Coin Collecting

Some Do’s and Don’ts with Coin Collecting

Junk SilverCoin collecting is something that takes time to learn.

The most important thing to remember is that you are doing it for the right reason – if it is a passion, then it is something worth pursuing.

Collecting just for profit may work but it usually is not enough in the long run. A person really has to think about this since many people who have tried it for that reason have lost focus and failed.

Successful coin collectors take a lot of time to learn everything there is to know about numismatics. Good sources of information are the Internet, magazines, newsletters and brokers who can pass on information and news, when it happens. By using the resources a person can act fast before other collectors who want the same thing get the information first.

If a person tries to collect without knowing the basics, he will never succeed in this hobby.

MS69 First Strike American EagleKnowing how to grade coins can also help the collector know the true value of the collection. This knowledge will be valuable if the owner decides to trade for something of greater value or it can prevent scamming and wasting money for something of little value. Be vigilant!

One of the virtues that coin collecting can teach a person is patience since the collection may take years to complete. Some of the well-renowned collectors in the world have spent many years before reaping the benefits.

Learning to think like a collector is very important. Being too eager is not good because the collector could be tempted to purchase or trade the wrong coin which could prove to be costly. Think twice about using the information given even if that came from a reliable source.

Coin collecting can be difficult especially if the person is just starting. A person, more than likely, can’t afford to buy items worth more than $10,000, so it is best to start small and study the market for three to six months so that he can be comfortable before going after bigger prizes.

Coin collecting is similar to sports – it takes time to excel at it and goals, both short and long term, have to be established. By following the rules and using common sense, the person can become one of many other successful coin collectors.

Starting a Coin Collection

It is never too early or too late to have a hobby. Some people are hobbyists for fun while others see a bigger picture; and that is to make money. Some objects that may seem inexpensive now may become valuable or priceless later.

A few good examples are baseball cards, toys and stamps. Many people have made a fortune by collecting and selling on auction sites like EBay. Another collection that can become profitable is coin collecting.

collecting coins

Getting started is as easy as deciding what kind of collection you want. Coins are made every year and some are introduced years later so focusing on a particular time period and location is important.

Conducting research using reference books or the web can aid in coin collecting. You can learn almost anything about the coins to be collected and will help the collector discover those who want to sell coins.

Another good source of information is subscribing to a coin publication such as Coin World or Coinage Magazine. The local coin shop can also expand the search for those antique coins outside the collector’s city or state.

Being a member of a coin club can build the collector’s network. Some members may want to part with a particular coin in exchange for another, etc.

Coins that are no longer used generally have more value than those that are still active, because coins in the past were made of 100% silver or gold. Since the demand for silver coins increased and they were difficult to produce they are now made of 40% and 60% copper.

After completing the collection, the coins should be stored in a nice folder or album. This will keep them clean and easy for the individual to carry around and display.

Coins can be cleaned by soaking them in any of the following liquids: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice or ammonia which will remove any dirt or encrustation that’s on the coin when it was acquired. Afterwards, they should be air-dried or patted dry with a soft cloth. Rubbing or polishing the coins is not advisable since it scratches and will decrease the market value of the coin.

Coin collecting can be a lot of fun. By deciding on a specific period to begin with then searching for it, the collector will have something valuable as an investment.

America the Beautiful Quarters 2016 Silver Proof Set

America the Beautiful Quarters capture the breathtaking beauty of America’s natural landscapes that have inspired countless poets, adventurers, and artists. Today, these hallowed sites are protected and are enshrined through the U.S. Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

Now into its seventh year of inspiring designs, the program has finally crossed paths with the National Park Service’s 100th birthday. While these beautiful and historically significant national parks, forests and monuments were chronologically due to come up in 2016, they provide a perfect representation of American pride from sea to shining sea. This 2016 America the Beautiful Quarters Uncirculated Set gives you all five quarters from the year, including:

  • The majestic Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, with a view of Camel Rock and a soaring red-tailed hawk
  • Kentucky’s Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, dramatizing a frontiersman at the “First Doorway to the West”
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia, featuring the monumental John Brown’s Fort
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park, with the forefather of the National Park Service looking out over the Little Missouri River in North Dakota, and
  • Fort Moultrie at Fort Sumter National Monument, featuring Sergeant William Jasper as he runs to protect the flag of South Carolina from the British

 

The 2016 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set features all five designs as struck by the San Francisco mint using polished dies and specially treated 90% pure silver planchets — resulting in a set that features each intricate design in sharp relief with lustrous mirrored backgrounds. Each set is housed in a clear plastic lens along with mint packaging that features beautiful photography of each site.

Thoughts on 90% Silver Coins vs. Silver Bullion

While the accumulation of 90% “junk” silver is popular among many people, this guy in these video’s presents some interesting thoughts to consider as we try to protect ourselves with silver bullion.

Apart from the debate over 90% silver coins vs. bullion silver, I thought it important to note he talks about the changes made in laws (Financial Regulatory Reform Bill and Healthcare Reform Bill) making coin dealers fall into the same category as banks and other financial institutions.

It would seem to me the government is preparing to close the doors on silver investors from accumulating government issued silver coins. If we’re going to accumulate silver eagles or other denominated 90% silver coins, it might be best to accumulate those coins before January 1, 2012 when coin dealers will then be required by law to report to the IRS your silver purchases.

Hello? Can you see the door closing?

Since January 1, 2012, the federal government has the authority to implement price controls on what coin dealers are allowed to give you for your denominated silver coins. It seems to me this is a pretty good argument for not accumulating ONLY denominated silver coins, but to also own silver rounds and silver bars.

Of course, I don’t know what the federal government might do in the future. These ideas are just something else to think about.

The Verity of US Coin Collecting

Fugio cent

coin collector

Whether they spend it or just collect it, some people are simply born to love the way money provides them the kind of gratification that they seek.

For example those people who are coin collectors simply love the sight of coins and many wish to display their collections as art.

In the United States, coin collecting started as early as 1652. During this period, business people and individuals alike, were known to engrave and distribute their personal coins.

Some people are so interested in coin collecting that they want to seek out various forms and categories and coins. The reason for this fascination for these coins is the very nature of U.S. coins.

The U.S. Mint carefully crafts U.S coins and over the past 30 years it has minted nearly 300 billion coins.

When the Articles of Confederation gave consent for the different states to create or manufacture their own coins, the U.S. coin collections grew at an unparalleled rate. That is why in the middle of 1780’s, states like Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts started creating various coins unique to their states. This prompted the start of “rare coin collection.”

To know more about U.S. coin collecting, here are some of the basic facts that you must know:

  • Fugio centIt was on 1787 that the primary “federally” approved coin of the U.S. was first made. It was in New Haven, Connecticut where the “Fugio Cent,” the name of the coin, was secretly manufactured.
  • The U.S. Mint is responsible for manufacturing the U.S. coins. The agency uses bands of metal that are rolled into loops, with the right breadth and measurements. Each kind of coin uses a particular kind of metal. For instance, metal strips that are made of zinc are used to manufacture pennies, while nickels are made of a 25% “nickel metal alloy” and 75% copper.

For this reason, U.S. coin collecting is further subdivided into categories such as the U.S cent, U.S. nickel, U.S. dime, etc.

People who would like to start collecting U.S. coins, should learn the intricacies or the hobby and find ways to acquire their first coins.

The hobby of U.S. coin collecting is not just a wonderful hobby but also a great way to preserve the nation’s culture and history.

Tips for Buying Bullion Coins

Bullion coins may have high values because they are not only limited; but also they may have been found in shipwrecks, or they may come from the ancient times. For these reasons, bullion coins are favorites among many collectors.

Ron Paul Silver CommemorativeSilver bullion coins could be the most well known type of bullion that is selling very well on the internet and are among the most expensive and valuable items in the world.

Some high priced coins you’ll find include the silver ingot. The silver ingot was said to have been found in the Spanish ship Atocha that sank in the ocean. This ship was found to contain treasures and artifacts including silver ingots. Others claim that the silver ingots were recovered from an old Colorado Mining area. Coins were found everywhere and were said to have been hidden by the miners.

Canadian Maple LeafThe silver Maple Leaf Coins are also popular among collectors. These coins came from the Royal Canadian Mint and include the Walking Liberty half-dollars and the dealer roll first-strike 1994 U.S. Eagles. These items were a collection of the Franklin Mint which had more than 100 masterpieces in their memorabilia.

Most bullion collectors prefer the gold billion. Some famous bullion gold coins include the gold Krugerrands, which are from South Africa. The European Gold Crowns were released from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Other items include the Canadian Maple Leaf Coins and the United States American Eagle Coins. British Sovereigns can also be found including the Swiss Helveteas and the French Roosters.

The awesome 10-ounce Swiss gold bar, China gold panda set, and the American eagle proof set coins can also be found and are considered to be the most seen coins on the internet. There are gold bullion found in the American Eagle set, Mixed Lots, Rounds, Bars, and any other similar categories that are found on some sites on the internet.

A type of bullion that is not well known is the Platinum bullion. It is not as in demand as great the silver and gold bullion coins. Platinum bullion can be purchased anywhere: some of them are the French Statue of Liberty coins, Eagle sets, and the Koala Proofs. The World Trade Center has also offered some Platinum bullions like the Englehard platinum bar, crucible dish made of platinum bullion, and the Johnson Matthew Year of the Dragon coins which were recovered from the safety vaults of the building when it collapsed.

These coins can be considered as thoughtful gifts aside from their being valuable since they can be kept as a souvenir from the person who gave it. A bullion bar that features a happy birthday greeting can be a thoughtful gift for a friend’s birthday especially if the bar has the date of the birthday on it. Some people also use them for their anniversaries as their gifts to one another – they search for those bullions that have the date of their engagement or the wedding year. Some brides also ask their groom to find her 24-karat gold flakes or silver flakes as her chosen token for their wedding.

Coin collecting of this type can be very expensive, especially when buying bullion, but here are some tips that can guide a person in his search for affordable bullion.

  • You must be sure of the type of bullion you would like to purchase before ordering or buying.
  • You must ask yourself, or the person you are buying the bullion for, what bullion he/she prefers and ask if they would like to come with you when purchasing the bullion.
  • You need to figure the delivery costs and add them to the agreed price.
  • You should be sure that the seller will guarantee delivery for the item if they have ordered it on the internet.
  • You should never make the payments using instant money transfer firms.
  • It is important to know the seller’s background and reputation in the business.

Starting A Silver Coin Collection

Starting a silver coin collection is a great hobby that you will quickly find yourself addicted to. There are numerous different coins that can be collected so it is a good idea to pick something like silver coins to focus on when you are just getting started. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

When most people think about silver coins they assume this includes all nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. They are all silver in appearance so it is not hard to imagine why people would think of them in that regard. In reality, many of these coins are not really silver at all. In fact, most of the coins produced today do not contain any silver at all. Because of a critical silver shortage in 1965, Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965, which authorized the removal of silver content from circulating coinage (except for the Kennedy half dollar) minted after December 31, 1964, replacing it with a clad composition of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel.

In order to determine the types of silver coins for your collection that are available you will need to do a little research first. Spend some time getting to know the different types of coins that are out there and then learn the details connected with each one. Understand the levels of grading that are associated with each coin to help you get a better understanding of the overall value that each coin has.

Different Types Of Silver Coins You Can Collect

franklin_halfHalf dollars are great silver coins to collect. The United States Mint began producing this coin way back in 1794 which were then called the Flowing Hair Half Dollars. Several different varieties of the half dollar were minted between 1794 and 1964. During this time period these coins were made out of 90 percent silver.

Many people will find that collecting the earliest half dollars will not be an easy task. Coins from the 1700s and 1800s are likely to be pretty worn out which decreases their value. Even in this worn out condition old silver coins like this can still cost a small fortune.

1804_dollar_obverseAnother popular silver coin to collect is the dollar. Just like the half dollar, production of the silver dollar began in 1794. There are a variety of different versions of the dollar and up until 1971 they were produced with a large amount of silver in them.

eisenhower_dollarWhen the United States Mint began producing the Eisenhower Dollar in 1971 they stopped using silver as its key ingredient. There were a few years where the mint produced special versions of this dollar but they were limited in release and aimed specifically towards silver coin collectors.

 

Do Commemorative Coins Interest You?

commemorative coin

Commemorative coins have become very popular for many people.  Some people just want to have different kinds of coins in their collections or they collect them as souvenirs. Many times they are used as traditional gifts for special occasions. These coins are not considered to be practical gifts, but are commemorative items that can be kept for years as special souvenirs when received by a special friend or loved one.

Thomas Edison commemorativeThere is a strong demand for these coins among people who are collectors as they may have significant meaning to them. Others will want them to remember an important day or occasion. The mint date and the event celebrated by the coin could be one factor people consider them collectible items.

Since the 1970s, the individual coins were available in the market every year, but are now available as sets in packages or in special displays. Many collectors say that one reason they are marketed this way was the depreciation of their value starting in 1971. The introduction of the euro may also be a factor.

There are countries that have produce commemorative coins and used these coins for propaganda. There were monarchs who issued coins to commemorate past or current events and/or celebrations that recognized their authority.

The half dollar was produced in 1892 to commemorate the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This was a celebration to mark the 400th anniversary of the expedition of Christopher Columbus and his discoveries in the world.

During the following year, the first quarter dollar commemorative was introduced to signify the Exposition as well, but it also gave honor to queen Isabella of Spain. She was the one who “back-pedaled” the political agendas on Women Rights.

The first commemorative coins that were made of silver were introduced in the 1900s. The coins were minted in honor of Lafayette and George Washington. In the following years, the half dollar coin was denominated, and the legal tender commemorative coins were created to mark celebrations rather than historical events. These coins are recognized today as classical sets of special coins of historical events between the years 1892 – 1954.

It was in 1932 that the Washington quarter dollar was released as the United States’ second commemorative coin in its denomination. It was issued for the 200th birth anniversary of George Washington. The coin also continues its circulation as a commemorative coin because of its popularity.

It was uncharacteristic to circulate a commemorative coin of the 1892 – 1954 era in the United States because the government had not intentionally put them into circulation, (they were not legally approved by the government for public use) so collectors will not pay the premium costs of these coins that are still in the market.

Washington bicentennial quarterIn 1975, that the Bicentennial quarter was introduced. It became the second circulating commemorative coin in the U.S., while the silver dollars and half dollars (1776 – 1976) were reissued as a special collector’s edition.

Many collectors have different agendas when collecting these coins. Some prefer commemorative coins from 1892 – 1954 while most collectors choose the modern editions. They know that these coins have different values depending on the series and/or editions.

Although there have been different series released, a proposal was submitted to congress that would mark the Lincoln cent for his birth anniversary. No one knows whether or not the 1-cent denomination commemorative coin will be minted.

The confusing part of these commemoratives that are circulating is the pattern of the denomination. The 1776-1976 commemoratives half-dollar and silver dollar may not be included in collections because of their scarcity. Most of the coins that are circulating are the quarter dollar coins.

State Quarter Collector Maps

Do’s and Don’ts of Coin Collecting

It takes time to learn coin collecting. The most important thing to remember is that you are doing it for the right reason – if it is a passion, then it is something worth pursuing.

Collecting just for profit may work but it usually is not enough in the long run. A person really has to think about this since many people who have tried it for that reason have lost focus and failed.

Successful coin collectors take a lot of time to learn everything there is to know about numismatics. Good sources of information are magazines, newsletters, the Internet and brokers who can pass on information and news, when it happens. By using the resources a person can act fast before other collectors who want the same thing get the information first.

If a person tries to collect without knowing the basics, he will never succeed in this hobby.

nickelsKnowing how to grade coins can also help the collector know the true value of the collection. This knowledge will be valuable if the owner decides to trade for something of greater value or it can prevent scamming and wasting money for something of little value. Be vigilant!

One of the virtues that coin collecting can teach a person is patience since the collection may take years to complete. Some of the well-renowned collectors in the world have spent many years before reaping the benefits.

Learning to think like a collector is very important. Being too eager is not good because the collector could be tempted to purchase or trade the wrong coin which could prove to be costly. Think twice about using the information given even if that came from a reliable source.

Coin collecting can be difficult especially if the person is just starting. A person, more than likely, can’t afford to buy items worth more than $10,000, so it is best to start small and study the market for three to six months so that he can be comfortable before going after bigger prizes.

Coin collecting is similar to sports – it takes time to excel at it and goals, both short and long term, have to be established. By following the rules and using common sense, the person can become one of many other successful coin collectors.

What are Mint Marks and Why are they Important

mint mark

Mint Marks are the tiny letters referring to the locality where the minting of coins took place. The position of mint mark can be found typically on the back side of coins that were minted before the year 1965 and on the front after the year 1967.

Coins of every US mint branch are recognized by mint marks.

The “Director of the Mint”, through the “Act of March 3, 1835”, set rules to classify and distinguish the coins released from every US Mint branch. This core management set accurate standards and pattern of production as well as responsible coinage.

Mintmarks that appear on US coins include:

  • C: Charlotte (Gold only, 1838-1861)
  • CC: Carson City (1870-1893)
  • D: Dahlonega, Georgia (Gold only, 1838-1861)
  • D: Denver (1906 to date; easily distinguishable from Dahlonega because of the different timeframes in which the mints operated)
  • O: New Orleans (1838-1909)
  • P: Philadelphia (Silver “Nickels” 1942-45; Dollar coins 1979 to date; other coins except cents 1980 to date. Although the Philadelphia mint has been operating continuously since 1793, most Philadelphia coins do not have a mintmark)
  • S: San Francisco (1854 to date. Now mints collector coins only. The last circulating coin to bear an ‘S’ mintmark was the 1980-S SBA Dollar)
  • W: West Point (1983 to date; collector coins only)

 

mint marks

All dies for US coins are produced at the Philadelphia Mint and prior to shipping the coins to their mint branch, coins are marked first with the correct and designated mint markings. The precise size and positioning of the coins’ mint mark can slightly vary; this is influenced by how deep the punch was impressed and where.

The importance of mint marks:

Collectors can determine the value of a coin though mint mark, date and condition examination, making the coins condition the most significant factor and standard when determining its value.  Different mints produce a different quantity of coins and therefore some coins from mints having smaller quantities can be more valuable.

Design Types of US Coins and Coin Collecting

Gold coin

Coin collecting is a fun hobby that anyone who has the time can do. A coin’s history and its development can be learned by collecting them.

At one point in time, between 1838 and 1933, the United States issued gold coins for circulation. The Liberty Head bust was used as the design until 1907. The design was then changed to the Indian Head and Saint Gaudens motifs until 1933 when the “Great Depression” started. This prompted the recall of the coins which makes it very rare to find any of them today.

The most valuable coin in the world is the 1933 Double Eagle. This was a $20 gold coin that was made in the 1800’s after the California gold rush. This coin was not allowed to be used in the 1930’s and when this coin was auctioned in 2002, it sold for nearly eight million dollars.

Since gold coins are hard to find, most collectors select other coins.

One type of collection you might consider is the one made up of coins that are flawed when the coin was minted. If you can find a coin with a misspelled word, a wrong date, off-center characteristics, or double-punched marks, these coins are valuable. Such mistakes can increase a coin’s value from $50 to a $1000.

Coins that were only issued or circulated for short period of time also make good collectibles.

Photo credit: rclatter / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

A coin collection is at its best if it is focused on a certain coin. A collector can choose from pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars.

Another way of collecting is disregarding the types of coins but concentrating on a certain time period. Coins have different mint marks and collecting those that were struck in the same location can also be interesting. The important thing for hobbyists is to stick to the collection until it has been completed.

For a good start subscribe to a coin publication such as Coin World or Coinage Magazine for information on the types of coins that you might want to collect. The internet or a local coin shop can also help expand the search for those coins that can’t be found in your locale or out of state.

Building a coin collection will take a long time – months or even years. The United States has produced so many coins that it is hard to keep track of them. By deciding on the coin(s) you want to collect, the challenge to complete that collection begins.

America the Beautiful Quarters 2016 Silver Proof Set

This is a beautiful set of 90% silver quarter proofs.

U.S. Mint proof coins feature sharp relief and a mirror–like background. Their frosted, sculpted foregrounds give them an exceptional cameo effect. Proof blanks are specially treated, polished and cleaned to ensure high quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice to ensure sharp relief. The coins are then packaged in a protective lens to showcase and maintain their exceptional finish.

The 2016 edition of the America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set features the seventh annual release of five quarters in the series.

Each coin in this series features a common obverse (heads) with the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”

The 2016 reverse (tails) of these coins honor the sites below with the following designs:

  • Shawnee National Forest in Illinois
  • Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in Kentucky:
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
  • Fort Moultrie at Fort Sumter National Monument in South Carolina

 

Picking Silver Dollars For Your Coin Collection

seated_liberty_dollarPicking silver dollars for your coin collection can be a time consuming process. You have to find a place that sells silver dollars and then you have to painstakingly browse through the available coins that they might have. It is possible that the one silver dollar you need to finish off your coin collection might be difficult to find or be extremely expensive.

peace_dollarThere are other great ways to find silver dollars for your coin collection though. Try browsing through the coins that might be available on an internet auction site like eBay. Instead of being limited to just the coins that one particular store has, look through a whole bunch of coins. Maybe you will be able to locate the one that you need at a reasonable price.

Make sure to pay special attention to items that you do buy online. Pictures can be deceiving and you do not want to be disappointed when your silver dollar arrives for your coin collection.

Reasons To Add Silver Dollars To Your Coin Collection

morgan-dollar
One great reason to collect silver dollar coins is because they can be worth a great deal of money. The price of silver has gone up quite a bit which has directly affected the cost of silver coins. As the price of silver continues to go up the value of the coins that you have will appreciate over time.

Another great thing about collecting silver dollar coins is that they always have a value. You can always buy something else with the silver dollar in your collection whereas you can’t simply walk into a store and buy a pack of gum with an action figure that you have been collecting.

silver-american-eagleSilver dollar coin collections are great to pass down through generations. Start collecting all of the silver dollars that you can get and then pass it on to your child. They can add more coins to the collection including the most recent coins as well. Eventually someone is going to have a pretty impressive collection of silver dollar coins that is going to be worth a great deal of money.

Whether you are collecting gold coins or silver, it is fun. Watching your collection grow over time can be extremely satisfying. While it might be tedious to get started with a silver dollar coin collection over time you will grow to love it. Looking at the little details of the silver dollars will be fun instead of a strain on your eyes.

Ron Paul Silver Commemorative and Silver Barter Round

Some of my favorite silver coins are the silver 2008 Ron Paul Commemorative and 2009 Ron Paul Barter round from the Freedom Mint.

2008 Ron Paul Commemorative
Ron Paul Silver CommemorativeThe frontside of this piece displays the engaging image of Dr. Ron Paul during his historic 2008 Presidential Campaign. The outer ring of design declares Ron Paul is the “Champion of the Constitution” and commemorates the beginning of his “Campaign for Liberty”.

Ron Paul Commemorative BackThe backside displays the stunning imagery of the US Constitution rising over the Earth, behind a rising sun symbolizing the restoring of the republic. The Latin phrase below the words “Restore the Republic”, “Erudio, Strenuus, Restituo”, translate to: “Educate, Activate, Restore”.

More on Ron Paul Silver Commemorative and Silver Barter Round

Learning the Ropes of Numismatics

Numismatics is the study of money, medallions, banknotes, token coins, and stock certificates. It is believed to have been established in the time of Julius Caesar who wrote the first book on the subject. It is a very interesting topic because every medal or coin signifies a different era, culture, economy and/or politics.

Numismatists or the people who study the history and over all appearance of the above mentioned forms of currency are different from coin collectors. Unlike numismatists, coin collectors are only interested in collecting coins and the prestige that goes along with it; a numismatist may also be a coin collector and vise versa.

Over the years, coin collection has been very popular. The most common designs are famous people and animals to depict the era when the specific coin was released.

Numismatists are generally interested in use of money, its origin, appearance, variety and production. They aim to explore the role of the different kinds of currency in our history using mint information. Mint refers to the place or facility where the coins are manufactured. They also grade or authenticate coins to determine their market value. To facilitate this, coin grading system facilities were established.

At this time there are three major third party facilities that authenticate coins and/or paper money. These are: the PCGS or Professional Coin grading system located in Newport Beach, CA; the NGC or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation in Sarasota, Florida; and Paper Money Grading (PMG).

PCGS is a third party institution that was established in 1986, which grades and authenticates coins primarily for commercial purposes. They are an independent body providing expert opinion in rating a coin. NGC is also a third party institution offering services solely to numismatists. It was established in 1987. On the other hand, PMG is solely for authentication of paper money and a smaller department of PCGS.

When coin collecting was not as popular as it is now, there were only 3 categories into which a coin could fall: 1. Good – which means that the coin has all of the details intact; 2. Fine – which means that the coin has all the details intact and still has a bit of luster visible; and 3. Uncirculated – which means that the coin was never put on the market thus maintaining its original appearance.

However, today coin grading has evolved and is becoming more definite. They use a combination of letters and numbers that corresponds to the quality of a coin. The coin grading system of United States of America is the most comprehensive and recommended for beginners. An example of USA grading system: MS-60 to MS-70 which means that the coin is blemish-free and has good color and strike. In short it’s perfect!

Knowing how to grade a coin properly is not only a gift, it’s an art. It requires knowledge, exposure and obviously skills. For coin collectors, ability to grade a coin is a must because the value of a coin largely depends its grade.

Here are some components Numismatists use in coin grading

  • Luster – it is a determining factor whether or not a specific coin has been circulated. To have a higher grade, a coin must be technically intact and free from any form of imperfection or blemish.
  • Surface preservation. Abrasion on the surface of the coin and its location is a huge factor in grading a coin but it does not necessarily mean that abrasion can lower the grade of a coin. For example, if a good-looking coin has a severe abrasion on the back that is unnoticeable it will not count against the coin, but the issue may not be the same if the abrasion is located on the front or focal point.
  • Strike. It refers to the coin designing process wherein the coin is being stamped onto a planchet. In overall grading, strike does not weigh a great deal.
  • Coloration. For some coin collectors, preservation of original color of the coin has a huge impact on its value especially if it is a copper or silver coin.
  • Eye appeal. Some coins may not be perfect but collectors may find them attractive, however, it still requires expert opinion to conclude that a certain coin is excellent in all aspects mentioned.

If you have no background in grading coins, you have no business in coin collecting and numismatics without employing help from the experts. Coins have been playing vital roles, not only in the lives of people who love collecting and studying them, but in society as they represent different eras in history. Whether you are selling, buying or collecting coins, you must acquire the necessary basic knowledge or information; so that you can be assured that it is accomplished properly.

Collecting Gold Coins

Coin collecting is something that dates back to when coins were first issued for trade. It was only in the Middle Ages that people turned this into a hobby because of the art work and the historical value.

Coin collecting today is still a hobby that many people enjoy. One of the most precious and most expensive collections that anyone can ever have are gold coins. The most expensive gold coin ever bought was worth around eight million dollars. This was the American 1933 Gold Eagle. This is why the collecting of gold coins deserves to be called the hobby of kings.

Liberty Gold CoinGold coins were one of the oldest forms of money, later followed by silver coins. Gold coins were in circulation in the United States from 1838 to 1933. The design was the Liberty Head bust made until 1907. The design was then changed to the Indian Head and Saint Gaudens motifs and was used until 1933 when the Great Depression began. This prompted the recall of gold coins which makes them very difficult to find today.

Since these coins are no longer in circulation, the price for one of them can reach quite high. Gold is also now used for other things such as jewelry or bars that people retain as an investment.

South Africa minted its first gold coin called the Krugerrand in 1967. This coin has no face value but merely stands as a symbol. It is made of 1 ounce of gold and can be purchased for investment purposes.

Since then other countries also minted bullion coins. Canada made the Gold Maple Leaf in 1979 and Australia made the Nugget in 1981. These two are much more popular than the South African coin because of its 24 carat purity.
gold-eagle

The American Eagle gold bullion series debuted in 1986. The obverse was originally designed by Augustus Saint Gaudens for the 1907-1933 $20.00 U.S. Double Eagle. The reverse features a nest of American Eagles, signifying the strength and security of American families. Its stately appearance and proud symbolism make the Gold American Eagle one of the world’s most popular gold coins.

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A lot of people retain gold today as an investment because they speculate that the demand will cause its market value to increase. Others hold it as a form of insurance should the financial situation become worse. As more paper money is printed by the FED, each of those Federal Reserve Notes looses more of its value and the value of gold and silver soars. Since the U.S. closed its gold window in 1971, the FED has produced more and more paper currency without regard to the value of gold.

Buying Assets on Sale

The Game of Monopoly is the textbook or blueprint that provides individuals with a plan to become financially free. Since most people only see Monopoly as a game, they may miss many of the real life lessons it can teach. For example, what does Monopoly teach you about your salary and money? The first space in Monopoly says, “Collect $200 salary as you pass Go”. The question is, “how should you view this money and what should you do with it?”

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Be Safe When Buying or Selling Coins to a Dealer

Coin collecting can be a lot of fun. This hobby which dates back to 2500 BC is much larger now since people are now able to collect currencies from other countries.

If a person decides to buy or sell some of the coins for their collection, it is necessary to know its value by looking at a coin catalog or price guide. There are many ways to do this and one is looking for a coin dealer to do business with.
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Collecting Silver Coins is Fun and Profitable

Accumulating things seems to be the human condition. People collect all sorts of things for a variety of reasons. Usually, it’s because they either enjoy the things they collect or they believe their collection will have greater value in the future.

Well, if you’re going to collect something… why not collect real money?
1804_dollar_obverseSilver and gold have always been something of value that has been used as money throughout the ages. In fact, silver has been deemed the official money of the United States as mandated by our Constitution. True, many believe their fiat paper money is the official American currency, and it has been pretty successfully passed off as that. However, it’s value has been debased since the Federal Reserve began printing it and its value continues to decline.
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Types or Specialties of Coin Collectors

If you are a coin collector, how do you categorize yourself?

There are various ways to collect coins as well as the specialties of collectors. Here is how to differentiate the variety of coin collectors.

coin collectorThe Casual Coin Collector: The Most Common One

You will know that you are a coin collector if…

  • you collect coins no matter what your age
  • you collect coins randomly just for the fun of it
  • you do not pay much money for the preservation and purchase of coins
  • you will collect some coins that are already obsolete, those that have been modified and are used my magicians, commemorative coins, those with errors, or those that are out of circulation
  • your collection is made more interesting because of the coins given to you as gifts

The Curious Collector: The Second Level

You will be able to recognize yourself as a curious collector if…

  • you are more interested in coin collecting than simply collecting them because you received them as gifts
  • you don’t mind buying coins, especially if they are inexpensive
  • you are more interested in browsing coin shops than a casual collector
  • you spend time surfing the net looking at coins sold on eBay or other coin sites
  • you collect coins without a clear-cut objective
  • you are inclined to increase your knowledge of coins and might soon contemplate becoming an advanced coin collector as you establish contact with more serious collectors who might inspire you

The Advanced Collector: The Extreme Collector

You can categorize yourself as an advanced collector if…

  • you find yourself smitten by the “Hobby of Kings”
  • you are either a “generalist” (a collector who wants to obtain a wide variety of coins) if you can to obtain an amazing collection you’re your available resource; a “completist” (a collector who wants to collect a complete set of a specific type)
  • you lack resources and will opt for a smaller number of coins to complete a set, if you are a “completist”
  • as a “completist”, you prefer collecting coins from a certain historic period, nation, or you prefer collecting tokens or coins with errors.

No matter what level of coin collecting specialty you choose, it is your choice. What is important is that you find it rewarding and fulfilling.

So, have you found your category yet?