A rare penny, estimated to be worth $250,000, will be put up for auction in April.
The 1974-D penny is one of only 10 minted in Denver, and said to be one of only a few still in existence. It belonged to a man who had inherited his father’s coin collection, and sat in his desk drawer for over 30 years. When he moved to California last year, he sold the coin collection to a coin shop which had the penny appraised.
These pennies are unique in that they are made from aluminum, composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc. Millions of these coins were struck in Philadelphia. However, most were destroyed; few were distributed to members of Congress. The Director of the U.S. Mint ordered that they be returned, but between 5 and 14 have not been returned.
Pennies minted in Denver were taken by a foreman to be shipped to the Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C. Other than the one to be sold at auction, the fate of these coins is still unknown.