What American Coins are Really Worth Collecting?

By Merle Huerta
When collecting American coins, choose those that are bullish.

If you're a budding coin collector and want to collect American coins, U.S. Coin Values Advisor recommends "bullish" coins. Among numismatics, also known as currency experts or coin enthusiasts, "bullish" refers to scarce coins that have maintained their value over time. Additionally, these coins tend to increase in value, are always in demand and frequently have an historical connection. Most importantly, make sure the coins you choose have been graded by a certified grading service.

Gold Coins

The Market Oracle, a market trend speculator recommends gold coins as an investment. When the market fails, gold is always desirable. In terms of rare American coins, he recommends the American Buffalo. Not to be confused with the new bullion American Eagle minted during the Reagan era, the original gold eagle were minted intermittently from 1795 to 1933. Though they were the same size and weight, they carried a face value of ten dollars. Another 24-carat gold option is the American Buffalo minted by the US Mint. While the mint's collection of American Buffalo coins can be scarce, it's sale price is most economical. If you'd like to own a gold American Buffalo, you should try the mint first.They sell gold American Buffalo coins with a three percent commission over the international gold spot price. If you buy it through a retailer, you will potentially pay an additional 1.5 percent mark-up plus a .5 percent wholesalers charge.

Cents

Bullish American coins represent a part of American history. The more interesting the historical connection with the coin's minting, the greater the demand for that coin. For example, the 1856 Flying Eagle Cent minted in Philadelphia is one of only 1,000 coins minted during that year. As an historical symbol, to numismatics, it represents a period when tensions over slavery were leading up to the Civil War. Another highly demanded cent is the 1909-S VDB, a copper penny with color gradations of brown (B), red-brown (RB) and red (R). Historically, this coin coincides with the Great White Fleet's return after a 15-month, 46,000 mile journey. Additionally, two colorful figures of the wild west died--artist, Frederick Remingtom, and Geronimo, a frequent subject of Remington's scenes.

Dimes

Naturally, the 1916-D Mercury Head Dime generates the most traffic, for it is the key date of the entire group. Minted at the Denver Mint, a mere 264,000 were minted, compared to 55 million of the 1917 mintage. What makes this series particularly desirable is the full split bands (FSB) trait. In the Mercury dime series horizontal bands of the fasces device on the reverse are fully separated. More rare than non-FSB dimes, it's a characteristic of the series certified graders look for when grading this rare coin. For coin collectors, this dimes is also historically significant. At the time, America was in the throes of a blood battle in World War I and Mexican gangster, Pancho Villa had created carnage in New Mexico and across the border.

About the Author

Merle Huerta, an adjunct instructor of English skills, began writing during her husband's combat deployment to Iraq in 2003. Her articles have appeared in "The Jerusalem Post," LiteraryMama.com and USA Travel Tips, among other publications. Huerta has an M.A. in instructional media and technology from Columbia University and is a graduate of CUNY's The Writers Institute.