BOSTON (CBSDFW.COM/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.
The 1943 penny is one of 20 that were accidentally minted when the federal government was trying to conserve copper for World War II. To conserve copper, which was considered a strategic metal at the time, the Treasury Department authorized the U.S. Mint to strike pennies on zinc-coated steel blanks.
Dallas-based 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.
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