Collecting Precious Metals | Gainesville Coins Guide

Collecting Precious Metals

By Gainesville Coins
Published February 10, 2015

Though many people interested in precious metals use them as investments, others seek to collect coins containing precious metals for their enjoyment. Gainesville Coins offers a variety of rare and historical coins for collectors and numismatists. Numismatics is the study and collection of physical money, and many collectors consider themselves ameteur numismatists. There are thousands of types of coins for budding collectors to choose from, so a collection can consist of any number of combinations of different coins. Provided below is an overview of some of the vocabulary and major attributes of collectible coins.

Numismatic Coins

Numismatic coins generally refer to coin types that circulated as currency, and include U.S. pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars as well as foreign circulation coins. Collectors often focus on obtaining multiple varieties of one particular type of coin, such as Mercury dimes, for instance. The different varieties mentioned above result from the production of Mercury dimes at multiple mints and during multiple years. Each coin carries a mintmark indicating the facility at which it was struck as well as an inscription bearing the name of the issuing nation and the year it was minted. Some national mints release special series of circulating coins with changing designs, such as the U.S. Mint’s State quarters, the America the Beautiful State Park quarters, and Presidential dollars.

Semi-Numismatic Coins

Some collectors actually collect special varieties of bullion coins, making them what are called semi-numismatic coins. Such coins are typically the special Proof versions of bullion coins that many mints release every year. Additionally, some of the designs on bullion coins change year to year, an excellent example being the US Mint’s Platinum Eagle Proof coins. Collectors interested in semi-numismatic coins often collect these bullion coins for their changing designs.

Collectible Exonumia

Exonumia such as tokens, medals, as well as bars and rounds created as art pieces, are often collected. A good deal of exonumia has had a history of use within alternative monetary systems, such as tokens used as proprietary currencies by companies or within specific locales with restricted access to conventional money. Art bars and rounds, on the other hand, generally have no history as alternative currency, but have interesting and often beautiful artwork engraved into them which many collectors find attractive. Many exonumia are no longer in production, making them vintage items.

Key Terms

  • Circulating Coins: Coins that are primarily intended for monetary use and not as a collector's item or investment tool.
  • Type: A distinct coin design shared across a specific denomination (i.e. Lincoln penny).
  • Mintmark: A small letter engraved on a coin that designates the location where the coin was produced.
  • Semi-numismatic: A bullion coin that has a value that rises substantially above its intrinsic value.
  • Proof: Coins that are specially produced for collectors and are not intended for circulation.
  • Exonumia: Any money-like items (tokens, medallions) that are not legal tender.
  • Token: A coin-like object with no monetary value outside of its intended use (i.e. bus token).
  • Medal: An object made of metal that resembles a coin. Often medals are made or given to recognize a person, place, or occasion.
  • Numismatics: The study and collection of coins and paper money.
  • Inscription: Any letters or numbers in a coin's design.
  • View Other Terms
<div class="sections seeAlso">
    <h3>See Also:</h3>
        <li><a href="/investing-in-silver">Investing In Silver</a></li>
        <li><a href="/investing-in-gold">Investing In Gold</a></li>
        <li><a href="/gold">Gold Coins &amp; Bars</a></li>
        <li><a href="/silver">Silver Coins &amp; Bars</a></li>
        <li><a href="/learning-center/">Learning Center</a></li>
        <li><a href="/collecting-tips">Collecting Tips</a></li>
        <li><a href="/learning-center/buying-guides">Buying Guides</a></li>

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