Coins & Money

Ten Pennies for $1.1 Million!!!

If a $12.6 million auction price for a Mickey Mantle baseball card wasn’t enough for you this week, what about news of 10 pennies selling for a combined $1.1 million! Some collectors had thought that numismatics was on its way out. Apparently not. By this tape, not at all!

GreatCollections of Irvine, California issued a press release that it has completed an auction where 10 century-old Lincoln cents fetched a combined $1.1 million for the valuable pennies. With an average price of $110,000.00 per penny it is a wonder as to why the term “valuable” was even mentioned when addressing a New York collection that was carefully assembled over a 50 year period.

The top billed coin was a first-year of issue Lincoln cent from 1909 (Image below by GreatCollections.Com). The penny has designer Victor D. Brenner’s initials, V.D.B., on the ‘tail’s side’ and it fetched $325,000.00 for a record price of $365,625.00 after the buyer’s premium. This was noted about the key date coin:

The 1909 V.D.B proof cent was authenticated and graded mint state red 67+ (on the numismatic grading scale of 1 to 70) by Professional Coin Grading Service. It is tied for the finest known surviving example of less than 1,200 specially struck by the Mint in 1909, the centennial of President Lincoln’s birth.

And to prove that this is the best — “It is the king of Lincoln proof cents.”

The release also stated that 4 other pennies, which were dated between 1909 and 1915 (and also in superb quality), all fetched more than $100,000 each in the auction.

According to 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 recently sold for a combined total of $1,113,174… The designer’s initials at the bottom of the back side of the cents were removed soon after the production of Lincoln cents began in 1909. They are now located on the front of the coins just above the rim below Lincoln’s arm.

1909 VDB Lincoln penny

Some of the other coins being auctioned off did not exactly go for chump change either. The prices represented below are from and the prices are said to represent the total price after the buyer’s fees:

  • 1873 Three-Dollar Gold Piece Open 3 NGC Proof-66 UC (This is the finest 1873 Three-Dollar Gold Piece, graded NGC Proof 66 UC. A major rarity.) sold for $129,937.50 after 43 bids.
  • 1932 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle PCGS MS-65+ (Bella Collection) sold for $188,437.00 after 40 bids.
  • 1909-D Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle PCGS MS-66+ (Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection) sold for $275,625.00 after 61 bids.
  • 1899 Liberty Gold Double Eagle PCGS Proof-65 CAMEO (Proof Liberty Gold Double Eagles is one of the most popular series in today’s market. They were always elevated, due to their low mintages and even lower survival rates. This 1899 is graded PCGS Proof-65 CAMEO.) sold for $143,437.50 after 53 bids.