Rare World War II-era penny flops at auction

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This coin flip came up tails.

A rare penny that was expected to fetch $1.7 million at auction Thursday went for a mere $204,000.

The 1943 penny was one of 20 accidentally pressed in copper that year — when the coins were made of zinc-coated steel because copper was needed for WWII shell casings — making it massively valuable, according to Heritage Auctions, which sold the cent.

“This is the most famous error coin in American numismatics, and that’s what makes this so exciting,” the auction house’s Sarah Miller of Heritage Auctions told Fox News, estimating it could go for $1.7 million on the block.

But it sold for $170,000, plus a 20 percent buyer’s premium that brought the total to $204,000 — more than 20 million times its face value.

“They said a million, seven? Wow…” the auctioneer mused after it went for a relative song.

Sixteen-year-old Don Lutes Jr. found the lucky penny in his school cafeteria in March 1947, and held on to it for more than seven decades before dying in September without confirmation of its actual value.

2019-01-11 03:45:00

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