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APMEX Coin Values

Do you know what your coins are worth? Coin values are always changing, and if you’re not an expert it can be a challenge to keep up with the coins in your collection and the value they might have on the open market. Our guide to popular U.S. coin values will help you understand the value of your numismatic collection.

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APMEX Coin Values
Lincoln Cent

Pennies

Circulating U.S. cents have been around since 1793, and are among the longest-lasting categories of American coinage. Originally the penny circulated alongside many other small Copper and Silver coins and tokens, and this did not change until the 1850s. Pennies are popular with numismatists and collectors for their wide variety in styles, types and ease of collection.

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Three Cent Nickel

Nickels

Nickels were not among the original coins struck by the United States. They were added after the Civil War in an attempt to introduce base metal coinage, and were successful enough to replace the Silver half dime. Nickels have been made of 75% nickel and 25% Copper since their inception, with the exception of the Silver “War Nickels” in World War II. There are several very collectible issues among nickels, including the famous Buffalo design.

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1837 Liberty Seated Dime

Dimes

Dimes were one of the mainstays of U.S. currency from the very earliest days of the nation, and these coins have had some of the most iconic designs in American history including the famed “Mercury”. The half dime was also regularly struck as the main five-cent coin until it was superseded by the nickel. Newer dimes do not have much collectible value, but Mercury dimes are among the most popular collectible coins in the world.

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1819 Capped Bust Quarter

Quarters

With the demise of dollars and half dollars, the quarter is now the largest U.S. coin that’s commonly circulated. The quarter has been struck since 1796 and includes many collectible series and types, especially in modern times. There are many modern collectible coins in the Washington quarter series including the 50 State series, the America the Beautiful series and the American Innovation series.

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1817 Capped Bust Half Dollar

Half Dollars

The half dollar was a popular coin with a number of interesting designs. The larger size of the coin allows for more detail with some of its issues, showcasing famous coin artwork like the Liberty Walking or the Franklin. Half dollars are extremely collectible, especially early variations with the variety of mint errors, dies and subtypes. Uncirculated versions of many half dollars are prized.

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1878 Morgan Dollar

Dollars

Dollar coins are commonly collected, particularly the Morgan and Peace variants. These coins drew inspiration from the Spanish Silver coin known as the “piece of eight”, being very similar to them in size and weight. Morgan and Peace dollars are popular with collectors due to their low expense and classic designs. Well-worn Silver dollars are also saved as junk Silver for their Precious Metal content, though older series are worth a lot even in low condition.

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1874 $20 Liberty Gold Double Eagle

U.S. Gold Coins

The $10 eagle denomination was established in the very first Coinage act, and the eagle and its fractional variants were mainstays of the U.S. financial system for many years, particularly in the Western states which preferred Precious Metals to paper money. 1933 marked the end of circulating U.S. Gold coinage and the death of the eagle until the same name was used for a bullion coin in the 1980s. Early issues of the classic Saint Gaudens double eagle design and Indian Head variants are particularly sought after.

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Proof Sets

Proof Sets

Proof sets are a mainstay of U.S. coin collecting. These sets of high-quality, sharp-detailed coins have been created since 1936 with only a few lapses. The U.S. Mint will make sets of the coins of that year with blanks that have a different finish, usually polished. Then they are struck multiple times at high pressure to ensure a crisp finish. New proofs are usually sealed in plastic cases to keep them away from the environment. Most proof sets are relatively inexpensive but a few are much more popular with collectors due to limited runs or non-standard mints.

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Commemoratives

Commemoratives

Commemorative coins are a time-honored tradition dating back to ancient Greece, and they have been struck intermittently since the late 19th century. Commemoratives tailed off through the 1950s before beginning again in the 1980s. They are responsible for a number of firsts in U.S. coinage, including the first coin to have a U.S. president portrait, the first use of a living person’s portrait and the first to have a living U.S. president.

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Bullion Coins

Bullion Coins

The U.S. stopped producing Gold coins by 1934 and Silver coins by 1965, which left a gap that other nations were eager to fill. Bullion coins, or coins struck primarily for investment in their Precious Metal, started with the Krugerrand, and with its success other nations began to strike their own. The U.S. began its own bullion coin program in 1985 with President Ronald Reagan’s authorization of the Gold and Silver eagle coins, and others followed.

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Colonial, Post-Colonial and Continental Coins

Colonial, Post-Colonial and Continental Coins

Early American money was a much more chaotic affair than the system we have in place today. State and local issues circulated alongside nationally minted coins, and foreign money from France, Spain and England rubbed shoulders with counterfeit Copper tokens and other small issues. Many coins from this time period are very rare and expensive, and only in range of the richest collectors.

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Territorial and State Coins

Territorial and State Coins

Before 1857, U.S. coinage was not the only legal tender in the United States. This led to many foreign coins and private issues circulating alongside U.S. money. Even after 1857, some smaller private issues and state coins saw use in the Western U.S. states where Precious Metal coins were harder to come by. Private coins were usually struck to service a shortage in U.S. coinage. Most of these coins are incredibly rare due to low mintages.

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The Price Guide

You need the most up-to-date pricing on your coin collection. That’s why APMEX has partnered with PCGS, the premier grading authority in the world of rare coins, to bring you constantly updated pricing on collectibles and rarities. PCGS has been grading coins since 1986, bringing consistent standards of quality to a fractured industry. In the years since, they have remained a source of reliable information on the current collectible and rare coin market.

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