>>I have a 1943 steel penny that is in excelent condition as far as wear. It
>>looks almost uncirculated. The problem is that it is a very shiny silver
>>color, almost as if it had been coated or cleaned, instead of the sort of dull
>>grey color the other steel pennies I have are.
>Actually, uncirculated steel cents should be shiny. It's only after
>circulation and/or exposure to corrosive materials that they turn dull.
>If it is obviously _not_ uncirculated, and still shiny, then I would say
>that it has been polished somehow.
Actually, there are several varieties of "shiny-ness" that mean different
things. If the coin is truly uncirculated and uncorroded it will exhibit mint
luster and a thing called a cartwheel effect. If you move the penny around
undera strong light you would see a line of light reflected off the coins
surface. This line goes straight (sort of) from the center of the coin to
the edge and will seem to rotate around as you move the coin. I don't know
how common or noticable this effect is on steel cents, though. If the coin
has been polished or plated much of the miror detail will be missing (i.e.
the design will look a little bit mushy, or not real sharp) and the shiny-ness
will be uniform over the entire surface, and more mirror like. A big giveaway
that the coin is plated or polished is that the shiny-ness will be the same
on the design (Lincolns head) as it is in the field (flat portion of the coin).
Joseph Gregor |