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History Behind The Gold And Silver Coins

Oct 8, 2007
People in the older times do not use any form of currency to buy things they need. They just trade their goods at the market place and exchange things they have for things they want or need. As time pass, people began to learn the value of currency. They started to use money as instrument to purchase goods and services. Because gold has always been considered a valuable commodity, they minted gold coins as their first currency.

Gold And Silver Coins

Gold coins were first introduced between 643-630 BC. They were introduced by the Lydian King Croesus. People at that time used electrum, a pale yellow mixture of silver and gold which occurs in the Lydia naturally. People then do not know how to separate gold and silver. So in actuality, the first gold coin was a mixture of silver and gold.

They begin to learn how to separate gold from silver around 560 B.C. That was when the first real gold coins existed. While manufacturing gold coins, they also started to make silver coins. Silver coins worth less than gold coins. That is why rich people in the kingdom used the gold coins while the less rich working class used silver coins.

When King Croeseus was captured by the Persian army in 546 B.C, the Persians went through the kingdom of Lydia. They found the gold coins there. They were amazed at how the people of Lydia mint gold coins and decided to learn the trade. As they also considered gold as a precious metal, they soon adopted the use of gold coins.

As Persia was considered one of the most progressive nations in the olden times, the use of the golden coin soon spread quickly to other parts of the world. For the next several years, gold coins played an important role in the area of commerce. People from all over the world used gold to obtain good and services all over the world.

The use of gold coins however stopped in 1933. Countries all over the world begin to find it too expensive to use gold coins as their currency. Nowadays, some countries use gold-colored coins which no longer contain gold.

Silver Coins

For more than 170 years, the U.S. Mint was allowed to stamp a silver coin in different denominations. Different denominations of the silver coins include silver coin for dollars, half dollars, quarters and dimes. In 1965 however, a worldwide silver shortage resulted in the making of a silver coin against the presidential order. The silver coins went from 90 percent silver to 0 percent in dimes and quarters while they are only 40 percent in the half dollar.

The last half dollar silver coin made was the Kennedy half dollar. Currently there are no new half dollar silver coins being minted. Most collectors of the pre-1964 Kennedy half dollars are holding on to them. However, because there were so many half dollars in circulation, they are now considered "junk" coins by most collectors as they hold very little premium over face value.

The dollar silver coin was created in 1794 and discontinued in 1935. It was then resumed in 1971 with the non-silver Eisenhower dollar, which was later on replaced in 1979 by the Susan B. Anthony one-dollar coin. This was then replaced by the gold plated Sacagawea dollar.

Gold And Silver Coin Values

Just like other coins, gold and silver coin values are dependent on many factors, including the number of gold and silver coins created, their age, rarity, and the condition of the coins.

Age Of The Coin

Coin values are first determined by their age. The older the coin, the more value it will have. When determining coin values based on the age of the coins, tests will be carried out to verify authenticity and precise age of the coins.

Number Created

The number of the gold or silver coins minted is another factor which influences the coins values. Gold and silver coins that have millions of copies usually have lesser value than coins that only have a couple hundred copies.

Coin's Condition

The condition of the gold and silver coins may also influence their values. Coins that are in excellent condition will be much more desirable to collectors than coins that are damaged. The condition of the coins can influence the price considerably. That is why collectors find that it is much harder to sell a weathered gold or silver coin than a coin in good condition.

Rarity Of The Coin

The most important factor to determine gold and silver coin values is the rarity of the coin. Coins that are only left a few copies will have the highest value. Although many of the gold or silver coins may have been minted originally, in some cases the coins have been taken out of circulation. The few coins that are left will become more and more valuable as time goes on.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit old coin value to learn more about antique silver coin locket and how to find the best antique coin appraisal.
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