California man pays $4.8M for 26 cents from 1792


A Southern California man has spent $4.8 million to purchase 26 cents.

According to Newser, Kevin Lipton submitted a winning bid of $2,585,000 last week for the 1792 penny, one of about only 10 coins that were “experimentally produced” after the U.S. Mint was established.

The piece features a profile of a female face encircled by the words “Liberty Parent of Science and Industry.”

Lipton, who owns a coin wholesaling business in Beverly Hills, paid $2.2 million for the quarter, from the same year.

“It’s like our very first penny,”  Lipton told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s such a spectacular coin. It’s so important, so rare.”

Lipton was searching for the penny, called a Birch Cent, since he saw one in 1981 at a New York auction house. The coin was bought by a developer for a mere $200,000.

According to the Times, Lipton’s bid is the most money ever paid for a one-cent coin. The paper reported that the 55-year-old began collecting coins at age 12 and started his business at age 17.

“They are a great store value, and will only be worth more in the future,” Lipton told the paper of his purchase. “They are literally Mona Lisas of our coinage.”