Check your Pockets and Piggy Banks!
Last update: April 14th, 2013. For the latest prices, check a US coin guide book.
Blifaloo's articles on Rare and Valuable Coins & Valuable Wheat Pennies have been a big hit. However, the probability of finding one of those coins worth thousands of dollars is very unlikely. So, I've put together the following list of "newer" valuable coins, many of which have plenty of copies floating around in circulation for the average person to find.
1984 & 1997 Lincoln Cent Double Ear
Make sure you put your pennies from 1984 and 1997 aside to have a better look at under a magnifying glass.
These cents feature a bonus ear lobe, caused by a double striking from the die. Please look at the links below for more info and images.
Value: Like all coins, the value is heavily influenced by condition. Even in (good) circulated condition, you could fetch about $50+ for a 1997 or $150+ for the 1984 Double Ear. Certified examples with a strong flaw in very good condition sell retail for $250.00+
2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter with Extra Leaf
2004-D Wisconsin State Quarter With Extra Leaf. There are 2 varieties of this error - the "High Leaf" and the "Low Leaf". In the image below the "High Leaf" error is illustrated (poorly) by the blue line, and the "Low Leaf" with the green line. For more info and images check the links below.
Value: Coin experts seem to be all over the place with valuing this coin. Certified and in awesome condition they are priced at $1500+ on ebay. however $200-$300 (for M60 or better) seems like a more reasonable price for high-grade certified coins. If you find one in your change, you could expect it to be worth $20 - $200 on average. Worth keeping an eye out on, for sure!
More info and images: Ken Potter explains and illustrates the extra leaf errors, and speculates on value. Also see this guide from an eBay member for more images and pricing info.
1998, 1999, and 2000 Lincoln Cent Wide "AM" Reverse - aka: WAM
Here is another penny (actually 3 pennies) to look out for. The 1998, 1999, and 2000 Lincoln pennies have a variety known as the "Wide AM Reverse". The AM in "America" is separated in the Wide variety, with the letter M centered between the A and E.
In comparison; the letters AM are super close or touching in the normal versions.
The second identifying feature of the rare "Wide AM" variety: The minters initials "FG" appear closer to the memorial building.
More info and images: Can be found here. Also see this forum discussion on the 1998 Wide AM cent with
some additional photos and references.
Value: Average finds would be valued around $35. But very rare specimens certified of high grade could fetch over $600, with 1999 being the most valuable year for the Wide AM cents.
2005 Minnesota State Quarters Errors
2005 Minnesota State Quarters. There are tons of error varieties of this state quarter. too many to list here. But, to simplify: if you look at the image below the most valuable of these errors have an "extra" tree.
Value: The average find will only be worth a few dollars (but that's better than 25cents). Though you may luck out and find one worth $100-200. There are some gems like the "extra tree" as shown here worth up to $400- $800.
For more info and images see: this page about the error quarters and Ken Potter's page detailing many varieties of these error coins.
Other Coins to Look for:
Not worth thousands, but worth looking for:
Pennies to look for:
1972 Penny - Doubling on the "2" of 1972. Value: $5
1982 Penny - Doubling "IN GOD WE TRUST". Value: $15-$35
1989 Penny - No VBD. Value: About 25 cents each.
1995 Penny Doubled Die - On Obverse. LIBERTY is doubled. Value: About $30.
Nickels to look for:
1942-1945 Nickels - Most of these "War Nickels " are 35% silver. Value: Worth at least $1+ each. Many worth more.
Dimes to look for:
1946 Dime - Lots of Double Die errors for this year. Save your dimes from this year. Value: $1+
1947 Dime - "S over D". Rare dime worth $350+ at higher grades. (far less for average condition coins).
1950 Dime - "S over D" error - Rare and worth $500+ for higher grades. (again, expect a lot less for average condition coins).
1982 Dime - No "P". Worth about $100-$200. More info on this page .
Quarters to look for:
1989 Quarter - No mint mark. Worth about $10-$20.
All State Quarters - Check all of your state quarters for errors. Rotated die errors are probably the most common. Check out this page for more info on spotting errors and estimated values.
How Much is Your Coin Worth? Please see the How to Value & Sell Coins guide I put together. There are also resources to expert resources, websites, books and more there. Please do not email asking about your coin or coin collection. I cannot give individual coin valuations -- like I said, I am not an expert.
More Coin Collecting / Rare Coin Resources:
Valuable Wheat Pennies - Everyone has a few. which are worth money? Check out our history & price guide to the most
valuable US wheat cents.