Six rare pennies are expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars when they go to auction this weekend, with Aussies rummaging through their drawers to find the coveted coins.
The 1930s pennies are extremely rare due to their ‘accidental’ minting, with only about 1,500 coins believed to have been circulated.
The pennies will be auctioned off by Lloyds Auctions on Sunday, with bidding for one coin already sitting at $20,500. But the auctioneers think that price could triple.
Last month, another 1930s penny in ‘good fine’ condition went under the hammer and sold for nearly $60,000, breaking an Australian record.
“Two of the pennies have a grading of ‘very fine’, that being better than the penny we sold last month, so we could possibly see these two pennies break another record,” chief operations officer for Lloyds Auctions Lee Hames said.
Bidding for the second ‘very fine’ penny is currently sitting at $13,500, while the pennies in ‘good fine’ and ‘fine’ condition have bids between $4,200 and $10,100. The pennies are expected to sell for a six-figure sum collectively.
Lloyds Auctions was inundated with phone calls following the previous sale.
“We had customers going through their drawers following the news,” Hames said.
“To the surprise of some custodians they found their own 1930s penny, which we now have up for auction.
“The market for pennies and numismatics is really strong at the moment and people don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to make the best of it.”
In 1929, the start of the Great Depression meant there was a lower demand for currency. That year, the government did not order any pennies to be minted.
But, for an unknown reason, around 3,000 pennies were accidentally produced and only around 1,500 were put into circulation.
The pennies are the lowest-mintage, pre-decimal Australian coins in existence. They feature the face of King George V.