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View Full Version : What was so special about that penny in the comic books?


Shawn1767
04-19-2011, 04:54 PM
I remember ads in comic books from when I was a kid (1970s) and there was one that had a picture of a penny in it and it said something like "If you have this penny in your house, it could be worth thousands of dollars!"

I could never see what made that particular penny different from any others, never having been a coin collector. What was so special about it. I can't find any pictures of the ad anywhere. Does anyone else remember this ad or know what it was about?

Czarcasm
04-19-2011, 04:56 PM
It was the only penny in the world that was 3 inches in diameter and made entirely of paper!

Arnold Winkelried
04-19-2011, 04:57 PM
Was it a 1909 S VDB penny (http://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/06/1909_s_vdb_penny.php)?

Chronos
04-19-2011, 05:05 PM
It could also have been a 1943 copper. During the war years, pennies were supposed to be made of steel, to save copper for the war effort, but a few dozen were accidentally minted out of copper. They're therefore incredibly rare, but since they also look like perfectly ordinary pennies (well, aside from being wheaties), most of them stayed in circulation, so it's just barely plausible that you might have one lying around the house.

Andy L
04-19-2011, 05:14 PM
Was it a 1909 S VDB penny (http://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/06/1909_s_vdb_penny.php)?

Just what I was thinking. It's one of the few terms I remember from coin-collecting in the '70s

Cartooniverse
04-19-2011, 10:04 PM
I've got a 1909 VDB, but it's from the Philly mint.

Darn it.

handsomeharry
04-19-2011, 10:09 PM
It was the only penny in the world that was 3 inches in diameter and made entirely of paper!

You beat me to it. And, yet, I must honor you for doing the very thing that broke my heart.

Best wishes,
hh

AHunter3
04-19-2011, 10:37 PM
There are a few Lincoln cents that are more rare than the 1909 S VDB.

In wartime, I think it was 1943, the pennies were made out of cheap steel to preserve copper for wartime efforts. Except for a tiny handful (http://coins.about.com/b/2006/09/18/how-rare-is-a-1943-penny.htm) that were indeed minted in copper.

In 1955, a double-die error resulted in another collector's rare penny (http://www.coinsite.com/content/faq/1955dd.asp)

Horatio Hellpop
04-20-2011, 02:19 AM
I remember that ad. The penny was copper, but Lincoln's bust on it was silver-colored. That might have been artistic license; I'm sure the 1943 copper shortage was the real explanation.

EvilTOJ
04-20-2011, 03:48 AM
It could also have been a 1943 copper. During the war years, pennies were supposed to be made of steel, to save copper for the war effort, but a few dozen were accidentally minted out of copper. They're therefore incredibly rare, but since they also look like perfectly ordinary pennies (well, aside from being wheaties), most of them stayed in circulation, so it's just barely plausible that you might have one lying around the house.

I remember these ads vividly. It was the whole reason I got into saving my pennies as a kid. My dad used to have a whole coffee can of the steel 1943 pennies but it disappeared somewhere.

Lynn Bodoni
04-20-2011, 03:59 AM
My dad used to have a whole coffee can of the steel 1943 pennies but it disappeared somewhere. I used to work in a deli/liquor/convenience store. A LOT of people would show up with containers of coins, to buy cigarettes or beer. That's probably where that accummulation of coins went.

Shawn1767
04-20-2011, 07:30 AM
Thanks everyone for the input. From what I remember about the picture, they never showed anything but the Lincoln profile side and nothing on it looked any different from a regular penny. No marks that looked odd or off. So, I was just wondering. Of course, that was years ago. I could be misremembering.

cantara
04-20-2011, 09:59 AM
I remember those pictures and looking at my US change when I got some (living in Canada made it a rare activity). The pictures I remember as 1972 pennies. I actually saved a bunch of 1972 pennies because I couldn't tell from the picture what the problem was. Apparently it was a double-die (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_(United_States_coin)#Mint_errors_specific_to_Lincoln_cents) that the collectors were after. I thought it was just poor printing of the picture.

I'll have to see if I still have those somewhere...

I wonder if that company made money off kids sending loads of change to them.

Cartooniverse
04-20-2011, 10:08 AM
Thousands of kids were diagnosed with myopia and wore glasses because they saw a double image of a penny.

Tragic, I tell ya !!

Steel Cents: I've got a handful. Would LOVE to find a 1944 steel cent, or a 1943 copper cent. Ooh, so rare. The stories behind them are fascinating. (http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/fun_facts/?action=fun_facts2a)

And, here's the story on the 1944 steel cent (http://www.thecoinalley.com/1944steelpennytest.html).

kunilou
04-20-2011, 04:52 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. From what I remember about the picture, they never showed anything but the Lincoln profile side and nothing on it looked any different from a regular penny. No marks that looked odd or off. So, I was just wondering. Of course, that was years ago. I could be misremembering.

That's the way I recall it, too. Of course, what made the 1909-S distinctive wasn't what was on the front, but on the back (http://images.collectors.com/articles/1909svdb_600.jpg).

Chronos
04-20-2011, 11:06 PM
The pictures I remember as 1972 pennies.Well, you know that 1972 pennies are worth almost $20, right?



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