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    Other Coins Available at JM Bullion

    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.

    What are Clad Coins?

    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.

    What are Tribute Coins?

    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.

    Examples of Clad Coins

    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:

    • Obverse – a left-profile bust of President John F. Kennedy with inscriptions of “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and a date mark. This design was created in 1962 by Gilroy Roberts, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint at the time. It was modified in 1964 for use on the first release of Kennedy Half Dollars.
    • Reverse – this side of the coin features a modified version of the US presidential seal. It includes the bald eagle with an olive branch in one talon and the arrows of war in the other talon. The eagle supports the US national shield. This design was created in 1962 as well, but was completed by then-Assistant Engraver and future Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro.

    Examples of Tribute Coins

    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:

    • Obverse – James Earle Fraser’s composite image of a stoic Native American is found in right-profile relief on the obverse of the Gold Buffalo. The effigy shows an indigenous figure with braided hair and inscriptions of “Liberty,” a date mark, and Fraser’s “F” initial.
    • Reverse – James Earle Fraser also designed the image of an American bison for the reverse of the popular coins. The depiction shows a powerful bison in left-profile relief on a small mound of dirt. Inscriptions on this side exactly match that of the Gold Buffalo bullion coin, with one more change: “COPY.” The inclusion of “COPY” identifies the piece as a tribute coin and not legal tender.

    Colorized Legal Tender Coins

    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.

    Buying Other Coins at JM Bullion

    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.