Read these 18 World Coins Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Coin Collecting tips and hundreds of other topics.
Have you ever heard of collecting crowns? In the world of coin collecting, collecting crowns refer to collecting the Silver Dollar-sized coins issued from a number of countries around the world. Many of the European crowns are called Thalers, the predecessors to the US Dollars. Prior to 1965, most of the Crowns were made of silver. However, today, coin makers produce most of the Crowns with a silver colored copper and nickel. If you're interested in collecting Crowns, you'll find many of them are commemorative coins – a bonus if you're searching for diverse, distinctive designs.
You'll find coins from faraway lands, coins unearthed from sunken treasures, and coins steeped in history. What is there not to like about foreign coin collecting? Coin collecting will always be tied to economics, and with foreign coin collecting, it often works in your favor. Here is why:
Canadian coins showed strong sales at the Heritage Auction Galleries' Long Beach Ancient and World Coins Signature Auction, which took place June 1st to 3rd in 2006. Top dollar went to the 1936 George V 10 cents dot and the 1921 George V 50 cents coins, which each received $115,000 bids. According to Warren Tucker, Heritage Auction Galleries' world coin director, 11 of the 12 top prices achieved during the auction were from Canadian coins. Other high priced Canadian coin sales included the 1914 George V 50 cents, which sold for $46,000 and the 1887 Victoria 25 cents, which sold for $29,900.
China has a thousand years of history, and a civilization that developed before Western Europe's. You want to own a part of this culture, beyond your Gold Panda Chinese coins. What can you collect? And are there counterfeit Chinese coins like bootleg DVDs?
Are you looking to Confucious for world coin tips? Confucius say: Of course there are counterfeit world coins and foreign coins--just learn to recognize the true goodness.
Chinese knife, spade, and related bronze coins have overrun the market, so beware of these. We know of an ancient spade coin selling for $45 in Five/Very Fine grade.
Lower-value coins such as ordinary Sung and Ch'ing, or the cheaper reigns of Ming, regular pan-liang, wu-shu, and kai-yuan, usually aren't counterfeited since there are so many of them. But you're after rare and valuable Chinese coins. Avoid too-pretty coins minted after 1985, experts say. The Gold Panda is genuine, but a too-even patina can signal a fake. Chances are if your ancient Shang Dynasty coin or Ghost-Head Money (it looks like a ghost) from 500 B.C. is chipped and worn, it's not a fake.
Confucius also say: Avoid coins that are either too cheap or too expensive.
While price guides for Chinese coins are hard to come by, consult Chinese antiquities experts and numismatists, as well as dealers who specialize in Chinese coins--there are only a few in the West.
After all, fraud is fraud, no matter what culture you come from, but Chinese coin dealers are generally honest.
The year 2000 gave us "Gladiator." ABC gave us "Empire." HBO gives us "Rome." Sad to say, Greek and medieval-themed epics haven't fared as well (think "Troy," "Alexander" and "Kingdom of Heaven.") What is it about the Greeks? Caesar is undoubtedly proud.
If you're a budding antiquities collector and a lover of world coins and foreign coins, what Roman coins can you collect? Some of our Roman recommendations and prices quoted on our favorite antiquities sites:
* Emperor Vespasian Sestertius (the basic Roman unit of money), 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., often sold for $390
* Silver denarius (another basic Roman coin) created in honor of Centurion Annius, 82-81 B.C, in Very Fine grade with a female bust, scales and a caduceus on the obverse and a chariot with horses on the reverse $135
* Marcus Porcius Cato, Republic/Imperitorial coin, silver denarius with Bacchus' head wreathed with ivy on the obverse, seated Victory goddess on the reverse, 89 B.C. Very Fine/Fine, $60
* From the decline: Valerian I, c. September 253 - April, May or June 260 A.D., draped bust right on obverse and ROME AETERNAE on reverse, Fair, $35
Let's not forget the coins with Antony and Cleopatra...but those are valued at $800-$1150 after the dealer collects the imperial overhead. And if an ancient Roman coin looks like it's been cleaned, take a grade off, but don't send the seller into the arena with the lions. Ancient Roman coins are an investment that won't "Rome" away.
Immigration problems, border patrols and economic difficulties won't stop you from collecting Mexican coins. But did NAFTA torpedo your collection of world coins and foreign coins? You have US coins, Canadian coins, now you need to complete your set with Mexican coins.
The Mexican peso exchange rate has been declining but may rise again in early 2006 according to projections. One US dollar may equal 9.77 pesos in September 2005. The current exchange rate is 10.66 Mexican pesos for 1 US dollar. Your dealer may sell you a Mexican 20 peso gold bullion coin restrike for $2.53. Once you convert Mexican pesos to US dollars, multiply by gold prices as well as the troy ounce if you know it, you have your coin's true value. A 50 peso gold bullion coin has 1.2067 troy ounces.
You might also want to collect Libertads, issued since 1996. These silver Mexican coins have the Independence Angel on the obverse. We've seen a five-ounce coin sold for $60.
So the next time someone complains about the "Mexican problem," you can say, "I like their coins, have you ever thought of collecting them?" It won't stop the border debate, but it may give you and your fellow coin collectors a new appreciation for Mexico.
The Loonie--as Canadian as hockey, Molson's, saying "Eh," and as one US expatriate put it, "punting on the first down." The golden-colored (copper-plated nickel-based) Loonie is also the result of a 1987 mistake.
Want some good world coin tips? If you have a Canadian silver dollar prior to 1987, it probably depicts two men in a canoe. Hang on to your pre-Loonie Canadian coins, because those silver dollars were the model for the Loonie. However, when Canada decided to issue a gold one-dollar coin, the dies imprinting the design for the silver dollar got lost in the mail. The canoe design was in use since 1935, but thanks to a mail error, a loon graces the obverse of the one-dollar Canadian coins.
What does this mean for you, non-Canuck collector of world coins and foreign coins? Earlier dates are worth something on eBay. An 1867-1992 commemorative loonie with a rare loon on the reverse, dated 1992 is going for five times its dollar value on eBay.ca. While loonies might not approach the value of Canadian Maple leafs, if you want to be a true Canadian collector and acquire Canadian coins, owning loonies gets you a ticket to the Maple leafs game and a cold Molson.
Looking for world coin tips on finding world coins? Here's a hint: It produced Mozart and Freud as well as Vienna sausages (!) Austria may be your next target for collecting world coins.
While Austrian coins may not be as beautiful as Chinese coins with pandas or Canadian coins with maple leafs, the restrike Austria 4 ducat coin (you remember ducats, they were in Shakespeare's plays) is a beautiful coin. We also like the Austria 20 Corona and 10 Corona.
When buying foreign world coins in gold, remember to consult a world coins expert to see which issues are popular or rare or both. Many Austrian coin issues such as proof sets will sell quickly and be valued at high prices. It's a good idea to know your Austrian history--though everyone recognizes Einstein. The 200th Mozart Anniversary commemorative coin is affordable, especially in Extremely Fine.
But if you can't buy Austrian coins, don't get an inferiority complex. The size of your foreign coins or your coin collection doesn't matter.
Gordon Lightfoot sang of "a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run/When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun." He's talking about "The Canadian Railroad Trilogy." You need some world coin tips, quick! Can you collect coins before ViaRail? Well, you can buy...
* George V 1930 5-cent coin
* Queen Victoria Penny 1858
* Newfoundland ("Newfie") 1873 Victoria cent
* Doubled George V 1946 5-cent coin
But what about that pre-Canadian railway coin? The first Canadian railway charter was in 1832, when the the Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad incorporated.
You can buy British tokens before 1832. In the 18th century, French money ruled. Many coin lots include US and Canadian tokens from 1700-1832. A Wellington halfpenny has surfaced from 1814. In 2003, an 1814 Fine Token was valued at $8, Very Fine $20, Extremely Fine $60, all in Canadian dollars. Check current coin value guides for world coins, foreign coins and Canadian coins. Also check eBay, where a token is selling for $15.49 USD and $18.40 Canadian dollars.
You may find it difficult to get your hands on these rare tokens, but when you do, put on Gordon Lightfoot and enjoy a remnant from a simpler era.
Coin collecting from countries around the world opens up such a vast area of possibilities. The questions is, what countries do you concentrate on and where do you start? We've compiled a list of some of the top picks for coin collecting from around the world. Here they are:
Canadian coins – Canadian coins are popular among coin collectors. In addition to some great commemorative specimens, you can find rare and valuable Canadian coins from the 19th century.
British coins – British coins have a reputation for well-made coinage. The British have also produced coins for many years, making the coin choices varied and plentiful.
German coins –German coins have a good following among both the German and US coin collecting markets.
Mexican coins – During the colonial period, Mexico was a strong producer of silver coins, in particular, the Eight Reales. Any other pieces produced prior to 1900 are in demand among coin collectors.
Russian coins – Russian coins from the 18th and 19th century are in great demand among world coin collectors.
Getting into collecting world coins means you'll have hundreds of countries with countless choices of coins to add to your collection. If you're considering entering the realm of collecting world coins, here are some good reasons why you should do so.
Pandas. They're on the letterhead of environmental organizations. They chew bamboo. They're cute. They're endangered. And now they're collectible.
The China Silver Panda world coins, especially in earlier years such as 1992, are not quite as valuable as a baby panda, but they're easier to hold (mama bears can be fierce!) We know of a Brilliant Uncirculated 1992 Silver Panda, with a panda climbing in a tree on the obverse, selling for $69.00. The type notes ".999 Ag 1 oz." Ag, in case you forgot your high school chemistry, is the peridoic table symbol for silver. Multiply the troy ounce by the face value (500 yuan or $1.23 USD) and the value of silver to get the total value of these beautiful world coins--but remember, the total value takes a back seat to the collectors' value.
The China Gold Panda has .9999 Fine Gold and the legal tender value of one ounce Gold Panda Chinese coins is $100. A Quarter Ounce Gold Panda can sell for 80 British Pounds, $154 USD. As with the Silver Pandas, the reverse displays the Temple of Heaven and the obverse panda portraits change every year. The 2004 design depicts a mother panda nuzzling a baby panda.
A caution for collectors of Chinese coins Reports have surfaced of 1982 Gold Pandas selling for $3,000 US, but all that collector activity has made some dates scarce like the pandas, especially since many collectors regard Panda Chinese Coins as the most beautiful of all coins.
Where can you get Chinese Panda Coins?
* US Dealers
* UK Dealers
Those cute faces demand to be collected, and they're a solid investment.
Can you name all the Canadian maritime provinces? Quick! New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Now can you name the coins? If you can, you can collect them. Some of our favorites:
* A New Brunswick 1861 Large Cent
* Newfoundland 1872H Fifty Cents G4
* Nova Scotia 1864 Cent
* Prince Edward Island Cent 1871
Some of these coins may be worth $60 Canadian, while in Good or Fine condition you might sell them for only $5 Canadian. Check a dealer who specializes in North American coins or world coins.
Now name all 50 states. Quick! Very good. It's even more impressive that you can name the Canadian provinces and show off Canadian maritime province coins.
Like real maple leaves and maple syrup, Canadian coins and Canadian maple leaves are widely sought after. The difference is, maple syrup isn't pure gold.
Your US or Canadian dealer may not offer you that 1999 maple leaf, possibly because he or she may not have it in stock. That's why many dealers say "dates of our choice." Need some world coin tips? When you're dealing with world coins and foreign coins, you're dealing with international shipping, rexchange rates, customs, tariffs...Canadian's might be renowned for their hospitality, but they also have a country to keep solvent.
Check with various dealers and with the royal Canadian Mint to see if they have the 1999 Gold Maple Leaf you want. Otherwise, have a list of backup dates you'll accept.
After all, the U.S. keeps stealing Canadian hockey players, It's only right that Canada should keep its coins to itself. In the meantime, enjoy some beautiful maple leaves and have a stack of pancakes.
If you want to attend the largest numismatic event in the world, attend Numismata. The first exhibition started in 2005 and the recent 2006 November 4th and 5th event held over 160 exhibitioners with coin dealers around the world attending from countries such as Europe, Russia, and China. The November event took place in Frankfurt, using almost 30,000 square feet of space. Coin collecting wares included a range of pieces, including Euros, bank notes, and medals. Visiting world coin collectors didn't have to leave empty handed, even if they decided not to make a purchase – they were given a small numismatic souvenir along with each ticket. Language barriers for world coin collectors were addressed as well. The event included language translation services in English, French, Russian, and German. The next Numismata will take place in 2007 on March 3rd and 4th in Munich.
For Canadian coin collectors, there is a new coin out. This new Canadian coin is the first square shaped piece, taking its cue from the fur trade tokens. The Hudson's Bay Company, which controlled the fur trade for several centuries, started using square fur trade tokens in 1854. This sterling silver and copper $3 coin is plated with 24-karat gold. The profile of a beaver resides on the reverse side of the coin, gnawing away at a tree trunk. Cosme Saffioti, the engraver responsible for the beaver design, has placed his initials on the coin. The obverse side carries a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
There is no doubt that Canadian coins have become a favorite among world coin collectors. The minting of commemorative Canadian coins has created thousands of new coin collectors in the last several years. If you'd like to find out some Canadian coin values on coins you already have or would like to own, there are some good resources to consider.
On the Web, Don's World Coin Gallery has one of the most comprehensive lists of coin values around.
Another good resource for looking at Canadian coin values is through J & M Coin and Jewellery Ltd.'s Web site. This major dealer has sales listings for several grades of Canadian coins.
Canadian Coins: A Charlton Standard Catalogue, is a spiral bound book with a compilation of millions of Canadian coins and pricing based on grade. In addition, you can read information about issues, grading, and varieties of the Canadian coin.
If you're trying to decipher the differences in grading in foreign coins, there is something you should know – as a general rule, world coin collectors do not place as much importance on the specific quality of a coin as a US coin collector. For instance, go to Germany and you'll find coin collectors there might be more interested in collecting a wide variety of coins rather than an uncirculated coin versus a circulated coin.
The grading system for foreign coins differs as well, making it difficult to compare apples to apples. For instance, while the US coin grading system classifies an Extremely Fine coin as one which shows light wear on the high points and some luster, the European grading system has a different definition. The equivalent category to Extremely Fine would be Vorzuglich, where the coin must have strong, full luster and traces of wear on the high points.