Recent Rare Coin Discoveries Teach a Valuable Lesson to Us All

If you’ve ever cleaned out an old family home, you’ve probably had the experience of opening a dresser drawer and finding a large quantity of coins rolling around there – the pocket change that some relative of yours tossed there 20, 30, or even 40 years ago.

On first glance, those coins usually appear to be nothing more than regular pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. It’s tempting to give them a very quick once-over before spending them or depositing them in a bank.

Photo of silver coins that Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for your company.

But the fact is, appearances can be deceiving. Even if you come across a batch of coins that don’t look unusual, it is still worth taking them to a reputable coin dealer and having them examined. Even a coin that looks unremarkable could have collectable value. And there is also the chance that you have discovered one gold or silver coin that is really valuable – either for its rarity or its gold or silver content – that you could easily overlook.

Coins End Up in Unusual Places

Two very unusual stories about coins have made the news recently. Both illustrate that it can be a costly mistake to make a snap judgment about what you are looking at after you discover a collection of coins.

As these stories prove, batches of coins can contain some very surprising secrets.

  • Discovery oneAn ancient Roman coin was discovered in northern Russia. When a team of archaeologists was recently excavating and examining the contents of an eleventh-century mound in Novgorod, Russia, they found a fourth-century Roman coin buried there. They guess that a Russian pilgrim to the holy land had acquired the coin and brought it back with him – but there is no way to know exactly how that old coin traveled so far. Coins do that – they seem to have a magical life of their own.
  • Discovery twoTwenty-six Iron Age and Roman coins were found in a cave in Derbyshire, England. It is not too unusual to discover a batch of old coins. But one recent find in England is very odd because it co-mingled coins that come from very different civilizations. Some of the coins are Roman issues that were apparently hidden there before the Romans had even occupied Great Britain. How did they get there? The archaeologists who found them are puzzled.

What Rare Coin Discoveries Will You Make?

Again, let’s remember that unusually valuable coins can be hidden in older coin collections and odd lots. If you come across coins with valuable quantities of precious gold or silver, call us at 800-426-2344. We’re here to help solve the mystery of what your discoveries could be worth. More importantly, we are the precious metals refinery that can turn your discovery into cold, shiny cash.

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Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals

When you hear the words “precious metals scam,” chances are that you think first about all the scams out there that victimize investors by selling them overvalued precious metals, precious metals “futures” that never reach expectations, or privately minted “collectible” coins that are wildly overpriced.

Image of "Cash for Gold" signholders for Specialty Metals blog post, Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals, courtesy of Comedy Central and South Park.

Yes, all those scams are out there, waiting to profit from unsuspecting people who are all too willing to part with their dollars. But there is another kind of scam too, one that is just as dishonest . . .

Scams that fool sellers into selling their precious metals at prices that are ridiculously low

In most cases, these scams prey on individuals who don’t know the value of what they have, or who are in a hurry to get cash by selling items without investigating their value.

Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metal Items

  • Dishonest coin dealers and antique galleries can fail to disclose the collectible value of metal items. If you are selling an old gold coin, for example, they could offer to pay you for only what the gold in it is worth, not for its collectible value. Or if you bring in a silver candelabrum, they could weigh it and offer you only a few hundred dollars when it is really a valuable collectible that is worth tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Bait-and-switch precious metals recyclers can misrepresent the quantity of precious metal that is present in items that are made of alloys. Because it is hard for the average seller to know how much gold, platinum or other precious metal is really contained in a piece of jewelry or other items, it is all too easy for unscrupulous recyclers to dupe them.
  • Dishonest dealers can apply artificial time pressure to sell. They make up tales about why today is the best time to sell an item that contains precious metals – they say that gold prices are about to fall, that a foreign market is about to close, or make up other hard-sell tales. Their real aim is to get sellers to part with items before they have time to find out what they are really worth. The best strategy to fight them? When a dealer tells you to hurry up, that is the time you should slow down.

Deal with an Honest and Reputable Gold and Precious Metals Refiner

Specialty Metals has been the top choice in the US for secondary refining of Gold, Silver and Platinum Group Metals for more than 32 years, for companies in the industrial, electronic, jewelry and mining sectors. We’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau and rated by Dun & Bradstreet. We’re also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI).

If you want to sell your precious metals without being subjected to malarkey – or worse – we welcome your call at 800-426-2344.

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New Nelson Mandela Coin Could Make Platinum More Valuable

The death of an inspiring world leader doesn’t often have a direct impact on the scarcity or value of a precious metal. But that seems to be happening following the death of Nelson Mandela, according to “Mandela Platinum Coin Seen Adding 8% to Global Demand,” an article by Andre Janse van Vuuren that appeared on Bloomberg.com on February 14th.

Here are the outlines of the story . . .

Image: A platinum version of a Nelson Mandela coin could raise platinum prices, benefitting platinum refining customers of Specialty Metals.
  • The government of South Africa is discussing the possibility of minting a platinum coin named for Nelson Mandela.  If that happens, demand for the coin is expected to be immense. According to the Bloomberg.com article, as much as 8% of the total world production of the metal in the year 2014 could go into the coins.
  • South Africa currently produces 70% of world’s platinum. So if the Mandela coin does go into production, it will utilize as much as 8% of the platinum that comes from the world’s largest supplier.
  • Platinum prices are stable and could rise. As the Bloomberg.com article notes, “Platinum prices have gained four percent this year, after declining 11 percent in 2013. The metal traded at $1,428.25 an ounce as of 2:52 p.m. in Johannesburg.”

Will the Mandela Coin Cause Platinum Prices to Rise?

That remains to be seen. But whether platinum prices rise or hold steady, one thing is certain: Platinum is a metal to watch in year 2014 and beyond.

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