Rare penny found in Pittsfield selling for $120,000

10 January, 2019, 18:40 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • A man's rare penny he kept for decades could be worth over $1 million

The penny is now up for auction and as of Wednesday morning the current bid was $120,000. That year, the Treasury stopped using copper to mint pennies to save the metal for the war effort.

After being dispelled by the Treasury Department, Lutes made a decision to keep his 1943-branded coin for his personal collection.

Only 20 were ever made and for years the US government denied its existence, but one coin was found by Don Lutes Jr.in his school cafeteria in March 1947.

So amongst the millions of "steel" pennies were a tiny number of "copper" cents that managed to quietly enter circulation.

However, a handful of the coins were mistakenly pressed with copper, including the one Lutes found.

Heritage Auctions now lists Lutes's authentic 1943 Lincoln cent at a whopping $130,000, which jumps to $156,000 with the added Buyer's Premium.


Lutes's coin, now verified, will remain on auction until January 10, according to Fox News.

An auction for the coin is slated to end Thursday. Zinc-coated steel plates were "considerably harder" than those used in earlier designs, so penny pressers had to strike the blank steel coin much harder.

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. These few planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943.

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

"They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks". "All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc coated steal [sic]". PCGS CoinFacts, which offers information to all collectors of USA coins, estimates that there are only 10 to 15 such pennies.

A rare coin found by a high schooler in his lunch money has been valued at nearly $1.7million, following the owner's death.

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