Monday, April 27, 2009

Coin Collections: Beginner's Guide to Coin Collecting

A Beginners Guide to Collecting

Coin collecting is a hobby that is enormously popular among a lot of people today. Whatever the age of the person, collecting coins can have its benefits. In most cases, coin collections gravitate on two things. For children, they tend to collect coins that look pretty or unusual and peak their interest. However, for adults, their coin collections will tend to gravitate towards the value of the coin rather than the looks.

People have different ways to acquire their coin collections. Some will just collect any coin that they stumble upon, while there others who will buy in bulk and eagerly anticipate the limited mint edition coins that may be found. Whatever your methods are, there are likely questions you have about coin collecting.

The first would be about advice on handling the coin collection. As a beginner, you must understand that you should handle the coins as little as possible and always with gloves. The fact that fingerprints on an uncirculated coin can dramatically cut the value of the coin is an example of how important this is.However, if you do need to handle the coin, do so from the edge and never on the face of the coin. Additionally, if you need to lay the coin down for any reason it is important to use a velvet pad if it is available. If a velvet cloth is not available then you can use a clean dry cloth.

Most people will also tend to ask questions on how to keep their coin collections clean. Basically, you don’t really need to clean your coin collection. In fact, you shouldn’t even think about cleaning them at all. Most collectors look for the authenticity of the coin rather than its shiny newness. Even if you wipe the coin clean with clean, soft, and lint-free rag, it will leave hair line scratches on the coin which will greatly reduce its value. So, cleaning a coin collection is never really an option.

Storage is also another question that you may have about coin collecting. The basic goal in storing your coin collection is to protect it from temperature extremes as well as humidity. You however need to protect your coin collection from dust, dirt, chemicals, and even fingerprints. Dehumidifying equipment is suggested as well as locking the storage as airtight as possible. Of course this is more for valuable collections rather than a casual collection.

In most cases, low value coins are kept in almost any container and can be handled any way you like. However, when you are dealing with high value coins, you will need to give it extra attention. The goal here is to provide a container that will preserve the coin's condition. Make the container as airtight as possible, and the container should also be able to display the coin in order for you to never need to take out the coin from the container.

Uncirculated coins are very much valued by collectors and therefor if you really want a valuable coin collection, go for rare coins and key dates. Learning about grading coins can also help you to determine the true value of a particular coin and help save you money by avoiding purchasing a coin way above its actual value or selling a coin way below its value.

In conclusion, if you want to start your very own coin collection you may want to keep these things in mind. With these tips, you can be sure that you will be able to know how to handle your collection and also help in appraising its value. Always remember that this hobby is not just fun, but is also a good investment.


Friday, April 17, 2009

My Top Ten List of Collectible Gold Coins

Gold coins have always been a favorite among not only collectors but the masses as well. The reasons for this are easy to see; gold with its rare nature, its beauty and its durability is something people have been fascinated with since the beginning of time. Turn this precious metal into a coin and you have something truly magnificent and very valuable. For you numismatic enjoyment I am providing a list of what I believe, and I’m sure many would agree, are the top 10 collectible gold coins.

1908 $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

1. The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle (1907-1932). Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and first struck in 1907, the Saint-Gaudens double eagle $20 gold coin is considered by many to be the greatest coin ever issued by the U.S. Mint. Minting for circulatin ended in 1932 however there were 445,500 of these coins minted in 1933 but they were never released and it became illegal to possess one. Some did make it in to private hands and in 2002 one of these coins sold for $6.6 million.
2. Indian Head Eagle (1907-1933). Also designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this $10 gold piece is smaller than its predecessor but equally as detailed and beautiful.
3. Any Gold Coin Proofs. Gold coin proofs are minted in numbers less than a few hundred per year making them extremely rare and very valuable, perfect for any collector.
4. $4 Gold Piece “Stella” (1879-1880). Designed by both Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, the $4 gold piece also known as the “Stella”, Stella is Latin for star which was the design on the reverse of the coin, was first minted in 1879. There were two different designs minted in both 1879 and 1880, the first was designed by Barber and featured a flowing hair Miss Liberty while the second was designed by Morgan and featured a coil hair Miss Liberty.
5. Capped Bust Eagle (1797-1804). First minted in 1797 and the first gold coin to be minted for the fairly young nation was struck as a $10 gold piece and was short live, last struck in 1804, due to its unpopularity. There were only approximately 65,000 of these coins minted making it extremely rare.
6. Augustus Humbert Eagle (1851-1852). Designed by Augustus Humbert shortly after the start of the California gold rush this beautiful $10 gold coin is highly valued mainly because of its history as well as its rarity. One of Humbert’s $50 gold “slugs” recently sold for $460,000 at a Beverly Hills auction.

1904 Liberty Head "Coronet" Eagle

7. Liberty Head Eagle (1866-1907). This $10 gold piece was first issued in 1866 and continued being minted until 1907. The Liberty Head eagle or “Coronet” eagle as it was also known was highly admired and well known to Americans for close to three quarters of a century.
8. Indian Head Half Eagle (1908-1929). A very unique coin, the Indian Head half eagle’s design is incuse or recessed below the surface of the coin. The half eagle was minted as a $5 gold piece while there was also a smaller version, the quarter eagle valued at $2.50, with the same design.
9. Liberty Head Double eagle (1877-1909). First struck in 1877, the Liberty Head double eagle was designed by James B. Longacre however due to his death in 1869 the design was slightly changed by his successors, William Barber and his son, before finally being minted.
10. $3 Indian Head Gold Piece (1854-1889). Designed by James B. Longacre, this coin was first minted in 1854 and by some miracle continued to be minted until 1889. I say miracle because this coin never gained popularity. The main reason for this coin being minted had to do with the first ever U.S. postage stamps being issued at a price of 3 cents, the congress and the director of the mint, Robert M. Patterson believed the $3 gold piece would encourage people to buy sheets of a hundred stamps.

I hope you found the list interesting and maybe found some new ideas on coins to collect whether for fun or investment. I would love to hear from any of you who personally have any of these coins in your collection.

Have a great weekend, and remember Keep collecting!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

1955-D Penny from My Collection

1955-D Lincoln Cent MS-67 Red
ACCGS Certified
Estimated Survivor Condition: 5000

As you can see I am new to collecting coins and have not come up with a good process for taking photos of coins. If you you have any tips for this It would be gratefully appreciated. I will be posting more photos of coins in my collection every now and then, especially as my collection grows.


5 Tips for Collecting Rare Coins as an Investment.

Collecting coins, especially rare coins, can be a great way to invest your money and have fun doing it. Although a small fortune can be made buying and selling rare coins, an individual needs to know what he or she is doing in order to avoid losing a large fortune instead. To help you accomplish your goals when it comes to investing in rare coins I am providing you with 5 important tips to remember when making your purchases. *These are not my ideas nor is it knowledge gained from my own personal investing, these are ideas and tips gained from quality, professional websites and passed onto you.

1. Works of Art. It should be remembered that rare coins are a work of art as much as they are forms of currency and as so you should expect the same high quality as you would from a rare painting. When purchasing a rare coin the craftsmanship and quality of the coin should be flawless, in addition the coin’s design should have high artistic merit as well as eye appeal. Keep in mind that historic value and rarity do not alone make up the value of the coin, a coin must possess beauty and appeal to the senses as well and these qualities add to the value of the coin.
2. Preservation and Quality. The quality of the coin should be flawless and this is evident in a well preserved coin in which there should be no noticeable wear or scratches. The quality of the coin is measured in grades; typically coins are graded from a MS (mint state) 1 being a very poorly preserved heavily worn coin to a MS 70 being a perfectly preserved coin. “Mint condition” coins are considered to be between MS 60 and MS 66 and anything MS 60 or higher are considered to be uncirculated.
3. Precious Metals. Gold and silver coins are a fabulous choice when it comes to collecting coins whether for personal enjoyment of investment purposes. Coins minted in precious metals continually have a high level of appeal to serious collectors and have a lasting intrinsic value. In addition the coins may gain value from a collector’s standpoint as well as in the value of the gold or silver itself as compared to the precious metals market.
4. Stick with Coins that are “Official Legal Tender”. There are many coins out there that are marketed as collectible but in reality have very little to no value. It is wise to stick to coins minted by the U.S. Mint, these coins will be well known to both serious collectors and investors and be designated “Official Legal Tender”.
5. Coins are like a Good Steak, the Rarer the Better. It of course makes sense that the rarer a coin is the more valuable it is likely to be. This can make it quite expensive to acquire a nice rare coin however it is a good bet that the value of such a coin will continue to increase. This is what most collectors are looking for, especially when the coin is being used for investment purposes.

I hope you enjoy these tips and they work to help make you a better informed collector, and remember, collecting coins can not only be enjoyable but quite rewarding as well!

James Bishop, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hi, my name is Jamie, and as I’m sure you can tell from the title of this page, this blog is going to be all about currency and coin collecting. I myself am new to collecting coins and I have lots of free time so I decided to start this blog to not only help others get started with coin collecting but to help myself learn more as well. I will be using this blog to post current news on currency, coins, pricing, tips and other useful information. I will also be scouring the world looking for the best currency and coin websites out there so that I may bring them to a web browser near you. I hope to build a community of people trading ideas, tips, coins or currency and just socializing with other collectors. Or if that doesn’t work out for me I will just drink beer to drown my sorrows and blog to myself. Either way I’m here to stay so enjoy the blog and have fun experiencing the joy and excitement of collecting coins!

Make sure and scroll down as there are many helpful links listed.
Make sure and check out my blog Jamie Living with Multiple Sclerosis I was recently diagnosed with MS and have started a blog about what it is like to be diagnosed and live with MS on a daily basis. The goal of the blog is much the same as this one just a different topic.

Best Regards,

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