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Rare Penny Sold For $1.7 Million

Posted 9/24/2010 12:00 pm by

When is a penny worth millions of dollars?  When it’s the only one of its kind.  In 1943, at the highest point of the war effort, America was involved in two theaters of operation and copper/bronze was needed for the war effort, so most of the pennies in the United States were zinc-coated steel.  However, a few bronze pennies were minted in error, or by design.  An employee of the Denver mint minted the only 1943 bronze penny at that location, kept it within the family for 67 years, and preserved it from circulation.  Now this one-of-a-kind bronze penny was sold for a staggering $1.7 million dollars.

Finally, a penny that’s noteworthy not because of a mistake, but because of its actual penny properties.  Here’s how Laura Sperber, the buyer for Legend Numismatics who negotiated the deal, described the penny:  “This is the world’s most valuable penny.  It’s the only known example of a 1943-dated Lincoln cent incorrectly struck in a copper alloy at the Denver Mint.  Zinc-coated steel was being used for pennies in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, and this one was mistakenly struck on a bronze coin disc left over from 1942.  It took four years of aggressive negotiations with the coin’s owner until he agreed to sell it.”

A penny sells for over a million dollars, yet nobody will use dollar coins.  What a strange country we live in.

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