American Coin Shooter

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Books Every Book Collector Should Read (Part I)

Like any field of endeavor, the rare book sector has its rituals and quirks, habits and history, secrets and jargon. Unlike some other trades, book dealers have never been scared to commit their insights, secrets, and memories to paper. There are numerous fascinating and educational books detailing the inner workings of the rare book industry. Dealers and collectors have created this list of the top books every book collector should read.

You may want to add some of these books to your collection.

ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter

The classic reference work on book terminology. First published in 1952, the current edition has been updated to include newer terms and jargon spawned by the internet. With humor and wit, John Carter and Nicholas Barker uncover the true meaning from phrases that, although once more-common, now appear obscure outside of rare book circles.

In a field where it’s crucial that buyers and sellers know what they’re talking about, ABC for Book Collectors is a great guide to our common language.

After one learns the wording used in the used book sector, the next thing one needs is a guide to spotting which copy is of value and which just interesting. While friendship with an experienced rare book dealer is the best way to get this information, there are many good books that serious collectors and ABAA members keep on hand for quick reference.

Collected Books: The Guide to Values by Allen and Patricia Ahearn

Written by ABAA members Allen and Patricia Ahearn of Quill and Brush, Collected Books: The Guide to Values has information on some of the most well-known collected books, offers notes on discerning one edition from another, and guidelines on usual prices for collectible copies.

Noted rare book expert and book collector Nicholas Basbanes declared “If any single item can be considered essential equipment for today’s book collector, it is Collected Books.”

Things to Keep in Mind About Collecting Coins

If you are thinking about collecting coins to get some extra money, there are some things to keep in mind.

Before you start collecting coins, make sure that you do your research and educate yourself about the hobby.

First, education is everything. There is no way to understand what you’re getting if you don’t educate yourself. So, be sure that you go in ready and mindful before purchasing any coins. You might want to begin small and learn about the hobby before going into bigger deals. If you want to turn it into a side-hustle, it is crucial not to pay more for your coins than they are really worth.

It is even better if you can buy them for a bargain, below their true market value price. This is most likely to occur in places where folks are just trying to sell their old stuff. Think auctions, flea markets, estate sales, storage unit auctions, and garage sales.

Finally, remember that the most valuable coins are coins that aren’t just made of precious metals, but that are also historic, rare, and/or highly sought after by collectors.

One thing that many coin collectors do is focus on a specific niche. Usually, this niche is their favorite one and the one that holds their interest the most. This could be early American coins, foreign coins, coins with high silver content, coins from a specific period of history, or coins from lost civilizations.

As with any side hustle, it is vital to be at least somewhat interested in what you’re doing if you’re going to try to make money at it. You don’t have to be a “coin fanatic” to reap the benefits of coin collecting.  You have to be sure that you find it at least a little interesting.

As with any hobby-based side hustle, this is possibly not a good choice for you if you don’t at least like it and have fun doing it.


Yes, Coin Collecting Can Be Profitable

I recently found out that coin collecting can be profitable. Though, it takes some effort to get your hobby to that point.

Your coin collection may be of value.

There are a couple of factors that make coins valuable: material and rarity. Coins that are rare are worth more as historic/collector items. Coins that have significant amounts of precious metals will have a certain amount of value-based solely on what they are made of.

Of course, several coins will have both. They will not only have precious metals but also have historic significance and probably be rare finds too. There are coins so valuable that they are almost too pricey to purchase unless you want to spend lots of money on them.

Buying Coins

With that being said, you can stumble upon rare treasures and purchase them before someone realizes what they have. If you can find a rare-enough treasure, purchasing even a single coin can garner you some serious coins (ha-ha!) when you want to sell your collection.

Coins are one of the few hobbies that let you get a good return on your investment if you ever desire to sell them. This is particularly true if you pay attention to what the coins are worth when you purchase them, and you only spend money on good deals. Coins never lose value.

Also, the value of coins usually fluctuates a bit in the market. The market values of precious metals can go up and down along with the economy. Though over time, they typically increase in value, meaning that coins are also a hobby that usually is a solid investment.

If you stick to buying coins that contain precious metals (older coins), then you will always see their value rise over time. Some folks even go as far as to buy coins instead of stocks just because they usually have such real increases in value.

Can You Make Money Coin Collecting?

What do square folks do in their spare time? They collect coins! This was, maybe, a bad joke. But as it turns out, coin collecting might be more lucrative than you ever thought. Can you really make money collecting coins?

Truthfully, you just might be able to!

The Basics: What Is Coin Collecting?

Turn your coin collecting into cash far beyond their value.

Coin collecting is precisely what it sounds like. It is a hobby where you basically collect coins, sell them, trade them, keep them, etc.

And by coins, it doesn’t necessarily mean the coins used in everyday currency. Since everyday coins are so readily available, there is minimum value to be found in them outside of what they trade for at the store or bank.

So, when we talk about coin collecting, we’re really talking about collecting rare or collector’s coins. There are all sorts of different categories that folks focus on when collecting rare coins. Though, typically, folks focus on a particular niche since that is what they’re interested in. Here are a few examples of coin collection categories that folks specialize in:

  • Foreign coins
  • Historically significant coins
  • Collectible sets
  • Misprints
  • Old coins
  • Coins made from valuable substances (gold, silver, etc.)


Can you really make money collecting coins?

Many folks used to collect coins when they were younger. They actually had a chest of foreign coins and old American coins that they bought from many different places. They loved looking at them, sorting them, finding out how much they weighed, researching what they were made of, checking the timestamps, etc.

Unfortunately, the coins are put into a not-so-good container in the garage or basement and end up who knows where. That quickly brings an end to any aspirations to collect coins. This, linked with the fact that growing up reduces any interest in starting a coin collection, pretty much puts a brake on it.

Why Do Shipwreck Coins Last a Long Time?

Recently, some deep-sea treasure hunters announced the discovery of a shipwreck with over 15 tons of Colonial-era coins worth over $500 million. The crew’s sponsors haven’t told where in the Atlantic they found the cache or which ship had all that loot. Though, they did note that the silver and gold coins were in good condition.

The exact location of the shipwreck is unknown where the coins were found.

What affects the quality of shipwreck coins?

Where the ship goes down and what sort of metal the coins are made of. Coins that have been submerged for hundreds of years can end up being corroded, scratched, worn down, covered by sea life or lime deposits, or destroyed by acid conditions.

The warm waters of the tropics and the Caribbean will create most of the damage since warmer temps accelerate oxidation and corrosion. Also, these waters are the hosts for coral and micro-organisms that can encrust the coins, reducing their value, typically permanently. Cooler northern seas, such as the ones off the coast of England, where some think this treasure was uncovered, are more likely to aid in keeping all types of coins looking good.

Also, conditions on the seafloor make a huge difference. A muddy bottom could help sustain coins by enclosing and protecting them. Though, an environment of swirling sand can wear down markings and designs and cause scratches.

The depth of the wreck also is critical. Deep waters usually have weaker currents. So, the sand at the bottom doesn’t swirl around too much. Though, in some cases, sand can be a good thing. In 1857, The S.S. Central America sank amid calcium carbonate sands that aided in making the surrounding water slightly alkaline, keeping possible damaging acidity at bay. As a result, the ship’s coins were near-pristine when they were found in 1987.


Coins on a Gravestone: What it Means

Have you come across a gravestone covered in coins? It’s not unusual while visiting a cemetery to see the stones covered in various coins. So, what’s up with that?

Based on the legend, the coin left is usually on the gravestones of U.S. military veterans. Visitors who want to show their respect leave coins on the headstones in various amounts. It shows their loved ones of the soldier’s family that someone has visited the grave.

Leaving a penny denotes you visited and is thanking the veteran for their service. A nickel signifies you trained at boot camp with the deceased. A dime indicates you served with him or her. A quarter denotes you were with the soldier when they died.

Turns out leaving coins on a grave is a sign of respect.

The beginning of the tradition is up for debate. Though, many folks believe it began in the US during the Vietnam War. America was in a crisis of conscience. Any discussion of the war typically devolved into a more serious discussion about politics. Leaving a coin was a way to say you appreciate the soldier’s service while avoiding an inevitable uncomfortable conversation.

Just a legend?

That’s the theory. Keeping it real, leaving coins on gravestones goes back to just 2009. The money is typically collected and donated to the cemetery’s upkeep and possible burial costs.

But humans have left tributes and artifacts at gravesites for hundreds of years. Based on Greek mythology, during the Roman empire, fellow soldiers would put a coin into the mouth of a fallen soldier to make sure they could cross the River Styx into the afterlife.

However, one United States tradition is the leaving of “challenge coins” on military headstones by fellow veterans. These coins typically have the emblem of the deceased’s military company or unit. Fellow soldiers leave them to pay tribute to them and their family members.

How to Clean Antique Area Rugs with Products and Tools From Fort Worth Carpet Outlet

There’s something about the distinctive charm antiques have that just can’t be duplicated. Case in point: Antique rugs are the simplest way to instantaneously energize a room and bring an appeal to any space. The only issue is keeping them clean. Luckily, most antique area rugs can be cleaned with tools and products found at a Fort Worth carpet outlet.

Dos and Don’ts for Antique Rugs

Rugs that have been flooded accidentally must be attended to ASAP. Little rugs can be put outside and hung over a railing or put on the grass to dry in the sunlight. For bigger rugs, a water vacuum can be used, followed by the use of a hairdryer or space heater. Again, the carpet must be completely dried, front and back. Therefore, keeping it raised is suggested. Also, getting the antique rug professionally cleaned is advisable.

It’s advised that stain removal home remedies aren’t used. They can create discoloration and irreversible dye runs. Additionally, chemicals must never be used. If the above technique doesn’t work, call a professional carpet cleaner for spot cleaning.

Potted plants must never be put on top of your antique rug, even if the pot has a water basin under it. It is still probable that moisture that gathers beneath even a leak-free pot can get into your rug. This produces serious mildew damage to the foundation.

How Often Should You Use Your Cleaning Products and Tools from a Fort Worth Carpet Outlet?

Quality antique rugs don’t need a lot of maintenance. They don’t shed like new rugs. Thus, it’s a typical mistake to over-vacuum than not to vacuum enough. You only need to vacuum your rug once or twice a month, every couple of months, turn the rug over and clean the other side. Don’t use a rotary vacuum. It can break down the rug fibers.

Instead, use the suction attachment, vacuuming from one side to the other, leaving the fringe alone, so it’s not destroyed.

An excellent way to see when your antique rug needs to be professionally cleaned is by hitting a part of the rug. If dust clouds come up, you need to contact a professional carpet cleaning. With antique rugs, this is usually every three years. If you love collecting antique rugs, then these tips will help make them last for years to come!

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.