Gold has been all over the headlines lately, and with good reason. According to a recent Market Watch report, gold futures have risen more than 70% over the past four years alone. These values, in turn, have prompted broad interest in the purchase of gold bars and coins. However, there is a crucial difference between pricing rare gold coins and gold futures. When it comes to collecting coins versus purchasing precious metal shares, it is important to understand the varying factors that can influence market value. Also, as we have noted in past columns, rare coin collecting is rarely an appropriate method for solely building a nest egg. Those who choose to pursue coin collecting are most successful when they do so for the sake of education and entertainment, with lasting tangible value being one of several incentives for buying coins, as opposed to the collector’s primary goal.
Why is rare coin collecting so popular? As it turns out, there are many reasons why this unique hobby continues to attract enthusiasts of all ages, year after year. Coin collecting is a lifelong activity that can begin at any age and be maintained for decades. In addition, it provides the collector with a lens through which to learn about myriad facets of human culture – from history and economics to politics and war to social issues, celebrities and significant events. In other words, coin collecting opens the door to an endless source of education and enrichment – and of course, it all comes with the thrill of the hunt.
According to CBS News, inexperienced rare coin collectors who mistake counterfeit coins for the real deal stand to loose a pretty penny. A recent report notes that over one million counterfeit coins have been made overseas and sold to unsuspecting collectors throughout the U.S. – some as “replicas,” others as authentic originals. The price difference between authentic coins and cheap copies can be astronomical: for example, an original 1916-D dime can fetch a price of about $700, while a replica is worth only a few dollars if that. If you are a novice coin collector, consider the following tips for identifying counterfeit coins.
Many coin collectors get started as mere hobbyists. But as the thrill of the hunt for rare coins begins to build, some decide to go a step further and try to become better coin collectors. As noted in a recent piece for Coin Week magazine, there are steps that even inexperienced collectors can take to improve their intuitive skills. Whether you are just starting out or have been collecting for decades, the following tips will help you develop greater discipline and expertise – and perhaps even establish the building blocks for greatness.
As financial turmoil on the world stage sends daily gold prices down and up and down again, one might expect rare coins and precious metals collectors to be feeling the strain. However, as noted in previous columns, there is a clear and critical distinction between collecting rare coins for the joy of amassing a valuable collection and purchasing gold bars as a hedge. In today’s market, the day to day monetary value of gold is bound to fluctuate; and while this will absolutely impact prices when buying or selling gold, it will neither benefit nor harm those collectors who treasure rare coins not as an investment, but as a unique source of enduring value.
The notion of coin collecting appeals to people of all ages; but for novice collectors, it can be difficult to go about identifying rare coin values. Take the coins pictured in this article, for instance: can you tell which coin is worth over $1,000.00? The answer: they all are — except for the oldest coin, which is a 1,800-year-old roman coin. Even though this is the oldest coin pictured by far it only sells for $80.00. Surprised? Most people are.
In past columns, we have addressed the joys of getting started with a rare coin collection, learning about different types of coins and precious metals, and purchasing new pieces from dealers in order to expand your collection and enjoy the accumulation of enduringly valuable and fascinating rarities. However, many collectors eventually choose to sell rare coins from their personal treasure troves: and in order to get the best price for precious coins, it is important to understand the many avenues through which to find buyers – and where to go to avoid complications, hidden fees and added risks.
In the current economic climate, many people in possession of scrap gold jewelry and gold coins are looking for ways to get the best gold prices and convert unused precious metals into ready cash. And while there are plenty of websites and buyers ready and willing to pay quickly for all forms of gold, it is important for sellers to understand the difference between scrap and collectible or gold bullion products – as well as the significant variation in purchase price that comes with approaching the right buyer in the first place. By consulting an experienced rare coins dealer and familiarizing one’s self with the difference in gold content and selling format between gold jewelry and gold coins, sellers can learn how to make the greatest possible profit and avoid losses at the hands of misleading buyers.
Almost from the moment that metal currency first went into circulation in ancient times, curious individuals have collected coins out of interest, enthusiasm and, of course, the desire for profit. Today, the art and science of coin collecting provides a fascinating and valuable education in history, economics and culture. Values will fluctuate over time, but by focusing on the history behind rare U.S., foreign and ancient coins, and by valuing their role as enduringly valuable objects over the centuries, coin collectors can enjoy all the benefits of coin collecting without the financial stress or gamble of trying to buy them as an investment.
As noted in our past columns, the decision to purchase gold and silver bullion or higher premium collector coins requires careful evaluation and education in order to ensure buyer satisfaction and realistic expectations of future prices. One of the most important points for new buyers is to understand the distinction between collecting rare coins and purchasing precious metal coins and bars. While both rare coins and precious metals coins and bars have unmistakable monetary value, we at The Coin Shop avoid using the term “investment” to describe these coin and bullion purchases. Instead, we recommend that buyers view the purchase of collectable coins as an acquisition of items that are historical, interesting and educational — and that they focus on these points as the main reasons to collect (in addition to building something of lasting value to be passed along to future generations). Furthermore, when it comes to purchasing precious metals items, buyers should understand that they are buying an asset that can fluctuate greatly in value. Therefore, it may not be advisable to tie up the majority of one’s portfolio with such purchases, but rather to accumulate precious metals in smaller quantities over an extended period of time.