Rare Penny Could Be Worth $1.7 Million

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 9, 2019

While Americans throw out about $62 million in loose change a year, the expected sale of a rare penny for $1.7 million may cause some to reconsider, according to the New York Post. The 1943 penny was accidentally made mostly of copper at a time when the United States., due to War World II, had been increasingly making pennies from zinc-coated steel due to the need to conserve supplies. It is one of only 20 such pennies. While the original owner, who'd gotten it in his lunch change in 1947, had previously been told it was worth nothing, today his descendants are now selling it as one of the most valuable coins in existence. 

This particular penny is also rare for being worth more than what it cost to make. Today the U.S. government actually loses money for each of the coins it mints: Quartz reported that, last year, it cost $0.0182 to produce each penny, resulting in $69 million in losses to run off 8.4 billion pennies, which by now are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. Despite a YouGov poll finding that 11 percent of people admitting to regularly just throwing pennies in the trash, the same poll also showed that 51 percent either somewhat or strongly oppose getting rid of the coin. 

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