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Rare 1792 Penny Sells for Staggering $1.15 Million at Auction

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Canada recently announced it would be phasing out its version of the penny, and since producing a US penny actually costs more than one is worth, some have called for similar action stateside. But one particular penny has far exceeded its face value, selling for over $1 million at auction.

The 1792 penny, which went on the auction block Thursday at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in suburban Chicago, was snapped up by a group of unnamed investors for the cool mil, plus another $150,000 in fees.

While you’d think the selling price means the coin is made of diamonds and pixie dust, it’s not — just your standard copper with a small silver plug to give it added weight. So why is it so valuable?

Simple rarity, according to Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage Auctions. “After 200 years, we can only account for 14 of these,” he said of the uncirculated coin. “It’s a real classic, one that’s rarely seen in such good condition.”

[Associated Press]

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