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3 Cheap & Out of Favor Coins & Sets to Consider if on a Tight Budget

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3 Cheap & Out of Favor Coins & Sets to Consider if on a Tight Budget

We regularly share with our customers the most popular, recognized and liquid coins and bullion in the industry, but some of these options can be a bit more expensive and aren’t necessarily in reach of everyone’s budget.

At times, it’s best to take a look at the bargain rack to see what’s available. Sometimes it’s surprising to see what you can acquire at relative bargains. Truth be told, I do this at clothing stores after the season ends. After all, guys’ styles never go out of fashion…or more likely, were never in fashion.

Without further ado, we’ll share with you three cheap and out of favor coins and sets that you can pick up for relative bargains as of the first half of 2024.

Silver War Nickels

Many folks don’t realize that for a short period of time, the U.S. Mint produced nickels with silver, albeit at a fairly low purity. The U.S. Mint changed35% SILVER WAR NICKELS the metal composition in late 1942 from 75% copper, 25% nickel to 35% silver, 56% copper & 9% manganese and kept this in place until World War II ended in 1945.

The impetus for this change is that nickel was needed to produce ammunition and equipment to help support the war efforts in Germany.

An easy way to identify these coins is by a mint mark above the Monticello on the reverse side of the coin. Some 1942 nickels are clad, while others are 35% silver. All nickels struck from 1943 – 1945 are 35% silver, so there’s no need to look for a mint mark on these coins.

While silver nickels are sold for a premium by the major online coin dealers, we would hazard to guess that many local coin dealers wouldn’t mind liquidating their inventory at close to spot. We suggest calling around to your local coin dealers to see what they have available.

Off-Quality Gold Coins

There’s a reason why coin dealers appear to be strict with the condition of gold coinsoff quality cull gold coins when they purchase them. It’s because their potential buyers closely inspect the coins and typically only want nice clean retail-quality coins. Dealers have to discount gold coins that are off-quality to incentivize customers to purchase them.

These coins, especially those that are less than 24k gold, can usually be found at bargain prices. We’ve noticed recently in the wholesale market that coin dealers have been discounting these coins more than normal to move them. Of course, there’s only so far a coin dealer is willing to go, as they can always send off-quality items to the refiner, but this provides the general public with an opportunity to buy these coins on the cheap.

Generally speaking, a coin dealer is willing to provide deeper discounts on lower purity coins. You shouldn’t expect to receive much of a discount on a 24k gold coin, unless it’s in poor condition, but coins composed of 14k, 18k or 90% gold are usually a bit more difficult for a coin dealer to move, and they may be receptive to providing you with a deeper discount on these items.

Clad U.S. Mint Proof Sets

The U.S. Mint has beenUS Mint Proof Sets minting proof sets since 1936. Up until and including 1964, these coins were produced with 90% silver. Since 1968 (the Mint didn’t produce proof sets from 1965 – 1967), the metal composition has been nickel-copper (clad), except for the special minted silver proof sets which were first issued in 1992. The clad proof sets were popular when they were first produced, but the U.S. Mint produced too many of these sets (at least until 2006) and saturated the market.

Today, there are many more proof sets available than there are buyers for the sets. Furthermore, the market for these coins at the time of this writing is incredibly weak with coin dealers selling them in the wholesale market at a deep discount relative to greysheet prices. The greysheet is a monthly coin price guide that in theory is supposed to reflect dealer to dealer prices, but in most cases, is more representative of market pricing for coins.

If you’ve ever wanted to collect proof sets or want to take a contrarian approach with the hopes that the prices on these sets will bounce back, now is your opportunity. Your local coin dealer most likely has some of these sets that they would be happy to unload. Although, be prepared to take everything off their hands that they have in stock if you want to maximize your discount.

We hope that today’s topic was beneficial to some of you. While none of these coins or sets will likely get you excited, they are opportunities to pick up less mainstream items at a nice discount.

Also, keep in mind that the coin market is always in flux, so by the time you read this article, the market could have already changed. If you’re in the market for any of these items or something we didn’t highlight, contact the coin experts at Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers for competitive pricing and top-notch customer service.

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Tony Davis
Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation, and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at atlantagoldandcoin.com to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at sales@atlantagoldandcoin.com or at 404-236-9744

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