Coin Collecting

  1. The Susan B. Anthony Dollar 40 Years After Its Debut

    The Susan B. Anthony Dollar 40 Years After Its Debut

    The story of modern U.S. dollar coins is mostly one of failure in terms of circulating issues and one of mixed results as a numismatic collectible. American consumers have largely rejected the coins for commerce, preferring to use the dollar bill. As for collectors, some of these coins, such as the first, the Eisenhower dollar, remain quite popular with collectors, while others never really took off with them. The most famous – some would say infamous – example of a flop in both regards is the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which debuted 40 years ago on July 2, 1979. The coin was conceived as a solution to the failure of the Eisenhower dollar, which was issued into circulation from 1971 to 1978, due to its large size and heavy weight. Ike dollar ...
  2. Mints Around the World Are Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the Moon Landing

    Mints Around the World Are Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the Moon Landing

    July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the famous day in 1969 when Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon, achieving a goal that had been dreamed about for centuries by astronomers and scientists.  This event has continued to capture the imagination of the world ever since. The moon landing and what Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins learned about the moon while they were there forever changed the course of history and the evolution of science. It led to all kinds of discoveries, the development of new industries and to the amazing progress in space exploration that has taken place since then, whose next phases are expected to involve a mission to the red planet Mars and a possible return to the moon. The Apollo 11 mission is un ...
  3. A Spotlight on the Royal Mint: Sovereigns, Britannias, and Beyond

    A Spotlight on the Royal Mint: Sovereigns, Britannias, and Beyond

    The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom is one of the world’s oldest and most important mints with over 1,100 years of experience. It produces all the nation’s circulating coins, as well as bullion and commemorative coinage and medals. It has also minted circulating coins for over 100 issuing authorities around the world.  Historical overview Coinage in Great Britain dates to the second century BC when Celtic tribes first introduced coins to the region. During the Roman rule of Britain, the Romans established mints all over the area, including in London, but that ended with the end of Roman rule.  N ...
  4. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

    Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

    A Tangible Connection to the "Longest Day" In June 1940, Axis forces accomplished what their leader, Adolph Hitler, called “the most famous victory in history” with the fall of France. The following year, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union, and the United States joined the war. Joseph Stalin, then leader of the Soviet Union, pressed for Allied forces to open a western front, but those forces instead engaged in the Mediterranean, in both Africa and in Europe, rather than launching a full-on assault. Finally, in May 1943, attendees of the Trident Conference decided to launch such an assault in France. Planning for Operation Overlord began, and the assault began on what is today known as “D-Day” on June 6, 1944. Covert Measures and Redirection One of the most important aspects of D-Day was the deception leading up to it ...
  5. A Brief History of the American Cent

    A Brief History of the American Cent

    As the lowest denomination circulating coin issued, the cent, which is the proper numismatic term for coins that many call pennies, was the first coin (along with half cents) struck by the U.S. Mint beginning in 1793. Made using hand-engraved dies, those first cents, as well as all the other types issued until 1857, are known as large cents and have a diameter similar to that of half dollars. The low face value of the first cents meant that they circulated widely, which helped to reinforce for the general population the idea that the American republic had arrived. Large Cents ...
  6. The West Point Mint: A Giant of American Coinage

    The West Point Mint: A Giant of American Coinage

    The West Point Mint was built during the Great Depression in 1937 and opened its doors as the West Point Bullion Depository the following year. It was nicknamed “The Fort Knox of Silver” because it was built to store silver. The mint has a fascinating history, including half a century prior to its designation as an official US Mint. Today, it produces some of America’s most important bullion and collectable coinage as it continues to add to its rich numismatic tradition. Humble Origins and Beyond One of the most important chapters in the mint’s history was written during World War II. The Lend-Lease Act, which passed in 1941, permitted the President of the United States to provide military aid during World War II, including prior to the nation’s formal entry into the war. The West Point Mint ended up loaning silver not only to foreign nations but also to American industry and the Atomic Energy Commission in 1942. This proved vital to the Allied war efforts ...

Latest News

  1. John Mercanti: A Numismatic Legend

    John Mercanti: A Numismatic Legend

    When John M. Mercanti retired as the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, he had accomplished one of the most storied careers in the Mint’s history. He had served as an engraver –sculptor for 37 years. The only engravers to serve longer were George T. Morgan at 48 years, William Barber at 47 years and Frank Gasparro at 39 years. Mercanti also designed, sculpted or engraved over 100 coin and medal designs, more than any other designer in the history of the U.S. Mint. Mr. Mercanti’s U.S. Mint career began in 1974 in the pre-digital age when everything was done by hand and finished at the Mint in 2010 when most of the design work was done with the aid of digital technology. John Mercanti was born on April 27, 1943 in Philadelphia, ...
  2. Commemorating Woodstock: Fifty Years of Peace and Music

    Commemorating Woodstock: Fifty Years of Peace and Music

    Single events seldom define generations, and in the rare cases that they have, they’ve typically been World Wars. In one case, though, a four-day concert did just that. Named for Woodstock, a town located 43 miles from where the event took place, the festival was advertised as “3 Days of Peace & Music.” Fifty years later, it remains so much more than that to those who attended. The Place The event started as the brainchild of Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. The four, a combination of entrepreneurs and lawyers, had major clashes in style that, along with various challenges, threatened to end the project. One of those challenges had to do with the venue. The first planned site was in Wallkill, New York, but the town’s residents protested successfully to stop it. Just a month before the event, the organi ...
  3. A First-Ever Numismatic Collaboration: 2019 Pride of Two Nations 2-Coin Set

    A First-Ever Numismatic Collaboration: 2019 Pride of Two Nations 2-Coin Set

    By Louis Golino This year American coin collectors will be able to celebrate July 4 – the day of American independence – with a new, limited-edition two-coin set that will be released the day before.  Canadians will also have a great way to mark Canada Day -- the July 1 holiday that used to be called Dominion Day. That is when the country became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Called Pride of Two Nations, the set is the first-ever joint numismatic release between the United States Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. It will commemorate their legacy of close relations and longstanding friendship as well as the rich history of both nations with a set that will include the first-ever enhanced Reverse Proof ...
  4. The Great Depression and U.S. Circulating Coinage

    The Great Depression and U.S. Circulating Coinage

    Circulating coinage from certain periods of American history is today scarce and difficult to obtain with the most well-known example being the Civil War (1861-1865), when there was a scarcity of copper, silver and gold. That led to widespread hoarding, reduced minting and even the issuance of alternatives to one-cent coins such as tokens and encased postage stamps. A second era, when similar forces were at play for different reasons, was the early years of the Great Depression – the worst and most severe economic downturn in U.S. history that lasted from the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as “Black Tuesday”) until the end of the decade in 1939. During this period, a quarter of the population was unemployed, millions beca ...
  5. U.S. Paper Money Redesign: Security, Aesthetics and Political Factors

    U.S. Paper Money Redesign: Security, Aesthetics and Political Factors

    On May 22, before a hearing of the House Financial Services committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed during questioning from members of the House of Representatives that a $20 note with Harriet Tubman on the front and Andrew Jackson on the back is unlikely to be issued before 2028 – well after a possible second Trump presidential term. In 2016, then-presidential candidate Trump said that putting Tubman on the $20 would be “pure political correctness” and instead suggested she should appear on the $2 bill, which is rarely seen in circulation. In addition to an abolitionist and political activist, Tubman (who was born a Maryland slave and lived from 1822 to 1913) is best known for her work for the Underground Railroad, which safely led hundreds of slaves to freedom in numerous risky clandestine raids. After the Civil War, she worked with Susan B. Anthony to promote enfranchising women, making her a key figure in both the anti-slavery and women’s suffrage m ...
  6. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

    Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

    A Tangible Connection to the "Longest Day" In June 1940, Axis forces accomplished what their leader, Adolph Hitler, called “the most famous victory in history” with the fall of France. The following year, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union, and the United States joined the war. Joseph Stalin, then leader of the Soviet Union, pressed for Allied forces to open a western front, but those forces instead engaged in the Mediterranean, in both Africa and in Europe, rather than launching a full-on assault. Finally, in May 1943, attendees of the Trident Conference decided to launch such an assault in France. Planning for Operation Overlord began, and the assault began on what is today known as “D-Day” on June 6, 1944. Covert Measures and Redirection One of the most important aspects of D-Day was the deception leading up to it ...

Collector Tips

  1. NGC Teams Up With American Hero Charlie Duke

    NGC Teams Up With American Hero Charlie Duke

    In 1969, the world watched in awe as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men ever to set foot on the surface of the moon. Tears came to the eyes of many as the rock that is over 200,000 miles away seemed just a little bit closer. So, too, by extension, did the rest of the universe. Now, Mints around the world are celebrating the 50th anniversary of that first lunar visit, and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is contributing to the festivities through their partnership with astronaut Charlie Duke. Early Life Charlie Duke was born in North Carolina and grew up in South Carolina and Florida. After graduating from Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg as the school’s valedictorian, he entered the US Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1957. He then entered ...
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Platinum

    Everything You Need to Know About Platinum

    Platinum is one of the rarest, purist and most precious metals. It is part of what is known as the platinum group, referring to elements arranged together on the periodic table, which includes indium, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhodium, and ruthenium.  Its key properties are that it has the same sheen as silver, but does not tarnish, plus it is much harder and stronger than gold, making it useful for metallic bonding, and has an extremely high melting point. Platinum was discovered in the 16th century by the Spanish, who found it mixed with gold and called it “platina,” or little silver. Most of the world’s platinum today comes from two countries – Russia and South Africa.   In the early 1700s metallurgists in Europe began exploring its use in industry, but they were stymied by the great difficulty of melting the metal. Then, in 1782 new ways to melt the ...
  3. Interest Rates and Spot Prices: How They Affect You

    Interest Rates and Spot Prices: How They Affect You

    What are interest rates? Interest rates are the benchmarks or rates at which money is either borrowed or loaned. It is normally expressed as percentages or amounts. In short: Interest rates determine the cost of money and credit. The most important interest rates Federal Discount Rate: The federal discount rate is the interest rate at which commercial and private banks borrow money from the Federal Reserve. Money loaned via this “discount window” helps banks to maintain minimum reserve levels as determined by law. Changes in the federal discount rate affect the prime rate, which in turn affects consumer spending, inflation expectations and more. These two rates normally move in the same direction. Prime Rate: The prime rate is in essence a benchmark for lending rates. This index is used to determine interest rates when it comes to personal loans ...
  4. The Future of Generic Gold Coins

    The Future of Generic Gold Coins

    Although owing physical gold appeals to many looking for the ultimate protection against financial calamity, others are quite interested in the pure investment potential for gold. Taking delivery of actual gold coins can be expensive when considering shipping, insurance and storage. There are also security risks to be considered when handling physical gold. Even a handful of gold coins now represent thousands of dollars. Many individuals have chosen gold exchanged traded funds for investing in gold. Others have picked gold stocks or perhaps actual contracts on the commodity exchange. Investors have poured billions into these investment vehicles in the past few years. Many wonder if someday they might be able to invest in generic United States gold coins that are traded in an exchange trade fund (EFT). You can be sure that this has been explored by many of the large players in the gold coin market. With the premiums for most generic United States gold coins trading at histori ...
  5. How Are Coins Made?

    How Are Coins Made?

    The average American citizen doesn't put too much thought into how their pocket change is made. However, coin collectors and numismatists are very interested in the minting process. So, assuming you hope to advance in the numismatic community – or maybe you just want to gain some interesting facts to surprise your friends with – you should learn more about how coins are made. Here are some key terms to remember before you begin: Minting: process of creating coins  Coin die: one of the metallic pieces that strike each side of the coin Striking: method of pressing an image into the blank metal The process of manufacturing coins has been around for thousands of years – since around 700 B.C. There have been hundreds of different minting techniques and technologies over the years, along with many different leaders' and prominent figures' images gracing the coins. Initially, coins were made with ...
  6. Understanding the Value in Collecting Coins

    Understanding the Value in Collecting Coins

    The concept of collecting coins was developed way back when coins were first minted. Archeological studies have shown that even in ancient Rome and Mesopotamia, citizens were likely collecting coins as a form of portable and affordable artwork. Alexander the Great himself gave the gold staters struck under his reign as gifts to his friends, and centuries later, Augustus Caesar followed suit with old coins and coins struck by foreign countries. During the early Renaissance, European nobility and even royalty grew fond of collecting the ancient coins of the Romans or the Greeks, earning coin collecting the nickname, the "Hobby of Kings." Today, there are more reasons than ever to become a coin collector, and an important aspect of the hobby is understanding the value of coins. This can be found through the coin’s condition, history, supply and demand and even your personal preference. Let’s take a look at these key elements of a coins value, to see if you would lik ...