Money as we know it comes in many forms. The coins and currency we carry in our pockets is only part of the story. Mints around the world produce coins and currency for general circulation and many create special sets and series that are meant to be sold to collectors. In recent years, the U.S. Mint has produced many commemorative coins and sets, most notably the new statehood quarters that are being collected by people of all ages.
Since it's inception and the first strikings of United States coinage in 1792, the United States Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have produced many legendary rarities. Numismatic coins or collector coins are different than the modern bullion or precious metal coins that the mint strikes. Numismatic coins have value based on several criteria such as mintages, condition, scarcity etc., but most importantly it is the supply/demand economics that actually determine value. A coin's age is not necessarily the determent of value, and some coins minted in the early 1800's may not be as valuable as say a mint condition 1932 Washington Quarter minted at the Denver Mint.
Numismatic gold coins, such as those minted prior to 1934 are highly sought after by astute collectors and investors for their beauty, historical value and investment potential. . The growing popularity of numismatic gold coins is evidenced by the tremendous demand for these coins even as gold prices have remained low.
Bullion coins are coins or medals that derive their value based on the actual gold or silver content plus a small premium for the fact it is in coin form and an exact weight. These bullion coins and medals are struck at the U.S. Mints and several foreign mints and a wide variety exist to satisfy the needs of anyone. Some examples are the "American Eagles," "South African Kruggerands" and "Canadian Maple Leaf" coins. These are generally struck in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1-ounce sizes. For a complete selection see our bullion inventory listing.
For those that value the ease with which coins may be bought, sold and converted into cash, bullion coins make an excellent choice. Guaranteed by the issuing nation, gold or silver bullion coins are usually a legal tender coin and may have a nominal face value. Bullion coins are also usually issued in convenient troy ounce related weights, and are bought and sold at prices that include a small premium over their intrinsic gold value. The bullion coin usually has no collector value, but is tied to the daily gold and silver price.
The most popular silver coins minted were the silver dollars. Silver dollars were first coined at the United States Mint in 1794. After the 1803 issue they were discontinued until 1836 when they were again brought into production. Production of silver dollars ceased in 1935. Other silver coins minted were half dimes, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars. Up until 1965 these circulated coins contained 90% silver. The silver value of these coins exceeds their face value.
Platinum coins offer an opportunity to diversity. Between 5-15% of all platinum mined goes into legal tender coins and small bars of pure metal. Struck in a variety of sizes they are recognized and traded around the world as an integral part of the market.