A family in Los Angeles found a million pennies while cleaning the house of their father, who has passed away.
The huge pile of coins was discovered in a basement in the immigrant’s home from Germany.
The family’s theory is that he began collecting the coins after the US switched from making copper pennies to using zinc during World War II and that he hoped to make a profit on the value of the metal.
The man’s son-in-law, John Reyes, told NBC LA that “these have literally been intact for decades, and I think that’s the super unique part.”
The family also believes the pennies could be of interest to collectors, meaning they could possibly be worth millions.
A 1943 penny sold for $1.7 million in 2010. Other rarely seen pennies have sold for thousands.
The family listed their pennies, stored in boxes, sacks and drawers, on OfferUp for $25,000, more than double their $10,000 value.
“We started going through the arduous process of looking at the pennies and that quickly turned into ‘We don’t know what we’re doing.’ And then we decided to open a couple of beers and have them instead,” Reyes said.
At first, when they tried to deposit the coins in a bank, they were told that the vault was not big enough to hold such a large amount of coins.
The family is now seeking expert advice on what to do next.
“Some collectors have told me that this is something that shouldn’t be sold until we know what’s going on,” Reyes told NBC LA.
Reyes, a real estate agent, made the discovery with his wife as they prepared the house for renovation.
“A lot of these bags are actually sealed, they’re lead-sealed straight from the bank,” Mr. Reyes told KABC. “As we start to look, we see some of the big banks, like Bank of America, and at the same time, we also saw banks that we’ve never heard of, maybe banks that don’t even exist anymore. So we were like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’”