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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+.


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