1944 Wheat Penny - For those fortunate enough to own a 1944 Wheat Penny, you know there are many benefits to the coin. Collectors. A handful of 1944 Wheat Pennies were inadvertently struck, making these coins extremely rare. In 1943, because of World War II, copper was needed for shell casings for ammunition. Pennies were made of zinc coated steel for that year only. None were supposed be struck for the 1944 edition, but a few were, making it an important coin in history, even though many view it as an error coin. The 1944 Wheat Pennies are an important penny, and it will look great in any collection.