Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Friday, June 18, 2010

Favorite Coins from World Mints

For more than two and a half years and throughout more than 600 posts, Mint News Blog has exclusively covered coins and collectible products from the United States Mint. During this time, the US Mint has cut its product line by more than 60%, canceled some of its most popular products, and arguably experienced a decline in the quality of coin designs.

When I first started writing this blog, I collected exclusively U.S. coins. As time has moved on, I have started to allocate a small portion of my collecting budget to coins from other world mints. This is perhaps due in part to some of the factors mentioned above and also a result of greater exposure to world coins that I have gained through writing and editing Coin Update.

While the focus of Mint News Blog will remain the US Mint and its coins and products, as a one time change of pace, this post will explore some of my favorite products from other world mints. Readers: please feel free to share your own favorite non-US Mint coins in the comments of this post.

Most of the following coins instantly resonated with me for one reason or another, and I knew I wanted to add them to my collection. It is refreshing to find coins that have a design, execution, unique theme, or "coolness" factor that make them instantly likable to a degree that you know for certain that you will enjoy them.

Netherlands - 2006 Netherlands and Architecture 5 Euro

This 92.5% silver 5 euro commemorative coin was issued in 2008. The design for "The Netherlands and Architecture" coin was created as the result of a competition organized by the Dutch Ministry of Finance between various architecture offices and artists.

The winning design features the image of the queen constructed using the names of 109 famous Dutch architects. The names towards the edge of the coin are large enough to be readable. The size of the names decreases towards the center, with the smaller names readable with magnification. The order of the 109 architects is based on the number of hits each name registered on the internet.

The reverse of the coin features books on architecture. They are arranged in such as way as to create an outline of the Netherlands at the center. A bird flies above the location of the capital of each province.

Netherlands - 2009 400 Years of the Netherlands and Manhattan 5 Euro

The following year, the Netherlands issued another 92.5% silver 5 euro commemorative to mark the 400 years of ties between the Netherlands and Manhattan. Henry Hudson and his crew of the Dutch East India Company set foot on Manhattan in 1609 and later established the colony of New Netherlands on the southern tip.

The coin design represents 400 years of Manhattan by showing a precise topographical view of Manhattan in 2009 created with images from Google Earth. The reverse of the coin shows the landscape as it was in 1609, reproduced based on scientific research by the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.

Perth Mint of Australia - Silver Kookaburra

The Silver Kookaburra has been produced by the Perth Mint since 1990. Each year has featured a unique depiction of the Kookaburra. This native Australian bird has a distinctive call that sounds like human laughter.

The coins are available in a range of sizes from one ounce to one kilo. The one ounce coins cost about $5 more than the one ounce American Eagle Silver bullion coins. I am happy to pay this premium for an exceptionally well produced coin with a unique design. The Perth Mint has also offered the Silver Koala since 2007, which features a unique Koala design each year.

Royal Canadian Mint - .99999 Gold Maple Leaf

The Royal Canadian Mint offers a huge array of collector products, which can be somewhat daunting. Their bullion products have been of greater interest to me.

Something that caught my eye recently is the Gold Maple Leaf .99999 Special Edition. If you count the 9's, you will note that there are five of them. This makes the coin .00009 purer than 24 karat gold coins from other world mints. The background of the coin features a wavy netting that gives the coin a special look. The face value of this coin is $200, rather than the $50 face value used for the regular .9999 fine Gold Maple Leaf. These coins are priced about $50 higher than other one ounce gold bullion coins.

It's also worth mentioning that the Royal Canadian Mint offers the Platinum Maple Leaf and Palladium Maple Leaf coins. The US Mint has not produced platinum bullion coins since 2008 and has never produced palladium coins.

Kazakhstan - 2006 Space Silver and Tantalum 500 Tenge

While U.S. collectors may never see the twice proposed series of NASA commemorative coins, other world mints have issued various space themed coins. I particularly liked this 500 tenge coin issued by Kazakhstan. It is a bimetallic proof coin with an outer ring of silver and inner disc of tantalum, a blue gray metal used in the aerospace industry.

The obverse features a representation of the unity of man and the universe. This design was used for the obverse of each coin in the space series. The reverse design of this coin shows an astronaut and a representation of our solar system. I think this design is the best of the space series. Other issues of the series depict satellites or spacecraft.

Austria - 2010 Renewable Energy Silver and Niobium 25 Euro

The Austrian Mint recently released a 25 euro silver and niobium coin with the theme "Renewable Energy." The niobium is colored a vibrant blue that looks beautiful next to the outer silver ring.

The obverse of the coin depicts the cycle of nature for a tree. This is juxtaposed with a reverse design which depicts the various methods of harnessing renewable sources of natural energy with a stylized globe in the background.

Bulgaria - Various Commemorative Coins
My wife was born in Bulgaria. While a teenager, she moved to the United States with her parents, and they all later became American citizens. Bulgarian coins have helped me to learn more about her culture and the history of Bulgaria. When my children are older, I think these coins will also help them learn about Bulgaria, just as their U.S. coins will help them learn about America.

Bulgaria has issued a wide array of commemorative coins over the years. Most of the older ones can be obtained relatively cheaply. Some were produced in silver, others in base metal, and a few in gold. I have purchased groups of some of the older issues and have been buying the newly issued silver coins as they are released.

The coins pictured above present some important people, places, and events in Bulgarian history. The April uprising in 1876 (top left) led to the Bulgarian independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 (bottom right). The Rila Monastery (top right) was built in the 10th century and is considered one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical, and architectural monuments. I was able to visit the Rila Monastery while on vacation. The Belogradchik Rocks (bottom left) were featured on the most recently released silver commemorative coin.

Coin Update News

Back to U.S. coins, the second part of the interview with United States Mint Director Edmund Moy has just been published. The second part includes a discussion of the canceled 2009 Proof Silver Eagles, U.S. coin design, the international coin market, and Director Moy's coin collection. Also, if you have any questions for him, please leave them in the comments of the interview and we will see if we can get them answered.

Links to both parts of the interview are provided below:

Interview Part One
Interview Part Two

38 Comments:

At June 18, 2010 at 9:40 AM , Anonymous Falcon said...

These are the type and quality of coins I have wished that the US Mint would have produced. I have written several times commenting on other world mints. I have lamanted on why our mint doesn't produce coins that better show the art of the coin maker. Now you can see what I mean. People will pay a extra premiun for a coin that is a work of art.
Ask Moy why we don't produce a line of coins, for the collectors, that will show what our mint can creat. We must be able to produce fantastic coins since we have all the technology. All he has promised the collector is more bumps.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just about given up on new US coins. Not quite but getting close. My next phase of coin collecting will be to focus on US silver coins from previous years as too many current coin designs offered by the mint are lacking in creativity, quality, and symbolic representations. I like a lot of the British empire reverses but I don't care for the Queen Mother on every obverse. I see a possible topic on this blog of doing a review of some previously issued coin still readily available on the open market. Maybe do this a few times a year whenever there is a slow down in mint news.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Ed said...

Your readers should check out the Royal Mint in Britain. They have some excellent coin proofs such as the new the 2010 1oz Silver Britannia proof and Britannia 1oz Silver Bullion Coin. And check out the Royal Canadian Mint. They have a coin set called Vancouver 2010 Silver Maple Leaf Bullion Coin Set from the Canadian Royal Mint. A very beautiful coin set.

Limited to 4000 coins worldwide
Composition 99.99% pure silver
Finish bullion with selective gold plating
Weight (g) 31.39
Diameter (mm) 38

Link: http://www.mint.ca/store/coin/vancouver-2010-silver-maple-leaf-bullion-coin-set-prod770001?pCatId=cat170004

Just picked up a 2010 CANADA WATER LILY LOTUS SWAROVSKI which was sold out at the mint. This is coin you will not see on the US Mint.

The coin 99.99% pure silver
Finish proof (with CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements on the reverse)
Weight (g) 31.39
Diameter (mm) 38

Here is the link: http://www.mint.ca/store/coin/20-fine-silver-coin-water-lily-2010-prod830001

This is just some of what the other countries mints have to offer. The US Mint should try picking up the pace.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art yes. Gimmicks no. I would appreciate the Mint utilizing the available artistic ability to them. I wouldn't mind them posting the designs on a website and let the collectors vote for the design they would like to see minted. Of course the government has the attitude that it knows what is best for us.

Personally I'm glad the US doesn't do some of the things other Mints do. Holograms, colorized, and non-metallic accouterments are gimmicks, even if it is "cool". This stuff always falls to into obscurity, no matter how small the mintage. I don't collect to realize a profit (although appreciation in value is nice), but I also don't want the coin to be reduced to junk in future years because of some interaction with a "neat" process and the metal. Besides history has shown us this is unnecessary, great designs stay popular over time.

I know some folks collect their Obama or 9/11 coins, and that is fine if you are, the people making them thank you. But do it because you like it, just don't expect to leave a fortune behind for your kids when you pass, if this is the centerpiece of your collection.

This past holiday season APMEX sold Australian GOLD colorized Lunar coins at spot, just to get rid of them. So much for a fancy paint job.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just my 2 cents - I think the grading companies, PCGS and the like, have altered the hobby, possibly permanently and not in the best of ways or directions. Collectors are now into plastic holders with numbers and emblems. The coin itself seems to be rapidly disappearing as the focal point of a collection. Forget art, history, minting technology, and so on. If you look at TPG offerings these days they are all ultra-hyped nonsense geared to make money over one irrational fear or another. I'm thinking of labels such as "CAC" or "Secure Plus." Whatever the heck any of this means... Well the wiser of us know - it's partitioning our wallets without our permission!

 
At June 18, 2010 at 6:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the wiser of us know - it's partitioning our wallets without our permission!"

Not quite young fellow. The saving grace is that we have a choice....buy crap or don't buy crap. After almost 50 years of collecting / buying / hoarding / salting away coin singles, sets, bags, you name it, I think I can speak with some authority. As a buyer you have a CHOICE. You don't like it or think you're getting a hose job.......just walk away.

My father was a semi-wise man. One of his favorite sayings to me was: ' Always put you money where it's treated best'. Great advice Dad. I listened and learned.~ Grandpa

 
At June 18, 2010 at 7:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Royal Canadian Mint has a large array of amazing low mintage affordable collector coins. The MOST beautiful coin I have collected so far is the 2010 BU Chinese Panda 1 oz silver coin. I carry it around with me as a good luck charm.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 8:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't mean it as an insult, but it's pretty sad when Bulgarian coins outshine ours.

My main collecting interest outside of the US is Canadian coins, being only a few hours drive from the border. They put out huge amounts of low mintage stuff and I "try" to stay away from the gimmic coins.

A few basic issues. The mints charge premiums for their coin rolls. It seems to be that I consistently get the Canadian rolls with one side heads, the other side tails. US mint products come fairly consistently with both sides heads or both sides tails per roll. Canada now limits product availabilty to around 1 year. The US now has dollar rolls mysteriously popping up from 2000 and 2001.

We all know darn well (at least I hope we do) that collector interest in dollar coins is limited to about 3 million per year per issue (See Saq mintages 2002-2008) Where the heck are all the rest of those Presidental dollars being hidden? Clue: It's not collectors. Even Shop at Home couldn't unload the extra 120 million per President excess pieces.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 8:40 PM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

Michael - this post was a great idea, and a meaningful diversion that gives real perspective to our Mint's waning creativity as compared to their global counterparts.

As I looked at your examples, I also saw what could have been some great opportunities for joint issues, too. For instance, The Netherlands and Manhattan; how great would that have been? After all, the mint recently recognized the Jamestown 400th.

A couple of years in the distance is the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission: two coins that link together? When the USPS issued the setenant, A-S stamps in 1975, a nearly identical version of the stamps were simultaneously issued in Russia. Like so many who follow this forum, I don't understand the stigma with, or our country's inability to issue one or more NASA coin sets.

The Mint hasn't been offering a whole lot of products capable of separating me from my hard earned money, so I've looked to other sources as well. Over the last 3 years, I've picked up several of the Vancouver Olympic Silver Maple Sets (2008 - 2010) and one of the Gold Maple Sets. In doing so, I have to agree with the previous poster; Queen Mum gets real old real quick!!! Then, with the apparent end of the ASE collector coins in 2009, I also have begun to pursue the Chinese Silver Pandas. Unique by year, and still going strong.

Our brief, 200+ year history offers so many unique commemorative and/or series opportunities, yet the Mint continues to be happy with the same ol' recipes that got them this far. Meanwhile, the customer-focus products (ASE, AGE) created by some of those recipes continue to disappear as the customer interest continues to plummet!!! We may eventually see a day when "plastic" is our only shopping option, but only because the Mint will have managed itself out of every aspect of the coinage business.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM , Anonymous Lance Rocke said...

Great post Mike, and great coin examples from around the world - that Netherlands coin with the architects' names is amazing. The colored niobium coins from the Austrian mint are beautiful with amazing themes too ... incredibly creative. Also check out the piedfort (double-thick) coins from the Perth and Brit mints which feature cool historic themes.

I too have branched out in recent years from being a US-only collector, recently picking up the Vancouver Olympics 3-coin Maple set (which made an insanely quick double on the secondary market after selling out), and the 2010 75th Anniversary Dollar set (also recently sold out - only 5K made!) from the RCM. The five-9 gold and palladium ounces are innovative too. Their website puts ours to shame as well - but then whose doesn't. Also picked up a roll of the 2009 BU Kooks on eBay last year - even with the higher premiums that looks to have been a good buy as silver approaches $20/oz.

Agree with VABEACHBUM that there's so much opportunity with our country's 200+ year history - I just wish the US mint would step up its game and recapture some of its faded glory .. it shows flashes of brilliance as in the recent UHR but even that used a retread design - as does virtually the entire bullion program (platinum excepted) ... and don't even get me started on the recent commemoratives. How cool would the 2009 Lincoln commem have been with his portrait demarked by the words of the Gettysburg Address like that Netherlands coin, instead of the predictable portrait and reverse lettering-in-a-wreath that we got instead?

Maybe we need to import some Euro talent, or employ our native American artists or something, because the current crop just ain't cuttin' it.

 
At June 18, 2010 at 11:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think part of our problem is outside of the mint, most of our coins have to be used in vending machines and those won't be changed for better designs. The Presidential dollars could have been done with bimetallic planchets but then that wouldn't work in vending machines so they stamped them out of Sacagawea planchets which do work.

The clad coins also can't be changed due to the vending machines.

So we are stuck with what we have, until someone decides to redo all the coins with something better.

 
At June 19, 2010 at 4:15 AM , Blogger Bowtie said...

Can you post a link where to purchase the coins? I was looking for the Austrian one and could not find it. Thanks.

 
At June 19, 2010 at 9:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it. To me the majority of coins pictured are every bit as bland as ours. There are a couple decent ones, but nothing to match the beauty of Americas early 20th century coinage. The gimmicky crap I find repulsive. Just give me good uncluttered art on precious metals...

 
At June 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like we over focus on gold and silver U.S. coin collecting...now that copper has appreciated beyond the value of a penny, the mint should rediscover copper coins and create something new.

Why not a five dollar coin in copper...Lincoln could still have the honor like the image on the $5.00 bill and perhaps a new $10.00 coin too...

Goldfingers

 
At June 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM , Anonymous Joel Cairo said...

The US mint may be in the doldrums right now, but there are a lot of upcoming releases this year that I predict collectors and speculators will get excited about -- between the AGB, core annual releases, plat proof, Buchanan's Liberty spouse, and all the Lincoln-related stuff, I calculated I could spend at least $7500 and easily more than $10K if multiples are bought, which is a distinct possibility.

And that's not even factoring in the rapidly rising price of precious metals ...

It's going to be an expensive year! :^/

 
At June 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM , Anonymous Dave said...

I was thinking about picking up one of the Fiji “Year of the Tiger” two coin sets where they use a tear drop design. A bit gimmicky, but it’s so unique. The Royal Scandinavian Mint sells them in the U.S. I think they raised the price though. I don’t remember them being $155 when I first looked about a month ago. Here’s a link:

http://rsmint.com/2010fijiSilverProofCoinsYearoftheTiger.aspx

I agree with a couple of the others. I’d buy more Canadian coins but I get tired of seeing the queen on all of them.

 
At June 20, 2010 at 7:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2009/2010 Kangaroo at Sunset Silver coin has my vote! It is such an amazing coin.

 
At June 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been collecting world bullion low mintage proofs and BUs for years now.The US Mint is light years behind many mints through out the world.Mintage are much lower in most world mints and for that reason you see much better qualities with more rarity as well.

The US Mint has always been very high in mintage due to earlier year world wide demands.What we are seeing now is a collapsing economy and a world less likely to like or want our coinage.

Russian ,Australian,British,Canadian,Austria,Kazakhstan,Poland,Chinese,Singapore,Mexican,And many more just to name a few are blowing our qualities away.

The most amazing thing I noticed is the TPGs lack luster approach by under grading most foreign coin submission.I don't know if it is simply out of jealousy or some strange big headed attitude they seem to have toward world coins.Buy they simply cater to American high production and give American coins a much lower grading fee with many more higher less deserving grades which is a complete scam .This just names yet another way the TPGs scam the hobby that they have simply ruined over the years.

IMO the TPGs should have stayed non profit with ANA control.As soon as our US Mint went to for profit and NGC and PCGS took over the bogus bull crap they pitch with labeling scams and over grading bulk bull crap.The hobby then became a business which ruined it for many and made many scumbags rich who could care less about beauty,quality,low mintage,and most of all history.

I personally refuse to fall for all of these scams from any of these TPGs.I simply love buying world bullion proof and BUs and learning about the history of the world through true artistic designers that our Mint just doesn't seem to have any more.The US Mint and the TPGs all belong together in their big headed world of lies and deceptions.Sooner or later people will stop falling for their bull crap and wake up.

I personally have a huge amount of fun collecting and I consider myself worldly wise and not stupid enough to be hypnotized by their tactics.They can take their labels and pure plastic over graded registry scam junk and poor designs and stick them where the sun doesn't shine as far as I'm concerned.

Just remember that they are in a business to suck you dry of money you could put in a much better place.When it gets down to brass tacks and value of coins.Their plastic will only be plastic.The TPGs don't want you to be knowledgeable on how to authenticate or grade.They want you to be lazy and give them all your money.

So IMO you can be smart and learn the coin your buying before you buy it.Or you can be dumb and pay as much as ten time more then it's value by trusting the TPG scams.That choice is up to you.I know what choice I take.

All I can say is this country better wake up and catch up or we will be run over by a freight train of quality and values unrivaled by our seemingly backwards in motion US Mint.And big headed ass wipes who run these rip off TPGs.

Above all remember that this is a fun hobby and a smart investment if the correct knowledge is used.If your in it as a business only.Then you belong with the scumbags who have ruined this hobby that used to be fun for most who were in it years ago.Times have changed a lot over the years in this hobby.And unfortunately for our country times have not changed for the better.Just have fun and look at the world coinage and you'll see all you have missed.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 5:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the story with Australia's and Canada's colored coins? Colored coins are just like coloring books for kids, only difference is colored pictures are stamped on blanks rather than coloring books. Thank goodness the US Mint have non of that rubbish. Less is more, keep up the good up.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goes to show the artists' skills... confusing the non-Canadians. That's not the Queen Mom but the Queen herself. Looks like anyone but the Queen if I must add. One thing I like about US coins is, unlike the much hyped Kookaburras over here, you get new designs anytime on BOTH sides. Don't like the obverse, display showing the reverse then.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 5:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kangaroos and sunset? There are only so many directions a kangaroo could jump (on a coin) after a while. To the left, to the right... and?

 
At June 21, 2010 at 7:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree about the colored coins being quite ugly.The colors are generally stamped on a flat surface of the coin and very ugly with dot matrix gridding when viewed through a loop.There were several aftermarket companies also in the US doing this since 1999 with the state quarters and other us coins.

The Australian reef coins are a great example of a complete scam using 1/2 ounce silver bullion and completely over pricing the bullion with a brown snake and other reef uglyness which seems to be selling for an outrageous premium.

However,If you look at many of the proof and bu bullion coins from the 60s through the 90s.There are many nice key date low mintage beautiful designed coins out there.All mints through out the world have become gimmick ridden with many over priced bullion coins.But the older coins from the 60 through 90s are a great way to safely collect in bullion.

The biggest problems I see for the uneducated buyers is the much older coins which are counterfeited by the millions by the Chinese and other rouge nations.Unless you are willing to educate yourself on these types of older coins.Your better off sticking to later date coins which for the most part have not been counterfeited.

Or you can be a dumb ass and allow the TPGs to do your authenticating for you and loose your ass when the coin comes back in a body bag cause you didn't do your homework before making the raw coin purchase.

As far as trusting older coins in TPG slabs goes these days.Your also taking a huge chance that the TPG slab and coin inside is also a counterfeit.I collect in raw world coins from the 60s to 90s and some new bullion coins and get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Coin collecting if viewed as a hobby and investment can be very fun.But you must be aware that every corner you turn to make a purchase any more has 4 scumbag scammers for every 1 honest seller.Do your homework and make it fun and join the winning group who is telling the US Mint and the TPGs to bend over and kiss their butts.

PCGS and NGC have started to do slabbing that is a so called counterfeit proof slab.But let me reassure you that for every scam the TPGs come up with to make you pay more.The counterfeiters stay one step ahead of them just to reproduce their so called safe slabs.PCGS has actually opened up in China now which to me says a lot for the scumbag Hall who runs the company.

What I think we must all do to better protect our selves is use all the data out there readily available to educate yourself on the coin your after.Buy it Raw and know how to grade it yourself. Don't fall for the idiotic registry bullcrap first strike scams.And lets take back this hobby to being fun again.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 7:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also want to add that there are several Chinese Knock off silver plated junk coins out there too.The pandas and other Asian coins are mass produced in clad junk claiming to be .999 silver.Asian coins are coins you are better off staying away from until you can tell the difference between the junk and the real deal.Usually finding coins from World Mints with original packaging and COAs are a safer bet.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about fake coins...

If the mint put "serial numbers" on larger gold and silver coins we might all be able to sleep better at night.

They already have serial numbers on printed money, there must be a reason.

Goldfingers

 
At June 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To do something like that, they would need to do away with reeded edges and apply the serial number in the same fashion as the Presidential Dollar edge-lettering on the smooth-edge.

Not a bad idea on the surface, but it would be an AWFUL lot of trouble, having to change the number for each edge-lettering application (or in this case, edge-NUMBERING). It's not quite the same as applying the serial numbers on paper money.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 6:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the new Canadian set issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first Canadian silver dollar. It's called the Voyageurs set, and is sold out at the mint but can be purchased from Talisman Coins. I pre-ordered it a couple weeks ago for $145 and it is already selling on Talisman's site for $200 and I don't think the coins are in yet. The set is limited to 5,000, is attractive and is historically significant. A winner on all fronts! Let's hope (if you collect US coins) that the US Mint partially redeems itself (after the fiasco of not issuing proof and burnished silver and gold eagles last year) by issuing a really nice set for the 25th anniversary of the eagle program. I think more American collectors are starting to collect world issues. The 2 euro commemorative coins, which I collect, are very popular. It's a great series with coins that mostly cost about $6-7 each when they are issued, but you can also buy proof and other special versions at a premium. The designs are nice and many have mintages that are quite low for circulating coinage. Another great area is European proof sets, which have many of the same features. Vatican sets, for example, do a lot better than US mint and prof sets in the secondary market and are beautiful sets. Some US collector issues are very good, but in terms of modern circulating coinage there is no comparison with foreign issues.

 
At June 21, 2010 at 7:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many ways could one look at a maple leaf?

 
At June 21, 2010 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Approach me with a brilliant silver or gold eagle and a cheesy colored gold or silver coin and I'll tell you which one I'll consider, and which one I won't.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 12:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'd be nice if the mint would create a heritage set of sorts, bringing back some throwback designs in special proof sets.

 
At June 22, 2010 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there anything other than a snowball's chance that we'll see any special 25th Anniversary Silver and Gold Eagle sets next year?

 
At June 24, 2010 at 9:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several different Mints throughout the world that have extremely beautiful low mintage coins with many different anniversary and celebratory issues.Why the US Mint has just stuck to a few commemoratives and a bland bu eagle with the same nickle and dime junk is just saying that the US mint is light years behind Canada, Australia, China, Russia and many others.

When is someone going to see that Moy is destroying the US Mint and replace him with someone with a positive vision for the future and some designs that celebrate our nations history.The quarters to me are a joke on cheap junk clad.Even though there is silver.It's just not enough.This 5 0z parks junk if it even happens could have been broken up into 5 different low mintage designs that would have brought good money to the US Mint this year.Someone needs to fire Moy before he drives the US Mint into the ground.Our government officials obviously have no clue what is going on in coinage as other world Mints are blowing away the US Mint this year.When you vote.Just remember who votes for these designs and lack luster high mintage bull crap designs.We need to clean Washington out and start all over again from the top down IMO.

 
At June 24, 2010 at 6:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Collectors who fell in love with colorized, embedded, bi-color, bi-metal, hologram coins and such at first sight are a category of their own. But be warned, do not inspect those coins under a magnifier or loupe, or you will regret it. Don't you get tired of seeing the Queen on ALL of them?? What the US Mint has to offer is great. Silver and gold have great natural appeal and color, they do not need to be colorized. Moy is not destroying the Mint but such requests could.

 
At June 24, 2010 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon folks....... you've got to give credit to US Mint. Each time something new is coming up they have to come up with designs for BOTH sides, whereas the Canadian and Australian designers only have to design the reverse of the coin. Like the comment before me, the obverse is the same Queen. How hard can a one sided design be?

 
At June 25, 2010 at 10:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad most of our circulating coinage has to feature presidents in the likeness that foreign countries put royalty on their coinage. It's a shame really because I'd love to see liberty back on the designs, but then again liberty is becoming an irrelevant concept in this nation, therefore I suppose it's only fitting that power (even if it is former) be on it.

 
At June 26, 2010 at 8:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A Spanish precious metals trading company bought the world's largest gold coin for 3.27 million euros ($4.02 million), its exact material worth."

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE65O2S320100625

That's right, it's only worth its weight in gold. It would have been a totally different story had it been a giant version of one of Saint-Gaudens' masterpieces.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:27 AM , Blogger Richard Miller said...

Hi,

Great post, where do you buy these coins. I would like to buy a few of the ones you mentioned.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM , Blogger Michael said...

For the precious metals coins, I would recommend APMEX.

For the European coins, I recommend EuroCollections.com. They should have most of the recent coins available, although not some of the older ones.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

why doesnt anyone know there are 20 dif unc coins with w mintmark all have dif finishes some of them have 2 dif finishes on each coin and some have the same finish on both sides of the coin all the finishes were taking from 1907 -1922 and put on the 2006w silver eagles a set of these are very rare good luck sandblasted matte satin roman full stamp very hard to tell the dif

 

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