Your neighborhood one stop shop for turning your unwanted and unneeded items into money.
United States Gold coins
Humans have used gold as currency for longer than any other material. By 300BC the use of gold coins was wide spread in Europe. The first coins used in the United States were brought here from Europe and were mostly made of gold and silver. The US monetary system with the dollar as the basis was established by the Coinage Act in 1792. In 1795 the first US gold coin struck was the $5 Half Eagle. 1807 is the first year that there was a mark of value on the coin, (5 D.). The most common seen half eagles are the $5 Liberty Head minted 1839 to 1908, and the $5 Indian Head minted 1908 to1929. $10 Eagles were minted 1795 to 1804, and stopped until the $10 Liberty, minted 1838 to 1907, the $10 Indian was minted 1907 to 1933. The U.S. minted $20 Double Eagles 1849 to1933, $2.50 Quarter Eagles 1796 to 1929, $1 gold coins 1854 to 1889, and $3 dollar gold coins from 1854 to1889. The rarest U.S. gold coin is the $4 Stella only minted for 2 years 1879 and 1880.
Misstrucks, Misstrikes, Errors, & Odditie Coins.
Another field of collecting is misprints or oddities. These are coins that have a problem with their design caused by a mistake in the minting process. Sometimes a coin can slightly move in the die during the minting process and get an offset stamp or strike. This can be a very slight movement causing a slight doublings of the design, lettering, or date on the coin, known as a doubled-die effect. One of the best known of these double-die coins is the 1955 double die penny. Another typical mintage mistake is over-strikes when you can see an earlier date struck over a current date, or a letter over another. This is caused when an older die is reused and the older date was not fully removed from the die. Other types of misstrikes and errors that may make it into circulation are, coins with extra metal, missing metal, off centered designs, blank planchet along with many others. These coins are collected and have a numismatic value higher than their face value.
Bullion vs Rare Coins
The US started making bullion coins in 1986 to compete with other countries through-out the world. These coins are worth their weight in Gold or Silver. The more common coins are the $1 one-ounce silver eagles, the $5 tenth-ounce gold eagle, $10 quarter-ounce gold eagle, the $25 half-ounce gold eagle, and the big one the $50 one-ounce gold eagle. The U.S Mint has also started making platinum bullion eagles in various styles and sizes. Each coin has a face value and is legal tendered which is much less than the actual value of the coin. They are therefore bought and sold primarily for investment purposes. The value is based on their metal content and the current market price the day the transaction takes place.
There are many types of issued coins (coins that were made for circulation) that can be rare and highly exceed their face value. A coins value or its numismatic value as it is called in the coin world is determined by three main points. The first point is the amount issued in a certain year along with where that coin was made. An example being a dime made in 1940 may have been made in more than one location. One location may have made many dimes and the other location only a few dimes by comparison. Therefore the dime made in the low mintage location will be much rarer than the higher mintage location, even though they were both made in the same year. The second factor is how many are still in circulation today or are in private collections. They may have made many coins in a certain year but for one reason or another not many of the coins survived today. The final factor in setting the value of a coin is the current condition of the coin. Remember coins come out of the mint in perfect condition. Through the years of handling by millions of people a coins detail will wear down. The less that a coin was handled and the more original details left on the coin will determine its value, the nicer the coin the better the price. DO NOT! Try to clean or polish a coin thinking that it will be worth more because it is cleaner, because it WILL be worth less.
Coins made into jewelry.
I had a customer come in recently with a gold pendant. It was a gold coin that had been framed in a 14k bezel. The coin was just a common 999 $10 Gold American Eagle made for bullion. If this had been a rare coin with a value more than it's weight in gold, putting it into a piece of jewelry, polishing, and/ or cleaning it compromises the value, and turns it back into just gold value. Unfortunately this has been a very common practice and people have been doing this for ages. However, what people do not realize is that when they turn coins into jewelry it compromises the coin's numismatic value. The moral is that coins are meant as coins. Their value is in their age and rarity, so don't clean their value away. Coins, regardless of their metal, (gold or silver etc.), are not meant to be cleaned or altered in any way.