Rare Penny Sells For $1.15 Million

The 1792 copper penny is only one of 14 surviving silver-center cents

By Allison Preston
|  Friday, Apr 20, 2012  |  Updated 10:48 AM CDT
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Rare Penny Sells For $1.15 Million

This 1792-dated copper cent with a tiny silver plug in its center was sold for $1.15 million by Heritage Auctions on April 19, 2012. The experimental penny was one of the first coins ever struck by the United States Mint in Philadelphia.

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Turns out a penny saved is a penny earned -- and then some. 

One of the earliest dated coins created at the United States Mint was purchased Thursday for $1.15 million in a public auction in Schaumburg, according to officials Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas.  

The 1792 copper penny is only one of 14 surviving silver-center cents. The coin features a small silver plug in the center and a portrait symbolic of “Miss Liberty.” Inscribed is the phrase “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

“The coin was sold to a dealer from Southern California, Mr. Kevin Lipton, who was representing a group of investors,” said Heritage Auctions executive vice president Todd Imhof in a statement.

A coin exactly like the one sold collected $105,000 in the 1974 auction.

The coin was one of the highlights of the auction of rare coins and paper money, and Heritage officials estimate the sale will generate about $20 million in winning bids by the end of the event on Saturday.

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