5 Most Valuable American Coins Still in Circulation

Ancient coins of the first republic.
Paolo Gagliardi / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Coin collecting is a hobby that has been around for years. Chances are that you may have a relative or know someone who’s an avid coin collector. While it may seem like a unique interest from afar, the surprising reality is that you could cash in big-time from this hobby. That spare change in your coin jar could hold a rare coin worth thousands — or even millions — of dollars.

Here we will look at the most valuable coins that are still in circulation. You could potentially find these in your everyday life, or if you pay attention as a coin collector.

Most Valuable Coins Still In Circulation

You may have heard of the Double Eagle 1933 that sold for a record-breaking $7.59 million at an auction, and other valuable coins that have been sold for a fortune. Most of these are accounted for, but the good news is that some valuable coins are still out there. Here are some of the most valuable coins that are still in circulation. 

1913 Liberty Head Nickel

With only five in existence, you can make a pretty penny if you find one of these in your drawer. At an auction last year, one of these went for $4.2 million. This coin is sometimes called the Walton Nickel, and experts believe we may not see another one for decades.

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When the U.S. Mint replaced the Liberty Head nickel with the Indian Head nickel in 1912, five Liberty nickels were illegally made. The fact that these coins even existed was a secret until 1919.

The 1787 Fugio Cent

It has come out that Benjamin Franklin designed money on top of his other ventures. The 1787 Fugio cent is sometimes referred to as a Franklin cent, and it’s been deemed the first coin that was in circulation in the U.S.

This coin was minted only in the year 1787, and 398,577 were produced. While this coin hasn’t set records at auction, it has an interesting history and could be worth hundreds, if not thousands, depending on its condition.

1969-S Lincoln Cent With a Doubled Die Obverse

A lady in Texas found one of these back in 2014. This was surprising because the Secret Service had confiscated earlier versions of it until the U.S. Mint confirmed that they were legitimate. The penny is listed for sale online from anywhere to a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

1955 Double Die Lincoln Penny

This is one of the most popular error coins produced by the U.S. Mint, according to The Spruce. One of these coins recently sold for over $2,000 at an eBay auction.

A manufacturing issue led to the design on the die being doubled in the hubbing process. By the time employees had noticed the error, thousands of coins were already all mixed in together, and it wasn’t worth disrupting the process. 

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1983 Penny With No Mint Mark

According to Blake Alma of CoinHub, this rare penny can go for up to $7,000. What apparently makes this penny unique is that it’s missing a mint mark, which is the marking on the face side that states where every coin was made.

Coin enthusiasts refer to this as a “double die reverse” coin since the stamping machine accidentally landed in a different spot, which caused a double image. According to a story on CNBC, 7.7 billion pennies were created in 1983, and only 5,000 of them had this doubling error.

International Coins Worth Mentioning

While this list was originally going to cover only U.S.-based coins, we discovered many other coins you could find on an overseas trip or when crossing the border into Canada. Here are some foreign coins that you could find on your next trip:

  • Kew Gardens 50p
  • Single Market 50p
  • Peter Rabbit 50p
  • 1936 King George V Dot Cent
  • 1965 Queen Elizabeth II Large Beads 5 Cent
  • 1948 King George VI Dollar

The Royal Mint recently shared some of the most expensive coins that could be in your change jar. Canadian coin databases have also listed valuable ones that could be found in pocket change on your next trip. For the most accurate information, you’re going to want to check online auctions and websites like Coin Trackers to determine the potential value. There are also extensive databases with lists of highly valuable pennies that are worth exploring. 

Is Coin Roll Hunting Worth It? 

Some collectors go through yard sales and auctions to find rare art pieces. You can replicate this process with coins and begin searching for valuable coins still circulating.

Coin roll hunting is about searching through rolls of coins to find valuable ones. Depending on the rarity, condition, and historical value, the coin you find could be worth a decent amount at the right auction. Many coin collectors also believe in the historical significance of the coin. Some older folks have mentioned how finding certain coins will bring them back to childhood. This could be an interesting hobby that allows you to get in touch with your roots. 

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Closing Thoughts

If you’re an avid coin collector or just someone looking to pick up a new hobby, you could find a valuable coin still in circulation. You never know when a penny will be worth much more than you anticipated.

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