Category Archives: World Coins

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+.

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4 Australian & UK Coins Worth Owning As Replicas

There’s nothing wrong with focusing your coin collection on American coins. There are TONS to be had, and one could spend their entire life trying to collect each and every one.

However, if you’re looking to expand your collection, there are various coins from all over the world that are simply amazing. The bad news – some of them go for thousands of dollars. The good news – the replicas we offer do not.

1930 Australian Penny Cameo Proof Replica

Interested in Australia’s rarest coin? Some say the originals of these coins can be worth $20,000, that is, if you can own/find one. How about one of the six proof versions? They can fetch around $1.5 million dollars. Why was this coin so special? Because it brought Australians together for one mission: to find this elusive coin. If someone were to find this coin, they would be rich. Own your piece of history – in it’s cheaper form – today.

1923 Australian Halfpenny Replica

The 1923 version of this coin is the key date — it’s very difficult to acquire. Collectors love it in any condition. W. H. J. Blakemore designed the reverse of the coin, while Sir E. B. MacKennel designed the obverse. This is a great coin to own a replica version of, as an original is often expensive.

1797 English Cartwheel Copper Penny Replica

This coin has a rich history. James Watt and Matthew Boulton worked together to put up the first coining presses that ran on steam, and shortly thereafter produced these – the first regal coins that used steam power for minting. Our replicas are made of .999 percent copper. Both the obverse and reverse of these coins is really something to see.

1952 British Penny (George VI) – Replica

These coins also have an interesting history. They were produced every year, from 1937 to 1952. The coins in 1944-1946 were slightly darker than the other ones produced. But the real catch? There’s only one 1952 George VI penny known to be around. Now’s your chance to own this replica – it may be the closest you’ll get to the real thing!

 

 

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

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5 Coins to Show Your American Pride

With July 4th on the horizon, we fully expect you to be showing as much American spirit as possible. And since we are the Great American Coin Company, you could probably guess that most of the coins we sell are from the United States. Here are five coins you can display that are guaranteed to show your American spirit.

2014 American Silver Eagle

First things first, the 2014 American Silver Eagle – aka the official silver bullion coin of the U.S.A. The obverse side shows Lady Liberty wrapped in an American flag, while the reverse side shows the eagle with 13 stars (representing the original colonies.) These rare coins are an absolute must-have for any American coin collector. Buy it here.

Flying Eagle Cent (America’s 1st Small Cent) (1856-58)

There’s a reason we call this coin an American treasure; having one in your collection is truly something special. Minted for three short years (between 1856 and 1858), this coin contained 88% nickel and 12% copper, until the coin became too expensive to produce. Lucky for you, some still exist today. Buy it here.

Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Morgan Silver Dollars Pre-1921

Named after George T. Morgan (a U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver), this coin depicts Lady Liberty on the obverse, and an eagle on the reverse side. We’re not like other companies that send you a Morgan dollar from the year mintage was resumed (1921). Ours come from any random date, between 1878 and 1904. These are great for a gift, great for investment, and obviously great for a collection. Buy it here.

90% Silver 1992-S Olympic Baseball Dollar Proof

Baseball is still America’s pastime, so obviously this coin is going to make the list. As one of the only U.S. coins in history to celebrate baseball, the obverse side of this beautiful 90% silver coin displays a pitcher alongside of the Olympic rings. At 20% off of our normal price, this is the perfect coin to buy now. Buy it here.

$1 – 1899 Black Eagle Silver Certificate Large Size Note

Okay, okay, it’s not a coin. But it is one of the most collectible U.S. notes ever minted. Take a close look and you’ll notice something special about the obverse side of this note. Yes – it shows two presidents! (Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S Grant.) This is the only U.S. note in history to have two different presidents on it. Complete with black ink on the obverse. This is your chance to own a “silver dollar” that’s not a coin! Buy it here.

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

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5 Places Every Coin Lover Should Visit

If you’re a coin collector, you’re probably very familiar with doing these three things:

-Buying coins online
-Buying from a coin shop
-Attending coin shows

All of that is fantastic. You should always buy and sell different coins to keep your collection fresh.

But there’s something else I maintain every true coin collector should do. What is that, you ask? Visit a place that’s literally dedicated to coins.  Seriously — it’ll open your eyes to this fascinating hobby even more. Today I’ll share with you my five places I believe every coin lover should visit.

U.S. Mintus_mint_philadelphia

You’ve got two options if you want to tour the U.S. Mint. The Philadelphia location, or the Denver location.

If you’re going to Philadelphia, you’ll do a self-guided tour complete with video and audio stations. You’ll see coining operations, the Mint Deed signed by President Andrew Jackson, and the first coining press. But in all honesty, one of the coolest things is meeting Peter the Mint Eagle. That’s a real bald eagle, folks. Mint artists to this day study Peter to create new eagle designs.

If you’re going to Denver, you’ll see a lot of similarities. However, this tour is about 45 minutes and guided. A free guided tour is something you don’t want to miss.

Find U.S. Mint tour info here.

American Numismatic Association Money Museum

American_numismatic

This small but mighty stop is an absolute must for any summer or winter tourist venturing to Colorado. Here you’ll find many coins from the civil war era, as well as coins and paper currency that are, frankly, a once-in-a-lifetime sight. They have a coin-minting machine, too. Find visiting information here.

Royal Canadian Mint

royal_Canadian_mint

The Royal Canadian Mint buildings are arguably the most visited tourist destinations for coin lovers; you get to see money being made! We talked about them in a recent blog. Visit the Ottawa and Winnipeg locations 12 months a year, and don’t forget about the newest retail location in Vancouver. Find visiting information here.

The Perth Mint

the_Perth_mint
If you decide to visit the Perth Mint, you’re in for
a serious day of entertainment. Here’s a glimpse of what they offer:
Guided Heritage Talk: hourly guided talks with stories.
Gold Exhibition: experience the journey of gold discovery and watch molten gold being poured.
Record Breaking Coin: see the largest and most valuable coin in the world!
Gold weight scale: a special scale that determines what your weight is worth in gold.
Miner’s Campsite: a representation of the harsh conditions that early prospectors faced as they searched for gold.

And one more thing. They received a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from tripadvisor.com.
Are you intrigued? Check it all out here.

Gold and Silver Pawn Shop

gold_and_silver_pawn_shop

Looks familiar doesn’t it…

This place is the filming location for the show “Pawn Stars”. It gets poor reviews for the same reasons time and time again. Why? It’s crowded and you won’t get to meet the cast of the show.

BUT, it also gets good reviews from those who know that going in. It’s interesting to stand in a place you get to see on TV, and it’s definitely interesting to look at what they have in stock. Sure, their gold, silver, and coins may be overpriced, so you’ll probably want to look elsewhere if you’re looking to make serious purchases.

Summary: If you’re already in Las Vegas, don’t miss out on this place. Check out their site for more info.

Know of any cool spots I missed? Let me know in the comments.

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

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The Royal Canadian Mint – History & Facts

If you’re an American coin collector, you’re probably very familiar with The United States Mint.  And if you’re not, the basis of what they do is pretty simple.  They manufacture all of the coins currently in circulation in the U.S., as well as Mint commemorative coins, and US Mint bullion coins.  Canada is very similar, and their manufacturing process is done through the Royal Canadian Mint. Here’s a little bit about it.

What It Looks Like canadianmint1

The U.S. Mint is an impressive looking building.  There’s no denying that.  But the fact is it looks like many other buildings you could find downtown in any large American city.  The Royal Canadian Mint is much more impressive looking.  It’s medieval and gothic inspired with a square central tower — complete with turrets, gatehouses, and more.

History

The Royal Canadian Mint is not as old as you may think. The first coin was struck in 1908. So what did Canada do for coinage before then? They had their coins struck at the Royal Mint in London.

In 1969, the Royal Canadian Mint started operating as a profitable business.  And boy does it profit.  In 2013, they reported bringing in $3.4 billion in revenue, and $48 million in profits (before taxes).

In 1976, Canada opened the Winnipeg production facility, seen below.  As an impressive building in it’s own right, canadianmint2this is where the Canadian coins are now produced, as well as for 60 other countries.

Ever heard of a “Loonie”?  It’s Canada’s one-dollar coin, and it didn’t come about until 1987.

Coins

The Royal Canadian Mint has produced an array of fascinating coins, including the Dinosaur – Coloured Glow-in-the-dark coin, a Year of the Snake coin, Toronto Maple Leafs coins, and many more. At Great American Coin Company, we offer highly sought-after silver and gold Canadian Maple Leaf coins you may be interested in. You can

The Canadian Maple Leaf in Troy Ounce .9999 Silver
On one side of the silver Canadian maple leaf sits the profile of Queen Elizabeth II, on the other side a maple leaf.  Across the bottom of every coin reads “Fine Silver 1 oz Argent Pur”.

The Canadian Maple Leaf in Troy Ounce .9999 Gold
Just like the silver coin, Queen Elizabeth II is on one side, and the Canadian maple leaf is on the other.  These gold Canadian maple leaf coins can be ordered with different amounts of gold in them, thus the writing on the bottom of every coin might be different.

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

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Tips for the Ultimate Easter Egg Hunt

moneyegg

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

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Tips For Collecting Foreign Coins

PesoBag-WebWhile some collectors find joy in collecting coinage by year, others look for the value of foreign coins. Foreign coin collecting is when you collect coins from countries other than your home country, like the United States. A grand achievement for a foreign collector might be to collect a coin from every country on earth. Foreign coins can be found in pocket change or unearthed from sunken treasures. Either way, these precious beauties are steeped in rich history!

How to get started

One way to start collecting foreign coins is by attending local and domestic auctions. Coin auctions allow you to buy, sell and find values for foreign coins. Another option would be to travel to a country and exchange American currency for foreign coins directly. However, the easiest method would be to order foreign coins from a trusted coin company.

Cost of foreign coinage

Foreign coins are tied to exchange rates; prices will vary. The best time to buy foreign coins is when the dollar is strong. Dealers will often adjust their coins to compensate for fluctuations in the currency exchange rate. However, if you’re really lucky you may find an incredible bargain!

Foreign coin identification

There have been many different forms of currency throughout history. Therefore, identifying foreign coins can be somewhat challenging. The first step in identifying a foreign coin is to determine which country the coin was distributed. Some have the country displayed on the coin; others don’t have any writing at all. The next step is to determine the coin denomination. Each country has a different name for its currency and different names for fractions of that currency. The last step is to find the date the coin was minted. Most of the world uses the Western dating system, so locating the year of the coin is should be fairly simple.

Popular foreign coins

Foreign coins come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are round, square or multi-sided coins. Foreign coins also come in different colors too. For example, Canada and Mexico use the two-toned coins. The use of two colors gives higher-denomination coins a more distinctive look. Popular foreign coins include the Mexican Silver Peso, the Canadian Maple Leaf and the South African Krugerrand. However, there are many valuable foreign coins in circulation today.

With more than 190 different countries in the world today, most with their own coinage, you will never run out of coins to add to your collection. If this sounds interesting to you, think about starting your own foreign coin collection today!

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

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