Kevin Lipton submitted a winning bid of $2,585,000 mid-January for the 1792 penny, one of about only 10 coins that were "experimentally produced" after the U.S. Mint was established.
Lipton, who owns a coin wholesaling business in Beverly Hills,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.
"It's like our very first penny,” Lipton said. "It's such a spectacular coin. It's so important, so rare."
The piece features a profile of a female face encircled by the words "Liberty Parent of Science and Industry." The other side says, “United States of America” and shows the denomination of “One Cent" within a wreath. At the bottom is the fraction "1/100."
According to the Reporters, Lipton's bid is the most money ever paid for a one-cent coin. "They are a great store value, and will only be worth more in the future," He said about his purchase. "They are literally Mona Lisas of our coinage."
Lipton’s 1792 "Wright Quarter" is special because it's America's first quarter and because the only other example known to exist is in the Smithsonian. It features a beautifully executed profile of a woman with the word "Liberty" written atop and the date below. The reverse side has an eagle standing on a globe with the words "United States of America" surrounding it. The coin was designed by Joseph Wright only one year before his death.