American Coin Shooter

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How to Clean Coins

Some people use a cloth-like this one to clean their gold coins.

First and foremost, do not clean valuable coins. Many collectors never clean a coin since it can greatly diminish its value. If you have small valued coins such as pennies or dimes, then this article is for you. Patina is the thin layer of tarnish that forms on a coin over many years and many coin collectors like this, as they grade coins with several factors to consider from the condition of the coin to rarity of the date.

It might be brownish hues of greenish copper- type colors. It is best not to clean the patina off rare coins as the value can be diminished. Coins don’t increase in value after you clean them. However, if you have some old coins you would like to clean, below are a few steps.

We all have coins in our drawers that are filthy and even have a certain order. Fortunately, most of these are lower value coins and you can clean these as most are nothing but pocket change.

  • Rinse the coins under running water. Grip the coins by their edges. Distilled water is best as most water now contains fluoride and this can create a chemical reaction with some coins as many coins have numerous metals within them when they are minted.
  • Soak the coins in vinegar for a couple of minutes.
  • Rinse in running warm tap water and completely rinse the coins.
  • Air dry instead of using a cloth.

If it is still dirty, you can use a light brush for deep-seated dirt. Air-dry the coin.

How To Clean Gold Coins

  • Soak the coins in soapy, warm water only. Distilled water is your best choice.
  • Air-dry the gold coins only.  Gold is too valuable to risk damage.
  • Some folks do use a gold cleaning cloth that is used specifically for gold jewelry.

Collectible Books

You’ve probably read articles about all those expensive and incredibly rare, collectible books, like the very covetable first edition of J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard, of which only seven gem-covered, leather-bound editions were made. So you probably don’t have a rare Harry Potter book sitting in your attic, but you might be astonished to know some books sitting on your shelves can be resold for somewhere around $300 to $10,000.

‘Harry Potter’ Book by J.K. Rowling – Any Posted 2000 Signed

J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was printed in the U.S. in 1998 and by 2000 she has become an international literary icon. As Rowling’s fame skyrocketed, her book tours became much shorter and spots in her signing lines became much harder to get into. So, it makes sense that any signed copy of Rowling’s books would be quite valuable. While a signed first edition is best, one of the fifth book in the series, Order of the Phoenix sold for $7,657 in ‘07 — autographed copies of many Harry Potter books are being sold on the site currently for anywhere from $850 to $2000.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini – Signed 1st Edition

While The Kite Runner is now deemed one of the most highly acclaimed and beloved books of all time when it was first published in ‘03, it only had a little first printing. Because there are not a lot of first edition copies, they can be resold for a nice amount of money. The most expensive first edition was sold on AbeBooks for around $3,000 and signed first editions are now being sold on the site for $1,350.

The DaVinci Code’ by Dan Brown – Signed 1st Edition

Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code became a global phenomenon after it was released in ‘03. According to AbeBooks, a signed first edition was sold in May of 2006, the year the movie came out, for more than $4,000, the biggest amount ever paid for a copy of this bestselling thriller.

Geeky Collectibles That Could Make You Millions

Although there are many ways you can go to earn $1 million, here’s some that might surprise you: cashing in on your geeky collectibles. It sounds a little far-fetched, but some collectibles have made their owners huge dollars at auctions.

Of course, how much your geeky collectibles are worth can be biased and might depend on plenty of factors including rarity, age, demand, and condition. You’ll likely need many valuable and rare collectibles to get $1 million, but it could be worth giving it a try if you’ve got a collection.

Look at these geeky collectibles you might already own. If you’re lucky, you could have a jackpot collectible more valuable than gold.

Comic Books

Comic books are a very popular collector’s item. The rarer and vintage your comic book is, the more it’s worth.

Just because your comic book collection might have some rare and vintage copies, though, doesn’t ensure it’s worth $1 million. You must take into account other factors when you’re buying, selling or trading comic books. For instance, you should know your comic book’s marketability Comics with classic covers or first appearances are usually more valuable.

The Most Expensive Comic Books

A 1938 copy of Action Comics #1 sold in ‘14 for $3.21 million on eBay. Action Comics #1 had the first appearance of Superman and cost 10 cents when it debuted. Besides being vintage, the comic book is rare since there are only 100 copies.


Coin collectors really have a valuable hobby. Based on their rarity and condition, coins can be one of the best things to collect for investment.

The Most Expensive Coins

The rare 1894-S Barber dime usually sells for more than $1 million, although it has sold for over $2 million at private sales. In fact, an 1894-S Barber sold for $1.99 million at an auction in FL in ’16.

US Most Valuable Stamps (Part II)

The Declaration of Independence Stamp 1869

There are numerous reasons why this stamp is wanted by collectors.

The first is that the artwork is beautiful for a stamp and the other reason this one is highly-prized is that the 24-cent stamp uses a “G” grill and has a basic gum, split grill or double grill. If you have an unused sample with an inverted center, it is said to have a value of around $275,000.

Shield Eagle & Flags Stamp 1869

Shield, Eagle and Flags Stamp 1869

This stamp was part of a collection of ten stamps that had a value of between one and 90 cents.

This series of stamps was the first to use bicolor printing and was frequently criticized for the puzzling arrangement of colors. It made the stamps look poorly designed.

As you could expect, its value derives not from the fact that it was the first stamp to be printed using a new method but because some of the stamps got inverted during the printing process. If you can find an unused sample that has inverted flags it could be worth about $200,000 and a used one will still get you around $65,000.

George Washington Stamp 1867

Not unexpectedly, the first president of the United States was significant feature in several stamps.

The one that is of interest is the three cent B grill stamp in rose printing. There is nothing really wrong with the stamp to add to its value, it is just a sought-after stamp and although 1,000 were made, only four are in existence and they go for about $165,000 each

Benjamin Franklin Stamp 1908

This stamp is well-known by philatelists as the Washington-Franklin issue and part of the attraction to collectors is the fact that only a part of the U.S Postal Service watermark is on the stamp and every stamp was different with the watermark going backwards, sideways or topside.

An unused pair is estimated to have a value of $100,000.

US Most Valuable Stamps (Part I)

There are many reasons why a stamp might get notoriety and an eye-watering price tag that reflects a serious collectors desire to add this stamp to their collection.

Stamps have proven to be a reasonable alternative investment when you look at some of the returns gotten over a period of time and if you have the opportunity and the cash to get any of these top ones, you will probably be a very happy philatelist.

Inverted Jenny

Inverted Jenny Stamp

A little chance of acquiring this rare and valuable stamp. There were only a few issued and one of them is on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

With a face value of 24 cents and a few as 2 dollars, these stamps are at the top because the biplane featured in the picture was printed upside down in error. Each one is estimated to be worth at least $100,000.

Though, since only one pane of Inverted Jennies has ever been discovered, the design has later become a highly valued prize for philatelists, raising the price up to $200,000.

In October ‘14, the plate block of four Inverted Jenny stamps sold for $2.97 million at a New York action to the U.S. collector Bill Gross.

Abraham Lincoln Stamp 1867

The 1867 Abraham Lincoln stamp has a really rare “Z” grill that has distinct horizontal ridges rather than vertical ones that were a common feature in other grill types.

In light of the real rarity aspect of this stamp and its importance during the Civil War period, it is valued to be worth somewhere around $200,000.

1c Benjamin Franklin Stamp

The stamp was distributed in 1867 and is a rarity due its rare and unusual “Z” grill with horizontal ridges, similar to the Abraham Lincoln stamp.

There are only two known types of this U.S stamp in existence and each are worth somewhere near $1 million.

World’s Most Expensive Stamps (Part II)

Inverted Dendermonde -The Inverted Dendermonde, which shows the town hall upside down, is Belgium’s best contribution to the printing errors. Although this error leaked through two sheets of the stamp’s first run and one pane of the second, just 17 are known to still exist. It is rumored that two of these stamps were lost when a well-known stamp collector was murdered in ‘42. If you wanted to get your hands on one, you will be set back an estimated €75,000.

Inverted Jenny – Another printing error is what placed the big price tag on the Inverted Jenny.  Worth around €750,000, this stamp has an upside-down image of the Curtiss JN-4 airplane and was distributed in the US in ‘18. Only 100 copies got to make it through printing, which is why the Inverted Jenny is priced so highly.

Baden 9 Kreuzer – Rather than being valuable for an image error, the Baden 9-Kreuzer is a moneymaker because of a color error. A 9-Kreuzer stamp has the face value of 9-Kreuzer and is colored pink, whilst the 6-Kreuzer stamps were green. Though, an error in printing meant that a batch of 9-Kreuzer stamps were colored green, instead of pink. Only a few exist and one was sold in 2008 for more than €1 million.

The First Two Mauritius – Issued in 1847 in Mauritius during the British Colony, these stamps were modelled on the British stamps with an appearance of Queen Victoria. With just 26 copies known to still exist, it is no wonder that this stamp hold a value of over €1 million.

The Treskilling Yellow – The Treskilling Yellow is thought to be one of the most expensive postage stamps on earth due to the fact it should be printed in a blue-green color with the three-skilling print, but it was printed in yellow. This Swedish misprinted stamp issued in 1855 is deemed to be the only surviving copy to exist, which is why it is worth over €2.1 million.

World’s Most Expensive Stamps (Part I)

The Penny Black – Issued in the United Kingdom in ‘40, the Penny Black was the first stamp in the world, which is why this stamp is so valuable. Although not the most valuable or rarest collector’s item, they set the path for the future of British postage stamps. The Penny Black has a picture of Queen Victoria II and does not show the country of origin, as is custom today. Even though there are plenty of Penny Blacks for sale, an unused one can get a lucky owner around €3,000, making it a very popular with collectors.

Inverted Swan – The Inverted Swan is one of the most unique and famous stamps in the world, not because of its gracefulness, but rather because it was one of the first invert errors in the world. The Inverted Swan was given in Perth, Australia in 1855 when a complex process of producing these stamps through lithography was followed. However, contrary to belief, it is really the frame that is inverted rather than the swan. This famous stamp was last sold in ‘83 for €35,500.

Red Mercury – The Red Mercury stamp is very valuable due to its rarity. Rather than a postage stamp, the Red Mercury was for mailing newspapers. These stamps have an image of the Roman god and were printed in red, yellow, and blue based on a number of newspapers in the bundle. However, the Red Mercury was short lived and was soon replaced, which is why a small number of copies have survived and why they hold such a true value of €37,000.

Hawaiian Missionaries – In spite of the cheap blue paper that the Hawaiian Missionaries stamp was printed on, these are among the most valuable and rarest stamps of all time, now worth around €39,000. The Hawaiian Missionaries were the first stamps to be made in Hawaii.

Introduction to Collecting Foreign Coins

One well-known aspect of coin collecting is that of collecting foreign coins. While some might get great joy in collecting coinage by the year or the coinage of a specific nation, other collectors look for the value of foreign coins. There is a remarkable thing about collecting a coin from a world away. A grand accomplishment for a collector might be a collection of coins from every nation on globe.

How does one get started in collecting rare foreign coins?
While you can keep your eye on domestic and local auctions, you may have to get some coins from overseas retailers. Other choices for trading foreign coins and values exchange include going to the country of origin and exchanging US money for foreign coins directly and looking for domestic coin dealers that have foreign coins.

It is ideal to trade with a domestic retailer instead of an overseas store due to shipping issues. Foreign currency dealers typically work with bulk shipments and won’t even trade American currency for low-value coins. If you want to do business with an overseas retailer then you should plan on budgeting a huge investment.

What are some of the most popular foreign currency and coins that are still within the grasp of beginning collectors?
Some of these coins are pesos, English pennies, early African coins and early Indian coins. Britain and other big European countries tend to be the most common and less expensive. You must realize that many countries in the world don’t intentionally collect coinage of their own nation. While not only an US phenomenon, it’s safe to assume that there are only a few countries that encourage, or at least have the resources, for multi-national coin collecting.

Talk to a coin dealer in your area to find out about identifying foreign coins for their origin and possible worth.

Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part III)


There were a lot of defects about Abraham Lincoln’s appearance. He was very tall and had a posthumously diagnosed facial asymmetry disease. But he didn’t have two ear lobes, which is why a ‘97 penny that appears to give him such a feature goes for $250.


Another state quarter worth more than 25 cents is a ‘99 Connecticut quarter that was broadstruck or not quite lined up correctly with the machine. If you’ve got one in your possession, you may be $25 richer.


Are you the owner of a ‘05 nickel that looks a little bit like the buffalo on the tails side was knifed? That’s due to a gouge that was on the die when the coins were minted. Though they usually sell for much less, a Speared Bison Jefferson Nickel has gotten a collector $1265.


These days, quarters and dimes are made from an alloy of nickel and copper. No silver. But prior to ‘65, 10-cent and 25-cent pieces were around 90% Ag, which means they have worth on the metals market. They’re not particularly rare, but you can still offload the coins for much more than their face value thanks to their composition.


In God We Trust? Not in ‘07. That was the year that the new George Washington dollar coins were circulated in the U.S. An unknown number of them were unintentionally minted without the standard inscription “In God We Trust.” In ‘07, experts predicted the flawed coins would ultimately sell for about $50 when the market settled down. The prediction was accurate since thousands of the coins have been found. The dollars, as they are called, go for up to $228.

Rare Coins to Look Out For (Part II)


Americans haven’t been in the market on rare coins. In ‘09, the Royal Mint released just 200,000 50P coins praising the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Covered with the Kew Gardens Pagoda, the coin is a good return on that 50p investment. It can go for about £150..


This 2005 error wasn’t supposed to be a statement on religion or government It was just the result of grease clogging the coin die, filling the T in the word trust. Grease build-up errors aren’t that unusual, and they’re not always worth a lot. In this case, however, the mistake is in an interesting place, which makes the coins worth more to some folks.


In ‘08, the Royal Mint misprinted somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 20p pieces by unintentionally omitting the date. Since there are lots of them in circulation, you won’t get rich off of finding one of these. But making £100 off 20p is a pretty good deal.


In the U.S., all coins are made with a letter indicating the Mint at which they were made. “S” indicates San Francisco, “P” is Philadelphia, and “D” means Denver. Though in ’82, the Philadelphia Mint disregarded putting their identifying mark on a Roosevelt dime, the first error of that type that was ever made on a U.S. coin.

It’s unknown how many were really distributed, but up to 15,000 of them were found in the Ohio area after they were given as change at the Cedar Point amusement parks. Though many of them were released, a Roosevelt dime lacking a mint mark can go for up to $300. You can’t retire, but who wouldn’t like an extra $300?