A Beverly Hills man is now the proud owner of a penny. But not just any penny, the coin collector paid $2.5 million for the valuable gem at an auction in Florida on Jan. 8.
Kevin Lipton, a rare coin collector and dealer, said he cherishes the 1792 Birch penny more than any other.
“I did have a favorite and now this has become No. 1,”Lipton said. “It’s a penny…but this penny is more than just a penny. This penny is a piece of art. It’s a piece of an incredible part of our history.”
Lipton has been collecting coins since he was a boy. The longtime collector also purchased a 1792 quarter for $2.2 million at the auction.
The Birch penny, named after engraver Robert Birch, was a prototype. The penny was minted three years into George Washington’s presidency to help decide what the United States first coin would look like. Only 10 were made, and the valuable penny Lipton has was the pinnacle of those 10.
“It’s a fantastic piece of history. Like I said it’s one of the 10 greatest American coins,” Lipton said.
The penny has not arrived in California yet. It’s on an armored truck somewhere between Orlando, Florida and Beverly Hills. Lipton has been collecting coins since he was a boy. The longtime collector also purchased a 1792 quarter for $2.2 million at the auction.