Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Your Must-Know Guide To American Coin Collecting

by Lesley Chew

There are many types of coins to collect but you have decided to chose to specialize in American coins. But do you know that within American coins, there are several areas within American coin collecting which you need to choose from? Yes, although this may seem like a strange thing, since having chosen a specialization on American coin, you may wonder what specialization are there. Well, be surprised! There are well over two hundred years of history to American coins for collecting, and several denominations, so there really are a lot of choices to make! But generally there are two areas which you can consider :

1. Period of American Coins To Collect

There are several periods of American coins, and the different periods meant there are a variety of differences of the coins. This may include different denominations, different materials used, which may affect your decision, so ultimately it is important to do your research and where your interest lies. One example is that the American penny wasn't always made of copper, and the quarters used to be made of solid silver. To pick these periods of these very special coins can make a huge difference in their value.

Sometimes collecting coins that belong to a certain period in time may meant more as a symbol of that period. Many people are like this, rather than collecting American coins for themselves, they look to them to memorialize an event or a particular period. One good example is in World War II, certain metals were more scarce than usual, and had to be substituted in the coins produced during this period. Thus this makes the coins during that period a symbol of the war effort, from the scrap metal drives to the rationing.

It comes down to your personal preferences which period is best for you to choose. Think of your interests. Look to any particular historic event that might really catch your interest, whether it is the turn of the century, the World Wars, or even the modern ages. Do you already have a period in mind?

2. Special Denomination of American Coins To Collect

The denominations of the coins are just as special as the various. Do you know that each denomination has gone through a series of changes. This ranged from the design to the very metal that the coin is made from.

To illustrate, let's take a look at the quarter. A quick glance at the quarter shows an interesting history. History has shown that quarters made before 1964 were solid silver, this gives them a special value as they are also of higher value due to the precious metal. Then in the 1970's when man first walked on the moon, the United States made special coins with a commemorative obverse to commemorate the event. Similarly, in 1976, the bicentennial was commemorated in the same way. The changes have continued to the present day with the celebrated state quarters. These coins were designed to mark each state in the order it joined the union.

Here in this article has just been a quick overview, and there are many more areas to be explored in American coin collecting. However, it is quite impossible to be collecting coins from all areas, unless of course you are a millionaire. What you should do is to identify your interests before deciding on which area you wish to specialize in.

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