Most Valuable Coins You Could Find in Your Pocket Change
Few people get rich selling coins. While some coins sell for millions of dollars, not too many of them were found in pocket change. The most valuable coins tend to be those purchased as investments and carefully stored to keep them in pristine condition. In fact, many coins are produced with no intention of them being used as currency but as collectibles, sometimes in themed sets.
However, there are exceptions. Under special circumstances, circulated coins can be valuable. This happens when a minting error is discovered after a coin’s release or when an already low mintage coin is hoarded by collectors. Auction records are almost always held by uncirculated coins, but when it comes to rare coins, lower grade coins are also worth many times more than face value.
These rare coins from around the world, all minted since 1995, are worth checking in your pocket change. Because they are worth some serious coin.
2007 Australian Double Obverse 5 Cent
Sold on eBay: $46
Bottom Line: 2007 Australian Double Obverse 5 Cent
This coin is the result of the pairing of two 2007 obverse dies rather than an obverse and a reverse.
It is uncertain how many of these coins were minted, but it is believed it may be up to several thousand.
2004 Finland 2 Euro
Sold on eBay: $50
Bottom Line: 2004 Finland 2 Euro
This coin commemorated the expansion of the European Union in 2004.
Finland was the only country to produce a coin for this occasion.
Almost a million were minted in June and July of 2004.
2010 Australian Upset 50 Cent
Sold on eBay: $80
Bottom Line: 2010 Australian Upset 50 Cent
The obverse and reverse dies of this coin are offset by 30 degrees.
While the cause is uncertain, it is believed that the error was limited and that only 200,000 or fewer of this coin exist.
2008 U.K. Undated 20p Coin
Sold on eBay: £72 ($91)
Bottom Line: 2008 U.K. Undated 20p Coin
A design change in the U.K. 20p coin moved the date from the reverse to the obverse.
However, mint workers accidentally used a 2008 reverse die and an old 2007 obverse die to produce between 50,000 and 200,000 coins.
As a result, the new coin has no date.
2006 Canadian Magnetic No Logo/No P Penny
Sold on eBay: $140
Bottom Line: 2006 Canadian Magnetic No Logo/No P Penny
In 2006, two kinds of Canadian pennies were produced, one with a zinc core and the other with a magnetic steel core.
The magnetic coins were supposed to have a logo on the obverse, either a P or the new Royal Canadian Mint crown/maple leaf logo, beneath the image of the Queen.
Some of these coins were produced without either mark.
1997 U.S. Double Ear Lincoln Penny
Sold at auction: $404
Bottom Line: 1997 U.S. Double Ear Lincoln Penny
A manufacturing error resulted in doubling on the obverse of this coin.
The result is the appearance of two earlobes on Lincoln’s ear.
2002 Greek 2 Euro
Sold on eBay: $500
Bottom Line: 2002 Greek 2 Euro
Some versions of this coin feature an "S" in one of the stars at the bottom.
The S indicates it was minted in Suomi (Finnish for Finland) not Athens, making it rare.
2005 U.S. Filled Die Kansas State Quarter
Sold at auction: $518
Bottom Line: 2005 U.S. Filled Die Kansas State Quarter
Referred to by collectors as the "In God We Rust" Kansas state quarter, this coin has a filled die error caused by a grease buildup on the surface of the coin die.
While this is not an unusual occurrence, in this case, the placement created a change in the appearance of the design.
A closer look will reveal the T in Trust is, in fact, still there.
2007 U.S. Missing Edge Lettering Presidential Dollar
Sold at auction: $1,007
Bottom Line: 2007 U.S. Missing Edge Lettering Presidential Dollar
Also referred to as "godless presidential dollars," a number of George Washington dollar coins were struck without the edge inscription "In God We Trust."
Though 300 million of these coins were produced in 2007 in both Philadelphia and Denver, the coins without the inscription appear to only be from Philadelphia.
One estimate puts the number of error coins at about 50,000. Most of these coins are valued at around $50.
2012 U.K. Olympic Swimming 50p
Sold on eBay: £820
Bottom Line: 2012 U.K. Olympic Swimming 50p
To commemorate the 2012 London Olympics, the Royal Mint created 29 designs for a series of 50p coins.
The initial run of the swimming coin had a minting error that made the swimmer’s face appear to be covered with water.
The error was caught before all coins were produced, but about 600 made it into circulation.
2005-D U.S. Jefferson Bison Nickel
Sold at auction: $1,265
Bottom Line: 2005-D U.S. Jefferson Bison Nickel
A large die gouge produced coins with a mark along the bison’s back, which came to be known as a "Speared Bison."
Mint state nickels from 2005 are rare. This is partially due to the coin planchets used that often contained large die gouges, nicks and scratches.
Other coins have uneven color or luster, perhaps due to an incorrect mix of metal alloys.
2000 Australian $1/10 Mule
Sold on eBay: $1,507
Bottom Line: 2000 Australian $1/10 Mule
In 2000, there was a mix-up at the mint where the Mob of Roos dollar reverse was accidentally paired with the 10 cent queen’s head obverse.
This resulted in a double rim on the queen’s side of the coin and a thicker-than-usual coin.
1999 U.S. Wide "AM" Reverse Lincoln Penny
Sold at auction: $2,300
Bottom Line: 1999 U.S. Wide "AM" Reverse Lincoln Penny
A calibration error in a minting machine produced a larger-than-usual space between the A and the M in AMERICA on the reverse of the coin.
A similar error occurred in 1998 and 2000, but the 1999 is the rarest of the three.
There are at least 1,000 of these coins known to exist, and while those still in circulation will not fetch prices in the thousands, they are still worth considerably more than one cent.
2009 Lincoln Presidency Cent
Sold on eBay: $2,650
Bottom Line: 2009 Lincoln Presidency Cent
In 2009, four reverse designs appeared on the Lincoln penny.
This last design depicts the Capitol Dome, which was under construction when Lincoln became president. It has the smallest mintage of the four designs, with less than 130 million minted in Philadelphia (as this one was) and another 198 million in Denver (which carry the D mint mark).
This coin is in exceptional condition. Those in lower mint states sell for just under $10.
2008-W U.S. Reverse of 2007 Silver Eagle Dollar
Sold at auction: $2,900
Bottom Line: 2008-W U.S. Reverse of 2007 Silver Eagle Dollar
This particular coin was a "first strike" and is in the best possible condition, but others of its kind also sell well above face value.
The U.S. Mint made the decision to slightly alter the reverse design of the 2008 Silver Eagle Dollars. During the transition, some coins were struck with the pre-2008 design. The error wasn’t discovered until after 45,000 or more coins were produced.
A distinguishing characteristic of these coins is a missing serif on the lower right side of the U.
2004-D U.S. Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarter
Sold at auction: $3,450
Bottom Line: 2004-D U.S. Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarter
In December 2004, a collector found an extra leaf on the ear of corn on the reverse side of a Wisconsin state quarter. It was eventually determined that there were two varieties of this anomaly: an "extra leaf low" and an "extra leaf high."
Though it is uncertain why this difference exists, general consensus is that it was a deliberate design alteration and that all coins with the extra leaf were struck by the same die.
Roughly 8,000 Extra Leaf Quarters are known to exist.
1995 U.S. Doubled Die Obverse Penny
Sold at auction: $5,053
Bottom Line: 1995 U.S. Doubled Die Obverse Penny
This is the last U.S. doubled die penny.
After 1995, the Philadelphia and Denver Mints used a single hub technique, eliminating the possibility of striking doubled die coins. The doubling is most noticeable in the words "LIBERTY" and "IN GOD WE."
About 40,000 of these coins were produced before the doubling was discovered, and all but 24,000 were destroyed before being released for circulation.
2000-P U.S. 'Cheerios' Sacagawea Dollar
Sold at auction: $7,500
Bottom Line: 2000-P U.S. 'Cheerios' Sacagawea Dollar
As part of a special promotion, the Mint produced 5,500 Sacagawea dollars for General Mills to place in every 2,000th box of Cheerios cereal.
In 2005, a collector discovered that some of the coins had a different design on the coin’s reverse: The eagle’s tail feathers had detailed veins.
This design is seen only in coins found in Cheerios boxes.
2002 Italian 2 Cent
Sold at auction: €6,600 ($7,564)
Bottom Line: 2002 Italian 2 Cent
Mistakenly struck on two-cent blanks, 7,000 of these coins were produced, but to date, only a dozen have appeared at auction.
The reverse side of the coins features Turin’s Mole Antonelliana instead of the Castel del Monte in Puglia.
2000-P U.S. Sacagawea Dollars With Transitional Errors
Sold at auction: $7,637
Bottom Line: 2000-P U.S. Sacagawea Dollars With Transitional Errors
At least four Sacagawea commemorative dollars have been found with transitional errors.
These coins were struck on a copper-nickel planchet for a Susan B. Anthony dollar rather than the manganese-bronze clad planchet that gives the Sacagawea its golden color (designed to avoid confusion with the similarly sized and colored quarter).
Related: Most Valuable Coins in the World