Coins & Currency

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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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  • 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 did the U.S. Mint stop making pure silver coins?

    Q: When did the U.S. Mint stop making pure silver coins?

    A: The U.S. Mint never made "pure" silver coins because 99.9 percent silver is too soft to use in circulation. Dimes, quarters and half dollars were minted with 90 percent silver content through 1964.
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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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  • Ho do you clean silver coins?

    Q: Ho do you clean silver coins?

    A: Silver coins can be cleaned by dipping the coins in lemon juice for a certain amount of time and then cleaning them with a soft brush. Afterwards, the coins should be washed using water and then dried off.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 an old coin?

    Q: How do you identify an old coin?

    A: You can identify all but the most worn old coins by comparing their characteristics to images and attribute listings of old U.S. coins. Coins vary by size, weight, color, edging, engraving and composition. Isolating the key attributes can help you identify the coin.
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  • What is on an Australian 50-cent coin?

    Q: What is on an Australian 50-cent coin?

    A: The front of the Australian 50-cent coin features the profile of Elizabeth II. The back has gone through a number of design changes since first being introduced in 1966. As of 2014, the design features the logo of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
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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 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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  • How old does a penny have to be to be worth more than one cent?

    Q: How old does a penny have to be to be worth more than one cent?

    A: Pennies made prior to 1982 have a copper content that is worth more than their face value. Wheat pennies issued between 1909 and 1956 are also worth more to collectors than their face value.
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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 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 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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  • 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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  • What is the value of a farthing?

    Q: What is the value of a farthing?

    A: A farthing was a coin in the old monetary system of the United Kingdom that was worth one-fourth of a penny. It took 960 farthings to make up a pound sterling. Monetary inflation rendered the farthing virtually worthless by the 1950s, and it was removed from circulation in 1960.
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  • Do old $100 bills have watermarks?

    Q: Do old $100 bills have watermarks?

    A: Watermarks were introduced to the $100 bill in 1996. Better printing technology also enabled many other changes and extra security measures not seen in previous years.
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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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