According to Liberty Coin & Currency, most foreign currency isn’t worth more than its face value, aside from the memories you made while traveling the world and collecting foreign coins and bills. There are some exceptions, though.
For instance, the “Big Maple Leaf” coin has a face value of $1 million but a real value of more like $6 million. It is the largest coin ever made, weighing 100 kilograms, and it is made of the purest gold bullion that has ever been refined. Unfortunately, there were only 15 produced. One of only three gold Brutus AV Aureus coins from ancient Rome, struck in 44 B.C. to commemorate Julius Caesar’s murder, sold for $3.5 million in 2020.
Therefore, if you find a gold disc weighing 220 pounds or an ancient coin bearing the likeness of the man who planned the assassination of history’s most illustrious emperor among your loose change, it might be time to consult an appraiser or a dealer. Foreign currency is more frequently encountered, but it’s not always simple to identify. Here are a few examples from the real world to help you know what to look for.
Foreign Coins Worth Money:
1911 Chinese Silver’ Long Whiskered Dragon’ Dollar – $3,000,000
The legendary “Long Whiskered Dragon” dollar is one of the most sought-after coins in China and worldwide. Unfortunately, there are only fewer than 25 known examples in existence. Nevertheless, a collector acquired one in 2022 for twice the highest pre-auction estimate of $1.5 million.
Coins don’t have to be old to be valuable, but anything older than 100 years is much more likely to fetch a high asking price, according to Liberty Coin & Currency. This coin meets the requirements, but it’s scarcity and historical importance are more significant. Any items from the first or last year of a significant historical event, a production run, or a political administration should be sought out.
1659 German Karl Kaspar Gold 6-Ducat Coin – $130,000
In 2021, a 6-ducat German gold coin from 1659 sold more than three times what it was expected to sell for before the auction, which was $40,000. Part of its value comes from how old it is. Any coin with more than 360 years of history can be worth more.
But like many of the other currencies in this article, it was made by a government whose coins and banknotes were not going to last. Before Otto von Bismarck united all German states around Prussia in 1871 to form the German Empire, different German states had their own money.
1826 Argentinian 8-Escudos Coin – $25,300
Like most of the coins on this list, coins from the Spanish and Portuguese colonial times in Latin America are valuable because they were made by governments that didn’t last forever. But just like the last bills printed by the government can be worth a lot of money, so can the first ones printed by the new government.
In 2021, one of the famous Oro del Nuevo Mundo Collection’s more than 100 8-escudo coins sold for over $25,000. The 1826 coin is one of the oldest pieces in the collection. It was made in the early days of Argentinian independence.
So there you have it! Check your pockets for loose change because you might be sitting on a gold mine! Happy Collecting!