DETERMINING THE VALUE OF YOUR COINS
We have created a quick reference guide to help distinguish rare coins from regular spending money worth face value. We believe the best way to sell your coins is to arm yourself with knowledge. This helpful guide is designed to help you prepare your coins for appraisal, collecting, or to sell. Once you go through these steps, you are ready to schedule your appointment with our coin experts or come in to the store anytime!
Making Sense of Appraising Your Cents
If you are bringing in coins for an appraisal or to sell, here are a few helpful tips to expedite the process.
• Always be sure to use a qualified dealer who is a valid member of professional numismatic organizations. This assures that you get the best value for your coins or collection.
First, If possible, separate your coinage by placing like coins with like coins. This allows us to evaluate the coins quicker as well as helps us find key dates and coins that may be more valuable than others.
Secondly, NEVER clean your coins before bringing them in for appraisal; this could take away from the value of the coin. In the coin industry, it’s best to let a coin stay in its natural state; a simple cleaning can wreak terrible damage to a coin and permanently alter its natural appearance.
Finally, DO NOT remove coins from an album that were assembled by a collector. Coins that were placed in an album may have a greater chance of being worth more, so keep them intact until a professional dealer can review them.
Once your coins are separated, call us at 713-597-6367 to set up an appointment with our specialists!
Or use the form below to start the process.
What coins are actually made of Silver?
In the United States, coins that contain silver and used in widespread circulation are dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars minted before 1965. These pre-1965 coins contain 90% silver. If you look at the edge, they will look silver all the way through.
90% SILVER COINS
Coins from 1964 and older in values of 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢ contain 90% silver content. Everything minted after 1964 in 10¢ and 25¢ is worth face value.
Roosevelt Dimes: Years containing 90% silver: 1946-1964
Mercury Dimes (sometimes called Winged Liberties) - Years of issue: 1916-1945
Washington Quarters - Years containing 90% silver: 1932-1964
Kennedy Half Dollars - Year containing 90% silver: 1964
Franklin Half Dollars - Years containing 90% silver: 1948-1963
Walking Liberty Half Dollars -Years containing 90% silver: 1916-1947
40% SILVER COINS
Half dollar coins from 1965 through 1970 contain 40% silver. This is ONLY in 50¢, everything other coins after 1970 in 50¢ is worth its face value.
Kennedy Half-Dollars minted 1965–1970, and 1976, as well as Eisenhower Silver Dollars minted in the years 1971-1974, and 1976.
Why do my silver coins have brown or copper on the edge?
The Coinage Act of 1965 removed silver from new circulating coins. If you look at the edge of a quarter released after 1964, you can see a copper stripe in the middle. Modern dimes, quarters, and half-dollars are made of copper and nickel. So, a good way to figure out if a coin is worth face value would be to look at the edge of the coin. If the coin’s edge has brown or copper showing, it is worth face value.
The Lincoln Penny became commonly known as the “Wheat Penny” because the reverse featured two stalks of wheat on the reverse. The Wheat Cent design was coined until 1958 when the reverse was changed to the Memorial design. Valuable dates for these coins are from 1909 through 1958. Memorial Cents (picturing the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse) from 1959 to current are worth their face value.
Most valuable dates include: 1909-S, 1909-S VBD, 1914 D, 1922 No “D”, 1931-S, 1955 Double Die
The Indian Head one-cent coin was produced by the United States Mint from 1859 through 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. ... The coins that were struck between 1859 and 1864 were composed of 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel, as required by law.These coins were minted from 1859 through 1909. The coin represents Liberty wearing an Indian headdress, not an actual Native American (Indian).
Most valuable dates include: 1877, 1864 (L on Ribbon), 1909S and 1879
FLYING EAGLE CENTS
The Flying Eagle Cent is a one-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States as a pattern coin in 1856, and for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre with the eagle in flight based on the work of Longacre's predecessor, Christian Gobrecht. Throughout the Flying Eagle's short lived Series, the general public grew to dislike it's design. The Flying Eagle Cent was replaced by the Indian Head Cent in 1859. Ending America's first small Cent design.
The Flying Eagle Cent was our first small-size cent and minted from 1856 through 1858.
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from late 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name because the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace. These coins were minted from 1916 through 1945 and contain 90% Silver.
Most valuable dates include: 1916 D, 1921, 1921 D
LIBERTY “V” NICKEL
The Liberty Head Nickel (often called the V Nickel) is a U.S. five-cent coin that was designed by Charles Barber, the Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint. Over half a billion Liberty Head Nickels were minted between 1883 and 1912. The Liberty Head Nickel was the second five-cent nickel produced by the Mint.
Most valuable dates include: Pre-1897 and the highly sought-after 1885
The Buffalo Nickel (sometimes called the Indian Head Nickel) is a U.S. five-cent coin that was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser in 1912. It was part of the Mint's campaign to beautify American coinage and featured a realistic portrait of a Native American on one side and an image of a buffalo on the other. These coins were minted from 1913 through 1938. You can sort them by no date visible, partial date visible, and full date visible. The Buffalo Nickel is extremely popular as a collector’s item.
Most valuable dates include: 1913, 1915
During World War II, the Jefferson Nickel series underwent a significant change. Since nickel was identified as a strategic metal for the war effort, the composition of the five cent piece was changed to 35% silver, 9% manganese, and 56% copper. These Jefferson nickels were minted from 1942 through 1945 and are 35% silver. They picture a letter on top of the capitol building.
All other dates are face value.
Only Silver Dollars dated 1935 and older contain silver; they would include Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars.
Most valuable: Any Carson City Dollars, marked with “CC” above the word dollar.
EISENHOWER (IKE) DOLLARS
40% Silver, Ike’s typically come in sets. These coins are most commonly found in brown presentation boxes or blue envelopes, as pictured below.
More Helpful Coin Reference Materials
Coin Anatomy & Grading
Coin grading standards were adopted in the 1970s by the ANA from the first coin grading scale called “the Sheldon scale,” which was used for Large Cents.
Coin Collecting 101
Have a coin question? Feel free to contact our store or read this useful blog on building a rare coin collection that includes commonly asked questions.
Read Our Coin Blog
Interested in Coin history? Read our coin blog that is filled with the rich history of our coins, fun stories, and historic facts.
Understanding Coin Terminology. We’ve compiled some basic terms and knowledge to help you gain a greater understanding of the coin market.
At our store, we buy and sell coins and bullion. Among many others, you can sell to us or buy from us the following:
Looking to add to your Collection?