Heritage Auctions, USA-Anaheim, CA

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09-08-2016 – 01-01-1970

ANA US Coins Signature Auction – Anaheim #1238

Coins from 1792 sell for more than 43 million times face value at Heritage Auctions

Two early American pennies among the first struck by the U.S. Mint in 1792 sold for a combined $869,500 – more than 43 million times their face value – on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, at a public auction of American coinage in Anaheim, California.

Lot 3951: 1792 P1C One Cent, Judd-1, Pollock-1, High R.6 SP35 PCGS Secure. CAC. From the Palos Verdes Collection, Part 1.

Heritage Auctions said the coins were among the most historically important coins to come to auction in more than 20 years. “As the first coins produced inside the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, these two coins played an important role in the development of the United States’ monetary system,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Interest in these rarities extended well beyond the historical: Both are in excellent condition for their age and type.”
A winning bid of $352,500 claimed a 1792 Silver Center Cent, so named for a small silver plug added to make its intrinsic value equal to its face value. The concept was suggested by American patriot Thomas Paine and endorsed by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to President George Washington. The copper penny is about the size of today’s modern quarter.

Lot 3952: 1792 P1C Birch Cent, Judd-5, Pollock-6. R.8 MS 61 Brown NGC. Ex: Norweb, Donald G. Patrick Collection.

The second penny was a 1792 Birch Cent, supposedly engraved by Robert Birch, but never confirmed. The coin is the finer of the two known surviving examples of this experimental design and sold for $517,000.

The two pennies were offered as part of a five-day public auction of rare coins and paper money conducted in Anaheim and online by Heritage Auctions, HA.com, that is expected to bring $10 million or more.

Please view the entire auction catalogue here.