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Coin Collecting

Introduction to Collecting Foreign Coins

One well-known aspect of coin collecting is that of collecting foreign coins. While some might get great joy in collecting coinage by the year or the coinage of a specific nation, other collectors look for the value of foreign coins. There is a remarkable thing about collecting a coin from a world away. A grand accomplishment for a collector might be a collection of coins from every nation on globe.

How does one get started in collecting rare foreign coins?
While you can keep your eye on domestic and local auctions, you may have to get some coins from overseas retailers. Other choices for trading foreign coins and values exchange include going to the country of origin and exchanging US money for foreign coins directly and looking for domestic coin dealers that have foreign coins.

It is ideal to trade with a domestic retailer instead of an overseas store due to shipping issues. Foreign currency dealers typically work with bulk shipments and won’t even trade American currency for low-value coins. If you want to do business with an overseas retailer then you should plan on budgeting a huge investment.

What are some of the most popular foreign currency and coins that are still within the grasp of beginning collectors?
Some of these coins are pesos, English pennies, early African coins and early Indian coins. Britain and other big European countries tend to be the most common and less expensive. You must realize that many countries in the world don’t intentionally collect coinage of their own nation. While not only an US phenomenon, it’s safe to assume that there are only a few countries that encourage, or at least have the resources, for multi-national coin collecting.

Talk to a coin dealer in your area to find out about identifying foreign coins for their origin and possible worth.



Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part III)

1997 DOUBLE-EAR LINCOLN PENNY

There were a lot of defects about Abraham Lincoln’s appearance. He was very tall and had a posthumously diagnosed facial asymmetry disease. But he didn’t have two ear lobes, which is why a ‘97 penny that appears to give him such a feature goes for $250.

1999-P CONNECTICUT BROADSTRUCK QUARTER

Another state quarter worth more than 25 cents is a ‘99 Connecticut quarter that was broadstruck or not quite lined up correctly with the machine. If you’ve got one in your possession, you may be $25 richer.

2005 SPEARED BISON JEFFERSON NICKEL

Are you the owner of a ‘05 nickel that looks a little bit like the buffalo on the tails side was knifed? That’s due to a gouge that was on the die when the coins were minted. Though they usually sell for much less, a Speared Bison Jefferson Nickel has gotten a collector $1265.

ROOSEVELT SILVER DIMES AND WASHINGTON SILVER QUARTERS

These days, quarters and dimes are made from an alloy of nickel and copper. No silver. But prior to ‘65, 10-cent and 25-cent pieces were around 90% Ag, which means they have worth on the metals market. They’re not particularly rare, but you can still offload the coins for much more than their face value thanks to their composition.

2007 “GODLESS” PRESIDENTIAL DOLLAR COIN

In God We Trust? Not in ‘07. That was the year that the new George Washington dollar coins were circulated in the U.S. An unknown number of them were unintentionally minted without the standard inscription “In God We Trust.” In ‘07, experts predicted the flawed coins would ultimately sell for about $50 when the market settled down. The prediction was accurate since thousands of the coins have been found. The dollars, as they are called, go for up to $228.



Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part II)

2009 KEW GARDENS 50P COIN

Americans haven’t been in the market on rare coins. In ‘09, the Royal Mint released just 200,000 50P coins praising the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Covered with the Kew Gardens Pagoda, the coin is a good return on that 50p investment. It can go for about £150..

2005 “IN GOD WE RUST” KANSAS STATE QUARTER

This 2005 error wasn’t supposed to be a statement on religion or government It was just the result of grease clogging the coin die, filling the T in the word trust. Grease build-up errors aren’t that unusual, and they’re not always worth a lot. In this case, however, the mistake is in an interesting place, which makes the coins worth more to some folks.

2008 UNDATED 20P COIN

In ‘08, the Royal Mint misprinted somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 20p pieces by unintentionally omitting the date. Since there are lots of them in circulation, you won’t get rich off of finding one of these. But making £100 off 20p is a pretty good deal.

1982 NO MINT MARK ROOSEVELT DIME

In the U.S., all coins are made with a letter indicating the Mint at which they were made. “S” indicates San Francisco, “P” is Philadelphia, and “D” means Denver. Though in ’82, the Philadelphia Mint disregarded putting their identifying mark on a Roosevelt dime, the first error of that type that was ever made on a U.S. coin.

It’s unknown how many were really distributed, but up to 15,000 of them were found in the Ohio area after they were given as change at the Cedar Point amusement parks. Though many of them were released, a Roosevelt dime lacking a mint mark can go for up to $300. You can’t retire, but who wouldn’t like an extra $300?



Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part I)

You may want to go through your change jar before you go to the bank to cash it in. Some rare coins can be worth a pretty piece of change.

1943 LINCOLN HEAD COPPER PENNY
It’s a little counterintuitive to think of a copper penny as an quirk but it certainly was in the 40s when copper was needed for the war effort. That year, the U.S. mint created pennies out of steel, then coated them in zinc. However, it also made a copper batch. Very few of them ever departed the facility, so the ones that did are worth a pretty penny. Real 40’s copper pennies can get you $10,000 but be warned: There are lots of fakes going around.

1955 DOUBLED DIE PENNY
You may believe you’re having blurred vision if you come across a doubled die penny, but it’s basically just a case of a little askew alignment during the minting process that delivers a doubled image. In 1955, over 24,000 doubled die pennies went public, mostly as change from cigarette vending machines. The doubling is seen on the letters and numbers entirely, with the bust of Lincoln remaining unaffected. This particular coin in very fine condition could be worth about $1800.

2004 WISCONSIN STATE QUARTER WITH EXTRA LEAF
State quarter collectors, you might want to look at your coin from the Badger State. Of the 450 million Wisconsin quarters minted in ‘04, thousands were marked with an extra leaf on a husk of corn. Some speculate a Mint employee did it on purpose. Depending on the state of the coin, these extra leaf coins have sold for up to $1500. You should take special note of your pocket change if you live in the Tucson area; around 5000 of the coins have been found there.



Valuable Pennies

Below is a list of valuable pennies including error coins and rare pennies. But first you need to know about some pennies that aren’t very valuable pennies yet, but have great potential in becoming valuable down the line.

Regardless if you decide to collect pennies, you should be on the lookout for these coins as you’re looking through your change.

These pennies are worth more than face value now and have a possibility in increasing in value as they become rarer.

 Wheat Pennies

All Wheat Pennies. They are all worth around three times the face value unless they are worn out or really damaged.

Pennies Dated Before 1982. In ‘82, the composition was changed to 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc. Previously issued pennies were 95% copper. The make-up was altered because of the fact that the over 94% copper coins had more than one cent worth of copper making them too pricey to produce.

OK, here’s the list. You know what? You might discover some invaluable pennies that are worth several hundred or thousands of dollars.

Lincoln Cents

  • Valuable Lincoln Memorial Cents – (1959-2008)
  • Rare Wheat Pennies – (1909-1958)

INDIAN HEAD TYPE 1859 – 1909

  • 1860 Pointed bust
  • 1861
  • 1864
  • 1864 L must show
  • 1867
  • 1869 over 9 (the 9 is doubled on some varieties)
  • 1869
  • 1870
  • 1871
  • 1872
  • 1873 Doubled LIBERTY
  • 1873 Open 3
  • 1876
  • 1877
  • 1878
  • 1888 over 7
  • 1894 Doubled date
  • 1908S
  • 1909S

Flying Eagle Cents (1856-1858) – Keydates

  • 1856 – only about 1,500 are known

Large Cents (1793-1857) – Keydates

  • FLOWING HAIR, CHAIN TYPE REVERSE, 1793

All these are considered rare and valuable pennies:

  • FLOWING HAIR, WREATH TYPE REVERSE, 1793
  • 1793 Vine and bars edge
  • 1793 Lettered edge
  • 1794 Strawberry leaf: only 4 known to exist
  • LIBERTY CAP TYPE 1793-1796
  • 1793 Liberty Cap
  • 1794 with the “Head of 1793”
  • 1794 Stars on reverse



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