Rare penny could be worth more than $1 million

Rare penny could be worth more than $1 million

Made in error by the U.S. Mint, the penny is now going on auction and expected to reach over $2 million.

The 1943 penny was pressed amid World War II, when copper was an integral component in making wartime necessities like phone wire and bullet casings. Lutes passed away in September, and the penny is now set to be auctioned off by Heritage Auctions, with the current bid at $130,000.

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.

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

"Despite the mounting number of reported finds, the Mint steadfastly denied any copper specimens had been struck in 1943", Heritage Auctions added, referring to the US Mint, which produces coinage for the US.

A rare 1943 Bronze Lincoln cent coin acquired in Pittsfield, Massachusetts could fetch a pretty penny at auction.

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

When he inquired with the US Treasury about the coin's value, he was told that it was "fraudulent" and all pennies issued in 1943 were made from zinc-coated steel.

No need to pinch pennies when it comes to this coin. Heritage believes it could sell for $170,000 or more at auction in Orlando. While the coin wasn't purchased off the auction block, it reportedly raked in $40,000 in a private sale shortly after.

The auction is set to end January 10, 2019.

Lutes came across the coin at a time when people across the country were eager to get their hands on one of the rare copper pennies. Those planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943, Heritage Auctions said. However, in 2010, one certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service was sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics. 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.

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