CHARLESTON – A West Virginia resident successfully bid $750 for a rare coin, while two other state residents drove up the bidding process during State Treasurer John Perdue’s latest online unclaimed property auction.
The auction, administered by Lone Star Auctioneers, ended earlier this week with the 1909-S VDB penny selling for more than $200 above appraised value. The penny came out of a West Virginia safe deposit box and is one of a select number minted.
Engravers minted 484,000 with the somewhat prominent initials of “VDB” at the bottom and center, for designer Victor David Brenner. The size of the initials prompted complaints of “free, illegal advertising for the designer” so the rest of the run contained coins without the initials, creating the scarcity.
“We could not be more delighted that a West Virginia resident came out the winning bidder for the penny,” said State Treasurer John Perdue. “This is exactly what we’ve been wanting on two fronts – more participation from state residents and the maximum return for the rightful owner.”
Lone Star’s Karen Plunk said someone obviously wanted the coin badly, to pay more than appraised value. Two other state residents helped drive up the price. Confidentiality laws prevent naming the individuals.
“It is a rare penny and the most famous, most well-known Lincoln penny you can still find out there,” Plunk said. “Coin collectors know what a 1909-S VDB is.”