Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

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

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

But Some copper managed to get into the minting presses in 1943, resulting in "the most famous error coin in American numismatics", according to the New York Daily News. It was found in MA in 1947.

Fewer than 20 of the rare 1943 Lincoln pennies were ever made- and that was due to an error.

The auction house says Don Lutes Jr., who died a year ago, discovered the coin among change he received from his high school cafeteria in 1947. The young coin collector chose to keep the cent in his collection for more than 70 years, until he died in September.

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.

The Mint similarly denied Lutes discovered such a coin when he placed an inquiry with the Treasury Department regarding his find. That year, the one-cent coin was supposed to be struck in steel so to preserve copper for more high priority-uses during World War II.

"Stories appeared in newspapers, comic books, and magazines and a number of fake copper-plated steel cents were passed off as fabulous rarities to unsuspecting purchasers", Heritage Auctions explained on its website.

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.

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. Buoyed by the Henry Ford rumor, he contacted the auto firm, but they informed him it was false.

It was many years before the truth came out about the rare pennies, according to Heritage Auctions.

Those bronze planchets then fed into the coin press, leading to the creation of several coins that were "lost in the flood of millions of "steel" cents struck in 1943". Examples of 1943 bronze cents are known from all three active U.S. Mints today, with 10-15 examples known from the Philadelphia Mint, a half dozen specimens confirmed from the San Francisco facility, and a single coin from the Denver Mint.

No need to pinch pennies when it comes to this coin. Numismatics refers to the study or collection of coins, paper currency and medals.

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