Written by Javier Mercado
There are coins to collect, and then there are incredibly valuable coins. What pieces should you collect for profit if you decide to sell? Which are the most valuable coin collections to buy considering the value of US coins? Here are our two cents on these questions and more.
How to detect valuable coins with ease
Contrary to what one may think, these good ol’ American coins are relatively easy to find. They are coins that every collector values within his coin collection.
- These are large circulation coins – there are many copies, so they are easy to find.
- Coin buyers treasure them, precisely because they are so common in the everyday purchase and sale transactions of US currency.
- Usually, their purchase value does not exceed $1,000.
Which valuable Quarters are worth mega bucks?
Some quarters in circulation during the 19th century can now become quarters worth money. Take a look at this list and you’ll know which ones you should keep in mind in case you run into them.
- Draped Bust Quarter from 1804: With an average value of $1,600, these American coins can be sold for a maximum price of $158,000.
- Liberty Seated Quarter 1870 CC: This year marks the beginning of the CC – Carson City mints. It averages around $7,800 and reaches prices of $150,000 at numismatic fairs and auctions.
- Liberty Seated Quarter of 1871 CC: With a minimum value of $1,622, this piece is the third-most quoted quarter coin. At the top end of the scale, it can achieve valuations of $115,000.
Know all about your valuable and rare pennies
This small coin is extremely important for any US coin collection, so it is essential to become familiar with them. Among the categories of coins you should look for are the 1943 pennies and the 1944 wheat penny.
The valuable old coins that buyers want most
All the prices you will see are in crisp, green US dollars. Keep reading to find out which are the best-priced US coins!
3. Sacagawea Collection Dollar
A beautiful One Dollar commemorative coin in honor of Sacajawea, a Shoshone Indian woman who helped lead the famous Lewis & Clark expedition from the Northern Highlands to the Pacific Ocean. At 88.5% copper, this important USA coin also contains zinc, manganese and nickel – reaching a whopping maximum value of $700.
More info about Sacagawea coins and their prices.
2. Kennedy Half Dollar
Beautiful copper and nickel 50 cent coins that were in circulation until very recently: from 1971 to 2018. With this beauty, the highest prices usually reached for the normal editions of the ½ dollar, are around $1000. Not too shabby, eh? Like quarter coins, there are some that are so valuable that they can make their holder rich. See below for further examples of them and visit 50p coins of value for even more info.
1. Washington Quarter
Inside the world of valuable US coins, there are many surprises. Let us introduce you to the classic quarter. Issued from 1965 to 1998, this valuable US coin can be worth up to $830 if it is in Mint or Proof state. However, some quarter coins from other periods have special features and may reach even higher prices for American coin collectors. Are you getting images of Scrooge McDuck diving into his pool of coins?
Learn how to know to grade US coins
Within numismatics, there are several circumstances that can cause the numismatic value of coins to skyrocket. Let’s explore these factors in the pieces below.
Within the United States (US), the maximum Mint Certificate MS+ status is certified by very few entities. The truly important ones are the following:
- The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)
- The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)
- Independent Coin Graders (ICG)
- America’s Oldest Grading Service (ANACS)
A nickel worth $4 million?
With a value of $3,500,000 in normal condition and $4,408,000 if MS+ status, these 5 cent pieces are the rarest on the list. We’re talking, of course, about the famous 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. While not so highly valued, yet still very collectable, are the nickels from 1940.
Valuable coins – the most collectible pieces
Within the category of valuable US coins, these pieces are the grail of all buyer and seller enthusiasts of collector coins. Here, we leave out the colonial-era coins, the columnarias or the Cobs coins (post in Spanish).
Morgan Silver Dollar coins that you should collect
American Morgan Silver Dollars can reach enormous values. They are certainly the most widely collected US one-dollar coins out there.
- Morgan Silver Dollar 1901: Although the value of this American currency is around $48 when in normal condition, those in a certified Mint State (MS+) have reached tremendous values of $425,000 at auction.
- Morgan Silver Dollar 1883: Due to their rarity, a normal coin is worth an average of $6,492, which shouldn’t be sniffed at. But if you are lucky enough to own an MS+ coin, you should know that these old coins can reach colossal prices of $300,000 at auction. Rooting around your couch yet?
- Morgan Silver Dollar 1889 CC: With an average appraisal value of $1591, this one silver dollar coin demand prices of a massive $280,000 in Mint Certificate states.
Half Dollars within the group of valuable rare coins
A regular item at any old coin auction in the United States, 50 cent coins can fetch incredible prices.
Although there are many valuable half-dollar coins, such as the Barbers, Liberty Halves, Franklins or Kennedys (see above), the highest-priced are the Capped and Drapped Bust.
We show you which ones you should buy at all costs should you come across any of them. It is fascinating to note that although their intrinsic value is barely over $7, their numismatic value is expressed in six digits!
- Capped Bust Half Dollar O from 1838: We are talking about a coin whose minimum price is $160,000. Yes, you read right! But remember that their state of conservation must match that of other coins from the same period. If the condition is worse, the price will be lower. If you are lucky enough to have one of these coins in a Mint Certificate state, you probably already know that you pay $745,000 for each one.
- Capped Bust Half Dollar from 1817: A very hard to find coin. Its minimum price is $100,000, and in Mint Certificate condition a buyer of old coins can cough up to an enormous $500,000.
- Drapped Bust Half Dollar 1797: This silver half dollar has a minimum value of $200,000 and a mighty auction value of $500,000 when in MS+ status.
A coin to look out for – Dime coins
Due to their high silver content, many of these silver dimes were melted down to take advantage of the material. However, the Liberty Seated Dime is now trading at much higher values.
It is precisely those with the CC mint mark (Carson City) that are the rarest and most difficult to find and, therefore, the most valued by buyers of old coins throughout the United States.
- Liberty Seated Dime from 1874 CC: Average value of $3200, potential to reach $115,000.
- Liberty Seated Dime from 1872 CC: Valued around $420, can be priced up to $85,000 at the upper-end.
- Liberty Seated Dime of 1871 CC: With a normal value of $1150, when in MS+ condition, it will reach $75,000.
Apasionado de las inversiones, historia y coleccionismo de monedas en general. Licenciado en Antropología Cultural por la UNED y graduado en Informática por la Universidad de Cádiz. Escribo en diversos medios digitales especializados en coleccionismo, subastas y antigüedades.
A fan of investments, numismatics, history and coin collecting in general. Graduate in Cultural Anthropology and computer science. I write in several digital media specialized in collecting, auctions and antiques reviews. I like reliable information, so my main sources are the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and numismatic publications: CoinWeek, COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter and Coin Values.