Colored Coins; A Worthy Investment or Just Pretty?

Friday, February 1, 2013 - 4:15pm

Over the past few years there has been an increased interest in consumers to purchase colorized coins. Generally they are purchased to commemorate an event or special occasions such as birthdays, or because the buyer believes the coin will appreciate in value. Some of the most popular color coins to purchase are quarter state coins, and $1 presidential coins. These coins can usually sell anywhere from $10 to $20, and sometimes even more. However with all things considered, are colored coins really worth the investment, or are they nothing more than pretty? 

What Are Colorized Coins?

Simply put colorized coins, are regular coins with added color. A coin is a legal tender which has been authorized, or monetized, by a federal government.  When a particular coin has been colored, the color was either added after the coin was produced, or a part of the original design intention. There are three different methods that can be used when coloring a coin:

· The colorized design can be added by gluing or fusing a decal or sticker to the coin

· The coin can be painted with acrylic or enamel-based paints

· A coin can be colored by combining the two above methods, meaning that with high heat, a polymer-based ink decal can be fused to the coin, resulting in the coin looking as if it had been both painted and stickered.

Since color can be added either after the coin was produced, or intended to be a part of the original design, there are some valuable, legitimate numismatic colored collectibles. For example, some coins that are produce by the Royal Canadian mint are purposely intended to have color. However the United States Mint does not produce or sell any colorized coins. The colorized quarters, and colored presidential dollars that are produced and sold, are done by private businesses not the United States Mint or the US Money Reserve. In fact the United States Mint does not support, or encourage the production of these colorized coins, and are thought to be by collectors as worthless perversions of the original coin, with numerical value.

Difference Between Bullion and Colorized Coins

Bullion is made from precious metals, such as gold or silver, and is kept or stored as an investment. Usually it is not used for day-to-day commerce like a colored coins, but the United States Mint does make bullion coins that can be used for currency. Other bullion such as ingots or rounds are only worth the metal that was used to make them. Places like the US Money Reserve deals specifically with gold, silver, and platinum and produce bullion coins. Unlike colored coins, these bullion coins are produced by the United States Mint. The US Money Reserve also produces official gold and platinum numismatic coins as well.

It is important to remember when buying and collecting coins not every coin will someday appreciate in value, and have proven to not be worth anything. If you happen to be interested in the long term value of your coin, then it is important to contact a reputable coin dealer, or a coin grading service. Sometimes a coin may be worth nothing more than the memories associated to that coin by the owner, therefore making it priceless. 


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