Coin Collector Blog

Mullen Coins Collection Blog provides valuable articles and content about coin collections, rare coins, currency, antiquities and interesting reviews of news and events within the numismatic community.

Grand Rapids Coins Buys Scrap Gold and Sterling Silver

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Gold is a highly coveted precious metal that has held its value over time. Grand Rapids Coins buys and sells coins and currency, but we also buy scrap gold and sterling silver. If you’ve ever wondered about the value of your gold jewelry or silver items, in this blog we will go through the differences between types of gold and silver. We will also discuss how scrap gold is processed into investment grade gold bullion.

Different Kinds of Scrap Gold

Gold is a very precious metal that has held value over time, unlike many other mediums of exchange. There is currently a great deal of interest in gold because the price of gold has been high and rising for some time. That high price is an incentive for people who may have jewelry or other gold items lying around that they do not use. Those items can be sold as scrap gold for cash. 

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Mullen Coins Is Now Grand Rapids Coins

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Name Change: Mullen Coins Is Now Grand Rapids Coins 

Our longtime customers may have noticed that our name has changed on social media. Mullen Coins is now Grand Rapids Coins, a name we believe reflects our relationship to the market we primarily serve in West Michigan. We also are excited to announce that Ben Soldaat has joined our team as an associate. Ben and Pat Mullen have known each other for many years, have had countless discussions about coins, and have been involved together in the coin market for over a decade.

Grand Rapids Coins Welcomes Ben Soldaat 

There has been a great deal of growth in the coin market in West Michigan in the past few years. In particular, more members of older generations of collectors are passing on their coins to their children as they downsize their possessions or in their wills. Many people inherit coins and do not know what they are worth or what they should do with these collections. The collections must be assessed before they can make the best choices. 

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Coin Myth #2 - Only Rich People Collect Coins

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In our last blog we discussed a commonly held myth that people have about coin collecting: Old coins are the most valuable. In this blog we will explore another myth, that only rich people collect coins. While it is true that many rich people do collect coins and the most famous coin collections belong, obviously, to people with money, coin collecting doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s a fun hobby everyone can try with only a small investment of time and money.

Coins used to be much scarcer than they are now, especially before modern minting (and mining) techniques made it simpler to create coins. Commerce was more local and less anonymous and often involved bartering or the extension of credit. As a result the average 19th century person had few coins. Today it’s completely different. Coins are minted on a large scale, redesigned and minted again. Coins are so ubiquitous that we tell people to dig through their couch cushions to find enough money to pay for something. Most people have coins they don’t even know they have.

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Why Are Coin Hoards Often Found in Wonderful Condition?

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Coin hoards are discovered quite frequently. Just last month, in October of 2018, three friends with metal detectors found a hoard of 18 silver Roman coins in Yorkshire. These coins are over 2,000 years old. In September, hundreds of Roman coins were unearthed in the basement of an Italian theater. These fifth-century gold coins were in wonderful condition, stacked carefully in a soapstone jar. How that can be? How can coins that are thousands of years old still be so well preserved? To answer that, we’ll ask these questions: What? Why? Where?

 

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Extremely Rare Gold Rush Coin Discovered!

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The California Gold Rush was a life and state changing event. Americans and people from all over the world crossed oceans and the Great Plains, driven by the desire to pan for gold and strike it rich. Because of the sudden arrival of all of these diverse peoples in a boomtown economy, trading was complicated. Numerous solutions filled the gap temporarily, but it wasn’t until the U.S. Mint opened a branch in San Francisco that the economy had enough currency to run smoothly. Recently a $5-dollar Half Eagle surfaced in the possession of a New England man. This coin is so rare that coin dealers dubbed it a fake, but numismatists now believe it to be the authentic output of the early San Francisco Mint.

We’ve discussed California fractional gold before. These were privately minted coins, created to address problems that a currency vacuum had created. The people who traveled to California brought their own coins, but miners and settlers found it difficult to trade with so many varieties of coins. As a result, private jewelers stepped in and minted their own coins - over 450 varieties of California fractional gold. Fractional gold minting helped to oil the economy from 1848 to 1854.

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The Changing Face of Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Anyone familiar with American coins will be familiar with the image of Lady Liberty. When Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1792 it mandated that the new U.S. coins should have the emblem of liberty on them. Lady Liberty has been a common image on our coins every since, her image representing freedom, peace, commerce, military strength, and, of course, liberty. The way she looks has changed throughout the years, however.

The very first large cent and circulating coin that the U.S. Mint produced was the Flowing Hair Cent in 1793. On this coin, Lady Liberty’s hair flows out behind her as if it is being blown dry. Her forehead slopes down into her nose in a straight line. She is not particularly beautiful. The free flow of her hair was supposed to illustrate freedom, but many people thought it made Lady Liberty look unkempt instead.

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The Story of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent

The Story of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent

Collectors of U.S. coins will no doubt be familiar with the many iterations of the Lincoln cent, but most of the public will go their whole lives without paying any attention to the details of this ubiquitous coin. It’s as familiar to Americans as baseball, and yet it’s completely overlooked, the story behind this everyday object unknown. 

Interestingly enough, the man behind this famous miniature portrait of Lincoln wasn’t American. He was Victor David Brenner, but he was born Viktoras Baranauskas to a Jewish family living in  Šiauliai, Lithuania - which in 1871 was a garrison town on the edge of the Russian Empire. At age 19, rather than be exiled to Siberia, he immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City.

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