As you shop through the various pages at JM Bullion, you will find a wide array of bullion coins available to invest in or collect. However, there are a number of other types of coins available beyond modern bullion coins. These include specimens such as 90%, 40%, and 35% silver coins previously issued in circulation. While these latter specimens are now purchased in bulk as an affordable alternative for silver buyers, there are many other coins available. These coins range from clad specimens that are US legal tender to tribute coins, a unique subset of coins that have all the appearances of legal tender coins, but are not issued as official legal tender. You can learn more about these new product lines at JM Bullion.
Clad coins refers to any coin, legal tender or tribute, that has been enhanced with a layer of precious metal. In the case of legal tender coins, all US coins are now issued by the United States Mint with a cupro-nickel alloy that is more affordable to produce without exceeding the value assigned to the coins in US dollars. While the designs of some of the modern US coins are brilliant depictions of former presidents, the cupro-nickel composition of the coins carries no real investment or collectible value. However, the application of clad layers not only enhances the visual brilliance of the coins, but it also provides a small amount of precious metal content. In most cases, clad coins are produced with a thin layer of 24-karat gold covering the obverse and reverse fields.
The simplest explanation of what a tribute coin is would be to call the coin a copy. Tribute coins are struck to reflect the exact designs of current or historic bullion coins, with the details captured down to the exact inscriptions featured on the coins. However, the coins have no monetary value and are produced merely as a keepsake. Like clad coins, tribute coins are often cupro-nickel in nature with a clad layer of gold applied to provide visual appeal and help capture the intended design with 100% accuracy. In all cases, you will find an inscription of “COPY” somewhere on the coin to ensure it is distinguishable as a tribute coin and not a legal tender bullion piece.
One popular example of a clad coin is the Kennedy Half Dollar. The final coin the US Mint ever issued in circulation with precious metal content, the Kennedy Half Dollar remains in circulation and production today, but as of 1971 has been produced with the same cupro-nickel alloy as all other US coins. However, as the largest coin in regular use, the Kennedy Half Dollar and its popular design represent an ideal option for clad coins. In the case of the Kennedy Half Dollar, you will find a 24-karat gold layer covering the entirety of the obverse and reverse design fields. Those designs include:
US Mint bullion coin designs are popular examples of tribute coins. One such example is the American Gold Buffalo. The nation’s only 24-karat gold bullion coin, the American Gold Buffalo is based on the 1913 Buffalo Nickel. The bullion coin has been in production since 2006 at the United States Mint. With its 24-karat gold content, the coin is an expensive, yet popular option with investors. Tribute versions of the coin are struck on blanks such as cupro-nickel pieces with a clad layer of 24-karat gold to recreate the appearance of the American Gold Buffalo. The design of this popular coin includes:
Finally, you will find that other legal tender coins have been used to deliver one-of-a-kind visuals with colorized finishes. For example, the Eisenhower Dollar, a cupro-nickel legal tender coin the US Mint issued from 1971 to 1978, has recently been used with a colorized obverse honoring the founding of the United States Space Force. These legal tender pieces are acceptable $1 (USD) coins, but are not intended for use as a form of payment as the cost of acquiring the coins is much higher than the $1 face value. The idea behind such a coin is commemorative in nature.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to JM Bullion customer service with any questions. Our team is available to assist you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address. For questions regarding forms of payment we accept and any applicable minimums/maximums, please reference our Payment Methods FAQ. You can also contact us if you have further questions about payment methods.