A 1943 Lincoln error cent has sold for $282,000.
The stunning MS62-graded piece headlined Heritage Auctions’ August 2-6 ANA US Coins Signature Auctions in Denver.
A rumour spread that Henry Ford was offering cars for 1943 error cents
The coin is one of a rare few struck on bronze rather than zinc-coated steel.
Bronze was needed for the US war effort, but a few planchets were left lying around the mint and were fed into the press by accident.
As far as US errors go, the 1943 bronze cent is easily the most famous – even among non-numismatists.
As Heritage explains: “The rare Mint errors became legendary when nationwide rumors surfaced in the late 1940s that Henry Ford would give a new car to anyone who could find him a 1943 ‘copper’ cent.
“The rumors were false, but they made the 1943 bronze cent an overnight sensation…
“The publicity engendered by these coins captured the imagination of the general public to a high degree.
“Although the issue was controversial, the coins brought high prices whenever offered and the public's fascination with these pieces has never diminished.”
An 1851 Augustus Humbert $50 slug realised $235,000.
Humbert opened California’s first federal assaying office in 1850. These slugs were minted from gold acquired by Gold Rush prospectors.
The lot is the sole specimen graded Select at PCGS (although six others have attained the equivalent grade at NGC).
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