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7 Valuable Coins To Keep an Eye On

Many coin collectors specialize in finding rare and uncirculated coins, but there are still many exceptional coins circulating in the nation’s currency. From die errors to misprints, many of these valuable coins can end up in your change. If you have a stash of coins worth money, it could be worthwhile to sort through all the quarters, nickels, dimes, and even valuable pennies. Here are seven valuable coins to keep an eye out for when you throw your pocket change into your coin jar.

2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter With Extra Leaves

Overhead on clear jar full of various coins, including quarters, pennies, dimes, and nickels
Image via Pixabay by mnplatypus

The 50 states quarter series ran from 1999 until 2008 with special designs to represent each state’s history. The Wisconsin state quarter is typically as ordinary as the others and features Wisconsin’s state-specific symbols of a cow, a cheese wheel, and an ear of corn. In 2004, though, these coins came out with a printing defect on the reverse side. The 2004-D varieties are especially rare. The letter D after the year is the mint mark and represents where the coin came from, with D representing Denver, P representing Philadelphia, and S representing San Francisco.

The defect looks like there’s an extra leaf attached to the lower left side of the ear of corn, just underneath the main leaf. There are two varieties of the extra-leaf quarter: If the extra leaf is toward the bottom, it’s a “low leaf,” and if it’s just under the main leaf, at the top, it’s a “high leaf.” Many collectors consider this quarter rare because it was only produced during that year.

1969-S Lincoln Penny With a Double-Die Face

The 1969 pennies had a unique feature: the doubled die on the face (obverse) side of the coin. This makes it appear as if the words and the date on the coin are doubled. The history of this coin is interesting because many assume there were only around 100 of these pennies minted during 1969, and when frequent sightings of a double-struck penny increased, officials deemed most to be counterfeit coins.

Additionally, there were many coins that featured machine doubling, which is different than a doubled die as the defect occurs within the printing machine rather than the die itself. To spot an authentic double-die penny, look for a prominent doubling of the date and the words “In God We Trust” and “Liberty.”

1970-S Small Date Double-Die Penny

The small date double-die penny circulated in 1970 and is another penny with doubled die marks. The rare characteristic of this penny is the appearance of its date, which features the 7 in 1970 as being level with all of the numerals in the date. If the number seven is a little lower than the rest of the digits, then it’s a more common variety called the Large Date penny.

Just like the 1969 double-die penny, the 1970 coin features the rare characteristic doubling of the die marks on the words “In God We Trust” and “Liberty,” with the “Lib-” portion of Liberty appearing bolder than the rest of the word.

2005 Kansas State Quarter With Misprint and Special Strikes

Another one of the 50 states quarter series, the Kansas quarter, also features a rare misprint. If you find a 2005 Kansas state quarter in your coin jar, look for the misprint “In God We Rust,” which should say “In God We Trust.” The Kansas state quarter’s two special strike editions include the 2005-P and 2005-D Kansas quarters. Both feature a special strike that includes the mint mark on the obverse side of the coin. In the common 2005 Kansas quarters, the mint mark isn’t shown.

1982 Roosevelt Dime With Missing Mint Mark

The Roosevelt dimes from the Philadelphia mint went a long time without a mint mark. However, in 1980 the Philadelphia mint started including the “P” mint mark. Then, in 1982, an employee forgot to add the “P” to the obverse die used in printing the dimes. This resulted in a uniquely printed dime bearing no mint mark and thousands of these coins in circulation. While these dimes can land you enough for a nice dinner out if they’ve been in circulation, dimes that weren’t in circulation can be worth up to several hundred dollars. Keep an eye out for altered 1982 dimes, though, as some may have removed the mint mark deliberately to pass off a fake.

1942-1945 Silver Nickel

Early coins from the World War II era can be quite valuable, especially if they’re silver coins. The silver nickels in circulation between 1942 and 1945 are valuable because of their silver content. Typically, these nickels contained around 35% silver because the United States needed the nickel for weapons manufacturing during the war. Afterward, nickels contained the common nickel and tin materials, so if you find a silver nickel from this period, it’s worth it to have it appraised.

1913-1938 Buffalo Nickel

The Buffalo nickel was printed between 1913 and 1938 and features the face of a Native American man on the obverse side and a buffalo on the reverse side. At the beginning of 1913, the U.S. mint circulated the Buffalo nickel with the denomination at the top of the coin but reprinted the nickels halfway through the year with the denomination at the bottom of the coin. If you find a Buffalo nickel in your pocket change, it could be worth several thousand dollars, depending on when and where it was minted.

While there are still some valuable coins that remain in circulation today, many are becoming increasingly rare due to the U.S. Mint taking erroneous currency out of circulation. So if you have a bunch of loose change around the house, look to see if you have any valuable coins in the bunch. To determine the authenticity of your finds, visit Las Vegas Jewelry and Coin Buyers, and speak with one of our experts. We’ll help you determine the authenticity, the quality, and the coin’s true rarity so you can take advantage of the treasures you find.

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