Silver Bars of the Atocha

The Atocha was a famous Spanish treasure galleon that we by the full name of “Nuestra Señora de Atocha”, Our Lady of Atocha. The Atocha was laden with a vast cargo of gold, silver, emeralds, and other valuable items from the New World, destined for Spain. These treasures were accumulated from the wealth of the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

On September 6, 1622, the Atocha was caught in a severe hurricane as it was sailing from Havana, Cuba, to Spain. The ship was driven onto a coral reef and sank, taking down most of its 265 crew members and passengers, as well as its precious cargo.

Shortly after the shipwreck, Spanish salvagers tried to locate and recover the Atocha’s treasure but had little success. The location of the wreck remained a mystery for centuries.

The exact inventory of the Atocha is extensive, but the majority of the Atocha’s cargo consisted of silver. According to historical records there were 1,038 silver bars and over 255,000 silver coins, mostly consisting of “pieces of eight” that were minted in the Americas and used as a global trade currency during the era.  The silver coins had been hand-stamped at mints in Potosí, Lima, La Plata, Mexico City and Santa Fe de Bogotá.

The silver bars found in the wreck of the Atocha were each massive and all had a purity greater than 99%. Each ingot was formed by pouring more than 80 pounds of silver into a casting mold. As soon as the ingot cooled, it was struck with a serial number and stamped with the fineness, the same information would be listed on the ship’s manifest. Over 900 silver bars were listed on the ships manifest and many of the bars were mined and processed in upper Peru (at Potosí or Oruro).

Other marks were sometimes added by shipmasters and other officials as the bar progressed on its journey to Spain.

There was also an estimate of over 7,175 ounces of gold, in the form of at least 160 gold bars and discs, as well as a significant number of gold coins.

In addition to precious metals, the ship carried a considerable quantity of rough and worked emeralds amongst its cargo, with some of exceptional quality and size. The emeralds came from the Muzo mines in Colombia.

In 1985, treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his team made international headlines by discovering the main wreckage site of the Atocha just off Marquasas Key, west of Key West in the Florida Keys.

The extensive recovery operation led by Mel Fisher recovered a significant portion of the Atocha’s treasures, but many believe that there’s still more to be found.

The find resulted in the recovery of an estimated $400 million worth of coins, jewelry, and other artifacts. This made it one of the most valuable shipwreck finds in history.

The discovery of the Atocha’s treasure led to legal disputes between Mel Fisher’s team and the state of Florida. Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Fisher, granting his company, Treasure Salvors, Inc., ownership of the shipwreck and its cargo.

The artifacts and treasure from the Atocha offer a unique glimpse into the past and the extensive wealth and trade of the Spanish Empire during the 17th century and its discovery has spurred additional interest in shipwreck diving and the quest for sunken treasure.

Cashing Out with Old Coins

It’s not uncommon to find a box of old coins tucked away in the attic of your grandparents or parents house. During the 1960s, the US Mint changed the composition of the coins in circulation to the nickel clad copper that we are familiar with today.

Before 1965, most coin denominations were minted from an alloy that contained 90% pure silver. This included all of the dimes, quarters and half-dollars. As the new coins were put into circulation, many people hoarded the old coins for the intrinsic value of the silver.

Melting of old silver coins is legal, and over the years many of the old 90% silver coins have been melted down and refined into other forms.

Many old coins can also have numismatic value to collectors. If you find an old box of coins in the attic, it is a good idea to do so research about the coins you have to give you an idea of the value.

Begin by sorting and cataloging your coin collection. Organize the coins by denomination, country of origin, and year. Many collectors will make use of spreadsheet that can make it easy to sort and organize and allows you to take notes of any unique traits or properties.

There are various coin guides and price guides available that are frequently used as reference guides in local coin stores, pawn shops and other coin dealers.

Research Your Coins

Research the coins you have using books, online resources, or professional coin appraisers. Look for information on coin values, rarity, and historical significance.

Invest in numismatic books and catalogs that focus on the specific type or era of coins you’re interested in. These books often contain historical information, mintages, and pricing data. The “Red Book”, officially titled A Guidebook of United States Coins is available from Amazon is one of the most widely used reference books by coin collectors and numismatists and provides detailed information and price estimates for thousands of different coins.

Numismatic forums like Coin Community Forum and Collectors Universe are excellent places to ask questions, share photos, and learn from experienced collectors.

Attending local coin shows and coin club meetings can help you meet other collectors who share a similar passion for collecting. These events are excellent opportunities to meet knowledgeable collectors, dealers, and experts who can provide information and guidance.

Websites like, Numista, PCGS, and NGC can be valuable resources providing databases of coins from around the world. You can search by country, type, year, and denomination to find information about your coin.

Once you’ve identified your coins, determine their approximate value. Keep in mind that a coin’s condition (graded on a scale from poor to mint state) has a significant impact on its worth.

Establish relationships with reputable coin dealers. They can offer insights, appraisals, and information about the coins in their inventory.

For rare or valuable coins, consider getting a professional appraisal from a reputable coin dealer or numismatist. They can provide you with a more accurate assessment of your coin’s value.

Sell Old Coins

Visit local coin shops or contact coin dealers who specialize in your type of coins. They can provide offers based on their expertise.

Websites like eBay, Heritage Auctions, and GreatCollections allow you to list your coins for sale. Be prepared to handle shipping and potential fees.

Attend coin shows in your area where you can meet dealers and collectors who might be interested in your coins. Understand that dealers at the show will be knowledgeable about coin values, so be realistic in your expectations and have some prior understanding of the current market value of your coins.

Consider consigning your coins to reputable auction houses that specialize in rare coins. The consignee may evaluate and grade your coins to determine their condition and market value. This assessment helps in setting appropriate prices and descriptions. The consignee will market your coins through various channels, such as auctions, online listings, or direct sales to collectors and investors.

Online forums and communities, such as those on Reddit or CoinTalk, can be places to connect with potential buyers or get advice on selling.

When selling your coins, set a reasonable and competitive price based on their condition and market demand. Research recent sales of similar coins to gauge their market value.

Tax Implications:

Depending on your location and the value of the coins and the profits generated from the sale, there may be tax implications for selling. Consult a tax professional to understand your obligations.

In some states, the sale of collectibles, including old and rare coins is subject to capital gains tax. Capital gains tax is typically calculated on the profit you make from selling the coins. The tax rate may vary depending on factors such as how long you held the coins (short-term vs. long-term gains) and your overall income.

You may be required to report the sale of collectible coins to tax authorities, even if you don’t owe capital gains tax. Dealers may be required to report the sale of valuable coins to the IRS, depending on the amount of the transaction. Accurate record-keeping is crucial, as tax authorities may require documentation of the sale.

Some states have exemptions or thresholds for the taxation of collectibles. For example, some states might have a minimum profit amount below which capital gains tax doesn’t apply. Be sure to consult with a tax advisor regarding your local tax laws for any exemptions that might apply.

Given the complexity of tax laws and regulations related to collectibles, including coins, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant who specializes in these matters. They can provide guidance on your specific situation and help you understand your tax obligations.

If you have a substantial collection or are dealing with high-value coins, consider consulting with a professional coin broker or auction house to help you navigate the selling process.

Remember that selling coins can take time, and finding the right buyer at the right price may require patience. Be cautious of scams or deals that seem too good to be true, and prioritize safety when meeting buyers in person.

Central Banks Continue Buying Gold

China has continued its pursuit of gold buying strategy throughout the year. As more agreements enter into local currency trading, other central banks are adding Yuen to their holdings in exchange for gold, helping the Chinese Central Bank add to their vaults.

Central banks buy and hold gold for several reasons, which continue to evolve between BRICS countries. In general, Central banks hold gold to preserve the value of their fiat currency reserves, which historically loses value due to inflation and other government policies.

China extended its streak of expanding gold reserves to a 10th consecutive month in August while the country’s total foreign exchange reserves declined amid falling prices of global financial assets.

The central bank added about 930,000 troy ounces of gold into its reserves last month, increasing its holdings to 69.62 million ounces (2,165 tons), according to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). Since November, China has added a total of 5.95 million ounces of the precious metal to its hoard.

Gold is often seen as a safe-haven asset during times of economic or financial crisis. Central banks may buy gold to add to their holdings during such periods to provide stability to their financial systems and fiat currencies.

Gold is a universally recognized and accepted form of payment.

What is 3TG?

If you’re not familiar with the term, 3TG refers to four minerals that are commonly used in various industries, including the electronics, jewelry, and automotive sectors. These minerals are often collectively referred to as “conflict minerals” because their mining and trading have been linked to human rights abuses and armed conflict in certain regions of the world.

  • Tantalum (T): Tantalum is used in electronic components such as capacitors and resistors. It is also used in the aerospace industry and for making high-temperature alloys.
  • Tin (Sn): Tin is used in various industries, including electronics for soldering, as well as in the production of automobiles, food packaging, construction materials, and more.
  • Tungsten (W): Tungsten is used in various applications, including manufacturing tools, electronics, and even some types of jewelry due to its hardness and durability.
  • Gold (Au): Gold is not only an investment or jewelry, but it is also used in electronics, dentistry, and certain industrial applications due to its excellent conductivity and resistance to corrosion.

The term “3TG” is derived from government regulatory agencies as a way for companies to develop responsible and ethical best practices related to sourcing and supply chain management.

Companies that use these minerals often engage in due diligence to ensure that the minerals are sourced from conflict-free areas and do not contribute to human rights abuses. This practice aims to promote ethical and sustainable sourcing of these minerals.

3TGs minerals are inside everything we use, including smartphones, both electric and combustion vehicles, medical devices and more. It’s difficult to find a modern electrical device that does not include 3TG minerals a component.

Upcoming Release Date for the 2023 Palladium American Eagle

The American Palladium Eagle is a palladium bullion coin issued by the United States Mint. It was authorized for production under the American Eagle Bullion Program through the passage of the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2010.

The obverse (front) of the coin features a high-relief depiction of the iconic “Winged Liberty” design, commonly known as the Mercury Dime design. This design was originally created by Adolph A. Weinman in 1916 and was used on the Mercury Dime until 1945. The reverse (back) of the coin showcases a detailed image of an American bald eagle perched on a rock, designed by Thomas D. Rogers.

The American Palladium Eagle has a face value of $25, indicating its legal tender status in the United States. It contains one troy ounce of .9995 fine palladium, making it a pure investment-grade palladium coin.

Its mintage levels vary from year to year, with production numbers announced by the United States Mint annually. The annual mintage figures are published regularly and aggregated in our Palladium Eagle Mintage History Chart.

For 2023, the US Mint has decided to release only the Burnished Palladium Eagle with an uncirculated finish. The coin is minted at the West Point Mint and is geared towards collectors. According to the Mint, no bullion version will be available this year.

The American Palladium Eagle is popular among both collectors and investors. Its unique design, high purity, and limited mintage contribute to its desirability. Palladium is a precious metal with various industrial uses, and the demand for palladium has grown over the years due to its applications in technology, automotive catalytic converters, and other industries.

US Mint Updates 2023 Product Release Schedule

The United States Mint releases a large variety of numismatic and bullion coins each year. Some of the coins are commemorative issues that are based upon various cultural themes.

The product release schedule is updated periodically as materials and production capacity adjustments are made. The Mint has provided an update to its 2023 numismatic products launch schedule through the end of November.

The sales launch schedule for the remainder of the year follows.

  • Aug. 9: Proof 2023-S Morgan dollar.
  • Aug. 9: Proof 2023-S Peace dollar.
  • Aug. 9: Proof 2023-S Peace dollar.
  • Aug. 10: Proof 2023-W American Liberty gold $100 coin.
  • Aug. 10: Proof American Liberty 1-ounce silver medal struck at the Philadelphia Mint without Mint mark.
  • Aug. 14: Matte Finish Andrew Johnson Presidential silver medal.
  • Aug. 15: 2023 American Women, Jovita Idar quarter dollars, circulation quality, in bags and rolls, including two-and three-roll sets.
  • Aug. 22: 2023-S Silver Proof set.
  • Aug. 24: Five individual 2023 American Women quarter dollar ornaments.
  • Aug. 28: 2023 American Innovation, Mississippi dollars in bags and rolls.
  • Sept. 7: Uncirculated 2023-W American Palladium Eagle $25 coin.
  • Sept. 11: Matte Finish U.S. Marine Corps 1-ounce silver medal.
  • Sept. 29: Mighty Minters 2023 ornament with 2023-P Native American, Maria Tallchief dollar.
  • Sept. 29: United States Mint 2023 ornament with 2023-P Native American, Maria Tallchief dollar.
  • Oct. 2: Ulysses S. Grant Presidential silver medal without Mint mark from San Francisco Mint.
  • Oct. 10: Proof 2023-S American Eagle 1-ounce silver dollar.
  • Oct. 23: American Women, Maria Tallchief quarter dollars in bags, two-roll and three-roll sets.
  • Oct. 26: Four-coin 2023-S American Innovation $1 Proof set.
  • Nov. 9: Four-coin 2023-S American Innovation $1 Reverse Proof set.
  • Nov. 14: Two-coin 2023-S Morgan and Peace dollar silver Proof set.
  • Nov. 28: 2023-S Limited Edition Silver Proof set.

Products with no specific sales date:

  • 2023 Uncirculated Coin set, containing 10 coins each from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.
  • U.S. Marine Corps 1-ounce bronze medal.
  • One expected product is currently not on the current schedule:

Many of the products are in the Mint’s subscription program, with orders accepted now. Customers should review the Mint 2023 products catalog for details on what products are available by subscription.

Two other offerings have both been giving “TBD” launch dates in the Fall. Those include the United States Marines bronze medal and 2023 Uncirculated Coin set.

The schedule is posted on the US Mint website.

What is Fiat Money?

Fiat currency, also known as fiat money, is a type of currency that is declared by a government to be legal tender and is accepted as a medium of exchange within a specific country or region.

Unlike commodity money, which has intrinsic value because it is backed by gold or silver coin, fiat currency has no inherent value and is not backed by a physical commodity.

Instead, its value is established and maintained by government decree and the trust and confidence of the people who use it.

Modern currencies, including the US Dollar, European Euro and the British Pound, are all examples of fiat currencies.

The United States began transitioning away from the gold-standard during the first half of the 20th century. During the Great Depression, the government took the extreme step of confiscating all of the gold coins that were circulating throughout the economy and made it illegal for private citizens to own gold.

Many of the gold coins were melted into large format gold bars and were moved to the Gold Depository at Fort Knox, where they remain sealed away to this day.

In the case of the dollar, its value is established and maintained through the authority and credibility of the Federal Reserve. It’s essentially a social agreement that people will accept the currency in exchange for goods and services.

Commodity Backed Money

Fiat currency has no inherent value as it is not backed by a physical commodity. Commodity backed money, which is backed by gold, silver or other commodities, has value due to its intrinsic properties.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve have the authority to control the supply of dollars. They can print more money or remove it from circulation, which can influence factors like inflation and deflation.

The regulators at the Fed and Treasury Department have a few monetary policy tools at their disposal to manage the economy. This includes adjusting interest rates, implementing quantitative easing, and regulating the money supply to influence economic conditions.

One of the major concerns with fiat money is the potential for inflation. Since fiat money is not backed by gold or silver, governments and central banks have the authority to print money at will. If the money supply increases faster than the growth of goods and services in the economy, it will lead to inflation, eroding the purchasing power of money and causing prices to rise.

Unlike commodity money like gold or silver, which have intrinsic value, fiat money has no inherent value. Its value is solely based on the trust and confidence that people have in the issuing government. If that trust wanes, the value of fiat currency can be at risk and individuals and everyday workers will continue to see the purchasing power of the dollar diminish over the years. It can impact the ability to save for the future and plan for retirement.

While physical coins and banknotes are common forms of fiat currency, many of today’s transactions are conducted digitally using electronic forms of money, such as online banking, credit cards, and digital wallets.

Fiat Money CBDC

The Federal Reserve and other central banks are pushing for the adoption of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), which will allow the government to control how you spend your money, and what you will be allowed to purchase.

While this can be used to manage the economy, it also means that economic decisions are concentrated in the hands of a few, which will lead to potential abuse or mismanagement.

CBDC transactions can be easily tracked and monitored by the central bank and government authorities, raising significant concerns about individuals’ financial privacy and the potential for government surveillance.

The digital nature of CBDCs also makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacking attempts. A successful breach could lead to the theft of funds or disruption of the financial system.

The introduction of CBDCs will continue to disrupt traditional banking and payment systems, affecting financial institutions and fintech companies.

CBDC allows central banks to have more direct control over monetary policy and money supply. Fiat currency is influenced by central bank policy but also impacted by commercial banks and economic factors.

The introduction of CBDC requires additional technological infrastructure and regulatory frameworks for digital payments and security. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve introduced the FedNow payment gateway system, requiring commercial banks to adopt this new payment system is part of the long-term launch plan.

The Basics of Coin Collecting

Coins and currency are tangible artifacts that provide a window into the history, culture, politics, and economics of different time periods and civilizations.

Collecting coins and other numismatic items allows you to hold pieces of history in your hands and learn about the past through their collection. Prior to 1933, gold coins were part of the economy and were used for many every day transactions. Many of the Pre-1933 gold coins are now well over 100 years old.

Coin collecting originated as a pursuit driven by curiosity, fascination with history and the desire to preserve and understand the past through tangible artifacts. The origins of coin collecting, or numismatics, can be traced back to times as ancient as the coins themselves as some have been around for thousands of years. Over the centuries, it has grown into a well-established hobby with a diverse and enthusiastic community of collectors.

Coin Collecting Origins

The practice of coin collecting gained significant momentum during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods. Scholars, artists, and thinkers of the era became interested in the history, artistry, and symbolism of coins.

One Italian poet, scholar and humanist in particular named Francesco Petrarch is often considered one of the earliest coin collectors. He owned a vast collection of coins, manuscripts, and artworks which he displayed in his “Cabinet of Antiquities.”

The concept of a “cabinet of curiosities” was popular during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. These cabinets, also known as Wunderkammer, were private collections that included various objects, including coins, fossils, natural specimens, artwork and antiquities.

Collectors like Petrarch saw coins as valuable artifacts that could provide insights into different and ancient cultures and historical periods, in addition to the intrinsic value.

Another notable early coin collector was English antiquary and politician Elias Ashmole. His eclectic collection included rare books, manuscripts and artifacts alongside a massive and significant collection of coins. Ashmole was one of the early members of the Royal Society and his collection formed the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, one of the oldest public museums in the world.

Coin Collecting Catalogs

The emergence of coin catalogs began in the 18th and 19th centuries as numismatists began publishing books about coins, detailing their characteristics, origins, and historical context.

These catalogs helped collectors identify and classify coins, and they played a crucial role in the development of numismatic scholarship.

In the 19th century, organized coin collecting groups and societies began to form. These groups provided a platform for collectors to share their knowledge, exchange coins, and collaborate on research projects.

Founded in 1891, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is one of the oldest and most influential coin collecting and numismatic organizations in the world. Their mission is to promote and advance the knowledge and enjoyment of numismatics, as well as to foster the exchange of information and ideas among collectors, dealers, and scholars.

Virgil Brand, an early American collector, assembled one of the most extensive and diverse coin collections of his time. His collection included an impressive array of rare U.S. coins, world coins, as well as rare and valuable ancient coins.

One of Brand’s notable contributions was the creation of the “Brand Book,” a multi-volume catalog of his collection.

The Brand Book provided descriptions and information about each item in his collection and remains an important resource for researchers and collectors.

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and collection of coins and other related items.

Today, the “Red Book,” formally known as “A Guide Book of United States Coins,” is the most widely recognized and respected reference guide for collectors, dealers, and enthusiasts of United States coins. It is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of information about U.S. coinage, providing essential details about coin values, mintage figures, historical background, and collecting tips.

The Red Book is published annually by Whitman Publishing with contributions from various numismatic experts. It has been in publication since 1947, making it a staple in the numismatic community for over seven decades.

The 77th edition of the Red Book covers everything from early colonial copper tokens to hefty Old West silver dollars and dazzling gold coins. The book includes more than 32,500+ prices and auction records for nearly 8,000 coins, tokens, medals, coin sets and other collectible species. 

US Mint Pre-1933 Gold Coin Investments

Collection of Pre-1933 Gold Coins

Collecting pre-1933 gold coins can be a rewarding and strategic choice for investors with an interest in numismatists because these coins were minted during a time when the gold standard was in place, and their designs often reflect the cultural and artistic trends of their era.

Pre-1933 gold coins offer the additional advantage of physical ownership of a tangible asset. Holding these coins provides a sense of connection to the past as well as a hedge against economic uncertainty.

The Executive Order 6102 required U.S. citizens to surrender their gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates to the government. Many gold coins deemed of numismatic value were exempt, however, a significant number of coins were melted down. This reduced supply has added to the rarity and desirability of many pre-1933 gold coins.

These coins contain a significant amount of gold. For example, a $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin contains .9675 ounces of gold. The intrinsic value of the gold content provides a floor for their market value. Most pre-1933 gold coins also numismatic value, even in circulated condition. This numismatic value is determined by factors like rarity, demand, condition, and historical significance. In certain market conditions, the numismatic premium can substantially exceed the coin’s melt value.

Including a collection of Pre-1933 gold coins in a diversified investment portfolio can provide a level of diversification beyond traditional financial assets.

Coin Grading Scale

As numismatics evolved during the 20th century, collectors and experts recognized the need for standardized terminology and grading systems. The Sheldon Coin Grading Scale, developed in the mid-20th century by Dr. William Sheldon has become the most widely adopted system for assessing the condition of coins.

With advancements in communication and technology, coin collecting has become more accessible to a global audience. The internet allows collectors to connect, research, sell and buy gold coins from around the world. Online auction platforms and forums have expanded the reach of numismatics.

Coin collecting has evolved beyond merely acquiring coins for their monetary value. Many collectors now focus on various aspects, including historical significance, artistic appeal, rarity, and cultural context, with some collectors specializing in specific periods, rulers, or coin types.

Universities and museums often have numismatic departments that contribute to research and education. These institutions offer academic programs and conduct research to further the understanding of coins’ historical and cultural importance.

Today, numismatics is a global hobby with collectors from different countries sharing their passion and expertise. Numismatic events, exhibitions, and conferences provide opportunities for collectors to connect and learn from one another.

Understanding Bullion Coin Finish

Modern minting technology allows for a wide range of finishes, providing both government and private mints with many creative options in the ideation of unique coins. Each finish serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall appeal and collectible value of the coin.

Mints issue coins with different finishes, mainly for aesthetic purposes and to enhance their overall appearance. The choice of finish can give a coin a distinct look and feel, making it more attractive to collectors and investors.

Special finishes are often used for commemorative coins, marking significant events or anniversaries, helping to distinguish commemorative coins from regular bullion coins.

Proof Finish

A proof coin is a special type of coin that is struck using a unique minting process to create a high-quality, highly detailed, and mirror-like finish.

The term “proof” is derived from the original purpose of these coins. Historically, minting facilities would produce a small number of test coins to ensure the dies were properly prepared and to showcase the quality of their work. These “proofs” were often presented to mint officials for approval before regular coin production.

Proof coins are specifically made for collectors and are not intended for everyday circulation. They are often considered to be the highest standard of coin production and are sought after by numismatists and investors.

A proof finish is achieved through multiple strikes on specially prepared dies and planchets. The planchets used for proof coins are carefully selected to ensure they are free of defects or imperfections.

The dies used to strike proof coins are polished to a mirror-like finish to ensure the finest details are captured on the coin’s surface.

Proof coins are struck multiple times with greater pressure than regular coins. This process helps to achieve sharp, well-defined images and deeply mirrored fields.

Throughout the production process, proof coins are carefully handled to minimize the risk of scratches or blemishes on the coin’s surface. The result is a highly detailed, mirror-like surface with frosted design elements.

Due to their limited mintage, unique appearance, and higher quality, proof coins typically command higher prices than their standard bullion counterparts. Proof coins are produced for collectors and often come in protective cases with certificates of authenticity.

US Mint Proof American Eagles and Buffalos

The US Mint issues Proof finish American Eagle coins in both silver and gold. The Proof Finish American Gold Buffalo is only minted in limited quantities, making it one of the most sought after each year.

Buying random year American Eagle Silver Proof coins is a great way to become familiar with why collectors adore these coins. The mintage amounts change each year based on subscriptions, demand and pre-orders.

During the current year release, these coins are sold directly by the mint to consumers at a fixed price. Collector demand is extremely high and the coins are quickly sold out, typically within hours of becoming available to order.

Due to the high collector demand, the numismatic premiums quickly rise and values are highest for the smallest American Silver Eagle Proof Coin Mintage Years.

They are popular among collectors for their aesthetic appeal and numismatic value. Many other countries issue annual proof coin sets, which often include a variety of denominations and designs, making them attractive additions to coin collections.

Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Finish

The term “Brilliant Uncirculated” indicates that the coin is in pristine condition, free from any signs of wear or circulation marks. BU coins are intended for collectors and investors, and they are typically not intended for circulation.

The dies are polished to ensure sharp and clear design elements, and the planchets are carefully handled to avoid any potential damage. Sometimes referred to as a Business Strike, this is the most common finish amongst newly minted silver coins.

BU coins have a lustrous and shiny appearance, often resembling the look of freshly minted coins. They feature well-defined and raised design elements, with deep, crisp details. The background of the coin is usually smooth and reflective, adding to the coin’s overall brilliance.

This finish is used for coins intended for circulation or general use but with a higher level of detail and quality than standard circulation coins. BU coins have a lustrous, shiny appearance and are typically free from marks or imperfections.

Matte Finish

A matte finish coin has a non-reflective, satin-like appearance on its surface. Unlike the traditional shiny and reflective surfaces of most coins, a matte finish coin has a smooth and subdued look, which gives it a unique and distinct appearance.

The matte finish is achieved through a different minting process than the standard brilliant uncirculated (BU) finish. During the minting process for matte finish coins, the dies and planchets (blanks) are treated differently to create a less glossy and reflective surface.

The design elements may be more detailed than a standard circulation coin, but they lack the mirror-like shine of proof coins.

To achieve the matte finish, the dies used in the minting process are sandblasted or chemically treated, creating a textured surface on the coin’s design elements.

This texture results in a subdued appearance and reduces the coin’s reflectivity. Additionally, the planchets may be treated or annealed differently to achieve the desired matte appearance.

Matte finish coins are often sought after by collectors who appreciate their unique appearance and rarity. The production of matte finish coins is usually limited, making them relatively scarce compared to coins with standard finishes.

Reverse Proof Finish

In a reverse proof coin, the design elements on the coin’s reverse side (the back) have a frosted or matte-like appearance, while the background has a mirror-like, highly polished finish.

This is the opposite of a traditional proof coin, where the design elements are mirror-like, and the background is frosted.

Reverse proof coins are typically issued in limited quantities to mark special occasions, anniversaries or to commemorate significant events and collectors take notice upon their release. The unique appearance of reverse proof coins adds to their appeal, and they are often considered a highlight of many coin collections.

In 2019, the US Mint released an Enhanced Reverse Proof Silver Eagle, extremely limited to just 30,000 coins. The coins sold out in minutes and demand from buyers was so great that it caused the website to crash.

The United States Mint, as well as various other mints around the world continue issuing reverse proof coins for a variety of coin series and denominations. These coins are popular among numismatists and coin enthusiasts for their rarity and eye-catching design.

Antique Finish

Antique finish coins are deliberately aged to give them an antique or vintage appearance.

The process of creating an antique finish involves applying various chemicals or treatments to the surface of the coin to artificially age it. This can include adding patinas, using chemical solutions to darken certain areas, or using mechanical abrasion to create wear and tear marks. The goal is to give the coin the appearance of historical significance or a vintage relic.

The aged appearance of antique finish coins can enhance the details of the design, making them more visually appealing and unique.

The well-known Scottsdale Mint in Arizona is known for producing outstanding silver rounds and bars that are precision machined. The Mint is also contracted by various governments to produce coins on for investors and collectors that are also legal tender.

The Ghana Alien 1 oz Silver Coin series is minted by Scottsdale and is available in an antique finish, along with a variety of others.

Satin Finish

Satin-finish coins have a smooth, non-reflective surface that falls between a proof and a matte finish.

Coins with a satin finish are often characterized with a smooth, even lustrous sheen that is less reflective than a proof coin.

The process of creating a satin finish involves sandblasting the coin’s surface with tiny particles to create a fine, uniform texture. This texture gives the coin a soft, muted appearance and reduces the reflective properties of the metal. Unlike proof coins, which have a mirror-like shine, or brilliant uncirculated coins, which have a standard, glossy finish, satin finish coins have a more subdued and elegant look.

Colorized Finish

This technique uses colorized paints, inks and dyes to add artistic elements to the coin’s surface. Colorized coins are a popular choice among collectors and can feature a wide range of designs, from nature scenes to famous artworks or commemorative themes.

The process of colorizing a coin involves applying a thin layer of color to specific areas of the coin’s design using a specialized ink or paint. This work is often performed by hand after the coin is struck.

Artisans will often work with and the magnifying glasses to ensure colors are carefully and skillfully applied. Some modern mints use advanced technology to ensure precision, consistency and detail.

Colorized coins offer a visually stunning and unique novelty or decorative item that make a great addition to traditional investment coins. Collectors who appreciate the artistic aspect of numismatics also find colorized coins to be attractive additions to their collections.

Collectors interested in colorized coins should be mindful of the quality of the colorization process, as poorly executed colorization can negatively impact the overall value and appeal of the coin. Additionally, colorized coins may require special care to preserve the integrity of the colors over time, as exposure to light and environmental factors can cause fading or damage to the added colors.

Gilded Finish

Coins that have a gilded finish have a thin layer of a different precious metal is applied to specific parts. The additional metal may be of a different color or hue often applied in a way that accentuates particular design elements.

The gilding process involves electroplating or mechanically bonding a thin layer of gold onto the surface of the coin. Various metals are utilized based on their individual characteristics.

The Ghana Alien 1 oz Silver coin series includes a version gilded with Rhodium, in addition to glowing neon colored eyes.

The metal used in gilding is typically of high purity, such as 24-karat gold, to ensure a bright and lasting finish. The gilded layer is carefully applied to specific parts of the coin’s design, often highlighting important elements like portraits, symbols, or inscriptions.

Gilded coins are a popular choice among collectors, as they offer a balance between affordability and the elegance of precious metals. They are often issued as limited editions or special commemorative pieces. Gilded finishes can be found on various types of coins, including bullion coins, numismatic coins, and collector’s editions.

Gilded finishes are primarily decorative in nature and may not significantly affect the intrinsic value of the coin, especially if the underlying coin is made from a base metal.

However, gilded coins can add a touch of luxury and exclusivity to a collection, making them appealing to both investors and numismatists.

Each coin finish serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall appeal of the coin for collectors and investors. The choice of finish depends on the mint’s artistic vision, the theme of the coin, and the intended target audience.

British Gold Sovereign

The British Gold Sovereign is one of the world’s most renowned and historic gold coins, carrying a rich history that spans centuries.

Its origin dates back to 1489 when it was first introduced during the reign of King Henry VII. Throughout history, it has been associated with British royalty and has been minted during various reigns.

After Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Crown ordered a review of the nation’s coinage.

The new gold coin of 1817 was almost half the weight and diameter of the original Sovereign, but it was equally as beautiful. The reverse featured an image of St George slaying a dragon that had been designed by one of the most celebrated gem engravers in the world, Benedetto Pistrucci. 

This design has remained relatively consistent over the years with only minor revisions and changes, symbolizing the strength and bravery of the British nation.

Traditionally minted in 22-carat gold, the British Gold Sovereign contains 91.67% pure gold and it is recognized as legal tender in throughout the United Kingdom, although its intrinsic value as an investment far exceeds its face value.

In 1825 the image of St George was replaced with a more conventional image of the royal coat of arms. Shield back Sovereigns were minted between 1838 and 1887, with the exception of 1840, 1867 and 1876. However, public outcry and criticism of the designs led to the St George design being reinstated during Queen Victoria’s reign. From 1871 onwards, the Saint and the dragon reappeared on the reverse alongside a shield design, both of which bore an image of the young Queen Victoria on the obverse.

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee took place in 1887 and new designs were unveiled for the gold and silver coins. Once more, Pistrucci’s St George was chosen for the reverse of The Sovereign, it being “Sanctioned,” said the Chancellor of the Exchequer, “by tradition and recommended by the great beauty of the design.”

During the British Empire’s peak, the Sovereign was used as a standard gold coin in many of the territories under British rule, leading to its wide circulation and recognition in various parts of the world.

Throughout history, the Sovereign was used in international trade and many countries accepted it as a form of payment due to its standardized gold content and purity.

This widespread use further contributed to its global recognition and various other countries have minted coins that adhere to the same specifications. These coins are often referred to as “Sovereign-sized” or “Sovereign-style” coins.

For example, the Colombia 5 Pesos gold coins that were minted between 1924 and 1930 are very similar in specifications to the British Gold Sovereign.

Today, the modern British Gold Sovereign continues to be widely recognized and accepted in the global precious metals market, making it easy to buy, sell, and trade in various regions.

In addition to the full sovereign, fractional sizes like half-sovereigns and quarter-sovereigns are also available, making it accessible to a broader range of investors.

Like other gold coins, the British Gold Sovereign is considered a safe haven asset that is sought after by investors during times of economic uncertainty and market volatility.

The Sovereign’s gold content and consistent design have made it a classic choice for bullion investors seeking a reliable and recognized form of gold ownership.

The British Sovereign is widely available from trusted and reputable online bullion dealers and precious metal markets, making it easy for investors and collectors to acquire.

The British Gold Sovereign has witnessed and survived through significant historical events, such as both World Wars and various political and economic shifts. Due to its rich history, distinctive design, and numismatic significance, the British Gold Sovereign has strong appeal among collectors, often fetching premiums beyond its gold content value.