Rare coin found in boy's lunchbox worth $2.4 million

Gladys Abbott
January 10, 2019

A penny that a MA teenager found in his change from lunch money could be worth as much as $1.65 million (£1.3 million) when it is auctioned off.

In 1942, pennies were supposed to be struck from steel, in order to conserve copper for shell casings, telephone wire, and other "wartime necessities". Lutes passed away in September and his coin will be up for auction through January 9, Fox News reported.

The auction house says Don Lutes Jr., who died past year, discovered the coin among change he received from his high school cafeteria in 1947.

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

A penny is only worth one cent, but not this one!

Don Lutes Jr. was 16 when he discovered the rare coin at school in March 1947.

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Made of copper, the 1943 Lincoln penny is described as the "most famous" coin made in error.

No need to pinch pennies when it comes to this coin. Lutes contacted the Ford Motor Company but was told the rumor was false. While the coin wasn't purchased off the auction block, it reportedly raked in $40,000 in a private sale shortly after.

The World War II collector's item is "one of the most valuable coins in American history", according to Heritage Auctions. Those planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943, Heritage Auctions said.

"This lot represents a true "once in a lifetime" opportunity", Heritage Auctions told potential buyers on its website. When they became dislodged, they were printed and circulated with the millions of steel copies. 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.

'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.

A similar penny sold for $1.7 million in 2010.

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