Rare 1943 copper coin could fetch a pretty penny in auction

10 January, 2019, 15:16 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Heritage Auctions

It was found in MA in 1947.

Don Lutes, Jr. discovered the rare 1943 coin after he received change from his school cafeteria in March of 1947, according to Heritage Auctions.

A penny is only worth a cent, but not one found in MA in 1947.

Lutes took the Treasury statement for fact and kept the penny in his personal collection.

The coin has been described as the "most famous" coin that was made by mistake, according to Heritage Auctions.

Bids for the coin is now at $100,000 but another 1943 copper cent was sold by a New Jersey dealer to an anonymous buyer for $1.7 million in 2010.

A penny pressed in 1943 is fetching well over $100,000 at auction.

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The pennies "captured the imagination of coin collectors, school children, and members of the general public alike", but alluded even the most persistent collectors; only a handful of legitimate specimens have turned up in the following seven decades - including the one belonging to Don Lutes Jr, who passed away in September.

In 1943, during World War II, pennies were minted out of steel because copper was reserved for other uses, such as shell casings and telephone wires. During the war, copper was considered strategic, said Heritage Auctions.

The Mint initially denied Lutes' claim that he had a 1943 copper Lincoln penny when he first notified notified the US Treasury about his findings.

It seems that 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. Legit prints of the coin have been found from all three active U.S. Mints: 10-15 from the Philadelphia Mint, six from the San Francisco Mint and one from the Denver Mint. They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks. Their standard reply simply read: "In regard to your recent inquiry, please be informed that copper pennies were not struck in 1943".

But when Lutes contacted the Ford Motor Company, he was told the rumor was false.

Lutes heard about the rumours of the coins and wondered if his was one of them.

Rare 1943 bronze penny could fetch over $1 million at auction. "As a coin collector, he set the coin aside for future study, but did not publicize his find until years later".

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