There are coin collectors all over the world and they are always on the lookout for a good score. Luckily, many of those ‘good scores’ can be found right in your pocket change!
Over the years, working in retail, I myself have found some valuable coins in my pocket change. From early silver dimes and quarters to a few semi-rare wheat pennies!
You will be amazed at what you may find if you take a few minutes and sort through your change jar!
Here are top coins to keep an eye out for.
1. Old Lincoln Wheat Pennies
Lincoln wheat pennies, which were made from 1909 through 1958, can still be found in circulation, though they are becoming scarcer and scarcer in pocket change with each passing day.
Your best bet in finding these old wheat pennies is to check rolls of pennies.
Common wheat pennies are worth roughly 3 to 10 cents each. However, there are some that are far more valuable. They are called ‘Key Dates’.
- 1909-S ($100 and up)
- 1909-S VDB ($750 and up)
- 1914-D ($200 and up)
- 1922 plain cent ($650 and up)
- 1931-S ($100 and up)
- 1943 bronze ($100,000 and up)
- 1955 doubled die ($1,000 and up)
2. Pre-1982 Lincoln Memorial Copper Pennies
All regular-issue pennies made before 1982, except for 1943 steel penny, were made from a primarily copper composition.
Most pennies made after 1982, were made from zinc.
Copper is a valuable metal and that means pre-1982 pennies are worth slightly more than face value. In fact, all 1959 to 1981 pennies are worth at least 3 cents, even the worn ones.
Sadly, it is illegal to melt them down for copper value.
3. Buffalo Nickels
You can still find Buffalo Nickels in your change. It is obviously getting less common to do so, but it is possible. In the 1980’s, you could often find a Buffalo kicking around in your pocket.
Some estimate that a Buffalo Nickel shows up in pocket change roughly one in 25,000 nickels.
Dateless Buffalo nickels — the kind you’ll most likely find in pocket change — are worth around 50 cents to $1 each.
Any Buffalo nickels with dates are worth a minimum of $1 to $2.
The 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickel is one of the most sought after coins. Depending on condition, this coin can snatch you a coo $1,000 all the way up to $100,000.