Government wants its rare penny back

April 9, 2014 in Antique Coins, Auctions, Coins, Collecting, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Pennies, Rare Coins, USA Coins

La Jolla men had hoped to sell unique aluminum coin for $250K

By Dana Littlefield .April 8, 2014 (

Randy Lawrence and Michael McConnell had a plan.

The two friends, brought together by serendipity and an extremely rare penny, were going to auction the coin later this month and donate part of the proceeds to charity. The one-of-a-kind 1974-D aluminum penny was expected to fetch $250,000 or more.

But now the U.S. government wants it back.

A lawyer for the United States Mint sent a letter to the men in February stating that because the aluminum penny was never issued as legal tender, the coin remains property of the federal government, regardless of how long it was in private hands.

Lawrence, a real estate agent, inherited the penny from his father in 1980. He recently sold it to McConnell, owner of the La Jolla Coin Shop, who later uncovered the penny’s history and notified Lawrence.

Now the men are taking the issue to federal court. They filed a lawsuit last month seeking a judgment from the court declaring that they, not the government, are the coin’s true owners.

Meanwhile, plans to auction the penny remain on hold.

Full article at the source>

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