Well, that's a nice penny.
A penny a Massachusetts teenager found in his change for lunch could be worth up to $ 1.65 million (1.3 million pounds) at auction.
The 1943 Penny Lincoln is made of copper and, according to Heritage Auctions, which auction the coin, is called the "most famous" coin manufactured by mistake. Only 20 were ever made and the US government denied its existence for years, but a coin was found in March 1947 by Don Lutes Jr. in his school cafeteria.
DISCOVERING A LIFETIME: "Fake" GOLD COIN WORTH MILLIONS
"Despite relentless searches by eager collectors over a period of more than 70 years, only a handful of legitimate specimens have been discovered," Heritage wrote his website. "PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population to be no more than 10-15 examples in all grades and we have compiled a list of all the specimens certified by the following two leading reviewers, including an unknown number of repetitions and crossovers."
In the 1940s, copper was considered a strategic metal, mainly because of World War II, as it was used to make shell casings, telephone wires, and other necessities of warfare. To preserve the metal, Lincoln pennies from 1943 were made of galvanized steel, but a tiny fraction of the pennies were orbited with copper.
Almost as the pennies were squeezed, rumors arose that some copper was forming cents had come into circulation. The madness had grown so much that it was speculated that the car manufacturer Henry Ford would give anyone who could give him one of those copper pennies a new car, though this speculation had later proved wrong.
"Stories appeared in newspapers, comics books, magazines and a series of counterfeit copper-plated steel cents were passed on to unsuspecting buyers as fabulous rarities," the auction house added on its website. "Despite the increasing number of reported finds, the Mint denied in 1943 that copper samples had been beaten."
$ 1 million for a penny? EXCEPTIONALLY RARE 1792 COIN UP FOR THE AUCTION
At the time, the 16-year-old Lutes had heard of the rumor about Ford, but when later told it was wrong, he kept the coin in his collection. Over the years he received offers for the coin and eventually inquired with the US Treasury, but was deemed fraudulent that "all the pennies struck in 1943 were made of galvanized steel," and he decided to use them only for themselves keep collection.
The zinc-coated steel pennies of 1943 proved so unpopular with the public that they were eventually replaced by brass obtained from clamshells.
Lutes died in September, and now the coin is being auctioned, one really knows what it's being sold for, said Sarah Miller of Heritage Auctions. "This is the most well-known fall coin in American numismatics, and that's what makes it so exciting: no one really knows what it's going to sell for," Miller said in SWNS comments.
CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE THE FOX NEWS APP
The auction is still in progress and ends on January 10th.
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia