May 8th, 2013

Find shows importance of checking change

By MintState

As evidenced by one lucky customer out of California, it really does pay to sift through your pocket change for hidden gems.

According to the story posted by a Reddit user, a convenience store transaction took an interesting turn back in late April when the customer came across an unusual coin mixed in among his change. After purchasing a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store in Los Angeles, the customer discovered a coin he didn’t recognize and took to the internet for help in identifying the mysterious piece.

With help from fellow Reddit users, the lucky recipient learned that the clerk had doled out a 1900 Morgan Dollar as part of the exchange, leaving the customer on the plus side of that transaction (yes, even after figuring the price of a pack of smokes). Based on photos of the coin, it’s safe to say it falls somewhere within very fine to extra fine condition, giving the coin an approximate value of roughly $35 (though, as noted by at least one responder, dealers may try to lowball an offer based on the recent decline in silver prices).

While most of us could never hope to get as lucky as this individual – who decided to pass the Morgan Dollar on to his 13-year-old son, who has been collecting coins since he was just 8 years old (which, in my opinion, is by far the best part of this story) there is indeed a chance of finding treasures among the general circulating coins.

For starters, take a closer look at any Presidential Dollars you run into that are floating around. In 2009, the lettering along the edge of the coin was change – the motto “In God We Trust” was removed and transferred to the coin’s obverse – making any variations of the lettering on the edge rare and potentially worth upward of $3,000. Among other recent series, the Wisconsin extra-leaf errors made all the noise out of the State Quarters run, though variations of the Minnesota edition that contain superfluous trees have also attracted decent money on the market.

In addition, some other potential rarities to hunt for include the 1965 Silver Roosevelt Dime, as this was the year that the U.S. Mint intended to change the composition of the coin to a copper-nickel mix. Since a few of the dimes were minted on the silver planchets that were intended to be discontinued in 1964, those pieces have become a sought-after piece for collectors and can fetch prices reaching several hundred dollars or more.

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