Some examples of rare U.S. coins include the 1793 half cent, the 1937-D 3 leg buffalo nickel, the 1800 bust half dime, the 1796 bust dime, the 1870-CC seated liberty quarter, the 1795 bust half, the 1893-S Morgan silver dollar and the 1926-D twenty dollar gold coin. Collectors determine rarity for a coin based on its year, location of minting, condition and the total number minted.
For 19th-century coins, those minted at the Carson City facility generally fetch the highest price. The condition of a coin, rated on a scale of good, fine, extra fine and uncirculated, affects the price significantly; uncirculated coins are typically the most difficult to find. For example, a 1854 seated liberty quarter minted in New Orleans is worth $21, followed by fine condition coins worth $36, extremely fine coins worth $112 and uncirculated coins worth $1,538, as of 2014. Half dime coins are some of the rarest in U.S. currency, with certain designs valued at over $12,000, which is higher than the value of some gold coins. Many gold coins are extremely rare and valuable due to the small number available. Rare gold coins, such as the Denver-minted Saint Gaudens gold coin, can fetch over $13,000, as of 2014.