One of them, known as the "Birch Cent," sold for $517,000. The other, known as the "Silver Center Cent," went for $352,500.
Eric Bradley, spokesman for Heritage Auctions, said that while the sales fell somewhat short of the combined $1 million the auction house projected they would go for, organizers are still pleased with the result. . . .
"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," he said.
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, Bradley said.
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