Old Penny Sells For $1.38 Million

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) – As Benjamin Franklin once wrote ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’.

In Orlando on Saturday an old penny saved was sold for $1.38 million.

The one-cent copper coin was made at the Mint in Philadelphia in 1793, the first year that the U.S. made its own coins. James Halperin of Texas-based Heritage Auctions said the sale was “the most a United States copper coin has ever sold for at auction.”

Heritage officials said in a news release that the name of the buyer was not revealed but that he was “a major collector.” One of the coin’s earliest owners was a well-known Baltimore banker, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.

“Mr. Eliasberg was nicknamed, ‘the king of coins’ because before his death in 1976 he assembled a collection that consisted of at least one example of every coin ever made at the United States Mint, a feat never duplicated,” Halperin said.

The final bid for the coin last week was one of the largest sales at the Florida United Numismatists coin show and annual convention. Halperin said a five-dollar gold piece from 1829 also was sold.

Halperin said there remain a few hundred 1793 coins in different condition, but that the one auctioned off is rare because it wasn’t in circulation.

Officials say it shows no wear on its lettering, on its Lady Liberty face or on the chain of linking rings on its back.

The coin is known as a “Chain Cent” because its chain of linking rings was supposed to represent the solidarity of the states. The design was changed to a wreath after some critics claimed it was symbolic of slavery.

(TM and © Copyright 20121 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Melinda Hernandez

    “The design was changed to a wreath after some critics claimed it was symbolic of slavery.”
    What a crock of shiite. Is there nothing that apologist cannot link to slavery?

    • jp

      Just for the record, the change was made in March of 1793. I would have seen a problem then. It’s not like looking back 145 years.

  • Johnny Cowan

    That is just stupid.

    • Lee

      Proof that some people have too much money.

      • Randy Davis

        How much money is “too much”?

    • Randy Davis

      To those who don’t understand the value of old money, yes it is. Therefore, if you don’t understand, don’t embarrass yourself with a “stupid” comment void of any knowledge.

  • Big Machine

    219 years later, still mad.

  • sbenard

    Now THAT’S inflation!

  • bill

    Way to provide a picture CBS. u suck

    • Fredflintstone Third

      They’d surely post the wrong penny anyway.

  • DeVan

    CBS just hired Charlie Rose to do the morning news show. Why didn’t they just bring back Dan Rather. One liberal Dem hack is as bad as another. The news media is the most corrupt industry in America today. The way the discriminate in hiring is a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

    • Fredflintstone Third

      Yeah…just like every Fox outfit is so right wing and big oil is the most corrupt industry. Keep dreaming. The GOP is all about reverse socialism….or the reverse Robin Hood effect…to take from the poor and hand it over to the rich.

      • Ron

        So just was is it that the rich take from the poor? Money, no. jobs, no, self esteem, no. I am not rich by any means. I work hard and take care of myself. Unlike a lot of people who had the same choices I had but chose to do drugs, have babies they can’t afford and sit on their dead ass and expect others to take care of them. Tell me what they take so we can all learn from you. If you like socialism so much move to Europe or anywhere you would like.

  • DeVan

    Slavery? That reminds me: Europeans introduced slavery to America, not Americans. Those who want reparations should send the bill to England, Holland, Spain and France. Otherwise, get over it!

    • Wilhelm Da Sad

      In reality the American Indians were practicing slavery for hundreds of years before any European set foot on either continent.

  • Sammy

    Time to bring slavery back and get “them” all under control.

    • james gardner

      finally a comment i agree with.

    • RBG

      Too late! The descendants of slaves are coming to destroy you, and all of the guns in the world won’t save you. We don’t die, we multiply.

      • 123abc

        yea, your’re right. guns won’t save us.

        you’ve destroyed us economicaly, collecting welfare EBT and section 8. now run off be on the sucking end of the gov’t glory hole.

  • http://skinsrock.wordpress.com skinsrock

    What slavery?

  • Silence Dogood

    To Sammy,

    The New World Order is doing just what you commented on. However you
    will be one of the first to be subjected, since you condone the process.

    All men were created equal and granted certain rights by our creator.
    If we stand divided, together we fall.

    You are a fool.

    Silence Dogood

  • Picturesque Southside Chicago

    Whitey got me down dates back to 1793. Black trouble persists to this day.

  • Picturesque Southside Chicago

    Diversity is very dangerous to the future of America.

  • Brad Skidmore

    Holy COW! I’m rich! I’ve got an entire jar full of these pennies! And they aren’t even half as old as that one! i’m rich! I’m RICH!

  • Herman Vogel

    Don’t you just hate this, a big build up and NO PICTURE even though it’s a $1.3M Penny. Stupid!!!

  • Herman Vogel

    Picture of coin, no thanks to CBS.

  • obama is a marxist

    eric holder will have to investigate

  • contrarian

    I agree with those who commented on the absence of a photo to accompany the article. The good news is that one click later, I found some beautiful shots of the penny via a Google search.

    • ADMIN

      The reason we don’t have an image is one does not exist to which we can obtain the rights. The most common image is distributed via AP, but we are not AP image clients. OTher people steal the images and post them (A canadian website has the AP image with no attribution) but we don’t do that. Sorry

      • Bill O

        Thanks for the explanation, but OTher and canadian. Surely you can do better.

  • Old Coin Collector

    It is a Large Cent. The US has NEVER minted pennys. Even today, the coin in your pocket is a Lincoln Cent!

  • tom

    Sweet picture of the coin ;)

  • Woody

    No pic of the coin. Cutting edge jounalism!……..no….we don’t want to see the most expensive coin……just tell us a story

  • Paul Rigsby

    This media company decided not to show us a picture of the penny…Yes, that penny which their whole story is based. However, I was still able to find a photo within 25 seconds or so. Pretty much shows us how useless and superfluous these media outlets are these days.

  • SerfCityHereWeCome

    This was an absolute steal– one of the first coins ever minted by the greatest country in history, only to increase in value exponentially as our once-great country is destroyed in the coming months, to say nothing of the additional monetary carnage from the rampant Bernankefeiting being done by the Fiend Reserve which will soon increase the price of a potato to $1.38M.

  • skoch

    As a guy that is not a coin collector, it would have been great for the “journalist” to include a photo or likeness of the coin.

    • ADMIN

      As we said, the only images of the actual coin out there are unavailable to us because we don’t own the rights. We can’t just steal them…

  • Independant

    Thanks, Drudge readers, for turning a completely innocuous blurb about some cool coin into a hate-filled right-wing rant. Well done, as always.

  • martin D.

    How can it have a lady liberty face? Is this article implying it was modeled after the statue? If so…the Statue of liberty was completed in 1884…long after this coin was minted? What am I missing?

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