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Show me the money! All about coins and paper money.

Coins have been used as a form of currency for centuries, offering insight into the cultures and civilizations of the past. Coins are made from a variety of metals, including copper, silver and gold. In ancient times, coins were often crafted from gold, silver, bronze or iron.

Coins have been used as a form of currency for centuries, offering insight into the cultures and civilizations of the past.

Coins are made from a variety of metals, including copper, silver and gold. In ancient times, coins were often crafted from gold, silver, bronze or iron.

Today, coins are produced by governments and mints around the world. The United States Mint produces coins for circulation, as well as collector coins. Ancient coins, such as Greek, Roman and Macedonian coins, can be found in a number of places, including museums, private collections, and archaeological sites. Some ancient coins also contained images or inscription that held religious or political significance. Today, coins are used as currency all over the world, and they come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.

We’ll take a look at coins, paper currency, medals and more featured in past Nest Egg Auctions. If you have a collection of coins, paper currency or other historic artifacts, we’d like to hear from you. Nest Egg Auctions is capable of appraising and selling on consignment at auction, as well outright purchasing collections from sellers of coins and currency.

Contact Nest Egg Auctions today at 203-630-1400 or by sending us a message.


U.S. Coins (1793-present)

U.S. coins minted from 1793 and later differ significantly from earlier coins in both their composition and their design. Prior to 1793, U.S. coins were made of silver and copper, with the exception of the half cent, which was made of copper alone. However, rising inflation made it increasingly difficult to mint coins that contained a full ounce of silver, so, in 1792, Congress authorized the creation of a new Coinage Act.

Nova Constellatio coins like the ones above are some of the first coins struck by the US government.

This act created a U.S. Mint and established a new standard for U.S. coinage, which included a copper-nickel alloy for cents and lower-denomination coinage, and a silver-copper alloy for higher-denomination coinage. The current composition is known as “cupronickel” and consists of 75% copper and 25% nickel. Cupronickel is a durable material that resists corrosion and is well suited for use in coinage. U.S. coins minted from 1793 to 1834 are known as “large cents” and have a diameter of approximately 1 inch. U.S. coins minted from 1835 to 1857 are known as “small cents” and have a diameter of approximately 0.75 inches. U.S. coins minted since 1858 are known as “modern cents” and have a diameter of approximately 0.75 inches.

In addition to changing the composition of U.S. coins, the Coinage Act also authorized the creation of new designs for all U.S. coins. These new designs included the now-familiar images of Liberty and the Bald Eagle, which have been used on U.S. coinage ever since.

Pre-1933 Gold Coins

Before 1933, many U.S. gold coins were in circulation. The most common were the $5, $10 and $20 gold pieces, which were popularly known as half eagles, eagles and double eagles, respectively. These coins were made from a 90% gold / 10% copper alloy and were heavy and durable, making them well-suited for use in commerce.

In addition to these coins, there were also $3 and $1 gold pieces, as well as smaller denominations such as the half dollar and quarter eagle. However, due to their higher gold content, these coins were less widely used and saw relatively little circulation. Despite their different sizes and compositions, all pre-1933 U.S. gold coins shared one common feature: they bore no date of minting, meaning they could be lawfully issued and circulated indefinitely. Consequently, many of these coins are still in existence today and are highly prized by collectors.

Gold coin production came to a halt in 1933 as the nation dealt with the Great Depression. It wasn’t until 1986 that the U.S. Mint resumed production of gold coins with the release of the American Eagle series.

90% Silver Coins (Junk Silver)

In the United States, junk silver coins refer to any silver coin that contains 90% silver and 10% copper. These coins were minted in 1964 or earlier, and they include dimes, quarter and half dollars. They get their name from the fact they’re not worth much more than their silver content — they’re junk to most people. However, junk silver coins can be a valuable addition to any investor’s portfolio. That’s because junk silver coins are a relatively inexpensive way to invest in precious metals.

For example, a junk silver dime contains 0.072 troy ounces of silver. At current prices, that dime is worth about $1.30. By comparison, a gold coin like the American Eagle contains about 0.9675 troy ounces of gold. At current prices, that coin is worth about $1,960. So, junk silver coins offer investors a way to get exposure to precious metals at a fraction of the price of gold coins.

Early 19th-Century Coins

During the early 19th century, the United States Mint produced a variety of different coins. The most common were the “Classic Head” large cents, which were first minted in 1808. These coins featured the image of Lady Liberty on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse.

In 1837, the design was changed to feature a seated Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. Half cents were also minted during this time period, although they were less common than copper cents. These coins also featured images of Lady Liberty on the obverse and a wreath on the reverse.

Silver coins minted during this time period included half dimes, dimes, quarters and half dollars. All of these coins featured pictures of Liberty on the obverse, with different images on the reverse. Gold coins minted during the early 19th century included $1, $2.50, $3 and $5 denominations. These coins featured different images of Liberty on the obverse and different designs on the reverse.

In addition to these regular coins, a number of commemorative and pattern coins were also produced during the early 19th century. These included the 1804 dollar, which featured a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on one side and an eagle on the other. Pattern coins are those which were never officially released into circulation, but were instead used to test new designs or minting processes. The early 19th century was a period of significant change for U.S. coinage, and many of the coins minted during this time are now highly desired by collectors.

Roman Coins

Ancient Roman coins provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of one of the world’s most powerful empires. For centuries, Roman coins were used to pay for goods and services, as well as to expand the empire through military conquest.

Roman coins were first minted in the late 4th century BC. The designs on these earliest coins were relatively simple, featuring a profile of the ruling emperor on one side and a symbol of the Roman state on the other. The most common type of Roman coin is the denarius, which was made of silver and typically featured the image of the reigning emperor. Other types of Roman coins included the gold aureus and the bronze sestertius.

In addition to their monetary value, ancient Roman coins also offer insights into the culture and beliefs of the people who minted them. Over time, the designs became more elaborate, incorporating scenes from mythology and daily life. The use of these ancient Roman coins also spread beyond the borders of the empire, and examples have been found as far away as India and Africa.

The value of ancient Roman coins varies depending on their age, condition and rarity. However, even a common ancient Roman coin can be worth a significant amount of money.

Greek Coins

Ancient Greek coins are some of the most iconic and well-recognized coins in the world. Struck between circa 620 and 550 BC, these ancient silver and gold coins quickly became an essential part of trade and depict a variety of images, including myths, animals and important Greek symbols. Many ancient Greek coins were minted using an incuse method, which meant that the images were stamped into the metal while it was still in a soft state. This gave the ancient Greek coins a distinctive “sunken” look.

Because of their durability, ancient coins are some of the most well-preserved artifacts from the ancient world. Greek coins were typically made of gold, silver or bronze, and they were often stamped with images of gods, animals or mythical creatures. The value of a coin depended on its weight and purity, as well as its design. For example, certain coins minted in Athens were especially valuable because they depicted the head of Athena, the patron goddess of the city.

Macedonian Coins

Ancient Macedonian coins are some of the most intriguing and beautiful ancient coins in existence. They were first minted around the time of Alexander the Great, and feature a variety of designs that reflect the culture and history of Macedonia. The tetradrachm, for example, was one of the most common coins minted by the Macedonians. It featured the head of Alexander the Great on one side and a horse on the other. This coin provides evidence of Macedonian admiration for their famous leader as well as their love of horses.

The drachma, another popular Macedonian coin, was often used to pay mercenaries. This coin depicted a variety of different images, including an eagle, a lion and a bull. These ancient Macedonian coins offer insights into the kingdom’s military power as well as its religious beliefs.

The ancient Macedonians were a curious blend of Greek and barbarian, and this is reflected in their coinage. Macedonian coins often included a mixture of Greek and barbarian motifs. On the obverse, Macedonian kings often chose to depicted themselves in the traditional Greek manner, as Heracles or Zeus. On the reverse, however, they frequently included more barbarian motifs such as animals or Celtic spirals. This interesting blend of styles makes Macedonian ancient coins some of the most collectible and sought-after by numismatists today.

Key Date Coins

A key date coin is a coin that is considered to be rare or valuable due to its low mintage. For example, the 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln penny had a mintage of just 484,000 pieces, making it one of the most coveted key date coins in U.S. history.

While key date coins can come from any country or era, they are most commonly associated with U.S. coins minted in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the most common key dates include the 1804 silver dollar, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel and the 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle. Each of these coins is considered rare and valuable due to its limited mintage.

The key date coins that are most sought after by collectors tend to be those with low mintages and high grades. For example, the 1804 silver dollar is one of the rarest coins in existence, with only a handful of examples known to exist. As a result, it is one of the most valuable key date coins in the U.S., with some examples selling for millions of dollars. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is another highly coveted key date coin, as it is the only known example of its kind. This coin was mistakenly struck without the words “In God We Trust” on its obverse, making it a unique and valuable collector’s item. The 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle is also a key date coin that is highly prized by collectors. This coin was struck at a time when President Franklin Roosevelt had outlawed private ownership of gold bullion. These coins can be worth tens of thousands of dollars or more. While key date coins can be difficult to find, they are an exciting addition to any collection.

Bullion Coins

Bullion coins are minted by governments and private mints and typically have a higher purity of metal than circulating coins. These coins are used as an investment and store of value, rather than for spending. The most common bullion coins are made of gold and silver, but there are also bullion coins made of platinum
and palladium.

The most popular bullion coin in the world is the gold bullion coin, which is produced by a number of different countries. Gold bullion coins are popular because they are made from a precious metal that has a long history of being used as currency. Gold bullion coins are also relatively easy to trade and transport, making them a good choice for investors. However, gold bullion coins can be very expensive, and their value can fluctuate wildly depending on market conditions.

Silver bullion coins are another popular choice for investors. Silver is not as valuable as gold, but it is still a precious metal with a long history of being used as currency. Silver bullion coins are cheaper than gold bullion coins, making them more affordable for many investors. However, silver bullion coins can be difficult to find in some markets, and their value can also fluctuate wildly depending on market conditions.

Platinum and palladium bullion coins are two other options for investors. Platinum and palladium are both rare metals that are not as well-known as gold and silver, but they can still be a good investment option.

Gold bullion coins typically have a purity of 24 karats, while silver bullion coins have a purity of 99.9%. Platinum bullion coins have a purity of 99.95%, and palladium bullion coins have a purity of 99.9%. Bullion coins usually come in 1 oz. , 10 oz. or 100 oz. weights. The price of bullion coins is based on the spot price of the metal, plus a premium that covers the cost of minting and distributing the coin.

World Coins (Foreign)

There are numerous different types of world coins, also known as foreign coins. The most common world coins are the US dollar, the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen. However, there are also many other world coins that are used in different parts of the world. For example, in China, the yuan is the primary currency, while in India, the rupee is the primary currency. Each country has its own distinct world coinage that is used for transaction purposes.

Some world coins are circulated as currency, while others are used as investment pieces or for collecting. World coins can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, platinum and copper. They come in all shapes and sizes, and each coin has its own unique design. World coins can be a great addition to any coin collection, and they offer a glimpse into the cultures of different countries.

18th vs. 19th vs. 20th Century U.S. Coins

The 18th century was a time of great change for the United States, and this is reflected in the coins of the time. The most common 18th-century coin is the half cent, which was minted from 1793 to 1857. These coins were made of copper and were very small, so they were not very valuable. Gold coins were minted sporadically throughout the 18th century, but silver coins remained the primary type of coin in circulation.

In the 19th century, the U.S. Mint began minting larger coins, such as the one- and two-cent pieces. These coins were made of bronze and were larger than the half cents. In 1804, the dollar was introduced, followed by the quarter in 1815. Nineteenth-century coins were made of a mix of metals, including copper and nickel. The designs on these coins were more detailed than those from the 18th century, and they often featured famous American figures like Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson.

Nineteenth-century U.S. coins saw a transition from silver to gold as the primary metal used. The first gold coins were minted in 1849, and gold became increasingly popular throughout the latter half of the 19th century. In 1854, the three-cent piece was introduced, followed by the nickel five-cent piece in 1866. The dime, quarter and half dollar continued to be made of silver until 1873, when Congress voted to discontinue their production due to a shortage of the metal. Gold coins continued to be minted until 1933, when President Roosevelt signed an executive order banning their private ownership.

The early 20th century saw the introduction of new coins, such as the Jefferson nickel and Winged Liberty Head dime or “Mercury” dime, which are larger than the 19th-century coins. In addition, the U.S. Mint began minting gold and silver coins in the 20th century, as well coins comprised of copper and zinc. These coins featured the image of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse side, and an image of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the reverse side. Today, all U.S. coins are made mostly of copper and zinc, with a small percentage of nickel added to help resist wear and tear.

Fugio, or Franklin cents
1856 Flying Eagle cent


Large-Format Bills

Large format U.S. currency bills — also known as large bills or large notes — are those that are typically $5,000 or higher. They are often used by large businesses and organizations for transactions.

With a different design and roughly 33% larger than standard bills, large bills help to prevent counterfeiting and make it easier to transport large amounts of cash, in scenarios such as casino transfers, real estate purchases or tax paying. Large-format bills are typically only produced in small quantities, so they are not widely circulated.

In addition, the large bills can be helpful in situations where smaller denominations are not available. For example, if a business needs to make a large purchase but only has small bills on hand, they can use a large bill to avoid having to carry a large number of smaller bills. While large format bills are not used as frequently as smaller denominations, they can be helpful in certain situations. Though they are legal tender, large bills are not as common as standard bills and can be difficult to use in everyday transactions.

Confederate Currency

Confederate currency was the money used by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Confederate currency was printed by the Confederate government as well as by private banks and businesses. Confederate currency featured images of Confederate leaders, Confederate monuments and Confederate symbols.

Confederate Paper Bills

The first Confederate bill was issued in February 1861, and over the course of the war, eight different Confederate denominations were produced. Confederate bills were primarily printed on plain white paper, and were not backed by gold or silver. Instead, they were promissory notes, which meant that they could be exchanged for goods or services but were not legal tender. Confederate bills were issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000.

Confederate currency quickly lost value as the war progressed, and by 1865 most Confederate bills were only worth a fraction of their original value. Today, Confederate currency is a collector’s item, and some examples are worth thousands of dollars.


U.S. medals are a way to commemorate American history and the achievements of its citizens. There are several different types of U.S. medals, each with its own meaning and purpose.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military distinction that can be awarded, and it is given for acts of bravery and valor in combat. The Congressional Gold Medal is awarded by Congress to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the United States. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by the President, is the highest civilian honor that can be bestowed, and it is given to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration that can be awarded, and it is awarded for gallantry in combat. Purple Hearts are given to those who are wounded or killed in action. There are also many other U.S. medals that commemorate important moments in American history or outstanding achievement in a particular field. U.S. medals are a way to remember the past and honor those who have made a difference in the present.


Tokens have been used as a form of currency in the United States since the colonial times. These small, metal discs were often used to buy goods and services when there was a shortage of coins. During the Civil War, tokens were used extensively on both sides of the fight as people hoarded coins out of fear they would lose their value. Tavern and whorehouse tokens were also common during this time, as they could be used to buy drinks or services at these establishments. Antique U.S. tokens are highly collectible, depending on their age, condition and rarity, and many people view them as a piece of American history.


If you have a collection of rocks or minerals, we’d like to hear from you. Nest Egg Auctions is capable of appraising and selling on consignment at auction, as well outright purchasing collections from sellers of rocks and minerals.

Contact Nest Egg Auctions today at 203-630-1400 or by sending us a message.

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