What Are Your Coins Worth?
We all know there’s big money to be made and security to be found in investing in gold and silver bullion. Whether you’re keen to transform your cash into tangible money metals or you’re a rare coins expert looking to speculate for a little profit alongside your obsessive collecting and studying, there is an appeal in the culture and history of coinage that raises it above the status of mere tool or token and gives you a sense of satisfaction, along with the stability that it offers.
But how about those smaller tokens – the ‘shrapnel’ of dimes, nickels, quarters and foreign currency that weighs down your pocket and your penny jar regardless of what’s in the bank?
Well, nobody would recommend investing in such coins merely for their metal value, even if there is the occasional spike in prices. The 5¢ nickel, for example, is actually worth around 7¢ for scrap metal now, but it’s hardly a safe – or sensible – bet. Not to mention the fact that melting down American coins is currently illegal!
And you certainly wouldn’t get much satisfaction from bigger denominations. The US quarter contains only around 3¢ of copper and less than $0.005 of nickel – barely worth the energy it would cost to count it, let alone melt it down. The Canadian quarter, with its steel base, is worth much less – around $0.00315 in American dollars.
But if steel coins have an unimpressive melt value, don’t go rushing to melt down those battered gold coins, either. An antique Roman gold aureus may fetch you $316 (around half what it would have been worth on the street, in equivalent prices two millenia ago) – but it might be worth a cool milion sold as a historical piece.
This new visual guide offers some insights into the metallic value of a few other common coins from around the world – most of them are worth a lot more at the exchange bureau!