Family finds 1 million pennies cleaning out home. Now they’re trying to sell them for over double the value

‘Many of these bags are actually sealed, they’re lead sealed directly from the bank’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Sunday 11 June 2023 12:38 BST

Family finds piles of pennies

A family in Los Angeles found a million pennies while they cleaned out the home of their father who passed away.

The massive pile of coins was discovered in a crawl space in the home of the immigrant from Germany.

The family’s theory is that he started gathering the coins after the US shifted from making pennies out of copper to instead using zinc during the Second World War and that he hoped to make a profit out of the value of the metal.

The man’s son-in-law, John Reyes, told NBC LA that “these have literally been untouched for decades, and I think that’s the super unique part about it”.

The family also believe that the pennies could be of interest to collectors, meaning that they possibly could be worth millions.

A penny from 1943 was sold for $1.7m in 2010. Other seldom-seen pennies have been sold for thousands.

The family listed their pennies, stored in boxes, sacks, and crates, on OfferUp for $25,000 – more than double their value of $10,000.

“We started going through the arduous process of looking at the pennies and that quickly turned into, ‘We don’t know what we are doing.’ And then we decided to pop open a couple of beers and have those instead,” Mr Reyes said.

At first, when they attempted to deposit the coins at a bank, they were told the vault wasn’t big enough to hold such a vast amount of coins.

The family is now seeking expert advice on what to do next.

“I’ve had quite a few collectors tell me that this is something that should not be sold until we know what’s going on,” Mr Reyes told NBC LA.

Mr Reyes, a realtor, made the discovery along with his wife as they were getting the house ready for renovation.

“Many of these bags are actually sealed, they’re lead sealed directly from the bank,” Mr Reyes told KABC. “As we start looking through we see some of the big banks, like Bank of America, and at the same time, we also saw banks that we have never even heard of, maybe banks that don’t even exist anymore. So we were just like ‘Wow this is amazing.’”

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