The 'most famous' coin made in error: Penny accidentally made of copper by US Mint in 1943 and found by a teen in his school lunch change in 1947 is expected to fetch $1.65 MILLION at auction

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A penny found by a Massachusetts teen and which was mistakenly made from copper in 1943 is considered so rare that it is likely to fetch up to $1.7million at auction.
The coin has been described as the ‘most famous’ coin that was made by mistake, according to Heritage Auctions.
In the early 1940s, with the United States at war, pennies were made from steel so that copper could be used for shell casings, telephone wire, and ‘wartime necessities,’ according to Geek.com.
The United States Mint, which produces the coins, apparently missed a few bronze blanks which somehow got into the presses.
A penny found by a Massachusetts teen and which was mistakenly made from copper in 1943 is considered so rare that it is likely to fetch up to $1.7million at auction
A penny found by a Massachusetts teen and which was mistakenly made from copper in 1943 is considered so rare that it is likely to fetch up to $1.7million at auction
Don Lutes Jr, a 16-year-old coin collector from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, found one of the copper pennies in the change he received after buying lunch at a school cafeteria in March 1947
Don Lutes Jr, a 16-year-old coin collector from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, found one of the copper pennies in the change he received after buying lunch at a school cafeteria in March 1947
So amongst the millions of ‘steel’ pennies were a tiny number of ‘copper’ cents that managed to quietly enter circulation.
It is believed that there are only 20 such coins in existence.
‘Despite relentless searching by eager collectors over a period of more than 70 years, only a handful of legitimate specimens have ever been discovered,’ Heritage wrote on its website.
‘PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population at no more than 10-15 examples in all grades.
‘We have compiled a roster of all specimens certified by the two leading grading services below, including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers.’
Don Lutes Jr, a 16-year-old coin collector from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, found one of the copper pennies in the change he received after buying lunch at a school cafeteria in March 1947.
After Lutes died last September, his coin went up for sale on auction
After Lutes (above) died last September, his coin went up for sale on auction
There were rumors at the time that the Ford Motor Company would offer the prize of a new car to anyone who could give Henry Ford one of the copper pennies.
But when Lutes contacted the Ford Motor Company, he was told the rumor was false.
Lutes also asked the Treasury Department about the coin, but the Mint denied that there were any copper pennies minted in 1943.
This past September, Lutes died. The coin is now up for auction.
The current high bid for the coin is $100,000.
But that figure is expected to jump much higher.
In 2010, a New Jersey dealer sold a similar 1943 copper penny for $1.7million.
‘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.
‘This piece inspires a special pride of ownership not equaled by any other example.
‘This lot represents a true “once in a lifetime” opportunity.’ 

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