Coin FAQ

What do you buy?
We buy United States Collectible Coinage, precious metal bullion, unwanted or broken jewelry, Sterling Silver flatware or hollowware and anything gold, silver or platinum.

What makes a coin collectible?
Scarcity and willing buyers. Scarcity is being rare or few available – Coins still in current circulation are not scarce since they can easily be found in pocket change. Willing buyers refers to the fact that people are wanting the item. Even if an item is scarce, but no one cares, the item is not collectible. Modern minor varieties & private entity mints (such as the Franklin Mint, Bradford Exchange, etc) often have no willing buyers after the 1st release.

What does denomination mean?
Denomination is the unit of value of a piece of money.   The face value.   Penny =  one cent, Nickel = 5 cents, dime – 10 cents  quarter = 25 cents, half = 50 cents, and dollar = 100 cents. 

What makes a coin?
All coins must have a Country, a year of issue and a denomination (face value amount).

What are Coin Alternatives?
Hard Time Tokens: small piece of metal similar to coins that were used as a replacement of coinage during times when coins were horded for their metal value (hard times)
Advertising Tokens: small pieces of metal to advertise for some business or even. Often times like a coupon (25 cents off), or collectible series released over time by a business.
Transportation Tokens: Bus tokens, subway tokens etc.
Encased Coinage: Actual coins surrounded by other materials that are used for advertising
Love Tokens: Actual coins in which one side has been polished and marked with a word, words or design that would have meaning to the recipient
Metals: Standardized metal made by private mints for bullion (investment) purposes

How do you clean coins?
DO NOT CLEAN – anything more than a mild hand soap and light rubbing with your fingers on the coin can damage the original surface of the coin. Cleaned coins lose the original luster that is highly desired by coin collectors.

Will you pay more for scarce coins?
If a better date & mint mark coin can easily be presented (in a book or individually) we will gladly pay a premium for them.  We know from historical fact that we will spend at about $20 in labor to find $10 or less in collector premium. 

What are varieties?
Varieties are minor changes on one die that make it different than others of the same year / mint mark combination.  Examples such as corrected date, change in lettering, a doubling of certain areas, etc.

What are mint errors?
Small errors that happen during the minting process
Planchet cud – dirt on a small area of the planchet resulting in a small area not being stamped properly
Die Crack – a crack occurring on the die resulting in raised cracks on the coin
Machine doubling – Doubling as a result of ejection error causing a small doubling 
Rusty Die – corroded looking surface with no corrosion visible. 

How much silver is in coins?
Older (1964 & prior) United States dimes, quarters halves & Dollars have 90% silver with some halves (1965 – 1970) being 40% silver and some nickels (War Nickels – some 1942 – all of: 1943, 1944, 1945) being 30%
Older world coins have between 90 – 30% silver with most 80-50%
Modern silver bullion is .999 fine silver

What are the mints in the United States?
Philadelphia (Often the mint is no Mint Mark is present)
Denver (D)
Orleans (O)
San Francisco (S)
West Point (W)
Carson City (CC)

If a coin has no mint mark where was it made?
Traditionally Philadelphia is the mint of manufacture if there is no Mint Mark on the coin. 

When did coins start?
US Coins were first made in 1793   World coins were found in Ancient China and Ancient Rome