|1792 "Birch Cent."||Two rare one-cent coins from the earliest days of the U.S. Mint have sold for a combined total of $869,500 at an auction in Anaheim, California.|
One of them, known as the “Birch Cent,” sold for $517,000. The other, known as the “Silver Center Cent,” went for $352,500. The coins have historical significance, representing the transition in American history from the colonies to a new republic. “These are coins that were developed and thought up by the Founding Fathers who were trying to differentiate themselves from British coinage and British rule,”
|The words “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry,” which are engraved on both coins, also show how the United States was trying to distance itself from the religious persecution and monarchy it associated with Britain. The origin of the Silver Center Cent was referenced in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, and it is among the very first coins ever struck by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.|
The coin went missing before eventually being discovered in an English pub in the 1960s. It is one of about a dozen surviving coins.