Valuable finds remain in pocket change, awaiting discovery

Published : 08/08/12
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Often those in the hobby lament that there is nothing good left to find in pocket change.

They speak of the “good old days” when 90 percent pre-1965 silver U.S. dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars were plentiful; when Indian Head cents and Liberty Head 5-cent pieces were occasionally peppered in change.

Today one can find the occasional Lincoln, Wheat cent and potentially a 90 percent silver coin, but to those who take the time to educate themselves, the rewards can be even greater.

Last week, Coin World shared the story of a 1992-D Lincoln, Close AM cent that realized $20,700 at auction. This week we bring you the story of a 1992 Lincoln, Close AM cent that realized nearly $25,000 in another auction!

Now that’s real, life-changing money!

Perhaps most exciting is that these rare transitional varieties are out there for the taking, waiting for smart Coin World readers to find. Perhaps even better for hobbyists, unlike 90 percent silver coins or valuable date and Mint mark combinations, these varieties require some numismatic knowledge to discern (and you’re taking a step in the right direction by reading Coin World).

Granted: the chances of finding one of these extremely rare varieties is very small. Yet, Close and Wide AM Lincoln cent varieties exist for other years including 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. Coupled with classic doubled dies like 1995, 1984, 1983, 1972 and the infamous 1969-S, cents, one really has a reason to start taking a careful look at Lincoln cents.

Looking at piles of coins with the hope of finding something rare or unusual has long been a staple coin hobby activity. Searching is multi-generational, in that grandma and grandpa can do it with their grandkids; it’s low-investment, in that cost is incurred only when coins are saved. Really, the only investment is your time to learn what there is to find, and time to search through coins.

Occasionally we are able to share the story of a pocket-change find that brings big money. For example, in July, the only confirmed example of a 2007-D Sacagawea dollar with Presidential dollar edge lettering (instead of the intended plain edge) sold for more than $17,000. That coin was found in 2007 by a collector in his pocket change.

Each month Bill O’Rourke shares his pursuits in searching through coin rolls in his monthly column “Found in Rolls,” and collector finds frequently populate the pages of Coin World.

I invite you to share any exciting coin finds that you encounter when searching through pocket change. It just might show up in the pages of Coin World.


Steve Roach

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