April 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM ET
It may cost 2 cents to make a penny, but you can buy one for more than $1 million.
One of the nation's first pennies, which is mostly copper but has a silver plug in the center, fetched $1.15 million at auction on Thursday, according to Heritage Auctions, which handled the transaction.
The penny, which depicts Liberty with flowing hair on one side and a wreath tied wtih a ribbon on the other, was one of the first coins struck at The Philadelphia Mint by a fledgling United States in 1792.
The Associated Press, quoting officials from Heritage, said Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, Calif., bought the penny at the behest of a group of unnamed investors for $1 million, plus the auction house's 15 percent commission.
The AP said the coin never made it into circulation and only 14 examples of it are known to exist, according to Heritage Executive Vice President Todd Imhof.
Don't spend it all in one place, Mr. Lipton.