You might have a coin worth literally thousands in your pocket right now. No, not like that Simpsons episode where Mr Burns tries to steal a trillion dollars: an actual, real coin that you could buy something with that is secretly also worth plenty more than face value to a collector.
Though the most of us haven't used cash wherever possible for about a year, it hasn't done anything to diminish the value of the change in the bottom of your wallet: in fact, it's probably raised the value of it.
That's because there are coins out there, pretty much indistinguishable from regular euro coins, that have small anomalies that make them unique and, therefore, highly collectible.
There's the 1 cent point that was printed in error in Italy in 2002, with the Mole Antonelliana church in Turin on the back instead of the Castel del Monte in Puglia: if you find one of them, you could be in for a major windfall, as one sold at auction for over €6,000.
One of the most valuable is actually a mere €2. It was a special edition of just 20,000 created to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of actress Grace Kelly, the mother of Albert, Prince of Monaco, and can now fetch as much as €4,000 on auction sites.
These pale into insignificance, however, next to some of the prices that US dollars go for. Just last month, an American coin from the revolutionary period in the 1770s sold for almost $10 million USD, the second-highest price ever fetched for a coin.
It is known as a Brasher Doubloon, named for Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith who made them before the US had a central mint for coins. The one sold in January is thought to be the best example still in existence in terms of preservation and quality.
"The Brasher Doubloons, for coin collectors, coin connoisseurs, this is sort of a holy grail," said Todd Imhof, executive vice president of Heritage, the auctioneering firm that sold the coin. "I think these coins are generally considered to have been sort of prototypes, experimental pieces if you will, and were likely given to VIPs and dignitaries at the time."
It was sold to an anonymous buyer for $9.36m (€7.68m).
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