Saturday, 23 March 2019
Latest news
Main » Penny could sell for almost $1 million

Penny could sell for almost $1 million

12 January 2019
Penny could sell for almost $1 million

Lutes set his 1943 copper penny aside to study it later when he found it in a bundle of change in the Pittsfield High School cafeteria in 1947.

In 1943, during World War II, pennies were minted out of steel because copper was reserved for other uses, such as shell casings and telephone wires. But on a hunch, Lutes kept it in his collection.

The auction is slated to end on Thursday, Jan. 10.

"This is the most famous error coin in American numismatics, and that's what makes this so exciting", the auction house's Sarah Miller of Heritage Auctions told Fox News, estimating it could go for $1.7 million on the block.

The legend of the penny only grew when a rumor spread saying that Henry Ford would award a new auto to whoever could provide him with one of the fabled coins.

Experts say to look for a very sharply engraved penny. People are now bidding on one of those pennies through Heritage Auctions.

Karpenski said he met Lutes in 1970 when he joined the Berkshire Coin Club. In an effort to conserve copper, the Treasury Department asked the U.S. Mint to cast all pennies in 1943 out of zinc-coated steel blanks. After Lutes's health started to decline, he moved to a nursing home.

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.

Lutes died in September.

However, it was later revealed that some bronze planchets were mistakenly left in machinery and pressed. "The few resulting "copper" cents were lost in the flood of millions of "steel" cents and escaped detection by the Mint", Heritage officials said in a press release. Zinc-coated steel plates were "considerably harder" than those used in earlier designs, so penny pressers had to strike the blank steel coin much harder. They quietly slipped into circulation, to amaze collectors and confound Mint officials for years to come.