Coins & Currency

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A numismatist is a person who collects coins. Coin collectors value a coin based primarily on its date, condition and place of origin. Coins that contain production errors also carry a high value for collectors.

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  • What was ancient Roman money called?

    Q: What was ancient Roman money called?

    A: The earliest Roman currency was a bronze coin called the as. It weighed as much as a Roman pound, about 335.9 grams. Around 187 B.C. a silver coin called the denarius was introduced. During the Second Punic War (218 to 201 B.C.), a gold coin called the aureus was introduced.
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  • Where can you sell old coins?

    Q: Where can you sell old coins?

    A: Collectors most often buy and sell old coins at auctions, from coin dealers and at coin collecting conventions. Coin valuation companies offer a third-party estimated value for both coin buyers and sellers.
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  • When did they stop making copper pennies?

    Q: When did they stop making copper pennies?

    A: Pennies in the United States were made of pure copper from 1793 to 1837, and then contained varying amounts of copper throughout the years before converting to a majority 97.5 percent zinc in 1982. At that point, the penny continued to be made with a small 2.5 percent copper.
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  • What do you call a coin collector?

    Q: What do you call a coin collector?

    A: A numismatist is a person who collects coins. Coin collectors value a coin based primarily on its date, condition and place of origin. Coins that contain production errors also carry a high value for collectors.
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  • Why is Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill?

    Q: Why is Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill?

    A: Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill because he was the first Secretary of the Treasury. His proactive stance in running the Treasury Department set many precedents for its role in government. With Benjamin Franklin, he is one of two non-Presidents on U.S. bills.
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  • How do you identify foreign paper money?

    Q: How do you identify foreign paper money?

    A: To identify foreign paper currency, determine the country of origin and research denomination designs for that country. You need a website with pictures of every country's currency. Identifying the currency takes 20 minutes or less.
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  • What is a numismatist?

    Q: What is a numismatist?

    A: A numismatist is an individual who collects or sells coins. Some numismatists collect coins for the value of their materials, while others hunt rare coins from a particular era or location.
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  • What year did the mint stop producing silver coins?

    Q: What year did the mint stop producing silver coins?

    A: Silver dollars were discontinued in 1935. Half dollars, quarters and dimes were minted with a 90% silver alloy through 1964. While quarters and dimes went to a copper-nickel clad composition, half dollars used a 40% silver alloy through 1970.
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  • What is a plug nickel?

    Q: What is a plug nickel?

    A: According to The Phrase Finder, a plugged coin is one that has had part of it removed and then filled with a lower quality metal. Because nickels are already not worth much, a plugged nickel is completely worthless.
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  • How do you price old coins?

    Q: How do you price old coins?

    A: The price of old coins is determined by collector demand, according to the American Numismatic Association. Demand changes from year to year as collectors alter their buying and selling habits. The ANA states promoters, dealers and the U.S. Mint influence prices of coins on a regular basis.
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  • Where can I find the value of old paper money?

    Q: Where can I find the value of old paper money?

    A: There are many online resources that offer value estimates of old paper money, including Heritage Auctions, Paper Money Guide, CoinSite and eBay. Professional appraisal by an expert in person is another possible option.
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  • What is a nickel coin made of?

    Q: What is a nickel coin made of?

    A: Today, the United States nickel coin is made of a 100 percent copper center, with a surface made of 25% nickel and 75% copper. But this wasn't always the case. In the past, the nickel was called a half disme and was made from silver. Disme is pronounced the same way as the word dime.
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  • What is the purpose of a watermark?

    Q: What is the purpose of a watermark?

    A: A watermark protects digital intellectual property, such as photos and artwork, from unauthorized use. It identifies the rightful owner of the work, which discourages other people from using it as their own.
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  • Why is Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill?

    Q: Why is Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill?

    A: Abraham Lincoln is on the $5 bill in order to commemorate his legacy and the sacrifices that he made for the United States while serving as president. Lincoln's face is also featured on the United States 1 cent coin and is featured on Mount Rushmore.
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  • What are the Elizabeth II coins?

    Q: What are the Elizabeth II coins?

    A: Elizabeth II coins are coins carrying the head of Queen Elizabeth II on them. All British coins and the majority of the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth carry the head of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side of the coin.
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  • What is the volume of a quarter?

    Q: What is the volume of a quarter?

    A: The volume of a quarter is 808.53 mm3. A quarter is a cylinder with a diameter of 24.26 mm and a thickness, or height, of 1.75 mm. The volume of a cylinder is found by taking the radius of the cylinder squared times the height of the cylinder times pi.
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  • How do you identify Arabic silver coins?

    Q: How do you identify Arabic silver coins?

    A: Identifying any foreign coin is largely a matter of learning as much as possible about the coin from its markings, metal composition, country of origin and age. Many conversion tables are available online, once this information has been gathered, to translate dates and originator information. Sometimes this is difficult, as dates on Arabic coins are read right-to-left, according to the World Coin Gallery.
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  • What is the best way to clean old coins?

    Q: What is the best way to clean old coins?

    A: According to coin expert Susan Headley for About, the easiest process for cleaning old coins is to gently rinse the coins in a bath of warm tap water and mild dish-washing detergent. It is important to make sure that the hands are thoroughly washed to remove all surface oils and dirt that may potentially contaminate the coins. Headley stresses that cleaning old coins is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.
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  • What is a Martin Van Buren dollar coin?

    Q: What is a Martin Van Buren dollar coin?

    A: The Martin Van Buren presidential $1 coin is dedicated to the eighth U.S. president. It is part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, part of an Act of Congress from 2005, directing the United States Mint to produce a collection of $1 coins with relief portraits of each of the U.S. presidents.
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  • How much does one penny weigh?

    Q: How much does one penny weigh?

    A: United States pennies minted after 1982 weigh 2.5 grams, or 0.088 ounces. These pennies are 2.5 percent copper and 97.5 percent zinc. Before 1982, pennies weighed 3.11 grams, or 0.110 ounces. They were 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc, which is a form of bronze.
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  • Who was on the 50-cent piece before Kennedy?

    Q: Who was on the 50-cent piece before Kennedy?

    A: Benjamin Franklin appeared on the half-dollar coin before John F. Kennedy. An woman symbolizing liberty was on the face of the half-dollar coin before Franklin.
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