Penny sells for £72,000 and is now the most expensive copper coin in the world

Coin which is one of four in existence sold at auction after fierce battle between two bidders

Gabriel Samuels
Wednesday 11 May 2016 22:47
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The rare coin is decorated on one side with the likeness of King George V and on the other with the female spirit Britannia
The rare coin is decorated on one side with the likeness of King George V and on the other with the female spirit Britannia

A rare one penny piece has been sold for £72,000, smashing the world record for most expensive copper coin.

The Lavrillier Pattern Penny was cast in 1933 and is one of only four ever made.

It was sold at auction by AH Baldwin and Sons on 4 May after a fierce battle between two telephone bidders.

Potential buyers flew into London from Australia, United States and New Zealand to watch the auction as it happened.

The coin is decorated on one side with the likeness of King George V, and on the other with the female spirit Britannia.

Of the four in existence, one of the pattern pennies is kept in the Royal Mint Museum in Wales and the remaining three are privately-owned.

The hefty price tag is “testament to the current strength in British numismatics [the study of coins]”, according to the auction house.

There were only seven 1p coins made in 1933 as the Royal Mint produced a surplus the year before.

In March the world’s most valuable coin was put on public display in London.

The ‘Amon Carter’ Silver Dollar was the first dollar coin to be minted in the United States and has a value of over $10 million.

The world record for the price of a British coin was set when the Edward VIII gold proof sovereign was sold for £516,000 in May 2014.

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