Should You Buy Foreign Coins in Bulk?

Like any post with a title “Should you-” the answer is always: it depends!

Buying foreign coins in bulk sounds like a great idea, you get lots of coins for a relatively small amount or money. Bulk coin sets can run anywhere from $10-$30 per pound! (I would love to get that value of gold and silver.)

Now some people do great buying and selling foreign coins, since most people collect coins from their own country, they are less likely to recognize valuable or rare coins from other countries. Many people find silver or even gold coins in the foreign bins at their local coin shops because no one else recognizes them.

That being said, it is incredibly unlikely you are going to find such a rarety buying bulk foreign coins online. Most of the time, you will be overpaying dramatically for the conveniece of getting hundreds of coins shipped to you.

Let’s talk cons first.

Cons:

1.) Shipping prices!!!

I have both bought and sold on eBay and other online sellers. The real profit killer is shipping (although eBay fees are not fun either). Most of your money spent on bulk coins is simply going to the shipping cost.

2.) 99% of coins will be worthless.

Now, you may find some coins that are interesting to you, but that does not mean they have much value outside of your house. The market for foreign coins is simply too small.

I love seeing foreign coins, I have some I collect, but if I tried to collect coins from every country, I simply would not have enough room in my house! Most coin collectors stick to coins from their own country, or at least a country that resonates with them. Those who collect foreign coins are rare, and usually they go for older foreign coins.

Even if you are very knowledgeable on foreign coins, it is still unlikely you will find anything valuable. Most bulk lots of coins online have already been cherry-picked for the most valuable coins.

Pros:

1.) Lots of coins!

Wooo!

It is really exciting to get a lot of foreign coins! You can keep them in a jar as decoration, or spend time organizing and admiring the different designs.

2.) Great way to learn!

You can look through each one and do lots of research into the coins. It is a great way to learn about other cultures in different time periods.

Since you will get many coins from different countries you can take the time to catalogue them. Find the country of origin, face value, and numismatic value!

Where to buy foreign coins in bulk?

Many different places sell foreign coins in bulk. Ebay is probably the best place to go, as you get the competition from many different sellers.

If you aren’t comfortable buying on eBay, you can also buy bulk foreign coins on Amazon. It will probably be slightly more expensive than eBay, but Amazon is easier to use for many people.

If you are only interested in a different country or time period you can also search buy that specific time and area. While researching for this article I found a few fun niche listings.

Ancient Coins in Bulk

This could be a good way to get your hands on several coins if you are a beginner. Someday you will probably want to buy higher quality coins at better prices, but it is always fun to have a few coins to handle.

(Remember, handling coins is bad for them! Only do so with coins you do mind potentially damaging.)

Final Thoughts

I wouldn’t build a collection around buying bulk foreign coins, but it is a fun way to get your hands on a lot of coins.

Overall, I would saying buying foreign coins is best for beginners, or as gifts for kids. Since kids don’t usually have a great understanding of value, giving them a lot of coins that are interesting to them is a good way to introduce them to coin collecting.


Do you buy foreign coins in bulk? What is your best find yet?

2021 morgan peace silver dollar CC S O Privy Mark

US Mint Begins Release of 2021 Morgan And Peace Silver Dollars

Today was the first day of pre-ordering for the 2021 Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars. At 12PM Eastern Time, the US Mint opened two of the 2021 Morgan Dollars.

The first one to sell out was the 2021 Morgan with a “CC” Privy Mark honoring the Carson City Mint. This Morgan Dollar was not minted in Carson City, but in Philadelphia.

The other coin released today was another Morgan Silver Dollar with an “O” Privy Mark to honor the New Orleans Mint.

Why did the Carson City Mint Dollar Coin sell out first?

Carson City coins are especially rare since the mint was only sporadically open for operation. The mint produced coins from 1870-1885 and from 1889-1893. The Carson City Morgan silver dollar is the first coin minted with a “CC” mark in 128 years.

Keep in mind though, this coin was not minted in Carson City, but minted in Philadelphia and has a privy mark for Carson City. (Also remember that most coins made in Philadelphia have no mint mark.)

Can I still get 2021 Morgan Silver Dollars?

Yes! Here is the release schedule for 2021 Morgan Dollars: Here was the intended release of the 2021 Dollar coins:

2021 Morgan Dollar “O” Privy MarkMay 24, 2021
2021 Morgan Dollar “CC” Privy MarkMay 24, 2021
2021 Morgan Dollar “S” MintJune 1, 2021
2021 Morgan Dollar “D” MintJune 1, 2021
2021 Morgan Dollar (No Mint Mark, Philadelphia P)June 7, 2021
2021 Peace Dollar (No Mint Mark, Philadelphia P)June 7, 2021
Release Schedule for 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollar Coins

*UPDATE*: Read the update below! The US Mint has delayed the pre-orders for the upcoming Morgan and Peace silver dollars!

If you missed the release, don’t worry because you can always try on eBay or another third party seller. Check in with your local coin store to see if they managed to get some to sell.

I expect the two most popular of the series will be the “CC” mint mark and the “S” mint. If you want to order either of those, make sure to be on the website as soon as pre-ordering becomes available to ensure you can grab one.

What is the difference between a mint mark and a privy mark?

A mint mark indicates where a coin was minted, meaning where the coin was produced. A privy mark is meant to honor a certain time or place in history. We call these different names because mint marks help keep track of where coins were from and potential errors.

Privy marks, on the other hand, hold sentimental value and can increase the value of the coin. They do not tell you where a coin was produced or when.

US Mint website keep crashing when trying to buy or pre-order?

If you have tried to buy coins from the US Mint the day they are released you have probably felt the frustration of trying to checkout and having the session timeout due to problems connecting or a “bad gateway” error. These are due to the US Mint website servers not being able to handle the number of people ordering all at once.

Here are my tips to ensure a successful pre-order from USMint.gov:

  • Be ready on time.
    • Coins sell out fast so make sure to be ready as soon as they become available.
  • Have your payment information saved.
    • By creating an account and saving your payment information, you can save time by not having to input your full address and credit card whenever the server times out.
  • Ask friends to help.
    • More people trying increases your odds of getting a coin from pre-ordering. Of course, you may end up with more than one, so make sure you can afford to buy more than one if both you and your friend make it to checkout.
  • Keep trying!
    • It took me 23 minutes before I could get my order into the United States Mint to order the 2021 “O” Morgan Silver Dollar. Thankfully I kept trying, because I was very worried after 15 minutes. Keep refreshing until it says they are sold out!

Other than that, it is mostly luck! Keep your lucky penny or pocket piece handy!

Buy Gold and Silver

Will 2021 Silver Dollars Increase in Value?

Who knows!?

Unfortunately, this will depend not only on the price of silver, but investor interest and scarcity. The mint made 175,000 of each Morgan Silver Dollar and 200,000 of the 2021 Peace Dollars. Although a fairly low mintage, it is nowhere near the scarcest the mint has produced.

Many numismatists I have seen have predicted a short term price increase ranging from $100-$400, and then a stabilizing over the next 3 years as the collector frenzy wanes.

Overall, I wouldn’t purchase a 2021 Silver Dollar if your goal is to profit in a time frame greater than one year. Buy one because you enjoy them and want to be part of the first people to get one!

Those who buy directly from the mint and resell on eBay immediately will probably make a decent profit as collectors experience FOMO due to the perceived scarcity.

Why is there a charge of $4.95 from the US Mint on my card?

You may be surprised to see a charge on your bank statement for $4.95 from the US Mint. Don’t be alarmed!

It will say “Purchase US Min Coin Washington DC Card####” Merchant Name: US Mint Sales-DR.

The US Mint is not charging you extra nor did they charge you the wrong price for the Silver dollars. $4.95 is simply the cost of the US Mint’s budget shipping option. You may see a larger charge from the US Mint depending on what type of shipping you selected at checkout.

Remember, the coins are currently being listed for pre-order, meaning they are not being purchased when you complete your payment. You have simply ordered one from the mint to be shipped to your address once the coins become available.

Update May 27th:

The US mint released an email today announcing that they would delay future pre-orders in order to improve their website. Read the full email here:

Dear Valued Customer, 

The United States Mint is committed to providing the best possible online experience to its customers. The global silver shortage has driven demand for many of our bullion and numismatic products to record heights. This level of demand is felt most acutely by the Mint during the initial product release of numismatic items. Most recently in the pre-order window for 2021 Morgan Dollar with Carson City privy mark (21XC) and New Orleans privy mark (21XD), the extraordinary volume of web traffic caused significant numbers of Mint customers to experience website anomalies that resulted in their inability to complete transactions. 

In the interest of properly rectifying the situation, the Mint is postponing the pre-order windows for the remaining 2021 Morgan and Peace silver dollars that were originally scheduled for June 1 (Morgan Dollars struck at Denver (21XG) and San Francisco (21XF)) and June 7 (Morgan Dollar struck at Philadelphia (21XE) and the Peace Dollar (21XH)). While inconvenient to many, this deliberate delay will give the Mint the time necessary to obtain web traffic management tools to enhance the user experience. As the demand for silver remains greater than the supply, the reality is such that not everyone will be able to purchase a coin. However, we are confident that during the postponement, we will be able to greatly improve on our ability to deliver the utmost positive U.S. Mint experience that our customers deserve. We will announce revised pre-order launch dates as soon as possible. 

Thank you for a being a United States Mint customer.


Did you manage to get one? Share your story of the US Mint website crashing in the comments below!

Next Year Coin Ideas Numismatics Header Image

Top 5 Things Collectors Want to See on Next Years Coins

If anyone reading this knows someone at the US Mint, please send them this list along with my resume.

1.) More Real Women (Lady Liberty does not count!)

I’ve complained about it before, and I will complain about it again. We need more real women on coins!

As much as I love all the Lady Liberty designs, she seems to be the default woman to put on coins. Any real woman that gets on a coin is put on the rarely circulating dollar coins.

Susan B Anthony Dollar Coin

Did you know the Roosevelt dime design has been the same since 1946? Maybe it’s time to retire old Roosevelt and think of an influential woman in US history.

2.) Animals

The 2020 American Samoa quarter with the two bats on it was a huge hit with the public! I even heard non-numismatists talking about how much they loved that design.

2020 american samoa bats quarter covid
The 2020 American Samoa Bat Quarter (Photo Courtesy of US Mint)

After the National Parks Quarter series ends, the Mint should consider doing a series on animals of the US. It would be a great way for kids and adults to learn about different animals across the country.

3.) Deeper Relief

For the past several decades, the United States Mint has been lessening the relief on coins. The lower relief is most obvious with quarters and nickels, although it is noticeable on almost all circulating coins.

This is due to changes in the way coins are minted. It is likely cheaper for the mint to produce coins with less exaggerated reliefs.

Having a high relief would mean the coins details could last longer depending on the type of wear they are under. It would also make it easier to identify coins by feel as well as sight.

4.) Continuing West Point Mint Marks

Since the West Point mint marks began in 2019, I have found only 3 West Point quarters! Adding the West Point mint mark to quarters made quarter collecting an exciting pastime for me again.

West Point Quarter Obverse Front
West Point Quarter Obverse

Finding silver in quarters has become so rare, that it feels not worth the time looking these days. Knowing that I now have a chance of finding a “W” Quarter or a silver quarter when I am coin roll hunting has really invigorated my passion for CRHing quarters. (Not familiar with coin roll hunting? Click here to learn!)

5.) Creative Proof Sets

I absolutely adore proof sets. It feels very special to have coins in pristine condition that are stored safely. However, I wish proof sets were better built for displaying.

Proof sets are much better quality now than they were several decades ago, but they are lacking some of the creativity. My favorite years of proof sets, from 1973-1982 had a built in stand for displaying.

1973 Proof Set in Display
Proof Set With Built in Stand

If you want to learn more about proof sets, head over to the “US Proof Set Buying Guide” by American Coin Stash.


I may have titled this article “Top 5 Things Collectors Want to See on Next Years Coins”, but a better name might be ” Top 5 Things I Want to See on Next Years Coins”. Anything you disagree with or want included?

Add a comment below and vote in our poll!

Selling Coins Header smaller

Ranking of The Best Places to Sell Your Coins, Silver, and Gold

Selling coins can be difficult and tedious. After sorting through your coins and deciding which to sell there is the daunting task of deciding how to sell.

This is a ranking I would recommend, but it may depend on your circumstances and what you plan to sell. In this article I will refer mostly to ‘coins’ but I think this ranking works well for gold and silver bullion as well.

1.) A trusted coin dealer

There is a reason I differentiate between a coin dealer and a trusted coin dealer. A coin dealer is someone who makes money by buying and selling coins. They may have a brick and mortar shop, an online store, or work by word of mouth.

A trusted coin dealer is someone you know and have done business with before. You trust that they have your best interest at heart as well as their own. They can help you find deals you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get.

Even if a coin dealer can’t get you the top price for a specific purchase or sale, it may be worth it to do business with them to build rapport in hopes of better future deals. They may also alert you if a coin comes in that you are looking for.

If you have inherited a collection and do not know the value of your coins, definitely go to a coin store if you do not want to learn how to value coins yourself. There are many tiny details that can make a coin more or less valuable. If you try to sell the coins yourself online you will not know how to describe the coins in the best way to sell them.

2.) Ebay

Ebay has been my go-to for selling coins. The benefit of eBay is that there is the potential of your coin being seen by millions of people.

Auctions can drive the price of the coin up to well beyond what you thought it was worth. The problem with selling on eBay, is that you are dependent on eBay algorithms for who your post gets shown to.

You can get around this by adding descriptive keywords into your eBay post, but even that may not be enough. I have sold coins on eBay that sold for less than they were worth simply due to eBay not showing my listing to enough people.

If you plan to sell on eBay, do not start by selling valuable coins immediately. Buyers are very suspicious of buying fakes from online dealers with few reviews. Start by selling other items or low-valued coins. Watch out for eBay fees and shipping costs as they can eat into your profit!

3.) A coin dealer

Not everyone has a local coin dealer they see regularly. It is no surprise given the ease of shopping online. It is worth going into your local dealer and asking what they would offer you for your coins.

Even if you don’t think they are giving you the best deal it may be worth it to sell to them to build rapport, or avoid the hassle of selling yourself. Many people looking to sell online forget the added cost of shipping.

Some online dealers will pay your shipping costs. If you want to know more about buying and selling from large online distributors, Money Metals Exchange has a good article on it here: “Selling Gold, Silver, Platinum & Palladium to Money Metals Exchange”

If you haven’t been to a coin store much and have some anxiety about what to expect, check out “What to Know Your First Time in a Coin Store”.

4.) Reddit

Reddit has a great community of coin collectors, coin dealers, and precious metal enthusiasts. There is a dedicated subreddit called r/PMsforsale where redditors sell precious metals and r/Coins4Sale where redditors sell coins.

I have used reddit to buy coins and have a lot of trust in many of the sellers on Reddit. Here are things to be aware of if you are selling coins on Reddit.

  • Age of your account
    • Currently, neither sub has explicit rules on how old an account must be, but Redditors are less likely to trust new accounts.
  • Trustworthiness of the buyer
    • People aren’t scammed on these subs often, but it has happened. Some Redditors do not pay, or request a refund after the items are received. All of the responsibility is on the buyer and seller to complete a transaction.
  • Shipping Cost
    • You should discuss the cost of the item and shipping before you sell someone your coins or precious metals. Make sure you have an idea before you post on the maximum shipping could cost you and how much you are willing to spend.

5.) Pawn Shops

A pawn shop is my least-preferred place to sell coins. Most pawn shops know a little about coins, but not often enough to give detailed prices. Usually, pawn shops are looking to turn a profit on items as fast as possible, so a pawn shop will rarely offer above the spot price for precious metals and coins.

This isn’t true for all pawn shops however, and it may be worth it to go in and ask what they would offer you for coins or precious metals. The benefit of a pawn shop is that they are easy to find, have lots of connections, and will give you a price quickly.


What is your preferred way to sell coins, silver, gold, and copper? Vote in our poll and share a comment below!

Display Proof Set 1976 Bicentennial

Buying Guide for United States Mint Proof Sets

Proof sets were made by the US Mint specially for coin collectors to have coins in uncirculated, perfect condition. Proof coins are minted at the San Francisco mint, have a deeper strike, a mirror-like surface, and go through a more intensive quality control.

I have purchased many proof sets online, here is my guide to help you make the best purchases and get the best deals on proof sets.

Do Your Research

Proof sets made before 1999 are almost always a lot cheaper than sets made from 1999 to now. This is because 1999 was the start of the US State Quarters program.

Mint sets made from 1999 to now come with 4 more quarters than proof sets made in the decades before. Having more coins, and the desirability of the proof state quarters drove up the price of proof sets.

Building on that, proof sets minted from 2007-2016 have 4 or 5 dollar coins instead of 1. This raised the price on proof sets minted from 2007 to 2016.

Things that will increase the value of a proof set:

  • Silver Proof Sets
    • These sets include 90% silver quarters, dimes, and half dollars. They usually come in a sleek black box.
    • All quarters, dimes, and half dollars minted before 1965 are 90% silver.
  • Years With More Coins
    • 1999-Present: More quarters
    • 2009: Contains 4 Pennies, 5 dollar coins, and 6 quarters
    • 2007-2016: Presidential dollar coins
  • Reverse Proof Sets
    • A regular proof set has a mirror-like finish on the
Proof Vs. Reverse Proof Half Dollar 2018 Example
Proof Vs. Reverse Proof Half Dollar from US Mint
  • Included COA
    • COA is the Certificate of Authenticity. Helps verify the coins are genuine.
    • This is not super necessary to have, as proof coins are not often faked, but some collectors like to have it.
  • Errors!
    • Even though proof sets go through a quality control, they can still have errors. Proof set errors are usually more valuable than regular errors.
    • Look out for proof coins missing the “S” mint mark.
    • The 1952S Superbird Quarter is one of the more famous proof errors.
Superbird 1952S Quarter Close Up
1952S Superbird Quarter. Can you see the “S”?
Click Here To Read More.

Check Bulk Lots To Get Good Deals

For proof sets, eBay is one of my favorite ways to buy. You can get great deals on bulk proof sets on eBay. What is helpful about this is they are normally sold in sequential years.

For proof sets minted in 1998 or earlier I try to spend about $5-$10 each, although I have seen some sold for cheaper!

The 1964 proof set is more expensive because the dime, quarter, and half dollar included are 90% silver. The 1964 proof set currently goes for about $20-$30 online.

Check For Damage

Things to look out for:

  • Cracks in the case.
  • Toning on the coins.
  • Misaligned coins.

Cracks in the case are bad because they ruin the look of the case, and can lead to the coins toning. Some people like it when coins tone, but not all coin collectors do.

A coin can develop toning in a proof set that is not cracked, but it is good to check for signs of toning because it may mean there is a crack letting air into the case.

misaligned Proof set 1972
1972 Proof Set. Misaligned Penny and Half Dollar

Misaligned coins just don’t look as good when the set is being displayed. Not a huge deal, but can affect the value as it cannot be fixed without opening the set case.

Set A Budget And Stick To It.

I give this advice a lot because it is so important! Especially if you get caught up in the world of online coin auctions it can get very easy to slowly overspend your budget. Pick a number you are willing to spend on each proof set and stick with it.

Should you buy proof sets directly from the mint?

I received the advice to not buy proof sets directly from the mint. In general, I think this is good advice. Sets sold directly on the mint website are usually very expensive, as there is more excitement to get a mint set the year it is released.

Especially if you are not worried about having the original government packaging or the Certificate of Authenticity, you can get great deals on proof sets online!

That being said, make sure to check mintage numbers. Some specialty proof sets are released with smaller mintage numbers. These sets potentially gain value over their initial price. Reverse Proof American Silver Eagles are great examples of coins that sell out fast!

I personally love reverse proof sets and the innovation series dollar coins. I would pay a premium to have these sets as soon as possible. So it really depends on your budget and how YOU value each item!

Proof Set Colors

If you have bought older proof sets, you have probably noticed the colors of the packaging and background change through the years. Here is a breakdown of the colors used for proof sets and their packaging from 1967-1998:

  • 1967-1967: Dark blue box, dark blue background
  • 1968-1972: Blue sleeve, black background
  • 1973-1982: Black sleeve, red background (with display!)
  • 1983: Blue sleeve, dark blue background
  • 1984-1993: Purple sleeve and background
  • 1994-1998: Green sleeve and background

Great For Displaying: Proof Sets From 1973-1982

The US Mint had great packaging from 1973-1982 where the proof sets came in jet black sleeves and were in a display stand. It made proof sets very easy to show-off!

I’m giving these proof sets a special shout-out on this article because I think this was a really innovative idea from the US Mint. I would love to see more products with built in display capabilities.

American Silver Eagle Proof Coins

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

The American Silver Eagle has been America’s favorite design for decades. Combined with the smooth proof finish, these coins really pop.


Share your favorite proof set in the comments below!

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Coin Collecting Mistakes Smaller White Out Avoid

Top 6 Coin Collecting Mistakes to Avoid

Coin collecting should be fun, and as long as you are having fun there are no real mistakes. That being said, there are ways to make coin collecting more enjoyable and help save money. More money = more coins!

1.) Not doing research.

Learning about coins is part of the fun of the hobby! If you aren’t learning about the coins you buy or find, then you are missing out on great learning opportunities.

Plus, doing research helps you get better prices, and learn more about the buying and selling aspect of the hobby.

By doing research, you can learn about key dates, errors, and mint marks that others may miss. This could give you a profit or help you add more rare coins to your collection.

There are many great resources online to learn about coins. You can also buy a coin collecting book. Two of the most popular coin collecting books are the Red Guide Book and the Blue Handbook, if you want to read a comparison of the two books go to “What is the Difference Between the Red and Blue Coin Collecting Books?”.

2.) Not organizing your collection.

Keeping your collection organized can be difficult at times. Especially if- like me- you enjoy taking your coins out to look at them.

Organization is important because it can help you spot if a coin is lost or stolen. Labeling coins can help you sell them or help people who may inherit your collection appropriately value the coins.

Storing coins properly will help prevent tarnishing and scratches that affect a coins value. If you want to read more about safe coin handling, check out “4 Essential Supplies to Handle and Store Coins Properly”.

3.) Focusing too much on trends.

This may be ironic coming from the person who has written articles condemning colorized coins and ranking ugly coins, but the most important part of your collection is making sure you enjoy every piece.

There are lots of things the general coin community likes to bash on, but if you enjoy them, go for it. Personally, I really like the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin and the Ozarks quarter! Fight me coin collectors!!

4.) Not checking your spare change.

There are sooooo many coins that can be found in your spare change. It is rare, but not impossible to find valuable old coins from coins you get as change.

You don’t need to check every handful of coins for minute errors, but giving a quick scan for silver, buffalo nickels, or older wheat-back pennies can be profitable.

If you get really into it, you can also start coin roll hunting! Coin roll hunting is when you get rolls of wrapped coins from the bank and search them in search of treasures. If you want to learn more about coin roll hunting, check out “What is Coin Roll Hunting?”.

5.) Focusing too much on precious metals.

Silver and gold coins are amazing. They combine precious metal collecting with coin collecting. Buying coins with a precious metal content is a good idea, because even if the numismatic value falls, they will still be worth the price of the metal.

Before you decide to focus solely on collecting coins made of silver or gold, I think it is worthwhile for any coin collector to learn about the appeal of other types of coins. Coins are also loved for their history, rarity, and intricate designs.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on only silver coins. A huge collector favorite are the large silver-dollar coins. Being a coin collector led me to becoming a silverbug ;). (If you don’t know what a silverbug is, click here!)

6.) Being too afraid to spend money.

Of course, people sometimes overpay for coins, I did not add that to this list, because I felt like it was covered by “do your research”. People who research coins before purchasing are less likely to fall for scams.

It is possible to do too much research and never feel like you are getting good deals on certain coins. Think of it this way, let’s say a coin has a current book value of $15, but you can only find it for $20. You put off buying because the coin is overvalued. Now, the price may stabilize and return to $15, but you may also be left waiting forever.

Be careful when you research coin prices to see if the prices you are seeing reflect how coins are currently being bought and sold. For this reason, I do most of my price research from the “sold” listings on eBay.


Any big mistakes you made when you started collecting? Maybe you bought a fake coin, or lost all your coins in a tragic boating accident? Share a comment below and vote in our poll below!