Rare Coins in your pocket
by Stan Klein
Coin dealers require stock to sell, the same as any other kind of sales business. The difference is that stock is often acquired from the public instead of a factory. Classic rare coins must be acquired from advanced collectors or from an auction but lesser rarities can show up almost anywhere including in ordinary change. Below are a list of coins often ignored by the average person that can bring real money when recognized by a hobbyist and offered for sale to a dealer that is looking for these elusive items for his clients.
Many of the coins on the list would go unnoticed except for the diligence of rabid collectors that often discover these coins by careful scrutiny. Mint workers, fortunately for the collector, did not notice most of these coin types for they would have been destroyed before they reached circulation.
2004 Wisconsin State quarter with extra high or low leaf
On some Wisconsin quarters there is an extra leaf below the corn husk (high leaf) or at the base of the husk almost appearing coming out of the cheese wheel below (low leaf). Value: $50 -$100.
"Cherrios" 2000-P Sacagawea dollar
These coins were packed in a card in protective plastic and placed randomly in boxes of Cherrios cereal. The coin exhibits far more detail on the Eagle's tail feather shaft than the production coins that were struck later. You know you have one if it is in the original packaging. Value: undetermined.
1939 5c, Doubled Monticello and "Five Cents"
1939 Jefferson nickels are fairly common to find in change but the doubled die reverse is rather scarce but still may be found in the wild. Value: $30-$500.
1942-D/horizontal D 5c
This Jefferson is not the Wartime silver alloy but the previous copper-nickel variety. A fairly large mintage for this period of close to 14 million coins and though the date shows up in change. Coins struck from the error die are elusive but it may be still possible to find. Value: $30 - $500
1955 D over S 5c
There were better than 74 million nickels made in Denver in 1955 and though the error is scarce and difficult to see, many have found this winner in change. Value: $15-$50.
1949 D over S 5c
Another over struck mintmark and a neat treasure if you find one. Value: $100 -$150.
The king of the doubled dies with spectacular obverse doubling on all elements. The were first discovered in rolls. Almost the entire output from the improperly made die reached circulation. You'll never know when one of these treasures show up. Value: $500 - $1,500
This 1972 Lincoln cent exhibits fairly extreme doubling on the obverse elements, and is a popular target of collectors. Value: $200+
1983 1c Doubled Die Reverse
Neat doubling, especially on "ONE CENT". With almost 8 billion cents struck your chances of finding this coin are fairly good. Value: $25-$150
1984 1c With Doubled Ear
Another doubled die error that is increasing in popularity and can be found in the wild. Value: $25-$100
These coins are only highlights of coins that can be discovered in circulation. Others exist and more varieties are discovered often. What's in your pocket?
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