Tag Archives: gold 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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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 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 .

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The Grandfather of the Gold Bullion Coin Market

Krugerrand1oz

The Krugerrand gold coin is one of the most well-known and traded gold coins in the world. It has a colorful history too. First minted in South Africa in 1967, the Krugerrand was exactly one troy ounce of gold. It was also the first gold coin to be traded at market value.

The First Krugerrand

The name itself is a combination of “Kruger” named after Paul Kruger, a decorated war hero and the man depicted on the obverse side of the coin, and the South African unit of currency, “rand.” The coin was made in order to help stimulate the market for South African gold, and is considered to be one of the most successful gold coins ever minted. Additionally, Krugerrand gold coins are credited as the forerunner and creator of the gold bullion coin market.

The 20th Century U.S. Gold Rush

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In 1974, a new gold rush had started in the United States as the American public regained the ability to buy, own and publicly trade gold bullion. To help meet the sudden demand, South Africa began minting and importing the Krugerrand gold coin to sell to private buyers within the U.S. The coin became increasingly popular with private traders in the U.S. and around the world. This was due to the convenience of being able to use a mass-produced gold coin valued at one troy ounce of gold instead of having to use odd weighted gold bullion bars. By 1980, the Krugerrand gold coin accounted for almost 90 percent of the global gold coin market.

The Apartheid

In 1985, because of Apartheid, U.S. Congress passed a law banning any further importation of Krugerrand gold coins. By this point, it was estimated that approximately 22 million gold coins had already been imported. During the ban, the U.S. began minting their own gold bullion coins, known as Gold Eagles, which had captured the U.S. gold bullion coin market. However, in 1994, Congress lifted the ban and Krugerrand gold coins were once again offered for sale in the U.S.

The Gold Krugerrand Today

krugerrandToday, the Krugerrand is one of the most sought after coins of all the modern gold bullion coins, with thousands being traded daily. Modern Krugerrand gold coins are now offered in four different sizes; their original one troy ounce size, as well as, .5 ounce, .25 ounce and .1 ounce sizes, with the original one ounce size continuing to be the most popular size.

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

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What Drives the Price Gold?

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Gold is one of the most fascinating discoveries of all time. The desire to own it has led to gold rushes and even worse, war. Today, gold is not only sought after for jewelry but also investment purposes. Here are some of the factors that drive the price of gold.

Central Bank Reserves

Central Banks are responsible for holding paper currencies and gold in reserve. In the U.S., the Central Banking System is known as the Federal Reserve System. Many of the nations throughout the world, including Germany, Italy, France, and Portugal have reserves that are primarily composed of gold. When these reserves buy more gold than they sell, the price of gold rises.

Value of U.S. Dollar

The price of gold is inversely related to the value of the U.S. dollar. For this reason, when the value of the dollar decreases the price of gold tends to increase. This is because people have a tendency to invest and trade in dollars when the dollar is strong. However, when the dollar is weak, people prefer to invest in gold. You can do this through gold coins.

Demand in Jewelrygoldjewelry

Jewelry accounts for the largest proportion of gold manufacturing and consumption. According to the World Gold Council, gold jewelry accounted for 42 percent of global gold demand in 2012. By volume, India, China and the U.S. are by far the largest consumers of gold for jewelry. Therefore, the price of gold can also be affected by the laws of supply and demand. As the demand for consumer goods such as jewelry increases, so does the price of gold.

Wealth Protection

People continue to invest in gold, due to its enduring value. For investors, gold is often sought after during times of economic uncertainty. For others, it’s sold off during times of hardship or depression. Gold can also be used to hedge against currency devaluation, inflation or deflation.

While the price of gold has dropped significantly since 2011, there is still a demand. The central banks’ reserves, the value of the U.S. dollar, the overwhelming desire for jewelry, and the global economy will continue to help drive the price of gold.

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

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