Rare 1943 penny sells for over $200,000

Correction: This story and headline have been updated to reflect that the auction house estimate of the coin's value was $170,000, not $1 million.


A rare copper penny that a Massachusetts man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been auctioned for more than $200,000. 

The 1943 penny is one of 20 that were accidentally minted when the federal government was trying to conserve copper for World War II.

Rare 1943 bronze penny sold for $200,000 Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Heritage Auctions says Don Lutes Jr., of Pittsfield, was 16 when he found the coin in change he received at his school cafeteria in 1947.

Auction officials say the coin sold for $204,000 in Orlando, Florida, Thursday. That topped the auction house estimate that it could sell for at least $170,000.

Winning bidder Tom Caldwell, of Concord, Mass. says he plans to display the coin at various coin shows.

All proceeds of the sale will go to the Pittsfield Public Library where, auction officials say, Lutes often visited. He died in September.

A similar, even rarer coin sold in 2010 for $1.7 million.

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