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What do you do when you find a Rare Coin?

Oftentimes, people begin collecting coins without even knowing they are collecting. Whether we find a coin on the street or we receive change while shopping, we can gather a large collection of coins very quickly. Rare coins can be found among common coins, so when you find one, do not give it away. Rare U.S. coins are found in some of the least complicated places. They can be found in attics, coin jars and even on the floorboard of your car. When you discover a rare coin, consider doing the following:

  • Preserve the coin in a coin storage unit. This will separate the rare coin from other coins you are collecting. Prevention of contact with dust and other debris is important when separating the coin.  
  • Start a rare coins collection. If you have one, you could have others in your possession. Starting a collection is a good way for you to develop your coin collecting skills. If you are new to collecting, creating your own set of criteria is important. 
  • Value the rare coin you have. Have your rare coins evaluated by a numismatist or professional coin grader. It is important to know what kind of coin you own and how it will benefit your collection. 
  • Buy a guide book to help you understand United States coins. This is a good source to have on hand to determine what coin you have, how rare it is and what its value is. 

How do you know if you have a Rare Coin?

Finding a rare coin is a treat, but how do you know you actually have one? It is not an easy task to determine a coin's rarity because they are diverse and their value varies based on several conditions. When collecting, here is a list of rare coins that are often encountered:

You may have other versions of coins but to truly know if you have a rare coin is to look into a good book on U.S. rare coins. Another way to determine if you have a rare coin is to talk to a professional coin dealer. They would have a better idea as to the type of coin you have. There are many coins that will look and feel different, which should alert you to the possibility that it is not your standard penny, nickel or dime. 

If the obverse or reverse of your coin does not follow the pattern of other coins in your possession, it is worth investigating its origins and determine its rarity. Even hints of varying shades should pique your curiosity of the rarity of the coin. Other factors are the grade, condition and year. All of these are apparent on the coin. Utilizing the proper resources will provide you with value. It never hurts to evaluate your current set of coins.  In the case of this Washington family, you could even find rare coins right under your feet

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