (2009):
“The 1943D Bronze cent was owned by a former Denver Mint employee who is believed to have struck it. This coin has the strongest strike of any 1943 bronze cent. Speculation has it that the person hand fed a bronze planchet into the coining press, struck it twice to bring up the design, then kept it. There are zinc fragments on both the obverse and the reverse, which means that the dies were used to strike normal 1943 zinc-coated steel cents first. The coin was kept secret for years. After the person died, the coin was given to one of his children, who in 1996, consigned the coin to Superior Galleries to be auctioned. The coin was examined by ANACS in 1979 and declared “genuine.” In 1996, it was sent to NGC, where it received a grade of MS64BN. It has since been certified by PCGS as MS64BN. This coin recently sold for $212,750, the second highest price ever paid for a Lincoln cent.”
In a conflicting story, Dr. Sol Taylor wrote the following in "Making Cents" (September 20, 2008):
"Finally one specimen of the 1943-D cent is known in bronze. This specimen traces its origins to a deliberately made coin probably by John R. Sinnock, chief engraver of the US Mint at the time – as it was later discovered in the estate of a woman Sinnock was dating in the 1940s, when both lived in the small town of North Tonawanda, N.Y."
Regardless of how this coin was created, it ranks as one of the most important and valuable of all Lincoln Cents.
On September 22, 2010, numismatic headlines throughout the internet announced the sale of the PCGS MS64 Brown 1943-D Copper Lincoln cent. The coin sold for 1.7 million dollars. This was a new record for any small cent.
The coin was purchased by Laura Sperber from Legend Numismatics for one of her customers. The owner of the coin was represented by Andy Skrabalak, from Angel Dees and Collectables.
The previous record for any small cent was set in 2008, when one of two known1944-S Lincoln cents in a steel planchet sold for $373,750 at a Heritage auction.