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Lucky charm holds hidden value - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Lucky charm holds hidden value

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Garry Cucci Garry Cucci
John Martin John Martin

He carried a treasure in his pocket for 40 years but had no idea. A Vermont man's find at a flea market four decades ago turned out to be a windfall.

Salisbury resident and amateur coin-collector Garry Cucci recently decided to sell his lucky coin to pay off some credit cards. Turns out, the coin is luckier than he imagined.

Last year, the United States minted nearly half a billion coins, but Gucci's coin is technically from the first batch of U.S. coins ever made.

"I'm amazed I never lost it," he said.

Garry Cucci has had the coin from 1776 in his wallet for the last 40 years. It was his lucky coin, one he thought would help him hit it big on a gambling trip. "I figured I'd get lucky and I didn't realize all this time I had a jackpot in my pocket," he said.

The New Jersey transplant bought the coin at a flea market in 1969. "Paid a buck for it and I thought that was a good deal," he explained with a laugh.

John K. Martin Jr. Runs a coin shop in South Burlington. "I've seen hundreds of copies and this one was different," he said.

Cucci wanted his "lucky token" appraised; so he brought the coin to Martin hoping to get enough money to pay off a credit card or two.

"We're working on getting pricing for the coin and it should bring well over $100,000," said Martin, "I don't think the economy will affect this coin just because it's so rare."

Martin said much of the coin's value is due to its condition. He said only about 10 coins remain from the New York mint that are in such good shape.

Once it sells, Cucci says he'll spend the proceeds on a new garage and his grandkids. He'll donate to local charities and the rest will be put into savings.

Cucci said despite it's value, it's been hard to let go of the good luck charm. "That coin, it was very special to me," he said. These days Cucci carries a copy of his lucky coin, though his wallet's a little lighter now.

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