During World War II, copper was needed for manufacturing ammunition and other military equipment, leading to a shortage of the metal for minting cents. In 1943, zinc-coated steel was selected to produce Lincoln Wheat Cents. The following year, the U.S. Mint returned to a copper alloy made from used ammunition casings; thus, 1943 is the only year during which pennies were made of steel. 1943 steel pennies were produced at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mint locations.
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