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Rare coin given to schoolboy as change now worth $2.3m

10 January 2019

It was many years before the truth came out about the rare pennies, according to Heritage Auctions. As a result, the coins were made using zinc-coated steel, but a handful of them, including the one uncovered by Lutes, were mistakenly pressed with copper.

He kept it in his collection since then, but passed away in September.

Only 20 were ever made and for years the US government denied its existence, but one coin was found by Don Lutes his school cafeteria in March 1947.

"In regard to recent inquiry, please be informed that copper pennies were not struck in 1943", the response read.

A penny is only worth one cent, but not this one!

'While a number of other examples have surfaced over the years, no other specimen has been celebrated and written about as much as this remarkable coin, ' said Heritage Auctions.

Heritage Auctions will offer the coin from January 10-13 during its Florida United Numismatists Show in Orlando.

The coin has been described as the "most famous" coin that was made by mistake, according to Heritage Auctions.

"This is the most famous error coin in American numismatics, and that's what makes this so exciting", Miller told Fox News.

Lutes knew his coin was rare and held on to it.

Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his MA home.

Less than 20 of the rare 1943 Lincoln pennies were made, due to an error.

However, a few of the copper planchets that were used to cast the Lincoln cent in 1942 got lodged in a trap door of a bin used to feed blanks into the press. Lutes contacted the Ford Motor Company but was told the rumor was false. "All pennies struck in 1943 were zinc coated steal".

"They eventually became dislodged and were fed into the coin press, along with the wartime steel blanks". PCGS CoinFacts, which offers information to all collectors of USA coins, estimates that there are only 10 to 15 such pennies.

A similar penny sold was sold by a New Jersey dealer for $1.7 million in back in 2010, UPI reported at the time.

Rare coin given to schoolboy as change now worth $2.3m