b. COIN COLLECTING

1900 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin Collecting

Archaeological records prove that people have been collecting coins for over 3000 years.  Turkey is one of the earliest civilizations to mint coins, although ancient Greek and Roman civilizations claim a hand in using coins as currency.  Counterfeit coins popped up at the same time and exist as a major problem today.   The most common counterfeit involve altering the date. 

i. Is Coin Collecting Profitable

 Coin collecting (also known as numismatics) has always been a profitable endeavor.  In fact, the practice of collecting coins is often called the “Hobby of Kings.”  Others collect the coins because of its rarity and beauty.  Coins have been made out of many different metals such as gold, silver, copper, tin, etc.  Here is a test to see if you have numismatic skills.   What metal is in the Buffalo 5-cent piece?   If you said nickel you would be partially correct.  That is why 5-cents is called a nickel.  The Buffalo nickel contains about 75% copper and 25% nickel and minted between 1913 and 1938.  The Nickel had a buffalo on the back and a Native American Indian head on the front.   A 1913 type 1 Nickel sells for about $7 dollars in good condition. 

ii. Fun Questions about Collecting Coins

Here are a couple fun questions about the dime.  The Winged Liberty Head dime was designed to symbolize what freedom?   Answer:  Freedom of Thought.  It was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  The current dime has the picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the front.  What is on the back side?   Answer:  A torch between an olive branch and an oak branch.  The Roosevelt dime has no silver in it today. 

There are initials of the coin designer is placed on most of the US Coins.  This is consistent with the coins in the ancient civilizations.  The most famous silver dollar minted in the United States between 1878 -1904 had the head of the Statute of Liberty on the front and an eagle on the back.   The initial “M” is on both sides but very difficult to find.  What does M stand for?   Answer: It stands for George T Morgan.  The silver dollar is referred to as the Morgan dollar. 

This discussion illustrates another reason to collect coins.  It provides an avenue for investigating and discovering the history of the coins.

iii. Some Websites on Coin Collecting

iv. People who Collect Coins

There are ten million coin collectors in the United States and too many to count world-wide.   Famous people who are/were into collecting coins include King Farouk of Egypt, Pope John Paul, Buddy Ebsen, James Earl Jones, Donald Trump, Paul McCartney, Jack Black, Wayne Gretzky, Nicole Kidman, and many more. 

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