This collection includes four unique Pennies and Nickels that were issued only during World War as emergency coins. The U.S. Mint made these coins in never-before-seen alloys in order to save strategic metals for military use. During World War II, copper was needed for war supplies, especially as casings for bullets and shells used in battlefields around the world, so in 1943 the U.S. Mint made Lincoln Pennies in steel instead of copper. This is the only steel coin in U.S. history, and it was made for only one year over 75 years ago. The 1943 Steel Penny is silvery colored, so it looks different from regular Lincoln Pennies. In all other respects, the coin design is identical to coins made in previous years. The obverse is the famous portrait of Abraham Lincoln by sculptor Victor D. Brenner that is still used today on Lincoln Pennies, while the reverse is the legendary “wheat ears” design. Nickel was also a valuable component for the war effort; it was used in guns, tanks, and airplanes. In 1942, the U.S. Mint dropped nickel from the 5¢ Nickel coin. Instead, the Nickel was made with 35% silver, because the color was right and silver was less valuable for the nation’s defense. This is the only time in history the U.S. Mint has made a Silver Nickel, and it was last made over 70 years ago in 1945. Silver Nickels were made at all three branches of the U.S. Mint then in operation – Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver. In order to identify the Silver Nickels from the regular pre-war coins made with nickel, the U.S. Mint placed large mint marks on the reverse, above the dome of Monticello. They are the only coins with the mint mark in this location.