Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to Safely Purchase Coins Online

Secure-websiteMany people have reservations about purchasing coins online. While their fears are legitimate, online shopping has become a way of life. At the Great American Coin Company, we want to remind you that purchasing coins online is perfectly safe and often a wise choice, if you follow these simple rules:

Know the dealer

First, it’s important that you know the contact information and headquarters of the dealer. You can do this by looking for the contact details on their website such as an email address, postal address and telephone number. Reliable dealers will advertise their contact information on their website. If you’re still feeling unsure, give the company a call. We love hearing from perspective customers!

Read the site’s privacy policy

Reputable companies will always have a privacy policy that explains how they plan to use your personal information. Look for a privacy policy and decide how the company will use your information after the transaction is made. For instance, does the site pass your information on to third party merchants? This is how you can get spammed.

Do your research

Before making any purchases, it’s helpful to know the cost and value of the coins you are interested in purchasing. There are a couple different resources available to coin dealers. First, check the spot of gold and silver. You can do this by visiting You can also visit the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) website for everything you need to know about coin grading and pricing.

Only purchase from secure websites

Most importantly, only purchase coins from secure websites. Never buy from an online dealer if you do not see the security lock at the top of the website. Depending on your browser settings, you may receive a message stating that you are now entering a secure area. We urge you, if you do not trust the dealer’s website, do not follow through with the purchase!

In short, know whom you are doing business with. Find a reputable dear that you are comfortable buying from and always do your research. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.

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


5 Extremly Rare Gemstones in the World

Red_BerylGemstones have long been a reflection of status and wealth. As far back as there have been kings and queens, there have been gems. Be that necklaces, earrings or bracelets, people have been adorning themselves with jewels for thousands of years.

Gemstones are graded by color intensity, hue and tone. Only four gemstones in the world are classified as precious: diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. Precious gemstones are extremely rare and very expensive. All other gemstones are considered semi-precious. Semi-precious gemstones include: amber, amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, garnet, peridot, topaz, turquoise, and many other gems that have been popular for making jewelry. Here are five of the rarest (and most expensive) gemstones in the world:

Black Opal

Australia is known as the most important supplier of opals. Nearly 95 percent of all opals come from Australian mines. The remaining five percent come from Mexico, Brazil and United States. Black opals have been desired throughout the ages. However, this semi-precious gemstone is getting harder to find. Miners are now finding much more semi-black opals rather than dark black ones. Black opals are extremely rare and can appreciate by 20 percent each year.

Red Beryl Emerald

Also known as the scarlet emerald, Red Beryl can mos commonly be found in the Thomas Range and Wah Wah Mountains of Utah. It has also been sited in Mexico, where it occurs on rhyolite, crystallized under low pressure and high temperature. Red Beryl is very rare and prices for this gem can be as high as $10,000 per carat for faceted stones.


Another Australian native, musgravite, is named after the Musgrave Ranges in Australia where it was first discovered. Musgravite is a member of the taaffeite family. Its color ranges from white to a beautiful violet color. Only laboratories with X-ray fluorescence can distinguish taaffeite from musgravite. There are currently only eight specimens of musgravite in the entire world.


Grandidierite was first discovered in Sri Lanka back in 1902. Initially mistaken for serendibite, this bluish, green gemstone was named after French explorer Alfred Grandidier, who studied the geography and natural history of Madagascar. This breathtaking gemstone is a trichroic and transmits blue, green and white light.

Blue Garnet

The rarest of the garnet family, blue garnet was discovered in the late 1990s in Bekily, Madagascar. Today, it can be found in parts of the United States, Russia, Kenya, and Turkey. Blue garnet has relatively high amounts of vanadium. As a result, it changes color from blue-green in the daylight to purple in incandescent light.

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


Why Purchase Replica Coins



A replica coin is a reproduction of an original coin. While they often get a bad rap, we believe there’s a place in the world for replica coins. True replica coins are marked as such, thus not to deceive the purchaser. They are great for collecting, displaying and much more.

Distinguishing between genuine and replica coin

It can be difficult to distinguish between genuine U.S. coins and replica coins. However, according to the Hobby Protection Act, all imitation coins are supposed to be marked with the word “COPY.” If not, there are certain ways to distinguish between genuine and replica coins. For instance, genuine coins feature a denomination (i.e. one dollar), while replica coins often do not. Also, replica coins are generally larger in diameter. Thus, if you notice this terminology or the size difference, it’s likely a replica coin.

Great for education and collecting

Replica coins are not intended for numismatic investment. They are great for collecting, trading, displaying, or giving as gifts. Replica coins can also be great educational tools for schools and museums. For example, if students are studying Ancient Roman history, having replica coins handy is a great way to Roman currency. Plus, kids will enjoy showing off their replica coins to all their friends!

They’re cheap too

Replica coins are not made of the same composition as genuine U.S. coins. While they look similar, they are made of gold or silver plate. For this reason, they are much cheaper than U.S. coinage or bullion. Why buy replica coins? Well, for the simple reason that not everybody can own a 1804 Bust Dollar or 1933 Double Eagle, simply because they are so rare. The next best thing would be to purchase a copy. Replica coins can make the perfect addition to any coin collection!

At Great American Coin, we are proud to offer a variety of replica coins. This selection includes Buffalo Eagle replicas, international replica coins, gold piece replicas, and pure silver replicas. We also offer many other replica coins of rare, smaller U.S. denominations. Contact us today with questions or more information.

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


Tips For Collecting Paper Money

Collecting paper money is exciting because notes are colorful and attractive. Like coins, paper currency teaches you about art, history, economics, and more. People have been collecting paper money since the mid-20th century. Today, it’s a hobby practiced by many numismatics!

Getting started

As a beginner collector, it’s important to decide which type of notes you will collect. For instance, there are legal tenders, silver certificates, gold certificates, and Federal Reserve notes. Paper money in the United States has been issued in denominations ranging from one dollar to $100,000. However, denominations larger than $100 have been removed from circulation since 1969, due to lack of demand. In fact, none of these notes have been printed in the U.S. since the 1940s.


The Friedberg Numbering System

In the 1950s, Robert Friedberg published the Paper Money of the United States, which illustrates the Friedberg Numbering System for collecting paper currency. Friedberg devised an organizing number system of all types of U.S. notes, which is still used today. This system includes a shorthand method for identifying paper money based on its design, series and signatures.

Determining value

While age plays an important role in determining the value of paper money, factors such as condition and demand are also crucial factors. Condition refers to the handling or wear of the certificate. The lower the grade of a note the lower the value. Demand is also a major factor in determining the value of paper money. More often than not, large-size silver certificates and legal tender notes are more popular than other forms of paper currency. Because more collectors are seeking these notes, the price can be affected.

Certified notes

Like coins, paper currency can be graded and certified by independent services. Two companies that can certify paper money are PCGS Currency and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). Having your notes certified will give non-collectors assurance of the grade and authenticity of the currency. More importantly, certified notes hold more value in the paper money market than uncertified notes.

certified paper notes

Protecting your money

One of the most important tips regarding paper currency is that notes should never be removed from the sealed holders. At Great American Coin Company, we offer a variety of paper money holders for easy viewing and examination of your notes. It’s important that you do not try to clean your paper money. Cleaning will damage the note and reduce its collectable appeal. Lastly, it’s best to store your paper currency somewhere with low humidity and sunlight.

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