A Beginner’s Guide to Coin Collecting in Florida
If you’re a resident of the Sunshine State or a visitor with an interest in collecting coins, you’ve come to the right place. Coin collecting, also known as numismatics, is a fascinating and rewarding hobby that allows you to explore the rich history and culture of Florida while potentially building a valuable collection. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll focus on collecting Constitutional silver coins, including Mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, pre-1965 Washington quarters, and pre-1965 half dollars. We’ll also introduce you to Vermillion Enterprises, a reputable coin shop located in Spring Hill, Florida, where you can start or expand your collection.
Why Constitutional Silver Coins?
Constitutional silver coins, often referred to as “junk silver,” have a special place in the hearts of coin collectors and investors alike. These coins are primarily composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. They hold both historical significance and intrinsic value due to their silver content.
The four key denominations you should consider collecting within the realm of Constitutional silver coins are Mercury dimes, Roosevelt dimes, pre-1965 Washington quarters, and pre-1965 half dollars. These silver coins can be found in circulation, at coin shops, or through online marketplaces. The beauty of collecting Constitutional silver coins is that they are relatively affordable and accessible for beginners.
Mercury Dimes: The Winged Liberty
One of the most iconic and beloved designs in American coinage, Mercury dimes, were minted from 1916 to 1945. These coins feature the profile of a young Lady Liberty with wings on her cap. Key dates and mintmarks to look out for include:
- 1916-D: The first year of issue, which is rare and highly sought after.
- 1921: A low mintage year that commands a premium.
- 1931-D: A key date with a limited mintage.
- 1945 Micro S: This variety is distinguishable by a small mintmark and is quite valuable.
Roosevelt Dimes: A Tribute to FDR
Roosevelt dimes, featuring the portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, have been minted since 1946. Key dates and mintmarks to consider for your collection include:
- 1949-S: A low mintage year.
- 1950-D: Known for its scarcity.
- 1955: The Philadelphia mint variety is a rarity.
- 1964-D: The last year with 90% silver content, making it a transition year.
Washington Quarters: A Glimpse into American History
Washington quarters have been a mainstay in American pockets since 1932. The earlier years of this series hold a special place in the hearts of collectors. Key dates and mintmarks to keep an eye out for include:
- 1932-D and 1932-S: The first year of issue, with Denver and San Francisco mint varieties.
- 1937-S: A low mintage year.
- 1950-D: Known for its scarcity.
- 1964-D: The final year with 90% silver content.
Half Dollars: The Kennedy Era and Classic Designs
Half dollars have a storied history in American coinage, with a focus on two classic designs – the Walking Liberty half dollar and the Benjamin Franklin half dollar. Both of these iconic coins, along with the Kennedy half dollar, offer collectors a window into the past. It’s essential to identify those with 90% silver content for your collection.
Walking Liberty Half Dollars: Grace and Liberty
Walking Liberty half dollars, minted from 1916 to 1947, are celebrated for their graceful design featuring Lady Liberty in stride. Key dates and varieties collectors should consider include:
- 1916: The inaugural year with a limited mintage.
- 1921: A low mintage year.
- 1938-D: Known for its scarcity.
- 1946-D: The final year of the series, making it a desirable year to acquire.
Benjamin Franklin Half Dollars: A Tribute to a Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin half dollars, also known as “Franklins,” were minted from 1948 to 1963 and pay tribute to one of America’s most iconic Founding Fathers. Key dates and varieties for your collection include:
- 1948: The first year of issue.
- 1950: Known for its limited mintage.
- 1953: The San Francisco mint variety is sought after.
- 1963: The final year with 90% silver content.
Kennedy Half Dollars: A Modern Classic
The Kennedy half dollar, introduced in 1964, features a striking portrait of President John F. Kennedy. While the Kennedy half dollar continues to be minted for circulation, it’s important to identify the coins with 90% silver content. Key dates and varieties to consider include:
- 1964: The inaugural year of the Kennedy half dollar and the last year with 90% silver content.
- 1970-D: A rare variety with a low mintage.
- 1998-S Silver Proof: A collectible proof coin made of 90% silver.
Collecting Resources and Where to Find Them
To ensure a successful coin collecting journey, utilize various resources to expand your knowledge and network with fellow collectors. Local libraries, online forums, and numismatic clubs in your area can offer valuable insights and connections.
For obtaining Constitutional silver coins, including Walking Liberty half dollars, Benjamin Franklin half dollars, and Kennedy half dollars with 90% silver content, look no further than Vermillion Enterprises, located in Spring Hill, Florida. Their extensive inventory and knowledgeable staff make them a trustworthy choice for both new and experienced collectors. Vermillion Enterprises is committed to offering fairly priced coins and providing expert guidance to help you make informed choices in building your collection.
Storing and Protecting Your Collection
To maintain the condition and value of your coins, invest in airtight coin holders or protective capsules for storage. Keep your collection in a cool, dry place to prevent tarnishing and oxidation. Handling your coins directly should be minimized, as the oils from your skin can cause long-term damage.
The Joy of Coin Collecting
Coin collecting is more than just accumulating valuable items; it’s about the thrill of discovery, the satisfaction of finding rare treasures, and the opportunity to connect with history. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a novice embarking on your journey, Florida provides an ideal backdrop for numismatic exploration.
Start your collection with Constitutional silver coins like Walking Liberty half dollars, Benjamin Franklin half dollars, and 90% silver Kennedy half dollars. Explore the key dates and varieties mentioned in this guide, and don’t forget to visit Vermillion Enterprises in Spring Hill, Florida, to begin or enhance your collection. Coin collecting is a rewarding and educational hobby that can last a lifetime. Embark on this exciting journey to uncover the treasures of the numismatic world in the heart of Florida.