United States Coins: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to clean my coins? Does that make them more valuable?

NO! Please don't clean your coins, no matter how ugly they look! When you clean them, you destroy their collectable value.

What makes coins valuable?

  • Some coins are very old (1700s, 1800s);
  • Some are very rare, either few were made or few still exist;
  • Some coins are in nice condition;
  • Some coins were never used;
  • Some coins were specially made for collectors and weren't meant to be used;
  • Some coins have errors (like the three-legged buffalo head nickel);
Coin collecting - What makes coins valuable?

Why are the 1943 pennies Grey?

During World War II, the U.S. needed all its copper for ammunition. Pennies, therefore, were made with steel instead. And, like every year, almost one billion were minted. Because there are so many of these pennies still around, their value today is only 2¢.

By accident, however, a few copper pennies were minted in early 1943. Experts are confident, though, that most of these pennies have already been found. The story that one of the copper pennies was spent by a collector is likely untrue, since any collector with a $20-30,000 coin would keep it safely stored, NOT with his/her pocket change.

What pennies are valuable? Which ones should I look for in my change?

Very few from the 1900s, unfortunately. Almost every single penny you receive in change is worth simply a penny. The chances are extremely slim, but you might just be lucky one day. These Lincoln pennies have some collectable value:

1909SVDB, 1909S, 1911S, 1912S, 1914D, 1922, 1924D, and 1931S

1909S Penny 1924D Penny Valuable Pennies

Will my pocket change be worth more during the next century?

Very unlikely. The government has minted so many coins, that hardly any of them will ever be valuable. If they're not special now, they won't become special in our lifetime.

How can I protect my coin collection?

At Philly Stamp & Coin we stock many albums, album pages, and coin holders.

Coin Collecting Stamp Collecting Supplies

What else does Philly Stamp & Coin provide?

  • U.S. and foreign stamps, coins and paper money
  • Books about U.S. and foreign stamps, coins and paper money
  • Sports cards and memorabilia (sometimes)
  • A broad selection of collecting accessories
  • And, of course, we're always glad to answer any of your other questions!
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