Top Valuable Error Coins – U.S.

These are the most valuable error coins in the U.S. 

  • A 1937 Buffalo nickel with only three legs was sold for $7,400, the highest sale price 
  • The lowest sale price was $699.95 for a Wounded Eagle Sacagawea dollar caused by a die error from the Philadelphia mint 

Coin collecting has been a hobby for centuries, but in recent years, people have started collecting rare and error coins to sell them. An error coin can have one of three different types of errors associated with it:

  • Strike Errors: Problems with making a coin itself, such as the design being off-center or multiplied. 
  • Planchet Errors: Problems with the blank metal disc used to make the coin, such as the wrong size or metal. 
  • Die Errors: Problems with the mold used in the coin design. When the die is damaged, it can cause this type of error. 

Perhaps you’ve wondered if any of the coins in your wallet could be worth something. Gold and silver dealers SD Bullion have compiled a list of the most valuable error coins in the U.S. and then looked at eBay listings since January 2023 to find out which one is worth the most. 

Three legs Buffalo nickel  

          Minted: 1937 

          Sold for: $7,400  

The reverse of this coin features a buffalo missing its front leg. This could result from a damaged reverse die when it was minted. In February 2023, one of these coins sold for $7,400 on eBay. The record price at a private auction is currently $99,875. 

1942/1 Mercury dime 

         Minted: 1942 

         Sold for: $3,990 

The date mark on this coin shows “1” from 1941, just behind the “2” from 1942. This happens when the mint doesn’t fully remove the previous date mark. An eBay listing for this coin on January 29th, 2023, was found for $3,990, and in 2018, a highly graded sample was sold for $120,000.  

DDO Lincoln Cent 

         Minted: 1955 

         Sold for: $3,663 

This coin is an example of a doubled die on the obverse, or front, side. This can be seen clearly when looking at the “1955” mark. Many collectors seek out this iconic coin and one was sold for $3,663 on eBay in January 2023. If in mint condition, this coin can fetch over $125,000. 

DDR Buffalo nickel 

         Minted: 1935 

         Sold for: $2,504 

Another double-die error, this time on the reverse side of the coin. The error is more subtle, but looking closely reveals that the “Five Cents” is doubled. This is the only case of a major doubled die in this series of coins. The record price at auction for this coin was $104,650 in 2007, and a recent eBay listing from March 15th, 2023, sold for $2,504. 

Silver Washington Quarter 

         Minted: 1965 

         Sold for: $2,500 

In 1964, the U.S. Mint produced coins that were made of 90% silver. Although a cupronickel alloy started to be used in 1965, some coins were minted on leftover silver planchets. One of these coins was sold in 2012 for $12,650, and even though they are generally valued at between $5,000 and $9,000, an eBay listing in January 2023 was found for only $2,500. 

“No D” Lincoln Cent 

          Minted: 1922 

          Sold for: $1,977 

Coins minted in 1922 from the Denver Mint sometimes came into circulation with a weak or absent “D” mint mark. In 2008, an example of this coin sold for $92,000. A listing on eBay in February 2023 sold for $1,977. 

Extra Leaf Wisconsin State Quarter 

         Minted: 2004 

         Sold for: $1,650 

The state quarters were released between 1999 to 2008 to celebrate the culture and history of each state. The Wisconsin state quarter features an ear of corn with an extra leaf in either a high or low position. An example of a low extra leaf was sold on eBay for $1,650 in March 2023. 

Doubled Die Obverse Quarter 

         Minted: 1943 

         Sold for: $1,550 

This coin features a die error where the motto “In God We Trust” is doubled. An eBay listing from January 2023 sold for $1,550, though this coin in mint condition can fetch up to $20,000 in private auctions. 

Unfinished Proof Dies Gold Eagle 

         Minted: 1999 

         Sold for: $1,499.99 

This coin results from a proof die variety being used in the regular bullion blanks. The error appears in coins of $5 and $10 face value and features a ‘W’ mint mark. A listing for this coin was sold in March 2023 for $1,499.99. 

Wounded Eagle Sacagawea Dollar 

        Minted: 2000 

        Sold for: $699.95 

This coin has a small cut along the eagle’s stomach on the reverse resulting from an error in one dies at the Philadelphia Mint. PCGS values a mint condition coin at $5,000, but an eBay listing for only $699.95 was sold on February 16th, 2023.  

Year Minted Coin Name eBay sold price ($) 
1937 3 Legs Buffalo Nickel $7,400 
1942 Mercury Dime $3,990 
1955 DDO Lincoln Cent $3,663 
1935 DDR Buffalo Nickel $2,504 
1965 Silver Washington Quarter $2,500 
1922 “No D” Lincoln Cent $1,977 
2004 Extra Leaf Wisconsin State Quarter $1,650 
1943 Doubled Die Obverse Quarter $1,550 
1999 Unfinished Proof Dies Gold Eagle $1,499.99 
2000 Wounded Eagle Sacagawea Dollar $699.95 

A spokesperson for SD Bullion commented on the findings: 

“There are many variations of coin errors to be found, although it is more difficult to find one in your pocket change now due to credit cards being used more often than cash.  

“Generally, the older a coin is, the more valuable it is. However, if there is a limited run of a design, such as the state quarters in 2004, this can also increase the value of any error coins found. 

“Collectors can find coins through coin shows such as those run by the American Numismatic Association, which often offer on-site grading. Coins can also be purchased through local coin shops and online auctions, but verifying the coin is genuine is important.  

“Coin collecting is important because it’s educational, and the coins have historical value. It can also be a source of investment due to the metal content in the coins.” 

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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