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My Top 5 Worst Coin Investments

By April 7, 2007

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I was reading an article in Coin World about how the Franklin Mint has decided to start minting "coins" again in conjunction with the new Presidential Dollars. Franklin is going to issue their own line of Presidential "coins," presumably hoping to rope in the naive sorts of folks who don't realize that such offerings aren't even really coins in the strict numismatic sense of the word. (Offerings by private mints are generally called rounds if they're made of precious metal, and tokens if they're not.) In addition, private mint "coins" have virtually no after-market collectible value beyond that of any bullion they might happen to contain. (In other words, they're practically worthless except as scrap metal.)

It is worth pointing out that many of the Franklin Mint's other offerings do have an aftermarket value, especially their collectible plates and figurines, so I want to be real clear that I'm not saying the Franklin Mint (and its kin) are rip-offs. I just want to point out to coin collectors that the rounds and tokens sold by these mints, because they are not the products of official government mints, are not in the same class as coins that are.

I have seen some very sad cases of people who bought third-party mint "coins" as an investment, only to learn 20 years later that they can't even sell this stuff because nobody wants it. Therefore, in the hope of preventing more folks from suffering this devastating coin investment mistake, I've put together my personal list of the top five coin investments that I personally avoid making. I'm not trying to give anybody any investment advice exactly, since nobody can predict where the market might go, but I would like to at least share with the you the types of "investment coins" that I don't buy, and why, so that you can make a more informed decision about your own investment choices. At the end of the article, I describe a few of my favorite coin investment vehicles. You can find it all in My Top 5 Worst Coin Investments.


April 12, 2007 at 8:26 am
(1) evan andersen says:

Evan Andersen Lydia Capital

Sir I am looking for Lydian Trite. It is from Lydia Captial, Sardis and I was wondering if there was a way to talk with someone on how to locate this coin. Let me know when you have the chance.

Evan Andersen Lydia Capital

May 3, 2008 at 8:15 am
(2) Gary says:

I am so glad I found your blog. I was ready to order multiple sets of the Franklin Mint’s offer. I am not really a coin collector, but it just seemed like such a great investment. I didn’t know they were not official US Mint coin. Thank You!

June 29, 2008 at 8:25 am
(3) Tim says:

I have recieved two sets of presidential coins from my neighbor to investigate and then give him an offer, one is of an old Shell Gas Station Give Away which is a 35-piece Solid Bronze Collectors Set of Franklin Mint presidential Coins…one coin is missing, that of Calvin Coolidge, the other set is in a leather portfolio which states on the cover, United States Mint, Medals of the presidents with the Seal of the President of the United States…I’m guessing that the coins are either Bronze or copper…the last presidential coin in this book is that of Ronald reagan 1981-….I would Greatly appreciate any insight on both sets that you may be able to provide
Sincerely, Tim

August 13, 2009 at 9:23 am
(4) rodger says:

hi..can some help with choosing the right stocks to choose to invest in…i have 200K

April 1, 2010 at 9:20 am
(5) Tim Hildreth says:

Thankyou for the information on this coin collection by the Franklin Mint. I am relieved to find out that this collection is not real U.S. coins produced by the U.S. Mint. The reason I was researching this coin set is that I was very much concerened that they were designed & produced without “In God We Trust”.

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