Friday, March 15, 2013

3/15/13 Report - Bullion and Silver Coins

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Have you ever found a bullion coin on the beach?

According to the US Mint, A bullion coin is a coin that is valued by its weight in a specific precious metal. Unlike commemorative or numismatic coins valued by limited mintage, rarity, condition and age, bullion coins are purchased by investors seeking a simple and tangible means to own and invest in the gold, silver, and platinum markets. American Eagle Gold and Platinum Bullion Coins are available in four denominations: one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce while the Silver Bullion Coin is only available in the one ounce size.

Bullion coins aren't often found on the beach.  To begin with, not as many are produced, and bullion coins are generally kept safely.  Nonetheless, I have a found a few while beach detecting.  It is always a bit of a surprise, and I always wonder what a bullion coin would be doing on a beach.

I can think of a few dug bullion coins that I've posted in this blog before.  The most recent was the 1966 silver 100 pesetas coin that was found and posted in January of this year.  Previous to that I remember posting a dug silver 1977 Silver Jubilee One Crown from the Isle of Man, also found on a Florida beach.  I don't remember if I posted a gold American Eagle, but one of those was dug on a Florida beach as well.

Since bullion coins aren't made for circulation, it is interesting to speculate on why they were lost on a beach.  They aren't pocket change.  Or did someone not know that and simply pick one up with out noticing that it wasn't just a regular coin.  Maybe a child got into dad's collection.  Or maybe a thief,  or someone simply showing their coins off, or intending to make an exchange - maybe at night.   I don't know.  But that is what makes it an interesting surprise when one is found.   And when the bullion coin is from another country, it only adds to the intrigue.

I'm curious, what would you think the most likely reason for a bullion coin being lost on a beach?

Of course it is more likely that you will find "junk" silver rather than bullion silver coins.  Here are junk silver coins to look for.

CoinSilver ContentSilver WeightFace ValueSilver Value
1942-1945 War Nickels35%0.05626 oz.$0.05 $1.69

1916-1945 Mercury Dimes
90%0.07234 oz.0.10 2.17

1946-1964 Roosevelt
90%0.07234 oz.0.10 2.17

Washington Quarters
90%0.18084 oz.0.25 5.43

Walking Liberty Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

Franklin Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

1964 Kennedy Half
90%0.36169 oz.0.50 10.85

1965-1970 Kennedy Half
40%0.1479 oz.0.50 4.44

1878-1921 Morgan Dollar
90%0.77344 oz.1.00 23.20

1921-1935 Peace Dollar
90%0.77344 oz.1.00 23.20

1971-1976-S Eisenhower Dollar
40%0.3161 oz.1.00 9.48

As I recall, the average face value of coins dug will be just over seven cents.  That will be increased if dollar coins become more common in circulation.

Here is more talk about doing away with US one-dollar bills and why it might be a good thing.

Silver and gold prices have been strong lately and bullion coin sales have been strong as well.

On the Treasure Coast the wind is from the northeast.  The surf is around 3 - 5 feet, decreasing slightly through the day.

It looks like the surf won't get as calm this weekend as we've been expecting.  I've actually been hoping for a short period of calm surf so I could work easily in the low tide zone.

I'm back to a 1 (poor) rating on my Treasure Coast Treasure Beach Detecting Conditions Scale.

Happy hunting,