Monthly Archives: April 2014

How to Start Collecting Coins on a Budget

As a coin collector myself, I could write a novel about why people should start coin collecting. But I’ll spare you the time and keep it simple. There are a few reason coins are the most popular thing to collect. They’re small, so they won’t take up much space. They can appreciate in value, so one day you might just strike it rich. And it can be an inexpensive hobby to start. That is, if you’re doing it right.

Coin collecting is also not a hobby that’s a “dead end”. What do I mean by that? You don’t need to collect coins forever if you don’t want to. Money is money. Coins will (almost) always be worth something, and they’re easy to sell.

Here are 5 ways not to break the bank when collecting coins.

Step #1 – Set A Budget

Let’s get the obvious step out of the way first. As with almost anything in life, you need to set a budget. Would you ever buy a car without knowing your max price? Would you ever go to the grocery store not knowing whether you’ll spend $20 or $200? The same goes for coin collecting. Set a reasonable weekly or monthly budget that won’t interfere with more important expenses. That way, you won’t end up like that guy who owns 100,000 unscratched lottery tickets simply because he got a little too into his hobby.

Step #2 – Start With The Right Coins

You’ve heard the saying – “You can’t build a house without the foundation.” The same goes for coins. You shouldn’t spend $100 on a coin if you’re just starting out. If you’re taking my advice, cover the basic coins first, and build your collection from there. Get some Kennedy Half Dollars, some Susan B. Anthony Dollars, and other coins you see from time to time. After that, buy the coins you rarely have a shot at getting as change. A mercury dime is a good example of this. After you get the simpler, less rare coins out of the way, then move on to the heavier hitters – like silver eagles, for example.

To put this into perspective, think about baseball cards. A collector wouldn’t buy a Babe Ruth card right when they start collecting. They’ll build their collection, so they really appreciate the Ruth card when the right time comes to buy it.

Step #3 – Check Your Pocket Change

ALWAYS check your pocket change. You can never be absolutely sure that a valuable coin won’t turn up in your change. You can also go to your local bank and buy rolls of coins. However, this is easier said than done. Banks will often make it difficult for you to buy a roll of coins. Try your hand at smaller banks, or be polite but firm that you need the rolls and it’s a fair request. It will always help to build a good relationship with a bank as well.

Step #3 – Buy Displays

Lets face it, a lot of people collect coins so they can show them off. Nobody is going to be interested in your coin collection if they have to wait while you dig through a shoe box, looking for a certain coin. It’s much more impressive if you have a coin folder or collecting book that will keep the coins in good condition, while perfecting that polished collection “look.” These things are cheap, too!

Step #5 – Become A Trader/Seller

Coin collectors are not in love with every single coin they own. It’s a fact. Maybe it’s the grade of the coin. Maybe it’s the value.  Whatever it is, there’s no reason to hang on to a coin if it means nothing to you. Trade and sell coins so your overall collection doesn’t lose sentimental value as it gets larger.

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

treasure chest

Collecting Doubloons and Filling Your Treasure Chests.

What are Pirate Coins?

Pirate coins are the goodies found in treasure chests. Pirates would steal and collect these coins. The most popular type of pirate coins are called doubloons.

What are Doubloons?

doubloonDoubloons date back to the 16th and 17th century Spanish economy. The name, stems from the Spanish word Doblón, which means double. Therefore, the value of a doubloon coin was doubled and sparked the interest of Pirates nationwide. These coins were often carried across the world to trade for highly sought after commodities such as silks and spices. Since they were often traveling on ships, and Pirates often robbed ships, they became a staple item when branding the pirate history.

Looking to start up your coin collection? Pirate coins are a great starting point. They come from a part of history nearly everyone can relate to. Whether it be admiring over Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean, or remembering the acts of ship hijacks, pirates are a topic of interest many can relate to. To own a little piece of rebellion and history is a cool feeling shared by many.

So, how do you get started?

Find a Treasure Chesttreasure chest

First things first, you need to find a treasure chest. Make it unique and make it yours. Having a place to store your coin collection is crucial. It keeps all of your findings in one place. You can either go on an adventure to your local antique shop or purchase on of our already packaged starter kits. The treasure chests we offer come equipped with some pirate coins, so you are already one step ahead!


treasure mapX Marks the Spot- Start building your Treasure:

You will find that pirate coins come in different shades and colors. You will find that the majority of pirate coins are replicas. Don’t be discouraged. Replica coins are a constant reminder of what history used to be like. By collecting them, you are reminded of what coins in history used to be and used to look like. If replica coins didn’t exist, images of the real thing would be hard to come by, and would probably go extinct. You can customize your treasure chest as you see fit. Fun finds, artifacts, gems, and coins are all great additions to any collection.

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


Tips for the Ultimate Easter Egg Hunt


This year Easter is on Sunday, April 20th. That’ less than one week away. We know you’ve probably got a big dinner to organize, or some traveling to do, but there’s one thing you have to remember (if there will be kids in attendance). The Easter egg hunt. This year, don’t throw the hunt together last minute. Make it one to remember with these tips:


Money Eggs

Everyone knows the eggs with money are best ones – no questions asked. Nothing beats finding a couple bucks in an egg when you’re a little kid.

Want to make it more fun? Instead of throwing a couple bucks in an egg, what if you used a $2 bill? Or instead of using regular quarters, what if you used some mixed 90% silver U.S. coins? The options are endless, and putting unique currency in the eggs can be a great starting point to discuss coin collecting with the younger ones.

Tip: Paint one egg golden. This will be the “jackpot” egg. Fill it with gold coins and golden-wrapped chocolate.

Treasure Map Hunt

FACT – kids love treasure maps. Draw up a map of your house and lawn, then draw circles around the general areas in which the eggs are located. Make sure you have copies of the maps to hand out to everyone. Then, hide the eggs in the areas you specified. Make sure they’re all filled with candy (so everyone gets something). The person who finds the most eggs wins the grand prize – may we suggest pirate coins?

Message Eggs

Most eggs have either money or candy in them. Sometimes they’ll even have a temporary tattoo or a little piece of jewelry. But have you ever tried putting messages in eggs? Write up anything you want on a little piece of paper, and then put it in the egg. Here are some ideas:

“Good for one day off from chores”
“Good for three pieces of candy”
“Good for 40 nickels”
“Check behind the couch for the jackpot egg”

Reverse Easter Egg Hunt

Admit it…Easter egg hunts are fun. Don’t you wish you could still do them? Well…you can! Have the kids put whatever they want in the Easter eggs; then they’ll hide them. The adult who finds the most eggs gets a prize.

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


What Does Your Birthstone Mean?

What’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give? A piece of jewelry with a birthstone in it. Birthstones are no different than natural gemstones. You simply get assigned a gemstone depending on the month you were born. Thus, it is your “birthstone”. There are four months that have multiple birthstones associated with them.

The origin of birthstones is sometimes debated. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll briefly discuss how the Western meaning of birthstones came about.

In ancient Israel, there was a Jewish historian named Josephus. Josephus stated that there was a meaningful and noteworthy connection between a few different things that possessed the number 12:

• The High Priest of the Israelites wore a sacred breastplate that had 12 stones in it (it was named Aaron’s breastplate).
• The 12 signs of the Zodiac
• The 12 months of the year

Over time, birthstones have lost much of their meaning in biblical roots. Over 100 years ago, there was a “modernized” list created to help set everything in stone. But even still today, there can still be debate about which gemstones go with which month. Places such as the American Gem Society look to help. So, without further ado…

Birthstone: Garnet
Meaning: Friendship and trust

Birthstone: Amethyst
Meaning: The wearer will be clear minded and quick to the punch.

Birthstone: Aquamarine
Meaning: The wearer will remain soothed and calm.

Birthstone: Diamond
Meaning: The wearer will experience better relationships and a booth in personal strength.

Birthstone: Emerald
Meaning: The wearer will experience the ability to predict what will be needed in the future, along with a prosperous fortune, and youth.

Birthstones: Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Meaning: This gemstone symbolizes love, faithfulness, and modesty.

Birthstone: Ruby
Meaning: The wearer receives health, successful love, and wisdom.


Birthstone: Peridot
Meaning: The wearer will experience a good year, accompanied by power and influence.

Birthstone: Sapphire
Meaning: This gemstone is a shield to the harm of your loved ones.

Birthstones: Tourmaline, Opal
Meaning: These birthstones bring about happiness, loyalty, and hope.

Birthstones: Topaz, Citrine
Meaning: These birthstones bring about the release of tension.

Birthstones: Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise
Meaning: These birthstones bring about protection and strengthening.

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