U.S. penny bought for $1M

Rare coin struck in bronze instead of zinc-coated steel

Published On: Sep 20 2012 07:22:12 AM PDT   Updated On: Sep 21 2012 07:43:31 AM PDT
Million dollar penny

Coin collecting may be a hobby that doesn't get much fanfare in everyday life, but when a U.S. penny sells for $1 million, some may think the pastime may make "cents'" after all.

Professional Coin Grading Service announced that well-known collector Bob R. Simpson, co-chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club, has paid $1 million for the finest known 1943-S bronze cent.

PCGS said the seller was an anonymous long-time collector represented by an East Coast dealer.

The coin is one of only about a half dozen San Francisco Mint 1943 cents struck in bronze instead of zinc-coated steel, the agency said.

"By error, some bronze planchets made it into the hoppers at all three Mints, were struck and released into circulation. These have become the most famous and valuable of all off-metal errors," according to PCGS CoinFacts.

Simpson's rare coin collection now contains the finest known bronze cent from each mint, including the unique 1943-D.

According to reports, Simpson's efforts to acquire the rare coins came as he reminisced about a 1943 "copper" Lincoln cent he found in some change when he was a youngster. However, he said that penny turned out to be a fake.