U.S. Coin Price Guide

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Colorized Coins

Many businesses purchase genuine United States coins and then use a variety of methods to "colorize" the coins. The most common colorization techniques involve painting an enamel finish on the coin or applying a holographic image to the coin. Below are some examples of colorized U.S. coins.

Colorized Coins Colorized Lady Liberty Coin Obverse Colorized Lady Liberty Coin Obverse and Reverse

Not colorized by the United States Mint



Does the United States Mint produce or sell colorized coins?
No. The United States Mint has never produced or sold colorized coins.

Does a business need permission from the U.S. Government to colorize U.S. coins?
Businesses do not need the U.S. Government's permission to colorize genuine United States coins unless the U.S. Government owns copyright in the coin design in question. Thus, consumers should not assume that the U.S. Government has approved or sponsored the colorized coins. Of course, businesses are expected to ensure that they do not violate U.S. trademark laws, false and deceptive advertising laws, and third party rights.

Are colorized coins considered to be a good numismatic investment?
The United States Mint does not comment on coin-grading issues or on a colorized coin's current or future value as a collectible item. If you like a colorized coin because of the way it looks, then you may want to add it to your collection. However, if you are primarily concerned about the long-term investment value of a colorized coin, you should contact a reputable coin dealer or coin grading service before you purchase the coin.

Is a "bimetallic" coin the same as a colorized coin?
No. As the name implies, a bimetallic coin is manufactured using two separate components of different metals. In modern bimetallic coins, the center component is usually made from one metal, while the outer component consists of a totally different metal. In the past, the United States Mint produced a bimetallic coin -- the 2000 Library of Congress Commemorative Bimetallic Ten Dollar Coin. This commemorative coin was manufactured using both .9995 platinum and .9167 gold.

I've seen coins advertised featuring a holographic or colorized image of prominent public figures. Are these United States Mint products?
No. While the underlying coin itself may be a genuine United States Mint coin, the United States Mint has never produced a coin featuring holographic or colorized images. The advertisements you have seen are from businesses that purchase genuine United States Mint coins and alter them with holographic or colorized images of their choice.

What is the United States Mint's position on the practice of superimposing images of athletes or other prominent public figures on genuine U.S. coins?
The United States Mint does not encourage or support products that alter the fundamental images on its coins. A superimposed design is entirely different than the coin's original image and almost obliterates the coin's organic design. Altering United States Mint coins this way may heighten the concerns of people who regard the images and designs on our Nation's coinage as sacrosanct. Indeed, Congress itself mandates by statute the themes, images, and inscriptions that appear on a particular coin. In most cases, businesses are using American Eagle silver bullion coins that Congress directed the United States Mint to produce with the requirement that the coin "have a design . . . symbolic of Liberty on the obverse side."


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