1933 Copper Coin A Comprehensive Guide to Rarity, Authenticity, and Value

1933 Copper Coin: An In-Depth Guide to the Scarcely Found US Currency

If you’re a currency collector, or just an enthusiast in rare or precious currencies, you might be aware of the 1933 copper coin. This small piece of copper has attracted the attention of fans worldwide due to its uniqueness, history, and undeniable beauty. But what makes the 1933 copper coin so unusual? Why is it so scarce? And how can you ensure its authenticity? In this write-up, we’ll explore the world of this elusive coin and provide you with a detailed guide to all things 1933 copper coin.

The Background of the 1933 Copper Coin

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s take a quick look back at the year in which the coin was officially introduced – 1933. This was when the US Treasury Department made the decision to halt the production of gold coins and switch to a new monetary system, based on paper money. This included minting new coins in copper, nickel, and bronze alloys.

The 1933 copper coin was part of this new monetary system and the last penny to be produced of copper before being substituted by a bronze alloy. However, not many 1933 copper coins were made, making this currency one of the most uncommon coins in US history. But why were so few coins of copper minted, and why are they mostly unheard of?

The US Government’s Intervention

In 1933, the US Government faced the Great Depression, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a countrywide state of emergency. As a result of this, he ordered all gold coins to be taken out of circulation and melted down. This affected not only gold coins but also pennies produced before 1933 because they still contained copper.

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The US Treasury Department considered it wise to keep the 1933 copper coins in reserve and release them at a later stage, when the economy would recover. However, they didn’t release them into circulation, which resulted in only a small number of coins being produced, all held by the US Treasury Department.

The Rarity and Worth of the 1933 Copper Coin

Since so few 1933 copper coins made it to the public, they are exceptionally rare and costly. In fact, the US Government claims that it’s illegal to possess a 1933 copper coin, as they are regarded as US government property. Nevertheless, some collectors still managed to obtain them through various means, and they can reach a maximum worth of up to $1.7 million.

However, possessing a 1933 copper coin is not sufficient to guarantee its authenticity. Due to the uncommon history of the coin and its high value, counterfeit 1933 copper coins are circulating in the market. This is why ensuring its authenticity is crucial.

Confirming the Authenticity of the 1933 Copper Coin

To verify the authenticity of a 1933 copper coin, you need to look at its physical attributes and provenance. Here are some features to look for:

Physical Attributes:

  • The 1933 copper coin is 19mm in diameter and weighs 3.11 grams.
  • It has a plain edge with no inscriptions or markings.
  • The obverse displays the image of Abraham Lincoln, while the reverse has two stems of wheat, with the words “ONE CENT” and the year “1933” inscribed.


The provenance of a 1933 copper coin is vital, as it can attest to its authenticity. You need to check if the coin came from a trustworthy source, such as an auction house, a collector, or an authentic dealer. You also need to ensure it has proper documentation, like a Certificate of Authenticity or a receipt. If you’re unsure, you can consult with a legitimate professional numismatist or a coin grading service.

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Q: How many 1933 copper coins are currently circulating?

A: It’s estimated that only 10-20 1933 copper coins managed to get out of the US Treasury Department’s possession, making them incredibly rare.

Q: Is it legal to own a 1933 copper coin?

A: It’s illegal to possess a 1933 copper coin, as the US Government regards all of them as US government property. Nonetheless, some collectors managed to acquire them through various means.

Q: How can one verify the authenticity of a 1933 copper coin?

A: To ensure the authenticity of a 1933 copper coin, you need to examine its physical properties and provenance. Check for specific features, such as weight, diameter, and inscriptions, and validate its source and documentation.

Q: What is the value of a 1933 copper coin?

A: 1933 copper coins are some of the most valuable US currencies, with estimated values reaching up to $1.7 million.

Q: Are there fake 1933 copper coins in circulation?

A: Yes, fake 1933 copper coins are circulating in the market, which is why ensuring its authenticity is crucial.

Closing Remarks

The 1933 copper coin is a rare and valuable US currency that has captured the imagination of coin collectors globally. Its exclusivity, history, and beauty make it a fascinating piece of US financial and cultural heritage. However, its scarcity also makes it susceptible to counterfeits and impostures, which is why ensuring its authenticity is crucial. We hope this in-depth guide has shed some light on the world of the 1933 copper coin and helped you comprehend its value and significance.

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