Top Questions About Collecting Coins – Littleton Coin Company

1. What makes a coin valuable?

[photo: Buffalo Nickel, Flying Eagle Cent and Mercury Dime]
Buffalo Nickel, Flying Eagle Cent and Mercury Dime
A mint is not necessarily valuable merely because of age. For exemplar, some Roman coins more than 1,600 years erstwhile can still be purchased today for $ 20 or even less ! The rate of a coin, like most items, is determined by issue and demand .
demand is obviously a major factor. Some coin types, such as Buffalo nickels or Mercury dimes, are more popular than others of the same denomination. therefore, more collectors are seeking the lapp coins, so their prices will be affected. A mint ’ sulfur value is determined by the interconnected factors of scarcity, condition and demand .
possibly more coins of an earlier date may have been produced than those of a former date, so coins that are far older may still be available. This is add. Of naturally, it all depends on how many of each has been saved, and in what condition. A coin ’ mho condition ( the state it has been preserved in ) is an extremely crucial agent in its value. An Uncirculated patch may be deserving ten times or thousands of times ampere much as an average circulated coin of the same date. To learn more about mint grade, see our grading guide.

2. Is the metal in the coins valuable?

[photo: America's most popular silver and gold coins, the Morgan Silver Dollar of 1878-1921 and the Saint‑Gaudens $20 Gold Double Eagle of 1907-1933]
America ’ s most popular silver and gold coins, the Morgan Silver Dollar of 1878-1921 and the Saint‑Gaudens $ 20 Gold Double Eagle of 1907‑1933
gold and argent coins have a double value – their numismatic or collector rate, and their intrinsic or cute alloy value. Coins of higher grades will have a greater agio over their metal respect than coins of lesser grade or circumstance. Some quantities of 90 % gold U.S. coins ( last minted for circulation in 1933 ), and 90 % eloquent U.S. coins ( last minted for circulation in 1964 ), are however available to collectors today. A $ 20 amber firearm, or double eagle, weighs closely one broad snow leopard. A Morgan silver dollar contains over ¾ ounce of pure silver. however, the numismatic worth of U.S. coins normally outweighs any bullion rate. Learn more about silver and gold measure .

3. When were coins first used?

[photo: Lydia Silver Drachm, 480-460 B.C.; Electrum 1/8 Stater from Phokaia, 480-400 B.C.]
Lydia Silver Drachm, 480-460 B.C. ; Electrum 1/8 Stater from Phokaia, 480‑400 B.C. Though the first coins are actually attributed to Lydia in Asia Minor around 600-700 B.C., it is now believed that bronze coins were used in China several hundred years earlier .
however, the Lydians were credibly not aware of China ’ mho being, so their coins – called “ Staters ” ( a unit of burden ) – were invented individually. These beginning Staters were made of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and flatware .

4. When were the first U.S. coins used?

[photo: Pine Tree Silver Shilling of 1652; Spanish Silver 8 Reales]
Pine Tree Silver Shilling of 1652 ; spanish Silver 8 Reales
early american “ money ” consisted chiefly of wampum, beaver skins, and tobacco, items used by native Americans and early settlers. The colonists had no consumption for neologism until extraneous traders arrived and demanded payment for goods. Most “ hard currentness ” tended to flow bet on across the Atlantic, so Massachusetts Bay Colony took matters into their own hands and struck some of our earliest silver coins in 1652 : the NE ( New England ) ash grey Threepence, Sixpence and Shilling, followed by the Willow Tree and Pine Tree coinage. other extraneous coins like spanish silver medal Pieces of Eight ( 8 Reales ) besides circulated. After America won independence and the first U.S. Mint opened in 1793, we began to strike our own national neologism .

5. How many different denominations have there been?

[photo: From top right: the U.S. Half Cent, Two-Cent Piece, Silver Three-Cent Piece and Half Dime]
From top properly : the U.S. Half Cent, Two-Cent Piece, Silver Three-Cent Piece and Half Dime
today, the U.S. Mint produces coins for circulation in these denominations : cent, nickel, dime bag, quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Plus, commemoratives in both gold and silver are issued in versatile denominations. In the past, the mints have produced many different denominations of coins, such as half cents, 2¢ pieces, 3¢ pieces, half dimes, and 20¢ pieces .
gold coins have been produced for circulation in these denominations : $ 1, $ 2.50, $ 3, $ 5, $ 10 and $ 20 pieces, ampere well as a few hundred patterns for a $ 4 gold objet d’art that was never mass-produced .

6. How old is coin collecting?

[photo: Joseph Mickley of Philadelphia, the first famous American collector]
Joseph Mickley of Philadelphia was the first celebrated american collector. His hunt for a big cent from the year of his parentage began the custom of collecting all of the coins of a series from every year of publish.
[ Photo courtesy of Q. David Bowers ]

Read more: About Witter Coin

The earliest known coin collector was the Roman emperor butterfly Augustus. Coin collecting became tied more popular during the Middle Ages, when affluent persons and royalty assembled brilliant collections. The avocation was confined largely to the ample, since the general population needed every coin to pay for food, clothing and tax shelter .
In the U.S., collecting besides began with the affluent, but by 1858, there were enough active collectors to form the American Numismatic Association. Since the 1920s, with U.S. commemoratives, and the 1930s, with penny boards and folders, this hobby has grown steadily. today, with many exciting coins to collect, there are more than 100 million collectors in the U.S. alone .

[photo: People of all ages and from all walks of life enjoy the hobby of collecting coins]
People of all ages and from all walks of life enjoy the hobby of collecting coins. When you hold a coin in your hand, you ’ re holding a tangible connect to the past .
Coin collect is an excite hobby because coins and currentness still in circulation today were sometimes used during historic periods of America ‘s past. Coins can recall exciting periods in American and populace history, and for the most separate have been issued by official governments. No matter how much time you spend on a collection, you get a common sense of atonement and pride. At the end of a long day, you can relax as you go through it coin by mint. Your coins will probably outlive you by hundreds or thousands of years ! Take concern of them, and future collectors will appreciate your consideration .

8. How do I get started?

[photo: example of a date and mint mark collection] An case of a date and mint sign collection
There are several popular ways to collect. At first, you may have a general solicitation containing a variety of different coins. As you acquire examples of coins – possibly a Morgan dollar, Liberty Walking half dollar, Buffalo nickel or Barber dime – you will find yourself attracted to certain ones. But the most significant matter to remember is to develop a design .
You may want to assemble a complete set – every date and mint distinguish of the Lincoln penny, for model. Or you may prefer to collect one case of each different dime bag, and then tackle quarters in this same fashion .
Another front-runner way to collect is by type. Type collect is assembling coins of different designs. It may be coins of the twentieth century, coins of any one denomination, or possibly a specimen of each coin type minted in silver medal or copper. Collecting by type can give you a fully overview of mint designs and how they have progressed through clock .
[photo: a U.S. Type Set containing 19th & 20th-century coins]
A U.S. Type Set containing
19th & 20th‑century coins
frequently, when a complete set up might exceed one ’ sulfur budget, you can assemble a class set – one coin from each year within a serial. You ’ ll have an authentic, official keepsake from every year of a particular period in U.S. history. For case : a year set of Franklin halves would include one coin from each year 1948-1963. ( A complete set would require a 1948, ’ 48‑D, ’ 48‑S, ’ 49, ’ 49‑D, ’ 49‑S, etc. ) Learn more about mint marks ( “ D ”, “ S ”, etc. ) or about other ways to collect coins.

Where to go from here

New to collecting ? This handy founder ‘s guide is fully of tools and links get you started on your first collection .

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