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Everything you need to know about Antique United State Coins

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Monedas antiguas de Estados Unidos

There can be as many coin collections as there are countries. But without a doubt, achieving a collection of ancient coins of the United States is the dream of the vast majority of numismatic lovers.

In fact, one of the principles of this discipline is the collection of coins already out of circulation, and most of the ancient coins, in fact, are out of circulation!

Each coin collection consists of series, which usually have an organizational criterion. This criterion can vary according to the collector’s taste. There are collectors who prefer to organize the coins according to the country of origin.

Others usually classify them according to type, age or series.

There are many other organizational criteria, such as, for example, dates or historical periods, thus reconstructing important events.

When intending to start or value a collection of ancient coins it is important to consider the material of manufacture, and of course the mint date.

A antique United States coin collection can be organized by denomination type, by series, commemorative, or by mint date. But without a doubt, whatever the chosen criteria, it really is one of the most interesting collections for passionate collectors.

A little history of the ancient coins of the United States

Compared to the old European coins, the ancient coins of the United States have a recent history, counting less than 230 years since they were created. However, they are considered ancient coins, as they were minted more than one hundred years ago.

At the time of British colonization, prior to U.S. independence, the coins in circulation were European coins, primarily English, Spanish and French.

The origins of the American currency, begin at the end of the 18th century, when the United States adopted a decimal monetary system, for the first time in the world. And it is that when a nation, North America, re-emerges, a new currency is born as a consequence, some time after its independence.

First U.S. Mint. Source:
First U.S. Mint. Source:

The dollar was established as the primary unit of currency when the Currency Act was passed in 1792. The first U.S. coins were minted at the Philadelphia mint. Since its beginnings, the United States coinage has had some modifications in its configuration; and the transformation of a country is also seen in the designs of its coins.

Why are old U.S. coins so sought after by collectors?

The dollar, as the official currency of the United States, represents one of the most important economic sagas of the modern world. That is, it is the currency that controls the planet’s economy. And this dollar hegemony, may be one reason why older U.S. currencies may have the highest market values.

On the other hand, Americans tend to be traditionalists and collecting is somewhat culturally rooted, especially coin collecting. Therefore, having a collection of old United States coins is like having a historical, artistic and cultural legacy of the country.

Behind each piece, there is a story that was coined in the different parts of a coin and is worth discovering. Like any explorer, the collector of ancient coins, searches the coins, for traces and traces of the past. Each American coin reveals a piece of history that goes hand in hand with the birth of the United States as an independent nation.

What are the most searched currencies in the United States

Before starting a collection of old United States coins, it is necessary to know the date of issue or mintage. As well as the quality with which they are preserved. These two aspects are fundamental when establishing their price, but also their historical and cultural value.

The list of antique North American coins is quite extensive. Some of the most interesting U.S. coins, as well as certain characteristics and approximate costs, are mentioned below.

Penny Coins (Penny)

The first 1 cent coins were made of copper until 1857. Subsequently, a variety of materials began to be used. Nowadays, they are usually made of zinc and their weight is usually 2.5 gr. The 1 cent coins from 1793 that are preserved in good condition are usually valued at thousands of dollars. They have even been quoted as high as millions of dollars.

Among the old United States coins,of one penny on the dollar with the highest quotation are as follows:

πŸ’° Indian Head Penny (1873)

Indian Head Penny 1873
Indian Head Penny 1873

These coins usually cost about  $20 , but in optimum condition they can go for around  $10,000 .

πŸ’° Indian Head Penny (1877)

1877 Indian Head Cent Penny Value
1877 Indian Head Cent Penny Value

In 1877 less than one million coins of this category were minted, therefore its price may be around  $3,200 .

πŸ’° Wheat Penny D (1914)

Wheat Penny D (1914)
Wheat Penny D (1914)

It was minted in Denver and can be worth as much as  $5,500 .

πŸ’° Wheat Penny D (1922)

1922 D Lincoln Wheat Cent
1922 D Lincoln Wheat Cent

There are two versions; in one of which the D, or mintmark, was not minted and its value can reach around  $33,000 .

πŸ’° Wheat Penny (1926)

1926 S Lincoln Penny
1926-S Lincoln Penny

Considered a very rare and desirable collector’s coin by coin collectors, its price can reach  $3,000 .

πŸ’° Copper Wheat Penny (1943)

1943 D Lincoln Wheat Cent
1943 D Lincoln Wheat Cent

It is estimated that they were erroneously minted and can reach an approximate value of more than $60,000. But they can be worth around  $80,000 .

πŸ’° Steel Wheat Penny (1944)

Steel Wheat Penny 1944
Steel Wheat Penny 1944

Fue una moneda acuΓ±ada en acero en 1944 y realmente fueron pocas, aunque se desconoce la causa. Hay quienes sugieren que algunos aspectos en las placas para acuΓ±ar daban error. Por tener estas particularidades, se han llegado a vender hasta en  $100,000 .

5-cent coins (Nickel)

The old United States 5 cents coins were made of nickel, hence the name, as it was a mixture of copper and nickel. Over time they were minted in various Mint (Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans).

Numerous pieces of 5 centavos have been minted, so some of them can be easily found. However, depending on the date, or due to some errors or key aspects, they could have a very high value, if they are in an optimal state of preservation.

Below are some names of 5 penny coins, demanded for the United States antique coin collection; and their approximate prices in the market:

πŸ’° Prices of 5 centavos coins, up to  $1,000 

  • Coins denominated Shield Nickels that were minted from 1866 and 1883 can be worth between  $150  and  $400 .
  • Coins minted from 1829 and 1837, with a value ranging from  $400  to  $750 .
  • From 1837 to 1873, the Seated Liberty Half Dime, in excellent condition could fetch between  $200  and  $700 .

πŸ’° Prices of 5-cent coins, from  $1,000 up to $5,000 

Shield Nickel 5 cents of 1879
Shield Nickel 5 cents of 1879
  • The Shield Nickel  5 cents of 1879 were greatly reduced, their value ranging from  $2,000 .
  • Some coins from the year 1883, may be worth about  $1, 900  and those of 1881, around  $1,200 .
  • The Lyberty Head Nickels of 1885 can be worth around  $2, 600  and those of 1886, around  $1,600 .
  • Coins denominated Buffalo Nickels in good condition vary in price, depending on dates. Those from 1924, can be worth up to  $2,500 , those from 1996, approximately about  $5, 000  and those of 1918 around  $900 .
  • The Jefferson Nickelsare of lesser value, as they are not hard to come by, with the exception of the 1964s, a series called “specimen” which can cost between  $1,700  and  $5,700 .

πŸ’° 5-cent coin prices, from  $5,000 up to 10,000 

5 cents Nickels dollar 1844
5 cents Nickels dollar 1844
  • The 5 cent coins dated 1844, with the New Orleans mint can be worth  $7,500 .

πŸ’° Coin prices from 5 cents, up to more than  $10,000 

1880 Shield Nickels
1880 Shield Nickels
  • From 1792 and 1805, 5-cent coins, could reach a value of up to  $20,000 .
  • From the Seated Liberty Half Dime series, the Keydate of 1846 can reach a value of up to  $18,000 .
  • The Nickel 1853 (No arrow), can fetch the price of  $11,000 .
  • The Shield Nickels from 1880 are the most valuable coins, being able to reach a value of around  $14,000 .

10-cent coins (Tell me)

The first dime coins that began circulating in 1792 were made of copper. There are several series with various transformations in their main obverse and reverse figures. It is interesting to know the characteristics of the dimes, since some of them have been quoted in thousands of dollars.

Among the Most sought-after and most valuable Antique 10-cent coins are:

πŸ’° Barber Dime (1894)

1894 Barber Dimes
1894 Barber Dimes

It can acquire a value of up to  $2,000,000 , since only 24 coins were minted.

πŸ’° Seated Liberty Dime No arrow (1873)

Seated Liberty Dime No arrow (1873)
Seated Liberty Dime No arrow (1873)

This coin was auctioned in 2012 at [your_highlight background=”#000000″ color=”#fcb900″ class=””]$1,800,000[/your_highlight].

πŸ’° Drapped Bust Dime14 Stars (1804)

1804 Draped Bust Dimes
1804 Draped Bust Dimes

This coin was sold for  $632,500  in the year 2008.

πŸ’° Seated Liberty Dime (1871)

1871 Seated Liberty Dimes
1871 Seated Liberty Dimes

It is priced over  $1,000  and has sold for  $270,000 .

πŸ’° Seated Liberty Dime (1872)

1872 Seated Liberty Dimes
1872 Seated Liberty Dimes

They have a high value because they were minted few pieces, it has been sold for  $184,000 .

Quarters (Quarter)

These quarter coins, were minted beginning in 1796. They are used very frequently, as most machines in some automated services, such as laundromats or parking meters, accept them.

As American Antique Coins are well known, they are often easily found and are one of the most widely collected coins. However, to establish their value, it is important to consider the aspects that make a coin a good value; such as the date it was minted, its rarity or how well preserved they are.

Among the United States 25-cent coins with the highest value, are the following:

πŸ’° Seated Liberty Quarter most valuable

1852 Seated Liberty Quarters
1852 Seated Liberty Quarters
  • Seated Liberty Quarter from 1867. It is in high demand, especially if you can get it in excellent condition. It is not easily found and has reached values of over  $14,000 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1864. This piece was minted in San Francisco, with a mintage of 20,000. For this reason, its price has reached as high as  $14,500 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1852. 100,000 were minted at the New Orleans mint. These coins are highly desirable, as they are difficult to obtain. They can be worth up to  $17,000 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1872. There are very few of these pieces, as most were destroyed, making way for the 1873 mintage change. It has been worth up to  $17,000 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1849. Apparently only 16,000 were minted and are very rare to obtain. They may be worth up to  $18,000 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1858. They were minted at the San Francisco house. They are very scarce and specimens in good condition are hard to come by. May be worth  $21,800 .
  • Seated Liberty Quarter of 1858. They were issued in San Francisco. These pieces are not easy to come by and can be priced up to  $21,000 .

πŸ’° Most valuable Barber Quarters

1913 Barber Quarters
1913 Barber Quarters
  • Barber Quarter from 1914. It can cost around  $1,800 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1901. It was minted in New Orleans, although over a million pieces were minted, there are few in good condition. It may be worth about  $1,900 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1897. Fewer than 500,000 examples of this series were minted in San Francisco. Its value can be about  $1,900 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1909. 712,000 pieces were minted in New Orleans, with a very low quality, so those of better quality are sought after. It can be worth  $4,000 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1913. They were minted only 40,000 pieces, but it was highly coveted in the 1930s and there are collections of this series. It can be worth up to  $16,000 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1896. Nearly 200,000 units were minted at the San Francisco house. It is rare to get them in good condition and their price can be up to  $17,000 .
  • Barber Quarter of 1901. It is a very rare and more difficult coin to obtain in good preservation and may be worth  $39,500 .

πŸ’° Standin Liberty Quarter most valuable

1919 Standing Liberty Quarters
191919 Standing Liberty Quarters
  • 1921 Standin Liberty. Less than two million pieces were minted in Philadelphia. It may be worth $1,560  .
  • 1919 Standin Liberty. It was minted in Denver, but coin production was much lower, due to the aftermath of WWI. Its value is estimated at  $2,050 .
  • 1923 Standin Liberty. In good condition it can be worth up to  $2,650  .
  • 1927 Standin Liberty. They were minted in silver, so people treasured them. They can be worth up to  $5,300 .
  • 1916 Standin Liberty. This was the first time the figure of Liberty was made standing, so it acquired a lot of value in its time. It can be worth  $13,800 .
  • 1918 Standin Liberty. Due to a mint date error they are very valuable, fetching up to  $19,000 .

πŸ’° Washintong Quarter most valuable

1936 D Washington Quarters
1936 D Washington Quarters
  • Washintog Quarter of 1935 D. Few pieces were minted at the Denver mint. Its value is  $220 .
  • Washintong Quarter of 1932 S. Minted at the San Francisco mint, it was initially only created as a collector coin. Its value is  $450 .
  • Washintong Quarter of 1936 D. It was minted at the Denver mint and was very common, but it is hard to get it in good condition. Its value is  $575 .
  • Washintong Quarter of 1932 D. They were minted at the Denver mint and in San Francisco, although they were not essential in circulation, but for collectors. They can cost  $950 .

US $1 coins

The initial US $1 coins were minted in silver in 1794. The first series circulated between 1794 and 1795. Like the earlier coins, the $1 coin also underwent a transformation over time.

From the first coin to the current coin, these collectible $1 coins, have had diverse names and features.

This is the most expensive ancient North American coin in the world

First dollar in history. Minted in 1794.
First dollar in history. Minted in 1794.

The Flower Hair Silver Dollar (1794-1795), was the first issued by the United States Federal Government. Its size and weight was based on the Spanish coin known as the Spanish dollar.

It was manufactured in Philadelphia and is said to have belonged to a businessman with the rank of colonel. The sale price reached the world record.

For more details, see: most expensive ancient coin in the world.

Where to sell ancient coins in the United States

When thinking about selling individual coins or a American Coin Collection, it is important to know their value beforehand. One option for knowing the value of ancient coins, can be found in the Guide Book of United States Coins 2021.

GB Us Red Book of Coins 74th Ed Tapa blanda 1

This book is a guide to U.S. coins and lists approximate prices for many coins based on their condition error, variety, etc.

On the other hand, it is important to analyze the reliable places to sell old coins. It is preferable to sell directly in a coin market, or in any case to a local coin dealer, in a Coin Shop. The coin dealer usually pays a price lower than the value of the coin, between 20% and 40% less, since it is his business.

Another way to sell coins are auctions, which evaluate the coins or collection and decide whether it is in their best interest to sell those coins; they likewise charge a commission for auctioning coins. There are physical auctions and online auctions.

Online auctions the ideal option for selling American coins

This is usually a good option in general for those who wish to make the most of their old US coins, either individual or collectible. Let’s look at the different options:

  • One of the widely used sites for the sale of coins online is  Ebay , which has an option to sell. However, it is important to first know the price they charge for sales commission.
  • Another way is to join Facebook numismatist groups. From there, you can post photos of coins and exchange or sell directly with other collectors, without intermediaries.
  • There is another variety of online sites where you can sell coins, it is important to read very well their conditions, fees and shipping alternatives. A good online selling option for coins is the site , which has relatively low commission rates.
  • Another online fairly well-known site for selling coins, is  heritage aution . This is one of the largest sites for sales in general, as they not only sell coins, but other types of collections and items.
  • Another site to sell coins that is usually reliable is , which is one of the most popular auction sites for various items on the web.

When selling a antique coin collection or any other type of coins, the quality of their condition is critical, as it can make the difference in establishing a good price. Therefore, preserving coins properly is part of the competencies of a good numismatic collector.


When putting together a collection of ancient United States coins it is important to decide how to classify them. Having a random group of coins is not the same as having a categorization and organization criteria for the coins.

The antique coin collections of the United States represent an attractive challenge for contemporary collectors worldwide.

It is undoubtedly a highly interesting experience and can represent an extraordinary journey through time. Because of the rich historical and cultural legacy they represent, they can become highly sought after and priceless.

I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, how they can access key resources, avoid legal mistakes, respond to questions from angel investors as well as the reality check for startups. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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