Coin Errors: These Valuable Pocket Change Could Fetch You a Fortune

by Megan Molseed

Spare change. We have some of it everywhere. It’s in our cars, in our pockets, in designated jars, or even at the bottom of our bags. But what if this spare change is worth a whole lot more than we ever imagined?

Some of these coins have been designated as valuable from creation. A few of these have wiggled their way into circulation, disguised as other less valuable pieces; often finding their way into everyday circulation, with few acknowledging their actual value.

Other coins, however, have received their immense value from an error or two that make them incredibly unique. Some common errors coin experts have seen include die errors, coins created with wrong planchets, and coins with off-center errors.

Could Some Valuable Coins Be Mixed Among Our Regular Spare Change?

Some of these valuable coins can be worth over $2,000 with the most valuable being some Wahington and Lincoln coins. The most valuable of these is the 1922 Lincoln penny which is valued at a whopping $2,910. An added interesting fact about this penny, and incidentally an identifier, is the fact that not one Lincoln penny was minted outside of the state of Denver in 1922.

So all 1922 Lincoln pennies will feature the “D” mark for Denver. However, the most valuable of these will be without an identifying “D.” According to experts, this happened when the mint attempted to file down the pennies to improve appearance. Instead, the “D” was filed off creating the “no ‘D’ Lincoln penny.

Seeing Double On the 1955 Lincoln Penny

The next most valuable spare-change mistake occurs on the 1955 Lincoln penny. This coin can go for as much as $2,355. This coin features a double die error where “In God We Trust,” “Liberty,” and “1955” are all doubled on the coin. This mistake occurred when the coins were rotated just slightly different from the others. But, they ended up mixing with millions of normal versions of the coin.

One 1955 Lincoln penny recently sold for as much as $2,300 on eBay. However, an uncirculated cut of the valuable piece of chance could go for as much as $17,057.

The Blind Bat Error Can Be Worth Hundreds

One 2020 Washington quarter features a mother fruit bat and her baby fruit bat. Although one run of these printed with damage to the mother bat’s left eye. This coin fetched as much as $305 online. While this mistake occurred within the last couple of years, some other spare-change mistakes can hit circulation from as long ago as 1802.

Before the Lincoln penny hit circulation, we had the draped bust large cent coin. This was minted from 1796 until 1807. The 1802 version of this coin, however, has a valuable misprint. Most of the draped bust large cent coins feature the numbers 1/100 numbers on the bottom of one side of the coin. The 1802 versions, however, feature the numbers 1/1000. This mistake has prompted buyers to pay over $200 in recent online auctions.