For collectors, proof coins are often the first stop when buying gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Modern proof coins from mints such as the United States Mint have designs that reflect both modern numismatic designs and historic circulation designs. While these coins boast both beautiful designs and precious metal content, the cost of collecting these designs can be quite high depending on the metallic content of the coin. Clad coins offer an alternative for those seeking stunning designs without the cost of precious metals. Here you can learn a bit more about clad coins available from JM Bullion.
Clad coins are any coins available with differing layers of precious metals applied to the surfaces of the coin. The point in applying a clad layer is to create a new visual element that differs from the original version of the coin. For example, the application of a 24-karat gold layer to a coin that is traditionally struck in silver instead. In some cases, clad layers are applied to pure silver coins with select applications of metals. More commonly though, in reference to legal tender coins, clad coins are cupro-nickel circulation pieces that have been enhanced with layers of precious metals to increase the visual appeal of the item itself.
There are various types of clad coins available to collectors these days. The designs will be covered in a moment, but first, it is important to get an idea of what types of clad options you might commonly find. The most obvious of these is gold. Many producers turn to 24-karat gold to help enhance the visual brilliance of otherwise ordinary legal tender coins. In other cases, multiple precious metals may be applied to the coin to not only enhance the visual brilliance, but also to create contrast between the varying elements of the coin. For example, a coin may receive a full layer of ruthenium throughout the background with gold applied to select design elements. Conversely, the background may be clad entirely in 24-karat gold while the design elements are selectively enhanced with ruthenium.
Any coin can be enhanced with a clad layer. When it comes to legal tender coins, current US circulation coins are a popular target for the application of clad layers. Additionally, tribute coins can be produced and later enhanced with clad layers that create visual contrast. Examples of those designs include:
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