Advancing the knowledge and enjoyment of numismatics

Category: Article

Numismatic articles and posts

Coin Photo Contest, 2020

The Willamette Coin Club held its first coin photo contest this week. There were 14 creative submissions. The photos depicted modern, Colonial, and Medieval coins. Tokens and currency were also featured. Several young people submitted pieces for the competition. Meeting attendees voted by Zoom chat for their top three photos. These are the winners.

First Place

Jimmy submitted this photo:

Second Place

This image was from Andrew:

Third Place

There was a tie for third place so the club awarded both submissions.

Daniel submitted this photo:

And Julian submitted this photo:

Selling Coin Collections

The Willamette Coin Club is a non-profit, community organization, and we do not provide values for coin collections or buy them. 

Values of coins are based on rarity, coin condition, and market factors of supply and demand. Rarity is established by the production numbers (mintage) and number of pieces that have survived. The market is determined by the number of collectors wanting to buy a coin versus the number that exist. Coin condition refers to the physical state of the item.

Due to the large numbers of coins and paper money produced globally starting in the 20th century, most coins and notes from that period hold only a nominal collector’s value over the face value amount. If the coin is made of silver, gold or another precious metal, then it may be valued by its intrinsic (bullion) value rather than collector value.

Value can be established by a careful physical examination of the item by an experienced numismatist. We recommend you take your items to a coin dealer who is a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA). ANA-member dealers are bound by a code of ethics. See resources below for a link to the dealer directory.

You can also do your own research by consulting one of the many published books or website on the topic. The latest editions of books like “A Guide Book of United States Coins” by R. S. Yeoman, “Paper Money of the United States” by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, as well as the “Standard Catalog of World Coins” and the “Standard Catalog of World Paper Money” (both published by Krause Publications) are available at many libraries and bookstores.

Websites like eBay and Heritage allow you to search their completed sales for similar coins. PCGS and NGC offer price estimates for authenticated and graded coins. To be successful at that, you should be able to identify and name the coin typically by country, denomination, and year.

When coin clubs meet in person, you can sometimes bring your collection and talk to others at the meeting to get rough estimates. If the collection is large or particularly valuable, you may want to hire a professional to inventory and estimate the value or bring them to a nationally recognized auction house.


ANA member dealers:

Calendar of regional coin events:

“Managing & Settling a Numismatic Estate: How to Preserve or Dispose of a Coin Collection”:

ANA Frequently Asked Questions:

Rare 1908 Magazine Article About Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Written By His Son Soon After His Death

By Robert Brown, WCC Member

The magazine article below, from the March 1908 issue of The Century Magazine, describes the later works of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, from 1900 to his death in 1907. It was written by his son, Homer Saint-Gaudens, less than a year after his father’s passing. The 18-page article has over a dozen pictures of his works during this time, including preliminary designs of the $10 and $20 gold pieces familiar to many numismatists.

Following this article are a few paragraphs about the Special Medal of Honor created in 1901 for Augustus Saint-Gaudens by James Earle Fraser, along with two pictures of the medal. Fraser is known to numismatists for designing the Buffalo nickel of 1913-1938, as well as the reverse of the Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar of 1926-1939.

I am happy to share this unique and informative article that I purchased in a 2018 numismatic book auction.

Auction Catalogue Description for the article shared below.
Saint-Gauden’s Preliminary Sketch for the Double Eagle
Click the image above to read the full article!