Metal Detecting Guide to Rare U.S. Coins

Metal Detecting Guide to Rare U.S. Coins

One of the cool things about finding very old coins with a metal detector is that you always have a chance to find a very rare coin.   After all, coins that were lost years ago have not been picked through by collectors.  Also, if you find a rare coin deep in the ground, you have a greatly diminished possibility that it is a fake vs finding the same coin at a flea market or coin show, for example.

Whether you collect or sell your coin finds, it is good to be aware of the rare and key coin dates, along with an estimate of their actual sale value in average condition.  This guide was built for detectorists.  The coins we find are in the Good-VF range with the occasional Almost Good and Extra Fine coin.  Showing uncirculated values to a detectorist is a waste of space!

This guide is by no means comprehensive.  Many coins not on this list have a collector’s value many times their melt values.  This list is intended to be a guide to help identify a rare and extremely valuable recovered coin and not let it slip through your fingers or sit in your collection because you were unaware of its immense value.   If in doubt, consult a coin value guide before letting any old coin get away from you.

Type and Date Rarity 2013 Est. Sell Value
    G-VG Condition
Indian Head Cent    
1877 Rare $750.00
1908-S Key $100.00
1909-S Rare $600.00
Lincoln Cent    
1909-S Key $100.00
1909 S VDB Very Rare $1,000.00
1914-D Key $175.00
1922 No D Rare $700.00
1931-S Key $125.00
1943 Copper Extremely Rare $100,000+
1944 Steel Extremely Rare $75,000+
1955 Double Die Very Rare $1,250.00
1972 Double Die Rare $200.00
Liberty “V” Nickel    
1885 Very Rare $800.00
1886 Rare $400.00
1912-S Rare $350.00
1913 Very Few Known Auction
Buffalo Nickel    
1913-S Type 2 Key $150.00
1914 4 over 3 Rare $250.00
1915 S Key $150.00
1916 Double Die Very Rare $5,000.00
1918 D Double Die    
1921 S Key $100.00
1924 S Key $75.00
1926 S Key $75.00
1937-D 3 Legged Very Rare $500.00
Jefferson Nickel    
1939-D Key $10.00
1943 P 3 over 2 Rare $100.00
1949 D over S Key $50.00
1950-D Key $10.00
Seated Dime    
1838-O No Stars Key $50.00
1839-O 1838 Reverse Rare $500.00
1844 Rare $300.00
1856-S Very Rare $600.00
1858-S Very Rare $600.00
1859-S Rare $450.00
1860-S Rare $300.00
1871-CC Extremely Rare $3,000.00
1873-CC Extremely Rare $4,000.00
Barber Dime    
1892-S Key $50.00
1894-O   $70.00
1894-S Very Few Known Auction
1895 Key $90.00
1895-O Rare $300.00
Mercury Dime    
1916-D Very Rare $1,200.00
1942 over 41 Rare $300.00
Seated Quarter    
1842-P Large Date Key $100.00
1842-O Small Date Rare $500.00
1849-O Rare $550.00
1851-O Rare $250.00
1852-O Rare $250.00
1853-P Recut Date Rare $350.00
1854-O Big O Very Rare $1,250.00
1857-S Key $100.00
1859-S Key $125.00
1861-S Key $100.00
1864-P Key $100.00
1864-S Rare $400.00
1865-S Key $100.00
1865-P Key $100.00
1866-1869 (Any) Rare $100-$400
1870-CC Extremely Rare $7,000.00
1871-CC Extremely Rare $3,500.00
1871-S Rare $350.00
1872-CC Rare $900.00
1873-CC Extremely Rare $3,000.00
1878-S Key $150.00
1879-1887 (Any) Rare $150-$300
1888-P Rare $250.00
1891-O Rare $150.00
Barber Quarters    
1896-S Very Rare $1,250.00
1897-S Key $100.00
1901-S Extremely Rare $9,000.00
1913-S Very Rare $2,000.00
Standing Liberty Quarter    
1916-P Extremely Rare $4,500.00
1918-S 18 over 17 Very Rare $2,000.00
1919-D Key $100.00
1919-S Key $100.00
1921-P Key $200.00
1923-S Rare $350.00
Washington Quarter    
1932-D Rare $175.00
1932-S Rare $175.00
1934-P Double Die Key $75.00
1937-P Double Die Rare $250.00
1942-D Double Die Rare $125.00
1943-P Double Die Rare $100.00
1943-S Double Die Key $75.00
1950-D D over S Key $50.00
1950-S S over D Key $50.00
Barber Half Dollar    
1892-O Rare $350.00
1892-O Tiny O Very Rare $3,000.00
1892-S Rare $300.00
1893-S Rare $200.00
1896-S Rare $150.00
1897-O Rare $200.00
1897-S Rare $200.00
1914-P Rare $150.00
1915-P Rare $150.00
Walking Liberty Half    
1916-S Rare $150.00
1921-P Rare $200.00
1921-D Rare $350.00
1938-D Rare $125.00
Morgan Dollars    
1879-CC Rare $200.00
1880-CC Overstrike Rare $150.00
1881-CC Rare $400.00
1882-1884 CC Key $100.00
1885-CC Rare $400.00
1888-S Key $175.00
1889-CC Very Rare $1,500.00
1890-1891 CC Key $100.00
1892-CC Rare $200.00
1893-P Key $200.00
1893-CC Rare $500.00
1893-O Rare $300.00
1893-S Extremely Rare $5,000.00
1894-P Very Rare $1,500.00
1895-P Extremely Rare $20,000.00
1895-O Rare $400.00
1895-S Rare $500.00
1899-P Key $100.00
1901-P Double Die Rare $225.00
1902-S Key $100.00
1903-O Rare $300.00
1903-S Key $150.00
Peace Dollars    
1921-P Key $100.00
1928-P Rare $400.00



Comments or Questions:   This list was compiled by hand.  Did I miss a rare coin you would like to see on this list?   Do you disagree with an estimated value here?   Anything to add?    Please include your comments below.

Photo Credits: iStockPhoto



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