Everyone has a coin bank sitting around their house somewhere. Hey, I’ve even had the same one since I was a kid! Now, what if we told you that the forty bucks or so that you thought you had in there could actually be worth an amount in the tens of thousands? We’re not kidding—if you take a closer look at those coins, you may just end up being a whole lot richer!
Here’s why: In 1943, the Unites States was in the midst of World War II, a time in history when rationing was a necessity. Americans were asked to conserve everything from fuel to canned goods, but we bet you didn’t know that the list also included coins.
You see, as the war raged on overseas, the need for copper became more and more prevalent, forcing the U.S. Mint to make a tough decision when it came to its lowest valued coin—the penny.
Because of this, a switch in material was made; instead of using pure copper to produce the pennies, they actually started making them out of stainless steel. These special pennies came to be known as “war coins”.
Now, as you may have already guessed, the switch from copper to stainless steel was not necessarily the best call, as the material tends to rust quite easily. This made the coins themselves tough to distinguish between their more valuable cousin, the dime.
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