They discovered one million pennies. Now they want somebody to take them.


The preliminary plan was to haul the pennies to Coinstar.

Final fall, whereas cleansing a relative’s dwelling in Los Angeles, a California household stumbled upon $10,000, roughly — however it wasn’t so easy to gather the treasure. It got here within the type of an estimated 1 million pennies saved in dozens of luggage and containers.

9 months later, the household continues to be looking for a technique to money the cash in.

John Reyes, 41, and his cousin had been cleansing out a crawl area within the basement of his late father-in-law’s home once they found the pennies. The duty that Reyes had been laying aside instantly turned a a lot larger chore, bodily and logistically.

Simply transferring the crates of the baggage and containers of pennies “left imprints on our fingers as a result of they had been so heavy,” he stated in a telephone interview. He stated the household estimated their complete worth based mostly on the quantities written on the baggage and containers.

Reyes, who’s an actual property agent in Ontario, California, was befuddled by the discover: “All we might suppose was how on this planet did my father-in-law and his brother do that on their very own? Loopy.”

His preliminary plan was to haul the pennies to Coinstar, however the coin machine service costs a proportion of the whole quantity as a processing charge. And, as Reyes quickly found, an individual can’t merely take a whole lot of kilos of pennies to a neighborhood financial institution. One department supervisor advised him that he didn’t even have sufficient room for that many cash within the vault.

However a supervisor at a neighborhood Wells Fargo altered his course, Reyes stated. As he advised her concerning the discovery, he stated, he “might see the bewilderment in her eyes.”

She urged him to not attempt to deliver the pennies to a financial institution, he recalled, telling him: “‘You might need a million-dollar penny.’”

“That was one of many first occasions I had heard about pennies being price greater than a penny,” stated Reyes, who has since develop into way more acquainted with the world of uncommon cash.

The U.S. Mint initially made pennies out of pure copper. However as a result of copper was important to the warfare effort in World Struggle II, the cash turned zinc-covered metal starting in 1943. By 1982, the penny was made primarily from zinc, with some copper.

Reyes’ father-in-law, whom the household didn’t need to establish, was a “wartime child” who immigrated to the US from Germany within the Sixties, Reyes stated, and he “was a giant believer in metals.” So he purchased copper pennies, considering their worth would enhance over time.

The U.S. Mint struck a restricted variety of copper pennies, and a few have turned out to be notably worthwhile. In line with the Mint, only a few 1943 copper-alloy pennies, made in error, are identified to stay in existence, and one offered in 1996 for $82,500. One other offered for practically $300,000 in 2022.

Reyes and his household aren’t curious about sifting by means of the pennies for uncommon finds. One try at analyzing the free pennies solely lasted an hour, he stated, and “we had been clueless.” As an alternative, they determined to promote your complete lot, which takes two or three vans to maneuver in its entirety, and listed the pennies on OfferUp, a web based gross sales market, for $25,000.

“You need to choose them up from us,” learn the posting, which famous that a number of the cash is likely to be worthwhile however that the household didn’t know that for sure. At first, the household solely obtained presents for some however not the entire cash.

However on Thursday, the invention of the cash was coated by a neighborhood tv station, and Reyes was inundated with queries from potential consumers and, to this point, round 300 presents, he stated.

The household has obtained presents from individuals who suggest to undergo the pennies first and strike a deal on the potential sale of any uncommon finds, however it has declined.

“I’m not attempting to oversell this,” Reyes stated he had advised potential consumers. “However I haven’t even scratched the floor,” he added.

He has solely checked out perhaps 1% or 2% of the pennies, Reyes stated, as a result of he doesn’t need to open the bank-sealed luggage and containers, some from banks that not exist.

This text initially appeared in The New York Occasions.