Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Rare coin found in boy's lunchbox worth $2.4 million

Rare coin found in boy's lunchbox worth $2.4 million

Don Lutes Jr. was a 16-year-old high school student in MA when he stumbled across one of the most famous error coins in American history in the cafeteria in 1947.

The 1943 copper penny "is the most famous error coin", according to Heritage Auctions.

An extremely rare bronze coin that was picked up by a high school student in MA in 1947 and preserved until his death in September could fetch up to $1.7 million at public auction.

Giving up, Lutes reached the conclusion that the coin was worthless, but kept it in his coin collection nevertheless for the next 70 years.

A rare penny found by a 16-year-old high school student in Pittsfield back in 1947 is up for auction starting at $120,000. An urban legend arose that Henry Ford would give anyone who found such a coin a new auto. While a pretty penny, it was far below the million dollars-plus experts said the coin might fetch.

According to Heritage Auctions, the "bronze Lincoln cent is the most famous error coin in American numismatics".

Between 10 to 15 of the coins with a copper appearance made in facilities including the Mints of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver are thought to exist today.

Lutes's coin, now verified, will remain on auction until January 10, according to Fox News.

But after his health started to decline in 2018, Lutes, 87, chose to part ways with it to ensure it went "to a good home", according to his friend, Peter Karpenski.

Lutes wanted the proceeds from the sale of his prized penny to go to the library, Miller said.

Instead, the treasury opted to produces zinc-coated steel pennies as an alternative.

Lutes even tried to get the authenticity of his penny verified by the Treasury Department.

It seems that a small number of bronze planchets was caught in the trap doors of the mobile tote bins used to feed blanks into the Mint's coin presses at the end of 1942. He died in September. The resulting "copper" cents were lost in the flood of millions of "steel" cents, escaped detection by the Mint's quality control measures, and quietly slipped into circulation.

Like this: