Next time you receive a penny as change, take a closer look, that penny you’re holding just might be worth $1,000.
To help introduce more people to “the magic of coin collecting,” Scott A. Travers, a 44-year-old former vice president of the American Numismatic Association and author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, decided to mark National Coin Week in mid-April 2006 by deliberately spending three valuable old pennies as he made routine purchases around Manhattan. “I’m planting a seed, and I hope that a new generation of people will come to appreciate the history that coins represent,” he said.
The three coins Scott Travers planned to spend were all relatively low-mintage U.S. one-cent pieces nearly one hundred years old: a 1908-S Indian Head cent, and 1909-S VDB and 1914-D Lincoln cents. (In the conditions released by Travers, these coins are worth roughly $200, $1,000, and $300, respectively.) Mr. Travers said he put the 1914-D Lincoln cent into circulation on 12 April 2006 when he purchased a pretzel from a food stand in Times Square, and that he planned to spend the other two coins within the next several days.
Of course, chances are we’ll never hear from/about those coins again…