About 40 copper pennies were made in 1943, and these rare ones could be worth a fortune fetching anywhere between $60,000 and $85,000.
Definition.org carried a report on April 19, 2017, revealing the story behind the unique penny.
The modern penny is made out of zinc and other cheaper alternatives to copper used in the early 20th century.
The cost of making a copper penny far exceeds its actual value due to the rise in the cost of production and the raw material, according to Smithsonian.com.
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For many decades, pennies were made out of copper. However, things changed during the World War II.
Due to a copper shortage in the USA in 1943, and the increase in demand of the metal for the war, the government decided that any non-defense product could no more use copper.
Hence, copper pennies could no longer be made, and the U.S. Mint had to look for a substitute to help the country win the war.
The Mint began producing pennies using glass. It was then decided to use steel to make pennies in 1943, reported National World War II Museum.
Although it seemed like a good idea to use steel, it soon turned out that people confused the steel pennies with dimes which caused troubled on magnet-based vending machines.
After the end of the war, the Mint went back to copper pennies. However, about 40 copper pennies were produced in 1943.
A possible reason for it was that copper plates were accidentally left in a few machines. Now those rare pennies are worth a fortune.
According to Definition.org, a copper penny could fetch an individual anywhere from $60,000 to $85,000 depending on the condition. The steel ones are also worth a few dollars today.
12 of the copper pennies are still in circulation today and could make the person who finds them richer by up to $85,000.
However, there are also quite a few fake versions of the 1943 copper pennies, which were initially released as a novelty item.
There is a simple test one can do if the 1943 penny is made of copper or steel. Use a magnet, and if the penny sticks to it, it is made out of steel and not copper.
On January 5, 2017, the only surviving glass penny was auctioned by the Fort Lauderdale-based Heritage Auctions, according to CBS News.
The Blue Ridge Glass Co., a company in Kingsport, Tennessee, made a number of pennies from a hardened, yellow-amber glass. The company does not exist any longer.
However, the coin was owned by Roger Burdette, an author of a book about World War II’s experimental coins.
He had purchased the penny during an online auction in the summer of 2016, though he did not reveal the amount he paid.