If you are looking for a coin that is a good investment, then you want the coin to grow in value over time. Colorized coins are NOT a good investment.
Colorized, or painted, coins are ones which have had colors added to them after the minting process. Sometimes this involves paint and other times different metals are electronically plated to the coin.
There is a very small and selective market for colorized coins. Most colorized coins with state flags, painted backgrounds, glow-in-the-dark paint, or holographic material have almost no resale value compared to the price they were bought at.
A set of 4 holographic quarters may cost you $20 to buy new, but will be hard to sell for even $5. Most collectors wouldn’t even trade you a regular quarter for a colorized one.
Why do collectors hate colorized coins?
There are three big reasons coin collectors hate colorized coins.
1.) Most coin collectors want their coins in Mint State.
2.) Removing the coloring damages the coin.
3.) They are incredibly overpriced.
Which colorized coins have increased in value?
Any colorized coin that is reproducible is unlikely to gain value. The reason colorized state quarters don’t have a higher value is that any company could make them.
If you are looking for colorized coins that may gain in value. Look for limited edition bullion coins made only by certain mints.
A good example is The Simpson’s Collection of Silver Rounds produced by the Perth Mint. Here is a screenshot from the Perth Mint:
120 AUD is the equivalent of roughly $93 USD. On Ebay, the same coin is now selling for anywhere from $350-$500 dollars.
These colorized coins increased in value because they were made in quantities of 5,000 and since they depict characters licensed by 20th Century Fox, they are not reproducible.
What types of colorized coins are there?
Full disclosure, I will be sharing images from Amazon. Since I am an Amazon Affiliate, I do earn money through purchases made from links on my site. I will still be giving you my 100% honest opinion… as I hate most of these.
I actually do have a set of these coins. I bought them off Ebay for very cheap and they make a good conversation piece. So although I think colorized coins are a bad investment, if it’s done to a cheap coin and you enjoy it, that makes it worth it.
2.) Painted Coins
This is without a doubt my least favorite type of altered coinage. I don’t think these coins look at all better with paint on them.
The manufacturers put the coins in a fancy-looking box to distract you from the fact that you are only actually receiving $12.50 cents worth of coins.
If they weren’t so expensive I would say this would make a great gift for kids. Buy your kid a set of Legos and save your money.
3.) Gold Gilding
Gold-gilding is a very cheap way to make buyers believe they are getting more than they actually are. The amount of gold on these coins is layered so thin that it gives the coin no actual gold value.
Plus, this one is painted as well. Bleh.
I like some gold-gilded coins if they only add it to small accents, but the price is usually not worth it to a collector.
4.) Ruthenium Coins with Gold Gilding
Okay, I will admit. I like the look of these coins a lot. These are good gifts and conversation pieces if you buy the versions made from common pennies or half dollars.
The mark-up on the silver dollars is so high that I wouldn’t recommend someone buy these, but… I could see myself getting a similar one of these someday. I would buy a ruthenium coin only if it was done to a very common modern coin.
While doing research for this article I found what may be the ugliest colorized coin to ever exist. I hate Garfield’s smug little face in this coin so much.
All that being said, if you like a coin and it makes you happy, who am I to judge? … Unless you like the Garfield one, I’m judging you for that.
What do you think of colorized coins? Share a comment below and vote in our poll!