Category Archives: Gold

The Banknote MVP: Gold Certificates

Gold Certificates are considered by many collectors to be the MVP (Most Valuable Paper) of banknote collecting. Especially since the gold recall of 1933, most notes were taken out of circulation and destroyed, making the notes highly valuable, especially if found in uncirculated condition. But, we’ll get to that in a minute, first we need to introduce the notes and when they first began.

A Hazy Beginning

The early history of US gold certificates is particularly unclear. They were first authorized for production and circulation with the Currency Act of 1863, but unlike the United States Notes (which were representations of the national debt, which we talked about in an earlier blog post), gold certificates weren’t printed until 1865. The first notes had a very small amount of information on them. They weren’t issued with series dates, and were hand-dated upon issue. At that time, issue meant that the government had the equivalent value in gold that they were issuing the note on. Additionally, they were basically promissory notes to pay the amount in gold only to the depositor, who was identified in great detail on the actual certificate itself. The only art featured on these first notes was an eagle vignette which was used across all denominations.

$500 USD Gold Certificate 1865

Gold Certificates Become Legal Tender

From 1862 to 1879, US notes were considered legal tender but were not convertible to their value in gold due to being direct representations of the national debt at the time. However, some transactions, such as dealing with interest on the national debt had to be made in gold, which meant that the early gold certificates were usable in transactions that US notes were not. However, they still were not used in general circulation due to the extremely high value of the notes at the time. In 1879, the government became willing to redeem US notes at face value in gold, making gold certificates able to be used in general circulation. However, it wasn’t until the 1882 series of notes that made them payable to bearer and not just depositor.

$1000 Gold Certificate 1882

Gold Certificates Large and Small

Gold certificates, like all US banknotes were made in two different sizes. From 1865 to 1928, the notes were a larger size and a smaller size from 1928 to their end in 1934. These notes eventually became known as “goldbacks” like their “greenback” cousins due to the reverse of the gold certificates being orange. Also, it was during this time that gold certificates began having identical denominations to the other banknotes in circulation.

$20 Gold Certificat 1922 Series

The Gold Recall of 1933 and Gold Certificates Today

In 1933, to keep the public from hoarding precious metals, FDR and Congress instituted the Gold Recall of 1933, making it illegal for the public to own or trade in gold coins or certificates. Most of the currency from this period was returned to US banks and was redeemed and destroyed. However, in 1934, the US issued a new series of gold certificates to be used in intrabank transactions. Today, the US Treasury has issued gold certificates to the Federal Reserve Banks. However, these are merely to denote the collateral for any issue of Federal Reserve notes (our currency today).

Curious about adding a piece of our currency’s history to your collection? Great American Coin is proud to offer $20 gold certificates from the 1922 series.

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

Share

Red Seal, Blue Seal, Gold Note, Silver Note

When you look down at that $5 bill in your pocket. Have you ever wondered why that seal is green? Or why even include a seal? Well, once upon a time, there were actually different styles of notes. The notes that we have today are actually called Federal Reserve notes, but at one time, there were silver certificates and gold certificates as well, where banks were obligated to give you the same amount as dictated by the bill in that amount of silver or gold. Let’s take a look back at the different styles of bills and what the secrets of those seals actually are.

Yellow Seal US Dollars (Gold Certificates)

Introduced in 1863, the yellow seal US bank notes were actually gold certificates. Meaning, that the denomination of bank note was backed by the same amount in gold in the US treasury, and that you could exchange that certificate for the gold at a bank in the US. Which meant that US money was at one time backed by the Gold Standard. There were several times that this standard was suspended though. It was suspended twice during World War I and made it a free floating currency, similar to the fiat currency that it is today. The gold standard US dollar came to a close in 1933 with the Gold Reserve Acts, which made it illegal for the public to be in possession of gold coins or certificates. In 1964, the act was lifted and the notes could be traded again, however, like the silver certificates, they could no longer be redeemed for their value in gold, and became a collectible for numismatists.

Blue Seal US Dollars (Silver Certificates)

Similar to their gold standard cousins, the blue seal US bank notes were in fact silver certificates. These notes first began circulating in 1878 and were backed by the US stockpile of silver bullion. These certificates could be redeemed for their value in silver. At first, it was through an exchange of the certificate for silver dollar coins and later became an exchange for raw bullion. These notes were mainly done in the 1, 5, and 10 dollar denominations. In 1963, the notes were discontinued with a deadline of 1968 placed on any remaining silver certificates to be redeemed for their value in silver. These notes are still considered legal tender today but are valued at their face value and not at the current price of silver.

Red Seal US Dollars (US Notes)

The red seal dollars are an interesting fare. They were started during the Civil War and were in production for about one hundred years, making them one of the longest produced notes next to the dollar produced by the Federal Reserve. These notes were actual pieces on national debt. Which means they were direct obligations by the US government and that the individual who had them owned a piece of the national debt. These notes went out of circulation in the 1960s and were removed as legal tender in the mid 90s.

Green Seal US Dollars (Federal Reserve Notes)

The bills that we all use today are actually known as Federal Reserve notes. These are the only notes still being actively produced and are also the youngest. First introduced in 1914, these notes are backed by the US government but aren’t actually produced by the US. Instead, the 12 Federal Reserve banks within the US prints this money and, by law, must maintain enough assets to balance the notes issued. This currency is actually a fiat currency and is not based on any gold or silver standard.

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

Share

Quick Guide to Collecting Spanish Coins

Spanish Coins - Gold DoubloonsReales, Doubloons, Escudos. The names of these Spanish coins evoke images of pirates on the high seas after plundering a ship, or digging up buried treasure. But, believe it or not, these are some of the names of some of the most sought after historical coins in existence. Spanish silver and gold coins are stories of Spain’s rich history. With them showing the different kings, queens, and other historical figures that were pertinent throughout Spain’s past. If you plan on collecting Spanish coins you should also learn about the various materials used, the age, and how to determine their condition. Spanish coins can be worth millions or pennies depending on the type, condition, and metals used.

Spanish Coins storied past

Spain’s coinage dates back over two thousand years, to ancient Greece and Rome. Spain has been occupied by numerous groups, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, and many many more. Each time one of these group took over their own country’s coins became Spain’s. One of the oldest Spanish coins is the Maravedi. This coin was the gold standard for 750 years along with its sister coin the silver Reale. Currently, Spain is part of the EU and uses the euro as its standard currency.

Valuing Spanish Coins

Professional coin graders can determine the state of preservation and wear of a specific coin. Additionally, the worth of the coins can range dramatically depending on the type of coin, age, material, and condition. Gold coins, such as escudos and doubloons, will hold the highest value undoubtedly due to their composition. Centimos will generally not be worth much, but reales and pesetas in good condition might sell for a handsome sum depending in how good of condition they’re in. Also, the older and rarer a Spanish coin is, the higher its value will be.

If you are planning on starting a Spanish coin collection, you should remember that most gold coins will be in uncirculated condition, while bronze, copper, and silver coins will often be in fine to circulated conditions. Also, ALWAYS REMEMBER TO ASK FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY! Especially when buying an expensive coin.

How to Buy Spanish Coins

Buying Spanish coins can be as simple as visiting your local coin dealer and looking at their selection if they carry them. However, for numismatists outside of Spain, you might only find local coins. You can also search for them online, particularly through internet shops for collectors as well as auction sites. When buying online, don’t be afraid to ask the seller for a certificate of authenticity or about the history of the coin and its condition. Always do your homework and when in doubt, ask a professional coin dealer for help.

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

Share

Top 5 Most Sought After Coins

Sports has always had their MVPs. Players who represent being the most valuable asset on their respective teams. Sometimes these players become so popular they become the figurehead for their team. Same can be said when collecting coins. There are certain rare coins that are highly sought after, and become the centerpiece of many numismatists collections. Here are our Top 5 Coin MVPs.

Walking Liberty Half DollarWalking Liberty Half Dollar – No. 5

Our first entry is the Walking Liberty half dollar. This coin is definitely one of the more popular coins for numismatists to collect because of its beauty. Minted through the roaring 20′s, the Great Depression, and two World Wars, the Walking Liberty Half Dollars carries a great deal of US history with it. Also, the obverse was so popular, that the US mint re-used it when they started minting the Silver Eagles in 1986.

Mercury Dime ObverseMercury Dime – No. 4

Our next MVP, is the Mercury Dime. The artistry on this coin is called one of the great designs of the 20th century. One interesting tidbit of trivia, is that the obverse does not in fact depict, Mercury, the messenger of the Roman gods. It is actually Liberty with a winged cap which symbolized freedom of thought. This coin also served through very turbulent times, and was even the part of the song, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” from the Great Depression.

Morgan Dollar ObverseMorgan Silver Dollar – No. 3

Coming in at number 3 is the Morgan Silver Dollar. A must-have for every collector, the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the most popular and collected coin series in the US. We’ve talked about the Morgan Silver dollar before, so I won’t go into the history of it. However, this is definitely one that should be a cornerstone of your collection.

1935 Buffalo NickelBuffalo Nickel – No. 2

Now this was a close tie with number 3, but the Buffalo Nickel got the lead by a nose. Another coin we talked about recently, the rich history of this coin makes it another very popular showcase item for collectors. This coin series has several very rare strikes, including the 3 legged buffalo in the 1937-D series.

Saint Gauden’s Double Eagle/Flowing Hair Dollar – No. 1

Coming in at number one, is a tie between two of the most sought after coins by collectors around the world. The Flowing Hair Dollar was the first coin issued and used by the US. Today, scholars believe there are only between 130-140 known to still exist. This, of course, tied with the Saint-Gauden’s Double Eagle, considered one of the most beautiful coins minted by the US Mint. Very few of these coins still exist due to the Big Melt of 1933 when FDR recalled all the coins to be melted down. Any of the ones still existing as part of a collection, have been dealing with legal ramifications as the federal government claims that the coins are federal property not private property.

Flowing Hair Dollar1933 Saint Gaudens Gold Double Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Share

Buyer’s Guide to Indian Head Coins Pt. 2

Last week we featured some of the rare Indian head historical coins that are must have for any numismatics collector. Because of how rich the history of these coins are, we had to split up our guide into two parts. So without further ado, here is part two of our Indian Head coin guide.

1908-1929 Indian Head Half and Quarter Eagles

1914 Indian Head Half Eagle

Design for Half and Quarter Eagle

It is often said that the Saint Gauden’s Double Eagle is the single most beautiful coin in American numismatic history. I would like to debate that point however, because there are two coins from the same period that are much more innovative and were very risky. These two coins are the Indian Head half eagle and quarter eagle. At the time, the previous eagle series had all been around without a design change for over 50 years. It wasn’t until Theodore Roosevelt assumed office that the groundwork for the coins’ change would be laid. It was Teddy who arranged for Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign the famous double eagle and eagle (featured below). After these coins were received with rave reviews, President Roosevelt gave his blessing for the next two to be issued. These two coins stand out from the rest of US coinage because their relief is incuse instead of being raised. The quarter eagle was minted annually, until 1915 and then didn’t begin again until 1925, making the quarter eagle one of the smallest minted series in US history. This makes collecting a complete set attainable despite the current cost of gold. The only real rarity in the series is the 1911-D with only 55,680 minted. While the half eagle was minted annually until 1916 and wouldn’t resume production until 1929 right before the crash. The 1929 half eagle is the most sought after coin in this series as it appears only a handful escaped the smelter.

1907-33 Indian Head Eagle

1932 Indian Head EagleThe history behind this coin starts when Theodore Roosevelt was elected President in 1904. Unhappy with the inaugural medal designed by US Mint engravers Barber and Morgan, he commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a new medal. The medal gained widespread fame for its beauty and in turn Roosevelt commissioned Saint-Gaudens to begin redesigning the nations coinage, much to Chief Engraver Barber’s chagrin. The final design that ended up on the gold 10 dollar coin was originally meant for the Double Eagle but was decided for the Eagle instead. After much trial and error with the striking of the coin, and under great pressure to get the new coin into circulation after the first batch was melted down, some of the design elements of the coin were removed for striking purposes. An interesting fact about this coin, early mintages of this coin do not feature the “IN GOD WE TRUST” motto as Roosevelt felt that it would be blasphemous to put the deity’s name on a coin that may be used for immoral purposes. However, the coins without the motto might be rare, but the rarest pieces of this series come in the later years after the great gold recall by another Roosevelt in 1933. The 1920-S, 1930-S, and 1933 coins were almost melted in entirety. Making these three mint dates the rarest of the series.

1913-1938 Buffalo Nickel

1935 Buffalo NickelOur final coin in our two part series is the Buffalo Nickel. This famous nickel came from a Roosevelt appointed Secretary of the Treasury and is inspired partially from Saint-Gaudens’ designs. The Buffalo Nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser, a former assistant of Saint-Gaudens and a very prolific artist who was best known for his “End of the Trail” sculpture. Up until this point, most of the “Indian” coins featured caucasians wearing an Indian headress. Fraser’s design accurately portrayed Indians as they look. The profile portrait on the obverse of the coin was a composite of three chiefs who had posed for Fraser. Wanting to keep the distinct American theme, he depicted the Buffalo on the reverse. Over 1.2 billion Buffalo Nickels were minted from 1913 to 1938. This series has an array of scarce dates and rarities. The most difficult coin to obtain is the 1918/17-D overdate. Additionally, another rare series is the coins minted from the San Francisco Mint from 1913-1928.

Well I hope you enjoyed our two part piece on the Indian Head coins as much as I enjoyed writing about it. This period is rich with beautiful artistry on our coins, and showcases a time when we were daring with the designs on our money. I hope this guide provides a helpful look into these coins along with a glimpse of their history.

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

Share

Buyer’s Guide to Indian Head Coins Pt.1

While the coins of the US have a very rich history. There are few coins that hold the fame (or infamy depending on how you look at it) like the Indian head coins. Used throughout the 19th and 20th century, on different denominations, these coins are some of the rarest and most valuable to numismatists. Often fetching high prices at auctions these coins are some of the prize jewels in collections. So here is part one of our buyer’s guide to Indian Head coins.

1859-1909 Indian Head Penny

1859 Indian Head PennyOur first Indian coin comes from the mid 19th century. The Indian Head penny was actually a replacement for the Flying Eagle design, which had numerous problems and was advised to be replaced. The legend behind the Indian’s design was that the artist James B. Longacre modeled the Indian head design after his youngest daughter, Sarah. However, researchers have proven this nothing more than an urban legend, saying that this was actually based off of the “Crouching Venus” statue that was on display at the Philadelphia museum at the time. Whatever Longacre’s inspiration was, the coin won immediate and continued acclaim from the American public. Cornelius Vermeule wrote in his book Numismatic Art in America, “[the coin was] perhaps the most beloved and typically American of any piece great or small in the American series.” Another interesting fact is that this coin was minted in two separate materials. Before the breakout of the Civil War, the coin was made of a copper-nickel alloy, but due to coin hoarding during the war, the coin’s composition was changed to brass and was made thinner as well. This coin continued use until it was replaced by the Lincoln Head Penny in 1909.

1854-56/56-89 Indian Head Dollar

1854 Indian Head Dollar Type 2

Type 2 Indian Head Dollar

Don’t let the dates confuse you, this is about the same coin, there were just two different strikings of the same coin. This coin came about due to the California gold rush in the late 1840′s that caused an influx of gold in the Union as $600 million in gold was found in the California hills. The first of the Indian Head dollar coins appeared in 1854 after the public complained that the first dollar coin minted was too small and easy to lose. This changed when James Snowden became the new director of the mint. Snowden agreed that the coin should be larger but thinner as well, to which he assigned the chief engraver, James Longacre (who would also design the indian head penny described above), to make this modification as well as come up with a new design. The new design ended being a female figure in a headdress and was frequently described as an “Indian princess.” The coin was larger than the earlier dollar coin and was easier to keep track of, but, the relief on the obverse was too high and cause an immense number of the coins to not be fully struck. Because of the striking difficulties, Longacre went back to the drawing board to come up with a solution. The Type 2 lasted until 1856 when it was replaced with the Type 3, which ran from 1856-1889. During its brief run, only 1.6 million of the Type 2 dollar were struck. Numismatic scholars estimate that less than 1% of the Type 2 Dollar mintage still exist, due to the fact that because of the high relief the coins that were in circulation wore down quickly and became illegible after a few years.

1888 Indian Head Dollar Type 3

Indian Head Dollar Type 3

 

 

 

 

 

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

Share

The Top 5 Rarest US Coins

While there are many rare coins throughout the world and history, and many would debate where they would rank in rarity. Most believe in rarity based on number minted and how many are known to exist. Monetary value also has a big part to play. With that said, here is our list of the top 5 rarest US coins.

1863 Liberty Head Gold CoinNo. 5 – 1861 Liberty Head Gold Coin

This gold coin coming in at number five on our list was actually minted on accident. Late revisions for the coin were issued to the US mint but they didn’t receive word of them until after some of the coins had already been produced and put into circulation. Only two are know and in 2010 went for a cool 5.6 million dollars.

1804 Crosset Liberty Gold EagleNo. 4 – 1804 Ten Dollar Gold Piece

Less than 10 of these rare coins were ever produced, and only three are known to still currently exist today. Additionally, these coins were produced three decades after their minted year. The most recent sighting of this coin was seen in 2005 where it was sold 8.5 million dollars. These like their more rare silver dollar counterparts were mainly produced for diplomatic purposes.

1913 Liberty Head NickelNo. 3 – 1913 Liberty Nickel

Another US Mint mistake is the 1913 Liberty nickel. Produced in 1913, the liberty head nickels were produced without the US Mint knowing. Since the buffalo nickel was supposed to be produced that year, no liberty head nickels were to be minted but somehow a handful were made. Samuel Brown, an employee of the US Mint is credited for secretly minting these coins and then sneaking them out of the office. Only five are known to exist, two are exhibits in museums and the other three are part of private collections. The last time one of these nickels was at public auction was in 2010 where it fetched 3.7 million dollars.

1933 Saint Gaudens Gold Double EagleNo. 2 – 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

One of the rarest coins known, the Saint-Gaudens Double eagle was minted in 1933, but was never released into circulation due to a change in currency laws during the Great Depression. The entire run was supposedly melted down into gold bullion. However, a US Mint cashier is said to have given out some of the coins in exchange for earlier double-eagles. Outside of the two that are in the national currency collection at the Smithsonian there are two other known coins. The only known auction of the coin was handled by Sotheby’s where it fetched 7.5 million dollars.

1804 Silver DollarNo.1  – 1804 Silver Dollar

Coming in at the top of the list is the 1804 Silver Dollar also known as the Bowed Liberty Dollar. This coin is the holy grail of numismatic collectors. Currently, there are only 15 known genuine 1804 silver dollars. These rare coins were actually produced 30 years after their stamp date and used mainly for diplomatic purposes. One example is the famous King of Siam coin which can be seen in the movie, “The King and I” and in the novel, Anna and the King of Siam. This silver dollar is also one of the few coins to possess three separate classes of quality. Class I is considered the original genuine coin. Class II and III were produced illegally by an employee of the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint. All of the Class II were seized and destroyed save one which resides in the Smithsonian. Class III were also produced illegally and while the US Mint tried seizing all of these copies as well some had already been distributed to collectors.

That’s our list of the Top 5 rarest US coins, check out our collection of rare coins on our website. Think that we missed one or labeled one too high? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

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

Share

Gold vs. Silver – What Should You Invest In?

gold_silver_picture
If you asked a random person whether it’s better to invest in gold or silver, gold would probably be the most common answer. It’s GOLD after all – it’s so valuable, right? It’s the stuff that pirates dreamed about! While gold is usually a smart investment, silver can be even better. However, both metals have their advantages. Read the short rundown below to find out more.

Why Buy Gold?

Gold can be purchased in a few different ways – coins, bars, jewelry that contains gold, etc. Simply put, gold holds value. Given the fact that gold currency has been around since 800 B.C., this is a mere fact. But first you must understand, gold is not money.

So what’s the main reason you might want to buy gold? The price of course. Gold prices have gone up in recent years. That means that production has increased as well. And what does that mean for demand? It’s almost certainly not going to dip. What this all equates to is simple – buy gold now, because it’ll only cost you more in the future.

Gold is a private investment. Nobody is keeping track of how much you own. And with the economy the way it is, it can also be a wise, safe investment. Investing in it can increase your wealth when the economy isn’t doing well. Think about this. The market crashes. All you have is worthless paper money. Wouldn’t you then be happy you invested in gold?

You’ll never hear someone say, “Invest half your savings in gold.” That’s far too much. But you will hear people talk about the importance of gold when slightly diversifying your portfolio.

Why Buy Silver?

There’s no doubt gold can be a great investment. And although silver is often the symbol of “second place”, many consider it an even better investment. The main reason being: there’s less investment grade silver available than gold. Most of the same theories that apply to gold investment apply to silver as well. It’s an investment that can protect you if something disastrous happens to the economy.

What silver also possesses, though, is practical, everyday applications. It’s used in computers, cameras, jewelry, and many other products. So if it’s readily available, why is it a good investment? There’s the catch – it’s not as readily available as you may think. So much silver is being used for our everyday wants and needs, and the supply is decreasing.

So there you have it. Both gold and silver have their advantages. Speak to a financial professional if you’re interested in investing!

Note: The information above is not investment advice from The Great American Coin Company.

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

Share
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

Share

History of St. Patrick’s Day

st-patricks-day

For more than 1,000 years, people have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. But does anyone really know why? There is certainly more to this holiday than green beer and corned beef and cabbage. For instance, Saint Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland, known for bringing Christianity to the country. We celebrate on March 17th because it is believed to be the day that Saint Patrick died. As for the other legends, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Who is Saint Patrick?

Believe it or not, Saint Patrick was born in Britain during the fourth century. At the age of 16, he was taken from his home by Irish raiders. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. Alone and afraid, Patrick turned to his religion for solace. Legend has it that God spoke to Patrick in a dream, telling him to flea Ireland. He walked 200 miles to the Irish coast and finally returned to Britain. It was believed that Patrick dreamed of converting the Irish people to Christianity. After becoming a priest, Patrick returned to Ireland to practice his religion.

The color green

The color green is symbolic of the Shamrock and the landscape of Ireland. While Saint Patrick wore blue, ancient folklores said he used the Shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity to Irish patrons. It was also said that the people of Ireland wore Shamrocks on their coats and placed them in a glass of whiskey before drinking at the end of a long day.

St. Patrick’s Day food

Corned beef and cabbage is actually an Irish American tradition. During the 19th century, poor immigrants were unable to afford their favorite cuts of pork. They went in search of a cheap alternative and found corned beef in the delis and lunch carts of their Jewish neighbors. They slow cooked it in cabbage and made the delicious St. Paddy’s Day meal we know and love today.

Leprechauns and gold

The belief of leprechauns was first mentioned during the 8th century. The term “leprechaun” actually comes from the Irish word meaning “small-bodied fellow.” According to history, Celtic folktales told stories of tiny men and women with magical powers who were said to make shoes and store their coins in a hidden pot of gold. Hence, Leprechauns had no correlation with Saint Patrick.

St. Patrick’s Day is a relatively minor holiday in Ireland – However, it’s a day of celebration and tradition here in the United States! How will you be celebrating today?

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

Share