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Collector coins versus bullion coins FAQ
 
How are gold coins appraised?
The three most important factors to take into consideration when appraising the value of a coins in Condition, Eye appeal and rarity. Usually coins that are preserved in high mint state condition, that are very pleasing to the eye and are in limited supply are more valuable than lesser quality more common coins.
 
How do I know the condition or grade of a coin?
The best way to protect yourself from buying a fake or doctored coin is to buy acertified coin that has been authenticated, certified and graded by one of the bestknown and most recognized names in the industry, PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG. You will find these coins are much more marketable when it comes time to
sell than none certified coins that have merely a paper certificate of authenticity not attached to the coin!
 
What is the difference between a collector coin and a bullion coin?
American Gold, silver and platinum eagles are bullion coins - their current and future value is closely tied to the spot price of the precious metal they are minted from. A one ounce silver eagle coin is worth the current market price of an ounce of silver plus or minus a small premium to buy or sell.

The value of a collector coin is based on its numismatic value – the base or precious metal it is made from is only a tiny consideration of the coins value.


Factors such as date, mintmark, original mintage, survival rate, state of preservation, eye appeal and condition are important factors to take into consideration. 

Which coins have performed better over the years?
Generally speaking collector coin have outperformed bullion coins over the years. In 2008 gold was up 4.3% and high grade collector coins were up 8.5% almost double. The chart below shows the top 5 performing PCGS certified coins during the past year and the 5 biggest losers!

Top 5 PCGS Certified Coins

Description

Designation

Grade

Price

Price 1 year ago

Gain

%

1894 O $1

MS DMPL

MS62

$23,000

$2,500

$20,500

820%

1894 O $1

MS DMPL

MS61

$8,500

$1,100

$7,400

672.73%

1894 O $1

MS DMPL

MS60

$5,000

$800

$4,200

525%

1795 1C

MS BN

15

$150,000

$37,000

$113,000

305.41%

1824/2 25C

MS

64

$115,000

$30,000

$85,000

283.33%

   
 

Top 5 PCGS Certified Losers

2006 W $50 Statue of Liberty

FS MS

63

$710

$1,430

- $720

-50.4%

2006 W $50 Statue of Liberty

FS MS

64

$720

$1,440

- $720

-50.0%

2006 W $50 Statue of Liberty

MS

63

$700

$1,400

- $700

-49.7%

2006 W $50 Statue of Liberty

FS MS

65

$730

$1,450

- $720

-49.7%

2006 W $50 Statue of Liberty

MS

64

$710

$1,410

-$700

-49.6%

FS = First Strike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The biggest 5 losers were certified platinum bullion issue coins in low grades mint state 63 through mint state 65. The reason for the current loss on these coins can be traced to the collapse in the price of platinum that fell from a high of $2,252 an ounce to just $774 an ounce. 90% of the value of these bullion issue coin is tied to the price of the metal.
 
Can bullion coins be collector coins?
Yes – The U.S. Mint strikes millions of circulation quality gold and silver bullion coins each year for investors. The mint does not offer these coins direct to the public. These coins can be bought from banks and coin  dealers.
 
A tiny fraction of these coins are perfect and flawless in every way and can be independently certified as being perfect MS70 mint state 70 coins. These coins are very collectible and command much higher premiums than bullion coins. You’ll notice in the chart above that the platinum bullion coins in ordinary low grade condition were the biggest losers and not the certified perfect MS70 coins.
 
The 1991 $5 gold eagle bullion coin certified by PCGS in perfect MS70 – mint state 70 condition is a classic example of how a bullion coin can become a collector coin. This coin is minted from 1/10 ounce of gold and has a gold bullion value of around $100. However, because it is certified perfect MS70 and is one of only 3 coins certified MS70 It is featured in the PCGS price guide at $8,500 and is being offered  for $6,995 by a competing dealer.
 
See Grading standards  for more information on coin grading standards.
 

Why is this coin worth $8,500?
Because currently there are only 3 of these coins in the world!
 

What would cause the value of this coin to fall?
Currently PCGS has only certified 3 of these coins in perfect MS70 condition.If a significant additional number of coins were found and could also be certified MS70 Say 5 more coins, then we would expect this to impact the value of this coin.
 

Should I buy certified coins and who should I buy them from?
There are several coin certification companies operating in the United States. The biggest brand names and most trusted services are PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG. These companies authenticate and certify coins for a fee. Certified coins are more easy to market and sell than none certified coins.
 
How do I know the coins are genuine?
Westminster Mint is successfully competing with almost 5,000 other coindealers for your business. We compete against auction houses, TV and Internet marketers, catalogue companies, mom and pop stores and bullion dealers.
 
We stand 100% behind the products we sell for authenticity and accuracy of grade. All none bullion products come with a 30-day money back guarantee of your satisfaction and all products are guaranteed authentic.