Uncirculated Coin Collecting

Are Uncirculated Coins Worth Collecting? (Helpful Guide!)

How to Collect Uncirculated Coins

Collecting uncirculated coins is a very big aspect of the hobby that you should be aware of! By doing so, you will make sure not only that you’ve got a solid collection, but also that you can make it significantly profitable…

… So, are uncirculated coins worth collecting? Of course they are worthwhile since they hold significant value in most cases due to their rarity, good condition and high demand.

To be honest, before writing this Post, I took note of the most asked questions about this topic, so I could include them in this article! Hopefully, you’ll learn few more interesting and useful information!

Do uncirculated coins have value?

Uncirculated coins do hold value, but as with any coin it heavily relies on which one is in question…

…For the most part, uncirculated coins were invented with the hobbyist in mind, which makes them even more valuable. Most of them are in mint condition which justify why they retain their high value.

In addition, this type of coins is generally limited and therefore rare!

If you are about to start a coin collection in hopes of one day selling it for profit, then ideally, you’ll want to consider uncirculated coins.

The US Mint differentiates uncirculated coins by “the special coining process used to make the coin, which gives it a brilliant finish…with quality enhancements such as slightly higher coining force, early strikes from dies, special cleaning after stamping and special packaging. Uncirculated coins may vary to some degree because of blemishes, toning or slight imperfections.”

Because of this special coining process, these coins hold a higher value – most often circulated coins are only worth their face value.

Learn the right process to collect valuable coins!

How do you know if your coin is uncirculated?

First of all, there are 3 different meanings to the term:

  • The particular manufacturing process by which the coin is made – EX. early strikes from dies
  • The coins degree of preservation and quality grade – such as mint condition
  • Or, quite literally the coin has never been in everyday circulation like the change in your pocket.

The biggest giveaway to know whether a coin is uncirculated is if it’s in a case. Typically, uncirculated coins have been inspected and given a grade. The higher the grade the more likely the coin has never been outside of its case.

Also, if you shine a single light source on a coin and you tilt it around the light will dance around an uncirculated coin. The pristine shine you get doing this is called the cartwheel effect.

Can you spend uncirculated coins?

In simple terms, yes you can spend them! Technically speaking, uncirculated coins are legal tender…

…However, the moment the coin is removed from its case and damaged, even in the slightest bit, it drops in value. For example, an uncirculated nickel could be worth ten cents up until it is put into circulation.

Minor scratches always tend to happen when these coins are removed from their case. It’s as though they are a magnet to damage.

That’s why it is better to keep them in excellent condition since their value can only go up. Instead, removing and damaging the coin makes it as valuable as its face value.

Where to buy & sell uncirculated coin rolls?

There are two main ways to buy uncirculated coin rolls and one major way to sell them!

The traditional method of obtaining a coin roll is simply by visiting your local bank. You can request a roll of coins; however banks don’t typically like to sell to customers. Also, a request from the bank to the Federal Reserve for a roll of new, mint coins specifically is almost impossible!

This doesn’t mean you can’t make friends at your local bank and be in their good graces so they will sell you a roll. Sometimes, the Federal Reserve sends banks uncirculated coins with circulated ones. It’s part of coin roll hunting to find the valuable coins in the rolls.

Your other option is online! Which could turn out to be your best place to sell your roll!

Furthermore, local dealers are another good option, but online sellers offer you larger options and maybe even a better prices.

The most obvious place besides online retailers or digital auction houses is the US Mint directly. You can purchase uncirculated coin sets from their site.

When it comes time to sell your coin rolls, again the internet is the best place to post them for sale.

Uncirculated coins VS

1. Circulated Coins

Well first off, not all circulated coins are worth only their face value! The majority of them are, but sometimes you come across a coin worth more than what you could expect!
For example, you may find a 1964 90% silver half-dollar worth up to $7. Don’t expect it to be normal to find rare or highly valuable circulated coins all the time in coin rolls. That’s part of the fun when you are coin roll hunting.

With uncirculated coins, you are almost guaranteed they will increase in value over time. The same can’t be said about circulated coins.

2. Proof Coins

Proof coins are the finest quality coins produced by the US Mint. When coins are referred as “Proof” it is because of the coin’s finish. The blanks used for Proofs are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned for the highest quality coin possible.

The Proof blanks are press fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice. After being struck, they are placed inside a case to preserve their finish.

Each coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and are encased inside a protective capsule.

Uncirculated Coins – Examples

The next list of examples are of coins you are most likely to come by.  The probability is slim for most, but when compared to $500,000 coins you have a better chance of finding the ones listed here.

Highly valuable

1. 1969-S Lincoln Cent with Doubled Die Obverse – $35,000

This particular penny is worth no less than $35,000 because of its rarity and entire obverse being doubled. The obverse of a coin is the front, main, or top (“heads”) side. The 1969-S Lincoln Cent is hard to come by because of the rarity and most people don’t know what doubled obverse means.

2. 1970-S Small Date Lincoln Cent with a Doubled Die Obverse – $3,000

The 1970-S Small Date Lincoln Cent is another doubled die obverse coin, however, is nowhere near as valuable as the previous year model. Check the doubling in the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” for a true double die obverse.

3. 1972 Lincoln Cent with a Doubled Die Obverse – $500

This Lincoln Cent with a double die obverse is completely doubled all over. When checking for authenticity, look for a die marker above the D in the word United.

Old models

1. 1947 Mint Set 

1947 is the first year the US Mint offered complete sets of uncirculated coins to the public. The 1947 mint set contained two examples of every coin issued for circulation.

2. 1948 Mint Set

This year’s mint set included the cent, nickel, dime, and quarter minted at Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. San Francisco was the only one out of the three that did not mint the half dollar that year.

3. 1949 Mint Set

A notable feature of the year’s uncirculated set is the distinctive toning. The toning develops due to sulfur content on the original packaging. Some of these sets have developed an attractive toning, which makes them more valuable.

Learn more about old coins!

Gold coins

1. American Liberty 2019 High Relief Gold Coin

The 2019 American Liberty $100 denomination gold coin is worth $1,890 currently. The gold coin contains .9999 fine 24-karat gold with a high relief enhanced uncirculated finish. It was minted at West Point and weighs in at exactly 1 oz.

2. American Buffalo 2019 Gold Proof Coin

The 2019 American Buffalo gold proof coin is exactly 1 oz of 99.99% gold. It is a $50 denomination coin worth $1860. The coin is the first 24-karat gold proof coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint.

3. American Liberty One-Tenth Ounce 2018 Gold Proof Coin

The least expensive of the three on this list is the 2018 American Liberty One-Tenth ounce gold proof coin with a $230 price tag. This $10 denomination gold coin features the same obverse as the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin.

Learn more about collecting and preserving gold coins!

Silver coins

1. Roosevelt Dimes 

The years 1946-1964 contain 90% silver. You wouldn’t typically focus on sorting these coins by date since any one of them are of high value on their own.

2. Mercury Dimes (sometimes called Winged Liberties)

Mercury dimes were minted between 1916-1945 and are still highly valuable when compared to their face value. However, the years 1916-1931 contain coins with the highest value. A 1916-D could fetch you anywhere between $200-$1000+.

3. Washington Quarters

The years between 1932-1964 contain 90% silver. Most of these circulated coins are common and trade in relation to their silver content value. However, an uncirculated 1932-D could be worth more than $200 and up.

Rare coins

1. 1964 SMS Kennedy Half Dollar

One of the rarest coins to ever come to auction was a shocking 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar graded SP68 by PCGS. The final bid for this ultra-rare coin was $156,000. Other SMS coins of the same year are of high value, but none close to this price range.

2. 1969-S Doubled Die Cent

The Doubled Die Cent once again is listed, and for good reason because of how sought after it is for collectors. Every collector is after one of these cents, which makes availability scarce. If you are fortunate to come across one, then jump on it and don’t let go.

3. 1973-D Eisenhower Dollar

The Eisehnower Dollar coin is an ordinary coin that recently has risen in popularity. The rise in popularity is due to its limited availability. The Eisenhower Dollar coin was minted between 1971-1978. What makes a coin rise in popularity is up for debate, but collectors have turned their eyes on these coins and so should you.

What countries are known most for their uncirculated coins?

The rarity of a coin doesn’t always reflect the value. For example, the United States of America has some of the youngest coins to be minted, yet they hold the most value. However, there are other countries that have valuable coins you should know about.

$1 Million Gold Canadian Maple Leaf – Canada

In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world’s first million-dollar coin. The realized price for the gold coin was $4 million and sold at auction in June of 2010. The gold coin weighed 220 pounds of pure gold.

723 Umayyad Gold Dinar – Saudi Arabia

The Umayyad Gold Dinar dates to 723 A.D. and is made of solid gold. Only a dozen of these caliph Abd al-Malik (685 – 705 CE) minted coins exist. In April 2011, one of these coins sold at auction for $6,029,400.

1343 Edward III florin – England

The 1343 Edward III florin dates back to medieval England with a face value of six shillings. As of now, there is only three in existence. Two of the three were found in 1857, and the third was found recently by a metal detector enthusiast. The third coin was sold at auction for $600,000. The coin is now valued at $6.8 million.


Hope this short Post has got you excited to start your collecting and/or empower your current one with some solid uncirculated coins!

But most of all, I wish you’ve got most of your questions answered … Otherwise, don’t hesitate to let me know about your questions, I would be very happy to help as much as I can!

Have a nice day.

Finally, I highly invite you to learn about collecting rare coins propely!

About the Author

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.