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24 Oct 2018

Numismatic Myths: Part III

Coins | iccoins

Myths, misconceptions, coins. New collectors and non-collectors are often led to believe something that is entirely false. Let’s debunk some of these myths today. 

  1. Counterfeiting Coins Didn’t Happen in the Past 

Someone may have had a coin that was passed through his or her family for years. One family member eventually takes the coin to a dealer only to find that coin is counterfeit or fake. Many people will then claim that the dealer is lying because “they didn’t counterfeit coins back then.” This is absolutely false. Coins are counterfeit every day and they were “back then” as well. Chances are, the first counterfeit coin was made the same day the original coins began production. Counterfeiting is not a recent industry and has been around for years. Coins were even counterfeited back in ancient civilizations, like Ancient Rome.  

  1. Coin Collecting Is Only for Rich People 

If you look at Heritage Auctions, Stack’s Bowers, Sotheby’s, or any other auction house, you will see some great coins going for insane prices. If you see coins on the news, chances are, they sold for a horrendous price. You will not start your collection with the finest known example of a Gobrecht Dollar. You will start your collecting with a coin you found for face value, probably for one cent. Coin collecting can be incredibly expensive if you make it expensive. Looking through change or looking through coin boxes and growing your collecting is incredibly affordable. You can find coins for face value for your collecting. The State Quarter or National Park Quarter Set is incredibly popular for its affordability aspect. If you find coins in circulation, a complete State Quarter Set costs only $14.00, less than the cost of a single meal at a nice restaurant. Growing your collecting with your finances is fun, no matter what your financial status is. If you can go for the top-tier auctions, go for it. If you only have enough to pick out stuff from change or boxes, that can even be more fun. Collecting is not limited to cost or desires. Collecting what you can and want to collect. Coin collecting is no longer the “hobby of kings.” 

  1. “Look What I Just Saw on TV!” 

What you saw on TV about coins is probably a scam. Unscrupulous coin sellers on television often attempt to sell you regular coins for a huge price, promising you incredible profits in the future. Your circulated wheat cent is not going to make you rich. Your gold-plated quarters are definitely not going to make you rich. Your dateless Buffalo nickels won’t either. And you most certainly won’t get rich spending thirty times the fair market value on a coin that will barely increase in price, if any. 

  1. Coin Dealers Are Scammers 

Unfortunately, there are some coin dealers that will attempt to take advantage of people, but most collectors become friends with their local coin dealer. Generally, the people who believe coin dealers are scammers are people who know very little about coins and think that they have a super valuable coin and the dealer was trying to rip them off. Coin dealers are in business to make money and must make money to stay in business. A dealer will not give you the price they will sell the coin for. They will also not buy a coin worth face value from you for more than face value. Some dealers are not the most legitimate, but most are completely legitimate and would never try to scam or rip someone off.

Comments

CoinLady

Level 6

Very well done! This needs widespread reading

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks!

I have never seen a numismatic coin infomercial, although I would like to see one, to get a nice laugh. Another good set of myths. Thanks

iccoins

Level 4

I've never seen one actually on TV, but I have seen some on YouTube.

JimmyD

Level 4

I have found that if I remind myself that there are two sides to a transaction, and once in a while I’m going to feel I had to “reach” for something I wanted, I tend less to think negatively about the occasionally “questionable” (in my mind anyway) transaction. Knowledge is power. good blog. Thanks. Jim

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks for the comment :)

Jonas's Coins

Level 5

I had a banknote in my collection that I discovered was a contemporary counterfeit a few months ago. The note was from the Philippines. I actually wrote a blog about it. So there's your proof that counterfeiting also happened in the past.

iccoins

Level 4

Cool story!

I've also never met a bad or dishonest dealer, either in a shop or at a show. The HSN TV coin stuff is another matter. It's all legit but hyped and overpriced. As for coin collecting being only for rich people, I say "you can also GET rich by collecting coins!"

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :)

It's Mokie

Level 6

The coin dealer I used when I was a child, The Coin Collector, South Hills Village Mall, is now a member of my club and a wonderful gentleman. He was great for a new collector and he is the same today with his sons and their new shop. In fact every coin dealer I have done regular business with over my 50 years of collecting has been wonderful. The Coin Collector, Pittsburgh Coin Company, California Numismatic Funding, Carlsbad Coins, and Cybercoins, all were/are excellent dealers. I have yet to run into a bad dealer, I think the public's ignorance of the value of their coins is where much of this slam arises. If you do not pay Thousands for their jar of wheat pennies, you must be a crook.

iccoins

Level 4

Same story here! At some coin shows, I have seen some dealers who didn't seem to be very friendly and I just don't buy from them. Any dealer I have done business with is always very nice. One time, I was at a show and heard a dealer screaming on the phone about how he can't make any money off some purchase and that he can't stay in business buying coins like that and on and on and on. I stayed away from that dealer. I just feel bad when I see reviews of dealers and someone gives a one-star review saying that the dealer wouldn't pay much for their inherited coin collection. My assumption is always that it was not a valuable collection in any way, not that the dealer is a thief.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Those TV coin hucksters are the worst. Literally every coin they hawk is either way overpriced, just plain lied about, or both. Folks buying those coins will have to wait an eternity to get a return on their investment. That is what causes coin dealers and even collectors to get a bad rap. But, I must admit that I derive some guilty pleasure watching them in action. It's like watching a disaster movie from a comfie theater seat.

iccoins

Level 4

The insane marketing is often even funny: Suff like, "Spend just $25 now for 5 [circulated] wheat cents and these coins [completely ordinary cents] will be worth thousands in a few years!"

Longstrider

Level 6

I enjoy reading this series on myths you are doing. Please keep them coming. Do check out Rick Tomaskas' show. He gets a little crazy with showing population reports but he definitely knows his stuff. I learn from him all the time. Great blog. waiting for the next one. Thanks!

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks :) I think I've run out of myths, unfortunately...

Mike

Level 7

Yes I will say most of the shows indolent watch are thieves. There is one I do learn from. Rick Tomaska. I have great respect for him. Now his prices seem high but check them with PCGS or NGC. There in order. I watch him t o listen to him about coins. He's written six books. He has his own show. This is not H.S.N. This is good tV. they call him the father of the cameo. He does half dollars mostly but carries other coins. The coin Vault has turned into Barry Chappell. What louse y raw coins. And there new owner has gone to the hard sell. There of my list also . Once it changed hands so did the prices. Before they were o.k. you could get a good price. Now no. Silver at 14.00 an ounce they charge like it was 40 an ounce. They sell labels. That I can do without. They would sell the America the Beautiful Quarters no more not slabed. They always had a good price. Now they don't even carry them. Good by coin Vault. Thanks for your blog I just threw in I hope some good info. Thanks for your points Mike.

iccoins

Level 4

Thanks for the information. I will definitely check out Rick Tomaska :)

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