silver american eagle

U.S. Mint Ups Allocation of Silver Eagle Coins

Silver Eagle

Silver EagleThe U.S. Mint has increased its weekly allocation of American Eagle silver bullion coins. “The U.S. Mint has 2,204,500 ounces of American Eagle silver to allocate this week,” says a memo from the Mint. Previously, the Mint had been allocating 1 million ounces weekly, an official says.

By Allen Sykora of Kitco News; asykora@kitco.com

Assessing the Benefits in Silver Coin Collecting

We’ve seen over the past five years the collapse and near collapse of financial giants and companies considered too big to fail. Because of this, many people are looking for alternative investment opportunities and quite a number have considered silver coin collecting as possibility. If you are one of the many people who want to try collecting silver coins for profit, there are several things to consider ensuring your efforts will pay off.

Silver Bullion Coins

If you are seriously considering silver coins as part of your investment portfolio, you need to first of all decide if you want to collect silver bullion coins or if you want to buy silver coins that were minted and circulated as legal tender.

Silver bullion coins are generally made of 99.9 percent silver except for the British silver Britannia which has a silver content of 95.8 per cent. Normally, the face value of a silver bullion coin is lower than its actual market value. For example, the Canadian Silver Leaf is a one Troy once silver bullion coin with a face value of five dollars and a market value of over thirty dollars based on the market price of silver.

Silver bullion coins provide good protection against any economic meltdown, but if you are expecting spectacular profits from investing in this coin, you will be disappointed. Financial gains with this particular investment only happen over the course of time, when the bullion coins in your safety deposit box rise in value in consonance with the price of silver.

Investment Coins

Apart from silver bullion coins, you can also go for the other type of silver coins which are sometimes referred to as investment coins. Generally, these are coins are made of at least 90 per cent silver and are, or have been, a legal tender in their country of origin.

In the past five to ten years, increasing silver prices have made these coins a popular choice for collectors. On one hand, there is always a chance to one day sell currency coins for a big margin of profit, but on the other hand, there are bigger risks in this direction because factors such as demand and popularity enter the picture.

On the plus side, silver is cheaper than gold so it is possible to begin acquiring a silver coin collection without breaking the bank. American silver coins that are not categorized as rare have a prize range of two to twenty dollars.

What to Keep in Mind

There are certain things to keep in mind to keep your money safe as you go about silver coin collecting.

  • Always do your research before you make a purchase. If a coin is worth a lot of money, look for official authentication. Find out if the coin has maintained good value over time.
  • Go for high quality coins which are more certain to appreciate in value than oddities. Double check quality and grade by using reliable resources like the official Red Book.
  • Keep clear of TV or internet bargains. Remember that if anything sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Provide good storage for your collection. Good storage does not mean a shoebox hidden away in your closet or in your file cabinet. Get a safety deposit box.
  • If you want to go about silver coin collecting as an investment, be ready to sell when the price is right.

Many resources say that the outlook for silver is good and that the annual demand for this metal exceeds the supply, Moreover with the current economic situation, more and more people are becoming interested in using this metal as a way of keeping their money safe. The side effect of this increased demand would be to further drive prices of silver up, making it a good investment today. However, even with these rosy predictions, it is good to practice due diligence and caution. This way, although you may not make a killing in your investments, you will be better assured of both profit and protection in silver coin collecting.

What Factors Affect The Value Of Coins?

Many people ask when they are just starting in coin collecting, “What is the value of the coin?” Oftentimes the answer is that the coin will cost as much as you are willing to pay for it and that amount can vary considerably. For instance, a coin dealer’s offer can be much less than a coin collector who wants your coin badly to add to his collection.

The following are factors that can influence the true value of a coin.

1. Grade or condition of the coin. Your coin will be worth more when it is in good condition. When in a perfect or unblemished mint condition, an “uncirculated” coin will be worth many times more than a similar coin that has been in circulation.

2. The rarity of a coin is the principal basis for a coins value. Generally, the rarer that a coin is found to be, the higher it is priced. Do keep in mind that rarity has very little influence on the coins age. Chinese coins are a thousand years old normally sell for about ten dollars since there are so many of them; while a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel can sell for up to or over a million dollars because only five specimens are known to be in existence.

3. Bullion value. A coin’s precious metal content can determine its value. A platinum, silver or gold coin will not, in general sell for less than the coins value when melted. You can learn the current spot price of your precious metal coins online.

4. Demand. There are coins that are greatly in demand; sought after by many collectors, and if that a particular coin is in great demand the price will be even higher. Even comparatively plentiful coins can mandate higher value when they are popular with coin collectors. For example, I have seen very high premiums in recent years of silver American Eagle coins, even though they are not particularly rare.

Take for example 1916 D dimes which are much more abundant than the 1798 dimes, yet in spite of this, 1916 D dimes sell for so much more because there are many more individuals collecting 20th century dimes than 1700 dimes.

Here’s how you can determine the approximate value of your coin:

1. Properly, accurately, and correctly recognize and classify your coin. You can do this successfully by examining your coin in a catalog or online with a coin price guide; this will give you an idea of the going rate and price of your particular coin and you can determine the approximate value of your coin.

Coin values are changing every day so you need to use a coin price guide that is updated on a daily basis to obtain the current coin value. Look at online sites that offer step by step guidance on how to recognize your coin the proper way.

2. Grade your coin based on your thorough observation and examination of its current condition.

3. Consult coin catalogs for a list of retail prices and/or estimates of your coins retail value. “A Guide Book of United States Coins”, popularly known as “The Red Book” to coin dealers and collectors, provides information on retail coin prices for US coins and is available in libraries, coin shops and bookstores. “The Standard Catalog of World Coins” (in volumes) is a guide commonly used by coin dealers and collectors as well, to provide information on world coins and is available in many public libraries.

You can also check current coin prices based on the actual dealer coin price found in magazines and newspapers or online auctions such as Yahoo, Coin World, eBay or Teletrade.

Most collectors are not collecting coins primarily for money; they collect for enjoyment and self gratification, and profit is to be last consideration. The fact that a particular coin does not have a large monetary value, does not necessarily suggest that it is no longer interesting or fascinating or that it must not be included in your collection.

Each coin will have a certain interest in itself, regardless of the condition that it is in and regardless of its monetary value. There will always be a certain characteristic that will draw you to that particular coin; so when it does, then you should have it in your collection. Have fun!

How to Grade Your Coins

A “grade” is described as a shorthand designed by coin experts (numismatists) to reveal a coin’s appearance. Simply put, if a certain coin collector tells another collector that he owns an uncirculated silver American Eagle, both should already have a concept of the coins appearance without even seeing it, because of the claim of its grade.

Some disclose that designating a grade to rank or categorize a coin is more of an art rather than science, since often it is extremely subjective or biased; this applies particularly when working on “Mint State” coins where little differences, in terms of grade, make so much difference in the price.

Grading can be learned, studied and applied with a predictable and known outcome that eventually depends on judgment, not feelings.

Like any language, science, sport, or research, it is best to learn and understand coin grading one component at a time, through serious study and experience.

Today, most numismatists use the “Sheldon grading scale”. While there are those that complain of “too many grades”, most experienced coin graders recognize and appreciate the fact that there is a wide range in features between ranges.

Strike

This is the method of stamping or imprinting a drawing or a symbol onto a blank. Depending on the coin’s design, it can either have weak or strong strike. An example of this would be the “Type II gold dollar” on which both sides (front and back) have the highest strike that is perfectly aligned, meaning, these designs require weak strikes.

Generally the strike is not a key factor in establishing the coin’s grade except when it is included in a series where the value is connected to strike.

Preservation of the coin’s surface

The number of coin marks as well as where they are placed is a significant element in establishing the grade. While there is no fixed formula on the number of coin marks that sets its grade, there are several regulated standards regarding the significance of the location or positioning of a scratch.

For instance, a coin having a deep scratch that it is not easily visible on its reverse (back) side will not be strictly penalized. However, if the same scratch was positioned on a noticeable or obvious central point on the front, such as the cheek on the Statue of Liberty, it would be penalized much more.

Patina or luster

A coin can have a variation of textures on the surface, influenced by design, the metal that was used and the “mint of origin”. Textures can include frosty, satiny, proof-like and semi-proof-like.

When examining the coin’s surface in terms of grade, two things should be looked at; the quantity, or what is left of the original skin (has to be intact), and the location and amount of marks.

Luster is important especially when determining whether a coin is either circulated or uncirculated. A coin in Mint State technically; is free of abrasion and wear and must not have significant breaks in its luster.

Color

This is a very subjective element in determining coin grade. For instance, a “gold coin” showing dark green-gold pigmentation may be unattractive to one collector and attractive to another.

As gold is moderately an inert metal, it is not prone to much color variance as copper or silver. Although wide ranging colors may exist in gold coins.

Almost all of US gold coins had been dipped or cleaned, therefore not anymore displaying their original color. As coin collectors become knowledgeable, most of them are attracted and fascinated to coins having their natural color. In most coin series, it is nearly impossible to discover original coin pieces.

Eye attraction or appeal

Color, luster, strike and surface marks come together, comprises “eye appeal”. Note that a coin having superior “eye appeal” can be strong in one aspect, such as possessing exceptional luster but not quite as strong in another aspect, such as not so good color.

A coin that is undesirable in one aspect yet good enough in all the other aspects can still be distinguished as “below average” in “eye appeal”.

Knowing how to grade a coin is very important so that one can have an idea of the value or price of the coin that he is buying or selling. When new to coin collecting, be sure to ask the help of an experienced collector or dealer when buying or exchanging your coins.

Ron Paul In “Why Gold & Silver?”

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currencies.

Privately owned central banks are creating currency out of thin air across the globe. “The one characteristic of a country that debases its currency, and goes to a paper currency – the currency always self destructs, it always ends.” – Ron Paul

The Fed is private. Their anonymous shareholders are busy counting their dividends as they print the world economy into oblivion. “It’s the biggest scam that has ever been perpetrated, it’s amazing that we’ve gone along with this for close to 100 years.” – Mike Maloney

Now is the time to get educated. Your liberty is at stake.

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