Collector Tips

  1. 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& ...
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  2. Coin Grading Reference

    Coin Grading Reference
    Conditions of Coins The condition of a coin is the key to its value. As location is to the real estate market, quality is paramount in the coin collecting market. Each step on the grading scale means a more perfect coin. When attempting to differentiate between Mint State (Uncirculated) and Proof c ...
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  3. Getting Started

    Getting Started
    One of the questions people ask me most frequently is “how did you get started collecting coins?” They are usually amazed that something that began as a hobby over 40 years ago has become my passion and a vehicle for making a pretty good living. My interest began the old fashioned way, just many collectors of my gen ...
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  4. The Good Old Days(?)

    The Good Old Days(?)
    Quite often, we hear someone wane with nostalgia, fondly remembering the “good old days,” and longing for a simpler time again. Anyone older than 30 probably thinks life was better in the old days. Yes, life was much less complicated before we were all connected 24/7, but was it really better?&n ...
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  5. How Do We Grow the Hobby?

    How Do We Grow the Hobby?
    The average age of the ANA membership is 59 years old and rising. This is not a terribly attractive demographic for growth. One only needs to look at what has happened to the interest in stamp collecting to become alarmed for the future of numismatics.  Age is Only a Number Many are concerned about the lack of co ...
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  6. How Big is the Counterfeiting Problem?

    How Big is the Counterfeiting Problem?
    The issue of counterfeit coins has been around for a very long time. For years, the numismatic industry has dealt effectively with the problem of counterfeit rare coins. Just to be clear, the issue of counterfeit coins has been around for a very long time. You can read numismatic journals from the 19th century and realize that ...
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  7. The 1980 Precious Metals Boom and Numismatics

    The 1980 Precious Metals Boom and Numismatics
    I began my career in numismatics in the mid-1970s. At the time, precious metal prices played a relatively small role in the market for rare coins. Gold sold for around $150-200 per ounce and silver hovered in $4-6 per ounce range. The rare coin market was a quiet, cottage industry. The most acc ...
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  8. Should I Buy Circulated or Uncirculated Coins?

    Should I Buy Circulated or Uncirculated Coins?
    In the world of coin collecting, there are only two types of coins, circulated and uncirculated. The difference between the two types of coins can usually be easily identified, and the value differe ...
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  9. How is Value Determined in Numismatics?

    How is Value Determined in Numismatics?
    The historical aspect of collecting rare coins fascinates many people. For example, a silver dollar from Carson City might have been spent by in a saloon by a famous gunfighter. It is the historical possibilities like these that attract people of all ages to Numismatics. In spite of the fascination with a coin’s past, the ...
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  10. What's In A Name?

    What's In A Name?
    Over the years, I have been asked several times if I was related to the Garrett family, whose vast numismatic collection was auctioned by Bower’s and Merena around 1980. The collection was formed around the turn of the century,rs and when it sold, it was for tens of millions of dollars. The collection contained some of ...
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