Jump to content

Is penny worth $3 million?


Recommended Posts

Is penny worth $3



By Barrett J. Brunsman • bbrunsman@enquirer.

com • November 17, 2010


BETHEL - Ken Mason laughed at the notion that

a penny he sold for $25,000 in 1972 might be

worth $3 million today.


He has no regrets about parting with the 1936

coin, which might be unique because of a

minting error.


"It's got heads and tails on the same side,"

Mason said.


"Some supposed experts say it's a fake," said

Mason, 77, who said he found it in 1960. "If I

don't ever get a penny more out of that penny, it

ain't going to worry me to death."


However, the sock drawer in which Mason once

kept the Lincoln penny was traded Wednesday

for the keys to a 1979 Cadillac.


The man who proposed the deal was Dan

Wilkins, a Californian who bought the penny

from Mason 38 years ago.


Wilkins figures the penny is worth $3 million now

- based on the value of other rare coins.


"I have never put it up for sale, (but) it's one of a

kind," Wilkins said. "I never questioned it's



The front of the penny supposedly shows both

the head of Abraham Lincoln and the wheat

stalks that normally are on the back.


"It looked like it got stuck in the die, and it got

re-stamped," said Wilkins, 64.


"It's totally ridiculous (that some) think it's a

fake," Wilkins said. "It's jealousy."

Fred Weinberg, a respected dealer in so-called

error coins, is among those who think the penny

isn't worth much - if anything.


Weinberg said Wilkins was in his office two years

ago but wouldn't allow him to see the coin, which

prevented him from authenticating it.


But "from the photos he showed me in my office,

the coin is without a doubt 1,000 percent

damaged," Weinberg said. "It is NOT a genuine

mint error."


So-called double struck coins are worth $300 to

$500 in general if genuine, said the dealer, who

is president of Fred Weinberg & Co.


Wilkins confirmed that he had met with



"They claim it's a man-made coin, probably,"

Wilkins said of cynics.


Wilkins said he wanted the sock drawer where

the penny had been kept by Mason to use in a

display for the coin. He hopes to create a

traveling museum. "People would come to see

the most famous penny in the world," Wilkins

said. "If it were fake, it's still a celebrity."


"I was a barber from 1956 to 1970," Mason said,

explaining how he came across the coin. "I dealt

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...