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Most Valuable Regular U.S. Coin

Posted By Jim On 10/14/2009 @ 2:35 pm In Personal Finance | 171 Comments

Every time I get home, I pull out any change I have and throw it into a small container. As I was pulling out quarters to put in my car, I noticed a nickel that looked different from the one beside it. It was a 1941-P (it actually didn’t have a letter, which means it was minted in Philadelphia) and looked more gray than the 2001-P right next to it. Not being a numismatist, I searched online to see if there was anything special about it.

There wasn’t, it was just old and beat up. They wouldn’t be a little more special until mid-1942, until 1945) when “Wartime Nickels” were produced. Wartime nickels were made of 56% Copper, 35% Silver, and 9% Manganese rather than 75% Copper and 25% Nickel.

That led me to reading more about coins and learning about the most valuable regular U.S. coin. I wanted to find a coin you could conceivably have in your pocket or piggy bank and just not know. I wasn’t looking for the 1805 Silver Dollar, worth $10.1 million, or the 1933 Double Eagle, worth $8.5 million (more exceptionally valuable U.S. coins [3]). If you have one of those, you know it.

No, I wanted a regular coin.


Do you know what the most valuable U.S. coin is? If you guessed it’s the one pictured above, the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Cent, then you’d be right. It’s a penny minted in 1969 at San Francisco where the obverse, the side with Lincoln’s face, was doubled up. The blurriness of the obverse isn’t because the picture is blurry, it’s because it’s been doubled stamped.

The coin is worth $86,250 according to this auction [4], which ended earlier this year.

Do you have one of these?


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[3] valuable U.S. coins: http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/22/valuable-american-coins-lifestyle-collecting-valuable-coins.html

[4] auction: http://coins.ha.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=1126&Lot_No=333&type=&ic=

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