(CBS) — A rare coin a teen received from his school cafeteria could fetch well over $1 million at auction.
The penny was produced accidentally in 1943, according to Heritage Auctions, where aspiring buyers are bidding on the coin. The penny was created after “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,” according to the auction house.
Those bronze planchets then fed into the coin press, leading to the creation of several coins that were “lost in the flood of millions of ‘steel’ cents struck in 1943.” That year, during World War II, the U.S. Mint was striking one-cent coins using zinc-coated steel instead of previously-used copper, which is used in bronze. During the war, copper was considered strategic, said Heritage Auctions.
Today, the Dallas-based auction house describes the 1943 bronze Lincoln cent as “the most famous error coin in American numismatics.”
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