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Approximate Values of United States Coins


Which are the most valuable? The least valuable?

Coins on this page are arranged from the most valuable to the least valuable, and they are also shown in five major groups. Coins closer to the top of the page, and coins closer to the top of a group, command higher values than coins in lower positions. Look up individual coins using the search functions on this web site. This page gives an overview and general values.

Some coins have special dates and mint marks that increase their value, some coins derive value from their pristine state of preservations (called uncirculated coins). Heavily worn or damaged coins are always worth less than specimens showing average wear. Do not worry if your coin does not look exactly like the one pictured or is large or small in size. There are several varieties of many of these coins.

Very valuable coins worth $100s to $1000s of US dollars

Coins in this group range in value from thousands of dollars down to hundreds of dollars. Unless they are heavily worn or have significant damage like scratches, spots, or stains, these coins command high premium values and must be treated with care. Never clean a coin. Cleaning ruins value.

Flowing Hair Coinage - Dimes, half dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars like this are very valuable. If you have one, treat it with the utmost care. Never clean a coin.

Liberty Head Gold Pieces - These come in various denominations from $1 to $20. All are very valuable.

Saint Gaudens Gold Pieces - These are big, beautiful gold coins.

Indian Head Gold Piece - These gold coins are smaller and more modern, but most are worth a bundle!

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Valuable coins: $10s to $100s of US dollars

Coins in this group range in value from hundreds of dollars down to a few tens of dollars, unless, like all coins, they are heavily worn or have significant damage like scratches, spots, or stains. Never clean a coin. Cleaning ruins value. There are several varieties of many of these coins.

Draped Bust Coinage - Dimes, half dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars like this are very valuable (worth hundreds of dollars) when they are in good condition and do not display any damage. Many of these coins found today are worn, damaged, or both. They are still valuable, but much less that those in good condition.

Seated Liberty Coinage - These are old coins and command high prices when they are in good shape. Dimes, half dimes, and quarters are valuable. Half dollars and dollars are very valuable.

Twenty Cent Pieces - This type is so old and so unusual, it commands high value.

Morgan Silver Dollars - Most circulated Morgans you find today carry a value roughly equal to the price of one ounce of silver. If your coin is in beautiful pristine condition, it is worth more than that. (Never clean a coin. Cleaning ruins value.) Look up the value of silver at kitco.com. Most Morgans bearing the CC mint mark are worth hundreds of dollars. Look for the CC mint mark beneath the wreath on the back of the coin. Other good dates and mint marks for Morgan dollars are 1888S, 1892S, 1893, 1893O, 1893S, 1894, 1894S, 1895O, 1895S, 1899, 1902S, 1903O, 1903S, and 1904S. The granddaddy of Morgan dollars is the 1895. It is worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Barber Coinage - Dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars with this design are generally quite valuable. Heavily worn examples are worth less.

Large Cents - Made of a hefty chunk of solid copper, these old coins have a large collector following and therefore command strong premiums. These coins come from a time went a cent was worth something!

Half Cents - Like large cents, early half cents are usually worth a lot of money, especially if they are well preserved. Heavy wear lowers value.

Standing Liberty Quarters - Depending on condition, Standing Liberty Quarters can easily reach values well over $100. Most are heavily worn and worth less than $10.

Three Cent Pieces - People usually do not know that the US issued three cent pieces during the mid-1800s. They command good premiums from coin collectors. There are several varieties.

Two Cent Pieces - President Lincoln and the Civil War saw the first appearance of In God We Trust on the two cent coins of the period. These pieces have a strong collector following.

Low value coins: 1s to $10s of US dollars

These coins sometimes climb into the $100 range, but most are worth a few dollars or a few tens of dollars. High states of preservation work in your favor; heavy wear and problems work against you. Don't worry if your coin does not look exactly like the one pictured.

Peace Dollars - These silver dollars are more recent than the Morgan variety. Like Morgans, Peace dollar values go up and down with the silver market and range from $20 to a few $100, depending on date, mint mark, and state of preservation. 1921 and 1928 are good dates. 1922 and 1923 are very common.

Indian Head Cents - Indian Head Cents are a favorite with collectors. Coins dated 1878 and before are worth much more than coins dated 1879 and after. Figure at least $30 before 1879, and $3 or less after 1879. An 1877 in good shape is worth hundreds.

Walking Liberty Half Dollars - Good dates and mint marks 1916S, 1917S, 1919, 1919D, 1919S, 1920D, 1921, 1921D, 1921S, and 1938S. (The 1917S must have the mint mark on the obverse, heads, side.) All other coins are worth a few dollars.

Shield Nickels - Of the coins made out of nickel in the United States, the old Shield variety are the most valuable. Even at that, most circulated examples barely get over the $10 mark.

Liberty V Nickels - Most Liberty Head Nickels, also known as V nickels, are heavily worn and are not worth very much. Very well preserved specimens command prices in the $10 to $50 range.

Buffalo Nickels - One of America's favorite coin designs, the buffalo nickel commands a strong collector following. Better dates and mint marks are 1913D, 1913S, 1914D, 1914S, 1915D, 1915S, and 1921S. These climb into the $100 range. There are also several interesting varieties that are worth a lot of money, including the 1918D 8 over 7 variety, and the 1927D three legged variety. Most people have buffalo nickels that are heavily worn and are worth less than one dollar.

Liberty or Mecury Dimes - These dimes show Miss Liberty with a winged cap. She is often mistaken for the Greek god Mercury, so the name Mercury dime sticks. Most of these are worth a few dollars. Better dates and mint marks are 1921, 1921D, and 1926S. If you have a 1916D, you have hit the jackpot, with value exceeding $500 even in heavily worn condition.

Wheat-backed Lincoln Cents - To be valuable, an old wheat-backed Lincoln cent must be dated 1931 or earlier, and carry a mint mark. Even then, only the 1909S, 1909S VDB, 1914D, 1922, 1924D, and 1931S are truly valuable ~ worth in the neighborhood of $50, sometimes hundreds of dollars. (The 1922 coin must have no mint mark to be valuable.) All other wheat-backed cents are worth a small amount. Most are worth only a few cents each. All Lincoln cents dated 1943 are made out of steel and are worth about one cent each. If you happen to find a 1943 cent made out of copper, you have hit the jackpot. It is worth thousands of dollars

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Coins with most of their value due to silver content

Coins in this group derive most of their value from the silver bullion they contain. As a rule of thumb, if silver levels are near $12 per troy ounce, these coins are worth ten times their face value. Higher or lower silver values mean higher or lower coin values. Proof coins, which are coins struck especially for collectors and sport mirror-like surfaces, are usually worth a few dollars more than regular issues.

Franklin Half Dollars - These old coins are made of silver and derive their value, about $5 dollars each, from their precious metal content.

Kennedy Half Dollars - Only the 1964 coins contain lots of silver. A few dates contain a small amount of silver, but most contain no silver at all. If it is not a 1964 coin, it is worth about face value.

Washington Quarters - Pre-1941 Washington Quarters are the good ones that are worth substantially more than their bullion value, with 1932D, 1932S, and 1940D being the better coins. These better dates can command values over $100 per coin, depending on the amount of wear. All coins dated before 1965 contain silver bullion, and are worth a few dollars each solely due to that fact. Coins dated after 1964, including the new varieties with designs for individual states, are worth face value.

Roosevelt Dimes - Coins after 1964 are worth face value. Coins dated before 1965 contain silver and are worth a dollar or two each, depending on the price of silver.

Coins worth face value

Modern US issues are worth face value, i.e., the value they have in normal commerce. Proof coins, which are coins struck especially for collectors and sport mirror-like surfaces, are worth a few dollars more than regular issues. Sometimes the US Mint issues modern coins in special composition, with special mint marks, or in fancy government packaging. These, like proof coins, are made especially for collectors and carry small premium value. If they are minted in gold or silver, the bullion value applies.

Eisenhower Dollars - Even though these are big, bold coins, they are still worth face value.

Anthony Dollars - These are worth face value.

So-Called Gold Dollars - Recently the US Mint has produced gold-colored coins made out of manganese and other non-precious metals. Although they are commonly called gold dollars, there is not a speck of actual gold in them. They are worth face value.

Jefferson Nickels - Just about every Jefferson nickel you see, even the old ones, are worth face value. If you find a 1939D, it is worth a few dollars.

Lincoln Cents - All Lincoln cents dated after 1933 are worth very close to face value. There is a 1955 coin that has a doubled date and that one is worth hundreds of dollars.

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