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Silver Dollars

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Coin Collecting History

The value of old coins and the role they have played in coin collecting history all ties accordingly into the need of human beings to have a tangible representation of value against the good for which they trade.

Money is quite simply a medium of exchange. Today we use checks, plastic cards and paper notes, but what did ancient societies use in their daily commerce? The earliest known coins are from the Lydian society from Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), which was in close proximity to the Greek colonies in Asia Minor.

This society’s coins were made of a gold and silver alloy, and were first used around 600 BC. The Lydians were the leaders of their era with a keen understanding of how business and commerce works. Their advanced thinking enabled them to build a wealthy society which revolutionized trade and commerce. Coin collecting allows you to see just how the designs of coins have progressed throughout history.

Coin collecting based on more than the silver dollar coin value but on the appreciation of it as a collectible is thought to have begun in the 14th century and is often referred to as the "Hoby of Kings". Many European kings would actually seek out and collect the rare ancient coins of past societies which often revealed that no two coins where exactly identical.

This was due to the methods used by ancient societies to strike coins. Almost all early coins were struck by hand, and the striking process changed little until the 1500's when coins began to be machine-milled.

In 1792 the United States government established the Philadelphia Mint as part of the original Coinage Act. With the eventual opening of several U.S. mint branches there arose a need to establish mint marks as forms of identification. With the exception of some old coins minted from 1838 and 1839, U.S. branch mints prior to 1909 would always display branch mint mark on the reverse side of the coin.

The ANS or American Numismatic Society was founded in 1858 as an international non-profit organization for the preservation and study of coins, medals and paper money. The coins which are desirable by coin collectors today include historically interesting coins, coins minted with errors, coins with low mintage and commemorative coins. Learning to grade coins accurately is one of the most valuable skills a coin collector can learn.