Get a glimpse of a million dollar penny and other rare coinage in Philly

Some $1 billion worth of rare coins and old paper money will be on display in Philly at the World’s Fair of Money next week. That includes a million dollar penny, a rare 1943 Lincoln cent, ancient Greek coins and a 1794-made silver dollar worth an estimated $2.75 million.

It will all be on display at the education, family-friendly “World’s Fair of Money,” to be held Aug. 14-18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Organized by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association, the fair will also offer free, informal appraisals of visitors’ old coin and currency they are encouraged to bring to the fair.

“This will be a Philadelphia ‘homecoming’ for these historic and valuable coins, some of which have never before been publicly displayed in the town in which they were minted,” said Douglas Mudd, who is the director and curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado.

The $2.75 million silver dollar, which displays the face of ‘Miss Liberty’ with long flowing hair, was made in 1794 in Philadelphia at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. Mint Director David Rittenhouse provided the silver to create some 1,758 coins, of which less than 150 are believed to survive.

Philly native Silvano DiGenova will exhibit this coin, one of the only such coins still in mint condition and insured at $2.75 million.

The million dollar penny, which was sold earlier this year by Philly coin dealer Bob Paul, will be on exhibit at the fair. It’s rare because it was made by mistake, with a bronze alloy instead of zinc-coated steel, which was used at that time to preserve copper for World War II supplies.

Million dollar penny: An example of a 'Nova Constellatio' coin.

Million dollar penny and more

Other notable exhibits to check out at the World’s Fair of Money include:

-The earliest known existing “Half Disme,” (a nickel), made by David Rittenhouse in 1792 and now worth an estimated $2.5 million.

-Coins from the Confederate States of America

-Alternate American currency from 1783 in the Nova Constellatio patterns, printed on the orders of then-U.S. Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris and intended to adopt the metric system. Four coins representing five, 100, 500 and 1,000 “units” of the alternate system are valued at an estimated $25 million. (One particular “Nova Constellatio Quint,” believed to be the first American coin ever minted and formerly owned by Alexander Hamilton, is valued at $5 million.)

-Modern-day $100,000 bills and $500 million Treasury notes, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

 -$1 million of historic California Gold Rush-era gold coins and gold bars recovered in 2014 from the SS Central America, which sank off the coast of the Carolinas during a hurricane in 1857.

The World’s Fair of Money will be held in Hall D of the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Aug. 14-18. To learn more, visit

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