Few people get rich selling coins. While some coins sell for millions of dollars, not too many of them were found in pocket change. The most valuable coins tend to be those purchased as investments and carefully stored to keep them in pristine condition. In fact, many coins are produced with no intention of them being used as currency but as collectibles, sometimes in themed sets.
However, there are exceptions. Under special circumstances, circulated coins can be valuable. This happens when a minting error is discovered after a coin’s release or when an already low mintage coin is hoarded by collectors. Auction records are almost always held by uncirculated coins, but when it comes to rare coins, lower grade coins are also worth many times more than face value.
These rare coins from around the world, all minted since 1995, are worth checking in your pocket change. Because they are worth some serious coin.
2007 Australian Double Obverse 5 Cent
Sold on eBay: $46
Bottom Line: 2007 Australian Double Obverse 5 Cent
This coin is the result of the pairing of two 2007 obverse dies rather than an obverse and a reverse.
It is uncertain how many of these coins were minted, but it is believed it may be up to several thousand.
2004 Finland 2 Euro
Sold on eBay: $79.99
Bottom Line: 2004 Finland 2 Euro
This coin commemorated the expansion of the European Union in 2004. Finland was the only country to produce a coin for this occasion. Almost a million were minted in June and July of 2004.
Sold on eBay: $79.99
2010 Australian Upset 50 Cent
Sold on eBay: $0.99
Bottom Line: 2010 Australian Upset 50 Cent
The obverse and reverse dies of this coin are offset by 30 degrees.
While the cause is uncertain, it is believed that the error was limited and that only 200,000 or fewer of this coin exist.
2008 U.K. Undated 20p Coin
Sold on eBay: £85.00
Bottom Line: 2008 U.K. Undated 20p Coin
A design change in the U.K. 20p coin moved the date from the reverse to the obverse.
However, mint workers accidentally used a 2008 reverse die and an old 2007 obverse die to produce between 50,000 and 200,000 coins.
As a result, the new coin has no date.
2005-D U.S. Jefferson Bison Nickel
Sold at auction: $1,265
Bottom Line: 2005-D U.S. Jefferson Bison Nickel
A large die gouge produced coins with a mark along the bison’s back, which came to be known as a “Speared Bison.”
Mint state nickels from 2005 are rare. This is partially due to the coin planchets used that often contained large die gouges, nicks and scratches.
Other coins have uneven color or luster, perhaps due to an incorrect mix of metal alloys.
1999 U.S. Wide “AM” Reverse Lincoln Penny
Sold at auction: $2,300
Bottom Line: 1999 U.S. Wide “AM” Reverse Lincoln Penny
A calibration error in a minting machine produced a larger-than-usual space between the A and the M in AMERICA on the reverse of the coin.
A similar error occurred in 1998 and 2000, but the 1999 is the rarest of the three.
There are at least 1,000 of these coins known to exist, and while those still in circulation will not fetch prices in the thousands, they are still worth considerably more than one cent.