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Rare 1943 Penny Sells for $1 Million

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 1943 Lincoln penny that soared in value because it was made from the “wrong” material reportedly has sold for $1 million.

The penny was erroneously made of bronze instead of zinc-coated steel at the San Francisco Mint, according to UPI news agency. Texas Rangers co-chairman Bob R. Simpson bought the coin from Legend Numismatics, a rare coin dealer in Lincroft, N.J.

Professional Coin Grading Service, an organization that evaluates and grades rare coins, certified the penny in question, grading it a 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 to him for a record $1.7 million in 2010,” Willis said.

The U.S. Mint switched from bronze planchets to zinc-coated steel for cents in 1943 because copper was needed during World War II.

“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,” PCGS said in a release.

The Lincoln penny is pricey, but a rare dime has it beat.

In August, a dime from 1873 fetched $1.84 million at auction.

An anonymous bidder scored the rare coin for $1.6 million in an auction at the American Numismatic Association convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center.  The $1.84 million price tag included a 15 percent buyer’s fee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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