Everyone knows you can get more out of a penny at Beezid than you can pretty much anywhere else. Well that is still true and it always will be, but there is always the occasional exception to every rule. One coin collector proved that point at a recent Florida auction, shelling out $1.38 million for a penny that was minted in the first year that the US of A started making coins.
You might argue that the buyer had more dollars than “cents” but the fact is, an anonymous collector decided that this one-cent piece was worth the price of a couple of unhatched dragon eggs. Our grandmothers all used to tell us about the value of a penny but this guy took it to a whole new level.
Why was the coin so valuable you ask? Because it’s more rare than an honest used car salesman! This particular penny was minted in Philadelphia in 1793. It’s known as a “Chain cent” because the design features a chain of 15 linking rings symbolizing the solidarity of the 15 colonies that made up the United States of America at the time of the pressing. Records indicate that only 36,103 were ever produced.
The design was discontinued shortly thereafter due to complaints about everything from the symbolism of the chain to the look on the face of Lady Liberty on the other side of the coin. Due to the fact that so few were produced and even fewer survive today, you’ve got really, really rich folks plopping down more money than a lot of hard-working people will make in their lifetime on a penny! Think of it as a penny for your thoughts - if you’re Albert Einstein.
Then again, it could just be a shrewd investment. A similar coin sold for a fraction of the price of this one about fifteen years back, so the return on it could be huge. But just remember to tell your family not to accidentally leave it in the ‘Take a Penny, Leave a Penny’ tray!