A Toronto man’s decision to buy a commemorative roll of Canadian pennies for $10 may end up netting him more than $1,600 after he discovered the coins were the last roll ever distributed.

Jack, who didn't want to reveal his last name, told CTVNews.ca that he decided to buy a roll of commemorative pennies from the Royal Canadian Mint last month because he thought it would make a nice addition to his coin collection.

“I’m personally a collector,” he said.

To mark the official phasing out of the one-cent coin earlier this year, the mint sold 20,000 special rolls of pennies from the final million of pennies produced for distribution last February.

Each roll distributed by the mint was given a unique number -- labelled with a hologram sticker -- indicating which number roll it was. The rolls sold for $9.95 a piece and were limited to one per customer.

When he received his roll, Jack was shocked to discover that it was the very last roll distributed: the 20,000th roll.

“The one I physically received was the number 20,000 of 20,000. It was the last serial number of that series,” he said. “It was a surprise -- a total surprise.”

After realizing what he had, Jack decided to put the roll up for auction on eBay.

“I just thought another collector would be able to appreciate it much more than I would,” he said.

The auction opened last Sunday, with Jack setting the starting bid at 99 cents. By Saturday morning, 52 apparent bidders had driven the price up to US$1,750 The auction ends Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Jack said that he’d done some searching on eBay prior to opening the auction and saw the commemorative rolls from the series being sold for around $30. 

But he says he had no idea his special roll would fetch such a high price.

Despite its apparent value, Jack said he never considered keeping the roll for himself.

“I think someone would appreciate it much more than I would,” he said. “I might just put it in a safe somewhere, whereas someone else might put it on display.

“I think a display is a better home for it than a safe.”

Jack said he’s received multiple offers from different dealers and collectors, but he’s decided to let the auction run its course.

He plans to use the money to upgrade to another coin that he’s more interested in.

“I’d rather use the funds to collect other coins,” he said. “Maybe something catches my eye and I’m the next person to be buying something off of eBay for that price.”

“Everyone collects for a different reason. For some people it might be worth a lot, but for others, it might not be …”

As for the last indiviual Canadian penny ever created, coin collectors will have to head to our nation's capital to see it. The last penny was minted in Winnipeg last May and currently resides at the country's currency museum in Ottawa. 

The auction for Canada’s last roll of distributed pennies can be seen here.