Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Rare penny found in 1947 could be worth more than $1 million

A man's rare penny he kept for decades could be worth over $1 million A man's rare penny he kept for decades could be worth over $1 million
Priscilla Morrison | 10 January, 2019, 15:13

A rare 1943 copper Lincoln cent - found by a MA teenager in his change after he paid for lunch at a school cafeteria - is expected to fetch up to $1.7 million when it is auctioned off.

The penny is considered to have been made in error because in the 1940s, copper was meant to be reserved for wartime necessities such as shell casings and telephone wires. 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.

He kept it in his collection since then, but passed away in September.

The World War II penny is one of only 20 that were accidentally pressed in copper that year, Sarah Miller of Heritage Auctions in Dallas told Fox News. However, in 2010, one certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service was sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics.

"In regard to your recent inquiry, please be informed that copper pennies were not struck in 1943".

MA native Don Lutes Jr., who died in September, found a 1943 copper Lincoln penny in his lunch money change back in 1947. "Stories appearing in newspapers, comic books, and magazines sparked a nationwide search for these reported rarities by schoolchildren, bank tellers, and citizens from all walks of life". In an effort to conserve copper, the Treasury Department asked the U.S. Mint to cast all pennies in 1943 out of zinc-coated steel blanks.

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He contacted Ford, who told him that they weren't giving out cars in exchange for the coins after all.

Those planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943, Heritage Auctions said.

And despite a growing number of reported finds, the Mint "steadfastly denied any copper specimens had been struck in 1943", Heritage Auctions wrote. They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks. The resulting "copper" cents were lost in the flood of millions of "steel" cents, escaped detection by the Mint's quality control measures, and quietly slipped into circulation.

This mysterious and ultra-valuable coin Lutes came across?

Between 10 to 15 of the coins with a copper appearance made in facilities including the Mints of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver are thought to exist today.

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