America entered the Second World War towards the end of 1941 after a shocking attack on Pearl Harbor, although they had never planned to. Unprepared, America needed to gain access to certain materials so they could build necessary objects that were needed for the war and one thing they needed more of, was copper. One-cent’s had always been made by copper and so in 1943, to spare some of the material, U.S mints throughout America began to replace some of the copper with zinc and steel. This was well-known information across the country and it was a few years after the war was over, that rumors circulated that some copper coins were mixed into the new ones and this made them exceptionally rare. After they were first created, the coins went from place to place as any normal one-cent would, getting passed between thousands of people, all without knowing just how rare it was. When one person found one of these special coins, no one could have known the amount of money it would have been worth later on in life.
As a 16-year-old boy sat down for his lunch in his school canteen in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he never could have known that what he was holding in his hand was a going to become a huge historical object.
It was 1947 and Don Lutes Jr had a quick look at the change he had just been given by the cashier when he noticed that one coin, in particular, stood out against the others and as his hobby was to collect coins, he safely put this one aside, but he could never have guessed what this one-cent represented.