California auction house sells 10 cents for $1.1 million

Did you know that America spends more money earning pennies than they are actually worth? It’s true.

According Time magazinein 2009, it cost the United States Mint 1.4 cents to produce a single penny.

Since then, it has become even more expensive, with some sources pegging the price at over 2 cents per penny.

Needless to say, a penny in 2022 isn’t worth much in the United States. Unless you have a particular eye for valuable coins.

Last weekend, ten centennial pennies sold for a whopping $1.1 million at an auction hosted by an Irvine-based auction house.

Now that’s a good return on investment.

The pieces were sold on Sunday evening at an auction by LargeCollections.

Dimes were specially minted proof coins made for collectors by the United States Mint in Philadelphia in the early years of the Lincoln cents. All are still in mint mint red condition and sold for a combined total of $1,113,174,” the auction house said.

This Lincoln penny, specially minted by the United States Mint in Philadelphia in 1909, was auctioned by GreatCollections of Irvine, California for a record $365,625. (Photo courtesy of GreatCollections.)

One of the coins in particular has a record value. The coin is a 1909 penny “first year” issue which includes the initials of the designer of the coin, Victor D. Brenner. The letters “VDB” are on the “tail side” of the coin.

The creator’s initials are no longer on the bottom of the reverse side of the coins. They were removed shortly after Lincoln cent production began in 1909 and are now located on the front of the coins just above the rim under Lincoln’s arm.

This coin sold for over $365,000, which is a record for this coin, according to Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections. Four other pennies dated between 1909 and 1915 that were also of “superb quality” sold for more than $100,000 each, Russell said.

The coins were previously owned by a New York collector who spent 50 years researching some of the rarest coins in existence.

The record penny which sold over 300,000 is considered the “best known surviving example” of the coin, which was specially minted in 1909 to commemorate the centenary of Lincoln’s birth.

Russell called him the “Lincoln-proof cent king”. Although, perhaps the “president” of Lincoln proof cents would have been more apropos.

To learn more about GreatCollections and see some of the other valuable coins and currencies available for auction, Click here.