People in the older times did not use any form of currency to purchase the things they needed. They just traded their goods at the market place and exchanged things they had for things they wanted or needed. As time passed, people began to learn the value of currency. They started to use money as an instrument to purchase goods and services. Because gold has always been considered a valuable commodity, they minted gold and silver 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 occured in Lydia naturally. People then did 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 existance. While manufacturing gold coins, they also started to make silver coins. Silver coins were 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 discovered the gold coins there. They were astonished at how the people of Lydia minted gold coins and resolved to learn the trade. Because they also regarded gold as a precious metal, they soon adopted the use of gold coins.
Since Persia was considered to be one of the most progressive nations in the olden times, the utilization of the golden coins soon spread rapidly 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 ceased in 1933. Countries all over the world begin to find it too costly to use gold coins as their currency. Nowadays, a few countries use gold-colored coins which no longer contain gold.
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, 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. Presently there are no new half dollar silver coins being minted. Most collectors of the pre-1964 Kennedy half dollars are hoarding 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 was 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 colored 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.
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.
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.