Rare coin given to schoolboy as change now worth $2.3m

Set of old shells from World War II

The penny was produced accidentally in 1943, according to Heritage Auctions, where aspiring buyers are bidding on the coin. It was found in MA in 1947.

A Lincoln cent from "the most famous" coin error in American history is being auctioned off for well over $100,000.

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.

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

Heritage Auctions will offer the coin from January 10-13 during its Florida United Numismatists Show in Orlando.

Its unclear how much it will sell for, but a similar coin struck at the Denver Mint fetched a record $1.7 million when it was auctioned off in 2010.

Copper pennies from that year typically don't look very different from the coin as it appears today, but it does look different from the ones manufactured in 1943.

In 1943, the Treasury Department requested the U.S. Mint create Lincoln pennies on steel planchets coated with zinc in order to preserve cooper for use in the Second World War.

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A rare coin given to a high school boy as change from his lunch money is expected to fetch $2.3 million at auction.

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.

It seems that a small number of bronze planchets was caught in the trap doors of the mobile tote bins used to feed blanks into the Mint's coin presses at the end of 1942. Buoyed by the Henry Ford rumor, he contacted the vehicle firm, but they informed him it was false.

Only a handful of such coins have ever been discovered, according to Heritage Auctions.

No need to pinch pennies when it comes to this coin.

"In regard to recent inquiry, please be informed that copper pennies were not struck in 1943", the response read. "All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc coated steel".

Around 10 years after Lutes had given up on trying to monetize his find, a 14-year-old from California had his coin authenticated and placed in the 1958 ANA Convention Auction.

Heritage Auctions now lists Lutes's authentic 1943 Lincoln cent at a whopping $130,000, which jumps to $156,000 with the added Buyer's Premium.

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