Yep, you could be a whole lot richer by simply checking your piggy bank or ash tray in the car. As much as $1.7-million richer.

So here's what you need to know:

First of all, if you are in possession of any penny minted in 1943, it's already worth much more than one cent. With World War II in full effect, the "Wheat Penny" made that year was minted mostly with steel, with a zinc coating to withstand wear and tear.

If you have one of those and it's in pristine condition, its value is around $3,000.

But some pennies that year were erroneously made with copper. The United States was trying to preserve copper for the war effort, so the run of copper pennies was done in error, and only about 25 or so were made before the error was discovered.

That makes these copper 1943 pennies very rare.

From the website:

The 1943 copper penny is extremely rare and valuable. Only a couple dozen pieces were made and exist today, and each is worth about $100,000. While 1943 copper cents weigh about 3.11 grams and don’t stick to a magnet, the more common steel cents (which weigh 2.7 grams) adhere to a magnet. When it comes to evaluating 1943 Lincoln cents, the duo of a magnet and gram scale has broken many hearts and burst many bubbles over the years.


The record price for a 1943 copper Lincoln penny is over $1.7 million at auction in 2010.

One note: Due to the value of these coins, thieves have tried to make "fake" versions of the coins by filing down half of the eight of 1948 copper pennies. Experts will tell you that the easy way to detect this "fake" is the "three test." The three on a real 1943 penny is longer than the filed eight (and in fact, longer than the 4 in the 1943 date stamp).

So check your change, sift through your coins and bust that piggy bank open. You may be in possession of a penny worth nearly two million bucks!


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