Coin Collecting

  1. The Female Form as Allegorical Representations of Liberty on Coinage

    The Female Form as Allegorical Representations of Liberty on Coinage

    Images of the female form began appearing on coinage millennia ago and this tradition continues to be exceedingly important in Numismatics today. Ancient Greek coins featured the image of the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, as well as other hisotrical women and Goddesses. Roman coins also featured female deities like Libertas, the Goddess of Freedom, and the profiles of powerful women, such as the mothers of Caesars and behind the scenes power brokers. Fast forward a few thousand years and today, the female form continues to be a driving force in Numismatics, often symbolizing the very ideals and spirits of issuing Nations. While the allegorical character of “Lady Liberty” is a prevalent emblem of the founding ideals of the United States, many countries also prominently feature metaphorical female figures on their currency. Where did this Tradition Begin? ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. U.S. Presidents and Numismatics

    U.S. Presidents and Numismatics

    Under the U.S. system of government, the president, who has extensive powers in areas such as national security, does not usually play a major role in shaping our coinage. The most prominent exceptions, include presidents who had an interest in, and who took the initiative to get involved in, numismatics, especially President Theodore Roosevelt, whose influence over early 20th century coinage is legendary. The main numismatic role of a president is signing coinage legislation into law after it has been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The powers of the executive in this area are mostly delegated to officials the President appoints, and others who serve in their administration. Chief among them is the U.S. Treasury Secretary, who oversees the U.S. Mint and makes the ...
  5. War and Currency: Driving and Marking American History

    War and Currency: Driving and Marking American History

    Money and military have driven history since ancient times. Currency changes to finance war. Wars are fought to gain more money. Currency changes to adapt to the new conditions created by war, and once wars are over, they celebrate both peace and victory as well as commemorating those who gave everything to fight for their countries. This inextricable link between money and military, evident throughout human history, has been every bit a part of American history as in any previous civilization, especially in the twentieth century. The Civil War: the War between States   Not surprisingly, the biggest impact on American currency came with the war that divided the nation. North and South both had to adapt to find ways to fight their fathers, sons, and brothers. The North’s curren ...
  6. A Modern Numismatic Icon: The American Eagle Series

    A Modern Numismatic Icon: The American Eagle Series

    The American Silver Eagle coin, is not only the U.S. Mint’s most important, flagship coin program, it is also the king of modern U.S. coins, playing a role in the U.S. marketplace and in the numismatic hobby, ultimately over-shadowing many other series. The series has been issued in several formats, including silver and gold since 1986, platinum since 1997 and palladium since 2017. Each year in January, the U.S. Mint begins selling the bullion version of the most recently-dated Silver Eagle and Gold Eagle coins, as well as the proof versions of the Silver Eagle. This is always one of the most important numismatic events of the year, especially during years such as this one, 2019, whe ...

Latest News

  1. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. 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 c ...
  5. The Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle Series: History in the Making

    The Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle Series: History in the Making

    The Australia Wedge-Tailed Eagle Series: History in the Making In 2014, John Mercanti and the Perth Mint made history as the former Chief Engraver of the United States Mint collaborated with the Perth Mint on the new Silver Wedge-Tailed Eagle. The new issue marked the first time that a US Mint engraver designed a coin for a foreign mint. The first release in the series had a mintage of just 50,000 pieces, and the response among collectors worldwide was so overwhelming that the series has become a mainstay of the Perth Mint and among the most anticipated annual releases among collectors. The 2019 edition marks the fifth anniversary release in the series and just the first time that a new design has been introduced after just one year of the previous ...
  6. The Use of Animals in Ancient and Modern Coins

    The Use of Animals in Ancient and Modern Coins

    Coins With Animals Animals, both domesticated and wild, seem to have always fascinated man. Whether in the form of Roman military standards (ensigns), coins or sacred totems that feature animals – all seem to be bearers of powerful animal symbols that played a pivotal role in awareness and self-expression. The use of animals on coins, including birds, is as old as coins itself. Different animals are featured on many coins – too many to mention here. Some coins even feature two or more animals. E.g. the rare ancient coins that were issued by Hadrian feature an eagle alongside an owl and a peacock. This makes for a fascinating variety of coins with animals to collect, both ancient and modern. Horses and eagles seem to feature most frequently on ancient coins. Rare animals such as elephants, lions and turtles are also featured. On the other hand, modern coins feature almost every animal imaginable. Let’s consider a few ancient and mod ...

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 ...