Irvine, California auction house sells 10 cents for $1.1 million


Lucky bidder 17 walked away with a 1909 Lincoln penny for $365,625 on Sunday, August 28.


The lucky bidder 17 walked away with a A 1909 Lincoln penny for $365,625. But that was just one sale of high-priced coins that the Irvine, Calif.-based online auction saw.

Ten century-old coins, including the 1909 Lincoln from Sunday, August 28, sold for around $1.1 million in an online bidding war on the GreatCollections website, according to a press release.

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 have recently sold for a combined total of $1,113,174,” the statement read.

Four more of the 10 cents from 1909 to 1915 cost more than $100,000 each, according to the release.

Lincoln’s 1909 penny designer, Victor D. Brenner, immigrated to the United States of Lithuania in 1890, according to Coinweek. His passion for coins and tokens led him to join the American Numismatic Association in 1902.

Although Brenner was commissioned with many projects, including a 1903 Amerigo Vespucci rectangular medal, it wasn’t until 1907 that Brenner was asked to create a medal and plaque featuring Abraham Lincoln, according to the site.

The 1909 Composition of Lincoln Penny is 95% copper, 5% tin and zinc with a mintage of 1,194, according to the GreatCollections website.

lincoln hundred _fitted.jpeg
The composition of the 1909 Lincoln Penny is .950 copper, .050 tin and zinc with a mintage of 1,194 and designed by Victor D. Brenner. LargeCollections

The medal and plaque were so well received by the public after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 that President Theodore Roosevelt discussed with Brenner the possibility of putting Lincoln on a circulating coin, according to Coinweek.

The Lincoln cent was released on August 2, 1909, according to Coinweek. Children who were able to grab large quantities of this penny sold them for more than 25 cents each on the day they were released.

GreatCollections handled and sold U.S. currency rarities, including 1804 Silver Dollars, 1913 Nickel Ex. Eliasberg, and the 1893-S Morgan Silver Dollar, according to its website.

Irvine is about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.