Does your coin have...
scratches all over it?
or maybe its covered in paint, dirt, or discolored?
First off, DO NOT CLEAN IT! Cleaning destroys 99% of the numismatic value of the coin! That's a fancy term for the value coin collectors assign to a coin. Secondly, a coin with muck or scratches likely isn't a valuable error or variety because of these characteristics, but it doesn't always mean it is not. There is a Jefferson nickel that has a doubled bust, but covered so thick in scratches you can barely see it, yet it is valuable.
As coin collectors, we're regularly asked whether a coin is an error or variety, or sent photos of a coin. Many times, all we have to go on is a vague description or a bad photo. Let me tell you now that a badly lit photo, an out of focus photo, or a picture of a coin a foot away isn't going to tell much of a story nor provide enough evidence to properly attribute a coin.
This is our hobby and passion, we want to help, and love to help identify coins. Sharing just one tip could really help someone discern a valuable coin from something that isn't worth more than face value. So here is the tip, make the effort to describe what you think is the issue with the coin and make sure that you send clear photos of the front and back of the coin and then as close up and clear picture of the area you think is an issue.
Now that you know what is expected, you can safely post to a Facebook or MeWe coin group or a coin forum and you are likely to get a decent response, or even dozens of opinions, and if you are really lucky, you might be told you have something valuable.
Does your coin have...
Missing letters or partial design?
or maybe it is off-center, or peeling, or the wrong size?
These are errors and can be very valuable, but not always. Generally, extreme errors are more valuable. They are distinguished from Varieties because they may only occur one or a few times, they may be the only instance of a coin that was missed by the mint that produced the coin. An example of a one time error is a strike through, that is, a foreign object of some sort made it into the press, such as a strip of burlap, leaving an imprint on a coin.
Does your coin have doubled devices?
Devices are another fancy term for the raised areas of a coin. Doubling of devices has many forms, the most common of which has no additional value. The most common forms shows as flat, shelf-like doubling, or as outlines on both sides of thinner devices such as text or dates. The less common forms of doubling are the more valuable and look just like the devices they double. The process of making coins is complex, but in simple terms, coins are pushed through a press, and the dies used are what make the impression on the coin. A Galvano is created by a designer, that is used to create a master hub, which is used to create a master die. The master die is used to create a working hub, that is then used to create a working die. These hubs and dies can be modified in different ways that cause the doubling of the devices. When this happens, numerous coins are created with that die, and thus make up the known variety. The picture above is a Kennedy Half Dollar with the letters in TRUST doubled.
For us, the study of how coins have been made helped us the most in understanding the important differences between the valuable and the nominal. But there are thousands of different types of coins and hundreds of billions of them in circulation. Knowledge is the key to identification of a true rarity. This is what we learn and love to share with you, in hopes that as part of our journey, we help contribute to and continue the numismatic hobby. Join us by watching our videos, hanging out with us in our YouTube live streams, and send us correspondence, we love to hear from you.
This is our hobby and passion, we want to help, and love to help identify coins.
We are a family of treasure hunters, searching the coins we buy for low mintage, varieties, errors, and good condition coins, filling up our collection books and selling the rest. We call coin roll hunting urban treasure hunting.
Coins are part of history and learning about them, events happening during their era, and thinking about all the people who have passed the coin on brings us great joy. We love to share information about our hobby, be sure and watch some of our videos!
We fill our store with the best and rarest coins we find hunting coin rolls, antique shops, flea markets, coin dealers, and local coin horde purchases.
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