Why is the 1944 Lincoln penny worth $1.1 million?

1944-dated steel pennies are extremely rare and could be worth thousands or even millions of dollars.

Most coin collectors are familiar with the bronze features of the Lincoln penny because it has been in circulation for more than a century.

However, some people might not be aware of the steel penny or its potential value. We explain what the 1944 steel cent is and why it is unique.

One of only two dates with zinc-coated steel is the 1944 Lincoln penny. The other is the 1943 Lincoln steel penny, which is considerably more prevalent.

The 1944 Lincoln steel penny is what?

In an effort to save bronze for use in World War II, the steel cent was created. But there aren't many 1944 steel pennies, unlike the 1943 date.

The following Lincoln steel cents were minted in 1944: 1944 (no mintmark) 1944-D 1944-S

The reported mintages for all steel cents with the year 1944 are less than 40. With a reported mintage of just two, the 1944-S is the most valuable of the three coins, though they are all quite rare.

As always, the grade and condition of coins may affect their worth.

The 1944-S steel cent, according to USA Coin Book, is worth $399,637 in average condition and could be worth more than $1.11 million in an MS63 grade.

In average condition, the 1944 D steel cent is worth close to $34,000. According to PCGS, a 1944 D Lincoln steel cent graded in MS63 sold for $115,000 in an auction in August 2007.

In average condition, the 1944 steel cent without a mintmark is worth more than $28,000. An auction last year saw a 1944 steel cent graded in MS64 without a mark sell for $180,000.ar.