Baseball Executive's $1 Million Cent Authenticated, Certified by Professional Coin Grading Service Division of Collectors Universe

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The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) division of Collectors Universe, Inc. has certified the authenticity of a $1 million Lincoln cent owned by a Texas Rangers baseball team executive.

The finest of the four known 1943 San Francisco Mint Lincoln cents mistakenly made of bronze instead of zinc-coated steel has been purchased for $1 million by Texas Rangers baseball executive Bob R. Simpson and certified genuine by Professional Coin Grading Service. (Photo courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.)

These have become the most famous and valuable of all off-metal coin errors.

A $1 million United States penny recently acquired by a major league baseball team executive has been certified genuine by the world leader in rare coin authentication and grading, Professional Coin Grading Service (, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Coin collector Bob R. Simpson, co-chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club, paid $1 million for the finest of only four known 1943-dated Lincoln cents mistakenly struck in the wrong metal at the San Francisco Mint. Cents were supposed to be of zinc-coated steel that year, and those grey-colored 1943 cents are quite common; however, a few pennies were erroneously made of bronze, the metal composition from the previous year.

Simpson purchased the rare 1943-S bronze cent from Legend Numismatics ( of Lincroft, New Jersey after it was successfully acquired by Legend after "determined negotiations" with an East Coast dealer representing the seller who is described only as "a long-time collector," according to Legend President Laura Sperber.

"The coin was certified PCGS Secure Plus™ Mint State 62 with brown when it was submitted to us during the recent September 2012 Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Sports Collectibles Expo (," said PCGS President Don Willis. " The Simpson Collection now contains the finest known bronze cent from each mint, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver, including the unique 1943-D bronze cent that PCGS certified after Legend acquired and sold to him for a record $1.7 million in 2010."

PCGS grades coins on a scale of 1 to 70. A coin's grade, state of preservation, often has a direct relationship to its marketplace value.

When the 1943-S bronze cent was certified genuine by PCGS experts at the Long Beach Expo, it was placed in one of the company's sturdy transparent holders made of inert materials and sealed with a tamper-evident method that inhibits atmosphere gases and contaminants that might harm coins. Legend President Sperber then personally delivered the coin to Simpson at his Fort Worth, Texas office.

"Mr. Simpson said, 'It's a beautiful coin.' As he held it he reminisced about the 1943 'copper' Lincoln cent he found in change when he was a youngster, but that turned out to be a fake," said Sperber.

"The United States Mint switched from making cents in bronze to zinc-coated steel in 1943 because copper was a strategic metal needed during World War II. By error, some bronze planchets made it into the hoppers at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver Mints, were struck and released into circulation. These have become the most famous and valuable of all off-metal coin errors," explained Willis.

In 1944, a few Lincoln cents were mistakenly struck in zinc-coated steel even though the mint resumed cent production using copper alloy. Simpson also owns the finest collection of 1944 cents struck in the previous year's metal composition.

"Mr. Simpson is thrilled and proud to own the absolute finest set of bronze 1943 and zinc-coated steel 1944 Lincoln cents. He ranks this as one of the highlights of his extraordinary coin collection, and he wants to eventually display the upgraded set at a major coin show. Even though there's a dollar value for what we paid for the coins in the set, Mr. Simpson and I agree it's priceless because it can not be duplicated," said Sperber.

"It's been a pleasure for PCGS to play a small part in the creation of this unsurpassable set. The finest collections belong in PCGS holders," said PCGS President Wills.

Information and photos about this all-time finest collection of its kind can be found online in the PCGS Set RegistrySM under the category Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes 1943 - 1944 (

Since its founding in 1986, Professional Coin Grading Service experts have certified over 24 million coins with a total market value of over $26 billion. PCGS ( represents the industry standard in third-party certification. The PCGS Set Registry ( was established in 2001 and now hosts over 58,000 sets.

For additional information about PCGS and its services, visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

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