Check your change jar for rare penny worth up to $85,000

A rare coin, the 1943 copper wheat penny, also known as the Wheat Cent, is worth a pretty penny these days, selling for up to $85,000 at auction.

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That's according to the online coin value service CoinTrackers, which said the pennies are so valuable because so few were made and they were released by mistake.

The Wheat Cent is made mostly from copper, but steel versions were issued during World War II, CoinTrackers said on its website. Because the 1943 coin was mistakenly minted of copper instead of steel and released, its value skyrocketed.

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Coin experts have suggested the mistake occurred when copper plates were either tested or left among the steel plates from 1942, KTRK-TV reported.

A penny worth $85,000 may sound astronomical, but consider that in 2012 a 1943 Lincoln penny sold for $1 million at auction.

GLENVIEW, IL - JULY 06: Pennies are displayed at Glenview Coin & Collectibles July 6, 2006 in Glenview, Illinois. Reportedly due to manufacturing costs, the US Mint may be contemplating discontinuing the penny.  (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
GLENVIEW, IL - JULY 06: Pennies are displayed at Glenview Coin & Collectibles July 6, 2006 in Glenview, Illinois. Reportedly due to manufacturing costs, the US Mint may be contemplating discontinuing the penny. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Credit: Tim Boyle

Credit: Tim Boyle