Rare penny sells for more than $200K at auction

By  | 

BOSTON (AP) — A rare copper penny that a Massachusetts man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been sold at an auction for more than $200,000.

Heritage Auctions says more than 30 people bid on the rare 1943 penny Thursday night. Only 10 to 15 of these pennies, mistakenly minted in bronze instead of steel, are believed to exist. They were made at a time when bronze and copper were being saved to fill metal shortages during World War II.

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.

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

All proceeds of the sale will go toward the Pittsfield Public Library, where auction officials say Lutes often visited before his death in September.