Rare 1933 British penny to set new auction record

A rare 1933 British penny is to cross the block at Heritage Auctions on August 11 as part of the World and Ancient Coins Signature auction.

Bidding on the lot stands at $111,625, already well above the £72,000 ($94,893) British penny record paid for a pattern 1933 penny earlier this year.

1933 British penny
The 1933 British penny was minted essentially for ceremonial reasons

The coin is considered the Holy Grail by many collectors due to its extreme rarity.

For those who started collecting when they were children, it appeals as something previously unobtainable.

Only three are known to be in private hands, with two more held in museums.

As Christiano Bierrenbach told the Daily Express: "Pennies have a great collector appeal.

"It's usually something people start collecting in childhood but they would all have an empty space for the 1933 penny…

"There are certain coins that are really charismatic in the collecting world and for the 20th century this is really a special item…

"It has been in America for decades but I have a hunch it will go back to Britain now."

Only seven pennies were minted in 1933 because there was a large surplus.

They were primarily produced for commemorative purposes, as it was tradition for new pennies to be placed under the cornerstones of new buildings.

One was stolen during the construction of a church in Leeds in the 1970s and has never reappeared on the market.   

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