Monthly Archives: August 2014

4 Interesting Pennies You Should Know About

As an avid coin collector, I love showing off my collection. Surprising? Probably not.

One of my favorite parts about my collection is the pennies. Most non-collectors think of pennies as fairly useless and invaluable, despite how old they are. You can kind of see the logic. They’re obviously very light, and very small. But invaluable? Oh boy, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I love seeing reactions when I tell someone the value of a certain penny. “You mean to tell me THAT little penny is worth THAT much?” It’s really a funny thing to see.

Of course, even some of the older pennies aren’t worth much. But that doesn’t make them any less interesting.

Check out some of my favorite pennies still in circulation.

1943 Steel Wheat Pennies

It’s not all that uncommon to stumble across one of these in your pocket, and immediately think of putting it up on eBay. It’s probably not worth it, as they’re only worth around 10 to 50 cents a pop. What’s really interesting is the history. During World War II there was a great need for copper, so the coins were produced with steel instead. Buy them here.

1944 Steel Wheat Pennies

If you find a 1944 steel wheat penny, that’s an entirely different ballgame. If you find one of these error coins, it could be worth anywhere from $75,000 to over $100,000 – that is, based on condition. Be very careful if you’re thinking you’ve stumbled on one of these, because of course there are many fakes. In fact, there are only about 12 known to exist today.

Indian Head Pennies

Designed by James Barton Longacre, this coin doesn’t have an Indian on it – it’s Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. This coin is a must-have for three reasons. It’s super cool looking, it’s inexpensive, and was made during an interesting time period. The Civil War and Spanish-American War happened while this coin was being produced. It’s somewhat unlikely, but still possible you could even find one of these in your pocket change. Buy them here.

2009 Pennies

Chances are almost every penny you’ve ever seen had Abraham Lincoln on the front. In 2009, the U.S. mint produced four different pennies – each with Lincoln on the front, and an image displaying a different part of his life on the back. One shows where he was born (Kentucky), one shows where he grew up (Indiana), another shows a large chunk of his professional life (Illinois), and the last shows his presidential period (Washington, D.C.).


Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .


A Look at Historic “Big Bills”

We all know about those certain pieces of currency – the ones that weren’t very valuable during their original production, but gained value over time. For example, you might have a penny from the 1800’s that’s now worth $500. Or maybe you own a rare $2 bill that’s now worth over a grand.

However, there’s something about being able to own a bill with a high number on it, even if it isn’t all that valuable now. You know, the “big bills.” We like seeing high numbers on money. It’s more impressive. Check out these “big-bill” pieces of currency with a high numerical value:

$100 1929 Federal Reserve Note F+ – Depression Era Currency

They’re dated 1929, but they were actually issued at the height of the depression (1933). It’s important to know that these notes were not exchangeable for gold or silver.

To the left of Benjamin Franklin reads the text “Will Pay To The Bearer On Demand One Hundred Dollars”. Like the $100 bills nowadays, the back of the note shows Independence Hall. However, the windows are less apparent. Buy it here.

100 Trillion Dollar Zimbabwe Note 2008

Zimbabwean currency ranks among our most popular items. The Zimbabwe economy went through a tough period in the mid – late 2000’s. Hyperinflation led to the production of various multi-trillion dollar bills. The 100 trillion dollar note, minted in 2008, signaled the downfall of the economy. Although they’re worth nothing remotely close to 100 trillion $USD, they’re still a popular collector’s item. Buy it here.

500,000 VND Five Hundred Thousand Vietnam Dong Banknote

Similar to the 100 Trillion Dollar Zimbabwe Note, this piece of currency is not worth as much as it looks. In theory, it’s not actually a “big bill”. However, it’s still one of the most collectable world currencies.

Since 1978, the dong has been Vietnam’s currency. Both the front and back of the note have the term “Nam Tram Nghin Dong”, which means five hundred thousand dong. The word “dong” is a Vietnamese term used for any currency, and you can add the name of a country alongside of it. Buy it here.

$1000 1934 Federal Reserve Note Green Seal Federal Reserve Large Note VF

Talk about a valuable piece of currency. So valuable, in fact, that it’s currently backordered in our store. The front of the note displays a picture of President Grover Cleveland. The back of the note, despite its value, features one of the most basic designs there is.

Fewer than 68,000 of these notes were printed. According to, as of May 30, 2009, there were 165,372 $1000 bills being used.

Fun fact: According to, the 100,000 banknote is the highest-denominated piece of paper money ever produced in the U.S.A. It was never publicly circulated. Read more about it here.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .


A Look at Extremely Rare International Gold Coins

Since we have one of the most extensive coin catalogs on the Internet, we’re offering you extremely rare gold coins, available in limited quantities. These coins are pre-1933, and they come from a time when the great countries of the world were operated on gold standard. AKA, all paper money was backed by real gold. We offer three different coins with five different options total – and although they’re similarly priced, there’s a lot to know about each. You can buy any of the coins below here.

British Sovereign

The Sovereign is a gold coin used in the UK, and it is still produced today. It is fairly small, with a 22mm diameter. It was designed in 1817, and largely produced until World War I. After World War I until 1932, the Sovereign was produced only at branch mints – Sydney, Perth, Ottawa, etc. The only exception was in 1925 – some were produced in London. It was after 1932 that there was a large (35 year) gap in production.

These coins are often counterfeited – don’t take your chances. This is a coin worth investing in to improve your investment portfolio.

Swiss 20 Franc

Nicknamed the “Swiss Miss”, there are actually two types of the Swiss 20 franc. This is one of the most famous coins in Switzerland’s history.

The first one has a head of liberty, with the words “Confederatio Helvetica” along the sides, almost circling the obverse of the coin. This type was issued 1886 – 1896.

The second coin also appears fairly standard. But then you realize the Swiss Alps in the background, and the word “Helvetia” over Vreneli’s head. This word refers to the region in central Europe named by the Romans, because there were a predominant number of Celtic inhabitants. This coin ceased as legal tender in 1936.

French 20 Franc (Rooster and Angel)

The obverse of this coin features the head of the Third Republic. Written around it are the words “Republique Francaise”, which as you could probably guess, means something similar to “Republic France.” The “First French Republic” is what it really means, founded on September 22nd, 1972. The obverse of the coin shows a rooster. The rooster is an unofficial national symbol of France. The original production of these coins was 1898 – 1914.

This coin is an example of how the obverse side can actually look like a reverse. The obverse shows the guardian angel writing the French Constitution. As you’ll also notice, there’s a rooster right next to the image. The same writing as on the 20 Franc Rooster is above the guardian angel.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on .