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Old Rare Coins Worth Selling

You may want to think twice about your pocket change, as it might be worth a fortune. Interestingly enough, it really just comes down to factors such as historical importance, printing errors, rarity, and age.

Most people might overlook these coins since they have small distinctive characteristics that aren’t easily noticeable, like minute alterations in the spacing or size of the letters in the legends, or a modest doubling of the coin image.

Not every old coin will make you a millionaire, but an extra buck never hurt anyone. Here are some of the most valuable coins that could find their way into your coin jar — and how much you could earn.

1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Penny

The 1955 doubled die Lincoln penny is among the most famous error coins made by the U.S. Mint. The doubling on the obverse is quite dramatic and can be easily spotted without magnification. The word “LIBERTY” and the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” are clearly doubled, as is the 1955 date.

The reverse of the coin was well made and didn’t portray any doubling. It’s hard to miss this error, so it’s easy to tell the difference between the real one and the 1955 “poor man’s” doubled die, which is nowhere near as noticeable. This rare coin in near-mint condition could be worth about $1,800.

1943 Copper Penny

The 1943 copper penny is a very rare mint error that is worth quite a lot of money. Just 40 of these coins were most likely made by accident in 1943 during World War II. The U.S. Mint made zinc-coated steel pennies in order to preserve the tin and copper that were needed for ammunition for American soldiers fighting in Japan and Europe. 

A few bronze planchets left over from the 1942 production remained in the mint presses. Consequently, they were accidentally struck with 1943-dated dies. If your 1943 penny is made of copper, it’s worth approximately $10,000 or more! However, there are plenty of fakes floating around. 

The Godless 2007 Presidential Dollar Coin

In 2007, the U.S. Mint ushered in the magnificent new Presidential Dollar Coin series. A president would have to be deceased at least two years before being honored in the series; thus, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter weren’t eligible for inclusion in this coin program.

The series was the first circulating coinage in 74 years to include edge lettering, so it was bound to have some issues. Surprisingly, some Presidential Dollar coins are Godless because no edge lettering was struck. This “missing edge lettering” error fetches about $29 to $228 in the marketplace.

2005 Speared Bison Jefferson Nickel

The second-most modern coin on the list features what resembles a spear running through the bison’s back because of a die gouge. Between 1913 and 1938, 5-cent coins of the United States of America have a bison (an animal native to North America) on the reverse and an image of a Native American on the obverse.

It was in 2005 that the old bison reappeared. The reason for the bison’s appearance was to commemorate the world’s wild flora and fauna. Are you the proud owner of a 2005 nickel on which a line intersects the bison from one point to another, which makes this coin special? Shockingly, a Speared Bison Jefferson Nickel has sold for up to $1,265.

1992 “Close AM” Penny

Coins have to be minted with extreme accuracy, and any deviation from precision attracts collectors’ attention. Surprisingly, unlike the others, this coin isn’t an error. It simply has an alteration that is different from the standard penny of that year. You’ll have to look at the reverse of the coin and carefully examine the “AM” in America.

In 1993 the reverse-side design of proof coins and business strikes switched from the Wide AM, as generally found on 1992 coins, to a Close AM design. However, a few 1992 cents were produced with the newer Close AM design of 1993 instead. These are rare and worth $25,000.

2004 Wisconsin State Quarter With Extra Leaf

The obverse of this quarter displays the standard Wisconsin Quarter design with some alterations. The Wisconsin Quarter was publicized on Oct. 25, 2004, and was designed by Alfred Maletsky. It features a round of cheese, a cow, and an ear of corn. Some 2004 Wisconsin Quarter errors were spotted with an additional cornstalk leaf either pointing up (“High Leaf”) or pointing down (“Low Leaf”).

These coin varieties of the 2004-D Wisconsin Quarter are undoubtedly the most popular and fascinating varieties of the entire State Quarters series. Some specialists speculate that somebody at the Denver Mint intentionally created the extra leaves. The chances of such a similar event occurring in the same location on two different dies are astronomical.

If you find one in your change, you could expect it to be worth $300 for the extra High Leaf and up to $250 for the extra Low Leaf on average.

The 1999-P Connecticut Broadstruck Quarter

The term “broadstruck” signifies what happens when a coin isn’t properly aligned with the machine, resulting in the coin looking off-centered. In 1999, several Connecticut state quarters went into circulation and are now worth 100 times the amount of a standard quarter. If you happen to stumble upon one, you could be $25 richer.

1997 Double Ear Lincoln Cent

The 1997 Double Ear Cent exhibits a strong doubling of the curl of hair above Lincoln’s earlobe and ear; less visible doubling shows on the lock of hair in front of the upper ear and throughout other areas of the hair. The doubling features most likely resulted from a double striking from the die. Even in good circulated condition, you could make roughly $50.

We hope you enjoyed learning about these valuable coins. It’s bewildering to think a penny or nickel could be worth a fortune today, just because of printing errors or a few missing words, but those are the facts! Now you’ll hopefully be able to go out there and find a few valuable coins for yourself. Let us know what you find. Happy coin hunting!

Image via Flickr by Derek Bridges

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