How to Make Money With John Adams Presidential Dollar Coins

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Last updated on May 28, 2019 Comments: 34

Whenever the US Mint comes up with a new concept for circulating coins, it inspires a new bunch of collectors and investors. That has certainly happened with the Presidential Dollar Series, which began in 2007.

First impressions of the George Washington $1 coins were luke warm, but then collectors started discovering errors. In some coins mostly originating from northern Florida, the lettering on the edge was missing. Whether intentional or not, the Mint’s lack of quality control helped fuel a frenzy on eBay, in which people were selling error coins for well over face value.

A recent search on eBay shows the coins typically selling in the $2 to $3 range, but you’ll also find error coins offered for hundreds more.. Meanwhile, unopened, uncirculated coin rolls are being offered between $30 and $40.

USA Coin Book is showing a similar price range of between $2 and $3, some even with free shipping. The more commonly minted coins aren’t fetching much of a premium.

There are a couple of issues that are working against the possibility of making money on John Adams $1 coins:

  • There is a consensus among collectors that the Adams coin has a better design than the Washington. It seems that people may hoard the coins, creating strong demand among collectors. This might make it more collectible.
  • The Washington coins have drawn a lot of attention, which  may be about the errors or even about the series itself. Either way, the Washingtons may be drawing at least some added interest to the John Adams coins.
  • Because of the situation with errors in the Washington coins, the Mint has allegedly worked to up its quality control to prevent the same outcome.

Despite this, if you do some quick research, you’ll read about doubled edge lettering on the John Adams coins. The error isn’t as common as it was with the Washington smooth edge (no lettering), making this the coin most likely to make money for the owner. Unfortunately, it’s less likely you have one given that it’s much less common.

If you decide to “invest” in a roll of John Adams coins, you may consider opening any rolls you’re not interested in collecting for yourself and check for errors.

If you find one or two coins that do have errors, I’d recommend putting it up for sale as soon as possible. It will give you a definite return, since collectors are zeroing in on the error coins. If you have several, you might sell a couple of them for a quick profit. You can hold the others for potential long-term appreciation. That will keep you covered either way.

The errors in the Washington coins were common, which means there are plenty floating around–probably too many for there to be any real profit potential. Meanwhile, the doubled lettering on the John Adams dollar seems to be sufficiently rare to generate nice premiums.

While this isn’t particular to Adams dollars, if you go through your rolls and find a coin struck through grease at the mint, which is considered by some as an error, you may have some luck making a profit with it on eBay.

It may be a minor error, but it’s enough to generate a substantial premium on an otherwise perfect coin. Minus the error, the coins would be worth no more than face value.

All this being said, you could probably make a small profit on each unopened uncirculated roll by selling them now on eBay, especially if you tend to overcharge for “shipping and handling” like most eBay-ers. For me, this small profit (maybe $5 a roll) wouldn’t be worth it, plus I would feel like I’m ripping someone off by selling them something they can easily get at their own bank for face value.

I’d strongly suggest spending some time checking out the comments on the Collectors’ Universe Message Boards. Since the forums are run by the grading service PCGS, you’ll get a chance to learn from some of the top dealers and collectors, who can offer suggestions on the best ways to sell the coins on eBay and other sites. I’d also be on the lookout for spam comments. There may be forum members weighing in only to draw attention to their own auctions. Regular contributors on the forum point out misleading listings with different scams and tactics. If you’re new to coin collecting, the forums are required reading.

So the John Adams hasn’t drawn the attention I originally thought it would. But there does seem to be significant profit potential in the coins with errors. It’s worth staying on top of events. If you can acquire coins or rolls at face value or slightly above, then inspect them for errors, you can make a nice profit. And the ones that are error-free can be resold for the going rate, to recover your investment.

It’s not a bad deal, and it may be well worth the search.

Article comments

Anonymous says:

Off-topic but if you look at the first comment it’s September 21, 2007 12:40 PM and this comment will be at’s Monday, March 29 3:10 PM

Norma says:

There called error coins,which makes them rare and more value

Paul says:

I have a 1dollar coin Jhon Adams no date on it why

Alex says:

Found a John Adams $1 coin that appears to not have the “gold” color. It is a silver color and bears the Denver Mint

Lisa says:

Found some with coin edging inverted lettering

Billy L Smith says:

I have a John Tyler presidental coin that is off color and the rim is very much off center more so on the back and every where the stars are stamped on the edge shows an indention on the rim front and back side of the rims. Is it worth anymore than a buck.

Cassandra Pittman says:

Hello I have to John Adams coin and one Thomas Jefferson coin how much can I get for them

Yalonda Russell says:

I have two john adam 1797-1801and I’m trying to sell them.. How much would i get for them?

Cesar says:

$1 each

Kim says:

I have one I would like to sell it is 1825-1829 and in good condition

Cesar says:

Millions…. John Adams was president from 1797 to 1801… LMAO.

juan says:

i have a dollar coin from john adamas and i want to sell it … year is 1797 to 1801

Jasmine Booker says:

I have a john Adams coin from 1900 hundreds is it worth something

Anonymous says:

I have a John Adams coin 1791-1801 is it worth anything

Anonymous says:

Its a 2007 p jonh adams 1 dollar coin error coin

Anonymous says:

I have a dollor coin of john adams and i want to sell it. How much is the worth? I just found it in my grandmom’s cabinet.

Anonymous says:

I have 2 2007 George Washington A grade never circulated coins how much they worth now

Anonymous says:

Please let me know where I can go to appraise my old coins/ email me. Thank you.

Anonymous says:

I’ve been collecting coins for a while but I have been recently interested in the dollar coins. I was looking at my John Adams and I noticed in your picture up top, that yours seems to have higher cheek bones and slimmer. Mine is very round in the face, why is that?

Anonymous says:

i have a dollar coin from john adamas and i want to sell it … yaer is 1797 to 1801

Anonymous says:

I was raking my lawn today and found a coin so i picked it up it had john adams on it and it has the double lettering. It turned brown in color as i dont know how long it has been out in the yard through all the weather conditions but it is one of the error coins. would it still be worth money? I have checked out a few sites and stores are offering for the public to buy these error coins for up to 700.00.

Anonymous says:

Is there any way to tell the mint (P or D) without busting the roll?

Anonymous says:


Anonymous says:

I’ve been selling Presidential Dollar Coin rolls on eBay since March. There is a modest profit in it, but nothing significant after eBay & PayPal fees.

Since almost anyone can get these, the eBay market quickly and efficiently brings the price down to almost break-even.

I’d tell the person with $150 of rolls to not even bother! Personally sold about $2500 worth of George Washington dollars for a profit of a few hundred dollars, but that is because I used my own blog to drive traffic and get fee refunds from eBay.

Anonymous says:

How can you get fee refunds from ebay? I didn’t quite understand what you meant by that.

Anonymous says:

I’ve opened and gone through one roll so far, no errors yet. I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for but the list of known errors on has helped.

Luke Landes says:

Patrick: There are some varieties of the Wisconsin quarter that are still fetching a large premium (Extra Leaf High and Extra Leaf Low). I’m not sure if it’s as much as $1,200, but it could be for certified coins. I’ll have to check eBay when I get a chance.

Anonymous says:

This is an interesting read. But, I’m not going to buy any of these coins myself. I collected coins as a kid, and now I save one or two (small denomination) coins from every country I travel to.

Remember the Wisconsin quarter a couple years back? I had a friend sell 5 of them on eBay for about $1200. I don’t think they are worth very much now… 🙂

I collected baseball cards back in the day too. I still buy a pack every now and then, not for profit, mostly for nostalgia and to see how the new cards look. It’s fun. 🙂

Anonymous says:

Yup, I remember distinctly when the first Leaf cards came out. $1.50 a pack? No way was I going to pay that. Instead I bought the over-produced Donruss cards, which are worth less than dirt now (and probably resealed wax packs).

The problem with baseball cards was always that the bid/ask spread was like 50%! Anyhow, good memories.

Honestly, I know next to nothing about coin collecting myself. Did those state quarters appreciate faster than inflation?

Anonymous says:

If Ihad 6 rolls ($150 face) I’d sell 2 or 3 rolls now for a quick profit and hold the rest for possible (modest) appreciation.

With any new coin “series” which stimulates collector interest, there are always laggards who come late to the party.

Some of the “early” (1999, 2000) state quarters in roll quantities are selling at respectable premiums. Five or ten years from now, the Adams coins may well be in a similar position

Luke Landes says:

Jonathan: I agree. After a point, you couldn’t buy and hold newer cards and hope for income down the road just because everything was so common. The printers went so far as to (allegedly) slip errors into production to boost demand. R

emember when there were at least 4 major card printers? Topps, Fleer, Donruss, Score, and Upper Deck just to name a few I remember from the late 80s. I think this turned people off to card collecting — so perhaps some of those cards printed during the “down” period of collecting will eventually have value… But there are other variables, too.

Anonymous says:

This reminds me of baseball cards. Now that everyone seems to be hoarding and aware of possible profit, I don’t know if these will appreciate that much anymore.

My baseball card collection is trailing inflation by a lot 🙂

Anonymous says:

I got a roll yesterday from my local bank Not that I want to sell them. I collect coins and have got coins from nearly 1000 countries so far. These new dollar coins will also make a nice gift when we go back to China next year.

George jones says: