Editors Note: We have re-posted this Modern Coins article for those that may have missed it the first go around. Enjoy!
By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek …..
We’ve put together a list of five great modern coins that you should be looking for right now. None of them will break the bank, and finding them may be richly rewarding!
1968 Proof Quarters with Deep Cameo
Proof sets returned in 1968 after a three-year hiatus. The United States Mint had upped the price from $2.10 to $5.00 despite the fact that the coins themselves were intrinsically less valuable (even the last silver piece – the Kennedy half dollar – was only 40% silver). What had changed in five years was the Mint’s investment in better packaging materials. Swapping the brown envelope and thin plastic wrapper for an attractive, hard plastic display case meant that newer proof sets would preserve better going forward. That was the plan, anyway. The reality of the situation was somewhat more complicated. The hard plastic cases were not airtight, making the coins of this era even more susceptible to oxidation, hazing, and toning than the pre-’64 proofs.
There was also an effort to produce more cameo coinage in the reintroduced sets, with the emphasis on the silver-clad Kennedy half. You can find other modern coins in the set with frosty white cameo devices, but they are less common. This is especially true concerning the 1968 Proof quarter.
PCGS has graded fewer than 200 1968 quarters designated Deep Cameo, and of that total, fewer than 25 graded PR69DCAM. These modern coins typically sell for upwards of $2,300 dollars at auction. This may come as a surprise to those who think every modern proof is issued a PR69DCAM label when submitted to a third party grading company, but it’s indicative of a transitional phase of proof production that encouraged the Mint to experiment in order to keep up with customer demand and deliver a world-class product.
1968-S quarters sell in the $100-200 range in PR68DCAM and is a $50-$100 coin in PR67DCAM. No matter how you look it, this is a modern coin that outperforms the run-of-the-mill 1968 proof set and with the cost of acquisition so low (1968 proof sets sell for the silver cost of the half dollar), it pays to take a look.
Varieties to Consider: The 1968 proof set is chock-full of varieties, due perhaps to the Mint trying to keep up with the three million plus orders they had for the set. Look for DDOs, DDRs, and even an RPM.
Full Step Jefferson Nickels: 1965-70
The Jefferson nickel set is the ultimate beginner’s set, you say? Well, sure – if you aren’t too concerned about strike or bag marks. The Jefferson nickel has delighted and frustrated series specialists for years, especially because finding Full Step examples dated 1965-1970 is so damned hard.
Even in Choice BU, a 1965 Full Step Jefferson (non-SMS) will set you back five thousand dollars.Ditto for the 1968-D. The relatively “easy” 1968-S and 1970-S still fetch hundreds of dollars at MS-63 and MS-64. In Gem, you’re looking at four figures. All told, the major third party grading companies have seen fewer than 200 Full Step Jefferson nickels from this six-year period.
There are some problems common to the series from this time. A lack of eye appeal, poor luster, and mushy strikes are to be expected. Also, what defines a Full Step Jefferson varies from year to year and mint to mint. Some can be found with six steps and some with five. It’s enough to drive you crazy.
But that’s not the end of it. Excessive contact marks also keep most of the five-cent modern coins struck for circulation from achieving high grades. More than most coins, the Jefferson nickel’s design has a knack for bringing out scuffs and scrapes. Since Jefferson’s bust dominates the obverse, practically every hit is in a focal area. On the reverse, a misplaced ding will dash any hopes of pulling out that valuable, needle-in-a-haystack Full Step coin.
Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Even with all of this working against you, Full Step Jeffersons are out there. You just have to look and keep looking. These common-date modern coins carry no numismatic premium unless they come certified, so getting rolls and rolls of them raw is no big investment. If you’re anything like us, the thought of spending a cold winter day sitting at a grading lamp counting steps can be awfully compelling. Who knows? You might find that truly exceptional nickel.
Must-Buy Book: Bernard Nagengast is our kind of numismatist. His book The Jefferson Nickel Analyst (2nd ed., 2002) is the alpha and omega on the probability of finding these elusive coins. Even if you aren’t ready to dedicate years of your life looking for five- and six-step Jefferson nickels, but want to make a serious go at virtually any other modern series, you can learn a lot from Nagengast’s approach. We can’t recommend it enough.
1977-S Doubled Die Eisenhower Dollar Proof
Disclosure Time: Charles is an active member of the Ike Group.
Here’s your chance to get in on the ground level of an exciting variety that is unpublished and unsearched. Ike Group member Andy Oskam reported this newly-discovered doubled die obverse Ike dollar after a dealer showed him one at the 2012 Whitman Expo in Baltimore.According to Andy, the coin “has doubling in the IN GOD WE TRUST MOTTO, which appears as very nice north-south doubling with left-side letters of the motto being the clearest.”
The doubling is so dramatic that it’s practically naked-eye visible. How it eluded collectors and variety hunters for all these years is anybody’s guess. What we do know is that the doubling is so significant that it makes every Ike doubled die currently listed in the Cherrypicker’s Guide look nondescript, and given the fact that we currently know of only ONE example, finding another one at your local coin shop could prove to be lucrative indeed!
The Ike Group is trying to get its hands on the discovery piece in order to catalogue it and include it in their upcoming Eisenhower dollar series guide. As more examples turn up, it’s only a matter of time before the 1977-S DDO Ike Proof becomes a required coin for the Complete Variety Ike Registry Set. If that happens, you won’t be the only person searching for it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
About the 1977-S Proof: The 1977-S Proof is found in 1977 proof sets. Although the market is saturated with tens of thousands of pretenders, really thick, frosty cameo Ike proofs from 1977 are worth holding onto if you are willing to take a long view. In 1978, the Mint changed its proof coining process, allowing for consistently-rich cameo contrasts, but Ikes from 1971-1977 are hit or miss, no matter what the TPG holder says.
1981-S Business Strike Susan B. Anthony Dollar in High Grades
Forget all the nonsense about the Susan B. Anthony Wide Rim variety and the 1979 and 1981 Type 2 Proofs. Sophisticated collectors of the series know that in terms of sheer difficulty, the 1981-S business strike is the toughest coin to find nice.
The coin was produced solely for mint sets and shipped from San Francisco to Denver for packaging. The jaunt didn’t suit the coins well at all, as most BU 1981-S SBA’s grade out at MS-64 or lower. Still, with some diligence, MS-65 examples are not elusive. Finding one will net you $25-$30 dollars in today’s market. Pull a MS-66 and you’ll do even better, with examples trading at $500-$600.
Find a second MS-67 and the sky’s the limit: The only one yet graded by PCGS has a long pedigree of Anglemier, Golan, Murphy, and now resides in the number one 1981 Mint Set Registry Set belonging to PCGS member haletj. It’s not a strong 67 to our eyes, which means a stronger 67 could command $10,000 or more if offered to the right buyer.
1981 would have been the end for the series, had a sudden and unexpected shortage of the coin in the Treasury’s reserves not taken place in 1999, a year before the launch of the Sacagawea golden dollar. Interest in the modern coins series is only slightly better today than it was during its initial production run. Nevertheless, a market is growing for MS-66 and better specimens from all dates and mint marks. The hobby-at-large may not know it yet, but series like these are key to the future growth of the hobby. Great coins are still available for a small premium over face value now, but probably won’t be once all of the mint sets are picked over. You know what they say about those who wait too long?
With a distribution of over three million sets, nobody is going to confuse the 1981 Susan B. Anthony dollar for a key date. Sure, there are those who like to point at mintages and suggest that this makes the coin rarer. That’s plain dealerspeak for I’d like to make a couple extra bucks on folks that don’t know better. If you’d actually like to see the 1981 Susan B. Anthony dollar become scarce, spend the ones that don’t look up to snuff. That’ll help thin the herd, draw new collectors into the hobby, and might even help your bottom line down the road.
2008 Silver Eagle – Reverse of 2007 Variety
The American Silver Eagle is a popular coin both inside and outside of the hobby. This is both good news and bad news for this variety (perhaps more correctly referred to as a transitional error). The good news is that most non-traditional coin dealers (read: bullion stores) and collectors who have the coins are unlikely to know about the well-publicized variety. The bad news is that a fair number of the estimated 45,000 or so 2008 Silver Eagles struck with the 2007 reverse are likely out of the hands of the coin hobby and held by bullion investors.
At this point, approximately 6,000 of the modern coins have been attributed, leaving a majority of them in the wild… to be discovered by you.
There are several naked-eye pick-up points to help you differentiate the 2007 reverse from the 2008. Many guides point to the different U’s in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. On the 2007, the U has serifs at the top, while the 2008 forgoes the serif look in exchange for a U drawn with a trunk on the right side. And this isn’t the only change in the lettering, as the coin underwent a complete typographical overhaul. The 2007 also features prominent serifs on the foot of the 1 in 1 OZ. The 2008 version lacks this feature.
The 2007 has more spread among the stars above the heraldic eagle. On the 2008, the rows of stars practically touch one another because the stars are slightly larger. Lastly, the tilde between the words SILVER and ONE (at about six o’clock on the reverse) has sharp angles on the 2007 and is rounded and wavy on the 2008. It is also slightly longer on the 2007.
Right now, this variety sells for $300-$500 apiece in MS-69, the typical grade for circulation strike bullion coins. In MS-70, you may get a price approaching $1,000, but the odds of getting this kind of price is fading as populations grow to the expected ratio of one MS-70 for every 10 MS-69. If you are fortunate enough to find one and make MS-70, we’d advise to sell while you still can.
Also, attractive toners in this variety will likely command premiums well beyond recent auction results.
A Quick Note: If you like American Silver Eagles, or bullion coins in general, be sure to check out John Mercanti’s new book from Whitman American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program (2012). Our review is posted here. Charles briefly visited with Mr. Mercanti at the recent Whitman Expo and was pleased to get his copy personalized and signed.
* * *
Nagengast, Bernard A. The Jefferson Nickel Analyst – 2nd Edition. E & K Cointainer Co., 2002. Print.
Fivaz, Bill and J. T. Stanton. Cherrypicker’s Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins (Vol. II). Ed. Ken Potter. Atlanta: Whitman Publishing, LLC., 2011. Print.
Yeoman, R. S. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2013. Ed. Kenneth Bressett. Atlanta: Whitman Publishing, LLC., 2012. Print.
FLIP OF A COIN:
The Grey Lady: Nowadays, we have a fairly set idea of the role of the first lady. It wasn’t always so. Take, for example, First Lady Anna Harrison. Mrs. Harrison was the oldest first lady in U.S. History, and due to illness she never moved to Washington with her ill-fated husband, President William Henry Harrison. Her widowed daughter-in-law Jane served as first lady instead. Anna Harrison was one of five first ladies featured in 2009’s First Spouse $10 Gold Bullion Program.
Six: The number of people whose quotations appear on the reverses of U.S. Commemoratives: Emma Lazarus (1986 Statue of Liberty dollar), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1991-1995 World War II dollar), James Madison (1993 Bill of Rights $5), Joshua Chamberlain (1995 Civil War dollar), Eugene Kennedy Shriver (1995 Special Olympics dollar), Abraham Lincoln (2009 Abraham Lincoln dollar). Personally, we think blocks of text work better on medals than on coins, per se, but it’s one of the identifying trends of the modern series.
Now I Want Ice Cream: In the 1830s, a Kentucky farmer named Josiah Sprinkle minted his own silver dollars and put them into circulation. Local businesses seem to have had no problem accepting them, because, like so many other DIY denominations in American history, they contained a full dollar’s worth (or more) of silver! The government eventually brought Mr. Sprinkle into court for passing counterfeit money, but a local judge and jury acquitted him on all counts. Unfortunately, no known “Sprinkle” dollars exist. You can read all about it in the 2012 edition of Pete Smith’s excellent American Numismatic Biographies.
The top 10 most expensive coins are in this article, including the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, Brasher Doubloon, Edward III Florin, Umayyad Gold Dinar, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, 1943 Liberty Head V Nickel, 1894-S Barber Dime, Lincoln Head Copper Penny, and 1893 Morgan Silver Dollar.Are there any rare modern coins? ›
Examples of modern rare coins worth collecting and investing in are the 2014-W "Baseball Hall of Fame" $5 Gold Nolan Ryan Signature 2-coin set Proof and MS70 NGC Early Release, the 2014 Silver "Baseball Hall of Fame" 50-cent MS-70 NGC Early Release and the 1999-W $10 American Gold Eagle "Error" MS-69 PCGS.Which coins will reach $1? ›
- RenQ Finance (RENQ) – The Hottest DeFi Token, Currently in Presale Providing All In One DeFi Platform.
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OXT powers the platform and is one of the best cryptos with the most potential in 2023. To operate nodes, users need to stake OXT via an Ethereum smart contract. This peer-to-peer tool creates a bandwidth decentralized market through a reliable central authority.What is the rarest quarter? ›
The uncirculated grade 1950-D Washington quarter coin has a high value because of its rarity. These coins integrate a mint mark error of the letter 'D' appearing over 'S .' These rare gems' average value is $68, whereas best-mint state coins are worth $29,375.What year pennies are worth keeping? ›
According to Cointrackers.com, certain pennies that were minted in 1943 and 1944 top the list of the 25 most valuable pennies for coin collectors in 2023. The 1944 steel wheat penny could be worth as much as $408,000 in mint condition, and up to $10,000 in average condition, the site said.Are buffalo nickels worth anything? ›
Buffalo nickel values range from just a few cents for common dates in well-circulated grades to thousands of dollars for key dates in pristine uncirculated condition.What year dimes are most valuable? ›
|Most Valuable Dimes||Record Sales Price|
|1796 Liberty Dime||$881,250|
|1873-CC No Arrows Dime||$632,500|
|1873-CC Dime With Arrows||$552,000|
|1975 No S Roosevelt Dime||$456,000|
The majority of dimes minted after 1964 are worth only their face value. However, there is an exception to some of them, such as error coins, which could fetch a lot. Such scarcer coins include the 1949, 1949-D, and 1949-S worth $5 and up. Well-circulated Roosevelt before 1965 could bring between $1.25 and $2.Are wheat pennies worth money? ›
“There are millions and millions of wheat pennies and most commonly they trade for three-to-five cents a piece. If you're looking for a particular date, it can be much, much more than that. The rarest is the 1909 VDB. Those can be worth anywhere from $700 to $1,500 depending on the coin's grade.
|Valuable Coins list 2023|
|U.S. Rare coin||Worth|
|1. $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle 1933 “King Farouk of Egypt”||$18,872,250|
|2. Brasher doubloon, initials on the chest 1787 “Ex Bushnell-Garret Collection”||$9,360,000|
|3. Dollar Bust Drapped 1804 “Walter H. Childs”||$7,680,000|
Some examples of pennies worth $1,000 or more include the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent, the 1909-S Indian Cent, the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent and the 1914-D Lincoln Cent. The better the quality of the coin, the more it could be worth.What coins have 100x potential? ›
Undervalued Cryptocurrency Altcoins With 100x Potential: DigiToads, Polygon, And Dogecoin. Here are three undervalued altcoins with 100x potential that you should consider investing in DigiToads, Polygon, and Dogecoin. Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular in recent years as a new form of investment.What coins will explode in 2023? ›
Pikamoon (PIKA) – A play-to-earn Pokemon-inspired blockchain project. The 10,000+ whitelist signups and over 15,000 social media followers indicate it will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to explode in 2023.Which coin is going to pump? ›
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Overall, Ethereum's positioning as the blockchain at the forefront of Web3 development, and the significant demand for its network from thousands of crypto projects, makes it among the most promising cryptos that could 10X by 2025.Which coin will grow in future? ›
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And while it's no surprise that many 200-year-old coins are worth more than the standard value, it turns out that a 1970 quarter could be worth far more than 25 cents! How much more? Well, a quarter listed on eBay recently sold for a whopping $35,000.Which quarter is worth $200? ›
Have you ever heard of rare error quarters? These rare coins can be worth a lot of money. For example, last year the U.S. Sun reported that a rare 2000 George Washington quarter sold for more than $200. This quarter was part of the Washington State quarters series, which ran from 1999 to 2008.
Why are silver 1965 quarters so rare? Silver 1965 quarters are special because they're transitional error coins. In 1964, quarters were still struck with a 90% silver planchet. In 1965, quarter production changed to a clad composition planchet made of copper and nickel.Why is the 1999 penny worth so much? ›
It's from 1999 and could be worth $4,500 thanks to a little-known error on it. What you want to look for is a 1999 penny with no mint mark, which means no letter under the year on the heads side.Why is a 1964 D penny worth so much? ›
What Makes a 1964 D Penny Rare? A 1964 D penny is considered rare for a few reasons. First, only about 1% of all pennies minted in 1964 were of the D-mint variety. Second, the Denver Mint, where the D pennies were made, had a higher-than-average number of coins rejected due to quality control issues.What is the rarest wheat penny? ›
1943-D Bronze Cent
The most valuable wheat penny is the 1943-D struck on bronze at the Denver Mint.
1955 Nickels Are Worth More Than Face Value (As Much As $10,000)... Here's What To Look For! Rare coins worth money, Rare coins, Coin values.How many 3 legged Buffalo nickels are there? ›
Greysheet Catalog Details
While there are no known mintage figures for the 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo nickel, numismatic experts believe approximately 10,000 survive, with the vast majority of these extant in circulated grades.
|1861 Indian Head Penny||$25||$110|
|1862 Indian Head Penny||$10||$50|
|1863 Indian Head Penny||$10||$50|
|1864 Indian Head Penny||$20||$100|
According to the NGC Price Guide, as of June 2023, a Susan B Anthony Coin from 1979 in circulated condition is worth between $1.05 and $1.35. However, on the open market 1979 D Silver Dollars in pristine, uncirculated condition sell for as much as $1950.What makes the 1776-1976 quarter so valuable? ›
The proof of the 1776-1976 quarter penny from the San Francisco mint comprised a total of 40% silver instead of the regular copper and nickel combination. And this is what made it so valuable for the collectors.Are any state quarters worth keeping? ›
Those that are in mint condition and marked with a D or P (meaning they were produced in Denver or Philadelphia) could be worth as much as $3.50 if they have a certain state design, according to Coin Trackers. Ohio quarters marked with an S (produced in San Francisco) can carry the highest value at $15.
The Roosevelt dimes minted before the Coin Act have premium silver content and can be worth much more than their face value. They are characterized by the image of President Roosevelt, as their name implies. They are pretty common; hence the only valuable ones from that period are those that are worn.What is the most sought after dime? ›
1803 MS 64 Draped bust dime
In 1803, the Philadelphia came with a mintage of 33,040 dimes, but only rare pieces survive in such a high grade 200 years after minting. This finest known 1803 Draped bust dime won the auction record in 2008 after one collector bought it for an astonishing $322,000.
Dimes were produced only in Philadelphia during this year. At the time, coins produced in this mint did not contain a mint mark, so you will not find one on your dimes from 1965.What rare dime is worth $2000? ›
Should no letter be present, you may be in luck. Because of this error, this particular 1982 “No P” dime is considered rare and could be worth up to $2,000 (or even more).What years are junk silver dimes? ›
U.S. 90% (or "junk") silver coins are dimes, quarters, or half dollars minted in 1964 and earlier, when U.S. coinage was still made of real silver (90% silver, 10% copper).What is the most valuable modern dimes? ›
Roosevelt Dimes, missing the S-mint mark in 1975, 1968, 1983, and 1970, is considered the most valuable. Other years for Roosevelt Dimes include most of the years from the 1950s, including 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, and 1956.What are the 25 most valuable pennies? ›
- 1944 Steel Wheat Penny - $408,000.
- 1943 Copper Wheat Penny - $250,000.
- 1856 Flying Eagle Penny - $25,000.
- 1924 S Wheat Penny - $12,000.
- 1873 Indian Head Penny - $10,000.
- 1858 Eagle Penny - $10,000.
- 1857 Flying Eagle Penny - $7,000.
- 1922 D Wheat Penny - $6,000.
Since 1909, the penny had been made with 95% copper. But because copper was getting more expensive in the 80s, they decided to make the penny with copper-plated zinc instead (97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper). Because of this decision, some of the pennies in 1982 were made of bronze, while others were made of zinc.What makes a 1983 D penny rare? ›
The U.S. made about 7.7 billion pennies in 1983, but only about 5,000 of them are known to have been made with this doubling error, James McCartney, director of numismatics at Stack's Bowers Galleries, tells CNBC Make It. The rarity of these misprinted pennies are what make them more valuable than ordinary pennies.What is a 2000 P Cheerios coin? ›
A Cheerios Dollar is a Sacagawea Dollar bearing the date 2000 that was inserted into boxes of Cheerios cereal in early 2000 as part of a U.S. Mint promotion to raise awareness about the new "Golden Dollar." There were 10 million boxes of Cheerios in the promotion, all of which included a newly-struck 2000 Lincoln Cent.
However, the 1959-D Mule Error Coin was the only coin with wheat stalks on the reverse produced in 1959. These made it the most valuable and rare 1959 error penny worth $50,000.What pennies from the 1970s are worth money? ›
|Most Valuable 1970s Pennies||Record Sales Prices|
|1970-S Small Date||$18,400|
|1971-S Deep Cameo Proof||$17,250|
|1974-S Reverse Brockage of 1973-S||$11,400|
|1971-S Doubled Die Obverse||$10,350|
|1960 P Small Date||---||$3-$7|
|1960 P Large Date||---||$.20-$.30|
|1960 D Small Date||---||$.20-$.30|
|1960 D small D over large D||---||$200-$500|
What is the most profitable crypto to buy? Empirically, Bitcoin has been one of the highest-performing assets and a top choice for investors trading cryptocurrency for profit. BTC has been one of the highest-profit cryptocurrencies, from a few cents to its record high of $68,000 in November 2021.What coin is worth $1000000? ›
1803 Draped Bust Silver Dollar - This is one of the rarest and most valuable coins, and only four of them are known to exist. Each of these coins are worth around $1 million if they are in good condition.What state quarters are most valuable? ›
Ohio quarters marked with an S (produced in San Francisco) can carry the highest value at $15. Of the less-minted states listed above, only a few are listed among the most valuable. A mint-condition Oklahoma or New Mexico quarter marked with an S could be worth up to $10.What are the best crypto coins to hold forever? ›
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Pikamoon (PIKA) – A play-to-earn Pokemon-inspired blockchain project. The 10,000+ whitelist signups and over 15,000 social media followers indicate it will be one of the next cryptocurrencies to explode in 2023.What makes a 1964 penny rare? ›
A 1964 D penny is considered rare for a few reasons. First, only about 1% of all pennies minted in 1964 were of the D-mint variety. Second, the Denver Mint, where the D pennies were made, had a higher-than-average number of coins rejected due to quality control issues.
A 1958 Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent sold in a GreatCollections auction has become the first Lincoln cent and first non-gold 20th century coin to sell for more than a million dollars. Still don't understand why that would make it super-valuable?Is a 1943 wheat penny worth any money? ›
Based upon the current NGC price guide, a 1943 wheat penny in a circulated condition ranges in value from $0.05 to $1.25. A mint state-certified steel wheat penny could fetch perhaps $10 or more at auction.What is the next big crypto? ›
In that case, you can redeem yourself by checking out these nine next big cryptos, including AiDoge, RobotEra, yPredict.ai, EcoTerra, DeeLance, Love Hate Inu and more, that should be on your investment radar in 2023.What are the 2 top cryptocurrencies to buy and hold forever? ›
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