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Myths About Coin Collecting

Jeff Garrett: Myths About Coin Collecting

One complaint that I sometimes receive about my articles is that there is not enough information for those new to the hobby. Most of my articles in recent years have drilled down on specific subjects, with the benefit of many years in the field. Advanced collectors appreciate the knowledge and viewpoint, but the information is sometimes too advanced for beginners. The following is from several speeches I have given over the years and might be useful for those who have just discovered the hobby.

Myth 1: Collecting rare coins is for rich people
Numismatics is sometimes referred to as “The Hobby of Kings”. This has been the case for centuries, and the ancient Romans are known to have collected Greek coinage. European kings and royalty have collected coins for nearly 2,000 years. Some of the greatest museum collections are founded on these collections. Today, however, coin collection is very democratic. You can have fun for a few dollars per week. This is how I started collecting coins: Lincoln cents in pocket change. It is harder today, but State or National Parks quarters can be an interesting challenge. Or you can spend millions if your budget allows. The buyer of the 1933 Double Eagle paid over $7,000,000 USD, and it is rumored that it is the only rare coin he has. There are very interesting coins for every budget. Coin collecting is a great way to save money, and the long-term accumulation of a rare coin collection is usually an excellent investment.

Myth 2: Old coins are the most valuable
Age has almost nothing to do with the value of a coin. Ancient Roman coins can be purchased for $5-$10. A gem 1956 Franklin half dollar recently sold at auction for over $100,000. Rarity and condition are what makes a coin valuable. The combination of both is when the big bucks come into play. Popularity is also a factor. An 1895 dollar is worth $75,000, yet several hundred are known. I recently purchased a unique piece of Kentucky National paper money for $4,000, but very few people collect them. Great stories are also very important. My book, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, tells the stories of what makes a coin great, and in most cases, it’s the stories attached to them. The 1933 Double Eagle mentioned above has an amazing story, and it’s a story that continues to evolve to this day.

Myth 3: If I clean my coins, they will be more valuable
Cleaning your rare coins will destroy their value in most cases. Very skilled experts can conserve coins, but the general public should never, ever clean a coin. Rare coin collectors are very conflicted about this subject. Most will tell you they want original and uncleaned coins. In reality, they usually purchase the frosty white examples with great eye appeal. These coins are usually the result of expert conservation. NCS does an excellent job filling this need for collectors and dealers.

Myth 4: Mint errors are very rare and valuable
Although some are expensive, such as the 1943 bronze cent, most are common and not very valuable. Off-center cents can be purchased for a few dollars. Mint errors are one of the most common calls to my office. The public is very disappointed and finds it hard to believe that a mint error has so little value. The Guide Book of United States Coins (Redbook) has a wonderful chapter on this subject.

Myth 5: Rare coins always go up in value
I wish this were true, but it is not. Most long-term collectors do great, but investing can be tricky. The rare coin market is usually cyclical, and building a collection over the long term is the safest bet. As I have mentioned many times, find someone with years of experience and knowledge that you can put to work when building your collection. A trusted adviser can help you take advantage of down markets.

Myth 6: The best deals to be found are online
To be sure, there are some great deals to be found when surfing the internet. Unfortunately, there are also fakes and over-graded, over-priced coins to be found as well. Just remember, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true! It is essential to be careful whom you buy from on the internet. If there is not a solid return privilege, shop elsewhere.

Myth 7: Rare coin prices are closely tied to bullion prices
The bullion price of gold can have an impact, but rare coins have gone up plenty in previous years when bullion levels where flat. Supply and demand play a much bigger role in the price of rare coins. Many collectors and dealers have been waiting years for bullion to lift the market. More collectors entering the market would be much more effective.

Myth 8: Coin collecting is a great way to meet girls!
Coin collecting might not be the best place to meet girls, but it is a wonderful place to make new friends. Numismatic camaraderie is an important part of the hobby. Many of my best friends are ones that I met through rare coins. These relationships span decades and have been very fulfilling, to say the least. Numismatic friends are also an important part of being a successful collector. Many individuals have been collecting for years and are eager to share their knowledge. As mentioned in the first paragraph, the above information is great for beginners and has part of many speeches about rare coins I have given. I encourage anyone who reads this to consider using this article for your own speech to a group that might be interested. Remember, growing the hobby is the best way to ensure the future of numismatics.

Jeff Garrett: Myths About Coin Collecting

Let us help you get back to your normal life.

Going through someone’s stuff after that person dies can be a brutal task. At Oakton Coins we help people in the Chicago area liquidate Estates. You’d be surprised how often someone who moved away from the Chicago area years ago gets pulled back to deal with selling masses amount of stuff after someone in the family passes away. If you’re in the situation make sure you visit us, Yes we buy Coins, all forms of silver & gold collectibles and so on. But because we’re buying and selling all the time, we have contact to most everyone in the Chicago area who will buy pretty much anything. We can save you a lot of time & you will probably end up with more money.  Let us help you get back to your normal life.

You do NOT need an appointment.

90% Silver Coins – Junk Silver

When it comes to  silver, you dont always have to sell proof and bullion coinage from sovereign mints to make a solid profit. Ninety percent silver offers an extremely profitable option when selling silver.

Junk silver is an informal term used in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia for any silver coin which is in fair or cull condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. Such coins are popular among people seeking to invest in silver, particularly in small amounts. The word “junk” refers only to the value of the coins as collectibles and not to the actual condition of the coins; junk silver is not necessarily scrap silver.

Precious metals including silver are measured in troy ounces (ozt). A spot price for silver is the price for a troy ounce of silver which is 99.9-percent pure, or 999 fine. Silver coins including junk-silver coins have set silver-alloy contents ranging from 35-percent to 90-percent or more. The term “coin silver,” for example, refers to 90-percent silver alloy which was the most common alloy used to mint silver U.S. coins.

Any combination of 90-percent silver U.S. coins which have a face value of US$1.00 contains 0.715 troy ounces of 99.9-percent silver(0.7234 troy ounces if uncirculated), except for the silver dollars (Morgan and Peace) which contain .7736 troy ounces of silver. In other words, a full troy ounce of 99.9-percent silver is contained in any combination of 90-percent silver U.S. coins which have a face value of US$1.40.

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Sell Silver Chicago – Peace Dollars

Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C) has been the best coin, bullion and jewelry dealer in Skokie, Chicago, since 2014. Beyond that, Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C) offers the most competitive gold prices while buying your rare coins for cash. Only in Chicago grace a coin collector or jewelry fanatic!

Coin collectors can take advantage of Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C)’s unique collectibles of everything from the beautiful solid gold South African krugerrands to Morgan silver dollars. Admirers of old world coins must stop buy their showcase and prepare to be awestruck by the valuable European and Asian coins that are not available anywhere else.

Jewelry sellers can expect to be dazzled by a stunning amount of cash for antique jewelry. Sellers of fine jewelry can also expect Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C) professionals to offer expert advice on the value of their items while being able to sell their items for cash. Also, sellers are welcome to exchange their less-than-favorite pieces for something they truly love!

Looking for an honest appraisal of your valuables? Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C) is the place. After 50000 years in the business, customers can rest assured that this dealer will deliver each customer a satisfactory experience. So, the next time you are thinking about buying or selling coin collectibles, gold bullion or fine jewelry, visit Sell Silver Chicago (OC&C).

Rare Key Date 1928 Peace Dollar – Nice Better Grade – Philadelphia

Oakton Coins– Sell Gold-Chicago– Evanston Coins– Sell Gold Evanston– Sell Gold Chicago– Coin Shop Chicago– Sell Gold Skokie– Yelp– Evanston– Skokie– Chicago– Morton Grove– Deerfield– Des Plaines– Glencoe– Lincolnwood– Park Ridge– Rogers Park– Niles– Highland Park– Schaumburg

Sell Gold, Diamonds & Silver for Top Dollar!

Sell Gold, Diamonds & Silver for Top Dollar!

Oakton Coins & Collectibles in Skokie : We buy & sell coins, paper money, all forms of gold & silver, estate jewelry, platinum, stamps, diamonds, and more. No appointment needed during regular business hours.

4547 Oakton Street – Skokie, IL 60076 – (224) 563-5684

Nothing is too big, or too small.

5on Google, 2017

Sara Ferrara

A friend of mine told me about this place to take all my old jewelry to… I wasn’t expecting a whole lot of money because the jewelry was really old but I walked out with 500 bucks and a huge grin on my face. The staff was so friendly and offered the best money for my items. I’d recommend everyone in the area of Chicago to bring any unwanted gold or coins to Oakton coins and collectibles!

5on Google, 2017

Phill Keler

If you are looking to buy or sell gold or silver, this should be your store. Honesty and professionalism are what you find here.

5on Google, 2017

James Donnavan

I love going to Oakton Coins & Collectibles. Every time you go the guy always has something new and interesting. You can tell he really loves what he does cause if you have questions about anything he will answer them and help you if you have things to sell or want to invest. Highly recommend going to his shop for anything old and cool. Buying and selling gold or silver even collectable coins is his passion and no better place to go for this.

5on Google, 2017

Patt Mattison

Very knowledgable, and easy to work with. I worked with the Owner and I really appreciated that he didn’t push me to sell anything I was uncomfortable selling. It felt like he was really honest and I would certainly work with him in the future.

5on Google, 2017

Christy Abercombie

Sold some silver bars and was pleasantly surprised with the ease of the transaction. He was an honest, fair guy who gave me its true value. He is very passionate about his work which is always refreshing.

5on Google, 2017

Rouse Mccartney

Very good experience, Owner was a real nice guy and very easy to work with. I sold some gold bands to them and got a real nice return on my items.

5on Google, 2017

Scott Pollak

Great website!

5on Google,  2017

ryan Metz

I brought in some old jewelry that was just laying around gathering dust and was given a price that was more than fair. I went to one other pawn shop to see what they would offer and it was well below what Oakton offered me. Will be doing more business with them in the future!

5on Google, 2017


Didn’t like what the other places were offering me and heard from someone that guy there knows more about gold Brought in some old jewelry to make some quick money and he gave me almost 3x what others where asking!!!

5on Google, 2017

John Boyd

The staff is very friendly and respectful and I also got top dollar for my items.

5on Google, 2017

erin waughtal

I was in here a few days ago to look for some coins for my dad. It’s his birthday in a few weeks and he is a collector.

I was greeted when I walked in and asked if I was looking for anything in particular or if I was just browsing. I told the guy (can’t remember his name … I’m sorry!), about my dad. I ended up getting him a couple one ounce silver American eagle coins, which is he going to love.

This place also buys gold. So I’m going to be coming back soon with some old gold and silver jewelry that I don’t wear anymore. My friend had sold a few pieces to him a few months back and she said she got a really good price for what she had.

Over all I enjoyed my visit. The guy (owner I think?) was really nice and knowledgeable and I trust that he’ll be able to take care of me when I come back with my old jewelry.

Thank you again and I’ll see you soon!!

5on Google, 2016

Brooke Sherman

After reading some reviews I decided this place was the place to go sell my old coins and some jewelry. The staff was very friendly and the money I got for things I was amazed! I highly recommend Oakton coins and collectibles!

5on Google, 2016

Elizabeth Arriaga

Great place to get rid of your old outdated gold jewelry. Not only did they have one of the best prices but they are really knowledgeable and really know their stuff. Great place to go!

5on Google,  2016

Ilya Khait

I stopped in to inquire what my options were for investing in gold and the best products for it. The clerk was beyond helpful and spent close to 40 minutes explaining all of the various products and weights available and the best options for long term vs short term investments.

Highly recommended these guys!

5on Google, 2016

Brian Thomas

I drove from the south suburbs to skokie. I found Oakton off of yelp and read all the reviews and decided to stop by. I thought I’d give it a try since i really needed some cash. I was greeted by josos and showed him the gold coins that i had. I wasn’t certain as to what they were worth but I feel like I was given wayyyyyy more than what i was asking for. I highly recommend stopping by if you need cash and have gold or silver to sell. The drive was well worth it. Thanks again Josos!

5on Google, 2016

Claudia Lozano

I had some gold and old coins I needed to sell, and after reading reviews and doing some research, I decided to check this place out.

The staff was super friendly and knowledgeable, they made me a great offer for my stuff.

I am definitely coming back here!

5on Merchant Circle, 2016


I have sold gold and silver to them 2 times. They are very respectful, honest and more than fair. I have referred co-workers to Oakton Coins & Collectibles. Recently I went with one co-worker during our lunch break and they gave her an extra $20 to pay for our lunch as a thank you for my referral!

5on Google, 2016

george manios

Most amazing guy…

5on Google, 2016

Thom Ty

I took some old pocketwatches to Oakton Coins. Joses examined them and one turned out to be an expensive Railroad Pocketwatch. I decided to sell the other watches but not this one. Joses was very gracious about it. He told me that watch was very valuable and he understood why I would want to keep it in the family. I kinda expected attitude, especially from a coin dealer, but not with this place. Certainly different in this day and age.

5on Google, 2016

Alexa Zamudio

This is place is great, the only place I’ll trust going with my coins in Chicago. My grandma has been coming here for years and they are always friendly to her and me. It’s in a fine Chicagoland neighborhood but they have to let you in by unlocking the door with a buzzer – it makes you feel safer.

5on Google,  2016

Azaan Shah

Can always count on a fun experience. Extremely knowledgable staff. Authentic items 100% of the time. Would highly recommend. A hidden gem

5on Google, 2016

George V

Believe the reviews! I went here to get rid of some gold jewelry I didn’t wear anymore and came back with more than I expected. Dealt with Joses. He is knowledgeable, professional, and very easy to talk to. I highly recommend them!

4on Google, 2016

Katie Hegwood

Here my experience : Their prices are reasonable. They were real professional in helping appraise my uncle’s estate. I thank them for all their help. Think its a good place to sell coins.

5on Google, 2016

Eddy Martyn

Their prices are reasonable. They were real professional in helping appraise my uncle’s estate. I thank them for all their help. Think its a good place to sell coins.

5on Google, 2016

Jon Malone

Excellent experience! I recently inherited a large gold rope chain from my grandfather. Despite being a nice piece of jewelry, it was something that I know I would never wear. So with his blessing, he told me to sell it and get something that I could use. Taking his advice, I began seeking out gold purchasers in the Skokie, Evanston, Rogers Park area. While searching, Oakton Coins caught my eye. So a quick drive to Skokie landed me at their counter.

I was amazed to learn that he was willing to give me $145 more than everyone else. Needless to say, I took his offer and will definitely continue to do business with him in the future.

5on Google, 2016

Brittany Allen

These folks are pros and will give you the best price for your old jewelry. Even the ‘We Buy Gold’ storefronts sell to them. I had a very challenging gold and silver jewelry inheritance and the guys at Oakton Coins really put the time and effort into getting me the best return on my value. I was impressed…. best prices in the Chicago area.

5on Google, 2016

Garrison Pedro P.

If you need to sell gold in Chicago this is the best place to go! They helped me get rid of some old and outdated jewelry that I had been carrying around for too long!! It was nice to feel like I was getting some of my money back even after all of this time. I got a check but I think they pay in cash too. Nice little coin shop.

5on Google, 2015

Matt P

These guys are some of the most knowledgeable gold and silver dealers I’ve met. They understand the market and are very fair. These guys stand out compared to some of the other guys and stores.

Oakton Coins– Sell Gold-Chicago– Evanston Coins– Sell Gold Evanston– Sell Gold Chicago– Coin Shop Chicago– Sell Gold Skokie– Yelp– Evanston– Skokie– Chicago– Morton Grove– Deerfield– Des Plaines– Glencoe– Lincolnwood– Park Ridge– Rogers Park– Niles– Highland Park– Schaumburg

Selling WW2 memorabilia is fast and easy

We buy historical items of all types, from all countries involved, dating from 1939 through 1945. Selling WW2 memorabilia is fast and easy. I want to buy your World War 2 items to preserve history and share it with generations to come. Chicago has a lot of it.

We are willing to travel to buy large numbers of items or entire collections.


Oakton Coins– Sell Gold-Chicago– Evanston Coins– Sell Gold Evanston– Sell Gold Chicago– Coin Shop Chicago– Sell Gold Skokie– Yelp– Evanston– Skokie– Chicago– Morton Grove– Deerfield– Des Plaines– Glencoe– Lincolnwood– Park Ridge– Rogers Park– Niles– Highland Park– Schaumburg