Monthly Archives: November 2013

Collecting Coins With Kids

youth_hobbies_coin_collectionCoin collecting is one of the best hobbies to get kids involved in. Not only does it teach them about art and history, but it’s also a great way to educate children about our currency. Another reason people collect coins with kids is the hope that they will appreciate in value. Whether you choose to collect for fun or investment, coin collecting is a hobby that can last a lifetime!

Bonding over coins

Collecting coins with children can be fun for both of you. It’s a great way to share something special with your child as well as teach them about people, art, history, politics, and much more. Sharing this hobby together is great way to forge a strong relationship with your child.

Learn about money

Coin collecting teaches kids about saving, investing and preserving wealth. Unlike a video game, coin collecting will teach kids the value of money and how different currencies relate to one another. It also educates kids on the value of silver and gold.

Reading materials

If your child is interested in coin collecting, there are plenty of reading materials available. For starters, Coin Collecting For Kids by Steve Otfinoski is a great resource. This book has a lot of pictures and illustrations, which children love! A coin collector staple, the United States Coins book is packed full of great history about U.S. coins.

Getting started

A common misconception about coin collecting is that it’s expensive to get started. In reality, It’s easy to start collecting. Start by having your child examine the coins you already have. If you make a game out of it, your child will enjoy searching under the sofa and in pockets for loose change.

Coin supplies

Part of collecting coins is maintaining them properly. Buying coin protectors will help you safely store your child’s collection. Coin protectors are fairly cheap and can be purchased online and in any coin shop. Every young coin collector should also have a magnifying glass. This will help to identify mintmarks, designers’’ initials and other minute details.

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


Tips For Investing in Natural Gemstones



Truth be told, you can make money when investing in gemstones. However, like any investment, you need to be knowledgeable of natural gemstones and act with a good deal of caution and common sense. Here are some tips for investing in gemstones:

Buy cheap

If you are interested in buying gemstones as an investor, don’t go to high-end jewelry stores. You are better off buying loose gemstones from a wholesaler of gemstones and jewels. In addition, you can get a better deal by purchasing lots rather than single stones. For instance, we sell up to 10,000 carats at a time. If you are just getting started collecting loose gemstones, my recommendation is to start with 50 carats.

Purchase rough gemstones

Don’t worry too much about the cut of the stone. Rough gems also hold potential for investment. The trick is to buy rough gemstones at a price that allows you to feasibly have your stones faceted. If you are not a gem cutter, you will have to pay someone to cut your gems. Setting stones also requires skill.

Price disparities

Loose gemstones can be fairly cheap. Worst-case scenario, gemstones increase in value at the rate of inflation. The Great American Coin Company, for example, offers 250 carats of mixed loose natural gemstones for only $50. Once finished, jewelry has the potential for greater profit. From an investor standpoint, the greater the difference between the wholesale and retail price, the larger your profit will be.

Selling your gemstones

When it comes time to sell your gemstones, jewelry stores are a likely source. You could also try selling them to a pawnshop or auction. As mentioned above, buying and selling gemstones takes knowledge and common sense. Carefully take the time to study the market, and know the worth of your gemstones.

Today, gems have become more appreciated and easier to liquidate. While it’s impossible to predict the future value of a gem, your best investing strategy is to buy as cheap as possible.

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


Honoring American Veterans Through Coins

Happy Veteran’s day! One way we honor our American veterans is through coins. Whether they are circulating or commemorative, coins are a great way to help us remember veterans and their valiant service to our country. Here are some coins that relate directly to our veterans:

bicentennial quarterBicentennial Quarter

The bicentennial quarter was first produced in 1975 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the independence of the United States. This coin features George Washington on the front. The back of the coin depicts a Revolutionary War soldier playing the drums with a victory torch encircled by 13 stars. The inscription on the coin says: Liberty and In God We Trust – further celebrating American independence.

MAquarterMassachusetts Quarter

Similar to the above coin, the Massachusetts quarter also honors George Washington on the obverse side. However, this coin also features a design of “The Minuteman,” a famous statue that stands guard in front of The Minuteman National Historical Park in Concord, MA, on the reverse. The Minuteman played a crucial role in protecting our nation during the Revolutionary War. For this reason, the first quarter of the new millennium represents the farmers and colonists that represented the original American forces.

World War II Half DollarWWII_half_dollar

The World War II half dollar coin was created to commemorate the U.S. entry into World War II. This clad coin honors the men and women that fought and died for our freedoms. Bearing the dual dates 1991 and 1995, this half dollar honors the 50th anniversary of the war. The front side features a solider, sailor and airman looking up confidently as a B-17 flies overhead. A “V” for victory lies in the background. The back side depicts a Marine recapturing a Japanese-held Pacific island.

Vietnam_Veterans_MemorialVietnam Veterans Memorial Silver Dollar

The 1994 Vietnam Veterans Memorial silver dollar was specially designed to commemorate those who served in the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War. This coin is compromised of 90 percent silver. The obverse side displays an outstretched hand brushing across a loved one’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The reverse side features the three medals awarded during the Vietnam War; the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Prisoner of War Memorial Silver DollarPOW_coin

The Prisoner of War Memorial silver dollar was one of three commemorative coin programs including the Women in Military Service Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dollar (above). The obverse side depicts a bald eagle in flight with a broken chain on one leg and barbed wire encircling the design. The reverse side displays the plan view of the proposed Prisoner of War Museum, as rendered by Edgar Z. Steever.

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


Tips For Collecting Silver Proof Sets



Beginning in 1992, the United States began making Silver Proof Sets in addition to the regular Proof Set. The Silver Proof Set series has increased tremendously in popularity since it began – after all, where else can you find beautiful and pristine examples of U.S. coinage?

About Silver Proof Sets

Before 1965, proof sets containing dimes, quarters and half dollars were made of 90 percent silver. From 1965 through 1970, only the half dollar contained silver and even that was only 40 percent. In 1976, a special three-coin set of Bicentennial coins was produced containing a 40 percent silver quarter, half dollar and dollar. It wasn’t until 1992 that the United States Mint began offering special proof sets containing 90 percent silver dimes, quarters and half dollars.

Why Collect in Silver Proof Sets

In my opinion, 90 percent silver U.S. coinage is an excellent choice for the average person looking to collect silver coins. Silver Proof Sets go through a special minting process. As a result, Silver Proof coins contain exquisite detail and a beautiful mirror-like finish. With the exception of the penny and nickel, Silver Proof Sets are made entirely of 90 percent pure silver!

Buying Silver Proof Sets

Those who appreciate the collectors’ value of coins, find that U.S. Silver Proof Sets combine the best of both worlds. They offer beauty and collectability. A Silver Proof Set can cost from $20 to $1,000. You can buy modern Silver Proof Sets directly from the U.S. Mint. However, for older Silver Proof Sets, you will have to contact a coin dealer or visit an online website to buy. If you are unsure as to what you should expect to pay for a Silver Proof Set, check out the PCGS price guide for proof sets.

Coin collecting is fun, and rather enjoyable, to me anyway. You may like collecting Silver Proof Sets, they are very beautiful and more affordable than most.

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