Prototype Coins Go for $30M

Anonymous buyer pays $30 million for rare coin collection
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2007 9:53 PM CST
This combination of two undated photos provided Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007, by Heritage Auction Galleries, in Dallas, Texas shows the front and back of an experimental coin from 1792. The coin was intended...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An anonymous buyer spent more than $30 million on a collection of about 1,000 coins that never made it to circulation, the AP reports. The rare “pattern coins,” dated from 1792 to 1942, are trial designs the US Mint rejected before producing them for circulation. Those coins generally stay in the hands of the Mint, making a collection this large very valuable.

Included in the lot are test designs for the first pennies made in 1792 and coins from the 1800s with depictions of an "Amazonian"  woman representing liberty. The seller asked to stay anonymous, and the buyer is identified only as “Mr. Simpson, a Western states collector.” The dealer who brokered the sale says it took the seller around 10 years to assemble the collection.