Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Dirt Cheap Paper Clip Coin Stand

Illinois Sesquicentennial on a Paper ClipIntroducing the Dirt Cheap Paper Clip Coin Stand. There are certainly more attractive and stable coin stands on the market, but that wasn't my goal. I wanted to make my own cheap yet functional coin stand. The beauty of this stand is it requires one paper clip and no tools. It also seems to work well for a quick coin photography setup.

I don't know what a standard paper clip is made of so I can't say whether or not long-term contact between the coin and the clip will hurt the coin. Feel free to suggest improvements or show off your own dirt cheap coin holder solutions. Cheers, Mark

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gold Bugs: How Bad Does it Have to Get?

People holding gold as a hedge against financial crises and the evils of fiat currency must be wondering: what does it take for the price of gold to rise? The full faith and credit of the US government standing behind every US dollar is in doubt. The price of gold seems to shrug it off. Yet, gold bugs remain ever optimistic that the next crisis will finally prove them right. The question is, how bad does it have to get? And, if it gets that bad who will buy the gold?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Speculations on the Coin Market

Just speculating here but what would it take to affect change in the price of a certain coin? There are a finite number of say, 1892 Columbian Exposition Commemorative Half Dollars. In theory then, it is possible to acquire them all. However, in reality, in the process of acquiring them the market would wise up and the price would too. This brings up a few questions.

Image courtesy
How responsive is the coin market? Certainly it would be more responsive to the demand of key dates than common dates. How many of a certain coin are on the market at any time? How high does the price have to be before people raid their collections? How many coins survive 120 years? Of course the commemorative half is probably a bad example. The mintage was relatively low but the number saved is probably quite high. After all, that half dollar cost one dollar if you bought it at the exposition.

Have there been instances of people trying to collect/hoard one coin? I imagine somebody with a large bankroll could start buying their target coin quite easily at first, then after a period of time would need help from dealers. At that point the price would begin to rise. Just speculating of course, but intriguing don't you think?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Make Your Own DIY Custom Coin Album

There are many coin albums on the market but they are usually specific to one coin series. Like most coin collectors, your collection probably consists of a wide variety of coins. What do you do with a collection of  dimes, quarters, large cents, coins from other countries, etc. without buying one album for every type? Coin dealers and collectors have made their own albums for years. With a binder, some vinyl pages, 2x2 coin holders, and a stapler you've got everything you need to create a custom do-it-yourself coin album.

Fold and staple 2x2 coin holder
We'll start with the coin holders. These are typically called fold-and-staple 2x2 coin holders because when folded over your coin, they measure two inches square. They are made of cardboard coated with mylar on one side and feature a clear opening in the center. These holders are inexpensive and come in window sizes from dimes to silver dollars. Place the unfolded holder on a flat surface, cardboard side down. Place your coin one of the clear windows and fold the the other half over your coin. Adjust the coin so it is in the center of the window.

Flat Clinch Stapler
Once the coin is positioned in the center of your folded 2x2 holder, you will need to staple the holder to secure the coin. I very much recommend a flat clinch stapler. Unlike the typical office stapler which leaves a rounded staple, a flat clinch leaves a flat staple which makes your coin holders much easier to store. Staple each side of your coin holder, about half way between the edge of the holder and the edge of the coin. Mind the coin of course.

20-pocket coin pages
Now your coin can be placed into its page. The 20-pocket vinyl coin pages are designed to hold fold-and-staple 2x2s like the one you just made. I like the top-loading pages. Each holder slides into the pocket from the top and the pocket features a thumb cut on the bottom to easily access the holder.

Finally, place the pages into a 3-ring binder and there your have it, your custom coin album.