Well the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money is in the record books, and one of the more interesting events to have taken place during the annual convention was Heritage Auctions' ANA US Coins Signature Auction.
A feature of the auction were several experimental glass and plastic cent pieces struck during the US Mint's search for a replacement for copper cent coins in 1942. Back in January of 2017 Heritage sold the finest known example of such a glass one cent coin, produced by the Blue Ridge Glass Corporation of Tennessee, for a record $70 000. That piece was however, the only known example that still remains intact with a full strike to the obverse and reverse.
The items on offer here, which were mostly obtained from the Glynn Collection, are not as well preserved or posses very weak strikes overall. Mostly representing the Blue Ridge Corporation's efforts to perfect the minting process.Amongst the items on offer were several amber and aqua glass pre-forms, the equivalent of a planchet, which sold for between $1000 and $3000 each. For the actual test strikes, the lowest price was won by a fragmented amber glass piece at $940. While most of the rougher amber glass experimental cent coins sold for prices ranging from $1468.75 to $7050 each. Gaining the Glynn Collection a little over $43 000(including buyer's premium) in total. The entire collection was certified by NGC prior to the auction. Several other related items were also secured by Heritage for the event outside of the Glynn Collection that drew considerably more attention though. This included an excellent uncirculated example of a glass 1942 cent, although broken in half, certified by PCGS as Unc Details. This coin managed to reach a grand amount of $25 850 when the gavel fell.
A reverse and incuse plastic cent from the Auburn Button Works, graded by PCGS as SP66 sold for $15 275.There was also a unique Urea Formaldehyde plastic cent, produced by the Durez Plastics and Chemical Company of North Tonawanda, New York, which sold for $10 575. This piece was authenticated by PCGS with a grade of SP65. Also available were two fragmented plastic cent strikes that sold for $1880 and $2350 each.
An Experimental impregnated paper coin, manufactured by the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, managed to fetch a total of $8225 at the end of the day.Then the final two coins of note for these 1942 experimental strikes were a couple of zinc-plated steel patterns struck at the Philadelphia mint as a part of the same overall program. These patterns were both graded by PCGS as SP62 and sold at the auction event for $9400 and $11750 each. So in total the group of 26 experimental cents, test strikes and tokens sold for around $130 000 at the ANA US Coins Signature Auction event.
More information on the experimental glass cents can be found in the WNN article about these coins HERE.