Coins Found in American Change: The Ten Most Valuable

Some pennies in your pocket might be worth a pretty penny. American error coins and die variants abound, and many of them are quite expensive.

Find out what to check for and which of your spare change is worth a lot more than its face value. The next step is to get the right tools and study a tried-and-true technique for discovering uncommon mistake coins in your spare change if you want to hurry things up.

You won't find this coin very often. The early samples were held by the Secret Service until the United States Mint acknowledged their authenticity. False coins are common, however they often bear the erroneous mint mark.

Methods to identify It appears as though the whole obverse ("heads" side), excluding the mint mark, has been doubled. Unless it's a doubled die, which is extremely valuable, a twofold mint mark is likely the result of a strike doubling. Reason being, 1969 saw the independent punching of mint markings into the coin die, after the production of the doubled die.

Just like with the vast majority of genuine doubled die types, the doubling is visible on just one side of the coin. The coin is likely not worth as much as a real doubled die if it shows strike doubling instead if both sides double on any section of it.

Methods to identify One telltale sign that you're dealing with the rarer Small Date variant as opposed to the common form is the weakness of LIBERTY. Looking for the number 7 in the date is another technique to tell it's a Small Date type.

All elements are strongly doubled on the 1972 (no mint mark) Lincoln Cent variation that is doubled die. An important source for this topic, "Cherrypicker's Guide to Rare Die Varieties," recommends utilizing a "die marker" to confirm your discoveries

A little gouge on the border, above the D in UNITED, serves as a die marking; if all obverse parts appear to be doubled, that's a clue. To verify the authenticity of this variety, you'll require a 6X magnification or higher. Use a high-quality light, and hold it approximately 18 inches above the coin's surface.