(KTLA) – Did you know America spends more money making pennies than they are actually worth?
According to Time Magazine, back in 2009, it cost the United States Mint 1.4 cents to produce a single penny. Since then, it’s gotten even more expensive, with some sources putting the price tag at more than 2 cents per penny.
Needless to say, a penny in 2022 isn’t worth a lot in the United States. Unless you have a particular eye for valuable coins.
Just this past weekend, 10 100-year-old pennies sold for a whopping $1.1 million at an auction held by a California-based auction house.
The coins were sold Sunday night during an auction by GreatCollections.
“The ten pennies were specially struck proof coins made for collectors by the United States Mint in Philadelphia in the early years of the Lincoln cents. All are still in pristine, mint red condition and sold for a combined total of $1,113,174,” the auction house said.
One of the coins in particular is of record-breaking value. The coin is a “first-year” issue of a 1909 penny that includes the initials of the coin’s designer, Victor D. Brenner. The letters ‘VDB’ can be found on the “tail’s side” of the coin.
The designer’s initials can no longer be found at the bottom of the back side of the pennies. They were removed soon after the production of Lincoln cents began in 1909 and are now located on the front of the coins just above the rim below Lincoln’s arm.
That coin was sold for more than $365,000, which is a record for that coin, according to Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections. Four other pennies dated between 1909 and 1915 that were also in “superb quality” sold for more than $100,000 each, Russell said.
The coins previously belonged to a collector in New York who spent 50 years searching out some of the rarest coins in existence.
The record-breaking penny that sold for more than 300K is considered the “finest known surviving example” of the coin, which was specially made in 1909 to commemorate the centennial of Lincoln’s birth.
Russell called it the “king of Lincoln proof cents.”