Coins You Shouldn’t Buy 4


For some collectors, they look to buy coins in order to sell them for a profit in the future. Nothing wrong with that, but when people start altering these coins, dealers and buyers will consider them practically worthless. Here are some coins you shouldn’t consider buying.

Cleaned Coins

One of the most important rules to coin collecting is DON’T CLEAN YOUR COINS!!! Let’s face it. Most collectors like coin in their original mint luster, but depending on how they’re stored, these coins can lose that luster and don’t look as pretty. So, to make them pretty again, people try to clean their coins.

Remember the Tarn-X commercials on TV? See what it does to copper, silver, and a poor Lincoln Cent.

At first, the object dipped in products like Tarn-X do what they say at first, but after a while, some of the detail will disappear making the coins worth less than in its previous condition. This happens because the chemicals in these products contain acidified thiourea. This is a carcinogen which can not only do damage to your coin, but yourself as well. Besides, dealers will not even look at cleaned coins, and if they do, they will buy it for significantly less than it was originally worth.

Colorized Coins

I believe this has been going on for about 20 years. Mint and non-mint coins are being painted over to make them look prettier. The main reason for this was to sell them to the public that are not necessarily interested in collecting coins.

Look at the images at the top of this post. This was gifted to me back when Al Gore and George W. Bush were running for President back in 2000. This is actually the obverse and reverse of a coin not from the US Mint and about the size of a Kennedy Half Dollars. People actually bought this coin for the significance of the Presidential Election and the owner can put their favorite candidate on top. A nice idea, but I don’t expect to get anything for this, as nice as it looks.

Now, check out the painted American Eagle Silver Dollar to the right. It is beautiful to look at, I admit, but I probably wouldn’t get much more than the minimum melt value for it if I tried to sell it. Also, you may or may not notice that a little of the paint has come off. Nice, huh?

Gold Plated Coins

Here is another gift that I received back in the day, a 1999 set containing a Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter and Susan B. Anthony Dollar.

These are authentic US Mint coins that someone coated with 24 Karat Gold Plated. If it was 24 Karat Gold, these coins would be worth more based on the current price of gold, but it’s actually 24 Karat Gold Plated. Gold Plated means that the coins were coated in a very fine layer of gold. There’s hardly any gold in these coins which will not increase the price of them.

Once again, people see the word gold and think they’re getting more than what they paid for it. However, the word plated ruins that idea and do nothing for the coin collector they give it to. Looks nice though.

Nice to Look at Though

After all, these were gifts that were given to me with good intentions. That’s the only reason I keep them. I know that I wouldn’t get anything for them and cleaning coins is a definite no no.

I hope this help you when buying newly released coins. If you decide to buy, go straight through the mint, or from respective dealers, places or online sites.

One More Thing – DON’T CLEAN YOUR COINS!!!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “Coins You Shouldn’t Buy

  • Justin

    Now that is interesting – don’t clean you coins – I would have thought the complete opposite, I have learned something new today. I actually like the painted American eagle silver dollar – I would probably buy it from you, roughly speaking what would be the price level – just a rough estimate? thanks again for pointing this very important piece of information

    • Kevin Post author

      Thanks for the comment Justin! Unfortunately, a lot of people think cleaning coins are good when it isn’t. I haven’t seen Tarn-X commercials as often as I used to. So, hopefully cleaning coins has reduced.

      I’ve had that painted American Eagle for a long time and will keep it, more so because it was a gift. If I consider selling it, I’ll let you know. Just curious. How much do you think you would pay for it?

  • Chris Barr

    I have a meager coin collection that was obtained originally with the thought of an investment. Now I am retired and really don’t have a need for the coins that I acquired. What is the best way to sell these coins and to get a fair price? How do you valuate a coin?

    • Kevin Post author

      Chris, if you do decide to sell your coins, you should first do some research. For US coins, get Whitman’s Official Red Book. This year’s will be titled “A Guide Book of United States Coins 2019” and the cover is mostly red. It can help give you an idea of grading a coin and approximately what it’s worth. Once you figure out what you think your coins are worth, you can go to a coin store or a local dealer and get an appraisal. Some will do it for a fee. If you decide to sell coins at a coin store, they will usually give you about 80% of what it’s currently worth. There are also online auctions you can check out like Heritage, but they usually look for higher end coins. Of course there’s always EBay. I’ve sold coins on Ebay in the past. I’ve made a profit on most of the coins I sold there, but of course I have to give some of it back to EBay. Hope this helps!