Gold Au $1825.70 $-4.56
Silver Ag $21.21 $0.01
Platinum Pt $916.30 $-3.00
Palladium Pd $1908.00 $8.73
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Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What should I invest in? Which coins are going up in value? Where do you think the price of gold and silver are going to?
A. We buy and sell coins. No one can predict the future, so we refrain from saying what is going up or down and which direction gold and silver are moving. Coins are a hobby, so enjoy them. Buy the best quality you can afford and stay away from problem coins. You’ll do just fine.

Q. What is a typical dealer mark-up?
A. For normal inventory, dealer mark-up is 15-25%. If a proof set sells for $10, expect the dealer to buy it for $7.50-8.50 depending on his level of inventory and current demand. Real Coin Dealers are in business. There are many Coin Dealers that are just selling their life-long collections. That’s fine, but they don’t make a market. Remember department stores typically mark up 100% and won’t buy the product back 3 years later.

Q. Should I buy original US Mint Packed Proof Sets, slabbed sets or sets in Capital plastic?
A. From 1956 to present you should only buy sets as issued in the original mint packaging with all the correct envelopes and certificates of authenticity as they apply.

From 1950-1955 original boxed sets are available, however, they will almost always exhibit some light-medium toning from the cellophane the mint used to package the sets in. Do not buy heavily toned boxed sets or boxed sets with obvious spots (toning is OK). Expect to pay a 15-25% premium for nice sets over the normal price points. Sets in capital plastic are ok. You will normally encounter some light toning on these sets as well. Typically, all white sets mean some coins have been dipped (this is OK as long as it is done professionally and the surfaces neutralized).

From 1936-1942 original boxes are ultra-rare so expect to buy these in Capital Plastic as a set or slabbed individually. I highly recommend knowing your dealer and/or your proofs before you buy the earlier sets in Capital plastic. Slabbed sets are available at a modest premium and are cheap insurance on these early sets.

Slabbed sets for all years are OK if you plan on participating in the Registry Set competitions.

Q. How do I tell the difference between a Type I, Type II and Type III 1972-P Ike?
A. The Type I has a low relief reverse & simple. Its reverse is that of a 1971-S 40% Silver BU Ike.
The Type II has a high relief reverse and an Earth that has no discernable islands below Florida. The Earth is very non-descript and the edges almost merge with the field. The reverse is the same as the 1972-S 40% silver BU Ike & see the trend?
The Type III has the high relief reverse like the Type II, although the islands below Florida are very distinct. The edge of the Earth is raised. The reverse is the same as the 1973-S 40% silver BU Ike & see the trend?

Q. What is a cameo, and what is a deep cameo on proof coins?
A. Cameo refers to the portrait and devices of a coin having a frosted look. For a coin to be a cameo both sides must exhibit a level of frost that is readily discernable. A Deep or Ultra Cameo must exhibit an extensive level of frost and almost jump out at you relative to the contrast between field and portrait/devices. Coins from 1936-1972 are extremely rare to relatively rare in cameo and deep cameo contrast. Between 1973-1977, cameo coins are extremely common, however, high grade deep cameo coins are elusive. After 1977 cameo contrast is common to virtually 100% of the coinage being deep cameo. Cameo and Deep Cameo on pre-1936 Proof Coins is extremely rare and the premiums dictate such.

Q. What causes toning and why is some toning dark and other toning full of colors?
A. Toning is a chemical process on the surface of the coin that changes the look of a coin. This chemical process can occur naturally or unnaturally (artificially). Natural toning takes years to occur. Artificial toning can be applied literally overnight. Many factors contribute to the color on a coin. The holder the coin was stored in, humidity conditions, the amount of light and heat the coin receives and many other factors. These are the same factors that determine how pretty the color is. Bright naturally toned coins can command huge premiums, but only for the top end toned coins. Beware of average or darkly toned coins. They should be avoided, no matter how cheap they are.  Avoid artificially toned coins as well.

Q. What is the difference between a type I and Type II mint mark on 1979 and 1981 proof coins?
A. The Type I mint mark on 1979 proof coins is a blob. The S mint mark doesn’t even look like an S. The Type II has a clearer look. On 1981 coins, the issue is more complicated. There are 4 mint marks, two are type I and two are Type II. The two Type I mint marks look much like the 1979 Type II mint marks. The Type II 1981-S mint marks are very clear. You should be able to see the fields between the ends of both sides of the S. Think of a strand of spaghetti where the end never touches and you’ll have it.

Q: Why should I choose Oceanside Coin and Currency?
A: We are a trusted local company in business with over 11 years’ experience and with big reach. Extensive time and experience in the industry has gained us contacts to the best coin and bullion dealers across the country allowing us to be very competitive both buying and selling.

Q: How do I know the coins I am getting are real?
A: We make every effort to verify everything we sell is genuine. We order bullion only from reputable companies, and everything purchased from the secondary market is thoroughly checked for authenticity. Anything we find that is questionable we DO NOT SELL.

Q: How do I know your coins are graded correctly?
A: Craig has had a lifelong interest in coins and has been in the business a long time. He has taken ANA grading courses, attended seminars and use current ANA, PCGS and NGC grading standards and personal experience. Any problems such as damage or cleaning will be clearly listed on the coin and it will be priced accordingly. That being said, grading is subjective and opinions vary (even among third party grading services). If you are unhappy with a coin or other numismatic purchase you may return it following our return policy.

Q: Are there any hidden costs?
A: No! The price you are quoted is what you will pay.

Q: Do you take credit cards?
A: Yes, but a 3% convenience fee will be applied on some items (primarily bullion).

Q: Do you take checks?
A: Yes, we do. All check purchases are accepted at our sole discretion. All payments must be received within 5 days of order and the product will be held for 10 business days for funds to clear before shipping.

Q: Can I return a coin if I am unhappy with it?
A:Coins and numismatic items may be returned. Bullion items will be purchased back based on current market value. For more info, please see our return policy.

Should I invest in Gold or Silver?

Q: Why is my old coin not worth much money?

A: There are many factors that determine the value of a coin, such as condition, year minted, quantity minted, where it was minted and of course the demand for it. The coin may be over a hundred years old, but it may be in poor condition and there may have been millions of them made so they are not rare and do not command much money. Contact Us

Q: Should I invest in Gold or Silver?

A: Over the years, investors have felt that in good times and bad, precious metals are a good investment to protect and possibly increase their wealth. Historically precious metals have always held an intrinsic value, whereas paper investments (stocks, bonds, and currencies) have and can become worthless in a short period of time. Gold and silver have been a form of currency for thousands of years and paper money has only been accepted and used for a relatively short period of time. So, owning physical precious metals becomes an important option to consider for one’s portfolio.

Q: How much is my 1943 penny worth?

A: Most pennies before 1983 were made with copper, however in 1943 copper and nickel were needed for the war effort, so most 1943 pennies were struck in zinc coated steel. There were only a few 1943 pennies made of copper and these are worth a lot of money. There are only about forty copper 1943 pennies known to exist, so most likely your 1943 penny is common and made with zinc coated steel. Over 1 Billion were made this way. Contact Us

Q: What is 10k, 14k, 18k, 22k and 24k gold?

A: K stands for karat, which is the unit of gold purity. 24k is pure gold. To find the percentage of pure gold, divide the karat marking by 24 and that will give you the percentage of pure gold. So 18k is 18/24 of pure gold, which is 75% gold and 10k is 10/24 of pure gold, which is 41.7% gold.

Q: Should I clean my coins?

A: No. Do not clean your coins. Coins are worth more in their original condition. In fact, some coins may develop a colorful toning over the years which can command a premium. Experts can tell when a coin has been cleaned and will pay less for it. Harshly cleaned coins will lose a significant value. So do not clean your coins because once that path is taken, there is no going back.

Q: Why is my 1964 quarter worth more than a quarter?

A: Some coins were made with precious metals, such as silver or gold and have an intrinsic value to at least the precious metal. In the United States dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars dated 1964 or earlier were made of silver. The silver quarter is worth more than a quarter because it is made of silver. So, if you have any dimes, quarters, half dollars, or dollars dated 1964 or earlier, don’t spend them because they are made of silver! (Also, any half dollar between 1965 and 1970 has some silver.)

Bring them to a trusted expert and you will get paid based on the value of silver. We can evaluate your coins for free at Oceanside Coin and Currency. Contact us.

Q: How much are my coins worth?

A: This is a difficult question to answer accurately without seeing the coin. There are many factors that determine the value of a coin, such as condition, denomination, metal type, year minted, quantity minted, where it was minted and of course the demand for it. With all these factors, it is necessary for an expert to see the coin to determine its value.

Q: A 1914 penny could be worth 10 cents to over a thousand dollars. Some important factors for this coin are the mint mark and the condition. A 1914 penny without a mint mark and in poor condition is worth about 10 cents. A 1914 penny with a “D” mintmark below the date and in uncirculated condition is worth over a thousand dollars. So, it is best to have an expert look at your coins and evaluate them for you.

A: We can evaluate your coins for free at Oceanside Coin and Currency with no obligation. Contact us.

Q: How should I clean my old coins?

A: The potential for damaging an old coin and thereby decreasing its value is great. We recommend that you not clean an old coin until you have had a knowledgeable person examine it. By no means should a coin be polished. Doing so almost always destroys any significant collector value. There are products available and accepted methods of cleaning old coins that are relatively safe and effective, but the best advice is to hold off until you get an expert’s opinion on what to do.

Q: I have some old coins for sale. How do I determine their value?

A: Most reputable coin dealers will examine your coins and determine a value based on what they are willing to pay. There is usually no charge for this service. Traditionally, if you want a written appraisal there is a charge. The reasons are twofold: 1. It requires more time and effort to do a written appraisal. 2. Once a dealer signs a document that something has a certain value, he assumes a greater responsibility for defending his decision.

Q: I have a coin that I want to wear as a piece of jewelry. What do I need to know? 

A: If the coin has any significant collector value this will be diminished by using it for jewelry. We recommend you check to make sure you do not have a valuable rare coin before placing it into a jewelry mounting. Even if the coin is mounted into a metal bezel it will become worn unevenly and a collector will be able to tell that the coin was in a piece of jewelry once it is closely examined. It could be that you have a rare coin which should be substituted for a more common coin. The rule about not cleaning a coin does not apply here. If a coin is in a piece of jewelry and it is not cleaned, dirt will inevitably rub off onto your clothing. Any non-abrasive method of cleaning the coin is acceptable, although we still do not think polishing is a good idea – even for a common coin. We do not recommend making a hole in the coin to attach it to a necklace or bracelet. Use a bezel which is available at a jeweler or coin dealer.

Q: I have some coins in plastic holders and the holders feel oily. Some of the coins have a green residue on them.

A: For many years coin holders containing a substance known as polyvinylchloride (PVC) were used to house and “protect” coins. This substance is potentially very damaging to coins. The first thing to do is get the coins out of the holders. This is a case where the coins do have to be cleaned. Take all of them or at least a representative sample to a coin dealer and with their help you can determine what is best to do. Silver and gold coins seem to come through this ordeal pretty well. Nickels do okay. Copper coins always seem to suffer permanent harm. Whatever you do, do not leave the situation alone. Things will only get worse.

Q: How can I store my coins safely, so they won’t be damaged? 

A: The ideal way to store coins is to put them into a vacuum. As this is not practical for most people, there are a few other proven methods to keep most coins safe from harm. Plastic holders containing mylar are quite satisfactory. There is a type of inexpensive holder made of cardboard and mylar which dealers call a “2 by 2” that has proven successful over many years. Plain paper envelopes are also fine. Because most paper contains sulfur which causes coins to tone, many collectors use this method of storage. Toned coins are often considered more desirable to collectors than bright shiny ones. Note: gold and copper coins do not seem to like paper as well as nickel and silver coins. The things to avoid when storing coins are moisture and friction (abrasion).

Q: There is an ad in my newspaper that offers old coins from the US Mint for sale on a limited basis. Is this a good deal?

A: Sometimes, but usually not. Most often you will find that although the seller has a name that leads you to believe they are a government agency you will discover in the fine print that they are not actually connected with the government. These companies often purchase their supply of merchandise from retail dealers and have some sort of attractive display holder made up for the coins. They then must pay for newspaper advertising, which is quite expensive. We have seen many of these ads and have never found one that offered the merchandise at the price a typical retail dealer would sell it for. The economics of the process just do not allow them to do that.

Q: I want to buy some rare coins for investment but know nothing about them. Can you recommend anything?

A: First, establish a rapport with a dealer – one you feel comfortable with. Make sure the prices asked for coins are within reason – no more than 10% over the “ask” price in the Coin Dealers’ Newsletter (commonly referred to as the Gray Sheet). Buy only coins that have been graded and packaged by an independent company. The highest regarded company which offers this service is PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service). Find out what is the dealer’s buy back policy. If the coins increase in value, you want to feel that you have someone who will buy them back from you. By the way, do not expect the dealer to be willing to work on a 10% markup. Although he may be willing to sell the coins at 10% over ask – or even less, his buy back price will probably be less than Gray Sheet bid. Typically, a buy/sell difference of about 20% for common PCGS coins is considered reasonable.

Q: I am not interested in owning valuable coins, but I enjoy working on collections. Can a coin dealer help me?

A: Most shops like ours welcome true collectors for a variety of reasons. We too are collectors, so we will likely hit it off right away with you. You will not put pressure on us by asking what your collection will be worth in the future. You are putting together a collection for your own enjoyment – not to make a profit. Some of the coins you need will most likely be some of the “slow movers” that have been around the store for too long and that a dealer will more than happy to sell. Of course, all personalities are different, so a rapport between you and one dealer might be different between you and another dealer. Pick somewhere that you are comfortable – and do not become involved in the dealer’s negotiations with other customers.

Q: How can I safely store my currency?

A: The most common problem we see with currency is caused by folding. If you can keep your bills flat, dry, and safe from fire they will probably be just fine. We have looked at bills that have been kept between pages of a book for many years and they do not seem to have suffered at all. Just be careful of two things: Keep the book in a dry place, and do not give the book away or sell it without removing the currency. We know used book dealers who often pick up extra spending money by flipping through the pages of all their new purchases. Another good way to store currency is in Billgard brand holders. These are clear plastic, will not damage your bills, and cost less than fifty cents each.

Q: I have some old Confederate Currency. Is it real, and is it valuable?

A: Genuine Confederate Currency was hand signed and hand serial numbered. The ink used was always a brown tone. The paper was more or less like common writing paper in quality. The stiff brown crinkled paper we often see is always a copy.

Q: I have some Silver Certificates. Can I turn these in for silver metal?

A: No. Although Silver Certificates are still legal tender for face value, not since 1966 have they been convertible into silver metal. They do have a collector value, but generally this is not much more than face value for common issues (1934 and 1957 for example). Some of the other series have more value. As with coins, it is wise to take currency to a dealer to see if you have something rare. Most dealers also carry reference books to verify the scarcity and value of currency.

We accept cashiers checks, wire transfers, personal checks, and cash. We do not accept cash in excess of $10,000. Cashier checks and personal checks can be dropped off at our storefront, mailed to us, or direct deposited into our customer dedicated incoming payment bank account. Click here for our mailing address. We highly recommend wire transfers for orders greater than $10,000 as there will no holding period. Orders using cashiers checks or personal checks will be held by us until the check clears the banking system, which ranges from 3-17 days. For wiring instructions, please call us on 1-877-471-7528 or 1-415-383-7411. We highly recommend wire transfers.

We accept cashiers checks, wire transfers, personal checks, and cash. We do not accept cash in excess of $10,000. Cashier checks and personal checks can be dropped off at our storefront, mailed to us, or direct deposited into our customer dedicated incoming payment bank account. Click here for our mailing address. We highly recommend wire transfers for orders greater than $10,000 as there will no holding period. Orders using cashiers checks or personal checks will be held by us until the check clears the banking system, which ranges from 3-17 days. For wiring instructions, please call us on 1-877-471-7528 or 1-415-383-7411. We highly recommend wire transfers.