Since 2003

Archive for the ‘Coins and Currency’ Category

Collectible Paper Currency

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Would it be a wise thing to put away a few crisp new dollar bills for the future? As a face value investment? Would coins be better? Collectible paper currency has been with us since the Revolutionary War. In most families it was usually the coins that were saved, if any money was saved at all, during difficult times.

However, the fact that pristine examples of colonial notes can be found in fine currency collections today suggests that someone had the need, or the foresight, to put away a little cash. And over time, these mere scraps of paper became ever more scarce. Paper money, after all, is not such a durable commodity as coinage.

As living conditions evolved, and the life of the average citizen improved, there came to be time, interest and funds for leisure time activities, hobbies such as coin and stamp collecting, and to a lesser extent, the collecting of paper money.

Today coin collectors refer to paper money enthusiasts as Rag Pickers, and worse. However, many a coin collector eventually gives in to a growing interest in paper as a relevant adjunct to his growing stash of ancient and glowing metal. Both hobbies can be wickedly expensive. Investment in a choice coin or bill can pay off rather well. Or not.

But coins and paper bills still circulate. The final victory of the credit card, and who knows what after that, has yet to be concluded. The point is, even though coins are no longer made of gold and silver, or even solid copper for that matter, all things being equal, a coin will never sink below its face value. And the same can be said for a dollar bill, or a five, ten twenty, fifty, or one hundred dollar bill. (This is not the time to discuss purchasing power. Just let it go.)

So, you get coins and paper money at face value, just by removing it from your pocket or wallet and tossing it into your dresser drawer. Or neatly tuck each into a special collector envelope, holder, or album.

When you do this, you have made a face value investment. Especially if you make the effort to acquire uncirculated specimens at your bank instead of from your pocket, you may end up guilty of a successful investment. Whether collectible coins or collectible paper currency will make the better investment is an open question. If you must choose between the two, here are two things to consider:

There are more coin collectors than paper money collectors.

Demand for coins is perhaps higher overall, but remember, there are more coins in existence. Coins tend to last. Paper money is relatively fragile. Well, so it is. A one dollar bill lasts six months in circulation on average. Then it is destroyed by the government, with the banks as its accomplices.

Do these facts influence the relative value of coins versus paper. If you answer, I need more information, you get an A for the day.

My advice? Make no decision. Just put away some nice new coins and some equally fetching uncirculated (crisp) paper money. Learn how to store each.

Save them for your grandchildren.

In twenty to fifty years they will remember you as a genius.

How to Avoid Fraud on Collectible Coins

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Many people enjoy shopping online where there are great buys of coins that can be found. A person may prefer do his shopping while he is at home because it is convenient and time-saving instead of going out looking for stores that sell collectible coins and other souvenirs.

A person can differentiate between a live auction and an Internet because an online auction can take several days to complete. They entertain bids for the highest price up until the time the auction is about to close.. Many people that are bidding online enjoy the experience and they may be familiar with the strategies to use to win an online auction.

There are also online sites where a person can buy any item that may capture his interest. This is where most coin collectors purchase their desired coins. By searching and finding the item that they want, they can actually negotiate and make the payments through the Internet. This can be very risky as you are dealer/seller that is unknown to the buyer, yet many people are still making transactions and payments through this kind of online auction.

Fraud is common even though many Internet sites that do business online contend that the risk of fraud is not something to worry about. They contend that only 0.0025 percent of true cases of fraud occur with online transactions – that means only one out of 40,000 listed Internet transactions would be fraudulent. On the other hand, the FBI has their own investigations, which prove that those figures are not true- they contend that the risk of fraud is much higher according to their statistics.

A person should believe the FBI for his own protection. Even if one can say that the majority of online coin selling transactions are honest and credible, the process used to make the transaction most probably is questionable and uncertain. There are business transactions, which are intentionally committing fraud with their clients and buyers. Aside from flea-market dealers, mail-order sellers, in-person auctions and some coin stores, the Internet has introduced the crime of fraud to many people in the easiest way possible.

One protection that a coin buyer should know is how to get “feedback”; that way, a person can see the ratings other bidders give the seller and he may compare his transaction with the transaction of the others. Since there is a great risk of fraud where there is negative feedback, the person may withdraw his participation from the auction if he deems that to be necessary.

A person may also acquire ideas by looking for those members who have left “positive feedback” and compare it to the reaction of the sellers. A person can make an assessment of what could be possible useful information from those reactions. Be careful and precise about any transaction that is offered by the seller.

There are instances where a person is deceived about the item he purchased. The photo shown on the Internet displayed the coin that a person wants to have but they delivered a totally different item. These cases are fraud. A person must make sure that the item he saw on the photo is the exact item that will be delivered to him. Here are some tips that will help a person prevent fraud during a coin search in the Internet.

1. A person should save the online photo of the coin he wants to purchase. Many sellers remove the image and the title of the item once a purchase has been made.

2. A person should get the description and the auction information. It should either be e-mailed to the buyer or sent in writing by mail.

3. If there are suspicions regarding an auction, a person should ask for clarification from to the seller. This will avoid misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the buyer.

4. A person has the right to refuse any transaction where he thinks the price given on the coin is too high. One should be aware of the standard price of the specific coin and compare it to the price that was given during the online transaction.

5. A person can ensure that there will be no fraud by asking the seller, before the auction closes, if there is any available escrow assistance for the bidder.