Old Pueblo Coin – Tucson, AZ

The Coin Geek

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Star Wars Coins – Darth Vader and Stormtrooper

For this week’s Coin of the Week segment we’ll take a look at a couple of  modern coins (or are they from a long, long time ago?).

Yes, that means Star Wars.

2017 Star Wars Darth Vader Niue Two Dollars - Reverse    2017 Star Wars Darth Vader Niue Two Dollars - Obverse

2018 Star Wars Stormtrooper Niue Two Dollars - Reverse    2018 Star Wars Stormtrooper Niue Two Dollars - Obverse

The 2017 coin features Darth Vader on the reverse, while the 2018 coin features a Stormtrooper (the recent release of the Stormtrooper coin coincides quite well with the upcoming Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, which is perhaps another reason we’re excited about these coins). Apart from the date, the obverses are the same — “ELIZABETH II   NIUE   TWO DOLLARS” circling an image of the Queen (Elizabeth II, not Amidala).

Why Niue? Well, these coins are considered legal tender in the country of Niue (a South Pacific Ocean island Northeast of New Zealand). However, it is highly unlikely they would ever be used for purchases, just as an American Silver Eagle Dollar would almost never be found circulating in the wild. At one troy ounce of .999 silver, the precious medal value is much higher than the legal tender value.

These two coins are the start of a “Niue” new series by the New Zealand Mint. Besides Star Wars, they mint series of silver and gold coins featuring Disney characters, Doctor Who, endangered species, local wildlife, creatures of Greek mythology, and other topics.

NZM is just one of several mints that produce collectible coins featuring historical, wildlife, pop culture, or other subjects, which is perfect for when someone’s coin interest matching up with one of their other interests. Take a look here at some examples of 2017 dated silver coins and 2018 dated silver coins.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about these or other coins.


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Coins of the Week November 22, 2017

Our Coins of the Week showcase a couple commemorative coins, from one of the earlier U.S. commemorative coins to a more modern example.

Our first coin of the week is a 1900 Lafayette Silver Dollar. This coin owns a couple of “firsts”, as it was the first U.S. commemorative of a one-dollar denomination and also the first authorized U.S. coin to have a portrait of a U.S. president. Interestingly, the date on the coin is not actually when the coins were minted–they were minted in 1899–but rather the intended date of the erection of the General Lafayette monument in Paris. The statue on the reverse is very similar to that monument, which was a gift from the American people to France to honor General Lafayette. This specimen is graded MS62 by PCGS.

1900 Lafayette Silver Dollar PCGS MS62     1900 Lafayette Silver Dollar PCGS MS62 - Reverse

Our other coin of the week is a 2011-W U.S. Army $5 Gold Coin. The obverse features soldiers from different eras, with the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the modern era represented. The reverse features the U.S. Army emblem. This particular coin is graded PF70 Ultra Cameo by NGC.

2011-W U.S. Army $5 Gold PCGS PF 70 Ultra Cameo     2011-W U.S. Army $5 Gold PCGS PF 70 Ultra Cameo - Reverse

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Coin of the Week November 15, 2017

In order to make up for lost time, we’re going to “cheat” a little bit and showcase two(!) coins for the Coin of the Week.

Before we look at our first coin, let’s give some background information. Indian Head Cents come in 3 types:

  • Type 1 (1859) was only minted in the year 1959, with the reverse featuring the words “ONE CENT” encircled by a wreath tied at the bottom by a ribbon.
  • Type 2 (1860-1864) keeps the same obverse, but the reverse has some noticeable differences: the wreath and lettering are fuller, a small shield occupies the top center, and the ribbon now also holds three arrows.
  • Type 3 (1864-1909) keeps the same design as Type  2, but the composition switches from Copper-Nickel to Bronze. Both the thickness and weight of the coin are reduced.

This particular Indian Head Cent is minted in the year 1863, meaning it is Type 2. It has been graded MS62 by PCGS.


1863 Indian Cent PCGS MS62     1863 Indian Cent PCGS MS62 - Reverse

Liberty Nickels have two types:

  • Type 1 (no “CENTS” , 1883) Liberty Nickels had a large “V” on the reverse, but did not contain the word “CENTS” anywhere. This prompted some individuals to hand carve reeding to the edges and gold-plate the coins in an attempt to pass them off as $5 Gold Half Eagles (these nickels are known as “Racketeer” Nickels).
  • Type 2 (with “CENTS”, 1883-1913) Liberty Nickels were minted with the word “CENTS” to counter such individuals. “E PLURBUS UNUM” was moved to above the “V” to make room for “CENTS”.

This particular Liberty Nickel was minted in 1907, and is clearly not a $5 Gold Half Eagle. It has been graded MS64 by PCGS.

1907 Liberty Nickel PCGS MS64     1907 Liberty Nickel PCGS MS64 - Reverse

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1936 Gettysburg 50 cent Commemorative

The coin of the week is a 1936 Gettysburg commemorative half. This coin features a Union and Confederate soldier on the obverse with the words “BLUE AND GRAY REUNION”. The reverse features two shields separated by double bladed fasces . The shields represent the Union and the Confederacy.

This coin is graded MS66 by NGC. It has blazing luster and hints of yellow to light steel blue toning. At time of posting this coin was offered at $1,000.

Gettysburg Half Dollar 1936   1936 Gettysburg 50 cent commemorative


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Coin of the Week June 6, 2017

The US Mint recently released a new ”High Relief” $100 gold coin. This coin is one ounce of .999 gold and is produced at the West Point mint. It celebrates the 225th anniversary of the United States Mint.  This coin is the first US coin to depict an African American woman on it. The reverse has a brilliant Eagle in flight. It is struck in proof condition.


The mint has limited production to 100,000 pieces. The mint is currently selling this coin for $1690. Our price is $1600. Only one available.

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Coin of the Week 5/8/17

This week we feature a rare “Trime”, which is a nickname for the 3 cent silver coins produced by the US mint from 1851-1873.  This piece is an 1869 Graded by PCGS Proof 64 Cameo. The original mintage for this coin is only 600 pieces.  The survival rate is low on these coins and many are not very attractive. We are pleased to offer this piece for $1550.

1869 Proof 64     



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2017 Silver Marlin Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands has my vote for the Coin of the Year (COTY) – at least for the first quarter of the year. These coins have fantastic security devices by way of fine lines that go around the peripheral of the coin. But instead of having circular lines they form waves. The background behind the queen looks like rippling water and the Marlin on the other side looks like it is jumping off the coin! They are 1 ounce of solid silver .999 and dated 2017.



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Gold Jewelry Recycle – Repurpose

One of the nice things about the element known as gold is its versatility. Another nice thing is that gold is recyclable and reusable. When you have gold scrap to sell, (Scrap is a term for old gold earrings, rings, watches, chains, necklaces that are used) you can bring them to Old Pueblo Coin where they will get recycled. But unlike most recycling that costs you money, this form or recycling pays you money for your old jewelry and gold items. Most of these items get re-purposed into new jewelry, bullion or electronics.

Look for the small gold marks of 10k (.417), 14k (.585), 18k (.750) on your jewelry. Sometimes it is hard to see. If you see marks like ”AVON” or “KREMENTZ”, or “HGE” it is most likely plated gold and not real gold.

10K Gold Ring Stamp.

14k GOLD Stamp Back of Watch.

18k Gold Stamp

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Estate Sale versus outright sale

A question we get frequently is if you should use an estate sale or sell items outright. The answer is there is a time and a place for both.

Estate Sale Pros:

  • Everything goes! This is the most important thing about an estate sale and it provides some insight into when you should have one.
  • Someone else does the work. When you are thinking of having an estate sale you are usually in the middle of an emotionally trying time. Having someone else do the work for you is a great relief.

Estate Sale Cons:

  • You lose control of pricing.  An estate seller is going to do all the pricing for you. Although the workload being off your shoulders is good, not being in control of certain items is not.
  • Things can sell for too little. Things that don’t sell quickly will have their price cut in half!
  • Costs about 1/3 of sale price.  It is well worth the commission price to sell hard to sell things at an estate sale, but you don’t want to lose 33% on items you can sell at 20% margins!

Selling Outright Pros:

  • You control the price. This gives you a chance to search the market place for fair pricing.
  • You can often work on smaller margins for items like: Gold, Silver, Coins, Jewelry, Watches.
  • You never sell things you don’t want to sell. Unlike an estate sale, if a price is too low, you can keep the item.

Selling Outright Cons:

  • There is more leg work. It takes time to sell your valuables.
  • You may end up keeping things that others don’t want to buy (but at this point you can give them to the estate sale).

So when should you sell outright and when should you have an estate sale? The question should be more of a ”what should you sell outright and what should you sell at an estate sale?”. Our advice : bring the following items, Gold, Silver, Coins, Currency, Jewelry, Flatware, Watches, Historical items to Old Pueblo Coin and get a FREE APPRAISAL.

The reason you should sell these items is because we see people every week who bought the above items at estate sales and then they bring them to Old Pueblo Coin (4255 E Speedway) to sell them. This means that it sold for less at the estate sale than what Old Pueblo Coin would pay for them (and then you pay the estate 33% on top of that!).

The other reason to sell these items is because they are the concentrations of value. You can sell an entire room full of furniture for a couple of thousand dollars, and yet you can have that much money in just a pocket full of gold jewelry!

Bringing your Coins, Gold, Silver, Jewelry, Flatware, Watches, and other Historical Items to Old Pueblo Coin is the most economical move you  can make. It keeps you in control, maximizes your return, and is FREE to get an appraisal. After that, you can have your estate sale!

Call (520) – 881 -7200.

Open M-F 9-5 and Saturdays 9-4.

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