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The most important thing to remember when collecting coins, Is the reason we began to seek out collectible coins in the first place... We love coins. I realize that not everybody is the same, but i do know that i've met hundreds of coin enthusiasts over the years & we all have one thing in common, A passionate love for coins.Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the grades, certifications, & value of coins. When you only focus on the investment and or the value, collecting coins looses most of its fun. It almost becomes work. I Encourage anybody reading this to remember their early days of coin collecting. Back when sorting through a change jar, hoping to score a Wheat Penny was coin collecting.
Of course we will carry some rare high dollar coins, it's the nature of the business. But Timid Penny's mission is to make coin collecting fun & Affordable again. We specialize in bringing you coins you cannot wait to get & search through. whats more fun than a huge bag of Wheat Pennies & a Whitman Folder to fill? Or cleaning & Identifying Ancient Coins? Collect Coins like a kid again.
If you ventured out of your home recently, then I am sure your aware that America is facing a national coin shortage. Covid-19 has significantly reduced cash flow throughout the U.S., Businesses & Banks have been closed. This lack of circulation has left businesses and banks short changed (literally).
Some stores and banks are offering incentives for people to drag out there change jars and cash them in. This sudden scrounge for loose change has resulted in a bunch of old, lost, forgotten coins ending up back in circulation. I've spoken with cashiers at convenience stores who say they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of old collectible coins ending up in their till. A cashier at a local 76 Gas Station tells me "I'm seeing coins I never knew existed" detailing his latest discovery of a near full roll of buffalo nickels he opened over the weekend. I myself am thinking of getting a part time job working a cash register just see what kind of coins I get! (Only have joking) With all of these coins getting tossed back into rotation be sure to check your change.
There may never have been a better time to buy up rolls of coins from the banks and search through them, I've been seeing several success stories on different coin forums lately. Bank Rolls at face value can be very rewarding. The only current problem... We are in a national coin shortage! many banks are in short supply and may not be willing to hand over boxes of coins. I know some banks are limiting the number of rolls per customer. It may be advisable to try befriending a cashier at a store that you frequent. As I mentioned above these guys working the tills are seeing a high volume of old coins pass through their hands. In short; If you can get your hands on some change right now, Do It!
MS/PF70: A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.
MS/PF69: A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.MS/PF68 Very sharply struck with only minuscule imperfections.
MS/PF67: Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.
MS/PF66: Very well struck with minimal marks and hairlines.
MS/PF65: Well struck with moderate marks or hairlines.
MS/PF64: Average or better strike with several obvious marks or hairlines and other miniscule imperfections.
MS/PF63: Slightly weak or average strike with moderate abrasions and hairlines of varying sizes.
MS/PF62: Slightly weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More or larger abrasions than an MS/PF 63.
MS/PF61: Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. More marks and/or multiple large abrasions.
MS/PF60: Weak or average strike with no trace of wear. Numerous abrasions, hairlines and/or large marks.
AU58: Slight wear on the highest points of the design. Full details.
AU55: Slight wear on less than 50% of the design. Full details.
AU53: Slight wear on more than 50% of the design. Full details except for very minor softness on the high points.
AU50: Slight wear on more than 50% of the design. Full details except for minor softness on the high points.
XF45: Complete details with minor wear on some of the high points.
XF40: Complete details with minor wear on most of the high points.
VF35: Complete details with wear on all of the high points.
VF30: Nearly complete details with moderate softness on the design areas.
VF25: Nearly complete details with more softness on the design areas.
VF20: Moderate design detail with sharp letters and digits.
F15: Recessed areas show slight softness. Letters and digits are sharp.
F12: Recessed areas show more softness. Letters and digits are sharp.
VG10: Wear throughout the design. Letters and digits show softness.
VG8: Wear throughout the design. Letters and digits show more softness.
G6: Peripheral letters and digits are full. Rims are sharp.
G4: Peripheral letters and digits are nearly full. Rims exhibit wear.
AG3: Most letters and digits are readable. Rims are worn into the fields.
FR2: Some details are visible. Rims are barely visible.
PO1: Enough detail to identify the coin's date and type. Rims are flat or nearly flat.
RD: Red. A coin with full mint red luster.
RB: Red Brown. A coin with a mix of red luster and brown patina.
BN: Brown. A coin with full or nearly full brown patina.
Ultra Cameo: Applies only to PF coins. The fields are deeply mirrored and the devices are heavily frosted for bold contrast on both sides of the coin.
Cameo: Applies only to PF coins. The fields are deeply mirrored and the devices are frosted for moderate contrast on both sides of the coins.
DPL: Deep Proof-like. The fields are deeply mirrored. Does not apply to Proof coins.
PL: Proof-like. The fields are mirrored. Does not apply to Proof coins.
Buffalo Nickels are notorious for having unreadable dates. The high nickel composition made the dates wear off very easily. but there is a trick to reveal dates on these otherwise worthless nickels!
STEP 1: Place Nickel or Nickels date side up in a jar or container. If using more than on coin, make sure none of the coins are touching.
STEP 2: Add Vinegar, just enough to submerse the coins completely.
STEP 3: Put the container in a safe place and let the coins soak. This process may take anywhere from 1 - 8 Weeks. Check on the coins every few days. Add vinegar if needed, make sure the coins are completely submersed.
STEP 4: Once a date becomes visible on the coins, remove the coins from the vinegar. Rinse coin or coins with warm water, pat coins dry with a cloth and add them to your coin collection! Unfortunately this doesn't work on all Buffalo Nickels. Some coins are just to far gone. In my experience this process works about 70% of the time and can be a really fun activity. Great way to introduce kids to coin collecting.
Unfortunately counterfeiting coins has been around for hundreds of years.They are becoming harder to catch everyday! China is currently pumping out fake U.S. Coins with near mint like quality and anyone can find them for sale. They are some important tips and tricks every collector should know before buying. knowledge and research are your best friend when trying to authenticate coins.
Research is a very helpful tool in authenticating coins. Before buying any coin (especially A highly valuable one) do your research. What does this coin typically look like? Is it commonly forged? look up every aspect and dimension of the coin and compare them to the coin in question. Ask for advice from other coin collectors and coin dealers.
One of the most effective ways to spot fake coins & the first thing I usually check, is the weight of a coin. You can look up the weight of any coin minted in the U.S. for instance a 1909 Wheat Penny should weigh 3.11 Grams. Make sure your scale is calibrated & accurate, check the weight of the coin in question against the weight listed by the mint. If the weight is significantly different, chances are the coin is a fake. some coins may be slightly lighter due to heavy wear. Also be sure to measure the diameter and thickness of the coin and see how it matches with the Mints listed measurements. Diameter of the coins should be a perfect match, thickness may very depending on how much wear the coin has.
Inspect the coin under high magnification, Use a magnifying glass, jewelers loupe, Or something stronger if available. Look closely for tool marks, like anything was scratched off or added. The U.S. Mint has very high standards for coins they make, surface of coins should be smooth, lettering and details crisp. Counterfeits often look rough with uneven ridges or even weird textures on the coins surface.
If your still not 100% sure, go to the experts. For a fee you can send your coins in to NGC. They will authenticate and grade your coins. I recommend this for any coin that is particularly valuable.
Also you could take it to a local coin shop, Or reach out to us here at Timidpenny.com we are happy to help and assist free of charge!