Any good collection has its staples. These pieces tend to be easily accessible with a moderate to affordable price, and are considered the building blocks upon which a more personalized collection can be based. When it comes to buying coins, the following are a few coins that are generally considered the essentials to any collection.
Walking Liberty Half Dollar
The Walking Liberty Half Dollar is recognized by many as one of the most beautiful coins in American circulation. Designed by Adolph Weinman, this half dollar is a symbol of American patriotism and shows Lady Liberty walking toward a rising sun. On the reverse stands a beautiful American bald eagle. This coin was minted between 1916 and 1974, and it can be purchased for less than $10. Collectors with a moderate budget can acquire a complete circulated condition collection of Walking Liberty half dollars for less than $1,000.
Indian Head Cent
The Indian Head Cent was minted between the years of 1859 and 1909 and is known for its unique design, which was crafted by James Longacre. Instead of a Native American, the coin features an image of Miss Liberty with a Native American-styled headdress on her head. Luckily, these are a great beginner purchase, as they can be found for as little as $1 to $2, making it an ideal gateway into buying coins. The most popular and valuable Indian Head penny was produced in 1877, but be careful, as a number of counterfeits have made their way into the marketplace. Only purchase these coins from an experienced and knowledgeable coin dealer, who can verify the authenticity of the coin.
This silver coin is known as the Mercury Dime because it features Lady Liberty with a winged cap that resembles the Roman God, Mercury. This coin, which was also designed by Adolph Weinman, was minted for nearly 30 years between 1916 and 1945. That means it was in circulation during the Great Depression and two world wars, making it a collector’s staple. The coin can be found for a meager $1.50 to $5. In fact, many of these coins can be purchased in bulk, such as in $50 face value bags. This is a cost effective way to acquire a nice assortment of various date coins, which can put you on the path to assembling a complete collection.
1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel
Although certainly not as affordable as some of the other coins, depending on the appraisal, the Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel is one of the most popular coins printed with a noticeable error. These Buffalo Nickels feature all aspects of the buffalo, except for the front leg of the Buffalo on the reverse of the coin. This minting error has made these coins notorious, and although they are scarce, they’re a great way to advance a beginner’s collection. The Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel resulted from a polishing error at the Mint. Effectively, these coins were over-polished on the reverse side of the coin.
Collecting and buying coins is popular because of its historical significance and connection to American history. Understanding these basic staples can help a collection rise from the bottom up. Learn more about our appraisal process at Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers or check out some of the coins in our inventory to get started as a novice coin collector.