Numismatic Coins Vs. Old Currency: Where Value is Determined

As a numismatic collector, there is a wide variety of products from which to choose. The differences in numismatic coins and rounds versus old currency is a matter of historical, intrinsic and monetary value. Before investigating which is more valuable, here are some highlights of numismatic coins versus currency that are important to know. 

Numismatic Coins: The quantity produced is significantly higher than currency. Even though currency was easier and cheaper to produce, the abundance of Gold, Silver and other Precious Metals makes it easier to produce larger quantities. Speaking historically and in modern terms, there is notoriety for someone who owns Precious Metals. 

Old Currency: Currency has an interesting history. There are plenty of examples of paper currency that have existed as long as coins have; however, currency was not as widely circulated or collected as coins and rounds. Currency started becoming an important part of monetary circulation slowly. During the Civil War, Confederate Currency was produced to help support the war because Precious Metals stores were hoarded. (CSA Notes)

Factors in Determining Value for Numismatic Coins and Currency

The Civil War saw the beginnings of regular circulation with paper currency. Federal Reserve Notes and Bank Notes became more common following the war. In terms of value, one should consider a few factors in regard to finding value in numismatic coins or currency:

  1. Is it a commemorative, special issue or general issue? This is important because many coins and currency have special editions or issues. Some are also born out of necessity, which makes it important and valuable nonetheless. Commemoratives and special issues are often called "limited editions" with many of them not making it to circulation.
  2. Date of the coin or bill. A person should take a historical eye to the date of the coin or bill. The history of the United States is a vast one, filled with tremendous stories and events, and even so is relatively short compared with many countries around the world. Historical dates are vastly important in helping determine value because historical events play an increasingly important role.
  3. Condition. Condition is an important aspect of determining value for anything. Currency is more easily damaged and wrinkled due to their materials. That doesn't mean currency doesn't hold any value. The condition of coins or currency is important to keep an eye on. Looking for wear and tear, along with signs of aging, should be done before buying.
  4. Rarity and why it was produced. Some coins and currency are rare, making their intrinsic value high. Rare coins and rare currency are popular with collectors and investors because they are hard to find or there are few pieces of them left. Proportionally, there are more certified rare coins than rare currency. (Pratt Library)

While it may seem that numismatic coins offer more value, there is some valuation in currency too. Currency plays an important role in the American way of life. While currency has changed many forms over the years from Confederate Currency to Large Federal Reserve Notes, currency items complement any numismatic collection today. Value exists in all forms of currency, new or rare.  

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