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Collecting US Mint Coins


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#1 200STM

200STM

Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:55 AM

Hey CAGs I collect video games, hot wheels and vinyl records. Now I am getting into collecting coins. I am collecting the US 50 State Quarters (half way done 23 states to go). I am thinking of buying actual coins from the US mint to collect. I was wondering if any of you CAGs collect US Mint coins? I know I'm not the only one.

#2 DuelLadyS

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

I love me a good coin find myself, although I've never bought directly from the US mint. My understanding is, mint coins have more value, but are typically proofs made for the collector's market. I don't go for that- for me, part of the appeal is the idea that these coins have been circulated... I like to imagine my morgan dollar being used in an old west saloon, for example.

It also helps that I work in retail... I don't get as much as did since getting bumped up from cashier, but I still get a shot to pull things out of the till for face value. I got a steel penny just the other week that way. Now if I could just find a James Monroe dollar, I'd be all set for all but the newest coins (Chester A Arthur dollar and El Yunqiue quarter.)

#3 cheapfrag

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:22 PM

I have purchased coins from the U.S. Mint. I order 2 proof sets (1 for each of my kids). Proof sets are sets specifically manufactured for collectors and receive "special" treatment. They are NOT manufactured with the coins destined for circulation. They are made from polished dies that are not used as long as a normal die. I believe each coin is struck twice. The proof coins will usually have a "frosted" design but the flat background will have a very mirror-like quality. You receive 1 coins for each version of the coin produced that year - each with a "S" mint mark for San Fransisco. (So when they were making the state quarters you received 5 quarters a year)

The Mint also produces "Mint sets". These are coins produced for circulation but they are taken off the "assembly line" and packaged in holders. So these coins as usually the highest grade of coin (i.e. Uncirculated condition) other than proof. You get one coin for each version produced that year for both the Philadelpia mint ("P" mint mark) and the Denver mint ("D" mint mark). These sets are less expensive than the Proof sets even though you are getting more coins.

#4 kodave

kodave

Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:46 PM

Sometimes I see infomercials late at night for some group selling uncirculated state/territory quarters plus the National Park state/territory quarters and some other stuff. They claim they'll send you the quarters every year they're made until the end of the program. Is this kind of stuff a rip off in terms of what the infomercial people charge?

And I'd wager the uncirculated coins are what serious collectors want and value. I can't imagine there is much more than face value for the circulated coins for things like the recent state quarter series. But there is probably more thrill for the hunt of circulated coins than just buying minty uncirculated coins.


#5 Invicta 61

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:51 PM

The state parks coins for 2010 and 2011 are difficult to find circulated, at least around here. Even the 2009 commonwealth coins are more scarce than the original 50 states coins.

If you're looking for long term investment, I would go with the proof sets. There is a HUGE difference in quality and value although you will be spending more up front for them (Last I saw, proof sets were about $45?). Alot of these sets loose value when new unless it is a low production year.

Also, they were producing 40% silver proof sets for awhile (1990's?) where the quarter, dime and half dollar were 40% silver. Not sure if this is still an option. If available, those would be the ones I would go after.

BTW, never buy coins from infomercials or magazine ads. You will be paying at least 4x the value of your items. Best thing to do is get a "Blue Book" from a hobby store and a few copies of "Coin World" from the magazine stand to study.
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#6 kodave

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:42 AM

The state parks coins for 2010 and 2011 are difficult to find circulated, at least around here. Even the 2009 commonwealth coins are more scarce than the original 50 states coins.

If you're looking for long term investment, I would go with the proof sets. There is a HUGE difference in quality and value although you will be spending more up front for them (Last I saw, proof sets were about $45?). Alot of these sets loose value when new unless it is a low production year.

Also, they were producing 40% silver proof sets for awhile (1990's?) where the quarter, dime and half dollar were 40% silver. Not sure if this is still an option. If available, those would be the ones I would go after.

BTW, never buy coins from infomercials or magazine ads. You will be paying at least 4x the value of your items. Best thing to do is get a "Blue Book" from a hobby store and a few copies of "Coin World" from the magazine stand to study.


If you don't buy from these infomercials/websites/magazine ads, where do you buy from? Do banks even have these uncirculated coins?


#7 IAmTheCheapestGamer

IAmTheCheapestGamer

Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:18 AM

If you don't buy from these infomercials/websites/magazine ads, where do you buy from? Do banks even have these uncirculated coins?

You CAN try banks soon after the new coins release. But the best bet to get the best condition coins is direct from the government.

Unfortunately with the state quarter program and all of the subsequent programs started up since then(the nickel redesign, for example) it's become tough to get coins to add to your collection because everybody is saving them just about.

That's why if you're really collecting these coins nowadays in the hopes that someday they'll pay for your kid or grandkids college education, then good luck with that. It's like the old/rare comic books and baseball cards. They're only rare because not many people thought to save them in pristine condition.

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#8 praxus07

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:41 AM

My parents used to save coins, I remember seeing loads in those small square white cardboard holders. Then they found out pretty much everything was worth face value and was opened up and spent or tossed out.

Same with my comic collection, found out a couple of years ago it's basically worth a nickel a book if I want to sell to any type of dealer. So I've got cases and boxes filling up my attic that are just basically worthless paper.

My Mom also collected loads and loads of beanie babies during the craze 10-12 years ago, now she's got cases and cases filled and each one worth fifty cents now, while she paid $6 each back then.

Collecting usually ends up with you having a house full of worthless crap.
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#9 IAmTheCheapestGamer

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:09 AM

My parents used to save coins, I remember seeing loads in those small square white cardboard holders. Then they found out pretty much everything was worth face value and was opened up and spent or tossed out.

Same with my comic collection, found out a couple of years ago it's basically worth a nickel a book if I want to sell to any type of dealer. So I've got cases and boxes filling up my attic that are just basically worthless paper.

My Mom also collected loads and loads of beanie babies during the craze 10-12 years ago, now she's got cases and cases filled and each one worth fifty cents now, while she paid $6 each back then.

Collecting usually ends up with you having a house full of worthless crap.

:applause:That's pretty much it. Although the gold and silver coins do have the added value of the precious metals in them.

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#10 Clak

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

Not just proofs, silver proofs, those are the ones you want. Yes they cost quite a bit more, but they'll also be worth more as well. For example, the silver proof set of the 1999 state quarters can go for over $150.
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#11 Dokstarr

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

On the topic of coins I just turned in about 500 worth of coins to the bank. I had all Sacajawea Dollars, JFK half dollars, Susan B. Anthony's, and a few Ike dollars. I am keeping all the silver coins I have (including the 40% silver ones like the late 60's JFKs), wheat pennies, old 2 dollar bills, silver certificates, and other odds and ends (zinc pennies, war nickels, etc.)

The stuff I turned it is never going to be worth more than face value so I said might as well turn it in. I had collected back when I was in grade school and high school tossing them in cups in my bedroom. I want to do something kind of cool with them (not just spend it or something) so I will put it into a drip account or something.

I will have to look into the 2 dollar bills. I don't know if they will ever be worth much but I have a few 100 dollars of them all crispy. The silver coins I would feel bad turning it since they were things my dad helped me collect.

#12 DuelLadyS

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:21 PM

I realize my coins aren't going to be worth much more than face value, if that- but considering that's all I pay for them, it's fine. ;)

I typically buy rolls from the bank if I'm not fishing coins out of the cash drawer at work. That way, I can keep the one or two I want for collecting and just spend the rest normally.

I do buy coins from a dealer on occasion... but only older coins, and it's more coincidence than anything else. I do a couple cons a year, and it just so happens there's a coin shop in the bottom of the convention center. So I stop in to get a break from the con, and add something to my set. I have a con in a few weeks... I hope to get a half-cent.

#13 Invicta 61

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:45 PM

If you don't buy from these infomercials/websites/magazine ads, where do you buy from? Do banks even have these uncirculated coins?


You can get mint sets via mail order from the U.S. Mint or sometimes your bank may carry them. My credit union carries mint sets for the state quarters and dollars.

Keep in mind, any coin you get out of your pocket or in change is considered circulated. The difference is the mint sets have never been touched with bare hands. The mint sets that you purchase are sealed in cellophane so they do not get the oils from your skin on them.

As mentioned before, the mint sets are mostly just for collecting and usually gain no value. If you want to maintain or increase value, go with the proof sets. Particularly the 40% silver sets.

On the topic of coins I just turned in about 500 worth of coins to the bank. I had all Sacajawea Dollars, JFK half dollars, Susan B. Anthony's, and a few Ike dollars. I am keeping all the silver coins I have (including the 40% silver ones like the late 60's JFKs), wheat pennies, old 2 dollar bills, silver certificates, and other odds and ends (zinc pennies, war nickels, etc.)

I will have to look into the 2 dollar bills. I don't know if they will ever be worth much but I have a few 100 dollars of them all crispy. The silver coins I would feel bad turning it since they were things my dad helped me collect.


The Ikes and JFKs are still low valued but are uncommon to find because most of them have been hoarded. How often do you find these in change every day (particularly the Ikes)? Most of the more recent JFKs are lower mint runs which makes them more scarce. I probably would have held onto those.

As for your $2 Jeffersons if they are still crisp and you have them in sequential serial numbers, they have value (depends on the year on how much). Many collectors have sets of these. Part of my collection that was stolen was a run of sequentially numbered star notes.
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#14 cheapfrag

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:54 PM

Keep in mind, any coin you get out of your pocket or in change is considered circulated.


But even a coin that you receive in circulation can be graded as uncirculated condition... it just depends on how worn the coin is.

#15 Invicta 61

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:30 PM

But even a coin that you receive in circulation can be graded as uncirculated condition... it just depends on how worn the coin is.


Possible but not likely. Once you touch a coin you transfer oils from your skin to the surface which will eventually lead a build up of dirt on that oil. Also, there are very minute details on the surface that disappear after very little handling.
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#16 steve_k

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:11 AM

I collect coins, in fact, numismatics is a hobby that dominates my interest for video games by far. However, I do not buy mint products directly from the United States mint. I prefer earlier US Federal coinage and have focused on a United States type set consisting of the half cent through double eagle and everything in between from the draped bust era forward. I also collect Indian Head cents and large cents. Finding a nice 1823 took some patience!

If you plan to collect quality coins, I would recommend only buying coins certifed by PCGS or NGC in problem-free holders. Problem coins are less marketable when you decide to sell. My strategy is to be patient and wait for local coin shows. I never buy from Ebay. I live in a fairly large town, so this is a feasible option for me. In fact, there are four coin shows every year with one LARGE coin show (The Money Show of the Southwest) held at the end of every year. I recomend not being a slave to the Greysheet or other price guide. Realize that quality coins are often not to be found for price-guide values. When it comes to video games, I'm cheap. However, when it comes to coins, I'm willing to pay for quality.

I have a large numismatic library including many hard-to-find coin books that cannot be found in typical book stores. I have been a member of the local coin club for over five years, and have even attended the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs twice. I took a course in Indian Head cents taught by Richard Snow and a course on grading.

I've seen everything, from the unique 1849 double eagle, Quintouple Stella, 1804 silver dollar, 1787 Brasher Doubloon, 3 of the 5 known 1913 Liberty Head nickels, an uncut sheet of $100,000 bills, the Harry Bass collection of United States patterns and complete set of US gold, the unique 1870-S $3 gold, the 1794 silver plug dollar, and the list just goes on and on. I've seen all these in person, not just in photos.

My collection has a few highlights:

1787 Massachusetts large cent, PCGS VF25
1820 Large Cent, NGC MS62
1804 Half Cent, PCGS F12
1857 Large Cent, PCGS XF45
1861 Indian Cent, PCGS MS63
1864 Two Cent, PCGS MS64
1834 Half Dime, PCGS AU55
1866 nickel, PCGS AU58
1837 Dime, NGC MS61
1889 Dime, PCGS MS63
1899 Dime, PCGS MS64
1875-S Twenty Cent, PCGS AU50
1875-S Twenty Cent, NGC AU58
1875-CC Twenty Cent, PCGS G6
1806 Quarter, PCGS VG10
1844 Quarter, raw AU55
1901 Quarter, ANACS MS62
1917-D Standing Liberty quarter, NGC MS63 Full Head
1917-S Quarter, PCGS MS62
1928 Quarter, NGC AU58
1807 Draped Bust Half Dollar, NGC VF25
1808 half dollar, PCGS VF20
1838 half dollar, NGC AU55
1853 half dollar, PCGS XF40
1901 half dollar, NGC MS62
1798 Draped Bust Dollar, NGC VG10
1847 Seated Liberty Dollar, NGC XF45
1871 Seated Liberty Dollar, PCGS XF45
1861 gold dollar, NGC MS61
1857 quarter eagle, NGC AU55
1911 quarter eagle, NGC Au55
1885 half eagle, PCGS MS61
1915-S half eagle, ANACS AU50
1872 $3 gold, PCGS AU55
1894 eagle, PCGS MS61
1908-S eagle, PCGS AU58
1894 double eagle, NGC MS62
1928 double eagle, PCGS MS63

I have so many others that the list could go on for pages. I also have some old currency.

Everything is safety stored in the bank's safety deposit box. It's an interesting hobby and full of history!