One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

                One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

If you found a penny on the floor would you keep it? If you’re an avid coin collector, depending on what you define as valuable, you may find it worth keeping and adding it to your collection. But would you hang onto it even if everyone around you told you it was a fake? One teenager did and never realized the true value of what he found.

The Story

During the 1940s, copper pennies ceased being made. Because of the war, copper was saved to go toward the construction of military equipment. In 1947, a Massachusetts teenager found a 1943 penny on the floor of his school’s cafeteria. The boy, Don Lutes Jr., said the coin stood out to him because all the pennies currently being made were zinc-coated steel, and this one was made of copper. He decided to pick up the coin and hold onto it.

Over the years, rumors started to spread about a few copper pennies that were accidentally pressed in the 1940s being circulated. Don brought the penny to the U.S. Treasury Department and was told that it was a fake. The U.S. Mint denied that any such pennies were ever in circulation.

Regardless, Don decided to keep the penny in his collection for the rest of his life. He passed away in September 2018. The penny went to auction on January 10, 2019, and was estimated to yield up to $1.7 million. Prior to his death, Don specified that he wanted the proceeds of the auction to be donated to his hometown’s public library, Berkshire Athenaeum. The auction ended with a winning bid of $204,000.

Could you imagine living your entire life with a collection and not realizing its full value? This story illustrates the value of a collection from its sentimental value and collectible value. If you have a collection that you’d like to protect, consider MiniCo Collectibles Insurance.

One Reply to “One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure”

  1. Ernest Alix

    The question to me is why did they lie ? It’s not like they were losing anything. His family should get something for them lying. He might have done something different with it while he was alive. You can’t trust anyone these days, or in those days either.


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