Author Archives: Gary Dyner

Top 5 Most Valuable US Banknotes

While we’ve talked about some of the most valuable coins and some of the most sought after pennies, one thing that hasn’t crossed our blog yet, is what are the top 5 most valuable US bank notes. These are the MVPs of collectible bank notes, and some versions of them are even sitting in museums. Curious? Read on…

No. 5 – 1918 Alexander Hamilton $1000 Banknote

The first banknote on our list made it’s acting debut on an episode of Pawn Stars. Valued at a cool $7,000 on the episode, the reason why this rarity was valued so low is because there are so many of them known to still exist in comparison to the others on this list. 150 copies of this bill are known to still exist. However, depending on serial number and date issued, they can go for almost ten times the face value of the bill!

No.4 – 1928 $50 Gold Certificate

This gold certificate holds almost the same mythical collecting status as the Saint Gauden’s Double Eagle. Only a dozen of the $50 gold certificates survived in collector’s hands after FDR’s famous gold recall in 1933. The most recent one that came up for auction sold for over $120,000. Not too bad of a return for a bill that was technically illegal to own until the 1970s.

No.3 – 1882 $500 Gold Certificate

This banknote was one of the first banknotes printed in the US and was part of one of the craziest discoveries of old banknotes that I’ve heard of. The note was discovered after the execution of a turn of the century banker’s will which lead to the discovery of the near mint collection of bank notes, with notes (including this one) dating back to the civil war. Crazy how these bills survived 130 years in mint condition stuffed at the back of a cash drawer. After going to auction, this certificate sold for $2.7 million. Not surprising since the only other known to exist is in the Federal Reserve exhibit in the Smithsonian.

No.2 – 1891 Red Seal $1000 Banknote

This banknote, like the gold certificate listed above is another one of the lottery level rarities in banknote collecting since only two are known to exist and the last time one came up for auction was in 1944. This banknote previously held the record of highest value sold at auction when it was sold at $2.5 million. The only other banknote to sell higher than this is the one listed at No. 1 on our list.

No.1 – 1890 Grand Watermelon Bill

Now, I know, how can you take a banknote known as the grand watermelon seriously. But don’t mistake the funny name for something that isn’t a serious collector’s item. The name of the bill comes from the design and denomination of the bill. It’s actually a $1,000 bill. The watermelon nickname came from the design on the bill showing green and white striping on the denomination along with the curvature of the numbers make them look like watermelons. The last time this went up for auction back in 2013, it sold for an easy $3.2 million.

Well, there you have it, as you can see, US currency is a very popular collectors item and while these might be some of the most valuable collector’s items, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other great collectibles to gain. If you’re curious, check out some of the great collectible banknotes, foreign and domestic, that we have in stock!



Red Seal, Blue Seal, Gold Note, Silver Note

When you look down at that $5 bill in your pocket. Have you ever wondered why that seal is green? Or why even include a seal? Well, once upon a time, there were actually different styles of notes. The notes that we have today are actually called Federal Reserve notes, but at one time, there were silver certificates and gold certificates as well, where banks were obligated to give you the same amount as dictated by the bill in that amount of silver or gold. Let’s take a look back at the different styles of bills and what the secrets of those seals actually are.

Yellow Seal US Dollars (Gold Certificates)

Introduced in 1863, the yellow seal US bank notes were actually gold certificates. Meaning, that the denomination of bank note was backed by the same amount in gold in the US treasury, and that you could exchange that certificate for the gold at a bank in the US. Which meant that US money was at one time backed by the Gold Standard. There were several times that this standard was suspended though. It was suspended twice during World War I and made it a free floating currency, similar to the fiat currency that it is today. The gold standard US dollar came to a close in 1933 with the Gold Reserve Acts, which made it illegal for the public to be in possession of gold coins or certificates. In 1964, the act was lifted and the notes could be traded again, however, like the silver certificates, they could no longer be redeemed for their value in gold, and became a collectible for numismatists.

Blue Seal US Dollars (Silver Certificates)

Similar to their gold standard cousins, the blue seal US bank notes were in fact silver certificates. These notes first began circulating in 1878 and were backed by the US stockpile of silver bullion. These certificates could be redeemed for their value in silver. At first, it was through an exchange of the certificate for silver dollar coins and later became an exchange for raw bullion. These notes were mainly done in the 1, 5, and 10 dollar denominations. In 1963, the notes were discontinued with a deadline of 1968 placed on any remaining silver certificates to be redeemed for their value in silver. These notes are still considered legal tender today but are valued at their face value and not at the current price of silver.

Red Seal US Dollars (US Notes)

The red seal dollars are an interesting fare. They were started during the Civil War and were in production for about one hundred years, making them one of the longest produced notes next to the dollar produced by the Federal Reserve. These notes were actual pieces on national debt. Which means they were direct obligations by the US government and that the individual who had them owned a piece of the national debt. These notes went out of circulation in the 1960s and were removed as legal tender in the mid 90s.

Green Seal US Dollars (Federal Reserve Notes)

The bills that we all use today are actually known as Federal Reserve notes. These are the only notes still being actively produced and are also the youngest. First introduced in 1914, these notes are backed by the US government but aren’t actually produced by the US. Instead, the 12 Federal Reserve banks within the US prints this money and, by law, must maintain enough assets to balance the notes issued. This currency is actually a fiat currency and is not based on any gold or silver standard.

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


History of The Nickel Pt. 2

Continuing from part one that we did a couple of weeks back. We’re here once again to talk about the history of the nickel. The nickel, also referred to as the half dime, wouldn’t gain it’s nick name (pun not intended) until the mid 19th century at the end of the Civil War. This war spawned half dimes north and south of the mason-dixon line, and as such, creates a wide overlap of the different coins.

Shield NickelShield Nickel (1866-1883)

This coin came to be at the end of the Civil War. During the war, people had begun to hoard gold and silver coins due to the government stopping the use of precious metals in coinage. This lead to the well known “shinplaster” coins. These coins were made of non-precious metals, and were quickly despised by the public. This coin would be one of the first to be a base-metal composite coin as the coin itself was made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The shield nickel as it became known, was only minted by the Philidelphia mint and only 125 million had been struck, by the time it was replaced in 1883.

1913 Liberty Head NickelLiberty Head Nickel (1883-1913)

In the year of FDR’s birth, another birth was coming to the US; the Liberty Head Nickel. This coin designed by the famous (or infamous depending on the collector you’re talking to) Charles Barber. This coin was a change in design as well as shape for the nickel as the chief engraver for the mint used Barber’s design to increase the size of the nickel to help extend the life of the dies.However, this change along with Barber’s original design would end in disaster. After a special unveiling of the coin where the coin was handed out as a gift to dignitaries, the coin was then mass struck for consumption, but, there was one chief flaw in Barber’s design. He had not placed the word “cents” underneath the roman numeral V on the reverse of the coin.

This lack of designation lead to con men at the time to gold plate the coin and pass them off as $5 eagles, since the coin was the same size as one of the more valuable dollar coins. This was quickly remedied but the coins were already in circulation. This coin produced one of the most coveted rarities for the numismatic world, when 5 of the coins were discovered to have been illegally printed the same year that the Buffalo Nickel was supposed to be used.

1935 Buffalo NickelBuffalo Nickel (1913-1938)

We’ve written about the Buffalo Nickel before, when we did an article on some of the most sought after coins by collectors. This coin has a very rich history, as this featured a non-anglicized Native American on our country’s coinage. If you’re curious about it’s history you can read more about it here.

Jefferson Nickel (1938-)

This leads us to our current nickel which is known as the Jefferson Nickel. This version of the coin has been in production continuously since 1938. Will this change at some point? Possibly. However, a coin honoring one of our founding fathers will be hard to replace.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this look at one of our oldest coins. For any of your numismatic needs, feel free to check out our inventory of great collectibles, including some of those talked about here.

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


The Mysterious Two Dollar Bill

It’s been known as a rarity, a fake, and has had three different versions of itself. I’m speaking about the two dollar bill of course. This bill has had an interesting spot in US numismatic history, and is even the center piece to some urban legends and conspiracy theories. However, despite popular opinion, this bill is still produced and is still considered legal tender. But, why would you want to spend this rare US bill when you could keep it as a colorful historical piece of your collection. Today, I’ll be going over briefly about its history and the different versions that have sprung up over the years.

It started as a “greenback”

The first two dollar bill was printed in 1862 as a US bank note and featured Alexander Hamilton in profile in the portrait of the bill. Interesting little side fact, the term “greenback” came from these bills because of the largely green ink on the reverse of the notes. Anyway, the bill would be redesigned in 1869 to feature the portrait of Thomas Jefferson which is the same portrait used on the bill today. But, the bill wouldn’t always feature Jefferson through its lifetime.

The First Two Dollar Bill in 1862

Who is that on the 2 Dollar Bill?

Like I said above, Jefferson wouldn’t always be the one gracing the obverse of the $2 bill. In 1886 when the first $2 silver certificate was issued, Civil War general Winfield Scott Hancock, would be the man featured on the bill until 1891. In 1896, an “educational series” silver certificate would feature Samuel Morse (one of the inventors of Morse code) and Robert Fulton (inventor of the steamboat) on the reverse of the bill. The obverse contained a mythical figure bringing the science of electricity and steam to commerce and industry. Additionally, George Washington would grace the portrait of the bill in 1899.

1896 Educational Series Two Dollar Bill

Same bill now in smaller size

In 1928, all US bills were shrunk from their large size to the standard size we know and use today. The $2 bill was issued once again as a US bank note, with Thomas Jefferson on the obverse portrait of the bill. The bill would keep Jefferson as the portrait on the obverse and have his home Monticello on the reverse. This bill would basically stay the same, but would go through several other minor changes from its 1928 series. In 1953, the bill was brought in line to the same procedures as the $5 bill and once again was changed in 1963 before it was discontinued in ’66 however, this would not be the last time this bill would be seen.

Don’t call it a comeback!

In 1976 as a cost-saving measure and as a way to celebrate the US’s bicentennial, the two dollar bill was brought back. This new bill was printed as a federal reserve note, and featured the same portrait of Jefferson from 1928. The reverse would feature John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Superstition still surrounds this curious bill as some consider it bad luck to own or carry around a $2 bill. What I can guess where this comes from is because of the tumultuous history of the bill, but it’s just a guess. An interesting urban legend behind the bill is that Steve Wozniak buys them in sheets from the treasury department and binds them in a booklet. Interesting if it’s actually true. Well, there you have it folks, not such a mysterious bill when you spell it all out.

If you’re curious, or would like to add it to your collection. We do carry several different series of the $2 bill. Check them out!

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


History of the Nickel pt.1

When you think about our coins, which do you think is the oldest? Well, the oldest of our modern coin denominations is actually the nickel which is older than the penny by a year. The nickel is our oldest currency, dating back as early as 1792. Originally known as the half-dime, this coin has been around in one form or another since the early years of the union. Curious about it’s history and how it changed with our country? Read on.

1792 half dismeThe Half-Disme

First coined in 1792 the half disme (yes they spelled dime with an “s” it was the 18th century, modern english as we know it wouldn’t emerge until much later, and anyways it’s French) emerged as the country was first beginning to expand. The US had just grown to 14 states with the creation of Vermont, had no navy to speak of, and were paying tribute to the barbary pirates. At this point, we had trading relationships with the spanish colonies (Louisiana and Florida) and so Spanish reales flowed freely along with English shillings and pence. Because of the complete incompatibility of the currencies of England and Spain, it slowed down trade and exchange between the two required overly complex exchange calculations.

Which leads us to the creation of the US currency system. Congress was debating how we should change our national currency. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton all favored the adoption of the decimal system, which was useful on multiple fronts for the US. Firstly, it would represent a clean break from the English Pound Sterling currency and allow a way to reconcile the differences between Spanish and English currencies.

After the US adopted the dollar in 1785 events moved very quickly over the next 7 years. From the creation of a national mint to the actual minting of the coin. The half disme is very rare, and many counterfeits exist. To date, there are only 200-250 known examples still in existence. This coin was mainly used for visiting dignitaries and very few were actually issued into circulation. In fact, the coin was replaced in 1794 by the next coin on our list, the Flowing Hair half dime.

1794 Flowing Hair Half Dime1794-95 Flowing Hair Half Dime

The first nickel to be distributed to the American people was the 1794 Flowing Hair half dime. Designed by Robert Scot, the first chief engraver for the national mint. The coin was minted for two years before it was replaced, but it is an extremely rare and highly valuable collector’s piece. Around 7,500 half dimes were minted with the 1794 date, but were actually minted in March of 1795. Due to the infancy of the mint at this point, most of the half-dimes are of poor striking quality which is considered normal until the mid 19th century where techniques were improved and/or changed. All of the flowing hair half dimes were struck at the newly finished Philadelphia Mint. Interestingly enough, no true proofs are known, although there are some coins that are of presentation levels of quality.

This coin represents a very important piece of American history. This half dime is one of the first official issues of silver coinage by the US. Where in the past, silver coinage had been the purview of the monarchy, for our government to produce it was a clear and decisive act of nationalism.

Our money is a rich and colorful window into our nation’s history. A lot can be gleaned from our coinage. Come back next week where we’ll continue to look at the history of the nickel. Additionally, check out some of the great historical silver coins we have available for purchase.

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


History of the Indonesian Rupiah

While the Rupiah is the official currency of Indonesia today, the origins of this country’s currency dates back to the early colonial period in history. The first coin like currency used by the natives appeared around the ninth century formed from beads. Gold and silver coins wouldn’t appear until the arrival of Europeans in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

 A brief history of Indonesia

The island chain of Indonesia has been ruled by several different nations from the colonial period all the way up until Post-WWII. The first form of bank note currency that existed in Indonesia wasn’t the Rupiah, it was actually the Duit, which was the currency of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company, the quasi business nation that ruled over Indonesia before becoming nationalized by the Dutch in the 1800′s who then introduced their own currency the Gulden.

During WWII when the islands were occupied by the Japanese, they issued their own form of the Gulden, after liquidating the Dutch national banks on the island chains, which lead to the economy becoming destabilized from the Japanese over-printing the money. However, as the war continued, the Japanese shifted tactics and began encouraging Indonesian nationalism and independence. They issued a second printing of their money, this time in the native language, and it was called the Netherland Indies Roepiah. Which can be seen as the pre-cursor to the Rupiah today.

Japanese Occupation Gulden

A Gulden Note from the Japanese Occupation

Post WWII and the Indonesian Rupiah Today

Republic of Indonesia Rupiah 1945

Indonesian Rupiah from 1945

After WWII, the Indonesians rebelled against the Allied re-occupation, and refused to used the Allied issued Gulden and continued to use the Japanese bank notes along with locally printed money. This is the first appearance of the Rupiah, which was produced in Java, one of the larger islands in the chain. After a long and drawn out struggle with the Dutch and the Allies, Indonesia’s independence was finally recognized, and the Rupiah was born. Afterwards, the Rupiah has experienced varying levels of instability from the mid to late-20th century. Today, the currency has lost most of its value due to the country still having not recovered from the Asian financial crisis in ’98-’99.

Today, the country plans on redenominating the currency to strike several zeroes from the currency to streamline ease of use, since most transactions with the Rupiah today is in the several thousands. While some are concerned that this will further devalue the currency, the head of the national bank stated that this is simply to make day-to-day transactions easier. So, from what we can tell, the currency in it’s current form is becoming closer to a collectible each day.

Indonesian Rupiah Today

Indonesian Rupiah Today







If you’re curious about the currency, or are looking to include another artistic bank note to your collection, we carry a wide variety of Rupiahs, and, like we’ve stated with our other foreign bank notes. Great American Coins is a purveyor of numismatic collectibles, we do not sell any currency on a speculation basis, it is for collection only.

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


History of the Vietnamese Dong

The second piece in our exotic currency series, comes from Indochina! This bright and colorful currency is a fantastic show piece for any foreign currency collector. Of course, I’m speaking of the Vietnamese Dong. When the currency was first created there were actually two different forms of the Dong; the North Vietnamese Dong, which was a replacement of the French colonial currency of the Piastre and the Southern Dong came after South Vietnam was given its independence and was no longer a French Territory.

The Northern Vietnamese Dong

North Vietnamese Dong

In 1946, the North Vietnamese government issued the Dong as the replacement for the French Indochinese Piastre. This had both coin denominations and bank notes. The coins were on a cent scale with the xu being 1/100 of a dong and the hao being one tenth. In 1946, the coins were made of aluminum and brass, but changed to all aluminum when the dong was re-issued in 1959. This currency would stay as the currency of North Vietnam until the reunification of Vietnam in the 1970′s.

The Southern Vietnamese Dong

South Vietnamese Dong

The Southern Vietnamese Dong was issued by the French state commission for indochinese states and was issued in parallel with the piastre. In 1955, once the country had truly become independent of French rule, the country reissued the Dong and was produced by the country’s national bank. Like the North, the South’s Dong was also on a cent scale but only had one denomination for coins known as xu. There were different coin and bank note denominations for the xu and dong. These coins were made of different metals, usually aluminum or nickel plated steel.

Unification and the Vietnamese Dong

After South Vietnam’s governement fell in 1975 the southern Vietnamese Dong was converted into the northern counterpart to unify the currency. Today, the currency still stands as a collectible currency and is a fantastic exotic currency for any foreign currency collector. However, like the dinar it has also become the vehicle for snake oil “currency exchanges,” and has been used as a scam. Like the Dinar, Great American Coin DOES NOT sell the Dong on a speculation basis, we continue to sell numismatic collectibles for enjoyment and does not condone any use of this currency on a speculation basis.



Past and Present: The Iraqi Dinar

25000 Iraqi Dinar NoteWhile not as old as other collectible notes or currency, this foreign bank note is an exotic collectible in contemporary bank notes. It’s colored past and present have made it the subject of scrutiny and the latest fad for snake-oil salesmen, but it’s beautiful artistry and colorful inks still make it a highly collectible item to include in any bank note collection. Of course, I’m speaking of the Iraqi Dinar. Today, we’ll dive into its past and explore a little bit of its present news.

History of the Dinar

The Dinar first came into creation in 1932 and replaced the Indian Rupee, which had become the country’s currency after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and British Occupation after World War I. At creation the Dinar was pegged at par with the British Pound (GBP) until 1959 where it was then tied to the USD. The Dinar had a very strong historical value even after the devaluation of the USD in 1971 and ’73. However, this changed after the Gulf War in 1991. Where, due to UN sanctions, the Iraqi Government no longer had access to the swiss printing that they had used in the past. This is where the currency split between the Iraqi Dinar that was produced by the National Bank of Iraq and the “Swiss Dinar.”

During this time, the Swiss Dinar continued to be circulated in the Kurdish region of Iraq, due to their refusal to use the lesser quality bank note that was being issued from the Bank of Iraq. This created an interesting disparity in the value of the two notes in Iraq. While the Iraqi Dinar quickly devalued due to sanctions and excessive printing. The Swiss Dinar actually appreciated against the Iraqi Dinar and was considered a stable currency.

Following the second Gulf War in 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority determined that Iraq needed a new, unified currency, but because of the two notes, establishing a proper exchange rate was extremely difficult. Once the exchange rate was established, they went about distributing the new currency in exchange for the Iraqi Dinar and the Swiss Dinar.

 The Iraqi Dinar Now

Today, the Iraqi Dinar holds a very low status in the US. Since the main export of Iraq is oil, which is sold in USD, the Iraqi Dinar still maintains its “exotic” status. Which has lead to the creation of a multi-million dollar industry based on speculation of the Iraqi Dinar. These snake-oil salesmen disguised as foreign exchange companies would sell the Dinar at an inflated price to speculators and push the idea that there would be a revaluation at a favorable price and the speculators would get rich off of the better exchange rate. This “speculation” has been included on the US’s Better Business Bureau’s list of top 10 scams and has lead to several state securities commissions warning investors of this scam. However, as a collectible, the time hasn’t been better to get a beautiful piece of art as a bank note collector to include with a collection of exotic currency, past and present.

We would like to reiterate, Great American Coin is a purveyor of numismatic collectibles both past and present, we DO NOT CONDONE selling Iraqi Dinars on a speculative basis, these are a collectible, and sell them as such. If you would like to include this exotic piece of money art in your collection, check out the Iraqi Dinars we have available. We also have some more information on the Iraqi Dinar if you’re interested.

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


Quick Guide to Collecting Spanish Coins

Spanish Coins - Gold DoubloonsReales, Doubloons, Escudos. The names of these Spanish coins evoke images of pirates on the high seas after plundering a ship, or digging up buried treasure. But, believe it or not, these are some of the names of some of the most sought after historical coins in existence. Spanish silver and gold coins are stories of Spain’s rich history. With them showing the different kings, queens, and other historical figures that were pertinent throughout Spain’s past. If you plan on collecting Spanish coins you should also learn about the various materials used, the age, and how to determine their condition. Spanish coins can be worth millions or pennies depending on the type, condition, and metals used.

Spanish Coins storied past

Spain’s coinage dates back over two thousand years, to ancient Greece and Rome. Spain has been occupied by numerous groups, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, and many many more. Each time one of these group took over their own country’s coins became Spain’s. One of the oldest Spanish coins is the Maravedi. This coin was the gold standard for 750 years along with its sister coin the silver Reale. Currently, Spain is part of the EU and uses the euro as its standard currency.

Valuing Spanish Coins

Professional coin graders can determine the state of preservation and wear of a specific coin. Additionally, the worth of the coins can range dramatically depending on the type of coin, age, material, and condition. Gold coins, such as escudos and doubloons, will hold the highest value undoubtedly due to their composition. Centimos will generally not be worth much, but reales and pesetas in good condition might sell for a handsome sum depending in how good of condition they’re in. Also, the older and rarer a Spanish coin is, the higher its value will be.

If you are planning on starting a Spanish coin collection, you should remember that most gold coins will be in uncirculated condition, while bronze, copper, and silver coins will often be in fine to circulated conditions. Also, ALWAYS REMEMBER TO ASK FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY! Especially when buying an expensive coin.

How to Buy Spanish Coins

Buying Spanish coins can be as simple as visiting your local coin dealer and looking at their selection if they carry them. However, for numismatists outside of Spain, you might only find local coins. You can also search for them online, particularly through internet shops for collectors as well as auction sites. When buying online, don’t be afraid to ask the seller for a certificate of authenticity or about the history of the coin and its condition. Always do your homework and when in doubt, ask a professional coin dealer for help.

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


Top 5 Most Valuable Pennies

One of the most looked down upon coins is probably the one that we use the least. The penny, it sits in our coin jar waiting for us to exchange our full jar of coins for some extra pocket cash. But, what if I told you that some of those pennies in your pocket or change jar, are worth more than your entire change jar? Some of those pennies are the most sought after coins that numismatists collect. Here’s our list of the top 5 most valuable pennies.

No.5 – 1923 Wheat Penny

This Lincoln wheat penny can be a bit of a crapshoot. Due to how many were produced, this coin can be worth as little as $.75 or as much as $750. One of the reasons being is that this sought after coin has no mint mark. It is one of the few years where the coin was produced outside of the Philadelphia mint.

No. 4 – 1909 VDB-S Lincoln Penny

This is one of the most coveted pennies by Numismatists. The VDB-S penny comes from when the Lincoln Penny was first minted. The VDB are the artist’s initials who designed the Lincoln cent and the S comes from the coin being minted in San Francisco. Only 484,000 were minted with the artist’s initals as there was public outcry for them being removed. A coin in good condition with the VDB-S mint mark can be worth just shy of $3,000. Makes it worth checking your pennies to see if you have one of these jewels hiding in your change drawer.

No. 3 – 1914-D Lincoln Wheat Penny

The 1914 minted out of Denver is considered a key date for the Lincoln Penny collectors. With only 1.1 million of this coin minted from the Denver Mint, this date has become a keystone to many collections as it is one of the most valuable non-error wheat pennies. One of these found in  good condition can fetch up to $4,300! Nice down payment on a house or car, if I do say so myself.

No. 2 – 1943 Copper Wheat Penny

The 1943 copper wheat penny is considered one of the crown jewels of collectors. The reason being is that there are very few in existence. Due to the copper shortage during WWII most of the copper used for pennies was re-purposed towards the war effort. Any of the copper pennies that were released that year were mistakes by the mint and as such were never supposed to be in circulation to begin with. Due to this, there are numerous fakes in collecting circulations. If you do have one that is real, you could be sitting on a coin worth up to $100,000! Not to shabby for old Abe’s coin.

No. 1 – 1944 Steel Wheat Penny

Coming in at Number 1 is the 1944 steel wheat penny. This penny that was issued during WWII was to replace the copper one during the war years. But because of the weak composition not many were made, which made this coin extremely rare. Like the 1943 copper wheat penny, this coin could be worth more than $100K!

Well that’s it, who knew that pennies could be so valuable? Definitely worth taking a look through your change drawer or old coin box. Now if you excuse me, I have some coins to sift through.

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