• Silverpicker

How to Determine Dates on Worn Coins

One of the most frustrating things related to coin collecting or the business of buying and selling coins is when you come across an amazing coin only to discover that the date has been worn away.


A coin without a date dramatically reduces its value both financially and as a historical relic.


Though in some cases you will have to resign yourself to the fact that you will never know the date of your worn coins, in others you will be able to follow a series of clues that may get you to a smaller range of possibilities if not the exact date itself.


To determine the date on a worn coin, first try to see if any of the numbers are visible. If this is the case, you may be able to limit the possibilities to fewer than 10 years! For example, if you have a wheat cent and you can tell that the last digit is a 6 you would then know that the coin must either be a 1916, 1926, 1936, 1946, or 1956 because those are the only dates that end in a 6 in the series, given that it was minted from 1909-1958. Pretty incredible, right?


If there is no date at all visible, try seeing if there are any other clues? Maybe a mint mark is visible? Some coin types only were minted in certain mints in certain years.


Maybe there is a variation that could give a clue? To see a really cool example, take a look at this video!



If all else fails, just enjoy the coin for what it is. Maybe you can trade or sell it and buy something that fits your collection better. But at the end of day, as long as you don't over pay, you'll come out on top!

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