Deals Episodes

Valuable Coins

Before you exchange all of those loose coins at the bottom of your bag for bills, you might want to take a closer look. Depending on when they were made, those tarnished nickels and dimes may be worth a fortune.

"What we like to do is find the rare coin, the one that is going to bring in a lot of money," said Navid Hassani, International Coin Collectors.

The original metals of choice for all early coin minting were gold, silver and copper. Prices of these metals skyrocketed, forcing the US Treasury to use more affordable elements like nickel and zinc. That's why the quarter in your pocket may be worth more than you think.

"Coins right now if you have coins before 1964, you can get some extra money for them, more than face value. Because they have silver. Dimes before 1964 can be worth anywhere from three to four times face value, or if it's a rare date, they can be worth a couple of hundred dollars, all the way up to a couple of thousand dollars," said Navid.

Rare coin expert Navid Hassani says not only check when the coin was made but where it was made. The small letter stamped on coins indicates the city where the coin was produced. For instance, "D" refers to Denver, "S" refers to San Francisco.

If you have a Washington Quarter from 1932 D or 1932 S, it could be worth $200 to $700.

"They made a lot less of those coins, so you want to bring them in," said Navid.

And, don't forget all those different images on coins aren't just pretty pictures. They're a pretty good sign you are holding something special.

"The Buffalo nickel in 1937 in Denver, it came out with three legs, so that coin right there can be worth a lot of money," said Hassani.

"Same with the Liberty nickel. A liberty nickel can be worth a lot of money. I've purchased an 1885 before for about $400," said Navid, "This is the mercury dime. You want to look for the 1916D and 1921. The marking is on the back, and it can sell for up to $400."

"Pennies are good too right now. Wheat pennies they are bringing a little bit more than a penny. Because pennies are no longer made with 100 percent copper," said Navid.

Are you new to coin collecting? Jim Casarik says that is not a problem.

"Normally what I do is all my old change I put it aside, typically wrap it and take it to the bank. Except the real old coins I throw in a little box and as it turned out some were moderately valuable," said Jim.

Then, Jim goes to the experts.

"As it turned out some were moderately valuable," said Jim.

"They are all going to be worth about 3 cents apiece," said Navid.

There wasn't a big ticket find, but the face value on Jim's box of coins was $3. And, he sold it for $10.

"Probably a little bit more than three times the money. Buy me lunch!" said Jim.

So, if you do find any coins you think are worth something, should you sell or just hold on to it?

"Certain things the are more rare items, they will increase in value the longer you wait. But it all depends on how long you wait. In ten years it may only go up a couple of dollars," said Navid.

A silver certificate looks almost like the dollar bill we use now. It has a blue seal to the right of Washington's face and says "Silver Certificate" along the top. Navid says the value depends on several factors -- 1928 is the year to look for, it could be worth up to $200.

As you can see, the value of coins and paper money is very specific. Navid says if you have questions about the money you have, contact a coin buyer or pawn shop in your area.

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