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Rare penny found in Pittsfield selling for $120,000

Rare penny found in Pittsfield selling for $120,000

The penny was put up for auction, and as of Wednesday morning, January 9, the bid was at $120,000.

In 1942, pennies were supposed to be struck from steel, in order to conserve copper for shell casings, telephone wire, and other "wartime necessities".

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

In 1947, MA teenager Don Lutes Jr, who was just 16 at the time, was given a rare 1943 Lincoln penny in his change after buying his lunch from the school cafeteria, Fox News reports.

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.

"Despite the mounting number of reported finds, the Mint steadfastly denied any copper specimens had been struck in 1943".




The coin was one of just 20 created by the US Mint in 1943 with a copper-looking surface, Heritage Auctions, who is selling off the coin after Mr Lutes' recent death, explained on its website. Lutes had reached out to the Ford company about his find, but he was informed the rumor wasn't true.

So Lutes concluded his coin was probably valueless, and stored it as a curiosity in his coin collection for the next seven decades. "All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc-coated steel".

The auction is set to end January 10, 2019.

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.

The World War II collector's item is "one of the most valuable coins in American history", according to Heritage Auctions. When they became dislodged, they were printed and circulated with the millions of steel copies. 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. However, in 2010, one certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service was sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics.