Is There a New Focus in Coin Collecting?

Is There a New Focus in Coin Collecting?

Coin Collecting Shifts with Major Mint Production

Coin collecting of circulating issues seems to be well entrenched as a primary interest of numismatists.  But, commemorative coins that were being bought a few years ago may be undergoing a change.  Some major mints seem to have older issues available much too long, and need to reduce their inventories with sales.  Why?  Perhaps some commemorative coins have gone too far with innovations.  And there seems to be far too many issues available.


In another article I have pointed out the difference in commemorative coins that show the rich history, culture, and natural settings of a country, and those that use what seems to be random subject matter.  (See that article here.)  And, in that article you would see my opinion of some mints that are doing things right, such as the Royal Mint, Monnaie de Paris, the Royal Canadian Mint, and the Perth Mint.  You can read that article here.


The problem seems to be with smaller nations that are using commemorative coins as income.  And, I have read of at least one, and I suspect there are more, that sell the rights to mint coins.  The result is a flooding of the market.


Now, the quality mints, and even others, are shifting to more bullion coins.


Of course numismatists have sent signals for years by sending bullion coins out for grading.  And the grading services have had no problem in accepting bullion to grade.


Coin Collecting Bullion

Coin Collecting with Precious Metal Backing

Collecting Coins
United States Silver Bullion Coin

Bullion coins are worth the higher of the precious metal value contained in the coin or the numismatic value.  The precious metal value is a good hedge against having the numismatic market fall abruptly.


Coin collecting of bullion is clearly recognized by some mints.  Mints offer a variety of bullion coins, and no longer concentrate on only one issue.  Keeping the mintage low helps the numismatic aspect of the coin, and if the mint is keeping the mintage low this is an indication that the mint considers bullion coins as collectible coins.


The Perth Mint goes to the next level, and for its Lunar Series offers colorized bullion coins.


More Bullion Coins

Coin Collecting of Bullion Coins Is Easier

Coin collecting that includes bullion coins is easier than ever, due to the plethora of bullion coins being minted.  Some countries have multiple issues.


The United Kingdom has been adding bullion series regularly.  Considering only the silver bullion coins, the Britannia is now joined by the Lunar Series.  In 2016 the Queen’s Beasts Series was added with multiple releases annually.  In 2017 the Landmarks of Britain Series came about.  And, in 2018 the Two Dragons coin is still another silver bullion coin.  (See the related article on this blog.)



Some mints do not sell bullion directly to the public, but the Royal Mint even has a special web address for its direct bullion sales.  You can visit the Royal Mint bullion page via the image below.


Landmarks of Britain Silver Coin
Landmarks of Britain Silver Coin Image by the Royal Mint



The Royal Canadian Mint issues the Maple Leaf coin.  This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the silver bullion Maple Leaf.  There are at least three different silver Maple Leaf bullion coins being released, the customary one, an incused one (See the article on this blog), and one with a huge numeral thirty on the reverse.  In addition, the third coin of the Predator series featuring a wolf is being minted.  The Predator Series is one of several short series of bullion coins that span few years, making collecting the series easy.  The Predator Series follows the four-coin Birds of Prey two-year series, and before the Birds of Prey was a series was a six-coin, three-year animal series.


The Perth Mint has had four silver bullion series.  The Kookaburra is a popular series dating back to 1990, the Lunar Series 2 is a continuation of Lunar Series 1, another popular series, and the Kangaroo and the Koala are the others.  But, this year we have the beautiful Dragon silver bars (See our other article here).  Adding a fourth silver bullion series indicated the demand is there.   In addition, the Black Panther silver bullion coin is being minted for Tuvalu.


The Eastern Caribbean 8 is just starting the release of thirty-two silver bullion coins.  The plan is that each of the eight nations of the Eastern Caribbean 8 will have four coins.  This will add significantly to the silver bullion coins available.  And, this indicates there is a demand for silver bullion.  Watch for an article on this series on this blog.


Unfortunately, the United States Mint has not responded to this demand in a reasonable manner.  The American Eagle and the five-ounce silver America the Beautiful quarters have recently been joined by one other bullion series, the liberty coins.



This is a brief summary of what is being released in silver bullion.  Gold and platinum bullion coins are also being minted, with fractional pieces being the most affordable.  The Royal Mint has just added a one-tenth ounce platinum Britannia just months after adding the platinum one-ounce Britannia..


Coin Collecting Special Bullion Coins

Some Bullion Coins Have Special Features


Silver Bullion coins are not always just plain silver coins.  The Perth Mint offers a colorized version of the Lunar Series. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf has an incused version.  These are features one might expect on a commemorative coin.


And, some silver coins have limited mintages.  The Perth Mint often limits a one-ounce silver bullion coin, and the Two Dragon silver bullion coin of the Royal Mint has a mintage of just fifty thousand.  These are just a couple of examples of low mintage silver bullion coins.


Why Collect Bullion?

They Are Legitimate Coins

Bullion coins are legitimate coins.  They have a denomination, although a nominal one.  They are minted under the authority of a country through a central bank or a mint.  It is not necessary that a country mint its own coins.  Smaller countries usually contract out minting of coins, including circulating issues, commemoratives, and bullion.  This is quite different from a nation allowing an outside party to mint on its behalf for a payment from that party.  While coins contracted by an outside party may technically be coins of the nation to which the payment was made, it is not always the case that they will reflect the culture or anything else about that nation.


Upgrading Beyond Bullion Coins

Coin Collecting of Collector Editions

Many bullion coins have a counterpart of a proof coin, some of which are colorized or even gilded.  Upgrading to a proof, colorized or even a reverse proof coin is sometimes possible for a higher price.  One example is the queen’s Beasts Coins, the subject of another article on this blog found here.



Coin Collecting New Trends

It seems that the large mints, and some not so large mints, are realizing there are more sales to be made when a coin is an affordable bullion coin.  People collect coins for two reasons, for their numismatic appeal and as an investment.  There is nothing wrong with an investor transitioning to a numismatist.  Nor is there any problem with a person collecting for both reasons.  Silver bullion coins meet the demand of those looking for precious metal at near spot prices with an added advantage of numismatic appeal.


For more articles on bullion coins look here.


Please visit Black Spaniel Gallery Coins to see out inventory.  Also, we have other informative articles, and will continue to add articles at Black Spaniel Gallery Blog.


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