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The tiny detail in your 20c coin that could be worth thousands

Got any loose change? There's a chance a 20c coin sitting at the bottom of your car’s ashtray or caught down the side of the couch could be worth thousands of dollars.

Michael McCauley, a coin collector and valuator from Ocean Grove in Victoria, posted a TikTok video on what to look for in several valuable coins.

He goes through a roll of 20 cent pieces and inspects one from 2004.

“You’re looking for a pointy A,” he says, using a toothpick to point at the A in the word Australia on the coin.

“If you find a pointy A - $9 to $10 are some recent sales prices.”

Michael McCauley inspects a 2004 Australian 20 cent coin and a 1966 20 cent coin.
Michael McCauley points out what to look for on a 2004 20 cent piece and to keep an eye out for a wavy line on a 1966 coin. Source: TikTok/ Michael McCauley

In fact, on eBay some sellers have a price tag of up to $40 for these particular 20-cent pieces. Like with most collectables, the condition of the coin can affect its value.

Other rare Australian coins

  • 2007 double headed coin: This five cent coin has the Queen’s head printed on both sides and is worth up to $6,500.

  • 2001 federation coin: Worth $100, this $1 coin features the Queen’s head upside down on one side. You can tell it’s upside down by looking at one side of the coin and rotating it.

  • 2000 mule coin: This $1 coin has a double rim on the Queen’s head side. It has kangaroos on the other with a value of about $4000.

But it’s the other detail on a 20c coin which will probably have most people sorting through their loose change.

Mr McCauley shows a 1966 coin which he says “a small amount” have a wavy baseline under the “2”.

“$250 to $4000 if you can find one,” he says.

On eBay a number of people have valued the 1966 20c piece with the wavy baseline from anywhere from $160 to $6,500.

While the value of these coins seems mouthwatering, they pale in comparison to what some overseas ones have sold for.

A 1794 silver dollar, believed to be the first minted in the US, sold for US$10 million in 2013, CNN reported.

The 1933 “Double Eagle” $20 coin, the last made out of gold, sold for $18.9 million last year, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

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