Do You Have a Rare Coin? | Rocky Mountain Coin – Buy & Sell Gold & Silver Wisely in Denver, CO | Rocky Mountain Coin

How to Tell If You Have a Rare Coin

Whether you want to expand your coin collection or get started with the hobby, discovering rare coins is a valuable pastime in more ways than one. Rare coins aren’t only found in antique stores, pawnshops, and auctions. They may be hiding in your pocket change. 

How do you know if you have a rare coin? Read on for some important identification tips before you start sifting through your change. 

Sort Them Out

The very first step in identifying whether a rare coin is in your possession is to empty your pockets and start sorting. Putting nickels, pennies, dimes, and quarters in separate piles will not only keep things organized, but the more coins of one type your eye scans, the easier you’ll identify any abnormalities or unique features. 

Best to know

The worth of rare coins increases when the coin is in mint state condition. Cleaning coins will not bring back the mint state condition, only make them shiny, eliminates the mint luster (patina) and will actually decrease their value. Within the last 50 years, there are not many coins that are valuable based on mintage, because most circulating coins were produced in the 100’s of millions and even billions.  Among those however could be rare and valuable coins, because of some type of mistake in the minting process.  A good example would be the 1955 doubled die cent which in average circulated condition is worth about $1,000 to $2,000 and in uncirculated mint state full red condition. Rocky Mountain Coin would happily pay you $25,000 or more.

Look Them Over

Some rarities are tricky to spot right away.  Perform a cursory inspection to notice anything that seems off or special. Sometimes, rare coins are easy to recognize such as the 1955 doubled die cent. Others have rarities that require a closer inspection. During this basic examination, keep an eye out for anything that stands out on the front and back. Take a look at the portrait and global appearance, noting any cracks, anomalies, or missing details.

Perform an Inspection

In order to determine whether a coin is truly rare, take a magnifying glass or look closely at a few key details.

Consulting a Professional

Think you have a rare coin in your possession and want to find out more?  Before you take any coins that look like a mint error to a qualified dealer to inspect, do some homework, as dealers may charge you for their time and expertise.  Best source of free information would be the internet.  There are numerous modern U.S. error coins sold or offered on websites such as ebay and etsy. Use search engines, key word “Mint error coins” or purchase a reference book such as the Guidebook of U S. Coins, or for more detailed error coin descriptions, the Official Price Guide to Mint Errors, available on Amazon or at Rocky Mountain Coin

For a free opinion and inspection of your coin, or to expand your growing coin collection, contact Rocky Mountain Coin today. Our 45 years of business and  professional expertise can help you get started building a solid, valuable collection, or purchase any interesting rare coins you may have. Good Luck in your hunt!

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