Wednesday, 19 June, 2019


Lucky Lincoln: Rare 1943 Penny Could Fetch Over $1 Million at Auction

Set of old shells from World War II Set of old shells from World War II
Conrad Doyle | 10 January, 2019, 18:42

The penny is now up for auction and the current bid is at $130,000.

The 1943 penny was pressed amid World War II, when copper was an integral component in making wartime necessities like phone wire and bullet casings. But as his health declined previous year, Lutes chose to sell the coin, said Peter Karpenski, a friend and fellow coin collector.

Those bronze planchets then fed into the coin press, leading to the creation of several coins that were "lost in the flood of millions of "steel" cents struck in 1943".

"The coin became so famous that it was once falsely reported that Henry Ford would give a new vehicle to anyone who could provide him with a 1943 "copper" cent", Heritage says.

A popular rumor among collectors at the time claimed Henry Ford was offering to trade a new auto for one of the rare "copper" pennies struck in 1943, but Lutes made a decision to just keep the coin after contacting the Ford Motor Company and discovering the offer was nothing but an urban legend.

Less than 20 of the rare 1943 Lincoln pennies were made, due to an error. Buoyed by the Henry Ford rumor, he contacted the auto firm, but they informed him it was false. "All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc-coated steel".

This mysterious and ultra-valuable coin Lutes came across? The online auction ends at 6 p.m. Thursday when a live auction will begin at the Florida United Numismatics convention in Orlando. These few planchets went unnoticed when the bins were refilled with zinc-coated steel planchets in 1943.

'This lot represents a true "once in a lifetime" opportunity'. When they became dislodged, they were printed and circulated with the millions of steel copies. "Despite the mounting number of reported finds, the Mint steadfastly denied any copper specimens that had been struck in 1943". Today, we know there are surviving examples from all three active mints, including 10 to 15 from Philadelphia, half a dozen from San Francisco, and just one from Denver. However, in 2010, one certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service was sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics.

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