Specialists in the colonial coinage of Spanish America as well as shipwreck coins and artifacts of all nations. In addition to publishing several catalogs per year, Mr. Sedwick is a regular vendor at major international coin shows, including FUN, CICF, and ANA.

 Investing Time in Collectible Tangible Assets 

by Cori Sedwick Downing


Youíve saved and saved all your life, or you just started a savings program, and all of a sudden, your investments in stocks and bonds donít seem such a wonderful idea. Did you forget one of the cardinal rules of investing, diversification? For many, diversification means holding a portfolio of stocks, bonds, CDs, and cash. For the savvy investor, a diverse portfolio includes tangible assets such as collectables, coins, art and artifacts, but you need time first.

Why treasure coins and artifacts?

The field of treasure salvaging is relatively new, like any other field you need to learn about it first and that takes time!. The first wrecks were discovered less than fifty years ago. Itís an expensive, time-consuming, and many times dangerous business and new salvage operations are few and far between. Treasure coins and artifacts are limited, and that helps create more demand than in other fields of collecting, say U.S. coins for example.

1654 Royal 8 RealesThe lore of shipwrecks, pirates, and booty is enticing. Think Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean! The idea of coins and artifacts buried under the sea has spawned not only many movies, but books and stores. Through the collecting of pirate treasure, you can learn a vast amount about the history of the New and Old World and the geography of the worldís navigable waters. There are vast resources which can help you enrich your collection.

As with many other collectible coins and artifacts, prices arenít affected as much by fluctuations of gold and silver in the marketplace, however an unique coin could become common if a large quantity of the same type are found. A coin has a numismatic value that transcends what itís made of. Hence, buy the best you can buy so your purchase will be judged by its beauty, its level of detail, and its rarity, but without time to learn what you are collecting it is not wise. In terms of treasure coins you will want to look for quality, rarity and pedigree.

What are the pitfalls of collecting treasure coins and artifacts?

As with any highly specialized field, there is a good deal to learn before buying coins to build a collection that will hold some value and desirability with time. There are disreputable or uneducated sellers  who will be happy to sell you a pig in a poke. Armed with knowledge, you can make educated decisions apart from what someone is telling you.

Always look for a provenance or chain of history to your collectibles. Anyone who has watched the Antiques Roadshow knows that appraisers always ask about how long an object has been in the possession of the owner, where the owner got the object, and whether the owner has any documentation about the origin of the object. In the world of treasure coin and artifact collecting, ask whether an item you want to purchase has a certificate with it. That certificate should tell you on which wreck the object was found and by whom.

While owning hard assets helps diversify your portfolio, for the most part, those assets wonít appreciate overnight. Plan to hold on to your investment for at least 10 years. This is a long-term approach to your savings program, and it will produce sound results when you finally decide to sell, however the coins that seem to hold and increase their value are only the choice pieces in the best possible condition, rare and in bad condition might not be a good idea in the long term.

Anything else I need to know?

Using Sedwickís Rules of Collecting below, youíre on your way to becoming a collector of treasure coins and artifacts!

- Buy the book before the coin or buy the coin from the person who wrote the book!

- An educated collector is a satisfied collector, buy the coins and enjoy the hobby, do not look it as a pure investment, big part will be the time you spent learning the field, the rest money.

- Always buy from a reputable dealer

- If you like what you buy, youíll be more apt to keep it until it appreciates, that means you are enjoying collecting, many times we see people that want to invest and that is not the route, collect in a wise and educated manner and most likely you will be satisfied during and after your journey.



-Reproduction of the articles in whole or part is strictly prohibited without written permission of the author/s.



Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC Professional numismatists specializing in the colonial coinage of Spanish America, shipwreck cob coins and artifacts of all nations. Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC Professional numismatists specializing in the colonial coinage of Spanish America, shipwreck cob coins and artifacts of all nations.


Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC

P.O. BOX 1964 | Winter Park, Florida 32790

Phone: 407.975.3325  |  Fax: 407.975.3327


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