Did you know if you invested in rare coins in 1970, you could have made a 7135% return on your investment? There are many stories in which rare coins purchased by savvy investors (in the 1950's) using only a few thousand dollars, realized hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars at auction many years later! In addition, the variety of options are endless. Almost every country in the world has minted coins. You can collect ancient Greek coins or US coins, the choice is up to you. Within each country, coin designs have evolved and changed over the centuries. Some collectors choose to collect a single series while others only collect one coin of every "type". The endless variety keeps this hobby exciting.
There are 4 keys to investing in rare coins:
- Coins minted for regular circulation before 1964 were actually minted with precious metals, which increases their base value.
- Low mintage or "population" figures command higher premiums. A coin with a total mintage of 10,000 will generally be worth more than a coin with a mintage of 35,000,000. This is simply because of supply and demand.
- The condition of the coin effects the value. Coins that look like they just came out of the mint command higher prices than worn or damaged coins.
- After these, rarity comes into play. If you own a coin that is the only known surviving example, everything else is secondary. The condition will not be as important nor will the mintage. If a coin had a mintage of 5,000 but only one is left in the world, the coin will command a high price.
The best way to purchase rare coins is by making sure they're certified by PCGS or NGC in grades MS-60 or higher. Coins are graded from 1-70 with 70 being a perfect grade. The reason I suggest 60 or higher is because you tend to have better returns with coins that are in great condition and more rare. Never pay a lot of money for an uncertified coin: an untrained eye can easily mistake a counterfeit coin for a rarity or overlook major de-valuing flaws. Try to use your eye and judgment to look for the best looking coin in a grade as not all coins of the same grade are equal! When beginning your coin collection, looking for errors in your pocket change is a great place to start. You can make a few hundred to a few thousand dollars instantly if you know what to look for! This is money advice everyone can take advantage of since silver is priced at $30/oz.