If you are an avid collector of coins, you are not alone. Numismatics, which is a term used to refer to either the collection or study of money, is a hobby enjoyed by many. Although no one knows for sure just how many coin collectors there are, it is estimated that approximately 120 million Americans have been searching for and collecting U.S. coins alone. As an avid coin or ancient coin collector, here are some enjoyable facts that will help you along the way.
The History of the Florin
The Fiorino d'oro, or Florin as it eventually became known, was a coin that dominated the medieval period. The coin was first produced in Florence, Italy in 1252 shortly after the discovery of metals and the benefits of a trade market had been established. The Florin is one of the first coins to have aided in the development of coin money usage as it is known today.
Part of what makes the Florin such an interesting coin is its trademark fleur-de-lys stamp on one side of the coin, which was Florence's insignia at the time. Yet another interesting fact about the coin is that it was produced using 24-carat gold.
Identification: The best way to identify an authentic gold Florin is to have it inspected by a professional. Also, beware of any markings on the coin. Markings such as .999 may indicate that it is a plated coin rather than an authentic ancient coin. Ancient Florins were not marked with numbers such as .999. Therefore, make sure the seller will allow you to have the coin inspected prior to purchasing to confirm its authenticity.
Interesting Background on the Union
The Union is a lesser known coin that was derived somewhere around 1877 when California experienced a shortage of paper money. Around that time, a man named George T. Morgan designed a $100 Union coin. Although the coin was just a concept design, it was designed for international transactions rather than general circulation.
Although the $100 Union was never produced, the $50 Half Union was produced on an experimental basis only. Although these experimental coins are few and far between and have no currency value, they are still an interesting collectible for avid ancient coin collectors such as yourself.
Identification: Only one of each Union coin was struck in gold whereas other specimens were struck in copper. Make sure you identify the Union properly before purchasing any you find on the market. If a buyer claims to have gold Union coins, then it is best to stay away as they are more than likely either fakes or replicas. If you happen to find copper Union coins, have them inspected before making your purchase to validate their authenticity.
Cool Information about the Half-Cent
Not all ancient coins have to come from other countries. Furthermore, not all ancient coins have to be lesser-known or difficult to find. One of the most interesting ancient coins is the half cent, which was one of the first U.S. coins produced. The coin was first produced in 1793 and was struck using pure copper.
Though the coins are considered semi-rare, the fact that there were 35,334 pieces struck in 1793 indicates that an avid collector still stands a chance at obtaining at least one of these coins for the purpose of collection. These coins are quite valuable, which means they may cost a "pretty penny" to obtain.
Identification: A genuine half cent coin is made of pure copper and typically weighs approximately 6.74 grams. The coin's diameter is around 22 millimeters and features a picture of Miss Liberty facing right on one side, complete with her flowing locks of hair. On the flip side of the coin a wreath surrounding the "HALF CENT" stamp is identifiable.
Keep in mind that another version of the half cent was produced in 1809, which featured Miss Liberty facing left and a more detailed depiction of her face and hair. For proper identification, make sure you contact a professional to have the coin's authenticity checked before making any final purchase decisions.
Fortunately, these unique facts and identification tips can have you well on your way to enjoying a remarkable ancient coin collection. When browsing through ancient coins for sale, always make sure and purchase through a reputable seller and have a coin expert handy to help you validate the coins you purchase.