1944 marked the return of copper to the Lincoln Wheat Penny coins, though the denomination wasn’t struck with exactly the same composition as in 1942. 1944 Lincoln wheat cents were made with metal recycled from ammunition shells. Unlike Lincoln cents made from 1909 to 1942, which are 95 percent copper and 5 percent tin and zinc, Lincoln cents from 1944, 1945, and 1946 were made with a composition of 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc (no tin). However, the slight visual differences between 1944-1946 Lincoln cents and copper cents from other years in the Lincoln Wheat Penny series are only distinct among uncirculated coins.
In other news for the 1944 Lincoln Penny, production figures were extraordinarily high, with about two billion one-cent coins made across all three mints operating in 1944; approximately 1,435,000,000 at the Philadelphia Mint; 430,578,000 at the Denver Mint (D); and 282,760,000 at the San Francisco Mint (S). Interestingly, there is a significant off-metal error from 1944, and that is the 1944 steel Penny – an inadvertent striking that presumably occurred when some 1943 steel Planchets were left behind in the hoppers that feed coin blanks through the striking machinery at the U.S. Mint. Approximately 30 or so 1944 steel cents are thought to exist, with each sporting a price tag ranging from $75,000 to more than $375,000, based on grade.
1944 Lincoln cents as a whole, though, are quite common and can be had for about 10 to 20 cents in most circulated grade. Uncirculated specimens can be bought for around $5 each. Keep in mind that many 1944 copper cents are still circulating and can be had at face value if luck strikes – searching rolls may improve your odds of finding 1944 Lincoln Wheat Penny coins without having to utilize the services of a coin dealer.