What Makes a Coin Worth Money?

The Academy of Coins© Staff take you through each piece that makes a coin really valuable to collectors.

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How To Sell Your Coins

Selling coins can be tricky. These articles help you understand the market and sell your coins for more.

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Numismatic Market & Auction News

Insider insights to the ever-evolving numismatic marketplace.

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Basic Visual Coin Pricing Guide
– Most Popular Collected Coins

See the most popularly collected U.S. coins (heavy graphics). If you don’t find what you’re looking for, scroll down for more, older U.S. coin types. Or try our basic visual coin pricing guide for other collected coins.

Most Popular Collected U.S. Coins Visual Guide (heavy graphics, non-AMP)


Summary of Most Popular Collected U.S. Coins Pictured On This Page:

Vintage U.S. Silver Dollars

Most people don’t know that Presidential Dollars, Sacagawea Dollars, and most Eisenhower Dollars are made with a copper-nickel alloy. But everyone knows that Morgan and Peace Dollars are silver! Morgan Dollars are among the most collected coins in the world. They’re also heavily counterfeited. Most are worth in the range of $15 to $20, but a very spectacular few are worth in the hundreds of thousands up to the millions of dollars. These are the major varieties of United States Silver Dollar going back to the nearly the beginning of the U.S. Mint.


Modern Bullion U.S. Coins

Many modern collectors and investors love American Eagles. American Silver Eagles, Proof American Silver Eagles, American Gold Eagles and Proof American Gold Eagles in 1/10th ounce, 1/4 ounce, one-ounce sizes are extremely popular around the world. But there are also Platinum Eagles of many sizes, and other one-ounce gold coins like Gold Buffalos that some collectors prefer.


Large Vintage U.S. Gold Coins ($10 – $20)

The bullion coins of the last century and century before continue to be some of the most sought-after U.S. Coins. Some say they are the most beautiful, too. Many collectors love their $10 Liberty Head Eagles (10-Libs) and $20 Liberty Head Double Eagles (20-Libs). A huge number of collectors like those coins antecedents, the $20 Double Eagle St. Gaudens and the $10 Indian. For collectors with deep pockets, Early American Gold is a really historic treat.


U.S. Large Cents

Large Cent Collectors take pride in knowing they belong to the group that kicked off serious coin collecting in the United States way back in 1857. As such, Large Cent collectors are some of the pickiest and most knowledgeable. Whether they want their Flowing Hair Chain Cents, Draped Bust Cents, or are looking to round out a collection of late date Braided Hair Cents, Large Cents are some of the most interesting and most accessible of all U.S. coins to collect.


Modern Copper-Nickel U.S. Dollars

Many would-be collectors see the goldish color of their Presidential Dollars or Sacagawea Dollars and confuse them for gold. They shouldn’t be dissuaded from completing a collection because these are some interesting modern coins that tell a story. Eisenhower Dollars and Susan B. Anthony Dollars, once shunned universally, are really picking up steam with the collector community. It’s worth noting that there are silver versions of many Eisenhower Dollars. The rest of the dollar coins only come in copper-nickel.


U.S. Half Dollars

Half Dollars have some of the most passionate collectors of all United States Coins. Draped Bust Half Dollars in low grade are surprisingly affordable silver pieces, but the fascination is all in the Capped Bust Half Dollars. Of course, many collectors still love their Walking Liberty Half Dollars and Franklin Half Dollars, and some are surprised to find how inexpensive the coins can be. Kennedy Half Dollars are gaining enthusiasts also, as mint state examples are very accessible to even those with modest budgets.


Modern Copper-Nickel U.S. Quarter Dollars

The Mints really did a great job of rekindling interest in Quarter Dollars with the Statehood Quarter Program. But they’re not finished yet. It’s fun to always find something different and new in change. Roll Hunters can still find reasonably inexpensive pristine examples for their collections! It’s important to note that many of the modern U.S. Quarters have collectible silver uncirculated and silver proof versions. Look at the edge to see if you see dull reddish-orange copper. Most likely, if you have change from circulation, it’s copper-nickel. If a silver quarter somehow made it into the wild, it’s probably so beat up that it’s not worth much.


Silver U.S. Quarter Dollars

Many older collectors look at their modern change and pine for the smell of silver in their hands. From Draped Bust Quarters all the way to Barber Quarters and Standing Liberty Quarters, silver U.S. Quarter Dollars have fans that span many generations. And with only two key dates in the Washington Quarter set, it’s a great way to examine the evolution of technology through the decades.


U.S. Dimes

Dime collectors are a fervent bunch! While Roosevelt Dimes haven’t really changed much in almost 80 years, like Barber Dimes the steady design in commerce helped assure stability. Seated Dimes are not so, with many different variations occurring during their 50-plus year run. Capped Bust Dimes and Draped Bust Dimes have their own incredible beauty, but none compare to the divisive Flowing Hair Dimes of the early U.S. Mint.


Guide to the Guide:

Morgan Silver Dollars
– This is the coin type that corresponds with the image.
Years Made: 1878 – 1921
– Self explanatory.
Mint Marks: (P), S, D, CC, O
– P = Philadelphia Mint, S = San Francisco Mint, D = Dahlonega (Georgia, Vintage U.S. Gold) or Denver (Modern Era), C = Charlotte, CC = Carson City, M = Manilla, O = New Orleans, W = West Point
note: mint marks in parentheses () means the coin was minted there but bears no mint mark
Mintage: ~500 Million+
– Estimated total number of all coins of all years and mints of this type made.
Value Range: $10 – $1,500,000
– A broad value range from the roughly the least valuable to the most valuable coins of this type. High estimates may describe specific ultra-rarities that haven’t come to market in some time.
Average Circulated Retail: $20
– Obviously, there are coins worth more and coins worth less based on condition and rarity, but most circulated (non-mint state) coins trade for around this much. This is a general number designed to help you not get your hopes up!

Coming Soon:
Click on each type to find out more specifics, better dates, and general grading information.


Here is a list with images of the most popularly collected U.S. coins. We show images, years made, mints, and values for most collected U.S. coins. We have the typical market value, the lowest values each type of coins trades for, and the highest value each type of coin has sold for at auction.

We provide this information in hopes that we can help you decide what to do with your coins. Collecting them is a wonderful thing to do! They are beautiful art, the result of the science and engineering of their times, and they are historical relics of bygone eras. It’s fascinating to think about where these coins have been, and where they will go. Becoming part of their history as a caretaker is a noble act of historical preservation. It’s also a lot of fun – and challenging.

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