How To Spot Coins More Valuable Than Their Face Value

American Eagle Silver coinsDale Carnegie, the famous writer and lecturer, once said that “the successful man will profit from his mistakes.” But it turns out even the lot of us can make a profit from someone else’s mistakes. We just need to sift through the coins we have in our pockets.

Believe it or not, loose change that has a variation in their normal design is worth much more than their face value and can be sold to wholesale jewelers in Utah like AAA Jewelry and in many other U.S. states.

Known as error coins and die varieties, they are the result of mistakes in the preparation or maintenance of the coin dies. They will usually show an almost imperceptible doubling of images in the coin or their letters will be of a different size or spacing, or there might not be a mint mark (the letter or symbol that tells you where the coin has been made, such as “S” for San Francisco or “P” for Philadelphia).

Of course, there are also other valuable coins that have gotten such a rep because of their extreme rarity that coin hunters and collectors will give an arm and a leg just to have them.

So in case, you are in need of some extra cash, why not get a magnifying glass, empty your pockets or smash that piggy bank, and start looking closely at those coins if you’ve got any one of these babies more valuable than their face value.

1969-S Lincoln Cent

Approximate Value: $35,000

What makes this rare is that its “head” side shows a clear doubling of everything (letters, numbers, and Abe’s image) except its mint mark (“S”) that is normal.

1970-S Small Date Lincoln Cent

Approximate Value: $3,000

This is somewhat trickier to identify, as the doubling only happens in the letters “L-I-B” in the word “LIBERTY” as well as in the line “IN GOD WE TRUST.”

1972 Lincoln Cent

Approximate Value: $500

This coin has no mint mark but shows doubling in all of the elements in its “head” side. There is also a small gouge above the “D” in the word “UNITED,” just near the edge.

2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter

Approximate Value: $200-$300

This fairly new coin is worth hundreds more because the corn featured there shows an additional “leaf” compared to its regular brethren—a result of a defective die. It even comes in two types: the high leaf and the low leaf, and both are equally valuable.

There are other coins still in circulation that will bring you more dollars. Just will have the patience to look at them much more closely before dropping them in a charity jar or completely forgetting about them inside your pockets.