There’s gold in your pockets! Well, maybe not actual gold — but as good as, because appearances can be deceiving. What the face of a coin claims to be worth is not always the case. The problem is, you have to know what to look for. It takes a trained eye to see what makes a coin valuable, as opposed to just another thing weighing down your pants until you need to feed a parking meter.
There are more valuable coins out there in circulation than you would think, too. You might want to dig into your piggy bank as well as rifling through your pockets to see if you have any of these coins. It could be more than worth your while!
1. 1943 Penny
Minted during World War II, when copper and nickel were in short supply, the 1943 penny was instead supposed to be made from zinc-coated steel. Some copper pennies slipped through, but only about 40 copper pennies from 1943 are known to exist — if you find one, check it with a magnet. If the penny sticks to the magnet, it’s steel; if not, it’s copper.
A copper 1943 penny sold for $1 million in 2012.
2. 2004 Wisconsin Quarter
The Denver Mint — most likely a single employee — made a couple of variants of the 2004 run of Wisconsin quarters. Both of the variants involve an extra leaf on a corn stalk, so you’ll have to look closely. Some of the extra leaves are in a “high” position, while others are lower. They’re not worth a ridiculous amount of money, but collectors have been known to pay anywhere from $100 to a maximum of $1499.
3. 1995 Double-Die Penny
If you feel like you’re seeing double when you look at the heads side of a 1995 penny, it’s because it got the double-die treatment. They’re still in circulation, so keep an eye out, because they can fetch anywhere from $20 to about $50 depending on the condition — not bad for something most people wouldn’t even pick up off the street.
4. 2005 Kansas Quarter
Most likely caused by a lack of proper cleaning in the die, the 2005 Kansas State quarter features an unlikely error — the first “T” in “In God We Trust” is faint, so it appears to read “In God We Rust”. It’s not uncommon for grease in dies to cause faint strikes, but to cause it to spell out another word is such a cool coincidence that these quarters have been known to fetch $100.