Types of collections
This color woodblock plate, from An american Numismatic Manual, was printed before the age of photographic reproduction .
in the first place, U.S. coins were collected by type. In the mid-1800s, person might have put together a collection of dollars by design type and date, but not by date and batch, as we do nowadays. then, in 1859, Dr. Montroville W. Dickeson published An american Numismatic Manual. This 256‑page script was the first comprehensive encyclopedia of U.S. neologism. Later, Augustus G. Heaton published A Treatise on the neologism of the United States Branch Mints, which raised interest in the mint marker varieties. Collectors then began assembling all the different dates and mint marks of a particular series – such as Lincoln cents or Washington quarters .
today, the mint avocation is still enjoyed in many ways, but collecting by date and mint mark is surely America ’ s darling. Since 1793, when the U.S. Mint began striking coins, most issues have carried their class of product on the obverse or “ heads ” side. Coins produced at branch U.S. Mints besides carry a minor letter or mint mark that indicates where it was struck. As you enjoy finding and purchasing those special dates and mint marks you need for your series solicitation, you ’ ll notice that there are some issues that are more unmanageable to find than others. Read more about the U.S. Mints .
Beyond collecting by date and mint sign, the possibilities of how to collect coins are dateless ! Depending on your interests, you can build a collection that ‘s adenine alone as you are. One darling direction is a coin type collection, which is assembling coins of unlike designs. It may be coins of the twentieth century, or coins of any one denomination, either way you get a full overview of mint designs and how they have progressed through time.
You can besides put together a class set – one coin from each class within a series. This gives you an authentic, official memento from every year of a particular time period in U.S. history ! Another choice is a subject collection. Whether you collect coins featuring Liberty, America ‘s presidents, or historic buildings and monuments, you ‘ll have playfulness searching for pieces to complete your own personal medley !
A coin is not inevitably valuable merely because of age. For exemplar, some Roman coins more than 1,600 years erstwhile can hush be purchased today for $ 20 or even less ! The value of a mint, like most items, is determined by provide and need. Some coin types, such as Buffalo nickels or Mercury dimes, are more popular than others of the same denomination. frankincense, more collectors are seeking the same coins, so their prices will be affected. A coin ‘s value is determined by the relate factors of scarcity, condition and requirement .
possibly more coins of an earlier date may have been produced than those of a late go steady, so coins that are far older may placid be available. This is supply. Of course, it all depends on how many of each has been saved, and in what condition. A coin ‘s condition ( the state it has been preserved in ) is an extremely important agent in its value. An Uncirculated part may be worth ten times or thousands of times vitamin a much as an average circulated coin of the same date .
Those special “Key Dates”
The “ D ” mint sign on a 1950 nickel signifies a scarce, low-mintage coin.
In every U.S. coin series, there are certain issues or varieties that because of rarity and bulge are the “ keys ” to completing the serial. Collectors prize them because there are so few to go around ! mint marks can be a major gene in the value of a coin. In 1950 for case, the popular Jefferson nickel was produced at two different mints, Philadelphia ( no mint mark ) and Denver ( “ D ” mint marker beside Monticello on the change by reversal ). While the 1950 nickel is not as unmanageable to find ( mintage of 9,847,386 ), the 1950‑D was produced only in very small quantities ( coinage of only 2,630,030 ) and is scarce today. The 1950‑D ( pictured ) is the key date of the Jefferson nickel series .
Certified graded coins
Standing Liberty quarter, certified and encapsulated by PCGS, with CAC poser
When learning how to collect coins, it is helpful to know that some coins have been certified and encapsulated. Those sold by Littleton must first meet our exacting marking standards, and then are graded by an independent service. When adding one to your collection, it ‘s important to look at the coin within the holder to see if it appeals to you. The four independent grading services used by Littleton are PCGS, or Professional Coin Grading Service ; NGC, or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America ; ANACS, or American Numismatic Association Certification Service ; and ICG, or Independent Coin Grading Company. These grading services have certified and encapsulated each coin in a sonically sealed holder, with a bar coded designation tuck noting the coin, kind, date, and coin rate .
Coins in authentication holders bearing ellipse green CAC ( Certified Acceptance Corporation ) stickers have been verified by CAC as solid, high‑end quality for the specified class – with impregnable strikes and eye invoke, and no unattractive tone.
Some collectors prefer their coins in license holders. First, it offers peace of mind to know that a third base party has authenticated their coins. It is comfortable to ensure safe handling of your coins when they are individually sealed in a holder. And owning coins that have been certified by a single grading avail can turn your collection into a very big display .
How to choose a series that’s right for you
Over the years, the U.S. Mint has produced a wide variety of coins, and Littleton has archival-quality albums for most. To choose a series, consider how much you like the design and composition of the mint, and the popularity of the series. Littleton Coin Company offers a wide excerpt of U.S. coins than any other company and can help you complete a diverseness of different collections. You can choose a single coinage series, or you may wish to work on several at once. Whichever way you choose, once you complete your collection, you ’ ll have a family heirloom that will be treasured for generations to come .
More information on wish for and storing your coins