Collectors from around the world are collecting bank notes. It’s estimated that there are over one million Canadians and 20 million Americans who actively collect bank notes. Like coins, bank notes offer collectors the ability to instantly travel to distant times and far away locations. They capture specific moments in time and have stunning artwork that truly captures the stories of long-gone civilizations and times. There’s an argument to be made that paper money provides a greater canvas for the art and style of past people than coins.

Bank note collections are almost never complete. There will always be a missing piece or an opportunity to upgrade a collection with a unique bank note. Collectors get a lot of satisfaction from their searching and buying bank notes from around the world.

In addition to being an enjoyable hobby, collecting bank notes and coins is one of the smartest investments a collector can make, with value regularly growing at a higher rate than conventional investment strategies such buying stock. The value of a currency is often dictated by supply in demand, rare coins and paper money will increase in value at a higher rate than more common currency. Not only is collecting bank notes and coins an enjoyable hobby, it can be an excellent investment tool.

There’s nothing new about collecting coins, historical records indicate that people have been collecting rare currency for thousands of years. It’s estimated the coins were first struck more than 2,500 years ago, and people have found enjoyment in their collecting ever since. Books about currency collecting have been published to eager collectors for hundreds of years. This sharing of knowledge has not only increased the interest in currency collecting, but they’ve also helped people learn about the various currencies out there. The Internet has had a tremendous effect on coin collecting by providing collectors with instant information and the ability to purchase even the rarest currency with a couple clicks.

The with the end of the silver era in the late 1960s, both the Royal Canadian Mint and the United States Mint unintentionally produces some of the most sought-after coins by modern collectors.  Some of the most important moments in history have had coins struck in order to mark the occasion. New currency collectors from around the world have found these coins are an excellent way to coin collecting.

A truly unique coin and paper note collection can be started with any budget. For less than $100, a new collector can quickly have a currency collection that’s both valuable and interesting. Imagine the potential a collection with tens of thousands of dollars can offer, Every collector has their own reasons for getting into currency collection.

What are the best coins and bank notes to collect?

Every collector has their own coin and bank note preferences and objective for their personal collection. We find that many collectors end up having multiple objectives for their campaign once they start actively collecting.

Most collectors want to own a coin and paper note collection that grows in value over time. In theory, spending most of your collection’s budget on one big-ticket item is the best way to grow your collection’s value, but that might lack a certain level of excitement. Ideally, you will want to have a balanced collection with a combination of higher-end pieces and some lower valued items with growth potential.

Many collectors have a goal of building a full collection of one particular coin of paper money series. This can be an excellent way to build a collection with any budget. A collection of a series with items of a higher grade may take longer to build and will come with a higher level of investment. Not only will a complete series help your collection increase its overall value, it will instantly connect you to another time and place.

Maybe you’re a history buff? The history of coins goes back to 600 BCE, and there are a lot of eras between then and now.  Regardless if you’re a fan of the Roman Empire, the Medieval period, or even more modern Canadian and American history; there are coins for any preference.  You may even be surprised to find that high-quality coins and paper money can be obtained for a reasonable price. Having a particular taste in mind will help your collection that much quicker. It’s important to purchase from reputable coin and currency sellers, there are a lot of counterfeits on the market.

Geography is another interesting way to collect. Every culture has a currency history and collection both current and historic pieces can be a fun way to collect. Each region of the world’s currencies will grow in value at a different pace. We’ve seen a rapid increase in the value of currency from Russia, China and Portugal over the last couple of years. Some high-grade Chinese coins have increased in value for 50 times their original purchase.

The amount of people collecting paper banks notes has been increasing year-after-year. Many are attractive the stunning art and colour found on paper money. For example, Canadian bank notes from 1937 are famous for their detail and beautiful designs depicting the nation at the time.  The Royal Canadian Mint has also produced a wide variety of collectible coins throughout the years. These coins a popular due to the fact they capture a wide range of scenes, colours and effects. Some of these coins can be purchased for a very affordable price and could be a great investment opportunity.

The best coin and bank note collections are a hybrid of personal taste and investment. It’s fun to collect the items you’re interested in and it’s even better when your collection increases in value.

Determining the Value of Coin and Bank Notes

People come to our Markham, ON coin and bank note store every day wondering how much their collection is worth. Maybe it’s a collection that you’ve been building for years, or maybe it’s a collection that you inherited. Regardless of how you got it, it’s important to know how much your coin and paper money collection is worth. When determining the value of a currency collection there are two categories to look at; Realizable Cash Value and Retail Value.

Realizable Cash Value

Markets for gold and silver will shift from time to time, but we’ve seen in increase in both precious metals over the last few years. An increase in gold or silver will usually prompt people to check the value of their coin collection. An experienced coin or bank note appraiser will typically offer you a greater buying price than wholesale for your items. The amount offered will vary, but it’s safe to expect to receive from 40% to 80% of the retail selling price of your piece. Commonly found collectibles will typically have less value than rate items, supply and demand play a large role when it comes to the coin and bank note market.

There are various currency pricing guides available, they can be found online or in most large bookstores. These books can be an excellent and impartial guide for pricing your collection. It’s important to note that the value of precious metals will vary over time and the prices in your guide will only be accurate at the time of the publication’s printing.

It can be exciting to get an expert appraisal of your coin and bank note collection, many expect to see big money coming their way. When items are rare or contain gold or silver the payout amounts will be on the higher end. Sometimes the Internet can mislead collectors on their collection’s value, there’s a lot of misinformation out there which can lead to unrealistic appraisal expectations.  We’ve evaluated a lot of collections over the years and we offer some of the best prices in the market. You have the peace-of-mind of knowing that you will get an honest and high-value offer appraisal for your coin and paper currency collection.

Retail Value

The retail value is the amount an experienced dealer will sell your coin and bank note collection for after they purchase it from you. There can be a lot of overhead expenses that will help determine this price such as staff salaries, retail space rental, insurance, marketing, auction-related expenses, and of course profit.  Guidebooks provide an excellent reference point for your collection’s value, and an experienced appraiser will utilize their knowledge of the current market to establish a fair buying price.

The Devil’s Face in the Queen’s – Classic Story of Canada’s Most Famous Bank Note

One of the most popular stories shared amongst coin and Canadian bank note collectors centres around the Queen Elizabeth’s portrait on the 1954 bank notes. For almost 60 years, Canadian collectors have debated this bank note. At the time it was noticed by many that an image of the devil’s face can be seen in the Queen’s hair. Talk of the hidden symbol reached the highest levels of the Canadian government and even the monarchy itself. It didn’t long for the controversial bank note to be replaced with a modified engraving. Collectors generally feel the devil’s face appearing in the portrait was completely unintentional.

Queen Elizabeth was photographed by renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh in 1951, images from the sitting were eventually used for the 1954 printing of paper money. In the original photo, the Queen wore her royal tiara. The tiara could not appear on the Queen’s head on the bank notes, so a Toronto-based graphic design company was hired to remove it. Editing photographs in a pre-Photoshop world wasn’t easy and the designers needed to add hair in place of the now removed tiara. Once the photograph was retouched it was sent to British American Bank Note Company to be engraved for bank note printing. The new bank note was released in the fall of 1954 and was not until nearly two years later that people noticed a devil-like face in the Queen’s curly hair. Eventually, the newspapers across Canada and the United States wrote articles about the hidden image.

The Queen’s hair was eventually darkened to hide any sign of the devil’s face in the portrait. Little was mentioned of the bank note until Allan Klenman, a Director of the Canadian Numismatic Association was interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen in April 1959. In the article, Klenman shared his theory that the devil’s image was intentionally added as a way for European currency engravers to voice their opposition to the monarch following the war. The Ottawa Citizen gained traction and newspapers across the country wrote stories of Klenman’s theory.

Overall, the theory was not taken too seriously and experts constantly stated that the devil’s face was merely due to coincidence. Today, the bank note’s first run is a highly desired item. The combination of the Bank of Canada’s decision to quickly modify the engraving along with national attention gained from Klenman’s theory has created a large demand for this bank note from Canadian currency collectors.

Understanding Precious Metals and Why You Should Collect Gold and Silver

There are countless reasons why collectors throughout Canada decide to embark on collecting precious metals. Many are attracted to the idea of earning a profit on their collection, others enjoy the satisfaction of building a unique collection, and for most, it’s a combination of both.

Over the years we’ve seen precious metal collection skyrocket in value. Collectors who purchased gold back in 2001 when it was at a low could now sell their collection for a 650% profit. It wasn’t just gold, silver increased did even better, with a 780% increase in today’s market. It’s fair to assume that such as spike won’t happen again anytime soon, but there’s still a lot of potential for growth.  There are many advantages to investing in precious metals, many experts recommend that a strong investment strategy should include 10% to 25% in precious metals.

Commerce and precious metals have gone hand-in-hand throughout human history. It’s estimated that humans have used gold and silver as an expression of wealth for more than 3,000 years. Ancient civilizations started using coins in 600 BCE. These early coins had standardized markings and weights, the value of the coin was established by the value of the metal it was made from. Gold, silver and bronze were used in coins throughout much of our history, base metals have been used in Canadian and American coins since the 1960s. In today’s world of online transactions and crypto-currency, investing something tangible such as precious metal is a great investment opportunity.

The growth in paper bank notes changed the Canadian and American economy. Throughout the decades our economy has been fairly stable and operating with currency not directly tied to precious metals has worked, but there are examples around the world when a nation’s economy becomes shaky and bank notes lose nearly all their value.  Some of the most notable examples of hyperinflation took place in 1920’s Germany and 1910’s Russia.

Anyone starting up a precious metal collection will quickly find that there are plenty of options out there. In fact, it’s common to feel overwhelmed on whether you should buy gold or silver, big bars or small ones, or minted coins.

Even the world’s best experts cannot accurately predict what precious metal will increase in value and by how much. Markets will shift over time, but there are some consistent factors that may help you make a decision. Gold has been shifting in a value at a greater rate than silver over the last couple of years. If your goal is to protect your wealth over the long term investing in gold is probably your best bet.

We’ve also found that physical silver has been in short supply in recent years. This causes the price to be determined greatly by supply and demand. Values can decrease when large contracts of silver are sold on the international market. Silver can provide collectors with some great short-term returns and silver also works well when you’re investing on a smaller scale.

It’s really impossible to say what bullion you should invest in, it really varies from person-to-person. Speaking with an experienced bullion seller is a great place to start. At Pacific Coin & Currency, our team of experienced precious metal experts take the time to understand your collecting goals and will work with you to find the best bullions for your needs and budgets.