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50% Return and No Risk

     How would you like an investment that's providing a 50% return, is backed by the U.S. government against any loss of capital, can solve some of your gift giving problems for the holidays, and can be purchased commission free? Does it sound too good to be true? It's not. You probably already hold a small position in this investment. What is it? It's the new commemorative state quarters. There are coin dealers selling rolls of the new quarters for $15 each, a 50% gain over the $10 face value of the coins. The coins are backed by the U.S. government by definition being the legal currency of the United States. Short of the virtually non-existent risk of the devaluation of our currency, you simply can't lose your capital. The coins also make a great gift at the holidays, and for children's birthdays, births, graduations, and many other events. Each of the new 50 state quarters is only being minted for a 10-week period and then they will never be minted again. So the quarters fit the limited supply requirement that helps an item increase in value. Demand for the quarters is so high they have increased production after minting the first six coins.

    Now the way not to invest in these coins is to buy one of those maps of the U.S. with a slot next to each state to push that states' coin into. For that matter the act of pushing the coin into the map reduces the potential value of the coin. That's also why you don't want to pick the new quarters out of your pocket change and store them up in a jar. The most valuable coins, whether the commemorative quarters or any coin, are those that are kept in uncirculated condition. The simple act of someone touching the face of a coin shifts its condition from being uncirculated to very fine. When you touch the face of a coin the oils from your skin are deposited on its surface. Over time these oils will cause the bright polished finish of the coin to oxidize, degrading its value. Unless you have a very scarce coin, the shift from uncirculated condition down to very fine condition can reduce a coins value from a high premium to just above face value. A $10 roll of commemorative quarters may be worth $15 in some circles if they're in uncirculated condition, but in very fine condition they're probably only worth a couple of cents above their $10 face value. The easiest way to accumulate these quarters is to ask for them when you make a trip to the bank. What you want are machine rolled rolls of quarters, not hand rolled rolls deposited by another customer. Some of the machine rolled rolls are conveniently stamped with the words "U.S. Mint" on the side. One of the coins exposed at the end of the roll needs to be faced with the head of the coin facing outward or you won't know what you have. You want a roll where no one has touched either of the exposed quarters. Ideally you don't want to open the rolls, and in most cases you won't need to. In less populated areas investors can't find rolls straight from the mint and are opening the rolls they get to put together a collection of coins. If you open a roll, only handle the quarters by the edges. Some investors are actually showing up at the bank on a regular basis and asking for $500 boxes of quarters, returning the next day with the ones they don't want to keep.


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