Penny for your thoughts? How about a million of them? All copper perhaps? That is what a California family discovered in a cramped crawlspace while cleaning out a family members house recently. That is a lot of thoughts, and a whole lot of copper pennies.
So, what do you do when you find approximately one million copper pennies? That’s a good question, and one that was facing John Reyes, a California realtor when, while cleaning out his wife’s fathers house, he stumbled upon the dusty stash in a dark crawlspace under the dwelling.
The pennies were stored in dozens of bank bags, some from banks that no longer exist, and are worth about $10,000 dollars. That is, unless there are any rare coins in the haul. Considering the age of the house, the pennies were determined to be copper pennies. Copper was used in pennies for the most part until 1982.
Some of the pennies were rolled, but most were loose. It was common practice during previous generations to save pennies and roll them to cash in at a bank. In recent years, with the invention of Coinstar and other methods, rolling coins has fallen out of fashion. In many cases banks won’t even take rolled coins.
California family finds 1 million copper pennies in old home worth $10k at face value‼️💰 pic.twitter.com/lbYJrBEb7p
— RapTV (@Rap) June 11, 2023
The family originally considered Coinstar, but since there is a hefty fee the machine charges, they decided instead to try taking them to a bank, but were also turned away there. There is also the issue of the age of the coins. Old money spends just fine, but rare pennies and other coins can sometimes be worth millions, and you don’t know if you have one unless you look.
It was quite the chore getting the pennies out of the house. Reyes said: “Literally bag-by-bag, we had to take them out of the basement, up the stairs, and into the trucks … it took hours. It took a whole day just to get them out of the crawlspace.”
The family loaded the coins into two trucks, but both vehicles were so overloaded with weight that the entire trip back to their primary residence they had to drive extra slow on the Southern California interstate.
Now, after spending two months going through their find, the family is giving up and offering the coins to the highest bidder. They have placed the coins for sale on the internet and are asking $25,000. While that is considerably more than the actual cash value, Reyes said: “The value is in the uniqueness.”
The value may indeed be in the uniqueness, but the odds are decent that there are at least a few very valuable coins, particularly “wheat head” coins from the early part of the 20th century.
No one has purchased the dusty copper stash yet, despite several partial offers. It will be a daunting task for someone to go through a million pennies while looking for dates, markings, mis-strikes, and other unique markings that could prove to be worth much more than a penny. However, whoever takes on the job might walk away rich if they are lucky.
"*" indicates required fields