Tag Archives: gold and silver coins

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+.

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The Jolly Roger Flag, Pirate Coins and More!

Jolly Roger Pirate Grunge FlagDespite what you may think, pirates were much more than people who committed robbery at sea. Pirates were free men and women who thrived for independence and adventure! They directed their ships where they pleased and stayed for as long as they wished.

The Golden Age of Piracy was active from 1650-1720. During this time, piracy flourished in Caribbean cities such as Port Royal and Tortuga, due to the lack of legal structure in these English and French settlements. Legendary pirates like Blackbeard and Bartholomew Roberts left us with many fascinating items including the Jolly Roger flag, the eye-patch and pirate coins!

What is a pirate?

Pirates today are seen as cool, rum drinking, peg legged, scoundrels. In reality, pirates were hardworking and skilled in boat construction, sailing and hunting. Also called corsairs or buccaneers, pirates have existed since the ancient times. Most pirates targeted ships and some attacked coastal towns. For years, pirates threatened the trading routes of Ancient Greece and seized cargoes of grain and olive oil from Roman ships. In the Americas, pirates openly traded smuggled goods with the colonies. In return, merchants made money by selling crucial pirate items, like flour.

The pirate culture

A pirate ship was like a thriving democracy. The captain was hand picked by the crew and could be disposed of for poor performance, including not finding adequate treasures. If disposed, the captain might be lowered in status to first mate or forced overboard to find his way to shore. In a world full of class structure and segregation, a pirate ship was considered a multi-cultural society. With a mixture of English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese seaman, there was essentially no discrimination. Even blacks were allowed aboard.

Pirate coins

SilverPirateCoinsB-GACCThere is much evidence that pirates in fact carried coinage. The majority of pirates bartered with ancient Spanish or Dutch gold and silver coins. One particular pirate coin was the “pirate piece of eight,” also known as the Spanish colonial Pillar Dollar. The profit acquired by being a pirate made it a successful line of business. Wealthy businessmen were notorious for financing this legitimized piracy in return for a piece of the pie. For a poor man, there were few other promising career choices at the time apart from joining a pirate ship!

While much has been written about pirates, it was only over the last 40 years or so that salvaged ships have began to surface, exposing different kinds of coins that may have been looted. From a numismatic perspective, the uncharted seas only make pirate coins more fascinating!

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

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