Rare Coin FAQ

Swiss America and Rare Coin FAQ:

What is an investment grade rare coin?

Many coins can be considered investments for a number of reasons, however, for the typical non-collector investor, these general guidelines should be used:

1. United States coins only.
2. Dated prior to 1934.
3. The condition or "grade" is Mint State (MS) or Proof (PF) 63 or higher (64, 65, 66 or 67). Coins graded 68 to 70 are very difficult to price due to extreme rarity and usually should be avoided.
4. All coins must be graded and certified by either the Professional Coin Grading Service(PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).
5. Prices should be a function of the Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter (CCDN) and the Coin Dealer Newsletter (CDN).
6. The population of the coin (the number of coins that have been graded by either PCGS or NGC) is low for the series whenever possible. This is available from the current edition of the PCGS or NGC Population Reports.

Why do I need rare coins in my portfolio?

The answer is diversification. The majority of your portfolio is in equity or paper investments, like stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities. These make up the vast bulk of your assets and in most economic scenarios will provide safety and growth for your future. However, there are certain times when tangible or real assets are important to your portfolio. One of the most time tested methods of "wealth insurance" has been rare coin investments. They are easy to store, easy to value, easy to transport and easy to sell. It is for this reason that you should have a portion of your portfolio into rare coins.

How much of my portfolio should be in rare coin investments?

Generally, an amount equal to 5% to a maximum of 15% of your growth portfolio can be in tangibles. The typical investor usually has at least 10% of assets in rare coins. The actual percentage that is suitable for you can be easily determined by you and your Swiss America broker in a review of your present holdings.

What does 'certified' mean? Is it necessary?

"Certification by one of the recognized independent grading firms, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation(NGC) provides you the assurance of an independent 3rd party verification of the grade of the coin, insures that your coin is not a counterfeit and the grade assigned was issued in conformity with the industry standards of one of the leading grading services (not assigned by a ‘selling’ firm). The holder will also provide for the physical protection of the coin itself. All these benefits make certification a very necessary part of rare coin investments.

Does the price of gold or silver have any effect on the price of rare coins?

For investment quality coins, the effect of bullion price movements is minimal. These coins have value due to their rarity and collector demand rather than any intrinsic metal content. For example, in the art world, the value of a Picasso is not based on how much paint, wood or canvas is used to create the work. The same is true with rare coins. An investor who buys a $20 gold piece for $25,000 is not concerned that the coin contains about an ounce of gold currently worth about $300. In lower quality coins, those that are of poor condition and easily obtained, their price is determined largely by bullion price movement. In this example, a low quality $20 gold piece that is sold for $420 has over 80% of its value based on bullion content.

Must I become a coin collector to invest?

"No! Investing in rare coins is entirely different than collecting. You don’t have to be an actuary to invest in annuities, nor a stock analyst to invest in mutual funds. Well, you don’t have to be a coin collector to invest in rare coins. Swiss America makes the investment process easy to make and understand, from the point of your purchase until you decide to sell. That’s why you should deal with a company of long standing reputation and integrity. Swiss America recognizes the special requirements and concerns of investors and our programs are designed to make it easy for you to buy, track and sell your investment in coins.Q. "How have rare coins done as an investment?"

How have rare coins done as an investment?

Like any other investment, it depends on the time frame that is examined. Historically, rare coins perform best when considered a long term investment. Paper assets make up the majority of a client's portfolio; rare coins can potentially hedge future cyclical economic events that affect those assets. A 1989 study by Dr. Ray Lombra Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. found that, "The two top-performing investments over the past 25 years were stocks, at 14.6% per year, and high-quality, rare U.S. gold coins, at 14.3% per year. A broader index of rare U.S. coins, including all types in grade Mint State-65 (on a scale of 1 to 70), performed at 18% per year over the same period."

How is my rare coin portfolio selected?

Your Swiss America broker will, after the question of suitability of investment is answered, will work with you to determine your investment goals, time frame and amounts to invest. Using the criteria on the selection form coupled with the input from you and your broker, a portfolio will be put together. The number of coins will be dependent upon the amount invested.

How can I keep track of how my rare coin investment is performing?

That is really simple. Swiss America will provide a evaluation for you at no charge, at least annually on your request. In addition, if you need more frequent reviews, they can be provided as easy as placing a toll-free call to our offices. All the evaluations are done by computer and are based on the up to date values. You will be able to find out the value of your rare coin investment with the same amount of effort that it takes to determine the value of your annuity."

How long should I hold an investment in rare coins?

Like any other investment, rare coins are cyclical in nature. They go up and down in value based on economic conditions, market supply and demand. In the past, these cycles occurred every four to six years, so as a rule you should plan to commit your funds for this period of time. However, when short term gains are realized prior to the recommended holding period, you and your advisor can review your portfolio and take profits where available."

Where do I store rare coins?

"Rare coins are very easy to store. They can be stored in a safe deposit box at your bank or in a home safe. Since the coins are in sonically sealed, tamperproof plastic cases of uniform size, they do not require much space. In addition, you may request an NGC "Photo Proof" that contains the invoice, descriptions, histories and color digital images of all the rare coins in your portfolio. You may keep this folder at home to review your investment while keeping the actual coins secure in your bank vault or home safe."

How easy will it be to sell my rare coins?

Rare coins are among the most liquid and easy to sell tangible assets with over 5,000 industry outlets available for liquidation in the U.S alone. You may elect to sell them back to Swiss America at any time. We will provide you a firm price based on the then prevailing market wholesale prices. This method takes no longer than 5 business days. An additional method of liquidation is through one of our affiliates many rare coin auctions. Auctions are conducted approximately once a month at major rare coin shows throughout the country, where your coins are exposed to the largest numbers of interested buyers. Depending on which type of auction you choose, the selling process is anywhere from 1 month to 3 months. Our auction affiliate takes control of the entire process from the time of your consignment to sending you your check. So, whether you choose to sell directly or at auction, selling is a snap."

How can I get more information?

If you would like one of the Swiss America representatives to contact you, please call toll-free at 1-800-289-2646, email info@buycoin.com or fill out our web contact form

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