Heritage Auctions

These Rare 1-Cent Coins Just Sold For A Pretty Penny

A silver center cent and a Birch cent sold for a combined $869,500 at auction Wednesday.

By Briana Altergott | August 11, 2016

Someone just paid a pretty penny for two rare 1-cent coins.

And by a pretty penny, we mean a grand total of nearly $870,000.

A 1792 silver center cent sold for $352,500 at a Heritage auction in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday.

Article Continues Below

And a 1792 Birch cent, one of only 10 in existence, raked in a whopping $517,000.

SEE MORE: A Lock Of David Bowie's Hair Sold For Close To $19,000

Now, those might seem like pretty big price tags for a couple of old pennies.

But a senior numismatist told the Orange County Register, "The combination of these coins' rarity, condition and historical significance is why they are worth so much."

The coins definitely have a rich history.

A Heritage Auctions spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times the silver center cent is among the first coins to be produced at the first U.S. Mint.

According to the auction house, this particular coin went missing before it was recovered at an English pub in the 1960s. The man who found it hung onto it until 1997, when he auctioned it off.

And the Birch cent has been purchased seven times before this latest auction.

SEE MORE: This 15-Carat Rare Pink Diamond Sold For $31.5 Million

The phrase "Liberty parent of science & industry" is engraved on both coins.

These two big sales are part of a five-day auction of currency from around the world. The event, which is also part of the World's Fair of Money, is expected to bring in around $30 million.

This video includes clips and images from Heritage Auctions and clips from the American Numismatic Association. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More U.S. Coverage