CERTAIN coins are worth a ton of money – with the most valuable ones in 2023 selling for millions of dollars. 

Last year, the overall value of the industry surpassed $6billion in volume, according to Patrick Ian Perez, Vice President of Greysheet, also known as CDN. 

In 2022, more than $560million worth of coins sold in public auction

“Using data available to us, more than $560 million worth of U.S. rare coins were sold via public auction, marking the third consecutive year this aggregate total has increased,” he said. 

“For the first time, 16 individual U.S. coins sold for greater than $1 million, and an additional two numismatically-related items sold for more than $1 million.” 

In particular, three coins sold for more than $4million last year in auctions. 

We reveal for how much, why they are so special and what you need to look for to spot one of these specimens.

1. 1825 CAPPED HEAD LEFT EAGLE $5 COIN – $4.1MILLION

Finding a coin that was created 200 years ago alone could make it worth a ton of money. 

But pieces with errors and high grades take the value a step further. 

One example of this is the 1825 capped head left eagle, which features an image of Liberty looking to the left on the obverse. 

If you happen to find one, you’ll want to look closely and see if there is anything lying underneath the “5.” 

That’s because there was an error variety created where a five was placed over a “4” and a “1.”

While this alone could make it worth a ton of money, an example sold for a total of $4.08million in a Stack’s Bowers auction. 

It was certified by Professional Coin Grading Services in a PR (proof) 67 grade. 

For context, it is only three numbers away from a flawless score. 

“There are only two proofs known of this date,” PCGS co-founder David Hall wrote in a post.

“One example is in the Smithsonian and the other is in the Harry Bass Collection.”

Meanwhile, circulated examples of the 1825/4/1 variety have sold for between $7,000 and $43,000.

2. 1927-D $20 COIN – $4.4MILLION

Meanwhile, a $20 gold piece from this century sold for a total of $4.4million in a Heritage Auction in August.

The front side of the piece features the 1927 date, with a D letter mark above it, which stands for the mint location of Denver.

The coin just has a reported mintage of just 180,000.

But again, certain grades can take the value to the next level, as the example that sold was certified by PCGS in an MS 66 grade.

Also, one in a circulated grade of AU 58 went for $137,500.

When all grades are considered, the 1927-D is the rarest collectible, regular issue Saint-Gaudens double eagle by far, Numismatics expert David Akers previously said, who is now deceased. 

“Furthermore, it is also the rarest 20th-century gold coin of any denomination.”

3. 1821 HALF EAGLE $5 COIN – $4.6 MILLION

The largest sale of 2022 goes to the 1821 half eagle.

The reported mintage of the coin sits at just over 34,000.

While the exact grade is not clear, Heritage Auctions reports that a “proof” example in 2022 sold for a total of $4.6million.

Only two of these are known to exist.

“This is an extraordinary coin that brought an extraordinary result,” Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President of Heritage Auctions said.

 “The fact that the proceeds from this event will benefit dozens of charities in the Dallas community, where Heritage Auctions’ corporate headquarters is located, makes this event exceedingly gratifying.”

Circulated examples have sold for between $22,000 and $161,000.

RARE COINS YOU CAN FIND IN YOUR CHANGE 

Of course, the pieces that have sold above have extremely low mintages and feature old dates – meaning they could be much tough to find.

But there are other important ones that you might be able to spot in your spare change.

For Lincoln pennies, you’ll want to look out for a 1955 double-die error, which is when multiple elements are duplicated on the coin.

In average condition, the 1955 double die penny is worth $1,318, according to USA Coin Book

Another double die penny with a 1960 date with a doubling error could be worth $4,000.

Aside from double die errors, there’s the 1922 Lincoln penny without a mintmark, which can be worth thousands depending on the grade.

It is worth $946 in average condition and up to $30,724 if in an MS 63 grade, according to USA Coin Book.

It is estimated that 25,000 no-mintmark pennies were produced with “perhaps” 10,000 pieces surviving, according to collector’s guide Lincoln Cents.

Also, there are 1932 Washington quarters that will bear either an S or D mintmark.

They reportedly have a respective mintage of 408,000 and 436,800.

The 1932-D and S quarters are both worth $200 in average condition, according to USA Coin Book.

However, the D quarter could be worth up to $13,910, while the S quarter’s maximum value is only $5,545 in MS 65 condition.

For more related stories, check out the most valuable silver coins in circulation.

And here are the most valuable bills selling for up to $7,400.

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