Rare one cent coin sells for nearly $2.6m at auction to become most expensive US penny

There are only thought to be 10 of these coins in the world

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The Independent US

A rare coin has been sold for nearly $2.6 million (£1.7m), making it the most expensive one cent piece to ever be bought at auction.

The coin from 1792 is known as the “Birch Cent” and was one of the first prototypes for American currency. The coin takes its name from creator Robert Birch and is one in a series of prototypes.

Coin collector Kevin Lipton purchased the Birch Cent for the eye-watering amount at a Heritage Auctions sale in Orlando, Florida last Thursday.

Mr Lipton said, “This is the finest by far by leaps and bounds of the 10 known. […] It’s the best of the best and considering the fact of what it represents, it’s the birth of our coinage.”

The coin features Lady Liberty with flowing hair and the phrase: “Liberty Parent of Science and Industry” on one side, while on the other it says “United States of America” and features the words “One Cent” encircled by a wreath.

There are only believed to be 10 of these coins in existence and this one is thought to be in the best condition.

Additional reporting from agencies