Don Lutes Jr. was 16 years old when he discovered a rare Lincoln penny among his lunch money change while getting food at his Massachusetts high school back in 1947.
The 1943 coin is one of only about 15 made and has been described as
“the most famous error coin in American numismatics.”
Copper pennies from that year don’t look very different from a penny today, but it does look different from the ones manufactured in 1943. That year, the one-cent coin was struck in steel so to preserve copper for more high priority-uses during World War II. Some copper left over from pennies past managed to make its way into the presses, resulting in coins struck with copper. An auction is where people attend buy rare and expensive collectibles like antiques. But now there are some coin auctions where you as a collector can go and bid, actually out bid subsequent guy in order that you finish up with the coin you would like. Coin auctions also are an honest place to travel and see other collectors who during the auction are literally your competitors. You’ll also get to understand what coins are out there. However these sorts of auctions are for the enthusiastic coin collectors who are qualified to understand original rare coins from the counterfeit ones. If you’re a primary time numismatist at the auctions it might be knowing accompany someone who already knows what happens also as knows what proportion the coins are worth, And these new listings about the powell auction.
According to the Heritage Auctions website.
“Stories appeared in newspapers, comic books and magazines and a number of fake copper-plated steel cents were passed off as fabulous rarities to unsuspecting purchasers. Despite the mounting number of reported finds, the Mint steadfastly denied any copper specimens that had been struck in 1943.”
The Mint denied Lutes discovered such a coin when he placed an inquiry with the Treasury Department regarding his find. The response read,
“In regard to recent inquiry, please be informed that copper pennies were not struck in 1943 “All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc coated steal.”
So, he gave up on authenticating the coin and kept it in his collection. Lutes passed away in September and his coin will be up for auction through January 9.
Who knows 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. The current bid as of this writing is $120,000.
Lived his who adult life with a million dollar penny. That’s a lesson in there somewhere. Don’t believe the government?
(Photo, Heritage Auctions; via Daily News)