What to Do When You Find Rare Coins

Coins aren’t the first thing you might associate with making money unless you’re thinking about the value of the coins themselves and receiving them. Some coins are worth much more than the number they have minted on them. There’s an entire market out there for coins that are different or old. You can make a lot of money if you run into one of these rare coins. All you need to do is recognize when you have a valuable coin.

Determine what makes it different

If you think you’ve run into a rare coin, you should try to see what makes it unique. There are lots of things that can go wrong during the coin-making process. Error coins are the most common variety of imperfect coins. They are usually made incorrectly during the minting process. Mistakes that can be made during minting include things like indents and cuds. Striking can often go wrong and you end up with broad strikes and off-center strikes. Off-metal strikes are particularly rare and they can be worth a lot of money.

Die varieties are different from error coins in that their mistakes aren’t made during the minting process. Instead, their uniqueness comes from a mistake in the coin design. These mistakes aren’t as common and you will only find a couple of thousand of them in circulation, which is why they are so sought after. The most common die variety is probably the double die design. These are created when the device that impresses coins accidentally doubles a part of the design. These coins can be worth upwards of hundreds of dollars to collectors.

Find out how old it is

Many collectors don’t just see coins as a form of legal tender. They are considered a part of the history of Australia. The way coins were made and the materials used in the process has changed over the past centuries and this makes every generation of coin different. You can learn quite a few things about your country through a simple coin. This is why coins that are very old are considered extremely valuable. For example, the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar is one of the first coins minted by the US government and one such example was sold at an auction for ten million dollars.

Recognizing an older coin can be a bit more difficult. If you aren’t familiar with the history of coin-making, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a coin made in the twentieth century and a coin made in the seventeenth century. You should consult someone that specializes in this kind of historical knowledge. If you’re lucky, you might run into a very old coin that could net you a pretty penny.

Have someone appraise it

If you’re certain that your coin is worth selling at an auction, you need to find out what kind of money it’s worth. Most rare Australian coins will be worth at least thousands of times more than their original state as legal tender. If you find yourself an expert on coins, they can roughly estimate whether or not there is a market for your particular coin.

Coin collectors are your best bet when it comes to appraisals. They usually study a wide variety of coins before even starting their collection which means they are pretty experienced in the field. If you’re lucky, the coin collector that analyses your coin might even be willing to purchase it on the spot. On the other hand, you’re better off selling it somewhere else to avoid a conflict of interest in their appraisal.

Sell the coin

Visiting pawn shops can seem tempting to a lot of people, but these establishments usually don’t have individuals with experience in historical currency. You won’t be getting the kind of money your coin is worth from a pawn shop. Your best bet is to auction off your coin at an event.

Contact your nearest trade association to start off the auction process. If you haven’t yet appraised the coin, they will be happy to do it for the opportunity to sell a rare coin at their auction. If the trade association expert determines that the coin is worth selling during the auction, you’re in luck. The auction will charge you a fee for the opportunity to participate. It’s usually a small percentage of the total sale, which is why you shouldn’t worry about it.


Making money off of valuable coins isn’t easy. There are thousands of them in circulation, but that number is nothing compared to the total number of coins out there. If you’re lucky enough to run into such a rare coin, you should be prepared. Familiarize yourself with the rare coin business and find out if you can make use of your rare find.

Lucas is a business consultant with a passion for writing. Doing his research, exploring and writing are his favorite things to do. Besides that, he loves playing his guitar, hiking and traveling.