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Need Cash? Your Old Coins Might Be Worth Something…

Apr 1, 2020

We all have that collection of miscellaneous coins lying around, or maybe you found a few during your quarantine induced Spring cleaning. Have you ever considered that included in the collection of quarters and pennies might be some valuable coins that can be traded in for some serious cash? Of course, you want to make sure that you get the best possible price for your coin collection and an accurate reading on what your old coins are worth. At Samuelson’s Buyers, we can help.

We have been buying and selling valuables for decades, which means not only do we know what the fair market value is, but we can offer better prices than any other coin buyer in the Washington, D.C. area. We can walk you through what makes some currency more valuable than others and help you decide what your next steps might be.

The first thing to remember is that coins are money – therefore, they were meant to be spent. As long as the coin is still in circulation and backed by the minting government, it can always be spent for its face value. Essentially, a penny is always worth a penny in terms of buying power.

In terms of value however, it could potentially be worth more, and that’s dependent on materials, wear and tear, historical significance, or rarity – such as an error or a misprint.

Materials:

Precious metals such as gold and silver have fluctuating markets, which can make coins minted from those materials worth more than their face value. For example, a 1oz. American Gold Eagle with a face value of $50 is worth more than $1500 currently (March 2020). Quarters minted prior to 1965 are 90% silver by weight, which can provide a few dollars return beyond its face value.

Rarity:

Some coins are worth more simply because there are fewer of them in existence. People often want something rare, which can increase the value of a coin. Currently, the top five rarest coins in the United States are:

  1. 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel – with only five of these believed to have ever been printed, they are exceedingly rare. They were part of a single collection for years until they were split up. Most recently, one sold in 2018 for $4.5 million. 
  2. 1870 S Liberty Seated Dollar – only around 15 of these coins are estimated to exist and this is one of the most famous and rarest of all U.S. coins – largely due to the fact that the U.S. Mint had no official record of ever producing these coins.
  3. 1927 D St Gaudens Double Eagle – soon after this coin was minted, President Roosevelt banned private ownership of gold. The vast majority of these coins were melted down, leaving the remaining few as rarities for collectors.
  4. 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar – The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. The coin was minted in 1794 and 1795; its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas. Not only is this an exceptionally rare coin to find, it is also a key part of American history.
  5. 1838 O Capped Bust Half Dollar – minted in New Orleans, only about a dozen were minted due to issues with the press. Not to mention, the mint itself was closed for months due to a yellow fever outbreak in New Orleans.

Errors or misprints:

There are a variety of ways in which a coin can be minted with errors or misprints, where coins are printed differently than intended by the mint: with clipped edges, overstruck dates, and quirky imperfections. As recently as 2005, Kansas State Quarters were printed with the motto “In God We Rust” (instead of “In God We Trust”) and can be worth up to $100 apiece.

Want to know more about what your old coins are worth? Schedule a phone consultation with a trusted coin buyer at Samuelson’s or mail them to us. We’ll evaluate your coins, answer your questions, and make you a fair offer.

 

 

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