As everyone would know (well, most people), a penny is the least valuable form of US currency. Things have recently, however, taken a rather ironic turn as money collectors place extreme value on certain coins.
This twist has seen people run back home to check their coin jars which on normal days wouldn’t be given as much as a glance.
Typically, collectors go for unique items or those with extremely rare characteristics. Most of these are antiques with some dating back to centuries and a few, millenniums ago.
As for the case of coins, collectors are looking for pennies which were printed at specific times, or have unusual characteristics with other similar coins.
One of the most sought after is the 1943 Lincoln head copper penny. In that year, the US government halted the manufacture of copper coins so that the metal would be used to make weapons and other instruments to be used in World War II.
Instead, coins were made from stainless steel and coated with zinc to make them shinier. A few of these, however, still managed to get through to the public.
Currently, one such coin in good condition can earn you an outrageous amount of $10,000 to $85,000. Collectors are, however, very keen when inspecting the penny as there are plenty of fake ones being passed around.
When the war receded in 1944, the US Mint changed back the coins from steel to some copper alloys that were made using the bullet shell casings that were collected during the war. Some minting facilities, however, continued to produce the steel penny sometime after the order was made.
The steel penny’s worth could be anywhere close to $100,000 depending on the coin’s condition.
The 1953 double-dyed penny is another rare gem. Every detail on this coin was printed twice, except Lincoln’s bust which remained wholly intact. It could go for the same price with the 1856 flying eagle penny that is in good condition. The latter, however, had only 2000 copies and the value may increase over the years.
In 2004, the Wisconsin state minted a quarter that had an extra leaf on the husk of the corn. Out of the thousands that were manufactured, only a few of these were released to the public, and the remaining were withheld when the mint discovered the mistake. It was rumored that a worker had done it on purpose.
Whether it was a mistake or not, the penny is now valued at about $1500 with a perfect chance that a zero may be added at the end if it is at an excellent condition.
All coins made in the States are marked to show where they were minted. Those with a P were minted in Philadelphia, D in Denver and S in San Francisco. In 1982, however, the mint at Philadelphia somehow forgot to sign their Roosevelt dime.
This mistake is now earning people a good amount of money with others selling it for as much as $300.