Kerching! The 'King' Of Australian Coins Just Sold For $1.15 Million

The $1.15 million paid is a world record for a penny and an Australian record for any coin.

So why is this penny worth so much?

The penny is a Proof 1930 Penny. It was struck during the Great Depression at the Melbourne Mint.

Only six were made -- three are held in public institutions and three have ended up in the hands of private collectors.

The King of Australian coins. Image: Coinworks

The Proof 1930 Penny was sold by Coinworks, who was commissioned by the buyer to acquire this particular coin.

The buyer wanted this coin specifically because it is known as the 'King' of Australian coins, said Belinda Downie, managing director of Coinworks.

“The buyer loves history and relives Australian history through his coin collecting and is able to acquire the very best," said Downie.

“If the Proof 1930 Penny is the ‘King' of Australian coin rarities then this example is the ‘King of Kings’ for it is widely regarded as the finest of the three privately held Proof '30s."

The King coin is well travelled. In 1962 it made its way to the British Museum, where it stayed for two decades along with another Proof 1930 Penny.

But after the Museum decided it no longer needed two of the same coin, it was traded and then sold to a Sydney collector for a then-record $150,000.

Image: AAP

This penny is considered to have "legendary" status to coin collectors because of the time period it was struck and its impressive quality despite its age.

It's bright copper colour and blemish-free surface make it a "highly-prized" addition to collections.

“This record price demonstrates that the most wanted pieces are not only rare and beautiful, they usually tell an important story from history," Downie said.

"Collectors feel a pride in acquiring exquisite objects, especially the rarest or most important pieces.”