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How Are Coins Minted?

The US Mint is responsible for the manufacturing of coins and is also considered the largest mint in the World. The Us Mint has different locations. The Philadelphia Mint (founded in 1792) manufactures 30 million coins daily!

Before a coin can be produced, it must go through a series of steps. First, a group of artists from the US Mint draw the coin design. Then, sculptors generate large models of the coin out of clay and then plaster and modify the details by hand. This is a tedious process and will enhance the design and make the coins harder to forge. Since the plaster model is very delicate, it is covered with rubber and later used to make an epoxy design. The sculpture will be reduced to size and onto a master hub made out of steel. This master hub is used to make the master dies and can then be use to stamp the images on the coin.

The process of minting coins is tedious and meticulous. A small error can make a coin very valuable. One example is the 1955 doubled die Lincoln Wheat Cent, where a doubled die was used and it caused the design to overlap.

To learn more about coins and coin collecting, take a look at our other blogs such as How To Store Your Coin Collection.


Wheat Penny Anatomy

There are a few things you will notice when looking at the Lincoln Cent above:

  • Abraham Lincoln always faces to the right.
  • Mint mark: you will notice a letter on the front of the Lincoln Cent. This indicates which location of the US Mint produced the coin (D means it was minted in Denver, S stands for San Francisco and C stands for California). In this case, this Lincoln Cent has an “S”, which means it was minted in San Francisco.
  • Date: The front of each coin has a date. Wheat pennies were minted between 1909 and 1958.
  • Reverse Side:  on the back of the coin you will notice Wheat Ears, which make this a Wheat Penny and based on the year, very valuable.

To learn more about coins please visit us at

Uses Of Gold That Might Surprise You

 The following uses of gold might surprise you:


  • Dentists Use Gold. Dentists have used gold for thousands of years to fill cavities and make crowns and bridges.
  • Cell Phones! Your cell phone contains gold. How can that be? Well, gold is a great conductor of electricity and does not corrode.
  • Computers Contain Gold. Gold is used to manufacture different computer parts.
  • Gold As A Treatment. Gold had been used by Chinese doctors to treat different illnesses. For example, today, gold is used to treat Lagophthalmos. This is a condition where the patient is unable to close their eyelids. A small amount of gold is surgically inserted into the upper eyelids to treat the patient.
  • Gold To Treat Arthritis. Gold is used to reduce swelling in patients with arthritis.
  • Gold To Decorate. Many buildings and cathedrals around the World have used gold leaf to decorate. For example, India’s Sripuram Golden Temple is covered with 1.5 tons of gold!
  • NASA Uses Gold.  Space shuttles used by NASA contain gold. Also, the helmets used by astronauts contain gold within the visor to filter out the Sun’s rays.
  • Hospitals Use Gold. Many medical devices and surgical instruments contain gold. Gold is sometimes used in chemotherapy and also to make pacemakers.
  • Some Glass Contains Gold. Gold is used in    climate-controlled glass to keep buildings cool.


You may also enjoy our post Interesting Gold Facts.


From The Mine To The Consumer

Gold is often used as an investment vehicle or to produce jewelry, coins, and a multitude of other applications. However, we seldom stop to think about how gold makes it from the Earth to the end-consumer.

Most gold comes from lode deposits that concentrate within rocks.  Before identifying the best source of gold within a mine, engineers must carefully plan where to drill.  Next, geologists painstakingly study the ore samples extracted by the miners. Once the exact location of the gold is pinpointed, miners excavate using explosives and other tools to blast through rock.

The gold bearing rock is then transferred to the mill, to be broken down into smaller pieces and eventually reduced to a sandy consistency. A water and cyanide solution is added to the ore which when combined with air, dissolves the gold and breaks it loose from other metals and rock. Next, the muddy substance is sent to large leaching tanks, where the heavy metals sink to the bottom and separate from the gold.

Once this process is completed, the mixture is sent to be smelted. Here a chemical solution called flux is added to further purify the gold. The smelter is heated for a few hours, causing the gold to sink to the bottom and separate from the remainder of the mixture. The liquid gold becomes isolated and can then be placed in molds to transform into solid bars. At this stage, the gold is 80% pure and is shipped out to various refineries to remove impurities. Finally, the refineries later transform the gold into the gold standard of 99.9% pure.

You may also enjoy our post Interesting Gold Facts.



Hoarding Copper Pennies

With copper prices on the rise, many Americans have started collecting copper pennies.

Although it is illegal to melt copper pennies, it is likely that eventually as copper becomes scarcer, that ban will eventually be lifted. It is also illegal to leave the United States with more than $5 in pennies!  However, hoarding pennies is not a quick way to get rich, it takes time and it should be something you enjoy doing.

So how does someone begin hoarding pennies? Well, you can visit your local bank for rolls of pennies. Also, serious penny hoarders buy them online in bulk. You can also obtain pennies from merchants and looking through spare change.

Once you have your pennies, carefully unroll them to save the wrappers. Place pennies from 1981 and before in a small cup labeled “copper”. Our blog Zinc And Copper Penny Differences will help you identify other pennies that may also be valuable. Next, re-roll your remaining zinc pennies and exchange them for new roles at the bank. In order to make sure they don’t give you the same rolls back, remember to make a mark on each roll.

The laws regarding melting pennies could change and penny hoarders are remaining optimistic that their hobby could become an investment.


If you would like to learn more about coin collecting, please visit us at


What Do You Think Of The Save II Act?

On September 19th the House of Representatives introduced a bill by Patrick E. Murphy and Mike Coffman, that aims to reduce US Treasury costs by eliminating United States coins which cost more than their denominations to be produced. This in turn, would affect the cent and the nickel and possibly bullion coins.


“(e) Prohibition on Certain Minting- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, the Secretary may not mint or issue any coin that costs more to produce than the denomination of the coin (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).”

“(4) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN PRINTING- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, the Secretary may not engrave or print any United States currency that costs more to produce than the denomination of the currency (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).’”


While the ACT is intended to reduce the United States Federal deficit, the implications of the SAVE II ACT will be felt across various different areas. Many question if it’s outcome will be more costly than the initial savings.

The good news for those that struggle when counting change, is that without pennies or nickels store prices would have to be rounded up to the next ten-cent interval. Still, many argue that we should focus on changing the dollar bill instead, in order to reduce the United States Federal deficit.

The Save II Act could affect bullion coins, since they cost more to be produced than their denominations. However, in this case, the market and not their denominations determine their value therefore, it’s unlikely that they will be affected. Even so, coin collectors need to pay attention to the final language of the Save II Act. If the ACT were to put a stop on minting of bullion coins, it would cause their value to rise dramatically!


What is your opinion of the SAVE II ACT?  Please leave us a comment.









Treasure Coast And Gold

For those that follow the news, it may seem that every other month someone finds gold in the Treasure Coast of Florida. Many wonder why there has been so much gold found in this area of the country.

The Treasure Coast was named after a fleet of 11 Spanish ships that sank during a hurricane in July 1715 and in 1733. Many exploring ships and settlers from Spain often made the trip between Florida and Europe, transporting gold and other precious metals along with spices and tobacco. Unfortunately, many ships wrecked due to violent storms and colliding with reefs.

The discovery of some of these sunken ships carrying gold in 1961, brought media attention to the Florida region, which gave the coastal area its Treasure Coast name. Over the years, tides and hurricanes have washed these shipwreck’s artifacts closer towards the Florida shore. Just recently, in September, a family found 300,000 gold coins and chains. Much of this gold and silver still remains on the ocean floor today. Divers and salvagers continue to find gold treasures on a regular basis and some historians point out, that there are more sunken treasures in Florida from Colonial times, than anywhere in the United States.

Every year, metal detector enthusiasts and professional treasure-hunters, visit the Treasure Coast in hopes of finding gold coins or precious jewelry from sunken ships. Some are looking to get rich, while others want to protect and preserve a part of history.

Coins and relics continue to wash up on Florida beaches not only bringing wealth but also giving us a glimpse of the past.  If you would like to learn more about gold coins, please visit us at

Inspiring Young Coin Collectors

With video games and new technology it has become a challenge to get children interested in coin collecting. We have gathered a few tips that might help inspire children to learn about collecting coins:


  1. Give your child one of your coins. The coin does not need to be expensive but the simple gesture will create a bond.
  2. Substitute bedtime stories for stories about a coin’s history. Take a look at the coins your child has and teach them about the history of each coin and how valuable coins can be.
  3. Treat your child to loose Change. When returning from the store, make it a habit to go through pocket change with your child and start identifying coins they may want to collect.
  4. Share your hobby. Talking about your coin collection might peak their curiosity, since children often want to be like their parents.
  5. Take a field trip to a coin show.
  6. Make coin collecting COOL! Get your child a magnifying glass and teach them about mintmarks and design details.
  7. Visit the library for a few children’ coin collector books.  There are many books out there with illustrations that make the hobby fun and will peak your child’s interest.
  8. Make your child feel special about their coins; soon your child will have something to be proud of.
  9. Take a field trip to a museum. Surprise your child with a visit to a museum to learn about different coins.


Coin collecting can be a lifelong hobby that you can share with your child. To learn more about coin collecting please visit







Tips To Ship Coins Within The United States

In order to ensure the safety of your coins while shipping, we have come up with a few tips:

  • Pack your coins carefully and use reinforced packing tape to prevent any tampering.
  • If you are shipping rolls of coins, make sure to secure the ends with tape to stop the coins from rolling.
  • To prevent loose coins from sliding while in route, avoid gaps inside your package and include plenty of padding.
  • When shipping coins, always in include your return address. Do not write anything on the package that might indicate it contains anything of value. If your business name contains the word “coin” or “gold” then use an abbreviated business name.
  • Depending on the value of your package, you may want to get USPS insurance.
  • Always place coins in envelopes or flips before packing. This will protect them from being damaged.
  • Flat rate shipping boxes can be a good way to ship coins.
  • When shipping valuable coins, it would be a wise choice to use registered mail. By doing so, everyone that comes in contact with your shipment will have to sign for it.
  •  Use clear tape over the address of the person you are mailing the coins to. This way it will prevent the address label from coming off or smearing.
  • Always get a tracking number. This will allow you to file a claim if the coins do not make it to their destination.
  • If you are shipping several boxes make sure to put a number on each box i.e. 1 of 3.
  • Be sure to include your contact information with the coins, as well as an itemized list of what is being shipped.
  • If someone from the post office happens to ask you about the contents of what you are mailing, do not reveal you are sending coins.
  • Avoid shipping coins in an envelope that would show the outline of the coin. You don’t want to reveal you are shipping anything valuable.
  • If you are not shipping many coins, you may want to invest in safety mailers. You can find them in most coin shops. Their effortless design makes it an ideal way to ship coins.
  • AirTite Sure Safe tubes will allow you to fit 20 coins in one tube. These tubes also have separators for each coin.


To learn more about coin collecting please visit


































Interesting Facts About Silver

  • Silver’s melting point is 1,763.2 F (961.78 C).
  • On the periodic table the symbol for silver is Ag.
  • Silver is harder than gold.
  • Compared to all other metals, silver has the highest ability to conduct electricity.
  • Silver has been used as a germicide. Unlike antibiotics, bacteria do not develop a resistance to silver over time.
  • Silver is very good for reflecting light and  is often used when manufacturing mirrors.
  • Silver was mentioned in the Bible and was discovered as early as 3000 BC.
  • A large percentage of silver in the United States goes toward photography. However, digital photography has decreased the demand for silver in the industry.
  • Silver can tarnish.
  • Silver was a great indicator of status, until the mass manufacturing of silver jewelry made it available to the general public.
  • Silver is used in many things from electronics to dental procedures, batteries, explosives and even NASA uses it.
  • Our body has the ability to absorb silver compounds.
  • Today Mexico, China, Peru and Australia are the top four producing countries of silver.
  • To prevent serious infections, some hospitals use silver surgical equipment, tools and needles.
  • The electronic circuitry in cars uses silver.
  • Small amount of silver is used in electrical switches, which allows us to turn on the bathroom light or the TV.


Silver can be a great investment. To learn more about silver please visit


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Minneapolis, MN, 55426
Phone: (952) 920-6101
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