According to UPI news agency, the coin was mistakenly made of bronze instead of zinc-coated steel at the San Francisco Mint. Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob R. Simpson bought the coin from Legend Numismatics, a rare coin dealer in Lincroft, New Jersey.
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), an organization that evaluates and grades rare coins, accredited the penny in question, and gave a rating of 62 on a scale of 1 to 70.
“The Simpson collection now contains the finest known bronze cent from each mint-Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver-including the unique 1943-D bronze cent that PCGS certified after Legend acquired and sold it to him for a record $1.7 million in 2010,” Willis said.
Copper was needed during World War II. As a result, the U.S. Mint shifted from bronze planchets to zinc-coated steel for cents in 1943. PCGS said in a release, “By error, some bronze planchets made it into the hoppers at all three Mints, were struck, and released into circulation. These have become the most famous and valuable of all off-metal errors.”
The Lincoln penny is pricey, but a rare coin from 1873 is quite costlier. In August, a dime from 1873 was sold for $1.84 million at auction.
An unknown bidder bought the rare coin for $1.6 million in an auction held at the American Numismatic Association convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The $1.84 million price tag included a 15 percent buyer’s fee.