Rare 1943 penny sells for $200,000, far below expectations

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A rare copper penny that a Massachusetts man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been auctioned for more than $200,000. While a pretty penny, it was far below the million dollars-plus experts said the coin might fetch.

The 1943 penny is one of 20 that were accidentally minted when the federal government was trying to conserve copper for World War II.

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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.

Rare 1943 bronze penny fell far short of expected price of $1 million or more at auction, going for $200,000 Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Auction officials say the coin sold for $204,000 in Orlando, Florida Thursday.

Winning bidder Tom Caldwell, of Concord, Mass. says he plans to display the coin at various coin shows.

All proceeds of the sale will go to the Pittsfield Public Library where, auction officials say, Lutes often visited. He died in September.

A similar coin sold in 2010 for $1.7 million.

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