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Coin collecting is a profitable, educational, and exciting hobby. Coins offer you a direct and special connection to the past. In addition to this, they carry historical importance and tell special stories.
Coin collection is extremely popular. While pocket change is not always worth anything, some coins are worth a lot of money. There are hundreds of people who collect coins as a hobby. Apart from this, there are individuals who collect coins for investment purposes and people who collect coins of different regions to satisfy their love of geography and history.
You might have known the Double Eagle coin as a valuable American coin. The Double Eagle is worth $20,00. However, there are other rare coins that are worth much more. Rare coins are worth more than common coins. Coins minted in specific years are also worth more than coins minted in other years. For example, U.S. coins with mintage before 1965 are worth more than coins minted after 1965. This is because old coins are generally more difficult to find and they are worth more because of their rarity. The mint mark is a letter or number that appears on the coin just below the eagle or reverse side of the coin. The mint mark tells you which mint produced the coin.
Do you also collect coins? Whether you collect coins as a nice pastime, or as an investment, we hope this list of most valuable coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) will capture your interest and teach you interesting things about coins.
The coin values listed here are just a general guide. Your coins may be worth more or less than the values listed. It is important to do your own research (such as going to official websites like the Professional Coin Grading Service or PCGS) to determine the value of your coins.
- Most valuable penny: 1872 Indian Head Penny (worth $126,500)
- Most valuable nickel: 1913 Liberty Nickel (worth $3,737,500)
- Most valuable dime: 1894-S Barber Dime (worth $1,997,500)
- Most valuable quarter: 1796 Draped Bust Quarter (worth $1,527,500)
- Most valuable dollar: The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar (worth $10,000,000+)
What’s the most expensive coin in the world? The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is by far the most expensive coin in the world at a value of more than $10 million.
The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar
Value: More than $10 million
The world war two era was a time of great change. Many coins were minted to commemorate this time period. One of the most popular coins of this era is the silver eagle.
According to experts, the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar was the first silver dollar produced by the United States Mint. The front of the silver coin has a profile of Lady Liberty, while the reverse of the coin displays an American eagle. Less than 1,800 of these coins were ever manufactured, and experts think that just 120 and 130 of these coins exist today.
The 1787 Brasher Doubloon
Value: Over $5 million
A New York-based goldsmith Ephraim Basher made this coin in the 18th Century. The obverse of the coin displays a sun rising over the peak of a mountain, while the back of the coin displays an eagle with a shield.
$1 Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf
Value: $4.02 Million
Weighing in at 220 pounds or 100 kilograms, this coin is made of 99.999% pure gold. It was manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. What’s more, the coin is more than one inch thick and 50 cm wide. It has a face value of $1 million.
The obverse of the coin features Queen Elizabeth II, while the back of the coin features a Candian maple leaf. Back in 2007, the coin was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the biggest gold coin in the world.
The Royal Canadian Mint used this million-dollar coin to promote its new line of one-ounce Gold Maple Leaf coins.
1913 Liberty Nickel
This coin is the King of 20th Century Coins. There are only five known specimens. Why the U.S. Mint produced just five coins is unknown. Some experts theorize that fraudulent Mint employees created the five known coins before the coin dies were damaged in preparation for the change to the Buffalo Nickel or Indian Head Nickel.
Also, the word CENTS was not present on the first nickels minted in 1883. So, some folks gold plated the nickels and tried to pass them off as $5 gold coins. Soon, the denominations were added to the back of the coin. B. Max Mehl, a Texas coin dealer, spent a large amount of money on advertising to purchase precious 1913 Liberty Head nickels. He offered to pay $50 per coin.
1894-S Barber Dime
The 1894-S Barber dime is one of the most prized and rarest dimes for coin collectors.
According to records, only 24 Proof dimes were produced by the United States Mint at the San Francisco Mint facility in the first half of 1894. Why only 24 of the dimes were manufactured is not known. Many theories suggest that the coins were struck as unique gifts for some important bankers, or to make up the discrepancy in the Mint’s annual audit. Irrespective of the reason, nine examples of this coin are known to exist today.
1796 Draped Bust Quarter
Five silver denominations were specified by the Coinage Act of 1792. These included silver dollars, half dollars, half dimes, quarters, and dimes. The United States Mint started producing quarters in 1796 only, though. Fewer than 700 examples of this quarter are estimated to exist at present.
The quarter displays very fine details that only fresh dies could produce. Other than that, this quarter has been protected and preserved for more than two centuries.
1796 Draped Bust Dime
The 1796 Draped Bust Dime has not been classified as a Proof coin by coin collectors. However, experts believe that some unique preparation and handling were involved in the manufacturing of this dime. The details of the coin are very sharp, suggesting that the dime was struck from fresh coin dies. Also, the planchet is free of any flaws. While the Mint manufactured more than 22,000 of these dimes, numismatists estimate that fewer than 1,000 are known to exist today.
1873-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
Back in 1873, more than a million quarters were produced by the United States Mint at its Carson City facility. All the quarters had arrows on either side of the date except five quarters. The United States Mint added the arrows to the design to signify a change in the weight of the quarter from 6.22 grams to 6.25 grams.
1807 Draped Bust Quarter
This coin has been certified as a high-end MS-66 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). NGC is a Florida-based international coin certification service that has certified over 47 million coins. It offers an unbiased and precise assessment of the grade and authenticity of a coin.
Additionally, this coin is pedigreed to the collection of Eric P. Newman. Newman was a well-known American numismatist who wrote more than 13 numismatic books. He died in 2017 at the age of 106.
1797 Draped Bust Dime
The United States Mint first minted dimes back in 1796. According to reports, Robert Scot engraved this dime and Gilbert Stuart designed it. In those days, it was a tradition to add a star for each US state in the union. There were 13 stars on the dime when the United States Mint first produced this dime in early 1797. Since this dime has 16 stars, the United States Mint produced the coin in the second half of 1797.
According to the United States Mint, about 25,261 dimes were minted in 1797.
1872 Indian Head Penny
This penny is a scarce coin. However, you can easily find it at any coin dealer or coin show in circulated grades. Over 4 million of these coins were produced. Surprisingly, the Indian Head Penny is flawless and in great condition. Apart from this, the penny has been well preserved to retain its bright red-copper color.
1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny
Back in 1909, the Lincoln cent replaced the Indian Head penny. American sculptor Victor David Brenner created the design with the support and help of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Brenner put his initials V.D.B. at the bottom of the reverse between the two wheat ear stalks. Up to this point, only the first initial of the last name of an engraver or coin designer was used. It was unusual to have all the initials on the design of a coin.
Fewer than a half-million of these pennies were produced before the Treasury Department asked to remove the initials V.D.B. It is the penny that many coin collectors consider The Holy Grail of precious pennies.
1914-S Lincoln Penny
The San Francisco Mint manufactured more than 4 million copies of this penny in 1914. Surprisingly, this penny is in perfect condition even after 100 years. What’s interesting about this coin is that it has retained its original color, which is a red-orange copper color. Also, the coin surface does not contain any prominent bag marks.
Coin Collecting Tips
If you’ve not started a coin collection yet but would like to, you can use our tips to help you get started.
1. Start Simple & Small
Coin collecting can be a pretty expensive hobby. If you’ve not inherited a great amount of money or you’re not wealthy, getting an easy start is the best. For one thing, it helps you learn all about the hobby before making major coin purchases.
Start with small coin purchases, such as coin sets. These are easier to put together. As you collect coins for the set, learn about the coins’ history and how to grade and price them.
2. Collect the Coins You Like
What coins do you like to collect? That can be a challenging question when you’re just starting. You may want to head to a coin shop and see what they have. If you have a tight budget, start with the easier, less expensive coins first.
You may also want to choose coins that interest you. For instance, you may want to collect Jefferson nickels, Lincoln wheat pennies, or state quarters. As you collect coins, learn the history or background of each coin. You may come across some amazing facts! You can do coin research online; however, buying coins on the Internet is not always a good idea. These could be either overpriced or counterfeit.
3. Store Coins Properly & Handle Them Carefully
Many believe that coins are not easy to damage; however, the surface of a coin can be damaged quite easily. In addition, different metals used for coins react differently to their environment.
You can find more information online about safe coin storage and handling techniques. This information can also be found by visiting a coin shop.
You may want to wear cotton or latex gloves to handle your coins. Only handle coins by their edges, and never clean your coins (this may reduce the coin’s value or make it worthless).