BOSTON — Jan 11, 2019, 10:36 AM ET

Rare bronze penny sells for more than $200K at auction

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A rare 1943 bronze Lincoln penny has sold for more than $200,000 at a Florida auction.

Heritage Auctions says more than 30 people bid on the rare coin 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.

The auction house says Don Lutes, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, found the penny in his pocket as a teenager in 1947 after getting some change at his high school cafeteria, and held onto it ever since.

Lutes died in September. He directed all proceeds from the sale to be donated to the Berkshire Athenaeum at the public library in Pittsfield.

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This version has been corrected to show penny was mistakenly minted in bronze, rather than in copper.

News - Rare bronze penny sells for more than $200K at auction

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  • Russ Tanner

    Bronze? That would look sort of cool! Mexico uses bronze in their coins.

    Pennies are becoming obsolete. They are becoming a nuisance these days as they collect in jars and coffee cups.

    I like the little penny jars next to cash registers, give and take...

  • Dicazi

    Bronze is an alloy containing copper. Mostly copper.

  • Graphic

    That's a serious ROI.

  • ROADRUNNER

    What do they say, a penny saved is a penny earned? This just proves it.

  • Eric

    Wanna see my penny?

  • mrtwinturbo2

    Dang I just tossed one of those out the other day......