Rare US coins sell for pretty penny at auction in Florida


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — When is a penny worth $300,000?

When it's one of the first copper coins struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, in 1793.

The annual Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention is being held in Tampa this week, and three historic coins, including the pricey penny, went up for auction Thursday evening.

Mark Borckardt, a senior numismatist with Heritage Auctions in Dallas, said the George Washington-era penny is one of about 500 in existence.

Other high-value U.S. coins sold at auction included a half-dollar minted in New Orleans in 1838 and a $4 gold piece called a "Flowing Hair Stella," that sold for $750,000.

The coins had high value due to their rarity and excellent condition.

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