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Basics

Should I clean my coins?

No, you should not attempt to clean your coins. Cleaning a coin can cause significant and irreparable damage to the coin's surface, and cleaned coins are almost always worth significantly less than a coin that has its original surface. Coins can oxidize, or form a surface patina, over time resulting in what is referred to as toning. Many collectors will only purchase coins with original toning.

How large is the coin collecting hobby in the United States?

There are millions of coin collectors in the U.S. today, and the number continues to grow. According to the United States Mint, over 100 million new collectors entered the hobby starting in 1999 due to the introduction of the Mint’s State Quarters Program. Many of those who started out collecting only state quarters became exposed to the wide variety of classic, seldom-seen U.S. coins and expanded their collecting interests into other areas of U.S. numismatics. Because the supply of rare, classic coins is limited, they have become much more elusive and desirable as time passes and the number of collectors grows while the pool of available coins decreases.

What's the difference between numismatic coins and bullion coins?

Bullion coins have a value based primarily on their intrinsic gold or silver content. The value of numismatic coins (in addition to the value of any gold or silver content they may have) is based on their scarcity and condition as well as their demand in the collecting market. Their value is not solely dependent on the fluctuations of the precious metals market.

What are Certified Coins?

Certified coins (popularly referred to as “Slabbed Coins”) are coins that have been graded by an independent, third-party grading service and sealed in a holder. To become Certified, coins are examined and authenticated by at least 3 professional graders before being assigned a final grade. Then, each coin is sealed in a tamper-evident plastic holder with a serial number, description, barcode and grade. While all coin grading is subjective, the combined consensus by graders of a reputable grading service ensures your coin is of a more realistic grade.

 

There are a number of third-party grading services, but the two most highly-regarded in the industry are PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). PCGS and NGC guarantee the grade and authenticity of any coin that passes their rigorous standards. If coins have been certified by PCGS or NGC they may be traded sight- unseen with confidence in their grade and authenticity.

What is the difference between Proof and Uncirculated coins?

Proof coins are specifically made for collectors, distinguished by sharpness of detail, usually (though not always) a mirror-like surface, and frosted design elements. They are struck on specially made planchets with individually prepared dies in special presses and usually struck two or more times at greater pressure and much slower speed than regular issues.    

                                                           

Uncirculated coins are those coins produced with regular planchets, dies, and high speed presses. The coins are intended for general use but have not yet been put into circulation. As a result, uncirculated coins show no signs of wear; however, they may have "bag marks" or “contact marks” created as a result of the production and handling process at the Mint. 

What gold coin denominations did the U.S. Mint originally strike?

The original gold coins struck by the U.S. Mint were the $5 half eagle, $10 eagle, and in 1796 the $2.50 quarter eagle was added. With later discoveries of gold, other denominations were authorized to be struck. They included the $20 double eagle, $4 Stella, and $3 and $1 gold pieces.

What was the first coin to bear the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST"?

The two-cent piece, minted from 1864 to 1873, was the first U.S. coin to bear the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. With the Act of March 3, 1865, it became law for the motto to appear on U.S. coins that had room for it. It wasn’t until 1955 that government legislation made the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST mandatory on United States paper money as well.

What’s the best way to store my coins?

Coins are subject to damage due to mishandling, environmental issues, or improper storage. They should be kept in a dry environment away from potentially harmful chemical fumes, undisturbed and not be handled more than necessary. When handled, a coin that’s not sealed in a protective plastic holder (see “What are Certified Coins”) should only be held by its edges, preferably over a soft surface such as a piece of velvet or a cotton towel, so it won’t be damaged if it falls. Try never to touch a coin on its obverse or reverse sides, since the natural oils in your skin can leave fingerprints. Wearing cotton gloves specifically designed for handling coins can be helpful.

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What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept checks (personal, business, cashiers, or check-by-phone), money orders and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). Checks are held 8 to 10 business days.

How do you ship your packages?

We ship all our packages via the United States Postal Service. 

How do you wrap your packages?

All our packages are carefully and discretely wrapped and do not give any indication as to the contents inside. 

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