A visit to the US Mint will start you out in the 18th century making colonial copper cents and finish up watching the San Francisco mint strike brand new silver and gold proof eagles.
The time in between is a country's history written in numismatics for all the world to see.
From 1793 until the present day, United States coins have been produced for circulation and for issue to collectors at the various establishments set up across the country by the federal government.
Many new issues are produced each year and without a visit to the United States Mint, most people will never find out about a lot of them.
When the US Mint first opened in 1793, it was a single local in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All of the United States coins were minted here until 1835 when branches were opened in various locations across the country.
All of these branch mints struck coins that are now very rare and highly sought after by collectors.
Visiting the United States Mint today can be done right from the comfort of your home through the wonders of the Internet. They have an up to date website that is very user friendly and offers a complete history behind their services and the production history for the entire collection of US coins.
If you create a user account at the US Mint website, they will send you e-mails when a new issue comes out. This can give you an inside edge when short runs are made for certain coins.
Back in 1995 the United States mint decided to produce a collector set which had two coins in it. One was a new Robert Kennedy Silver Dollar and the coin that came with it was his brother's famous John F. Kennedy Half Dollar.
The sets were only produced to the sum of 55,000 making this half dollar a key to the Kennedy set.
Originally those sets sold to collectors for $55.00 each. Today, a single JFK half from the year 1995 with the frosted finish these were made with, brings an astounding $450.00. Proving once again that hindsight is 20/20.
A favorite with collectors, the mint recently struck its state quarter program and the ten year run was a complete success. Now they have extended the program to the national park series.
Collectors seem to be enjoying the multi year type coins and are avidly collecting them. Another favorite was the first lady dollar series that came along with the presidential dollars of late.
All of these coins have produced errors that a whole different collector base will seek out. Missing letters and features of any part of the intended design create these errors and the prices seem to escalate rapidly whenever one is discovered.
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Getting in on this market must be done when gold and silver prices are low. It is more a long term investment.
Key date coins from the past issues that are now obsolete have always gone up in value. This fares well for the new issues, as historically good money has been made purchasing and holding items produced by the US Mint.