Everyone has dreams of retiring early, spending time with family, or just grabbing a cocktail and sitting on the beach of some far-off island. In most cases, a lifetime of work and savings is the only way to make this happen. But in other instances, people just get lucky: like the family that found $1 million sitting in the middle of the road or the person who bought a $3 bowl at a yard sale that ended up being a $2.2 million Song dynasty relic.
While we can’t all be that lucky, you may have a backup plan you didn’t even know about: your change bowl. If you have some extra time or you’re just curious if you’re sitting on a fortune, check your change jar for these valuable coins.
2004 Wisconsin “Double Leaf” Quarter
In 2004, the U.S. Mint minted a number of Wisconsin state quarters with a second leaf inadvertently placed on the husk of corn. While experts, workers, and government officials claim to have no idea how the mistake was made, many point to a disgruntled worker. If you can find one of these, they can fetch as much as $1,000 at auction, so keep your peepers out for multiple leaves.
The “In God We Rust” Quarter
No, “In God We Rust” isn’t a dig at Kansas. It just happens to be the phrase that adorns misprinted 2005 Kansas quarters. The reason behind the error is that the die was filled with grease, causing the “T” in trust to appear hidden. Though the mint caught the error early on, this quarter is still quite common, as it takes a keen eye and blends in with your pocket change. But if you have one of these, you could be holding as much as $100.
1943 Lincoln Head Copper Penny
During the WWII war effort, the U.S. government decided to stop making companies out of copper, instead switching to a steel penny with a zinc coating. However, one batch of copper pennies still slipped through, although few actually made their way into circulation. As a result, a 1943 penny that’s made of copper is worth its weight in gold, with some going for as much as $10,000 based on the condition.
Benjamin Franklin Half Dollar
Minted from 1948 to 1963, the Benjamin Franklin half dollar is worth surprisingly more than 50 cents if you can find one in decent condition. Since most of these were taken out of circulation and replaced with the JFK half dollar, these coins can fetch a pretty penny. Some have gone for as much as $150 while worn ones will still get you about $10 from a beginner collector.
Maybe you won’t find one of these coins in your change jar, but don’t ignore coins as a great way to add value to your portfolio. Just make sure that when it comes time to sell you schedule a private appointment with us at London Coin Galleries of Newport Beach. It’s important to partner with a reputable coin dealer that understands numismatic value and can give you the best value for your coins.