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iccoins's Blog

20 Sep 2018

"Gold" Quarters

Coins | iccoins

Companies attempt to sell “gold” quarters as great future coin investments, which they are not. Because the term “gold” generally coincides with “valuable” and “precious metal,” people believe that they should be worth a significant amount and purchase gold plated coins with that thought. The problem with these, however, is that, while they are gold plated, the gold plating is incredibly thin, only thin enough to give the appearance of gold. There is nothing wrong with owning gold-plated coins, with the most common being quarters, as long as you did not spend the overpriced prices for the coins. These are real quarters, plated by a third-party service, not the official US Mint. Because of that reason, many collectors even go as far as to claim these coins are damaged.  

As you are probably aware, altering, mutilating, or intentionally destroying US coinage is technically illegal. However, there is no law that says plating coins with gold or another precious metal is not legal – unless, of course, they claim the coins to be pure gold (or whatever metal the outside companies used). Because they call the coins gold-plated, there is nothing illegal about that.  

In terms of the coins value, gold plated quarters are often worth no more than face value. They often come in quality packaging and cases, which would make a nice addition to some collections. A few dealers may pay as much as fifty cents for these coins, but most will simply pay twenty-five cents. I have a collection of gold-plated state quarters, which I paid face value for. Unlike some collectors, I am not against gold-plated quarters or coins of other denominations, but I do not feel people should pay a premium for normal quarters, given a super thin layer of gold plating by an outside company. Some would even claim these are scams. Anyone can make these coins as long as he or she has the right equipment.  

Throughout the world of numismatics, there are always going to be scams, rip-offs, and over-hyped normal coinage. Some of them, like the counterfeiting of rare and valuable coins, as well as fake PCGS, NGC, and possibly even ANACS, and ICG slabs, are often geared towards serious and more professional collectors, who know their coins but decide to purchase coins online, regardless of poor quality or stock images. Most of the numismatic scams, however, are geared towards non-collectors and people who know very little about the world of numismatics. An example of this type of rip-off are the gold-plated quarters, where they are advertised as investments. Some other common types are colorized State or National Park Quarters. There are also many “package sales,” where sellers will place normal coins inside a plastic or other appealing container and sell them for more. “Buy the coin, not the holder.” These are commonly “Obsolete US Coin Sets,” which may contain a worn Buffalo Nickel (maybe even one that lacks a date), an Indian Head Cent, a low-quality Mercury Dime, and maybe a Liberty Head “V” Nickel. These are often priced significantly higher than the actual value of the coins. 

Comments

At my local coin shop, they have those in the "junk" bin for $1.75 or $2.00

Kepi

Level 6

Thanks for writing this really interesting blog! I haven't seen these sets, but they sure do look "golden"!

Too many people get hurt with these things. I hate having someone tell me how they bought stuff like this to "set aside for the grandkids." Same thing with colorized coins and currency. Like Big Nub,I occasionally buy stuff like replicas and fantasy knock-offs, but I know what they are and keep them seperate and away from the good stuff.

iccoins

Level 4

It's too bad how often this happens. I also have a lot of replica coins, but I keep them separate as well. I have a drawer labeled "Replica Coins."

Longstrider

Level 6

Nice blog. How many people have been put off collecting because of scams like this?? Too bad. Thanks.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks! I would like to hope not many, but probably quite a few.

I liked my gold plated buffalo nickel that I got, knew it was not anything worth what I paid, but I could not resist the shininess.

iccoins

Level 4

I don't see a problem with people buying gold-plated coins, as long as they know what they are buying. The issue comes along when people think they're getting something valuable, when they actually are not :)

JimmyD

Level 4

Good blog. When I see ads on television for these types of items, with vague descriptions and claims of future riches, I get very angry. Besides people losing their hard earned money, it hurts the hobby when they or their heirs eventually take these types of things to the local coin shop, and walk away angry with the "low-ball rip-off" price they were offered.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks. Yes, it is a shame. I've often seen complaints from customers who take their inherited collections into a dealer and get "ripped off." My assumption most of the time, especially if the dealer has a lot of great reviews, is that the people have coins that are worth nothing more than face value, yet believe they must be worth a ton since their parents, or whoever they inherited it from, kept them.

"SUN"

Level 6

Nice blog. I been to a coin shop where they give plated coins out in change if they acquire them. They make for conversation and that is all.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :) That's really cool that they give them out as change. I've never seen that before. I do know some New York Subway station ticket machines give out dollar coins, which I've always thought is pretty neat.

Mike

Level 7

Thank you . I know about this scam. I buy my American the Beautiful Quarters slabed there very cheep and silver. Graded by NGC . I do not buy any gold covered items. These are the ones from the mint. If I want to buy the clad I can always do that. Right now it's the silver set I get every year. Thanks for your work and warning. Mike.

iccoins

Level 4

Jonas's Coins - That's not bad :)

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks! America the Beautiful coins are a great series. I have a set of clad ones :) I'm a big fan of NGC as well. The silver sets are quite nice.

Jonas's Coins

Level 5

I bought a set of gold plated coins from 1999 a year ago. It had a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar coin. I only payed $2. Face value was $1.41 so payed a 59c premium, which is reasonable.

CoinLady

Level 6

Thanks for writing this. Many people not familiar with coin collecting may buy these products and are in for a rude surprise when they try to sell. Then those people are turned off to numismatics & believe it's all a scam.

iccoins

Level 4

Yes. That is the main reason why I wrote this. While I don't personally know anyone who has been negatively affected by these coins, I am almost certain many people have bought these coins for extreme prices, find out they are worth no more than face, get upset, and go back to their belief that "coins are worth what they say they are worth on the coin."

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