Gold, Silver, Coins or Cash Lincoln Coin show offers plenty to see and trade

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[June 22, 2022] 

Saturday was a very busy day in Logan County. Among the many activities going on in Lincoln, Atlanta, and Emden was the Lincoln Coin Show held at the Lincoln Park District.

It was an interesting event with more than a dozen coin collectors/buyers/sellers on hand to show off their wares, offer appraisals of coins and cash brought in by guests and of course, do some selling and or trading with those guests.

The day was busy for all the collectors who took the opportunity not only to make a few deals, but also to educate visitors on how they value coins and what items they have are the rarest and why.

For example, one collector was dealing not only in coins but also in cash. He had on hand money that we see every day and don’t give a thought to their true value. Five dollar bills, tens and 20’s that look like what we carry in our billfolds was identified by the collector as being special for several reasons. When asked about it, he explained that the bills he had in his collection were older and for the most part not in circulation any longer. He noted that the bills have smaller faces on the presidential side of the bill and other special identifiers that make them rare and work a little more than face value.

He also had on hand a collection of ‘Notes’ or ‘certificates’ that were roughly civil war era cash. He explained that prior to a universal federal cash distribution there was a distribution of cash for specific banks.

Included in his collection was a $10 bill issued by the First National Bank of Staunton and one from the Millikin National Bank in Decatur dated 1882. This same dealer also had a two-dollar bill that was issued during the civil war by the Internal Improvement Office.

Many of the collectors were dealing specifically in un-circulated gold and silver coins. One such dealer/collector was asked how he knew for certain that the coins he had were genuine and not cheap imitations. He said there are a variety of tests he does to prove that a coin is real. First of all, he measures the coin.

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He said counterfeiters are not very particular sometimes. Each coin issued by the government is a specific size and all are exactly the same. Weight is also a test in itself. He said that if a coin is supposed to be pure gold or pure silver as many were back in the first editions of coins, they will have a specific and precise weight. Again, something counterfeiters would have a hard time replicating unless they were using pure gold or silver.

Finally he says he looks at the detail. Each coin minted by the United States government starts out as a carving created by very talented artists. As an example he pointed out the buffalo coins he had in his collection. He said that on the real coins, the wooly mane around the buffalo neck and head is painstakingly carved by an artist for the real coin. He said that looking with a magnifying glass, one can see the curling wool in fine detail. In fake coins, the artists are not a specific and when looking at the manes under a glass they will look like little scratches with no resemblance to the genuine wooly mane.

Around the room, almost every collector/dealer had brought their own bright lights to shine down on coins when checking them out, and some brought some other special tools. High magnification glasses were seen here and there, and some folks had special digital magnifiers that allowed the coin to be set on a plate like a microscope then viewed on a digital screen.

During the day, collectors enjoyed several visitors at their tables, and there were deals going on. While no one wanted to be singled out or named there were sales being made on both sides of the table. One guest brought in a collection of coins and ended up selling the entire set for several hundred dollars.

There were also buyers who were most interested in the gold and silver. When asked about the advantages to buying coins, one dealer had a quick answer. He said that anyone can buy and sell gold on the exchange, but all they get is a piece of paper. But with a real coin, it is an asset that the owner can hold in his or her hand and know what they have. He noted that in general, gold is continually going up. While it dips and sways in value, it is a very secure investment, in his mind at least, that will always recover and increase.

At the end of the day, when everyone packed up to go home, all were pleased with the turnout at the event, and hope to return to Lincoln again in the future.

[Nila Smith]

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