Other Coins & Paper Money

Other Coins and Paper Money

Both coins and paper money have always been collectible. For many people it's the combination of rarity and intrinsic value that makes them attractive. Other people may collect money because of its historical significance. One of the more popular coins is the American Silver Eagle. Luckily, there is no wrong way to collect either coins or banknotes.

What Kinds of Lots Can I Look Into?

There are a number of lot types to consider if you would like to either get a sizable start on your coin or paper money collection, or explore a variety of offerings in one go. These can be:

  • Collections: These are often lots that someone has specifically curated with a common theme, whether all from a specific year or minting, or an equal value.
  • Estate Lots: Estate sales usually involve liquidating the belongings of a relative who has passed on. In this case, you would be looking at a collection the sellers may not have put together themselves, but rather by a family member, potentially representing a lifetime of collecting.
  • Mixed Lots: These may include items with no relation to one another, little rhyme or reason, and in this case, you might find good starter coins or even some hidden treasures of considerable worth.

What About Coin Condition and Grading?

Coin market value generally depends on the condition of the piece, and the way to determine condition is through a process of grading. Most coin graders use what's known as the Sheldon scale, which grades coins from barely recognizable lumps of metal to pristine uncirculated gems. The scale divides coins into three groups:

  • Circulated Coins: Ranging from P-1 to EF-49, these are the coins that have actually been used. At the bottom end of the scale, you can barely tell what coin it is, while at the top of the scale, you have beautiful coins with the barest hint of use.
  • About Uncirculated: Starting at AU-50 and extending to AU-59 these coins are slightly worn on the highest points. You can think of them as the coins that went to the banks but never got out to customers.
  • Uncirculated: Ranging from MS-60 to MS-70 these coins have never been released for use, although the lower grades may have damage from handling in the mint.

Collectible Paper Money

While paper money lacks the intrinsic metal value of coins, it is still very collectible. Rarity is a much greater factor with paper money than with coins because of its fragility, and the fact that US paper money is regularly removed from circulation once it shows wear. Some of the most desirable examples are misprints that make it into circulation.