Three rare and quite valuable pennies have been deliberately put into circulation. So check your change! You might have a penny that's worth as much as a $1,000.
ABCNews.com reports that Scott A. Travers, coin aficionado and former vice president of the American Numismatic Association, purposely spent these three highly-coveted coins:
--1914-D Lincoln cent valued at $300.
--1908-S Indian Head cent valued at $200.
--1909-S VDB Lincoln Head cent valued at $1,000.
The 1909 penny is different for two reasons: it has an "S" under the year and also has "V.D.B." minted on the lower part of the reverse side.
However, with metals prices rising today, that pile of pennies you have stored away may be worth more tomorrow by melting down pennies for the metals they contain. Zinc which makes up about 97.5% of today's penny has increased in price by 207% since the end of 2003 while copper, which makes up the other 2.5%, has risen by 201%. Gold, by contrast, is up only about 50 percent.
Last week, the cost of the metals in a penny rose above 0.8 cents, more than twice the value of last fall. Because the government spends at least another six-tenths of a cent (above and beyond the cost of the metal) to make each penny, it would lose nearly half a cent on each new one it mints today.
Yet, pennies are in high demand. Last year, the mint made 7.7 billion of them. That is more than the number of all other coins it produced. Perhaps, people have discovered that stocking away pennies is a lot easier than investing in gold at over $600/troy oz....
Source: Floyd Norris, The New York Times