$204K paid for rare, auctioned penny; proceeds will go to Pittsfield library

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PITTSFIELD — A rare copper penny that a late Pittsfield man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been sold at an auction for more than $200,000, and all proceeds will  go to the city's public library.

The 1943 penny is one of 20 that were accidentally minted when the federal government was trying to conserve copper for World War II.

Don Lutes Jr., of Pittsfield, was 16 when he found the coin in change he received at his school cafeteria in 1947, according to Heritage Auctions.

Auction officials say the coin sold for $204,000 in Orlando, Fla., Thursday.

Winning bidder Tom Caldwell, of Concord, said he plans to display the coin at various coin shows.

All proceeds of the sale will go toward the Pittsfield Public Library, where auction officials say Lutes often visited before his death in September.

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