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Gibraltar Coins & Precious Metals

Rare Coin Information and Fun

  • Buy High Sell Low!, Wait What?

     Buy High Sell Low!, Wait What?

    Steady and consistant Bullion Investing may someday get you a pile like this Pretty, Aren't they?

          2017 marks my 30th year in the rare coin and bullion business, and in that time I've had the opportunity to observe and analyze many clients' buying and selling patterns when it comes to bullion investing.

    Unfortunately, one of the patterns I see way too often is that clients tend to buy high and sell low.

    I'd like to take a moment and explain the The psychology of why people do this, how to recognize it, resist the temptation and employ a strategy to help minimize giving in to this losing proposition.

    One of the things any successful investor will tell you is never make decisions based on emotion. As skilled investors know, fast moving markets are tailor made to mess with your emotions. Resistance to these emotions is not futile, it is required.

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  • The Charlotte Mint Page

    The Charlotte Mint Page

     

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    Introducing the Charlotte Mint Page

    You wake up in the morning, knowing something just isn’t right.  Some days, you feel like you are walking in a fog, plagued with a lack of energy and mood swings.  You sometimes see groups of people talking and laughing, but when you join in, an awkward silence ensues.  There is something missing in your life, something other people have but you don’t:  knowledge of the gold coins of the Charlotte Mint.  You know you can fix this by learning about the Charlotte, Mint  and its coins, but your options are limited.  Continue reading

  • The Dahlonega Mint Page

    THE DAHLONEGA MINT PAGE 

    The Daholnega Mint

     

     Your resource for Gold Coins from Dahlonega, Georgia 1838-1861

     

    In 1828, a young hunter named Bennie Parks wandered through the woods of North Georgia in search of venison.  Instead, he discovered what would amount to a fortune in gold.  It was just waiting for those willing to put in the hard work necessary to get it out of the ground.  The Georgia Gold Rush of 1828-1849 altered the monetary history of the United States, and the need for a local Mint to turn the high quality Georgia gold into coins was urgent.  Andrew Jackson signed a law authorizing the construction of the Dahlonega Mint, and in 1838 the first gold coins were struck.  In April of 1861 Confederate forces overran the Dahlonega Mint, and the final coin was produced that year.
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  • A silver coin minted by Julius Caesar's Assassin

    A silver coin minted by Julius Caesar's Assassin

     

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    Et tu, Brute?

    The Man:  Marcus Junius Brutus, skilled politician, Senator of Rome, assassin of Julius Caesar, and leader of the Republican forces during the Roman "Liberator's Civil War", led one of the most fascinating lives of ancient times.  Born in 85 BC, he was trusted with the important position of "Moneyer" when he was only 29.  As Moneyer, he could dictate important images on coins.  On one coin he depicted an ancestor of his who was credited with driving out the last king of Rome.  On another, he depicted the goddess "Liberty", from whom he believed the principles of the Republic stood.  

    Brutus became a close confidant of Julius Caesar, but when Caesar delcared himself dictator-for-life and began putting his own images on coins (in imitation of tyrants), Brutus conspired with some of his fellow Senators to end Caesar's life and career.  He and his fellow assassins committed the deed on the Ides of March.  Caesar almost did not enter the Senatorial chamber, having been warned by bad omens, but Brutus reportedly said, 'Come, good sir, pay no attention to the babblings of these men, and do not postpone what Caesar and his mighty power has seen fit to arrange. Make your own courage your favorable omen.' 
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  • The Story of the New Orleans, Louisiana Mint

    The Story of the New Orleans Mint, Part I

    The Battle of New Orleans The Battle of New Orleans

    New Orleans was founded in 1718 by a fellow named Jean­ Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. As you might imagine, he was French. He named the city Nouvelle­ Orléans (New Orleans) for the Duke of Orleans, Philip II (not to be confused with a variety of other monarchs named Philip II throughout the history of western civilization). The City changed hands from the French to the Spanish, then back to the French before becoming a part of the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

    The British never really considered the Louisiana purchase valid, since the U.S. bought the territory from the United Kingdom’s all ­time arch enemy and despoiler of everything noble and good, Napoleon Bonaparte. To the United States, Napoleon was just another quirky tyrant, and they didn’t really care what the British considered valid or invalid. While the British were at war with Napoleon they needed lots of sailors to operate their mighty fleet of warships to fight the French to the death.
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  • Why your 1922 Peace Dollar is Probably not worth 100K

    Why your 1922 Peace Dollar is Probably not worth 100K

    1922 Peace Dollar 1922 Peace Dollar High Relief

     

    In 1921, the U.S. Mint began production of the new "Peace" design for silver dollars, a design commemorating peace after the end of World War I. The designer, Anthony de Francisci, intended for the coin to be struck in "high relief", which resulted in a boldly raised design. In 1921 the Peace Dollars were struck in this way, but despite the medal-like beauty of the high relief, the U.S. Mint decided to strike the coins in low relief from 1922 to 1935. The high relief design was just too stressful on the machinery, and resulted in many broken dies. Reluctantly, de Francisci agreed to create a new plaster mold with a lower relief, and starting February 13, the 1922 Peace dollar was made in "low relief."
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  • Julius Caesar: The Man and His Coins

    Julius Caesar: The Man and His Coins

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    His life

    Born in Rome in 100 B.C., Gaius Julius Caesar came from a fairly respectable aristocratic family, but Caesar believed “fairly respectable” wasn’t going to cut it.  On his mother’s side, Caesar could trace his ancestry to the first Kings of Rome.  On his father’s side, Caesar traced his ancestry to the goddess Venus.  So he thought, “Hm, Kings of Rome on one side, divine personage on the other side…I think I’ll pass on that job offer as treasurer of the Syracuse Barber’s Association.”*

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  • The Julius Caesar “Elephant” Silver Denarius

    The Julius Caesar “Elephant” Silver Denarius

     

    This example has lovely detail and luster This example has lovely detail and luster

    This Coin:

    Julius Caesar,  AR denarius (19mm, 3.97 gm). 49BC. Military mint, perhaps struck from Temple of Saturn hoard. Obverse: Elephant advancing right, trampling horned serpent; Reverse: CAESAR in exergue / Pontifical implements: ladle (simpulum), sprinkler (aspergillum), axe (securis), and pontiff's cap (apex). Crawford 443/1. CRI 9. Sydenham 1006. RSC 49. Superb eye appeal and iridescent toning.  An unusually well-centered example.  NGC AU STAR Strike 5/5, Surface 4/5

     

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    The Context: 

    In January of 49BC,Julius Caesar had made his famous “crossing of the Rubicon” into Italy, defying the orders of the Senate and confirming a civil war against his rival General, Pompey the Great.  However, Caesar (as usual) had serious money problems.  Most importantly, he needed vast sums of silver to pay his legions.  Defying hundreds of years of Roman law, Julius Caesar barged his way Continue reading

  • The Melissa Silver Coin of Ephesus

    The Melissa Silver Coin of Ephesus

     

    Melissa Silver coin of Ephesus

    The 203 B.C. to 133 B.C. Ephesus Silver Drachm with Bee obverse, Stag and Palm Reverse

    The Coin

    The Melissa Silver coins of Ephesus featured Bees (Melissae in Greek), dating to as early as 600 B.C.!  This coin was minted sometime in the 2nd Century B.C., estimated 202  to 133 B.C.  The Coin features an artistic depiction of a Melissa (Honeybee) on the obverse with "E" to the left and "PH" to the right for "Ephesus".  The reverse shows a standing Stag and Palm tree, both symbols of Artemis, the patron goddess of Continue reading

  • Is it time to add ancient coins to the portfolio?

    Is it time to add ancient coins to the portfolio?

    Syracuse Pegasus Silver Stater

    The Rare Coin Market's Rising Credibility

    In 2011, gold hit nearly $1,900.00 an ounce and silver topped out at nearly $50.00 an ounce.  Bullion (and older coins worth close to bullion value) were all the rage.  You might remember the bold predictions some made about $5,000.00 gold and $250.00 silver, prices we were told would materialize in a year or two.  Having been in the business for 20 years, I was more than a little skeptical: as it has turned out, the march to $5,000.00 gold has taken a little breather, to say the least.  Silver, trading at just over $15.00 an ounce as of February 2016, also did not meet the overly optimistic predictions.  While future inflation could certainly reverse this trend, and probably will, one major part of the precious metals market proved itself handsomely in the same time period.

    Rare U.S. gold coins (and by "rare" I mean genuinely scarce, not just common date $20.00 gold pieces) have either gone up significantly or held their own nicely in the last 5 years, certainly in comparison to gold and silver bullion.  Certified better grade 19th century coins of Carson City, New Orleans, Charlotte, and Dahlonega, Georgia deserve special mention.  A position in coins like these would have significantly mitigated the losses investors saw in traditional bullion.  As a result, the credibility of certified rare U.S. coins has risen a great deal, and far more people than before are anxious to add this important category to their portfolio.  But in the rush to add rare U.S. coins to the precious metals portfolio, do not ignore what may turn out to be an even more significant growth opportunity:  certified coins of the ancient world.  Today any person with a precious metals portfolio needs to ask, "Is it time to add ancient coins to the portfolio?"

     

    Is it time to add ancient coins to the portfolio?

    Frankly, yes.  What was once the "Hobby of Kings" and mostly relegated to aristocrats and academics, history buffs and the extremely wealthy (who could afford to hire their own unbiased expert) has become far more accessible to non-experts, enthusiasts, and rational individuals diversifying their tangible asset holdings.  What happened?  Three major changes have occurred in the market which make ancient coins a crucial part of any portfolio.

    Athens Silver Tetradrachm 454-404 B.C

    NGC Ancients Grading

    A few years ago, a world-respected U.S. and world coin grading company, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) hired ancient coin expert David Vagi to develop and oversee a grading and certification program for ancient coins.  No one had managed to do this properly with ancient coins in the past, partly because grading the condition of ancient coins involves so much more than a short description or numbering system.  NGC Ancients and David Vagi managed to construct a grading protocol for encapsulation that was light years Continue reading

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Gibraltar Coins & Precious Metals