There are a lot of coins worth money — some that have sold for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Others are worth their weight in gold or silver.
Coins are valued on their:
- Rarity: Coins that were part of a limited series, that were misstamped or misprinted, or that contain errors are more likely to be worth money as a collector’s item. The rarer the coin/collection, the more valuable it’s likely to be.
- Grade: This is a measure of the coin’s appearance, from Poor (almost completely worn out) to Perfect Uncirculated (a coin with no wear and no flaws of any kind), according to the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS).
- Metal composition: Older coins especially often contain precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. In addition to their potential value as collectibles, they are also worth their scrap metal value — that is, the amount of pure metal they contain.
- Face value: As long as the currency is still in circulation, every coin is worth at least its face value.
Keep reading to learn which pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and other coins are worth a lot of money if you’re lucky enough to have them in your possession. Note that the price you’re likely to get for even the rarest coins will typically be affected by the condition of the coin.
If you have any of the coins on this list or other coins worth money, you should always have them authenticated by a reputable coin dealer, like a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild, before trying to sell:
- Pennies worth money
- Nickels worth money
- Dimes worth money
- Quarters worth money
- Other coins that are worth money
Pennies worth money
The 1943 Lincoln Head Copper Penny
In 1942 — in an effort to save copper for ammunition in World War II — the U.S. Mint began producing steel pennies for the first time in history.
However, during the transition period between 1942 and 1943, there were a number of leftover copper planchets (the plain metal discs used to make coins) that were accidentally struck with 1943 dates. There are believed to only be about 20 of these rare coins in the world.
If you happen to have a copper-colored penny with a 1943 date stamp, hold it up to a magnet. If it sticks, the coin you have is made of steel and holds a lower value, though steel 1943 pennies that maintain their gray color are still worth a pretty penny and have sold for as much as $218,500 at auction.
Auction record: $372,000 – Heritage Auctions*
*All auction records are from the Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS).
1955 Double Die Penny
In the coin-making process, a working hub is a metal punch that looks like the surface of the coin. These hubs are used to create metal dies, a reverse indentation of the coin design that is pressed onto a planchet to create the coin.
In 1955, the Mint accidentally struck a working hub and a working die together when they were both slightly rotated differently from one another, leaving a double die impression.
There are estimated to be about 15-20,000 of these pennies still in existence, though there are many counterfeits on the market.
Auction record: $24,000 – ebay
1969-S Lincoln Cent with Double Die Obverse
In 1969, two men named Roy Gray and Morton Goodman began producing fake 1969 Doubled Die Lincoln cents and other counterfeit coins.
Gray asked a collector named Robert Teitelbaum to sell the illegal coins and to place 85 of them into circulation in Washington. Instead, Teitelbaum turned them over to the Secret Service.
While the Secret Service was trying to recover as many fakes as possible, they discovered several authentic 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cents, which they initially believed were fake and destroyed — increasing the rarity of the already rare coins.
It is believed that less than 100 examples of the authentic 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cents still exist, with only 40 examples ever certified.
Auction record: $126,500 – Heritage Auctions
1972 doubled die obverse Lincoln Memorial cent
There are more than 10 doubled dies for the 1972 Lincoln cent, but Type 1 is the most valuable.
This double die is easy to see with the naked eye, with:
- Doubling to the Southwest on all four digits on the date
- LIBERTY doubled toward the South
- IN GOD WE TRUST on the other side doubled toward the East
Auction record: $14,400 – Heritage Auctions
Nickels worth money
1913 Liberty Head Nickel
The 1913 Liberty Nickel was produced by the U.S. Mint, with only five coins believed to be in existence. Today, these coins are all accounted for, and two are on display in museums.
The most elusive of these coins was owned by George Walton, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. On April 25, 2013, a coin owned by Walton family heirs once believed to be fake was authenticated as the real fifth coin.
Auction record: $4,560,000 – Stack's Bowers
2005-D 5C Speared Bison Jefferson Nickel
The image of a bison initially adorned the reverse of the nickel from 1913-1938, before transitioning to the Jefferson nickel, which is still in circulation today.
In commemoration of the bicentennials of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, the U.S. Mint resurrected the bison design as part of the four-coin Westward Journey Nickel Series.
In the bison series, there were several coins discovered to have a large die gouge — a raised feature that appears on a coin when a die is damaged. This particular die gouge is highly visible running through the bison’s back.
Auction record: $2,650 – ebay
Dimes worth money
In 1916, a new dime design replaced the Barber design coin that had been used since 1982. Designed by sculptor A.A. Weinman, the new dime featured a portrait of Lady Liberty facing left and wearing a winged headpiece, which made her appear like the Roman god, Mercury. These dimes came to be known as “Mercury Head” dimes.
Most Mercury dime dates can be obtained with little difficulty, though some are extremely rare in high grade. These coins are also known as “Winged Liberty Head” dimes.
These are auction records for the rarest Mercury Dime series:
1916-D: $29,900 – Stack's
1921: $3,960 – Sotheby's
1921-D: $23,500 – Legend Rare Coin Auctions
1926-S: $9,950 – David Lawrence RC
1942/41: $32,200 – Goldberg Auctioneers
1942/41-D: $6,900 – Heritage Auctions
1982 No Mint Mark Roosevelt Dime
Also called the 1982 No P Dime, these dimes were the first and only U.S. business strike coin (a coin intended for circulation) that accidentally left the U.S. Mint without being stamped with their designated mint mark.
Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 coins were reportedly found in Sandusky, Ohio, where they were handed out at Cedar Point Amusement Park as change. However, experts with PCGS believe there are potentially up to 150,000 of these coins in existence.
Note: Mint marks are used to distinguish coins by where they were minted. The four currently operating U.S. Mints are:
- P: Philadelphia Mint
- D: Denver Mint
- S: San Francisco Mint
- W: West Point Mint
Other mints no longer in operation are:
- D: Dahlonega Mint (coins from 1861 and earlier — Denver didn’t open until 1906)
- C: Charlotte Mint
- O: New Orleans Mint
- CC: Carson City Mint
- M: Manila Mint
Auction record: $2,185 – Heritage Auctions
Quarters worth money
In honor of George Washington’s 200th birthday, the U.S. government held a competition to redesign the quarter. The chosen design — proposed by New York sculptor John Flanagan — was minted on a silver alloy from 1932 to 1964, with the exception of 1933.
After 1964, a new alloy was used that eliminated silver, which is still in circulation today. Because they were minted at the height of the Great Depression, not a lot of Uncirculated 1932 examples were initially saved, making top grade 1932 Washington quarters a rarity.
Auction record: $40,250 – Heritage Auctions
1999-P Connecticut Broadstruck Quarter
The 1999 Connecticut Quarter is the fifth design released in the 50 States quarter collection.
Some error coins in this collection (not just the Connecticut quarter) were either broadstruck — meaning they were struck outside of the retaining collar of the coin — or double or triple stamped.
These coins aren’t particularly valuable and are listed from about $2 to $50 on ebay.
Auction record: $4,362 – Superior Galleries
2004 Wisconsin State Quarter with Extra Leaf
2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarters have extra husks on the left side of the corn stamped onto the coin. There are two different varieties — one with a leaf that appears lower on the corn (more common), and one with a leaf that appears higher.
Most of these coins were discovered in bank wrapped rolls in the Tucson and San Antonio areas.
Auction record: $6,000 – Heritage Auctions
2005-P In God We Rust Kansas State Quarter
When coins are being pressed, lubricant is used on the machine to reduce friction between parts. In this case, some of that grease made its way onto the surface of the coin die, filling the spot where the first T indentation was supposed to happen.
At a glance, these coins read “In God We Rust,” but you may be able to see a faint T on some coins if you look for it.
Though they’re a fun find, these coins aren’t that valuable — you can buy one on ebay starting at about $6.
Other coins worth money
Morgan Silver Dollars
While the The Coinage Act of 1873 demonetized silver, putting an end to silver dollar production, the Bland-Allison Act was passed in 1878 in response to poor economic conditions at the time. This act required the U.S. government to purchase large quantities of silver and turn them into silver dollars, which were called Morgan Dollars after their designer, George T. Morgan.
Morgan Dollars were produced from 1878-1904, then again in 1921. Some series are more valuable than others.
These are the auction records for the rarest Morgan Silver Dollars series:
1889-CC: $462,000 – Bowers & Merena
1893-S: $735,000 – Sotheby's
1895 (Proof only): $150,000 – Sotheby's
Sacagawea Cheerios dollar
As part of a General Mills promotion in 1999, 5,500 Sacagawea Dollars were placed inside every 2,000th box of Cheerios.
In 2005, a collector discovered that some of these Sacagawea Cheerios Dollars had detailed veins in the eagles' tail feathers. Only several dozen examples were actually found, but a lot more are thought to exist.
Auction record: $10,200 – Heritage Auctions
2008-W silver eagle reverse of 2007
For 2008, the U.S. Mint decided to modify the reverse design of Silver Eagle coins. However, during the transition, some 2008-W Silver Eagles were accidentally stamped with the pre-2008 design.
While the designs appear similar, the fonts and some design elements were changed. There are about 45,000 of these coins in existence.
Auction record: $1,700 – ebay
FAQs about coins that are worth more than face value
How do I find out what my coins are worth?
PCGS offers a coin price guide where you can search for the current value of collectible coins. They also offer professional coin grading.
You can also find information about popular coins in The Red Book, A Guide Book of United States Coins 2022 75th Edition.
“You can look up in the Red Book and see if you have something that's a good date,” says Douglas Winter, founder of Douglas Winter Numismatics and author of more than a dozen books on numismatics — the study/collection of currency. “It's not going to really give you an accurate value, but it'll give you an idea of what the value is relative to the most common issue of a type.”
What are the most valuable coins in circulation?
These are some of the most valuable coins in circulation, based on PCGS record auction pricing:
- 1969-S Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $54,625
- 2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter with an Extra Leaf, $6,000
- 1970-S Large Date Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $3,675
- 1972 Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $1,150
- 1999 Wide “AM” Reverse Lincoln Cent, $250
How much does it cost to get coins appraised?
Online appraisals for valuation and selling purposes are available for free, including by auction houses that will list your item. For official written appraisals for insurance and estate planning, expect to pay $75 to $150+ per hour.
Bottom line: How to sell your coins for the most money
If you want to sell your collectible coins for the most money, Winter recommends finding a large national dealer or a reputable local dealer who is a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild.
“There's those pawn shops or local cash-for-gold buyers — that's not a good place to sell your coins,” Winter says. “You're likely to be offered a small fraction of what they're worth.”
As of , the spot gold value in the United States was trading at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
As of , the silver resale value in the United States was at $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
We recommend selling to CashforGoldUSA or its sister site CashforSilverUSA, which accept items like gold, silver, and diamonds in any form, including gold scrap, gold jewelry including chains, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, silver jewelry, gold bullion, and dental gold.
CashforGoldUSA is our top choice for selling coins for scrap because:
- A+ BBB rating
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- 10% bonus if you send in your item within 7 days
Professional Coin Grading Service offers a coin price guide where you can search for the current value of collectible coins. They also offer professional coin grading.
These are some of the most valuable coins in circulation, based on Professional Coin Grading Service record auction pricing:
– 1969-S Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $54,625
– 2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter with an Extra Leaf, $6,000
– 1970-S Large Date Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $3,675
– 1972 Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse, $1,150
– 1999 Wide “AM” Reverse Lincoln Cent, $250