The penny, nickel, dime, and quarter, all pieces of change people are quite familiar with. However, those haven’t been the only coins used in the United States. Over the centuries, many different coins, all over the world, have come and gone. And some of those coins, due to their rarity, are worth a fortune nowadays. Here’s a list of some of the coins to watch out for. And keep them in mint condition if you can.
The Hawaiian Plantation Token – $11,000
The Hawaiian Plantation Token wasn’t exactly official currency. A few were minted by the U.S. mint, but were used exclusively as money on Hawaiian sugar plantation. They couldn’t be used anywhere else, and that’s what has made them valuable today. In 2014 one even sold for $11,000.
1970 Double Die, Small Date Penny – $37,000
There are a few double head printed pennies that have a smaller-sized date font. They’ve all come from the San Francisco mint, noticeable from the double stamped “S”. There have only been eight noticed examples, making this a rather rare coin. A pristine, uncirculated condition coin may be worth up to $37,000.
1906 US Philippines Peso – $40,000
The US did occupy the Philippines from 1901 to 1935. The U.S. mint had the Philippines mint print several coins, including their Peso in 1906. The coin was made of pure silver, but many were lost or melted down. Most of the ones around nowadays are counterfeits or false copies. A real, mint condition coin sold for $40,000 in 2019.
1969 Double Die Penny – $45,000
The differences between a normal penny and a Double Die Penny from 1969 is so minute that the Secret Service actually believed they were counterfeit. However, they’re real, printed by the US mint. And so rare that one can go for as much as $45,000 if it’s in the right condition.
1851 Gold Mormon Coins – $50,000
During the 1840s gold rush, the Church of Latter-Day Saints had these $5 gold coins made in Sutter’s Mill, California. In the present, the price for one of these beauties has gone up 10,000 times its original value.
1873 Seated Liberty Quarters – $100,000
Depending on the version of this quarter you have, it could be worth any amount north of $100,000. But the version you need is the one where the arrows surround the date on the front side. The price has certainly skyrocketed since it was only worth ¢25.
Sacagawea Double Denomination Mule Error – $117,500
This coin was an incredibly big blunder for the US mint. On the back is the normal eagle of the Sacagawea gold dollar coin. And on the front is the design of George Washington’s face on the modern quarter. There are currently 16 of these coins that are accounted for, with one having been sold for $117,500.
Walking Liberty Half Dollar – $200,000
This style of half dollar was minted right after World War I. It was minted in relatively low numbers in comparison to other coins of the era, making it hard to find in circulation. As such, it ended up becoming a coveted coin in collector circles. One of these babies can fetch a seller nearly $200,000.
Copper Wheat Penny – $100,000 – 200,000
This is one of the rarest pennies in American history, probably because of a mistake. Pennies made during World War II, when this penny was minted, were supposed to be made with steel instead of copper. Copper was needed for the war effort, so these new pennies were called “war pennies”. But, in 1943 there were a small group of pennies made using copper by mistake. It’s believed that only 40 of these coins are in existence and are worth between $100,000 and $200,000.
The Aluminum 1974 Penny – $250,000
In 1974, with soaring copper prices, the US mint trie making aluminum pennies instead. While 1.5 million were produced, the idea was eventually scrapped and nearly all of them were melted down. However, there are still a few circulating and are in the possession of collectors. There haven’t been any sold, and only two are known to exist, one of which is owned by the Smithsonian. Collectors have estimated that one of these pennies could be worth $250,000.
Morgan Silver Dollar – $400,000
In Philadelphia in 1901, only 813 of these Morgan Silver Dollars were minted. This actually makes it one of the rarest coins ever minted. The value of the coin varies wildly based on condition, but a mint condition coin can be worth as much as $400,000.
1838 Capped Bust Half Dollar – $490,000
In 1838, the New Orleans mint became one of the first place in the US to make silver coins. Apparently, from the initial batch of coins, only 20 were ever made. Making them even more rare, it’s believed that only nine made it to the present day. As such, that makes them incredibly rare and valuable.
“No S” 1975 Dime – $500,000
These dimes were made in 1975 specifically for collectors. However, in an ironic twist of fate, they were made without the “S” proof at the San Francisco mint. That error drastically increased the price of those coins, making one cost near $500,000.
1879 Stella Gold $750,000
There’s a reason this Stella Gold coin is worth $750,000. This variant features coiled hair on the head side of the coin instead of the more common flowing hair. And that minor change drastically increased the price of the coin for collectors.
1849 Open Wreath Liberty Head Gold Dollars – $1 Million
The 1849 mint run of Liberty Head Gold Dollars included one incredible rare variant, an “open wreath” version. Most other variations had the wreath closed. This coin can fetch upwards of $1 million.
1801 Draped Bust Dollars 1858 Restrike – $1.4 Million
The US mint began restricting several older coins for the growing collector market in the 1850s. The new version of this particular coin was made using the first die from the 1804 version. Only three to six of these coins are believed to exist, making them some of the rarest and most valuable in the world.
1873 Seated Liberty Dimes – $1.4 Million
Due to a misprint or some kind of mistake, this version of the Seated Liberty dime lacks arrows surrounding the year. This single difference and increased rarity makes the coin worth well over $1 million, to potentially $1.4 million.
1793 “Flowing Hair” Large Cents – $1.5 Million
This is perhaps the oldest of these expensive coins. It was minted all the way back in 1793, not even two decades after the founding of the United States. This is the rarest version of the “Flowing Hair” large cents, featuring the world “AMERICA” in the legend. On the reverse side, it also lacks the periods after the word “LIBERTY” and the date, 1793.
1894-S Barber Dime – $2 Million
Only 24 of these incredibly rare coins were ever minted to begin with, and only nine are believed to still be around. The chances of finding one of these coins is as rare as winning the lottery, and likely even more lucrative. The purchase of one of these coins in 2007 earned the seller around $2 million.
“1804” Bowed Liberty Dollar – $4.14 Million
The rarity of these coins continues to stay high, with only 15 of these coins being left on Earth. These coins are stamped with the date “1804”, but none of them were actually minted prior to the 1830s. In 1999, one of the coins sold for $4.14 million. Due to their high value, there have been many attempts to make counterfeit versions of the coin.
1804 Turban Head Gold $10 Eagle – $4.4 Million
In 1804, three versions of this $10 coin were minted. The rarest version is known as “Plain 4”, which lacks a crosslet on the right side of the “4” on the date. They’re incredibly hard to find, and even more difficult to differentiate.
Liberty Head Nickel – $4.5 Million
The Liberty Head nickel was brought into circulation between 1883 and 1912. While none of these coins were officially minted afterwards, there are five in existence from 1913, with uncertain origins. In 2018, one of those coins sold for $4.5 million.Luis E. Eliasberg, the only coin collector to make a complete collection of American coins, actually has one of these that may be worth $5 million.
1870 Indian Princess Head Gold $6.6 Million
The rarity of this coin comes from the fact that only one was intended to exist in the first place. It was intended to be laid within the cornerstone of the San Francisco mint before its construction was completed. However, a coin also hit the open market in 1910. It’s uncertain if the coin was the original or a second one, but it’s regardless worth $6.6 million.
1933 Saint Gaudens Gold $20 Double Eagle – $8.5 Million – $9 Million
At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlawed the circulation and private possession of US gold coins. The 1933 double eagle gold coins had already been minted by that point though, and, along with many other gold coins, were melted down. Two of them were saved to be given to the Smithsonian, but around twenty were stolen before they could be destroyed. An uncirculated coin can be worth between $8.5 and $9 million.
1849 Coronet Head – $10 Million – $20 Million
This is possibly the rarest coin of any type ever produced in the US. It’s not on the open market, with the coin residing in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian. However, if it were to ever go on the open market, it’s believed that the price would be between $10 million and $20 million. This would easily make it the most valuable coin in existence.