The Value of Antiquity
An American silver dollar from 1878 represents seventeen dollars worth of silver by 2017 reckoning. It was composed of additional metals as well; these making up about 10% of the coin. Since 1878 was the first year the Morgan silver dollar was minted, getting them from this year adds additional value.
By most estimates, you’re looking at a value of about $20 for what was worth $1 when it was printed. A coin like this in good condition could be worth $100 or more, depending on factors like where it was minted, etc. There are so many factors involved that proper appraisal can only be done through a professional.
It’s interesting how history can change the value of money such that it becomes a finer asset than it would have been in circulation. It’s also difficult to nail down when a certain denomination of coin will become more valuable than another.
Out Of Circulation Coinage
For these reasons, many coin collectors and currency collectors do their best to obtain currency that is out of circulation in all denominations, and from all countries. Oftentimes once coinage goes out of circulation, it is sold for a price which is very reasonable comparatively.
As an example, on BankNoteWorld.com, you can actually purchase a 10,000 note in Afghani Currency for only $3.99, US. This particular note is from 1993, but there are currency notes of varying denominations from virtually every walk of life on the site.
As a means of education and collection, such sites are a positive boon for the avid coin enthusiast. Additionally, informing your purchasing decisions can represent an investment that continues to mature given time.
Say you’re teaching a finance course to high school or collegiate students. You can use such coinage as an object lesson in the value of antiquity. You can show them how different countries determined value, and how history has changed that value gradually over time. Additionally, your collection will continue to gain value.
Personal collectors gain even more value from such collections, but beyond either category of collector, you can give such currency as novelty gifts. They retain their value, and in many cases will represent a value increase. The reason is that with every passing year, rarity expands.
A Rewarding Hobby
When supply is low, demand is high; that’s economics 101. As you go about increasing your coin collection, you’re going to want to do some homework to determine which coins are the most valuable, which bills are the most valuable, and how to maximize a given investment.
Be careful, this hobby can slowly turn into a full-time occupation. Every now and again you’re going to stumble upon a bill or a coin that you’re able to buy cheaply which ends up being of exceptional value. Finding such currency, getting it appraised, and selling it to the right people can yield substantial return over time.
Besides the prospect of return on your investment, there’s a definite quotient of entertainment and fascination involved in the historicity of old currency.