National Coin Week

April 23, 2008 6:10:40 AM PDT
Thousands are fascinated by the world of minted money.Among collectibles, coins are unique in that you can spend them as well as save them. But experts agree: do your homework before you buy anything. Experts say buy a book on rare coins, before you buy coins you think are rare.

Coins can teach you a lot about history. For example, "In God We Trust" first appeared in this 1864 two-cent coin.

It was put there to remind people why the United States was fighting the Civil War.

During the 1926 World's Fair in Philadelphia, the government issued a special half-dollar with the Liberty Bell. It is popular with local collectors.

If you buy gold and silver coins, remember that their value is high right now because of the rising prices of precious minerals.

No matter what coins you collect, never give into the temptation to clean them. Collectors say that does nothing for the coin's value.