Coins & Currency

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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 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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  • 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 Identify a Worn Coin?

    Q: How Do You Identify a Worn Coin?

    A: To identify a worn coin, use a magnifying glass and a bright light to check the coin for signs of wear. Signs of wear include smooth rims, high points that are worn flat and print on the coin that is difficult to read. You need a magnifying glass with a power of up to 3x, a bright light, gloves and a soft surface to place the coins on.
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  • Who Is on the $50 Bill?

    Q: Who Is on the $50 Bill?

    A: The portrait on the $50 bill is of Ulysses S. Grant. He was the commanding general of the Union Army and was later elected as the 18th president of the United States.
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  • What Is the Strongest Currency?

    Q: What Is the Strongest Currency?

    A: As of May 2014, the strongest currency in the world is the Kuwaiti dinar. In relation to U.S. dollars, 1 Kuwaiti equals $2.847. Kuwait is located on the Arabian Peninsula, contains the fifth largest oil reserve in the world and is often ranked among the top ten richest countries.
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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 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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  • How Many Nickels Equal a Dime?

    Q: How Many Nickels Equal a Dime?

    A: Two nickels, which are worth 5 U.S. cents each, equal one dime, which is worth 10 U.S. cents. The diameter of a nickel is 0.835 inches with a width of 1.96 millimeters, while a dime is smaller, at 0.705 inches in diameter and 1.35 millimeters in thickness.
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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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  • 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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  • How Old Is the Oldest Penny?

    Q: How Old Is the Oldest Penny?

    A: The first official U.S. penny was minted in 1787 according to coinfacts.com, so this would make the oldest U.S. penny 227 years old as of 2014. According to the Professional Coin Grading service, these coins are still in existence.
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  • Why Is the Back of a Coin Called "tails"?

    Q: Why Is the Back of a Coin Called "tails"?

    A: No one knows exactly why the back side of a coin is called "tails," but it is easy to understand why the front side is called "heads." Common sense dictates that the reverse side would naturally bear the name of a body part located farthest from the head.
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  • What Is the Length and Width of a Dollar Bill?

    Q: What Is the Length and Width of a Dollar Bill?

    A: The length of a dollar bill is 6.14 inches, and the width is 2.61 inches. If one million dollar bills laid end to end lengthwise, they would extend 96.6 miles. One trillion dollar bills would extend 96,906,656 miles, which is farther than the distance to the sun.
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  • How Do You Clean Dollar Bills?

    Q: How Do You Clean Dollar Bills?

    A: You can clean dollar bills in the washing machine, unless they are worn or brittle. If your dollar bills have collector's value, bring them to a professional instead.
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  • Is There a Penny That Is Worth a Million Dollars?

    Q: Is There a Penny That Is Worth a Million Dollars?

    A: According to InvestmentNews, a U.S. 1943 Lincoln head copper penny in flawless condition is worth $1.7 million. Only 40 of these coins are known to be in existence.
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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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  • When Was the First $1 Bill Made?

    Q: When Was the First $1 Bill Made?

    A: The first $1 bill was made in 1862, according to The Dollar Bill Collector. The bill was considered legal tender and includes a portrait of Abraham Lincoln's Treasury Secretary, Salmon P. Chase.
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  • What Is a Dime Made Out Of?

    Q: What Is a Dime Made Out Of?

    A: As of 2014, the dime is made out of a blend of metals called "clad." A copper center is sandwiched between two layers of a 75-percent copper and 25-percent nickel blend. The total composition of a modern dime is 91.67 percent copper and 8.33 percent nickel.
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  • What Is a Pence?

    Q: What Is a Pence?

    A: A pence is a piece of currency from the United Kingdom that bears some similarity to the penny in the United States, in that 100 pence is equal to 1 pound. Before the decimalization of the U.K. monetary system in 1971, 12 pence were equal to 1 pound.
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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 the James Madison Dollar Coin?

    Q: What Is the James Madison Dollar Coin?

    A: The James Madison dollar is part of the Presidential $1 coin collection produced by the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint rolled out the program to honor the U.S. Presidents, issuing four new coins a year in the order the presidents served.
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