FOUND > Pocket-Change Penny Gets $204,000

Given as Change in a High School Cafeteria


  • Rare 1943 Lincoln copper-penny given to boy as lunch-money-change in 1947, has fetched $204,000 at Auction.

  • Cents made in 1943 were made of steel to conserve copper for World War II, except for a handful minted in copper, by-error.

1-minute pre-auction video about the find, shared by CBS Boston.

January 10, 2019
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

PITTSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS - In March of 1947, Don Lutes Jr. was a high school student when he received a rare 1943 copper Lincoln penny as change from the school cafeteria. Today, the cent fetched $204,000 at auction.


In 1947, as a teen, Lutes noticed something odd about the coin. The penny was not made of steel. At that time everyone knew 1943 pennies were minted from steel, to conserve copper supplies for World War II.

1-minute trick for spotting fakes, video shared by KHOU 11 Houston.

As a young collector, Lutes held the rare coin and didn't share the find publically, for years. As time went by, a handful of others surfaced, according to this video by CBS Boston.

The coin, was sold by Heritage Auctions on January 10, 2019. Fetching $204,000, after buyer premium.

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