Obverse Tape Before Peace Dollar

Removing Tape Damage From A Peace Dollar

There are several reasons why someone would tape a coin. Sometimes, coins are taped to walls, jewelry, or coin albums. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, tape can damage the coin after many years.

Here is a Peace Dollar that was taped.

Obverse Tape Before Peace Dollar

You can tell this coin has had tape on it for many years by the fact that it has a stripe where there is no toning. It may look as if the tape was good for preventing toning on the coin, but that is not the case.

While the portion of the coin covered by tape did not tone, there is a black stripe of toning where the oxygen, tape residue, and silver interacted. The portion of the coin completely covered by the tape did not tone because it did not have access to oxygen, but the rest of the coin toned faster due to material in the tape.

I have never personally removed tape from a coin. The goal will be to remove as much tape as possible with as little damage done to the coin as I can.

If this was a more valuable coin, I would not be doing this myself. For valuable coins, you should leave the restoration to the professionals at PCGS and NGC.

I used 3 methods to try to remove the tape residue.

1.) Acetone

If you have a valuable coin you are wishing to remove tape from, acetone is the recommended method. Acetone will have little to no effect on the silver, and should only loosen the glue of the tape.

Make sure to use 100% pure acetone in a metal or glass dish. Nail polish remover will not work as it often includes dyes, fragrances, and other ingredients.

Glass bowl with acetone.

I had high hopes that acetone would be able to remove all the tape and glue from the coin. Unfortunately, the acetone could not penetrate deep enough to dissolve all of the glue.

I was able to peel a small portion of the tape off with my fingernail, but it did not make a noticeable difference.

Coin in Acetone 1
Peace Dollar in acetone.

So after the acetone I tried another method I had seen online…

2.) Olive Oil

Peace Dollar in Oil
Peace Dollar in Olive Oil

I was hesitant to try this method, because I do not know the long term effects of trace amounts of olive oil will have on silver.

I set another bowl aside with olive oil and allowed the coin to soak for about half an hour.

This method worked surprisingly well! I managed to get a decent amount of tape off the surface of our 1922 Peace Dollar.

It was unfortunate that I had to use my fingernail to get it off, as even a fingernail can scratch the surface of a coin, but it seemed the least damaging way I had available.

Here is a close-up shot of the Peace Dollar after the acetone and olive oil.

There was a very stubborn chunk of tape on her hair that I could not peel off. This was the hardest and driest section of tape.

So next I moved onto step 3.

3.) Boiling Water

Leaving the coin in boiling water is supposed to loosen the tape.

I filled a pyrex measuring cup with boiling water and placed the coin inside. I left the coin in for only a few minutes, taking the coin out when I could reach in without burning my fingers.

Peace Dollar in Boiling Water

This method also worked great! I could see immediately that the section I had struggled to pull off in her hair was already loosened.

After Boiling water 1
Peace Dollar after boiling water soak.

I was able to get the last chunk of tape off in one motion now. There were still small amounts of residue in her hair, as well as discolorations on the surface of the coin.

Unfortunately, I had done all I could with my less-abrasive methods. At this point I had too options:

  1. Clean the surface with a Q-Tip (abrasive)
  2. Let it soak overnight in acetone and hope for the best.

I chose option 1, simply because it is faster. If this was a more valuable coin and I was a professional cleaner I would have opted for option 2.

The toning from the tape has already damaged this Peace Dollar to the point where I am not worried if it gets a few scratches on it.

4.) Q-Tip and Acetone

After gently cleaning with a Q-Tip and acetone.

The Q-tip and acetone worked very quickly. You can see however, that it did cause some hairline scratches to appear on the coin. 😦

Here is the before and after:

It’s a shame that this coin was taped in the first place. Aside from the tape in the first image, this coin was in relatively good condition with minimal scratches.

If you are looking for more information about proper coin handling, check out: 4 Essential Items For Proper Coin Handling and Storage.


Do you know a better way to remove tape from a coin? Share a comment below!

Reeded Edges Reeds Coins Grooves Edge

Why Are Coins Reeded and How Many Reeds Do Coins Have?

Reeds are what give a coin the grooves (or ridges) along the edges. The reeds are an anti-counterfeiting measure and to make sure coins have not been intentionally filed down.

When coins were made primarily of gold and silver, people would file off the edges of the coin to get some of the precious metals. Reeds were developed to make it immediately obvious if a coin was tampered with.

How do reeded edges prevent counterfeiting?

Anything that makes a coin more intricate is helpful to prevent counterfeiting. By making a counterfeiting job more time consuming and requiring it to have more special tools, the barrier to entry of counterfeiting becomes much harder.

Although no one will stop to count the reeds on a common dime, if a coin worth hundreds is being graded, the graders will check the reeding.

Why don’t pennies have reeded edges?

Since pennies have always been made of copper and zinc, there was no fear of the coins being filed down for their copper content.

Even though pre-1982 copper pennies are worth about 2 cents in copper today, you could not file enough of a penny to make a profit and keep the coin recognizable.

How many reeds are on each coin?

The number of reeds is available on the US Mint Website. The three coins in circulation with reeded edges are the dime, quarter, and half dollar.

Number of Reeds:

Common Circulating Coins:

  • Dime: 118
  • Quarter: 119
  • Half Dollar: 150

Uncommon Coins:

  • Morgan Dollar: ~189 (Rare Variety: 154!)
  • Peace Dollar/Eisenhower Dollar: 189
  • American Silver Eagle Bullion: 201
  • Susan B. Anthony Dollar: 133

Reed Errors

Some coins have been found with more or less reeding than they were intended to have. This is almost always due to a machine error.

One recent coin to be found with a reed error is the New Mexico 2008P Quarter. There is a very good article about it on error-ref.com. Along with this image:

New Mexico Quarter Abnormal Reeding Reed
Error-ref image of abnormal reeding on a 2008P New Mexico Quarter.

Even most coin collectors neglect to look at the reeding of coins. This is probably why these errors are so uncommon. Most people do not notice if a coin has 189 or 154 reeds (like in the case of the Morgan Silver Dollar).


Vote in our poll and share a comment below!

Is Coin Collecting an Expensive Hobby?

Coin collecting has a reputation of being a very expensive hobby. The reason coin collecting is seen as an expensive hobby is because we hear many stories of coins being worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.

In reality coin collecting can be a very cheap hobby, or expensive depending on what you decide to collect.

I have broken the stages of coin collecting into 4 categories: The Starter, The Beginner, The Intermediate, The Expert. All of which come with a list of tools or items collectors at these levels often use.

I would recommend a beginner start with the cheapest options before buying expensive coins. This helps ensure you have more skills to identify valuable coins and get good deals.

The Starter

The cheapest way to get into coin collecting is to start by collecting modern coins in circulation. They won’t be worth much anytime soon, but it is a fun treasure hunt. Plus, although the coins you find may not rise in value, they don’t lose their value either.

Collecting coins by year, the ‘America The Beautiful’ National Parks Quarter Series, or the State Quarter Series is a good way for a beginner to start. You can do this completely free by storing them in a box or drawer, but it may be worth it to spend a few dollars on an album to keep yourself organized.

I recommend most beginners start with coin roll hunting, as it is the cheapest way to get lots of coins. To read more about coin roll hunting, Click Here!

A Starter Likely Has:

The Beginner Collector

The Beginner Collector is someone who probably already has a few coins or is very determined to begin collecting coins.

A beginner is not just interested in having coins, but also increasing their knowledge. They want to have a mix of coins both in circulation and not circulating.

A beginner collector is still finding most of their coins in circulation, but may intentionally look for more rare dollar coins and half dollars. They may also be interested in purchasing coins probably in the $1-$50 dollar range either online or at a local coin shop.

A beginner likely has:

The Intermediate Numismatist

This is a coin collector who has been collecting for a while. They are very knowledgeable about coins in circulation and many coins that are no longer minted.

The Intermediate Numismatist has a good idea of grading, values, mintage numbers, and common errors.

This is a collector who is willing to spend more money to get a coin they like. Most coins an intermediate collector collects are probably not found in circulation. (Although this isn’t true for everyone!)

Very important to an intermediate collector now that they have amassed more valuable coins is storage safety. Because this collector likely has a few coins worth over $100 it is important they know how to properly store them from thieves and damage. One great option for storage is a diversion safe. (Click here to see my top picks for diversion safes!)

An intermediate collector likely has:

The Expert Numismatist

This is someone who has been in the game a long time. More than a hobby, coin collecting may now be a career as they have an eye for grading and appraising coins.

This type of coin collector is interested in high quality coins and high quality equipment. They are very knowledgeable in storage methods and handling.

This collector likely has a specialty which they collect. It may be ancient coins, commemorative half dollars, gold coins, error coins, etc.

This collector may have everything the beginner and intermediate collector has, plus:


Coin collecting is a great hobby and no one should feel like it is too expensive for them to start. If you can afford a few pennies, then you can be a coin collector. There are many fancy gadgets and informational materials, but those item’s aren’t what make a coin collector.

A coin collector is simply someone who owns and is interested in coins! Whether you have a few common coins or hundreds of expensive coins, you are still a numismatist.

Share any comments below and vote in our poll!


As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn ad revenue on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.

Penny, Dime, Half Dime Sizes Small Coins

Sizes of U.S. Coins Past and Present

Why is a penny larger than a dime? Why is a nickel larger than both the dime and the penny? Why are half dollar coins so big?

The sizes of these coins may seem confusing. To understand the sizes of modern day coins, we have to look at the history of how these coins came to be.

Below is a chart of the sizes of modern U.S. Coins.

Modern Coins By Size Chart Millimeters
U.S. coins organized by diameter in millimeters.

Why is a penny larger than a dime?

Coins used to be valued based on their metal composition. A penny was larger than a dime, because pennies were made of copper, and dimes were made of silver. Since silver is more valuable than copper, the dime had to be made smaller than the penny.

Why is a nickel larger than a dime?

Before the nickel was invented in 1866, the U.S. used another coin called a half dime. The half dime weighed about half as much as a silver dime.

Due to rising silver prices, the U.S. Mint decided to halt production of the half dime and begin making a new coin out of nickel. Since their inception, nickels have been made of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

The size of the 5 cent piece, known as the nickel, has increased from 20.5mm in the first nickel to 21.5mm in modern nickels.

What was the smallest U.S. coin ever produced?

The smallest U.S. coin currently in circulation is the Roosevelt dime, but the smallest U.S. coin ever minted was the gold dollar in 1849 at 13mm in diameter.

Here is a chart of some of the smallest coins minted in the U.S.:

Smallest Coins in US History by Size Chart

Why are half dollar coins bigger than dollar coins?

Half dollar coins have not always been larger than dollar coins. Before 1979, dollar coins were 38.1 mm in diameter.

When coins were valued by the metal composition, a silver dollar needed to weigh about twice as much as a half dollar.

What is the largest coin ever made in the US?

The largest coin ever produced in the US was the Draped Bust Dollar at a tremendous 40mm. Since the coin was 90% silver, it weighed almost 27 grams.

Carrying just 17 of the Draped Bust dollar coins in your pocket would have weighed over 1 pound! Comparing that to modern dollar coins, you would need to have 56 presidential dollar coins to equal a pound.

Largest Coins Minted in the US Measured in Millimeters America Coin Sizes
Largest Coins Minted in the US Measured in Millimeters.

Was this article helpful? If you have any more questions about coin sizes, add a comment below!

A Wheat Penny from a Roll of Pennies

What Makes Coin Collecting a Great Hobby?

For the uninformed, coin collecting may seem like a boring hobby. After all, most people touch dozens of coins a day and have never become interested in coins. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that there is much to love about the hobby.


Since coins have been around, they have been stored for their bullion value which is the value of gold, silver, and other precious metals. It wasn’t until the 14th Century that coins began being stored for their artistic and historical value as well.

During the Renaissance Era, kings, queens, and nobility began collecting coins as a sign of wealth. The Italian scholar Petrarch is the most notable and knowledgeable coin collector of the time.

Possibly because only nobility could afford to purchase and store coins for long amounts of time, coin collecting became known as “The Hobby of Kings”. As always, it was not long before the middle class began emulating this behavior and started collecting coins.

Coin collecting prevails to this day; a great hobby for the young and old. Keep reading to discover what makes coin collecting a fun and enjoyable hobby for millions of people around the world.

What Draws People to Coin Collecting Today?

I have friends ask me all the time what makes me so addicted to coins. There are many reasons I love coin collecting, it’s a hobby that is always evolving while still maintaining a sense of history and traditionalism.

Below is my list of the best parts about coin collecting. All these are aspects which drew me into the hobby and keep me interested in it. I think most numismatists will agree that this hobby has many facets and there are always new coins to enjoy and discover.

History

Coins are rich with history. Each coin is a product of the year, political climate, and social trends of the time. People who study coins are called numismatists. The study of coins can tell us a lot about a time period.

By the metal composition, we can know the resources in a surrounding area. This could also inform us of trade routes and the wealth of the country producing them.

By the art, we can get a sense of what was important to people of the time and what traits the government wanted its citizens to value. We also see what political figures were honored.

Even the condition of coins can tell us about the economy during a certain time period. The more worn down a coin is, the more it was used in circulation. Using this analysis, a scholar can figure out what denomination was used most at a certain time. This could help track inflation in history.

Economics

Coin collectors have their own economy to price coins. Coin prices change every year depending on trends in the hobby. Coins can be bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

A buyer can speculate on the price of coins, buying a coin with the plan to sell it at a later date at a higher value, or a buyer can look for discounted coins with the goal of immediately flipping the coin for a profit. Many people have made businesses on the buying and selling of coins.

That is not to say that becoming a coin dealer is easy. It takes years of learning to develop a good eye for well-priced coins. Most dealers start as collectors, who after enough years amass enough knowledge to begin successfully selling.

Community

Coin collecting is it’s own community; whether online or in-person, coin collecting has brought generations of different people together.

There are hundreds of ways to meet like minded people who are interested in coins. Reddit, coin shops, coin forums, coin events, word of mouth, family members, all places are great for finding others who value coins.

The best part about the coin community is that we are bonded by a common interest. Within that, everyone has their own expertise. There is very little one-upmanship, most coin collectors are eager to share their knowledge for the sake of teaching another human being about coins.

Store of Value

Some collectors are less interested in the art of a coin, but the coin’s metal composition. Before 1964, many US coins were made for circulation with silver. Since then, silver has increased in value to make a silver quarter worth about $3!

If we look back even farther in US History, coins were minted in gold. In the early 1800’s, gold was worth about $18.93 per troy ounce. Today, the same amount of gold is worth about $1,866!

Some collectors keep coins as a hedge against inflation, or to protect themselves against a crash of the US dollar.

Family

Most coin collectors are interested in the hobby as a life-long pursuit, buying a few coins a year and storing them. Eventually, the coins are passed on, usually through family members. Although some families choose to liquidate the collection, many treasure the coins as a memory of their family member.

It’s easy to get kids interested in coins by setting them up with a coin folder and a roll of coins to search though. I remember my grandfather giving me a State Quarter Folder when I was 9 years old that I still have today!

Promise of Treasures

I am always learning about new types of coins, errors, and varieties. The idea that I may have a coin already in my collection that could be worth hundreds is very exciting. Perhaps, if you took the time to look through even the change in your car you could find something valuable.

One of my favorite pursuits in coin collecting is the activity of coin roll hunting. This is where you get rolls of coins from the bank and search them for treasures. It is a cheap and easy way to find new coins for my collection. (Click Here to Learn More About Coin Roll Hunting.)


If you are looking to start coin collecting, I would recommend getting the proper supplies. This article on the Essential Items to Handle and Store Coins should help.

I would also recommend a new collector purchase a Red Coin Collectors Guidebook. You can read more about why I recommend this book by clicking here.

Anything I missed? Add a comment below and share what makes you love coin collecting!

PCGS vs NGC Grading Company

PCGS or NGC: Which Company is Better For Grading Coins?

For people looking to get coins professionally graded, two names come up most often PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Which company is better: PCGS vs NGC?

Both companies are in the business of grading and “slabbing” coins. A slabbed coin is one that has been put into a special holder or case with a grade and label. This case is also called a slab.

The benefit of getting a coin graded is that it is protected from damage, certified authentic, and more valuable for re-selling.

Pricing

Before submitting a coin, you should have a rough estimate of the price of your coin and the cost to get it graded.

Comparing the pricing levels is complicated without a specific coin in mind, so the price comparison table is a very broad overview as of January 2021 and does not include all pricing information.

To get a more accurate version of the pricing you should see PCGS’s Services & Fees and NGC’s Services & Fees.

Service LevelMax Value PCGSMax Value NGCPCGS PriceNGC Price
Economy$300$300$22$22
Regular$2,500$3,000$38$35
Express$10,000$10,000$65$65
Walkthrough$100,000$100,000$150$150
Modern (1965+)$300/$2500$2,000$17/$30$17
Mint Errors$10,000Tier$65Tier + 15$
Oversized Holder$20$20
Comparison of PCGS vs. NGC Pricing

I was surprised to see how similar these grading services were. In general, NGC is slightly cheaper. Those savings could add up if you are sending in multiple coins.

Both companies have yearly membership subscription services. It is hard to compare these services as both have coupons, yearly deals, informational packets, and bonus programs.

To keep things simple I will outline what discounts on grading these packages offer:

PCGS

  • Silver $49 – No grading vouchers.
  • Gold $149 – 4 grading vouchers.
  • Platinum $249 – 8 grading vouchers.

NGC

  • Associate $25 – No credit or discounts.
  • Premium $149 – A $150 credit with NGC.
  • Elite $299 – A $150 credit + 10% off grading.

If all this is confusing you are not alone. The simplest option may be to go to your local coin shop and ask for their advice. Many shops also offer to send coins in to grading for customers, as they get a discount on bulk grading submissions.

Credibility

PCGS is considered the more esteemed grading service overall. Coins graded by PCGS tend to have a higher resale value.

This does not mean that NGC is a bad grading company, it is still one of the top coin graders in the world and people will pay more for an NGC slabbed coin than a non-slabbed coin.

Grading Ability

Anecdotally, I have heard many people in online forums say that PCGS has a stricter grading scale. This could account for why PCGS coins command a higher resale value.

This has not been proven, there have been instances where NGC has given the same coin a lower grade than PCGS and vice-versa.

It may help to do some research on the type of coin you are sending in and the company’s track record with those coins. Check eBay for similar graded coins if you are unsure where to start.

Grading can be very subjective depending on who is grading your coin. Coins have been resubmitted to the same company and come beck with grades a few points above or below what they have originally received, but this is rare. Most grading companies will stick to the original grade given.

Why Pick Just One?

You do not need to pick one company over the other and stick with it for the rest of your life. You could get your coins graded by both companies depending on the price.

The benefits of consistently picking one company are that you could sign up for their annual subscription pricing plans where they give you discounts on grading coins.

The other benefit of consistently grading with the same company is that all your slabbed coins will be in holders of the same size. A PCGS slabbed coin may not fit into a box designed to snugly hold NGC slabbed coins.

Conclusion

Overall, I would have to pick PCGS as the better grading company. The company has slightly more credibility to coin collectors and the prices hold up well for re-selling.

If your goal is to get a coin slabbed on a tighter budget, there is nothing wrong with picking NGC. They are also a great company.

It is worthwhile to do research on the coin you are grading and the company’s track record with that denomination.


Where do you get your coins graded? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and vote in our poll.