Thursday, June 23, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Coins
Tonight, when is a dollar worth more than a dollar? Well, get ready to crack open your piggy bank... Because hidden in your spare change could be a small fortune. In tonight's More Bang For The Buck, we're giving our two cents on how to spot some valuable coins still in circulation today.
WSVN -- Okay, take a look at this collection of coins. What appears to be pocket change is actually worth a lot more than a few pennies.
John Albright: "I started buying all the bags of pennies that I could find that were unsearched at banks, especially those in gum ball machines, those were the best."
You could say John Albright is a pro at penny pinching. As the owner of the Gables Coin and Stamp Shop, he decided to spin his favorite hobby into a career.
What John discovered is that lots of rare coins end up in our hands everyday.
John Albright: "Even today there's modern coins that have quite a lot of value.
For instance check out this lincoln from 1998. Look closely and you'll see on the back, the a and m in America are slightly separated. In a normal penny, the letters should be touching, but with this error, the coin's value could range from thirty to 3-hundred dollars.
Coin Trader Joe LaBarbera: "Tiny little spacing, tiny little difference, but definitely makes the difference in the value of the coin."
Joe LaBarbera of coin traders says another common error to look for is called a double strike. It happens when the coin is stamped twice. A good example is this 1955 penny. You can see the date is clearly printed twice - one slightly above the other.
Coin Trader Joe LaBarbera: "There are some that are more doubled that others, and the ones that have the stronger doubling is actually worth more.
But pennies aren't the only lucky coins. This 2004 Wisconsin state quarter has become a classic for collectors. The extra husk leaf on the back has kicked it's value to a couple hundred dollars.
Coin Trader Joe LaBarbera: "There are things like that, if you really are estute and look, you can come across these things, and actually find something quite valuable."
You can also find value with paper bills. See this one-dollar - the decal was actually printed on the wrong side. Now, a simple mistake has made this one-dollar worth over four hundred dollars.
Coin Trader Joe LaBarbera: "There are a multitude of different notes, ranging in all different denominations from 1 to 100 that you may find incorrect printings on."
For collectors, the secret is easy. Compare all your cash and check all your change. A hidden treasure is out there - if you know where to look.
Joe LaBarbera: "Even today, there still finding errors that were overlooked from years ago so you never know what you're going to come across."
So how did the money actually make into circulation? Well the answer is easy - there's just so much being printed, nobody at the treasury can study every piece of currency.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Gables Coin & Stamp Shop
322 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, FL
2756 N University Dr.