Josephine Coins Ltd

Recognising Coins: Are They Valuable or Not?

Your coins may be more than what they’re supposed to be worth. Once you know how to identify what’s valuable and what’s not, you might be surprised that your penny equals a bunch of money. In this guide, we will walk you through the basics of recognising the value of world coins. And when you find one, it’s up to you whether you’ll sell it or add it to your coin collection.

How to Recognise Rare and Valuable Coins


Inspect the Coin in Its Entirety

Sometimes, rare coins are easy to detect. That is why the first thing you must do in identifying whether or not a coin is valuable is to examine it as a whole. Don’t look into the teeniest details yet. Inspect its front and back portion, portrait, and its overall appearance, and check if there’s a part that’s missing, an exciting mark, or even cracks that make it less ordinary.


Pay Attention to the Lettering

Before checking the lettering, make sure that the coin is free of dirt or debris so you can detect any rarity. Examine every side if there is a typographical error, missing letters, and unique inscriptions. Coins normally have inscriptions on the side, so check if it’s there too.


Check the Mint Mark

The mint mark is a tiny letter or symbol on a coin that denotes the mint where the coin is made. In most cases, the value of American coins and other currencies increases if the coins are minted in a different place than the rest. Look at the mint mark carefully, and you may score a fortune if you see any errors or no mint marks at all.


Examine the Die Rotation

Misaligned die coins can be worth more than the coin itself, depending on the level of error. Check if the orientation of both portions of the coin is identical. If not, then that is an error in the coin rotation.



Apply your skills in extensive research and scour through the internet so you can learn about the different currencies in the world and what they consider is rare and what’s not. Doing so will give you an idea of how much a valuable coin might be worth. Remember, the three significant factors that affect the value of the coin are (1) the number of that specific coin in circulation, (2) the demand, and (3) the coin’s condition.


Valuable Coins in America and Beyond

Rare and antique coins are the ones that catch the attention of people with a love for coin collecting. In this section, we have listed down American coins and world coins that are worth a fortune.


Lincoln Head Copper Penny

Year: 1794
Mint Mark: none
Face Value: $1
Estimated Value: sold at an auction for $10 million
The Story: Experts believe that this is the first silver dollar produced by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, and only about 1,800 pieces of these coins were made.


Liberty Head V Nickel

Year: 1913
Mint Mark: none
Face Value: $.05
Estimated Value: sold at an auction in 2015 for $4.15 million (one version)
The Story: The U.S. mint produced a small quantity of 1913 Liberty Head V Nickels, making them extremely rare and valuable. Today, there are only five of these coins—two are in museums, and private individuals own the remaining three.


Double Eagle

Year: 1933
Mint Mark: none
Face Value: $20
Estimated Value: sold at $7.5 million in 2002
The Story: In 1933, Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandated the general public to return all $20 gold coins. The mint must melt all gold coins of this kind that were in circulation and bank vaults to produce gold bars. At present, owning the 1933 Double Eagle $20 gold coin is illegal. The United States government seized these gold pieces, except for one that King Farouk of Egypt formerly owned.


Umayyad Gold Dinar

Year: 723 A.D.
Mint Mark: none
Face Value: not specified
Estimated Value: sold at approximately $6 million at an auction
The Story: This coin was struck at a gold mine in a location that the caliph or the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler owned. This coin has an inscription that reads “mine of the commander of the faithful.” Moreover, it is the first coin that mentions a location in Saudi Arabia.


Edward III Florin

Year: 1343
Mint Mark: none
Face Value: about 6 shillings
Estimated Value: $6.8 million
The Story: Also known as the Double Leopard, this coin is one of the most expensive coins in the world. Currently, there are three such coins to exist, where two are in the British Museum.


Know Your Coins

Sometimes, the value and rarity of a coin are hard to detect in plain sight. What you thought would help you gain millions may give you only a hundred or the other way around. At Josephine Coins Ltd, we constantly source rare world coins to add to our growing and ever-excellent collection.

If you are planning to add more valuable collectables to your collection, look no further. With the help of our dedicated coin dealers and specialists, you can own such rare and antique coins. Browse through our collection on our website or call us on 0203 8972252 or 0203 8972242.