What’s This Coin Worth?

what's this coin worth?

“What’s this coin worth?”

The most popular question in collecting :)

And one which I’m asked almost weekly by friends, family and countrymen!

Rather than continuing to keep the juicy answers buried in emails and chat exchanges though, I thought we’d create a new series here where we post up the coins (or currency) in question, and then share the answers along side it.

And by answers, I really mean “my opinion” since we all have slightly different answers depending on who you ask ;) I’d like to think that my 10 years of experience though, and liquidating over a dozen collections so far, is worth something!

In either case, we’ll have more pretty coins to look at here and hopefully learn a little in the process. If you ever want to submit your own questions or coins, I’d be happy to review those next!


Let’s kick off the series with a few coins my friend Donna Freedman  sent over who writes a most excellent blog on finance and frugality at Surviving and Thriving. She found these coins hanging around her house and asked if I’d send over some info on them.

Here was her email, followed by my reply. That first one is a beauty!


Hey J.,

I have a few coins that I hoped to have you look at — hey, you offered!

Hope that you and your household are safe in this awful time.

Best regards,


1885 $5 dollar gold liberty head coin

1843 liberty head large cent

1976 commemorative half dollar

1988 $500 mexican peso



All is well here – just trying to stay sane in the madness!

Just went through all the coins – nothing rare in there but half are pretty cool and valuable!

I’m a sucker for all 1800’s coinage :)

Here’s info and values on them all:

  • 1885 $5 Liberty Head Half Eagle (Variety 2 – Motto Above Eagle) — Graded about “Extra Fine” and worth around $475. These coins fluctuate with the rise and fall of gold prices, but usually hold their value pretty well and typically worth more than the actual amount of gold they’re made out of. Which in this case is 0.2419 oz, worth around $420 in bullion alone (gold is currently hovering around $1,735/oz). This also makes them super easy to liquidate since any coin, jewelry, or pawn shop will give cash for gold (albeit at a discount).
  • 1843 Braided Hair Liberty Head Large Cent (Petite – Small Letters) — Grades about “Fine” and worth around $35 retail (I usually see them selling in this condition for $20 at local auctions)
  • 1976 Kennedy Bicentennial Half Dollar – worth a solid 50 cents! And still spendable!
  • 1988 $500 Mexican Peso — not worth anything, except for a conversation piece :)

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the fun brain exercise!


Anyone else have coins or currency you’d like me to review? Shoot me a note and I’ll check them out! –> cointhrill.com/contact


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