What can you get for a penny these days? More than a million bucks, in one case.
A 1792 U.S. experimental penny is expected to sell for more than $1.2 million in a public auction on Thursday in Schaumburg. Online bidding has begun, and the penny has received the highest bid in a $20 million auction of rare coins on the Heritage Auctions website.
The rare copper penny features a small silver plug in the center and a symbolic representation of “Miss Liberty." It's one of the first coins struck at the United States Mint.
"This particular coin was carefully preserved from owner-to-owner over the past 220 years, and remains in mint state condition," Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Todd Imhof said in a statement. "It's been illustrated in several prominent numismatic reference books."
There are only 14 known surviving silver-center pennies, according to Imhof. The consignor chose to remain anonymous.
The auction begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center, in the Nirvana Ballroom.