In fact, many are still found in everyday pocket change!
While I have written a few articles here that discuss low-cost coins, I would like to take a moment and talk about the top 10 coins everyone is talking about.
These are definitely worth collecting. Most aren’t even that hard to find, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg either!
#1 Indian Head Pennies
Indian Head cents are simply are way too popular to be overlooked.
Believe it or not, the famous Indian Head penny is now officially over 100 years old. Yet, they still can be had in decent grades for less than $2 to $5.
Indian Head pennies were made from 1859 to 1909. Be sure you look for uncleaned pieces that are not corroded (…but don’t clean them!). These are plentiful and make a pleasing, inexpensive addition to any U.S. coin collection.
#2 Lincoln Wheat Pennies
I think the most common question I have seen here at The Fun Times Guide has to do with the value of wheat pennies.
In fact, the vast majority of wheat pennies cost well less than a dollar to buy in circulated grades.
The wheat penny is becoming more relatively scarce as the years go by. Yet, the wheat penny, which was struck from 1909 to 1958, continues to be one of the most popular, least expensive types of classic American coins.
Wheat pennies have long enjoyed high interest among coin collectors and non-collectors alike.
#3 Buffalo Nickels
The iconic Buffalo nickel (also sometimes called the Indian Head nickel) was struck from 1913 to 1938.
It celebrates 2 classically American symbols: the bison and the American Indian.
Buffalo nickels are often considered "romantic" in their own right and are highly popular.
The Buffalo nickel can be had for less than $2 and serves as an historically and socially important piece for any collector of United States coins.
#4 Mercury Dimes
No, the Roman god Mercury is not the figure on the coin, as popularly thought. In fact, the profile on the coin is none other than Liberty wearing a winged cap.
Struck from 1916 to 1945, the Mercury dime (also called the Winged Liberty Head dime) is a favorite among coin collectors.
Many older coin collectors can remember finding Mercury head dimes in their pocket change — right alongside Buffalo nickels and Indian Head pennies.
In many respects, Mercury dimes are considered one of the "very American" coins that celebrates our nation’s ideal of freedom. Mercury dimes can be had for as little as $3 to $5.
#5 Standing Liberty Quarters
Standing Liberty quarters were first minted in 1916 and continued to be minted until 1930.
The Standing Liberty quarter saw a few modifications over its rather brief 14-year run.
In 1916, the quarter was first designed with Miss Liberty’s chest bare. After causing a stir in the public, the U.S. Mint dressed Liberty in mail in 1917 to calm any nerves.
In 1917, there were some light modifications to the reverse (tails side) of the coin, which included moving stars under the flying eagle.
In 1925, the date on the coin was slightly modified so it would not wear away as quickly as on earlier issues.
The Standing Liberty quarters of 1916-1924 are generally more expensive than those of 1925-1930. Prices for Standing Liberty quarters made during 1916-1924 begin at around $20. Standing Liberty quarters made since 1925 can be had for less than $10.
#6 Walking Liberty Half Dollars
Considered among the most beautiful of coins ever made, the Walking Liberty half dollar is a coin which has been popular among collectors and investors for decades.
The Walking Liberty half dollar was struck from 1916 to 1947. This silver half dollars show Liberty proudly striding toward a rising sun. The reverse depicts a bald eagle.
Walking Liberty half dollars can be bought for less than $10. It’s a coin that most collectors will want to add to their collections… if you appreciate stunning representations of fine art on coins.
#7 Franklin Half Dollars
Alright, Benjamin Franklin was NEVER a president. But his many achievements as one of our nation’s Founding Fathers and his hundreds of influential inventions earned him a spot on the front of our nation’s half dollar from 1948 through 1963.
A complete collection of Franklin half dollars can be easily built, with many of the coins costing less than $10 each to purchase.
#8 Kennedy Half Dollars
Many people want to add Kennedy half dollars, which have been minted since 1964, to their coin collections.
You can usually find worn Kennedy half dollars at your local bank. But, if you are looking for some nice and uncirculated Kennedy half dollars, you will have to buy them from a coin dealer.
Uncirculated Kennedy half dollars can be bought for less than $2 each. Even the silver issues from the 1960s can be purchased for less than $5 to $7 each.
#9 Eisenhower Dollars
When the silver dollar was reintroduced to the public in 1971, after more than 35 years, President Dwight Eisenhower was honored with an appearance on the front of the coin.
The Eisenhower dollar was produced for only 7 years. Yet, in that short span of time, 32 different Eisenhower dollars were made.
Most Eisenhower dollar coins can be bought in uncirculated or proof version for between $3 to $7 each.
#10 Susan B. Anthony Dollars
Once the U.S. Mint stopped making Eisenhower dollars in 1978, the Susan B. Anthony dollar took over as our nation’s dollar coin in 1979.
Smaller than previous dollar coins, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was regularly confused with the U.S. quarter and was quickly phased out in 1981.
The need for new dollar coinage brought about the return of the Susan B. Anthony dollar for one year, in 1999.
Susan B. Anthony dollars can be had in uncirculated grades for $2 to $3.Typical proof versions will cost between $5 to $7.