A Penny Saved

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Is worth $500 if you find it. A Delaware coin dealer purposely spent a rare 1914-D Lincoln penny as a publicity stunt. Whoever finds the coin can choose to keep it or can redeem it at the shop for $500 cash.

Dover, DE — MidAtlanticCoins owner Steve A. Bryan says the finder can keep the wheat penny or redeem it at his shop for $500.

The coin? Check your change for a 1914-D Lincoln cent.

"All we ask," he said, "is that they bring the coin in so that we can identify the coin and declare that it has been found."

Beyond raising interest in his shop, Bryan says his penny ploy is a follow-up to what's been called the "Case of the Delaware Hundreds."

In early summer, $100 bills with no serial numbers were spent at Midway Slots in Harrington and Delaware Park in Stanton. The discovery excited collectors, and Professional Numismatists Guild spokesman Donn Pearlman said misprints, at odds of less than 1 in a million, would be worth thousands.

But Bryan knew the $100 bills' uneven edges might hint of a thief's scissors. He gave federal agents three of the bills he bought from customers for $400 apiece. A U.S. Treasury worker pleaded guilty last month to stealing sheets of the partly printed $100s.

For Bryan, the international publicity was worth far more than the $1,200 he spent.

Bryan came up with the idea of spending a $500 penny to raise the spirits of folks who were disappointed to miss a shot at finding valuable $100 bills. Plus, Bryan, who doesn't deny he's a publicity hound, said he knows a good idea when he sees one.

So check your change. You could get more than a penny.

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