COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Check your purses, pockets, and couch cushions! Rare 1943 wheat pennies are now fetching about $85,000 at auctions, according to CoinTrackers.
The site says a coin in average condition could be worth about $60,000, while one in certified mint condition could be worth as much as $85,782.
There are some fakes floating around. According to CoinTrackers, it is easy to file down part of a 1948 copper penny to make it look like it is a 1943 penny. The site suggests using a magnet to verify the coin is legit. If it sticks to the magnet, it’s just copper plated steel and thus a fake.
The rare pennies would have been accidentally released into the coin supply. There were are only a few of them ever minted.
And while $85,000 is a lot of money, there have been pennies that have sold for more. In 2015, an avid coin collector shelled out more than $2.5 million for a 1792 Birch Cent, the most even paid for a 1-cent coin. The penny is just one of 10 similar coins experimentally produced when the U.S. Mint was founded.