Knowing the Rarest American Coins

Get to know the cream of the crop US coins that is under constant watch for their value.

The 1943 Copper Penny

During the Second World War, copper became a scarce resource. As a result, the US Mint produced Wartime Pennies that are made of an alloy of brass and steel. However, there were a few that have been stuck using the then-illegal copper alloy, bronze. If you find a 1943 penny made of a copper alloy, you’re in great luck. If you want to check, just see if the coin sticks to a magnet. If it doesn’t, it’s the real thing.

The 1776 Silver Continental Dollar

After the Declaration of Independence was signed, the newly-instituted United States Congress wanted to use currency in order to assert the newfound freedom. This 1776 continental dollar had a whimsical design that was usually traced to Benjamin Franklin. The coins were struck in Pewter and many of them are still around. However, the silver variety is extremely rare.

Coin of 1866

Owned by the DuPont family, this popular silver coin was taken in a heist in 1967. Just a few years ago, the coin was eventually retrieved. This coin had few denominations that did not bear the usual phrase, ‘In God We Trust’.

Any Coins from 1870

Actually, it’s about all 1870 coins that were made in San Francisco. At this time, the new mint in San Francisco was undergoing construction. A few new coins were made for San Francisco and they were meant to be buried in the new mint’s cornerstones. If you get your hands on of these, you’re in great luck.

The 1913 Liberty Head Nickel

This nickel has been the subject of many legends. It became valuable because although the coin was retired in 1912, there were still five nickels that were produced in 1913. These five fell into the hands of one man who drummed up interest for the coins. One of the coins was bought for a reported $3 million.

The 1974 Aluminum Penny

This Aluminum penny was sent as a sample to the US Mint. It was meant to be an alternative to copper. However, the coin was never produced and the few samples are now considered very valuable.

The 1861 Confederate States Half-Dollar

In the New Orleans Mint under the Confederate States, supplies of precious metals ran pretty low. In response to this, the Southern town opted for paper denominations. So it was a surprise when coins started popping up in private collections.

The Brasher Doubloon

In New York, a goldsmith by the name of Ephraim Basher got a contract to design and mint copper coins for the state. However, he switched the material for gold and he proceeded to make a few samples of the artistic gold coins. There are only 7 of these coins in existence today.

The 1804 Draped Bust Dollar

These silver dollars were pressed for the specific purpose of presenting them as gifts to foreign dignitaries. Only eight of these were ever made and they are valued at a million each.

The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

This Gold Double Eagle is the last of the gold coins ever made. Though never officially issued and was supposed to be melted, some of these coins survived and are now being hunted by the secret service. One coin was sold for $ 7.5 million.