Coin Collecting

  1. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. A Spotlight on the Perth Mint

    A Spotlight on the Perth Mint

    Humble Beginnings For most of the 1800s, the Perth Mint was a small, sleepy town in western Australia. That changed near the turn of the century thanks to the discovery of gold at Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie. As mining exploded in the region, so too did Perth’s population. It rose from about 8,500 in 1881 to 61,000 in 1901. To respond to the increased demand, “Big John” Forrest lobbied for the opening of a new mint in Western Australia. He was chosen to lay the foundation stone for the mint in 1896. Three years later, the mint began its operations. At the time that it opened, Australia was under British control, and the Perth Mint became the third branch of the British Royal Mint. Other mints operated in Sydney an ...
  4. Divine Inspiration: A Portrait of the Artist Akiane Kramarik

    Divine Inspiration: A Portrait of the Artist Akiane Kramarik

    Akiane Kramarik is a self-taught American artist, poet and writer who began her career as a young child. For more than two decades her works have dazzled and inspired millions. They are not just remarkably mature for how old she was when she produced them, but they are also rooted in her deep sense of spirituality and her enduring commitment to her work. Like her art and poetry, her spirituality and relationship to God were also self-discovered. She has been dubbed a genius and child prodigy, and more specifically as “the youngest binary prodigy in both realistic art and poetry in recorded history” because her accomplishments in both areas as a young child quickly surpassed that of most adults working in those fields. Akiane describes herself as a ...
  5. Shipwreck Coins Continue to Fascinate Collectors

    Shipwreck Coins Continue to Fascinate Collectors

    April 15 marks the 107th anniversary of one of the worst maritime disasters in history: the sinking off the coast of Canada of the RMS Titanic, which at the time, was the largest and most luxurious passenger ship in the world. On the night of April 14-15, 1912, 1517 of the 2229 passengers onboard, who had left Southampton England on April 10 heading for New York City, perished in the disaster, which was immortalized in a 1997 film and many other cinematic depictions. The wreckage from Titanic, which was operated by a company called White Star Line, included coins and paper currency such as silver certificate notes, U.S. gold half eagles, and silver and copper coins from the U.S., France and Great Britain. Appeal of shipwreck coins Many collectors have long ...
  6. Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence: The Gold Maple Leaf

    Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence: The Gold Maple Leaf

    In 1979, the Royal Canadian Mint became one of the first government mints to begin issuing modern bullion coins. Fittingly, their preeminent series featured and was named for one of the most recognizable symbols of Canada, the sugar maple leaf. While the design concept could not have been simpler, the execution of it continues to enamor collectors throughout the world, with the intricate design and outstanding attention to detail bringing the coin to life right in the holder’s hand. Now, the mint is celebrating the treasured coin’s 40th anniversary with the first ever bullion Incuse Gold Maple Leaf. The new coin follows the success of the bullion Incuse Silver Maple Leaf, which was issued last year to mark the 30th anniversary of that silver series. ...

Latest News

  1. National Coin Week: An ANA Tradition

    National Coin Week: An ANA Tradition

    The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA’s) National Coin Week dates back nearly 100 years to 1924. Each year, a new theme provides a fresh opportunity for collectors to celebrate their favorite pastime and explore the history, present, and future of numismatics. The consistency of the ANA in promoting the event, which has run through the Depression, a World War, and other national crises, is a testament to the organization’s dedication to growing the hobby. Today’s collectors owe a debt of gratitude to those who have contributed to this rich tradition over the years. In the early 1900s, the world of numismatics faced an ethical crisis. Julius Guttag outlined it beautifully: "Years ago the dealer gave freely of his knowledge and endeavored to educate the new collector as much as possible. Today, many dealers make it their aim to keep the collector uninformed… If each and every dealer would show a live and honest interest in every new col ...
  2. U.S. Mint to Issue West Point Mint Mark Quarters for First Time

    U.S. Mint to Issue West Point Mint Mark Quarters for First Time

    On April 2, 2019, the U.S. Mint announced that for the first time ever it has struck quarter dollars with W-mint marks for the West Point Mint and that the coins will only be available in general circulation.  What’s more, only 2 million of each of the five 2019 quarters will be struck, a low number for a coin of this type, which has had an upwards of hundreds of millions struck in recent years. The first of these coins have already been produced and shipped by the Federal Reserve to banks and other financial institutions. They include both 2019-W Lowell National Historical Park and 2019-W American Memorial Park quarters, which should begin appearing in circulation within four to six weeks, according to the ...
  3. Numismatic Legislation in the 116th Congress

    Numismatic Legislation in the 116th Congress

    Most collectors are aware that U.S. Mint commemorative coin programs, which have been limited to two per year since 1998, are created through legislation that originates with members of the U.S. Congress and attempts to make its way through the legislative process. However, the U.S. Congress also periodically enacts various legislative proposals – some of which become law, and many which do not – that impact numismatics in other ways such as the provision that eventually was used to end the use of 90% "coin" silver in numismatic coins. During the 116th congress, which began on January 4, 2019, and continues until the end of 2020, several bills have been introduced that either call for the issuance of new coins or impact the numismatic industry. Bush coins ...
  4. U.S. Mint to Issue 2019-W Lincoln Cents as Bonus to Set Collectors!

    U.S. Mint to Issue 2019-W Lincoln Cents as Bonus to Set Collectors!

    To mark the 110th anniversary of the perennially-popular Lincoln cent, the U.S. Mint is issuing the first pennies that carry a “W” Mint mark, indicating that they were struck at the iconic West Point Mint. However, the 2019-W pennies will not be the first ones ever struck at the West Point Mint, since business strike cents were produced there from 1974 to 1986 to supplement production of the coin at the Philadelphia Mint at a time when billions were being struck each year. Those cents made in Philadelphia did not have a Mint mark, which is an important difference for collectors.  An Intriguing Trend There will be three 2019 numismatic products that include versions of the 2019-W cent, includi ...
  5. 2019 American Legion Centennial Coins Debut March 14

    2019 American Legion Centennial Coins Debut March 14

    On March 14 the U.S. Mint will launch its second and final commemorative coin program of 2019, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and the remarkable work of this organization that has impacted not just U.S. service members, but the entire country. The History of the American Legion The organization was founded on March 15, 1918 in Paris, France by the American Expeditionary Forces that occupied Europe after the fighting of World War I had ended. This group was concerned about the welfare of their comrades after they returned to the United States, as well as of the communities where those vet ...
  6. Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Coin Program Launches from the U.S. Mint

    Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Coin Program Launches from the U.S. Mint

    American Achievement: the Apollo 11 Moon Shot  While American technological and political achievements are numerous, few are as resonant as the great Space Race of the 1960s. This included the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs that reached their triumphant apex with the Apollo 11 mission that saw astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin land on the moon and their safe return, along with command module pilot Michael Collins, to Earth. The United States Mint is releasing a seven coin commemorative program to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the moon landing. The series will have broad appeal for numismatic collectors as well as technology and space buffs alike. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is really an attempt to capture the vibrant spirit of the Sixties and of the extraordinary achievements of America and Americans. The “one small step for man… one giant leap for mankind” celebrated with these ...

Collector Tips

  1. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. 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 ...
  5. 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 ...
  6. A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Coin

    A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Coin

    Everyone has heard the popular saying: "you have to start somewhere," and many times, that's exactly how the process works when you begin your coin collecting journey. Maybe your uncle has always collected coins, but you never really got into it, or perhaps your friends like to share their collections with each other and you're tired of feeling left out. Whatever the case, there's really no specific path to take when you initially decide to become a coin collector. Since it can be difficult to figure out where to begin, here’s some helpful numismatic information. 1. Background knowledge.  First and foremost, do enough research to at least be aware of the different coin collecting possibilities. For example, most people are aware that collecting state quarters is a popular hobby. However, many people aren't aware that collecting American Silver Eagles has also been a popular hobby f ...