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How To Collect US Coins As An Investment

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

US coins is one of the safer and wisest investment options you can choose. Much like individual stocks, each coin is valued based on its quantity and demand. Its worth will be determined by what the market place sets it to be. With US coins, demand has steadily risen over the last several decades while the quantity remains low and continues to decrease. Collectible precious metal gold and silver coins have continually throughout history been melted down to make bullion. And while collectible US coins will have bullion or precious metal value, they also have numismatic or collector value as well as being historical artifacts of our country.

Just like with any other type of investing you should study and do your homework before making any purchase. As you begin to collect and invest in US coins start out small and learn as much as you can, because as you go along you will get smarter and wiser about the hobby and the investments you make. Things you want to consider in US coins are: the condition of the coin, precious metal content in the coin, scarcity of the denomination, variety or striking, as well as where and when the coin was minted. Also keep in mind how you plan to store and protect your coins. As an investment you want to protect what you have put into as well as what you will get out of it.

There are a lot of good US coin varieties to invest in, here is an overview of some of them:

Colonial Issue coins: Minted by the colonies prior to and just after statehood. These coins have low mintages and are quite scarce. Many of these coins were made of copper and silver.

Half Cents: These include the Liberty Cap Type (1793-1797), Draped Bust Type (1800-1808), Classic Head Type (1809-1836), and the Braided Hair Type (1840-1857). These coins were minted of copper.

Large Cents: These include the Flowing Hair Type (1793), Liberty Cap Type (1793-1796), Draped Bust Type (1796-1807), Classic Head Type (1808-1814), Liberty Head Type (1816-1857). These coins were minted of copper.

Small Cents: These include the Flying Eagle (1856-1858) and the Indian Head Cents (1859-1909). These coins were made from a copper (88 %) nickel (12 %) alloy.

Silver Three Cent Pieces: This coin nicknamed Trimes, was issued from 1851-1873 and was made from a silver (75 %) copper (25 %) alloy.

Nickel Five Cent Pieces: These coins include the Shield Five Cent Piece (1866-1883), Liberty Head (1883-1913) and the Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938). These coins were made from a copper (75 %) nickel (25 %) alloy.

Half Dime Five Cent Pieces: These coins include the Flowing Hair Type (1794-1795), Draped Bust Type (1796-1805), Capped Bust Type (1829-1837) and the Liberty Seated Type (1837-1873). These pieces contain roughly 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

Dime Ten Cent Pieces: These pieces include the Draped Bust Type (1796-1807), Capped Bust Type (1809-1837), Liberty Seated Type (1837-1891), Barber Head Type (1892-1916), and the Mercury Head Dime (1916-1945). These pieces are made from roughly 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

Twenty Cent Pieces: This includes the Liberty Seated Twenty cent piece issued from 1875-1878. This piece is made from 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

Quarter Pieces: These 25 cent pieces include the Draped Bust Type (1796-1807), Capped Bust Type (1815-1838), Liberty Seated Type (1838-1891), Barber Head Type (1892-1916), and the Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930). These quarter pieces are made from roughly 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

Half Dollar Pieces: These 50 cent pieces include the Flowing Hair Type (1794-1795), Draped Bust Half (1796-1807), Capped Bust Half (1807-1839), Liberty Seated Half (1839-1891), Barber Head Half (1892-1915) and Liberty Walking Halves (1916-1947). These half dollar pieces are made from roughly 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

One Dollar Silver Pieces: These coins include the Flowing Hair Dollar (1794-1795), Draped Bust Dollar (1795-1804), Gobrecht Dollar (1836-1839), Liberty Seated Dollar (1840-1873), Trade Dollar Type (1873-1885), Morgan Dollar Type (1878-1921), and the Peace Dollar Type (1921-1935). These silver dollar pieces are made from roughly 90 % silver and 10 % copper.

One Dollar Gold Pieces: These gold dollar coins include the Liberty Head Type (1849-1854), Indian Head type (1854-1889). These coins were made from 90 % gold and 10 % copper.

Two and Half Dollar Gold Pieces: These coins known as Quarter Eagles and include the Capped Bust Type (1796-1834), Classic Head Type (1834-1839), Liberty Head Type (1840-1907) and the Indian Head Type (1908-1929). These pieces were made of roughly 90 % gold and 10 % copper and silver.

Three Dollar Gold Pieces: This piece includes the Indian Head Type minted from 1854-1889 and was minted of 90 % gold and 10 % copper.

Four Dollar Gold Pieces: This piece includes the Stella Type minted from 1879-1880 and was minted of 90 % gold and 10 % copper.

Five Dollar Gold Pieces: These coins are known as Half Eagles and include the Capped Bust Type (1795-1834), Classic Head Type (1834-1838), Liberty Head Type (1839-1908) and the Indian Head Type (1908-1929). These pieces were made of roughly 90 % gold and 10 % copper and silver.

Ten Dollar Gold Pieces: These coins are known as Eagles and include the Capped Bust Type (1795-1804), Liberty Head Type (1838-1907) and the Indian Head type (1907-1933). These pieces were made of roughly 90 % gold and 10 % copper and silver.

Twenty Dollar Gold Pieces: These coins are known as Double Eagles and include the Liberty Head Type (1849-1907) and the Saint Gaudens Type (1907-1933). These coins were made from 90 % gold and 10 % copper.

With so many investment coin options it can be intimidating getting started but the best beginning place is to get The Official Red Book, A Guide Of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman. This book is published each year and gives you history and current average retail values for specific coins varieties and issues. In general for investment coins you will want to look for higher grades and rare mintages. This book is a great guide to showing you how coins are graded and which ones are key (or scarcer) dates and mintages. Finding some of these older US coins will take some searching out on your part but with some diligence you will find them.

As far as storing your investment coins you have several good options. You want to make sure the coins are in some type of safe protective containers (preferably individually) in a dry, dark place. Never directly handle the coins if possible, if you must, hold them by the edges but never on the coins face as perspiration from the hands will overtime degrade the coin and reduce its value. A safety deposit box at a bank may be a good choice as long as it is not in a high moisture environment. A security safe at your home or place of business that is either hidden or bolted and secured to a wall or floor is another good option. Also, be careful in discussing your coins with others, never try to boast and give out specific information on what or how much you have as this could open up an opportunity for a thief to pay you an unwanted visit.

With all this being said, enjoy your adventure as you embark on collecting US coins as an investment.

RESOURCE:

Yeoman, R.S. (2010). The Official Red Book, A Guide Book Of United States Coins 2011. Bressett, Kenneth (Ed). Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing.


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