Today's Spot Prices Gold: $1,421.40$0.60


Silver: $16.07$0.15



  • The Liberty $5 Gold Coin: A Guide

    The Liberty $5 Gold Coin was in circulation from 1839 to 1908, during this period of time the face value of $5 was quite significant and had a tremendous spending power. Read More »

  • Should I Buy Circulated or Uncirculated Coins?

    If you’re pondering the question of whether you should buy circulated or uncirculated coins, chances are you are thinking about starting a coin collection.

    Although there are various grades and assessments ascribed to different coins, the basics begin at the question of whether they are circulated or uncirculated. Read More »

  • Indian Head Penny: Value, History, and Information (1859-1909)

    As a United States resident, you already know that some coins are worth more than others. The increments vary significantly, but this is just one thing to take into consideration.

    Some coins hold historical significance and this makes them more valuable than others. Often times, older coins tend to be worth much more than new coins. Read More »

  • How to Find Old Coins: A Guide

    Collecting old coins is a valuable hobby as it can generate income and or help build up a serious coin collection. Many that collect coins as a hobby either do it as mementos from various countries to which they have traveled. Read More »

  • Troy Ounces vs. Avoirdupois Ounces

    The differences between the weighing system of Troy and Avoirdupois are slight, but extremely important for anybody who deals with precious metals.

    In this blog post we’ll outline how each weighing system differs and how best to understand them. Read More »

  • An Overview of Signature & Certified Coins

    Collecting rare coins can be an extremely rewarding investment, but valuing a coin is a daunting experience for many beginners. Fortunately, the practice of valuing a rare coin is the responsibility of third party grading services. Read More »

  • IPM Secures Prestigious Designation with First American Palladium Eagle Coin

    (October 9, 2017) - International Precious Metals (IPM), a leading provider of rare certified coins and physical precious metals, announced that they have secured an exclusive allocation of signature label 2017 one ounce American Palladium Eagle Bullion coins. This is the first palladium coin ever struck by the United States Mint and is the first new American Eagle Bullion coin to be released in twenty years. Read More »

  • Rare Coin Market: Why are rare coins so popular?

    As the stock market’s bull run continues, investors are looking to find ways to diversify their holdings and the rare coin market has been an answer to many. The popularity of holding on rare coins as investments has skyrocketed, due to the similarity the market shares with vintage items. However, a key difference is that the rare coin market has a rock-solid infrastructure of auctions and graders that keep the market liquid and reliable. Read More »

  • Joel Iskowitz Signature Coins

    Joel Iskowitz Signature Coins History

    Joel Iskowitz is an accomplished painter and one of the most prolific designers of coins and medals in the U.S. Mint. While his designs for the U.S. Mint only began in 2005, he has already been involved with an astonishing 50 U.S. coin and medals – and that number is growing rapidly. Iskowitz also is one of few people who hold the honor of having his art hang in the Capitol, White House, and Pentagon all at the same time. As an artist, Iskowitz can be defined as an artist who pursues accuracy to an incredible degree and possesses incredible capacity for being able to summarize accomplishments with only a handful of designs. Over the past few months, Iskowitz has been working closely with Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), a third-party rare coin certification, where he has agreed to individually sign labels of exceptional coins as a guaranty of their excellence on behalf of the organization.

    Iskowitz’s Meteoric Rise in Coin Design

    Iskowitz’s career in coin design began when he was accepted into the US Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) in 2005, a relatively new program who’s goal is to attract new talent and diversity to the US Mint. While Iskowitz’s tenure in the US Mint has not been long, his designs have spanned across a tremendous number of coins and medals far in excess of the average designer. To date, Iskowitz has over twenty US mint coins, which include four reverses for the America is Beautiful quarter series, five reverses for the American Platinum, four Presidential Dollar obverses, seven commemorative coins, and 11 obverses or reverses for the First Spouse series. Iskowitz also helped design a number of U.S. commemorative coins as well as six recent Congressional Gold Medals. His eye for design was recognized at an international level when he designed the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for British Commonwealth coinage – of which he is the only American to hold the honor.

    Iskowitz’s Coin Design Philosophy

    To the average person, the figures and shapes on coins are almost background noise – it makes it easy to differentiate one coin from another but very few people actually take the time to examine and appreciate the coins themselves. Iskowitz is not the average person. His approach to coin design is astonishingly in-depth, where he seeks to bring the accomplishments of his subject to life in his designs. In order to get a complete understanding of his subject’s achievements and bring to life the narratives surrounding the subject, Iskowitz takes a meticulous, stepped approach to each new design.

    The Coin Design Approach

    Iskowitz has stated that while no project is the same, he takes a similar set of steps to research all aspects of the subject before even starting the design. His first step is to read and understand the legislation that authorizes a new design and the subject it’s focused on. The goal is to see the window from which Congress is viewing the subject, so that he can orient himself so that he designs something in line with their vision. Most importantly, he seeks to understand exactly why the honor is being given to the subject of the design.

    Following that, Iskowitz looks to make a first hand connection with his subject, which often translates into travel to the location of the subject. He talks with people associated with the subject, examines the subject or event in person, and takes meticulous notes about all aspects of the subject. To guarantee authenticity and accuracy, he often visits the National Archives to pour over literature and images. In short, Iskowitz looks to gain a complete and comprehensive understanding of the subject before even beginning his design.

    Iskowitz’s obsession with accuracy is clear when looking at his designs. For him, the artistic touch in the process is when the montage is assembled of all the different parts, but the individual rendering of each design much be perfect. For example, Iskowitz’s process when creating the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal exemplifies his attention to detail. The medal honors the journey of the Friendship 7 capsule along with the astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and John Glenn, and Iskowitz was able to catch everything down to the last detail. He examined mission notes from John Glenn’s mission in order to correctly capture the direction and orientation of the capsule when it was orbiting around earth. His medal received recognition from the acclaimed International Design Awards.

    International Recognition and Painting Excellence

    Due to his impressive design credits for the U.S. Mint, Iskowitz has been spoken publicly about coin design all around the U.S. and on television. His excellence has also been recognized internationally, he has helped design coins and medals around the world and his numismatic artwork is on permanent display in the Smithsonian. Coin design is not the only artistic focus that defined Iskowitz. He is an accomplished painter, where his work has been displayed in major museums around the world, such as the Kennedy Space Center, the Historical Museum of Carentan, France, and the US Air Force Art Collection. Iskowitz’s art has also been requested around the world in the form of stamps, where he has designed more than 2,000 stamps for 40 nations. Iskowitz’s appreciation and passion for coin design becomes clear when looking at a quote from his 2015 lecture at the Museum of American Finance:

    “How fascinating that this art moves among the people, compared to art that’s in a museum where people go and visit. My art visits the people and there’s no telling how it will move around. So it’s really a very vital form of communication. Each coin and medal is a repository of the history of any given culture or era. It’s also an ambassador in a way, because it carries a message and shows a culture’s finest or most moving moments.”

  • The Risks of Using Banks for Gold Storage

    Sorry, You Can’t Have Your Gold - by Jeff Thomas

    We regularly caution our clients of the risk involved in storing wealth in banks.   Read More »

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