When most people get change back after a purchase, they shove it into their pockets, only to have it forgotten about until it comes time to drop it into the change jar at home. What you might not realize, however, is that you could be overlooking some interesting artifacts that are potentially valuable!
A small disclaimer for the information you’re about to read: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever find rare coins in Indianapolis, IN by searching through your pocket change—what you will find, however, are some interesting coins that would be worth more than their face value. If you’re going to sift through your pocket change, do so with a mind for excitement and interest, instead of an eye for striking gold.
That being said, take a look at a few of the things you might notice from time to time in regards to your change—items that are fun to find and even more fun to identify:
Doubling: As this imperfection might suggest, doubling occurs when the print on your coins has a doubled effect—meaning it looks as though there is a jittery effect. It may look as though the face of a coin was stamped twice or slipped while being stamped. These coins are actually quite common and can be worth a few cents more than their face value.
Mintmark imperfections: During the minting process of a coin, there’s a whole slew of errors that could go wrong and frequently, they do! Re-punched mint marks, over-punches and various types of doubling are quite common and when properly identified, could fetch a few cents more than their worth.
Die rotations: The United States Mint is very adamant in regards to die rotations when printing coins, however that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for error here as well! Set a coin face-up with the portrait perfectly centered—when you flip it directly over, the backside should also be right side up. If the coin is rotated, the die rotation is off and you’re in possession of a rare coin in Indianapolis, IN! In fact, coins that have a 180-degree discrepancy can actually be quite valuable!
Missing items: Occasionally, but not very often, you might find yourself with a coin that’s missing something—perhaps part of the portrait or even a lettering stamp. These coins can be quite valuable, depending on the condition, however it’s very hard to deduce these items unless you have a trained eye. Most of the time, lettering is worn down with age or blemishes make it look like part of the stamp is missing—making it very difficult to substantiate missing markers on a coin.
Who ever thought rifling through your pocket change could be so much fun? While you’re not often going to come up with a coin that’s imperfect, the feeling that you get when you finally stumble across one is going to be a great one—even if the coin isn’t worth anything more than its face value.