Common coins worth more than face value

Published: Apr. 29, 2016 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2016 at 8:48 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - From the car, to the deep pockets of a purse, to in between sofa cushions, loose change is everywhere.

On the surface, it just looks like your typical coins but, some of those coins are more valuable than others.

"You really don't think about it until you find out how much it's all worth," coin expert Jake Springer said.

Springer buys older coins from people everyday at Family Coin and Jewelry in Chesterfield.

"The metal value back in those days was so low that they didn't even factor in what they were making these coins out of," he explains.

For example, wheat pennies are common, running from 1909 to 1950, and they're worth double their face value.

"It doesn't sound like much at two cents apiece, but, when you have $50 in wheat pennies, you're going to turn that at least into $100, if not more," Springer remarked.

Wartime nickels were made from 1942 to 1945 and have a black tone to their color. Eventually, the U.S. Mint removed the copper from the nickel and replaced it with 30 percent silver.

Springer said he's seen a minimum of "ten times" the face value for those coins.

Dimes, quarters, and half-dollars made before 1964, which contain 90 percent silver, can also go for ten times their face value. In addition, half-dollar coins made between 1965 through 1970 could also go for for multiple times their face value.

A few months ago, ebid Local auctioned one roll of dimes and quarters labeled with the year 1945. After receiving 14 bids, the coins sold for $250.

When looking for coins of your own, coin expert Springer suggests skipping the coin roll search, noting that most coin hunters and bank personnel have cleared those markets.

Its possible to find coins in your regular life, among forgotten things in the attic, for example.

"Silver coins do not meet current coin weight, so if you are throwing silver coins into the tollbooth or the Coinstar, they will be rejected and they'll fall into the slot at the bottom of the machine," Springer suggests.

If you find a silver-toned 1943 wheat penny, there is no silver in those coins. They were manufactured from steel, mostly recycled ammunition.

If you stumble upon a 1909 wheat penny, look for the letters "VDB" on the back toward the bottom. That coin alone could be worth more than $1,000.

"Somebody's got to find it. Maybe it's you." Springer says.

The metal market drives the value these rare coins. Springer says if you're looking to play in the coin market and have a significant amount of change, find out its value, then wait a year.

The way the market is now, chances are their value will continue to increase.

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