Sunday, 16 June, 2019

Lucky Lincoln: Rare 1943 Penny Could Fetch Over $1 Million at Auction

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
Rhonda Young | 10 January, 2019, 18:39

The top bid after a two-week online auction is $130,000, according to Heritage Auctions. As a result, the coins were made using zinc-coated steel, but a handful of them, including the one uncovered by Lutes, were mistakenly pressed with copper. The young coin collector made a decision to keep the cent in his collection for more than 70 years, until he died in September.

A rare penny found by a 16-year-old high school student in Pittsfield back in 1947 is up for auction starting at $120,000.

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

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"The coin became so famous that it was once falsely reported that Henry Ford would give a new vehicle to anyone who could provide him with a 1943 "copper" cent", Heritage says.

'While a number of other examples have surfaced over the years, no other specimen has been celebrated and written about as much as this remarkable coin, ' said Heritage Auctions.

So Lutes concluded his coin was probably valueless, and stored it as a curiosity in his coin collection for the next seven decades.

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It's all thanks to a historical quirk: the penny is one of a few 1943 examples made in copper, at a time when the mint was supposed to only be producing zinc-coated steel to save copper for the war effort.

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. These few planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943. Lutes contacted the Ford Motor Company but was told the rumor was false.

"They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks". Heritage Auctions, which is overseeing the sale, estimates the coin is worth at least $170,000. The online auction ends at 6 p.m. Thursday when a live auction will begin at the Florida United Numismatics convention in Orlando. However, in 2010, one certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service was sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics.

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