Your Quarter Could Be Worth $21,000—Here's Exactly What to Look for on the Front

Check between the couch cushions for this rare coin and your ticket to financial freedom.

Collecting rare coins is a pastime that's been around since the 15th century—but experts say that today, enthusiasm for the hobby is at an all-time high. This may have something to do with a uniquely high-profile coin sale which took place in 2021 at the auction house Sotheby's, according to Market Watch. That year, a 1933 Double Eagle gold U.S. coin sold for $18.9 million, roughly doubling the world-record for previous coin sales and prompting a spike in new collectors.

Of course, you can't strike it rich if you don't know what to look out for, which is why experts are sharing their top tips and tricks for identifying these rare and valuable coins. In particular, one coin expert recently shared that there's a rare quarter out there that could be worth $21,000 if you find the right features. Wondering what to look out for? Read on to make sure that if you hit the coin-collecting jackpot, you'll know it.

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A "doubling error" on your quarter could be worth $21,000.

According to a TikTok video by The Bowers Coin Show, the details of which were reportedly confirmed by The Sun, one particular 1937 Washington quarter with a doubling error could be worth far more than the 25 cents you were anticipating.

To spot the misprint, look to where it says "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST," and the date. If the doubling error is present, the lettering will appear to have a shadow effect behind it.

"If you're lucky enough to find one of these coins in really good condition, they can sell up to $21,000," the TikTok states. In fact, that was the listing price for the coin in question on PCGS.com, the website for Professional Coin Grading Services, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc.

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There's a wide range in value, depending on the coin's condition.

Male numismatist examines collection of coins.
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The specific coin selling for $21,000 was in excellent condition, a factor which contributed to its high value. Similar coins of lower quality with more visible signs of wear and tear are likely to be worth much less.

However, even these can fetch hundreds of dollars for featuring the rare doubling error. If you notice the abnormality, you can take it to a coin appraiser to determine its worth.

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This isn't the only valuable error on 1937 coins.

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If you do have a 1937 coin but don't see doubling on the text, there are still other ways that it could be a rare coin of high value, says a video posted to the YouTube channel Old Money Prices. In particular, they suggest weighing any coin from that year to determine whether it was accidentally struck on a five cent planchet (the blank, round metal disc fed that's pressed into a coin).

If the weight is anything other than 5.67 grams, the standard weight of a quarter, you may be in luck.

"If you have a 1937 quarter you must be weighing it if it looks strange because it could be struck on the wrong planchet. If that's the case, you could have a coin worth a lot of money," the video states.

In fact, some of these misprinted coins have sold in the $5,000 range.

Here's how to start collecting.

Female numismatist examines collection of coins. Woman looks at coins through magnifying glass. Numismatic collection review.
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If you're new to coin collecting, there are a few key rules to getting started, according to The American Numismatic Association, a nonprofit devoted to educating people on the collection of rare coins. First and foremost, it's important to learn both about the coins themselves—ideally in one area of specialization—and to study the broader dynamics of the market, their experts say.

The goal, they note, is to become a connoisseur, someone able to recognize items of value and think like a collector. Technical skills including learning to grade coins can go a long way in helping you make smart investments in a few key pieces to begin building your collection.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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