New York City Auctions Off 500 Pounds of Foreign Coins Found in Parking Meters

The city is selling 500 pounds of foreign coins that found their way into its parking meters this year.

"We have pretty much every denomination from every continent," said Anthony Alfano, the city's deputy chief of meter collections. The most common coins are Greek drachmas, he said.

The Department of Transportation, which makes about $90 million from parking meters annually, has collected bids for the foreign coins and plans to announce the best offer Monday.

About a decade ago, the agency decided to sell foreign coins it collected because it was impractical to exchange them for U.S. currency. In previous years, selling the coins has netted the department between $2 to $4 a pound.

Last year's highest bidder for the coins was Jim Corliss, 60, of Braintree, Mass., a longtime collector. He also bid this year.

"Every once in a while I find something of value," he said, pointing out that he once came across an 1835 British shilling worth $5.