If you’re new to the world of collecting coins, you may not yet realize how easy it is to accidentally overlook valuable and relatively rare coins. Chances are, you’ve had a rare coin taking up space in your pocket or coin jar at some point in the not-too-distant past!
Learning how to identify sought-after coins will help you make the most of your pocket change. You never know when a rare coin will make its way into your purse or pocketbook! Keeping an eye out for relatively rare coinage is a great way to pad your wallet when you least expect it.
Coins to watch for
Many coins are rare enough to be valuable, but common enough that you may encounter them in the everyday change you get back at the store. Here are just three to keep your eyes open for next time you’re about to toss coins in your change jar:
- 1943 Lincoln Head Copper Penny: During World War II, the U.S. government rationed copper for the war effort. This means period pennies were instead plated with zinc. The Mint, however, accidentally printed a single copper batch of 1943 Lincoln Head pennies. Real copper pennies from 1943 sell for as much as $10,000, though there are plenty of fakes in circulation.
- Wisconsin State Quarter with Extra Leaf: In 2004, 453 million Wisconsin state quarters were minted. Several thousand were marked with an extra leaf on a corn stalk. These quarters sell for as much as $1,500! As many as 5,000 ‘extra leaf’ coins have been discovered thus far—most in the Tucson, AZ area, strangely enough.
- In God We Rust Kansas Quarter: This provocative printing error occurred during the 2005 minting of the Kansas state quarter. Caused by a build-up of grease in the printing machine, the ‘In God We Rust’ quarters aren’t worth as much as many rare coins, but usually sell for around $100. A nice premium on what would otherwise be $0.25!
These are just a few coins to keep an eye out for. There are countless rare quarters, pennies, nickels and dimes that may be worth your time. Purchasing a book on rare coins can help you train yourself to watch out for special coinage each time you get change at the grocery store.
When you do find a rare coin, either add it to your collection or take it to a knowledgeable pawnbroker to cash in on your find. Mister Money Bags welcomes all types of rare coinage—including the three listed above. If you’ve found a treasure in your pocket, we’d love to see it!