Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Penny windfall

A penny saved is not necessarily just a penny earned. A man's collection of rare cents has turned into a $10.7 million auction windfall in California.

The collection of 301 cents featured some of the earliest examples of the American cent, including one that was minted in 1793 but abandoned because Congress thought Lady Liberty looked frightened.

That coin and a 1794 cent with tiny stars added to prevent counterfeiters each raised $632,500, according to the Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auction Galleries, which held the sale in Long Beach.

The coins came from the collection of Burbank resident Walter J. Husak, the owner of an aerospace-part manufacturing company. Husak became interested in collecting at age 13, while visiting his grandparents who paid him in old coins for helping with chores.

There were 168 successful bidders and the auction gallery got 15% of the total.

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