Collector Tips

  1. The Two Largest Gold Coins Ever Minted

    The Two Largest Gold Coins Ever Minted
    Gold has been in the news recently as spot prices hit a six-year high, reaching more than $1440 per ounce. Gold has also been in the headlines recently because of news related to the world’s two largest gold coins. The Largest Gold Coin in the World: 1 Ton Gold Kangaroo The first is the 2011 One Ton Australian Kangaroo gold coin created by the Perth Mint in Western Australia to showcase the mint’s popular gold Kangaroo series that began in 1989.  The coin, whose reverse design of a bounding red kangaroo surrounded by stylized rays of sunlight was created by Stuart Devlin, is ...
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  2. 8 Hard-to-Find American Silver Eagle Coins: Do you have these Key Dates?

    8 Hard-to-Find American Silver Eagle Coins: Do you have these Key Dates?
    American Silver Eagles serve as the backbone of many collections around the world. While other countries began issuing silver bullion coins earlier, the Silver Eagle’s status as the only annual modern silver bullion series backed for weight and purity by the US government earned it preeminent status in the numismatic world. In the year that the bullion series began, so, too, did the proof series. Although proof mintages are just a small fraction of the bullion ones, they are popular among many collectors. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Silver Eagle in 2006, the U.S Mint began issuing burnished Silver ...
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  3. 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 ...
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  4. 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 ...
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  5. 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 ...
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  6. 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 ...
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  7. 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 ...
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  8. 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 ...
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  9. 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 ...
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  10. What's the Difference Between Precious Metal Coins, Bars, and Rounds?

    What's the Difference Between Precious Metal Coins, Bars, and Rounds?
    Purchasing precious metals can be a smart investment, but it's important to understand exactly what you're buying. Most minted gold and silver comes in three different formats: coins, bars, or rounds. There is something unique about each one, so it’s important to know the difference and find a solid stacking strategy that makes sense for you. Gold and Silver Coins  While most currency in the world is made from common metals such as nickel and copper, sovereign governments also create currency made from precious metals. While each piece is assigned a low face value, its intrinsic value is much higher. As you can guess, these types of coins aren't used in daily circulation, but are instead stacked by investors or acquired by collectors. The intrinsic value of this type of bullion coin is based on the coin's precious metal content. Take the ...
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