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Rare penny kept in desk drawer likely worth $250k

Published On: Feb 03 2014 06:50:16 AM AKST
Updated On: Feb 03 2014 06:43:33 AM AKST
Aluminum penny

KFMB

A silver penny that was kicking around a desk drawer for more than 30 years has turned out to be a rare treasure that could fetch $250,000 at an auction.

Randy Lawrence had the penny and other coins he inherited from his father in 1980 in his car trunk after moving from Denver to La Jolla, Calif., in the fall. He sold the coins to the La Jolla Coin Shop, where owner Michael McConnell initially thought the penny wasn't worth much, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But after taking a closer look at the coin and doing some research, McConnell called Lawrence to tell him it was actually the rarest coin he had ever come across: a 1974-D aluminum penny made by the Denver mint, according to the Union-Tribune.

It's possible the penny is the only one of its kind left in the world, according to San Diego TV station KFMB.

Lawrence and McConnell have decided to auction off the coin in April. The men will share the proceeds and give as much as $100,000 to homeless programs in the La Jolla area, according to KFMB.