Monthly Archives: August 2013

How to Care For Precious Jewels

gemstonesIn addition to rare coins and bullion, Great American Coin is proud to offer a wide selection of natural gemstones and jewels! With their natural beauty and luster, precious jewels make for great gifts. However, much like other types of jewelry, natural wear and tear can be inevitable. Therefore, it’s important to know how to properly take care of your jewels and gemstones.

Soap and water

Many gemstones require unique care and treatment in order to prevent damage. For that reason, your safest bet is old-fashioned soap and water. Just combine a bowl of warm water with a few drops of liquid dish detergent (like Dawn) and soak gemstones for five minutes.

Use a soft brush

One of the safest ways to clean your precious jewels is with a soft-bristle tooth brush. The brush must be soft, or you risk damaging the gemstone. Warm soapy water and a soft brush will often do the trick. After cleaning, rinse in warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Household glass cleaner

Another popular cleaning method among jewelers and gemologists is to cleanse precious jewels with glass cleaner. After you let your jewels soak in lukewarm, soapy water, transfer them into another bowl filled with glass cleaner and let them sit for a couple minutes. The glass cleaner will remove any oil and dirt, leaving your precious jewels looking vibrant and shiny!

Store gemstones separately

This last step is very important: Store your precious pieces carefully. You should always keep precious jewels in separate boxes or wrapped individually in a soft cloth. Gemstones can scratch easily, especially when they’re in necklaces, rings and other settings.

If you are ever nervous about how to properly clean jewelry at home, take it to a jeweler. Natural gemstones and jewels are an investment and should be treated as such. With a little tender loving care, your precious jewels will give you many years of enjoyment and may even become an heirloom piece for generations to come!

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on


Why You Should Invest in Silver

silver_barsIn my opinion, now is the time to invest in silver! It may not be as rare as gold, but it does have many industrial uses in addition to its monetary properties. Due to increased supply and demand, silver is currently trading for approximately $23 per troy ounce. While the price of silver is significantly lower than that of gold, this precious metal is becoming a valuable commodity in today’s market. As a result, investors can receive higher payouts when the market is up.

Easily accessible

It’s fairly easy to purchase silver. Many dealers sell silver coins. For example, the Great American Coin Company is proud to offer lots of silver quarters and dimes. Keep in mind, all quarters and dimes produced before 1964 were made of 90 percent silver. Additionally, some dealers offer silver bars and rounds. These pieces can range from one ounce to ten or 100 ounces of .999 fine silver.

Industrial demand

Silver isn’t just a valuable commodity that people save for its monetary value; it’s malleable, ductile, strong, and can endure high temperatures. For these reasons, silver is used in a variety of industrial and medical applications. According to prominent analysts, this increased demand can prevent silver from falling below production costs, making it a good investment.

Lower price

Silver is a much lower price than its gold cousin. One reason silver is cheaper than gold is because of the rarity of the metal itself. Gold is simply more rare than silver. As a result, this imbalance in supply and demand between the two metals makes up most of the difference in their prices. However, if you’re looking for a safe, conservative investment, silver is a better option. Also, there is speculation that the U.S. Mint may raise their silver prices. Now is the time to buy!

People buy silver for different reasons. Some want to protect themselves for unavoidable inflation, while others do it in order to meet their collection needs. Either way, there will always be a huge demand for silver, and that’s why its value keeps increasing.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on


The Official Silver Bullion Coin of the U.S.

American_Silver_EagleThe United States Mint first released the American Silver Eagle on November 24, 1986. As the official bullion of the U.S., this shiny coin was struck only in the one troy ounce size. Since their launch in 1986, American Eagle Silver coins have been produced and sold in both proof and bullion finishes. Today, Silver Eagles are among the leading bullion coin investment products in the country.

Iconic Design

The Silver Eagle was inspired from the “Walking Liberty” designed by Adolph A. Weinman. Weinman originally used the design on the Walking Liberty Half Dollar coin of the U.S. from 1916 to 1947. This iconic design quickly gained popularity in the country and is still one of the most beloved designs of any U.S. coinage of modern times.

Reverse Side

The reverse side of the Silver Eagle portrays a heraldic eagle behind a shield. Designed by John Mercanti, the eagle grasps an olive branch in its right talon and arrows in its left, echoing the Great Seal of the U.S. Above the eagle are 13 five-pointed stars, which embody the original Thirteen Colonies. As the national bird, the eagle has appeared on all official seals of the U.S.

Collector Value

The U.S. Mint certifies the Silver Eagle content, weight and purity. While the face value of this coin is one dollar, its metal value is far more valuable. Guaranteed to contain one troy ounce of 99.9 percent pure silver, this coin is worth between $26-40 dollars depending on the current market. Collectors can purchase Silver Eagles on our website or directly from the U.S. Mint.

Uncirculated Version

In 2006, the U.S. Mint added another member to the American Silver Eagle family, the uncirculated version. The term “uncirculated” refers to the process by which the coin is made. Although it looks similar to Silver Eagle bullion coin, the uncirculated coin is distinguished by a mint mark, which indicates its production facility, and the use of burnished coin blanks, which are hand-fed into specially adapted coining presses one at a time.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on


What Are My Coins Worth?

We often get asked the question: “What are my coins worth?” Well, the answer depends on a couple different things. For instance, your coin’s weight, metal composition and base metal prices. We’ve created this guide for people who are unfamiliar with coins but want to find out about certain coin values. Keep in mind, this is just appraisal value. It’s very difficult to tell the actual value of a coin without seeing it in person. The true value of your coin may differ slightly, depending on its condition and the current market.

Indian Penny, 1894Indian Head Cents

The Indian Head one-cent coin was produced by the United States Mint from 1859-1909. Also known as the Indian Penny, this coin displays the head of Liberty wearing a feather head dress of a Native American and the year of production. This copper penny is worth 50 cents to $3.00.

Lincoln Wheat Pennies

Lincoln wheat pennies were produced at three different mints: Philadelphia (no mintmark), Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) from 1909 to 1958. Depending on its condition, this pretty penny is worth between 2 and 5 cents. However, if you come across a very rare 1909-S VDB Lincoln wheat penny, consider yourself lucky. It can be worth between $964 and $2479!

Buffalo Nickels

The Buffalo nickel is a copper five-cent piece produced by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938. This unique coin contains a Native American on one side and an American bison on the other. Because the coin is subjected to wear, it can be worth 25 cents to $1.00.

Jefferson War Nick1943 Jefferson Silver war nickelels

From 1942 to 1945, nickel was a strategic war material for the United States. During these years, nickels were struck in a copper-silver-manganese alloy. Commonly referred to as “war nickels,” these coins are worth 50 cents to $1.00.

Barber Dimes

Barber dimes were minted between 1892 and 1916. Designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, the term ‘dime’ comes from the French word disme, which literally means, “tenth part.” Made of 90 percent silver, these small coins can range from $1.60 to $5.00.

Roosevelt Dimes Silver

Minted after the 32nd President of the United States, Roosevelt silver dimes were issued between 1946 to 1964. Also made of 90 percent silver, these coins range from $1.50 to $2.00. Roosevelt dimes are still made for circulation by the U.S. Mint today, however, not in silver.

Standing Liberty Quarters

1925 Standing Liberty Quarter FrontProduced by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930, the Standing Liberty quarter is made of 90 percent silver. This coin displays Liberty carrying an upraised shield in her left hand and an olive branch in her right hand. With the exception of 1923-S Standing Liberty quarters, this coin is worth between $4.00 and $10.00.

Washington Quarters Silver

Minted after the 1st President of the United States, Washington silver quarters were produced from 1932 to 1964. All quarters without mintmarks are made at the main Mint in Philadelphia. Rare mintmarks to look for include Denver (D) and San Francisco (S). Also made of 90 percent silver, this coin can range from $4.00 to $6.00.

Franklin Half Dollars

The Franklin half-dollar was issued by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. This fifty-cent piece features Founding Father and inventor, Benjamin Franklin, on the obverse side. The reverse side contains a small eagle to right of the liberty bell. Made of 90 percent silver, this coin is estimated between $7.00 and $15.00.

Kennedy Half DolUSA - Kennedy half dollar.lars Silver

The Kennedy half-dollar was first minted in 1964 as a memorial to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. This fifty-cent coin is 90 percent silver and worth from $7.00 to $15.00. Between 1965 and 1969, the Kennedy half-dollar was made of 40 percent silver and can range from $3.00-$5.00.

Morgan Dollars

The Morgan dollar was issued by the United States Mint from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. This coin is named after its designer, Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. Unless you have graciously stumbled upon the 1889‑CC Morgan dollar, which is the most rare of the Carson City Mint Morgans, this coin is worth between $15.00 and $30.00.

Peace Dollars

The Peace Dollar was minted from 1921 to 1928, and again in 1934 and 1935 by the United States Mint. Numismatists began to lobby the Mint to issue a coin that memorialized the peace following World War I. This is the last U.S. dollar coin to be struck for circulation in silver and is worth between $15.00 and $25.00.

Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on