There are few people who do not have at least the beginning of a coin collection. Many of us own at least one or more old”good luck coins”,a large penny, an old Indian nickel or silver dollar,a medal or a souvenir token. Any one of these items has often led to the start of a large coin collection and a new hobby.

How to Clean Your Coins:
In most cases coins should not be cleaned at all as doing so may reduce a coin’s numismatic value. If cleaning is advisable, here are some steps to follow. 

Here’s How:

  1. Consult a coin dealer or other coin expert to assist you in deciding whether cleaning a particular coin is a good idea.
  2. When in doubt, do not clean the coin at all.
  3. If you decide to clean a coin, first try out any coin cleaning method on a cheap coin to see the results.
  4. Always use non-abrasive cleaners such as rubbing alcohol or olive oil to clean coins. Commercial jewelry and metal polishes are usually too harsh.
  5. Rinse the coins with distilled water after cleaning. Tap water should not be used as it contains minerals which may create spots.
  6. Tarnished coins should only be cleaned (if at all) by a professional using a process known as ‘dripping’.
  7. Let coins air-dry after cleaning– never rub a coin dry!


  1. Soaking in olive oil or mild soapy water can often safely remove dirt or other substances adhering to a coin.
  2. Specially made commercial coin cleaners are available at most coin supply shops but tend to be rather expensive.

How to Decide What Coins to Collect: 
What coins should you collect? Whatever appeals to you! There are no set rules for coin collecting but you may wish to specialize. Here are some ways to do so. 

Here’s How:

  1. Collect by Country: Collect coins of a specific country or group of countries.
  2. Collect by Type or Series: A collector by type or series aims to aquire one of each type or series of coins, for example, U.S. gold eagles or Lincoln pennies.
  3. Collect by Time Period: Many specialize in collecting ancient coins or coins fom a specific period in history, for example, U.S. colonial coins.
  4. Collect by Metal: You may wish to concentrate on coins made of a particular metal such as gold or silver coins.
  5. Collect by Theme: Consider collecting coins with a particular theme such as coins with animal designs, boat designs or various commemorative coins such as Olympic coins.
  6. Collect Errors: Some collectors focus on coins issued with some error in the coin’s design, composition, date or inscription.
  7. Collect Medals & Tokens: Another speciality is the collection of non-monetary ‘coins’ such as war medals and commemorative tokens.


  1. Do not try to specialize in too many categories as it can become time consuming and expensive.
  2. Attend a coin show to see some of the specialized collections often on display.

How to Get Started in Coin Collecting: 
It is not difficult to get started in the coin collecting hobby and it need not be overly expensive. Here are some preliminary steps to take. 

Here’s How:

  1. Before spending a lot of money on coins first gain some knowledge of the subject.
  2. Read as much about the numismatic (coin collecting) hobby as possible.
  3. Attend a coin show in your area.
  4. Check for a coin club meeting in your area and join a club.
  5. Buy or check out a coin catalog and books about coin collecting from the library.
  6. Subscribe to a coin collecting hobby magazine or newsletter.
  7. Check with the U.S. Mint to see what information they have for coin collectors.
  8. Read all of the articles on this site.
  9. Buy some coin envelopes, coin holders and a magnifying glass.
  10. Buy a selection of coins of a country whose coins you wish to collect.


  1. Store coins in a secure place and take care in handling them.
  2. Read the postings on USNET newsgroups relating to coin collecting from time to time.

How to Handle Coins 
Your coins may have cost you a substantial sum of money. Here are some suggestions on how to properly handle them to avoid damage and loss of value. 

Here’s How:

  1. A good practice is to habitually pick up coins only by their edges.
  2. Never touch an uncirculated coin anywhere on its surface as fingerprints may reduce the coins grade and value.
  3. Try not to let one coin touch another as nicks and scratches can result.
  4. Do not drag coins across any hard surface.
  5. When removing coins from a holder place them on a velvet pad or other soft, clean cloth.
  6. Keep coins away from your mouth as small moisture particles can cause spots.
  7. Wear white, clean cloth gloves when handling very valuable coins.


  1. Make sure you supervise the handling of coins by anyone else.
  2. Remove coins from their storage containers only when absolutely necessary.

How to Identify an Unknown Coin 
There are a number of ways to help one identify an unknown coin and the following sets out some steps to help you do so. 

Here’s How:

  1. Note the country of issuance of the coin. This may be in writing or by way of the country’s flag or other emblem.
  2. Note the year of issuance of the coin if you can read it.
  3. Note any pictures or inscriptions on both sides of the coin.
  4. Try to determine the primary metal composition of the coin (i.e., copper, silver, zinc, etc.).
  5. Determine the approximate diameter of the coin.
  6. Note whether the coin has any ridges on its edge.
  7. Note whether the coin has any unusual qualities such as a hole in the middle or a ring of one metal circled by a ring of another metal.
  8. With the above information, consult a coin catalog and see if you can find an exact match for your coin described in the catalog.


  1. Take the unknown coin to a coin dealer for assistance in identification if you cannot find an exact match in a coin catalog.
  2. Posting the relevant details of the unknown coin to a USNET newsgroup devoted to coin collecting may get you an identification response.

How to Store Coins: 
You have aquired a number of coins and are wondering how best to store them. Here are some of your options. 

Here’s How:

  1. Boxes, jars and bags may be used to store less valuable coins but are not generally adequate for more valuable coins.
  2. Specially made coin envelops made from acid free paper that hold a single individual coin provide a suitable and cheap storage method for most coins.
  3. Plastic re-sealable bags or ‘flips’ is a good storage choice because they let you see the coin without removing it from the cover.
  4. Mylay-lined cardboard sleeves (usually 2’ x 2’) are similar to plastic flips and are a good way to store and package coins for shipment.
  5. Cardboard or plastic coin albums are great for storing a series of coins related to a particular country or theme.
  6. Tubes are plastic containers good for storing several inexpensive coins of the same size together.
  7. Very valuable coins are often ‘slabbed’ or encased in hard plastic holders as this offers the greatest protection of any storage method.
  1. If you live in a very humid area add some silica gel to your storage container.
  2. Keep your coins in their storage containers in a secure place such as a safe or fireproof box.


Diamonds are beautiful and desired for their brilliance, sparkle and message of love.  Let the diamond chose you or our small personal staff, with it’s 50 years of experience will help you decide.  We buy quality, certified diamonds at the best price and pass this excellence and value on to you.  We are an experienced, established and trustworthy source to ensure you that you are receiving the, unquestionably, best certified diamond for the best possible price.

Buying diamonds, Twin City Gold has the expertise to help you evaluate the 4 C’s of each stone:

  • Cut is the primary factor in a diamonds brilliance.
  • Clarity refers to number, size and type of imperfections.
  • Color detracts from it’s brilliance; so less is best.
  • Carat measures the diamonds weight.

Color Grading:

  • D, E & F are considered colorless.
  • G, H, I and J are near colorless.
  • K, L and M have a faint yellow tint.
  • N, O, P, Q and R have a very light yellow tint.
  • S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z are light yellow.

GIA Clarity Grading Scale:

Flawless:  The diamond shows no inclusions (clouds, included crystals, knots, cavities and feathers) or blemishes of any sort under 10x magnification when observed by an experienced grader.

IF:  Internally flawless.  The diamond has no inclusions  using 10x magnification but will have some minor blemishes.

VVS1, VVS2:  Very, very slightly included.  The diamond contains minute inclusions that are difficult even for experienced graders to see under 10x magnification.

VS1, VS2:  Very slightly included.  The diamond contains minute inclusions such as small crystals, clouds or feathers when observed with effort under 10x magnification.

SI1, SI2:  Slightly included.  The diamond contains inclusions that are noticeable under 10x magnification.

I1, I2, I3:  Included.  The diamond contains inclusions that are obvious under 10x magnification and may affect transparency and brilliance.

Flawless diamonds are extremely rare but Twin City Gold and The Maine Diamond Exchange can truly offer you an opportunity to buy a beautiful diamond at a great price. 

Understanding Carat Weight:

 A diamond’s weight is measured in what is known as a ‘carat’, which is a small unit of measurement equal to 200 milligrams. Carat is not a measure of a diamond’s size, since cutting a diamond to different proportions can affect its weight. (The word ‘Karat’ is used to express the purity of gold, and is not used in relation to diamonds.) Here is a diagram that shows the relative size of various carat weights in a diamond that is cut to the same proportions:


Remember, all diamonds are not created equal. Two diamonds of equal Carat Weight may vary substantially in price due to their Cut, Color and Clarity. Also, a diamond’s weight can be ‘hidden’ in different parts of the stone. For example, you can have a well-cut diamond, whose weight is distributed properly, a diamond that is cut too shallow to make it wider and heavier, but not the most brilliant, or one that is cut too deeply, to add weight to the bottom of the stone – again compromising its ability to radiate maximum brilliance.

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