A coin is worth more than a coin
Coin collectors, old and new, have always wondered whether the coin or coins they have in their possession are worth more than the face value today - or in the foreseeable future. Even though that a coin which has little or no value monetarily is not necessarily one would not keep or make part of one’s coin collection. If you are a coin collector, you should often check internet for coin prices.
The following are basic factors which could influence coin prices.
How rare or un-rare is it?
Generally, the concept that everyone knows and follows is this: the rarer a coin the higher the coin’s worth. This rule is true in some cases and – fortunately or unfortunately – false on the others.
There was a situation where a Chinese coin, a thousand years old, sold for only a few of dollars because there were many of the thousand-year-old Chinese available. Compare this to a coin made only in 1913, a nickel specifically called a Liberty Head, which could sell for (hold your breath) one million dollars! It is known that only five of these coins exist, consequently the enormous monetary value.
Is the coin in good condition?
The better the condition of the coin, the better the price that it would bring on the market, because the grade of the coin would match its condition. A coin that is in mint condition - add to this that it is basically an uncirculated coin – is actually worth one hundred times more than a similar coin that is just in average circulated condition.
Supply and demand
Sometimes, when the demand for a specific coin is high, that coin’s worth – despite the number of them available – is just as high. Take the example of the coin dated 1916-D, and compare it to the coin prices dated 1798. Many people prefer to collect coins of the 20th century rather than those that are from the 1700’s. The 1916-D dimes sell higher than the much older 1798 coins. The fact that there are more (approximately four hundred thousand) 1916-D coins than there are dimes from the year 1798 (only about thirty thousand), does little to affect the coin prices of each.
It is best to have a professional coin dealer grade the coin(s) and determine the value of any coin(s) you may own. Who knows, it could be worth more (or less) than what you think. But there are many resources that can help coin collectors, old or new, in determining the value and worth of the coins they have. There are books out, “The Red Book” (A Guide Book of US Coins), “The Blue Book” (A Handbook of US Coins), as well as coin newsletters and catalogs available at any public or private library, coin dealers/shops anywhere in the US. There are also online guides for the prices of US coins available on the web, specifically at NumisMedia.
Below are some examples of some of the more sought after coins popular amongst collectors.
Circulated Wheat Cents
The price of these coins made prior to 1958, or those that are dated 1940, are currently being purchased by coin dealers for two cents each, or less. Those made before 1940 command a much higher price - from a few more cents to a few dollars.
Silver-dollars from the US, especially those made before 1935, have almost an ounce of silver in them. These coins are the favorites of coin collectors and could be sold for more than their actual value in silver if they are undamaged or not worn severely.
Susan B. Anthony Dollars
If by luck you happen to get one of these as a change, the value is more than a dollar and proof Susan B. Anthony dollars command even more. They are not easy to fine as they are not usually being circulated.
Bicentennial quarters, dollars and halves
There were billions of these coins made out, and because there are so many of them, their worth is usually just face value. There are coin dealers however who pay ten percent of the face value as premium for circulated bicentennial coins, and a few dollars more for those that are uncirculated.
A freak coin
Believe it or not, there are two-headed coins out there. Basically, these are coins with two different designs on each face. These coins were made in error and mistake was not discoverer until the year 2000. This type of coins is usually called “mules”. In 1999, it was found that a cent with Lincoln’s face on one side and Roosevelt’s dime image on the other existed.
If you find a coin of this it must be taken to a legitimate coin dealer and assessed to determine if is genuine. If so, this coin could be put up for auction and command a few dollars more. It is therefore true that a coin is basically worth more than meets the eye.