Keeping Coins Clean Using A Folder
The price of an antique item goes up if it is kept in good condition. By having it stored in a safe place, one can be sure that it will not be damaged by the elements or by negligence that will reduce its value in the market.
Coins are easy to take care off. For those who have been doing this for years, such collections are usually framed or under glass and are often seen in places such as a large museum. But to individuals who are just starting out, putting it in an old shoe box or jar will do.
Later, when the collection is larger, it is time to invest in a coin folder that would better protect and hold the coins. These folders can be bought in different sizes depending on the type of coins the individual is collecting. The coins can be stored in individual plastic pockets or in sheets that make up the album. They are available at the local coin store or can be ordered from the web. The advantage of using these is that they are handy to carry around make it easy for the person to show. These can be brought to exhibits and other venues where the coins can be traded, sold or exchanged with coins that other people may have.
Keeping the coins in mint condition does not only mean storing them in a folder. Whenever the person adds a new coin to the collection, it is ideal to first have it cleaned before putting it in with the others.
This can be done by taking it to a coin shop and paying for the services, or if you prefer to do it yourself, is by soaking it in a liquid such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice or ammonia which is sure to remove any dirt or encrustation that are present when it was acquired.
They should then be air-dried or patted dry with a soft cloth. It is not a good idea to rub or polish the coins since scratches can occur that may decrease its value in the market.
Serious coin collectors value the importance of storing these valuables in a safe and secure area. By investing in a coin folder, the person can be sure that the value of the coins will go up either when the demand calls for it or when there is a need to part with them.
Coin Collecting Book Handbook From The Valuable Cosmos
The handbook from the universe is one that carries all the necessary information that every coin collector needs, literally speaking.
The truth is that coin collecting books are "must-haves" for every coin collector because they provide all of the necessary information in that a collector needs to succeed in this type of leisure activity.
Most of the expert coin collectors advise that every "newbie" in coin collecting should buy a book before he buys a coin. Engaging in this activity is not merely a "finder's keepers" type of game. The argument of this concept is based on the premise that coin collecting is not an ordinary activity where people can just grab any kind of coin that they see. It is important to know the basics of coin collecting to appropriately categorize the kinds of coins that are fit for compilation.
Not all coins are worth collecting, and there are coins that some people may not consider worthy are actually rare and valuable. None of these things would be disclosed to a coin collector if not for the information gained from coin collecting books.
For those who wish to buy books but do not know what to look for, here is a list of the things that needs to be considered when buying:
1. It must give the historical account of the coins
When buying coin collecting books, look for those that will give you a historical perspective of the kind of coin that you wish to collect. For instance, if you are going to collect U.S. coins, buy a book that will tell the history of the U.S. coins.
2. It must give you practical guidelines in "grading" coins
It is necessary for every coin collector to have a book that provides information about the proper skills needed when "grading" coins. Grading is such an important skill that every coin collector must learn the skill if they wish to continue collecting coins and be successful doing so.
3. It must give you information about coins in a broad perspective
Coin collecting books that talk about the different kinds of coins in the world is a "must-have". These are especially helpful to those who do not have any specific country in mind.
Books have always been man's greatest companion as history unfolds. Coin collecting books are worth more than just being the collector's friend - these books are also considered treasures in their own form.
How To Grade Your Coins
A "grade" is described as a shorthand designed by coin experts (numismatists) to reveal a coin's appearance. Simply put, if a certain coin collector tells another collector that he owns an uncirculated Charlotte 50 half eagle, both should already have a concept of the coins appearance without even seeing it, because of the claim of its grade.
Some disclose that designating a grade to rank or categorize a coin is more of an art rather than science, since often it is extremely subjective or biased; this applies particularly when working on "Mint State" coins where little differences, in terms of grade, make so much difference in the price.
Grading can be learned, studied and applied with a predictable and known outcome that eventually depends on judgment, not feelings.
Like any language, science, sport, or research, it is best to learn and understand coin grading one component at a time, through serious study and experience.
Today, most numismatists use the "Sheldon grading scale". While there are those that complain of "too many grades", most experienced coin graders recognize and appreciate the fact that there is a wide range in features between ranges.
This is the method of stamping or imprinting a drawing or a symbol onto a blank. Depending on the coin's design, it can either have weak or strong strike. An example of this would be the "Type II gold dollar" on which both sides (front and back) have the highest strike that is perfectly aligned, meaning, these designs require weak strikes.
Generally the strike is not a key factor in establishing the coin's grade except when it is included in a series where the value is connected to strike.
Preservation of the coin's surface
The number of coin marks as well as where they are placed is a significant element in establishing the grade. While there is no fixed formula on the number of coin marks that sets its grade, there are several regulated standards regarding the significance of the location or positioning of a scratch.
For instance, a coin having a deep scratch that it is not easily visible on its reverse (back) side will not be strictly penalized. However, if the same scratch was positioned on a noticeable or obvious central point on the front, such as the cheek on the Statue of Liberty, it would be penalized much more.
Patina or luster
A coin can have a variation of textures on the surface, influenced by design, the metal that was used and the "mint of origin". Textures can include frosty, satiny, proof-like and semi-proof-like.
When examining the coin's surface in terms of grade, two things should be looked at; the quantity, or what is left of the original skin (has to be intact), and the location and amount of marks.
Luster is important especially when determining whether a coin is either circulated or uncirculated. A coin in Mint State technically; is free of abrasion and wear and must not have significant breaks in its luster.
This is a very subjective element in determining coin grade. For instance, a "gold coin" showing dark green-gold pigmentation may be unattractive to one collector and attractive to another.
As gold is moderately an inert metal, it is not prone to much color variance as copper or silver. Although wide ranging colors may exist in gold coins.
Almost all of US gold coins had been dipped or cleaned, therefore not anymore displaying their original color. As coin collectors become knowledgeable, most of them are attracted and fascinated to coins having their natural color. In most coin series, it is nearly impossible to discover original coin pieces.
Eye attraction or appeal
Color, luster, strike and surface marks come together, comprises "eye appeal". Note that a coin having superior "eye appeal" can be strong in one aspect, such as possessing exceptional luster but not quite as strong in another aspect, such as not so good color.
A coin that is undesirable in one aspect yet good enough in all the other aspects can still be distinguished as "below average" in "eye appeal".
Knowing how to grade a coin is very important so that one can have an idea of the value or price of the coin that he is buying or selling. When new to coin collecting, be sure to ask the help of an experienced collector or dealer when buying or exchanging your coins.
Tips On How To Avoid Fraud On Collectible Coins
Many people enjoy shopping online where there are great buys of coins that can be found. A person may prefer do his shopping while he is at home because it is convenient and time-saving instead of going out looking for stores that sell collectible coins and other souvenirs.
A person can differentiate between a live auction and an Internet because an online auction can take several days to complete. They entertain bids for the highest price up until the time the auction is about to close.. Many people that are bidding online enjoy the experience and they may be familiar with the strategies to use to win an online auction.
There are also online sites where a person can buy any item that may capture his interest. This is where most coin collectors purchase their desired coins. By searching and finding the item that they want, they can actually negotiate and make the payments through the Internet. This can be very risky as you are dealer/seller that is unknown to the buyer, yet many people are still making transactions and payments through this kind of online auction.
Fraud is common even though many Internet sites that do business online contend that the risk of fraud is not something to worry about. They contend that only 0.0025 percent of true cases of fraud occur with online transactions - that means only one out of 40,000 listed Internet transactions would be fraudulent. On the other hand, the FBI has their own investigations, which prove that those figures are not true- they contend that the risk of fraud is much higher according to their statistics.
A person should believe the FBI for his own protection. Even if one can say that the majority of online coin selling transactions are honest and credible, the process used to make the transaction most probably is questionable and uncertain. There are business transactions, which are intentionally committing fraud with their clients and buyers. Aside from flea-market dealers, mail-order sellers, in-person auctions and some coin stores, the Internet has introduced the crime of fraud to many people in the easiest way possible.
One protection that a coin buyer should know is how to get "feedback"; that way, a person can see the ratings other bidders give the seller and he may compare his transaction with the transaction of the others. Since there is a great risk of fraud where there is negative feedback, the person may withdraw his participation from the auction if he deems that to be necessary.
A person may also acquire ideas by looking for those members who have left "positive feedback" and compare it to the reaction of the sellers. A person can make an assessment of what could be possible useful information from those reactions. Be careful and precise about any transaction that is offered by the seller.
There are instances where a person is deceived about the item he purchased. The photo shown on the Internet displayed the coin that a person wants to have but they delivered a totally different item. These cases are fraud. A person must make sure that the item he saw on the photo is the exact item that will be delivered to him. Here are some tips that will help a person prevent fraud during a coin search in the Internet.
1.A person should save the online photo of the coin he wants to purchase. Many sellers remove the image and the title of the item once a purchase has been made.
2.A person should get the description and the auction information. It should either be e-mailed to the buyer or sent in writing by mail.
3. If there are suspicions regarding an auction, a person should ask for clarification from to the seller. This will avoid misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the buyer.
4. A person has the right to refuse any transaction where he thinks the price given on the coin is too high. One should be aware of the standard price of the specific coin and compare it to the price that was given during the online transaction.
5.A person can ensure that there will be no fraud by asking the seller, before the auction closes, if there is any available escrow assistance for the bidder.
These are only a few tips that will ensure a person of his safety when making any transactions online. Fraud can happen to anyone, especially those who are interested in purchasing collectible coins online. It is always important to be informed and knowledgeable about the possibilities of encountering fraud.
The Coin Price Is Right
There are many resources that can help coin collectors, old or new, in determining the value and worth of the coins they have.
There are books out, "The Red Book" (A Guide Book of US Coins), "The Blue Book" (A Handbook of US Coins), as well as coin newsletters and catalogues available at any public or private library, coin dealers/shops anywhere in the US. There are also online guides for the prices of US coins available on the web, specifically the NumisMedia site.
For a synopsis of the price of each coin, the following are the basic values of each cent, penny, or dime in the market.
The United States wheat-cent, the circulated ones
The price of these coins made prior to 1958, or those that are dated 1940, are currently being purchased by coin dealers for two cents each, or less. Those made before 1940 command a much higher price - from a few more cents to a few dollars.
Silver-dollars from the US, especially those made before 1935, have almost an ounce of silver in them. These coins are the favorites of coin collectors and could be sold for more than their actual value in silver if they are undamaged or not worn severely.
The dollars of Susan B. Anthony
If by luck you happen to get one of these as a change, the value is more than a dollar and proof Susan B. Anthony dollars command even more. They are not easy to fine as they are not usually being circulated.
Quarters, dollars and halves - the bicentennial kind
There were billions of these coins made out, and because there are so many of them, their worth is usually just face value. There are coin dealers however who pay ten percent of the face value as premium for circulated bicentennial coins, and a few dollars more for those that are uncirculated.
A freak coin
Believe it or not, there are two-headed coins out there. Basically, these are coins with two different designs on each face. These coins were made in error and mistake was not discoverer until the year 2000. This type of coins is usually called "mules". In 1999, it was found that a cent with Lincoln's face on one side and Roosevelt's dime image on the other existed.
It you find a coin of this it must be taken to a legitimate coin dealer and assessed to determine if is genuine. If so, this coin could be put up for auction and command a few dollars more.
It is therefore true that a coin is basically worth more than meets the eye.
What Types Of Coins Do Collectors Love
Simplicity is not the best policy when it comes to coin collecting. Oftentimes it is the rareness, the history, or the mother country of the coins that collectors value most.
Here is a wide array of the variety of coins that "coinophiles" are obsessed with:
National Coins: Patriotism in Coins
Usually, national coin collectors are interested in collecting their own country's coins. It is common practice for collectors of national coins to get a representative coin from each date and mint marks for each coin series. Various national coin collectors combine a unique variation of series, date and mint marks.
Error Coins: It's OK to be Not-So-OK
One of the modern types of coin collecting is known as error coin collecting. Errors became possible when the production of coins was automated during the nineteenth century. Collectors of historic coins are fine with error coins because they like the uniqueness or error coins. Even modern day coin collector falls in love with error coins because they are assured that the modern processes promise that they are unique. The characteristics or coin errors include the following:
- dies that are doubled
- mint marks that are repunched
- double strikes
- coins that are "off" metal
- coins that are displaced or off center
- coins that are clipped
- one coin with different nominations on two sides a.k.a. mules
World Coins: Hobby of Kings.... of the World
Collecting world coins is about gathering those modern coins from all the countries of the world. Geographically-challenged individuals will have a hard time participating in this kind of coin collecting. If you would like to be a collector of world coins, you must be prepared to spend a considerable amount of money if you would want to have an extensive collection - being a "jetsetter" might be required. World coin collectors often acquire representative coins from each country or from authorities that issue coins. There are also world coin collectors that collect by subject such as those coins that feature animals.
Historical Coins: The Value of the Past
Collectors of historic coins find value in mints that are from medieval or ancient times. The most popular of these historic coins include the following:
There are other ancient coin specialties but it really depends on the preferences of the collectors. The popular way is to collect the coins that were minted during the reign of a certain emperor or king.
Coin Collecting As A Hobby
Most people engage in different activities that they consider hobbies. When people consider a particular activity as a hobby, it means that people find that activity pleasurable in that they enjoy collecting different kinds of coins.
In this context, it does not necessarily follow that the coin collector will focus more on the monetary value of the coins. When the focus of coin collecting delves more into the monetary value of the coins than the gratification the collector obtains, it is no longer deemed a hobby but an investment.
History tells us that the main reason other generations collected coins was the value that coins would someday attain. The ancient form of coin collecting was even labeled a hobby "fit for the kings" because ancient coins were so valuable that only the kings were capable of collecting them.
Today's coin collection is no longer limited to the "kings" or the affluent. Anyone can now consider coin collecting as his or her hobby. The popularity of coin collecting continues to flourish as more and more people collect coins. That is why it is now known as the "King of Hobbies".
Why Such Popularity
One of the many reasons coin collecting is considered by many as one of the most popular hobbies in the world is based on its ease of access.
When somebody wants to start coin collecting, he can start any time, anywhere. Some people start coin collecting with the coins that they have in their pockets. This phase of coin collecting is known as the "accumulator" stage, where collectors try to accumulate as many coins as they can often using their "pocket change".
After the collector gets the "hang of" accumulating coins, the hobby becomes more expensive. This is because true hobbyists are willing to pay the price as long as a particular coin will enhance their collection and will beauty to their "masterpiece". And the rest, as they say, is history.
Coin collecting as hobby is a pleasurable activity that any person can use to create a feeling of gratification..
Gold Coin Collecting
Coin collecting is something that dates back to the when coins were first issued for trade. It was only in the Middle Ages that people turned this into a hobby because of the art work and the historical value.
Coin collecting today is still a hobby that many people enjoy. One of the most precious and most expensive collections that anyone can ever have are those of gold coins. The most expensive gold coin ever bought was worth around eight million dollars. This was the American 1933 Gold Eagle. This is why the collecting of gold coins deserves to be called the hobby of kings.
Gold coins were one of the oldest forms of money. This was later followed by silver coins. Gold coins were in circulation in the United States from 1838 to 1933. The design was the Liberty Head bust but this was only made until 1907. The design was then changed to the Indian Head and Saint Gaudens motifs and was used until 1933 when the Great Depression began. This prompted the recall of gold coins which makes them very difficult to find today.
Since these are no longer in circulation, the price for one of this rare commodity is quite high. Gold is now used for other things such as jewelry or bars that people retain as an investment.
South Africa minted its first gold coin called the Krugerrand in 1967. This coin has no face value but merely stands as a symbol. It is made of 1 ounce of gold and can be purchased for investment purposes.
Since then other countries also minted bullion coins. Canada made the Gold Maple Leaf in 1979 and Australia made the Nugget in 1981. These two are much more popular than the South African coin because of its 24 carat purity.
A lot of people retain gold today as an investment because they speculate that the demand will cause its market value to increase. Others hold it as a form of insurance should the financial situation become worse. There was a point in time when the more paper money that was made, the higher the price of gold which maintained gold and cash as equal value. After this standard ended in 1971, this enabled government to produce more paper currency without increasing the price of gold.
Since gold coins can longer be used to purchase merchandise most coin collectors just keep them to remember that people once used them.
Coin Collecting Basics Your Own Coin Collecting Kit
Coin collecting is not as simple as keeping coins: it may be observed from numismatists or even coin enthusiasts that it is a systematic and somewhat complicated hobby. Certain tools must be employed to ensure both fun, discipline and to some extent, good profit.
Here are some of the essential things that must be included in the coin collecting kit.
1. Coin Guides
Coin guides should be used, not just by beginners, but by professional coin collectors as well.
Coin guides give tips on how to start, as well as special instructions on how to proceed with the hobby of coin collecting.
They also provide information on coins, since different coins have different ways of grading, pricing, etc.
It is recommended you read guides before doing starting the hobby to avoid making wrong decisions caused by lack of information.
2. Coin Inventory Record
All items in your collection must be accounted for properly. Information like year, face value, grade, cost, trend, and remarks must always be available for reference.
Inventory Records also help in organizing coin collections. It eliminates the redundancy of coins in the collection by showing the collectors at a glance the items in his collection.
Coin collectors do have options in the method to be used in recording coin information. They may choose the traditional paper-and-pen method, or may use coin collecting software.
3. Coin Containers
To avoid damaging the coins, it is recommended to invest in holders and containers that will give adequate protection.
Just remember that coins react to certain chemicals such as sulfur present in paper and PVC from plastic it is not advisable to use such materials for long-term storage.
4. Silica Gel
The use of silica gel packets is important to maintain the moderate temperature, low humidity atmosphere conducive to coin preservation.
5. Magnifying Glass
Magnifying glasses are a great help when it comes to coin grading. Most numismatists recommend using a 7x magnification, but generally, magnification between 4x to10x will do the job.
The magnifying glass is a great aid in examining the quality and authenticity of the coins. Details like hairlines or scratches, which are not visible to the naked eye, are "big deals" when it comes to coin collecting as they affect the value of coins.
A light source must be placed half a meter away from the workspace. Recommended light for this purpose may be a halogen lamp, or simply a 75-watt incandescent lamp.
7. Handling equipment
Finger marks reduce the grade of the coins. That is why serious collectors invest in surgical gloves and velvet pads to use when handling coins.
Now our basic coin collecting kit is complete. Enjoy!
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