Penny Brings Pretty Price A copper penny has come to be worth plenty more after spending more than 200 years tucked away in a tobacco tin. The coin just sold at auction for $437,000. The once humble penny was minted in 1792, and bears the likeness of Miss Liberty. The upbeat inscription: "Parent of Science and Industry: Liberty." The owners of the penny are descendents of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence -- Oliver Wolcott, who later was governor of Connecticut.