When you think of collecting valuable coins, you probably think about going to the coin store and buying carefully sourced coins that have been appraised and rated. If your goal is to collect foreign or ancient coins, this really is a good approach. But there is another way to come across valuable coins if you're able to be patient. There are a few valuable American coins that you may actually come across in change sometimes.
Indian Head Pennies
Indian head pennies feature an image of a person in a headdress on one side and the words "one cent" on the other. They are the same size as more modern pennies. Made between 1859 and 1909, there are still some in circulation, so watch your pennies closely. Some dates are worth more than others, but most pennies are worth at least a dollar to collectors. The older the penny, the more it is worth, with one exception. Pennies minted in 1908 and 1909 are highly valued because only a few were produced in these years.
"In God We Rust" Quarters
When the U.S. mints began making Kansas State quarters in 2005, there was a mistake on some of them. The press got filled with grease, which kept the "T" in "Trust" from coming through. So if you find a Kansas quarter in circulation, look closely at the words. If you find one that says "In God We rust," it is worth $100 or so.
Double Die Pennies
A double die coin is created when the die accidentally stamps the same coin more than once. There were numerous double die coins created over the years, but the most common are 1955 pennies. One of the mints had a real issue with double stamping those years, so a ton of pennies were made where you can see a double imprint of the words on the face side of the coin. The value of these pennies varies; some are worth thousands in good shape.
If you find a quarter that is dated prior to 1965, hang onto it. At this time, quarters were made from about 90% silver, which means they are worth far more than 25 cents. Many silver quarters have been removed from circulation by collectors, but there are still a few floating around. They're sometimes re-introduced by people who find them in deceased relatives' collections and don't realize they are valuable.
For more information about rare coins, contact a company like Rogue Valley Coin & Jewelry.