Proof and Mint sets

Do they have any value?

By David Gonzales - April 24, 2018

Proof and Mint sets are like any other coin in the sense that some are more rare than others.  One of the problems with the proof and mint sets, is they take up a lot of space.  The mint does a nice job of presentation, with nice boxes and protective plastic around the coins, but they are bulky.  People get caught up in wanting one for every year, and they get put on automatic reorders by the mint.  When they die, family members get big boxes full of mint and proof sets, and ultimately want to get rid of the coins.
As far as value goes, any set that is made with silver is going to be more valuable than a set that doesn't.  The early sets in the 1930's and 40's can be quite valuable.  As with any coin, it's good to get professional advise when trying to determine if you have something that might be rare.  Most of the common date non-silver sets are going to valued slightly above their face amount.  Part of the reason for this is supply and demand.  There is an abundance of those sets, and not a lot of people are buying proof and mint sets.

Selling Your Silver Dollars

Understanding How the Coins are valued

By David Gonzales - November 15, 2017

Silver Dollars come in many different varieties and date back to the late 1700's.  Silver dollars are highly collectable and range in their value from $15.00 to upward of hundreds of thousands of dollars based on the rarity of the coin.  When selling your silver dollars, it is important to work with a company that is going to educate you on what you have and pay a fair price for it.  The transactions be a win win for both the selling party and the buying party.  When choosing a company to deal with, make sure to thoroughly check the online ratings of that particular company.  A company that is not treating people fairly will be given negative reviews.  Although it is impossible to please every customer that walks through the doors of a business, you want to pay attention to the trends of the reviews.  If you consistently see threads of negative postings, you might want to consider working with a different company.
There are may collectors that specialize in collecting Silver Dollars.  I believe that we are simply caretakers of coins for a period of time.  We make sure that the coins we purchase, are put into the care of collectors that have an appreciation for the coin as well as its history.

When is a coin, not a coin?

Coin Art and Jewelry

By David Gonzales - October 28, 2017

Sometimes people mistake medals and other items as coins.  There are many examples of round objects, made of various kinds of metal that have the appearance of a coin.
First, we should establish what a coin is.  The definition of a coin is, its a flat, typically round peice of metal with an official stamp, used as money.  Legal tender if you will.  Simply speaking, coins are used to purchase goods and services.  There are U.S coins and there are foreign coins.
People often have various forms of metals that may look like a coin, but in fact they are not.  Some of these metals can be valueable based on rarity, or valuable, based on the type of metal it is made of. 
These metals are generally made by a for profit company that calls themselves a "Mint".  Two examples of this is the "Franklin Mint" and "Danburry Mint".  These two companies produce what I call coin art.  They produce thousands of varieties of medals, based on the various interests of the market that they are trying to sell the medals to. One example of a type of medal, would be wildlife.  These mints will produce a series of medals to be collected and usually put in some sort of packaging or box that is meant to enhance the medals.
As I previously stated, the value of these types of medals is based on rarity and or the value of the composition metal.  In other words, if a metal is made out of silver, but it has no rarity, then the metals value is based on how much silver is in the metal.  As with anything, prior to selling, it is important to know what you have.  Please let us know how we can help.

My Coins are Dirty, should I clean them?

How to care for your coins

By David Gonzales - October 18, 2017

I get this question a lot.  The coins this person has have dirt, residue, old tape, tarnish, grease.  You name it, it can end up on the surface of the coin.  If you think about it, wherever a person goes, so doe his or her money.  I am never ceased to be amazed at the condition of the coins that come into my office.  Not only dirt, but damage as well.  I see coins altered in many different ways.  We see coins with holes(probably used as a necklace) and even see coins uses as target practice with bullet holes.
Getting back to the dirt.  The long and short is that dirt does not necessarily make that coin any less valuable, however cleaning a coin more often than not will absolutely ruin the condition of the coin.  Even the most experienced numismatist can damage a coin when attempted to remove the dirt.  Dirt can, however be a problem, if the dirt prohibits the surface of the coin from being seen.  This can be tricky.  I had a gentlemen from Denver bring in some Silver Dollars to sell.  They were common date and common mint with a high level of circulation, they were wore down pretty good.  He obviously took some silver polish to them prior to coming in.  Those coins were incredibly shiny.  There wasn't a spec of dirt to be seen.  I could just about see my reflection on these old coins.  Because these coins were so heavily circulated and common, he really didn't hurt the value too much, however let's say he had a rare Carson City date.  Some Carson City dollars, even in highly circulated condition are worth thousands.  Let say he had one of those type coins and he polished it prior to coming in.  He would have made a very expensive mistake.  A coin he could have gotten over a $1000 for, could be worth less than $100 because of the irreversible damage that polishing does.  You can't undue the damage.  Once a polished coin, always a polished coin.
It's somewhat similar to the patina on an antique.  The last thing you want to do with a hope chest from the 15th century is get out the sand paper and dewalt sander.

It's best to leave the coin in the condition you found it.  Get that coin in front of an experienced, honest coin person for a look see.  In fact, put in front of a few people if you like.  Selling your coins can be complicated enough.  You want to give yourself the best chance of getting the best price for it, but again, dirt is usually not the determining factor in a valuation of the coins.  Generally speaking coins and old money is dirty.  Handle a handful of wheat pennies for 10-15 minutes and look at your hands!

To Sell or not to Sell...

Either way, you must know the value of what you have....

By David Gonzales - October 16, 2017

For some people selling their coins is an easy decision.  The motivation varies from no interest in the coins, decluttering the house, or possibly a financial need of some sort.  Or perhaps a combination of the 3.  Others, that have collected or inherited a collection that don't necessarily want to sell, but it is still important to keep abreast of what the coin market is doing relative to the type of collection that you have.  Why would someone want to know the value of their collection if they don't want to liquidate their collection?  There are several reasons:

*  One may possible need recourses in the case of an emergency in the future.  Knowing a range of value can help evaluate various options.  

*  Values of coins should dictate how the coins are stored.  Having a few hundred wheat pennies, buffalo nickels, or 90% junk silver in circulated condition is different than having a valuable high grade rare coin.  You can really hurt the value of a coin by how it is stored, if its rare.  I saw a collection recently where the coins were stored in little mantilla type envelopes.  There were some nicer coins in the collection, but the coins had been damaged by the dye in the envelopes.  There was a yellowish tint on the coins that caused significant damage.  In the coin world we call it "environmental damage".  High grade coins should also not be in coin books.  My choice would be a non-PVC flip, or a "airtight"  An airtight is a hard plastic casing that the coin in placed in and then snapped shut.  Important note:  Don't attempt to clean a dirty coin.  A person has to be extremely careful when addressing a coin that is dirty.  Dirt doesn't always mean damage.

*  How will your heirs know what you have, if you don't tell them?  I'm sure many a valuable coin has ended up in a pawn shop and sold for a fraction of the value.  Identifying valuable coins could be a valuable gift in it of itself.  Providing a detailed list and approximate values are an absolute must when passing a collection. If you wanted to take things a bit further, you could actually provide your heirs with trusted contact, in case they would like to sell the collection.  It's a way for you to be involved in how things are done after you are gone.  Also selling those coins in Denver is one thing, but what if your heir lives in a different state or country.  The more information you can provide, the better.  You shouldn't leave things to chance.

Value can impact many things as it pertains to your collection.  It can also simply satisfy some curiosity.  Maybe you have had your coins for a long time and you just wan to gather more information.  The more information you have, the better.