The only thing which compares with buying rare old coins – is finding some!
Rare Old Coins
One of the most engrossing and popular hobbies in the world is metal detecting. Looking for hidden treasure in forgotten places. Old coins, lost jewelry, valuable artifacts and, of course, lots of screws, nuts, bolts, and assorted junk – all found by the buzz of an alarm in your earphones when something is sensed by the pulse induction system.
And in case you think using a metal detector is just a wrinky-dinky little hobby – here are the top seven finds (by value) that have been declared:
- The Hoxne Hoard – $2.6 million. …
- The Shapwick Hoard – $0.438 million. …
- The Ringlemere Gold Cup — $0.52 million. …
- A huge hoard of Bronze Age ax heads. …
- The cross from Aunslev (Viking crucifix) …
- The Escrick Ring — $44,000. …
- Gold Iron Age torcs — $0.57 million
Most of these examples are from Great Britain and Europe, where a long history has played a part in the number of items which are discoverable.
But there are still finds to be made in the US. For example, diving off Key West in 2008, treasure hunter Mike DeMar discovered a 385-year-old gold chalice from the Spanish ship Santa Margarita along with a stash of old gold coinage.
This ship sank in 1622, and was full of treasure. They rewarded Mike with a whopping $1 million for his discovery.
Is it for you?
Finding rare old coins or other prizes is not possible for everyone. Metal detectors are expensive – and not everybody has the time to go out hunting for rare coins or other treasures.
People chance upon antique coins in the most obscure places. Somebody wanting to secrete a horde of coins old would, naturally, hide them somewhere difficult to find. Coin collectors are often disappointed by finding everything but collectible coins when they go out “detecting.” This is especially true if they have done their homework and are looking at a site where they would expect to find coin collectibles.
Getting values for collector coins is also very difficult because of their rarity. There are pictures of old coins, and an old coins value chart would help to give a better idea of prices if you have some of these rare coins for sale.
Before attempting to sell, serious coin collectors always get the permission of the landowner of the area on which they are using their metal detectors. This avoids any issues of ownership. Even so, it might be necessary to consult an auction house or rare coin specialist if you do have such old coins for sale, because you may be legally obliged to declare your find to the authorities. You might discover that neither you nor the landowner can “legitimately” own the find.
Coin collecting this way is an alternative to acquiring a collection rather than having to buy old coins – but, realistically, the chances of finding an old coin collection or any serious coin collectibles buried or hidden somewhere, are fairly remote – even with the best metal detectors available.
A decent metal detector which will search for specific metals would start at around $300 to buy, and, depending on its sophistication, could cost $2,000 upwards for more than just the basic features. Add to this, the cost of travel and accommodation, if you are searching in remote areas, and the expenses can quickly build up.
Go find some treasure …
In case we have whetted your appetite and you want to check out some of the more affordable models of metal detector here is a current list .
The United States has a remarkably diverse roster of coins – both numismatic and bullion – for such a relatively young country. The trailblazers who crisscrossed the USA in its formative years carried all manner of valuable items with them for these treks, and there are plenty of sites across the land where such lost, misplaced, or hidden treasure troves, can be found.
Rare coins often turn up in auctions and at collectors fairs – finds of silver and gold which date from the early years of the Union are quite common – and coins worth many hundreds or thousands of dollars “quietly” come onto the market each year.
You probably won’t find any quarter eagle proof sets or mint sets out there – but you might just find some old Colonial Mexican Maravedis (1536-1538) or golden Spanish doubloons from around the same period – even some historic silver coins.
Good hunting …
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