A rare penny has been sold at auction for $1.38 million. The coin was one of the first United States coins minted in 1793.
James Halperin, of Heritage Auctions, has said that the sale was “the most a United States copper coin has ever sold for at auction,” according to AP.
The coin was crafted in 1793, which was the first year that the U.S. produced its own coins. The name of the buyer was not revealed, but has only been described as “a major collector.”
One of the coin’s previous owners was a Baltimore banker named Louis Eliasberg. “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 coin that sold is particularly rare as it was never in circulation. The coin is known by collectors as a “Chain Cent.” This is due to the linking rings which were supposed to represent the unity of the states. However, the design was later altered to a wreath after criticism that it could be mistaken as a symbol for slavery.