Mints often come up with coins, medals and tokens that go on to become collector items. Commemorative coins are very common, like coins for the Olympics or some other historically significant event like the landing on the moon by Apollo. A collectible coin has to be examined by the dealer before it can be assigned a price tag. The first examination will place the coin in the category of either denomination or type.
These coins come in various denominations like half cent coins, seated quarters, large sized cents, three cent nickels etc. Most collectors like to collect sets but since sets can prove steep on the pocket they settle for at least one of each type. Some of the more common types are silver dollars, dimes, nickels, the rare half dollar, cents and quarters.
Silver dollars would be priced more than the denomination it carries because of the silver content in it. Common among these are the Morgan’s which were minted from 1878 to 1921 and the Peace Dollar which made an appearance in 1921 to 1935, considered the perfect addition to a collector’s existing set.
The dimes started off in 1792 as 90% silver and 10% copper but the silver content began to drop and in 1965 the value was debased. The dime now became 75% copper and 25% of nickel as these were not precious metals. The older dimes are naturally worth a lot more than their successors. Amateur collectors do manage to find the Barber Dime that was minted 1892 to 1916 and the Mercury Dime minted 1916 to 1945, which are now rare items.
By definition a nickel is 1/20th of a dollar and is often made of an alloy of nickel and copper. Famous nickels are the Liberty Head “V” minted 1883 to 1913 and here a truly authentic 1913 is very rare and valuable and has many counterfeits to its name. Then 1913 to 1938 saw the arrival of the buffalo nickel. During World War II the nickels minted were generally of a composite of metals like silver, manganese and copper.
Among the increasingly rare coins one notices that the 1948-1963 Franklin Half Dollar is considered a real find despite being fairly recent. Along with this, quarters are even more difficult to find like the Standing Liberty minted 1916 to 1930, which is quite sought after and the Barber minted 1892 to 1916, is even more so. Cents have their own place in the coin collector’s album. They have been minted since 1856 and now come under different collectible categories. The Flying Eagle Cent minted 1856 to 1858, the Indian Head Cent minted 1859 to 1909 and the Wheat Black Lincoln Cent minted 1909 to 1958 are some of the coins sought after by collectors.
Under specialty categories, one generally finds foreign coins which are no longer in circulation and of a decent age. This would include the gold coins minted before 1933 like the Gold Dollars minted 1849 to 1899 and the Double Eagles, also known as the twenty dollar gold pieces, minted 1849 to 1933 and commemorative editions which come out from time to time. Tokens and medals form a collection if they are of the subway and metro types but are not individually classified as coins per se. They become valuable if they are denoting some historical event etc.
Once this basic categorization is done, the dealer then goes on to the next step of grading the specimen coin.
Word count: 543