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Coin Collecting

Things to Keep in Mind About Collecting Coins

If you are thinking about collecting coins to get some extra money, there are some things to keep in mind.

Before you start collecting coins, make sure that you do your research and educate yourself about the hobby.

First, education is everything. There is no way to understand what you’re getting if you don’t educate yourself. So, be sure that you go in ready and mindful before purchasing any coins. You might want to begin small and learn about the hobby before going into bigger deals. If you want to turn it into a side-hustle, it is crucial not to pay more for your coins than they are really worth.

It is even better if you can buy them for a bargain, below their true market value price. This is most likely to occur in places where folks are just trying to sell their old stuff. Think auctions, flea markets, estate sales, storage unit auctions, and garage sales.

Finally, remember that the most valuable coins are coins that aren’t just made of precious metals, but that are also historic, rare, and/or highly sought after by collectors.

One thing that many coin collectors do is focus on a specific niche. Usually, this niche is their favorite one and the one that holds their interest the most. This could be early American coins, foreign coins, coins with high silver content, coins from a specific period of history, or coins from lost civilizations.

As with any side hustle, it is vital to be at least somewhat interested in what you’re doing if you’re going to try to make money at it. You don’t have to be a “coin fanatic” to reap the benefits of coin collecting.  You have to be sure that you find it at least a little interesting.

As with any hobby-based side hustle, this is possibly not a good choice for you if you don’t at least like it and have fun doing it.


Yes, Coin Collecting Can Be Profitable

I recently found out that coin collecting can be profitable. Though, it takes some effort to get your hobby to that point.

Your coin collection may be of value.

There are a couple of factors that make coins valuable: material and rarity. Coins that are rare are worth more as historic/collector items. Coins that have significant amounts of precious metals will have a certain amount of value-based solely on what they are made of.

Of course, several coins will have both. They will not only have precious metals but also have historic significance and probably be rare finds too. There are coins so valuable that they are almost too pricey to purchase unless you want to spend lots of money on them.

Buying Coins

With that being said, you can stumble upon rare treasures and purchase them before someone realizes what they have. If you can find a rare-enough treasure, purchasing even a single coin can garner you some serious coins (ha-ha!) when you want to sell your collection.

Coins are one of the few hobbies that let you get a good return on your investment if you ever desire to sell them. This is particularly true if you pay attention to what the coins are worth when you purchase them, and you only spend money on good deals. Coins never lose value.

Also, the value of coins usually fluctuates a bit in the market. The market values of precious metals can go up and down along with the economy. Though over time, they typically increase in value, meaning that coins are also a hobby that usually is a solid investment.

If you stick to buying coins that contain precious metals (older coins), then you will always see their value rise over time. Some folks even go as far as to buy coins instead of stocks just because they usually have such real increases in value.

Can You Make Money Coin Collecting?

What do square folks do in their spare time? They collect coins! This was, maybe, a bad joke. But as it turns out, coin collecting might be more lucrative than you ever thought. Can you really make money collecting coins?

Truthfully, you just might be able to!

The Basics: What Is Coin Collecting?

Turn your coin collecting into cash far beyond their value.

Coin collecting is precisely what it sounds like. It is a hobby where you basically collect coins, sell them, trade them, keep them, etc.

And by coins, it doesn’t necessarily mean the coins used in everyday currency. Since everyday coins are so readily available, there is minimum value to be found in them outside of what they trade for at the store or bank.

So, when we talk about coin collecting, we’re really talking about collecting rare or collector’s coins. There are all sorts of different categories that folks focus on when collecting rare coins. Though, typically, folks focus on a particular niche since that is what they’re interested in. Here are a few examples of coin collection categories that folks specialize in:

  • Foreign coins
  • Historically significant coins
  • Collectible sets
  • Misprints
  • Old coins
  • Coins made from valuable substances (gold, silver, etc.)


Can you really make money collecting coins?

Many folks used to collect coins when they were younger. They actually had a chest of foreign coins and old American coins that they bought from many different places. They loved looking at them, sorting them, finding out how much they weighed, researching what they were made of, checking the timestamps, etc.

Unfortunately, the coins are put into a not-so-good container in the garage or basement and end up who knows where. That quickly brings an end to any aspirations to collect coins. This, linked with the fact that growing up reduces any interest in starting a coin collection, pretty much puts a brake on it.

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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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..


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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


All these are considered rare and valuable pennies:

  • 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