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Proof It

I’m going to let you in on something I’m learning about: Coins.

You probably know that coins are minted in three places in the United States: Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.  But did you know that coins minted in Denver (the coins with the “D” on them) and in Philadelphia (P) are the only ones that go into normal circulation?  The “S” coins are what are called proofs.  They are stamped twice instead of once and are much shinier or even mirror-like in the background of the pictures?

The metal make up of coins varies, but there isn’t much nickel in a nickel or as much copper in a penny as you might think.  We call most circulating coins “clad” and they are a mixture of different metals.  OK, back to San Fancisco where they make proof coins.  They make proofs in regular clad and they also make proofs in 90% silver (well, only the dime, quarter, and half-dollar – the others are still clad).  These silver proofs are more expensive because of the silver and they’re super shiny.

The value of a coin is not only based on the metal content, but also on availability.  Availability is usually based on the amount of coins put into circulation (or in the case of proof coins – sold by the mint).  Occasionally, the mints will make mistakes.  These error coins are very rare and can be worth a mint.

I’m currently collecting the Sacagawea dollar proofs that began to be printed in 2000, the Presidential dollar proofs which began in 2007, the state quarter series in (P) and (D), and the silver proofs of the National Park series quarters that began this year.

This is usually the place where I would connect coin collecting to faith or church planting, but it’s not going to happen.  I just figure everybody needs a hobby.

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