One of the main reasons why coins are such popular collectibles: many attractive, historic and fascinating items can be had for relatively little. There are numerous American coins with intriguing backstories and rich history available at a modest price point. Below is a list of some exceptional numismatic values that make for superb conversation pieces and keepsakes—all for under $250 per coin.
BUST HALF DOLLARS: Early half dollars from the 1820s and 1830s can be found in very respectable condition for under $250 each. Look for coins with even wear, original color and clean surfaces; they can be found with just a little effort. These are among the most affordable early American United States coins.
BRONZE COLONIALS: Despite dating back to the 1700s, these coins are extremely old but not necessarily extremely expensive. Common Colonials (like Hibernia half pennies sell) are available for under $250 in decent condition. Try to find undamaged coins with even brown color, intact design details and complete dates. Some are so worn that they are barely recognizable, but many decent-looking coins still exist in the $100-$250 range.
ANCIENTS: Speaking of extremely old but extremely reasonable, a surprising number of ancient bronze coins sell for $100-$200 each. This is a perfect example of how “old” does not always translate to “rare.” The Roman Empire was a massive entity with a large population—and commensurately it struck vast quantities of coins.
ODD DENOMINATION COINS: To most Americans, two-cent and three-cent coins are highly unusual denominations, as they were discontinued over a century ago. Despite being “odd” denominations, they are not terribly rare and can be found in Uncirculated condition for under $250. In fact, some of the most common two-cent bronzes and three-cent nickels are Civil War dated, making them fascinating items on multiple levels.
CARSON CITY SILVER DOLLARS: No coin embodies the Old West quite like these big Nevada silver dollars. In all likelihood, these coins were made entirely out of silver extracted from famous Nevada finds like the Comstock Lode. Lightly circulated coins typically trade in the $200-$250 range—or for another $50-$100 per coin one can buy Uncirculated specimens.
HIGH RELIEF PEACE DOLLARS: When the Peace silver dollar was first introduced in 1921, it featured design details struck in high relief. This motif proved to be difficult to strike, and thus the “deep dish” Peace dollar was scrapped by 1922. These scarcer 1921 High Relief peace dollars have a unique appearance and can be had for under $250 in About Uncirculated condition.