Friday, 05 June, 2020

Rare penny found in cafeteria change could sell for over $1 million

Rare penny found among lunch money change could go for up to $1.7 million at auction A rare copper penny that could be worth more than $1 million is up for auction through Heritage Auctions
Ginger Lawrence | 10 January, 2019, 15:18

The Mint denied issuing any copper coins but speculation grew about the existence of the rare pennies, with vehicle manufacturer Henry Ford stating he would give a new auto to anyone who could source one for him. It was found in MA in 1947.

A rare 1943 Bronze Lincoln cent coin acquired in Pittsfield, Massachusetts could fetch a pretty penny at auction.

A rare penny found by high schooler in 1947 may sell for as much as $1.7 million at auction after the then-teen who found it, Don Lutes Jr., died in September.

Lutes Jr heard the rumors but was told they were false so kept the coin for his collection.

A rare coin found by a teenager in the change from his lunch money could be sold for more than $2 million when it goes to auction.

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Copper pennies from that year typically don't look very different from the coin as it appears today, but it does look different from the ones manufactured in 1943.

During World War II, cooper was needed for wartime necessities like bullets and wire.

Following government orders to preserve copper for the war effort, the mint began creating Lincoln pennies on steel planchets coated with zinc in 1943. But a handful of the coins were mistakenly pressed with copper and Don Lutes Jr. discovered one of them in his change from his MA high school lunch in the forties. Over the years, after many inquiries and attempts to buy it, he contacted the US Treasury, but was told the coin was "fraudulent" and that all 1943 pennies were zinc coated steel, with no exceptions. "Despite the mounting number of reported finds, the Mint steadfastly denied any copper specimens that had been struck in 1943". The penny was created after "a small number of bronze planchets was caught in the trap doors of the mobile tote bins used to feed blanks into the Mint's coin presses at the end of 1942", according to auction house.

Lutes's coin, now verified, will remain on auction until January 10, according to Fox News. They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks.

It was many years before the truth came out about the rare pennies, according to Heritage Auctions. However, an accident at the U.S. Mint led to the creation of just a handful of copper pennies, which mixed in with the flood of zinc-coated steel coins being sent out.