Category Archives: Features

How to Best Collect Proof Coins

Is it better to collect 1936 to 1942 proof coins by the set or by the individual coin?
At one time, the proof set of 1936 to 1942 was the way to go, but today due to the hairsplitting grades assigned by third-party certification services, it would be challenging to find one of these sets intact as it was issued. Trying to match the coins in a set of any of these dates both grade-wise and with matching tone is challenging, but this is what collectors appear to favor.
 
Are proof sets for 1957 to 1963 still readily available, or have most of them been broken out to grade the coins individually?
There are still a significant number of original sets from the time period of 1957 to 1963 still available; however, if someone suspects even a single coin from such a set may grade significantly higher than the others, or if an individual coin appears to have frosted highlights, you can anticipate that set will be broken

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Barber Half Dollar Bargains

By Mark Benvenuto 
1899 Barber half dollar. (Image courtesy USACoinbook)
When it comes to United States half dollars, there are definitely fans for almost every series we can think of, bar none. The Walking Liberty half dollar, for example, continues to be a design that plenty of collectors love

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The 1983-P Quarter

1983-P quarter. (Images courtesy USACoinbookcom)
Sometimes a coin comes along and just stuns everyone as it seems to have a unique ability to rise in price to levels higher than anyone ever thought possible. It might very well be the case that the 1983-P quarter is just such a coin, and that decades from now people will still be writing about the 1983-P and how it soared to price levels that were hard to believe

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Charge Coin Forerunner of Card

What is a charge coin?
Charge coins are actually the forerunner of the modern charge card. Produced in various shapes and sizes as well of any of several metal compositions or celluloid plastic, the so-called coins usually had a small hole used to hold the charge coin on a key ring. Charge coins were issued to department store clients for exclusive use at the store of issue

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Bargains in Peace Dollars Series

A 1927 Peace dollar. (Image courtesy USA Coinbook)
By Mark Benvenuto
Recently we took a close look at the rather hefty series that is the Morgan silver dollars, because these big coins always seem to be in the limelight when it comes to the sale of high-end pieces, and always seem to have a place in collectors’ hearts. But right along with them, perhaps eclipsed a bit in that limelight by the scope of the Morgans, are the Peace dollars

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1938-S Jefferson Nickel a Hidden Gem

A 1938-S Jefferson nickel PCGS-graded MS-67 with Full Steps. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
Savings rates are important for coins, and no date is a better example of that than the 1938-S Jefferson nickel. Based on its mintage, it ought to be a very good date but historically it has never lived up to its promise – almost certainly because, as the first year of a new design, it was saved

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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 13, 2020

Salt River Bay Quarter a Disappointment
Is it only me, or if any other collector has found any of the Salt River Bay “W” quarters, what is their condition? It took the U.S. Mint at West Point until the first or second week of August to get them out, and the condition of them is horrendous

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2001 American Buffalo Dollar

A 2001 American Buffalo dollar graded MS-70 by ICG. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
The 2001 American Buffalo silver dollar is not just a commemorative that has done extremely well in terms of price; it is also a fascinating issue that has more than its share of interesting aspects to consider. It leaves wide open the question of whether what worked for the American Buffalo dollar can be repeated or not

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ANA, ‘Remember the Member’

By Barbara J. Gregory
The September 2020 issue of The Numismatist (Page 55) carried a heartfelt plea from American Numismatic Association Executive Director Kim Kiick urging optimism with regard to the future of the hobby and the American Numismatic Association. Although her comments saddened me greatly, they were solidly on the mark

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U.S. Mint Basketball Coin Surprise

Wife Plays Key Role in Obtaining Basketball Coin
OK, I see people all the time that say “I got this, or I got that,” so you can say  “Hey, it’s my turn.” I had read about the Basketball coins in one of your mags, and about all there would be offered. Then we got COVID-19 and things changed

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Disturbances, Interruptions on Coin Edges

The reeded edge of a coin I recently examined appears to be disturbed. Any thoughts on what this might indicate?
Disturbances or interruptions to the reeding on a coin’s edge may suggest the coin has been repaired, especially if the coin at some time was used as jewelry and a loop that had been fastened has since been removed. The reed count on coins in some series helps detect altered dates or counterfeit coins

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Major Reed Count Varieties Exist

Differences in the reed count make for what I would consider being minor varieties. Are there any reed count varieties that are considered to be major?
Several of the Morgan silver dollar reed count varieties usually command a strong premium as does the 1876-CC Fine Reeding Seated Liberty quarter. The 153-count reeded quarter is more common than the normal variety with the standard 113 reeds

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Make Hobby Accessible to Youth

By Bob Miller 
I wanted to contact you as a subscriber that has gotten back into the hobby after a nearly four-decade hiatus. I started remembering my childhood involvement with coins when I used to visit my local hobby shop, usually for models to make and baseball cards to buy, sell and trade. But I always went over to the glass cases near the back walls to look at the older silver half dollars and dollar coins

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Buffalo Model for Nickels and Notes 
Being new at collecting coins, I have to rely on documentation to enlighten me about the coins I collect. The first book about numismatics I bought was the “Red Book,” 72nd edition of 2019.  I thought it was a fairly good book with lots of information

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Women’s Suffrage Coins Top Sales

The highlight of the week is the addition of some new Mint products to our charts, most of which honor women.
Because the Mint had released small additional quantities of the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof silver American Eagle, you will see that line item listed under the “Collector Eagle Sales” category at the bottom of this page.
This week marks our first recording of sales for the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial commemorative coins

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Activities and Projects During COVID

From the Aug. 14 Numismatic News e-newsletter
What non-collecting activities or projects have you taken up in light of hobby events being canceled?
Here are some responses from e-newsletter readers.
 
Without coin shows for these past several months, I have had a lot of time to read books and coin magazines (especially Numismatic News), and tend to my garden

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The Scarce 1808 Quarter Eagle

The 1808 quarter eagle, an exceptional one-year type coin. (Image courtesy Heritage Auctions.)
How can a coin that lists for $18,000 just in F-12 and a “mere” $155,000 in MS-60 possibly be under-priced? That is a very good question, and the answer may just be that if the coin in question is the 1808 quarter eagle, the price may well be on the low side

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How Long Can Germs Live on Coins?

How long has it been estimated germs can live on our circulating coins?
No one has a solid number, however, it is known that viruses and bacteria can survive on most surfaces for about 48 hours.
 
How prevalent is narcotic residue on our bank notes?
It may be surprising, but almost all of our bank notes have traces of cocaine and other illegal drugs on them. One recent study indicated that up to 90 percent of the European Union, 92 percent of the U

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Bank Employees Searching Rolls

Bank Employees Searching Rolls ‘Absolutely Ethical’
I saw “Name Withheld’s” letter, and I have to answer: it is absolutely ethical for a bank employee to search rolls. You see, banks are in the business of taking and distributing cash. They’re not under any obligation to provide you (or anyone else) specific access to collectibles

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Proof Franklin Half Dollars Make Surprising Bargains

1961 proof Franklin half dollar. (Image courtesy Heritage Auctions)
By Mark Benvenuto
Franklin half dollars are a fun series to collect, even though they sometimes get pushed into the background when the best of the best among the Walking Liberty halves take the stage, and some high-end example crosses the auction block. Yet among the Franklin halves are a rather amazing subset of beautiful coins – ones that we might find qualify as amazing in price as well

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Silver Continues Upward Climb

In a trend continuing from last week, we are again singing the song of silver as it continues its upward climb at the time of this writing.
Up from second place a week ago, the best-seller this week was the 2020-W uncirculated silver American Eagle. As the spotlight on silver brightened, the unc

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Buying and Selling Gold Bullion Coins

From the Aug. 7 Numismatic News e-Newsletter
Have you bought or sold gold bullion coins during this modern-day “gold rush?” Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
No

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Selling Coins Trickier than Buying

By Bruce Frohman
Many coin collectors buy coins for years from dealers and fellow collectors before they sell a single coin. How many times have you met a collector who proudly proclaims, “I never sell anything”?
In the acquisition phase of collecting, many collectors give no thought to future resale by themselves or their heirs.  They whimsically accumulate an incredible array of material of various quality and value

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Spotlight Organizations, Collectors in Numismatic News

Spotlight Organizations, Great Collectors in NN
As someone who only recently returned to numismatics after a 55-year hiatus, I have a lot of history to catch up on. Articles on dealers such as the re-published story on Michael O’Higgins [Page 26, June 23, 2020 issue] help me decide whether or not I might want to do business with a dealer. Such articles should include both advertisers and non-advertisers to be truly helpful (otherwise they become “infomercials”)

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Community Voice Response: Aug. 25, 2020

From the July 31 Numismatic News e-Newsletter.
What’s your level of trust in gold’s record-high performance?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
I’m confident gold will hit $2,500

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Legendary 1888 Cocobola Surfaces at Sedwick Auction 27

By Tom Michael
With Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC Treasure auctions, you can always expect to find a wonderful selection of silver cobs; those irregular, chunky silver coins produced so quickly and in such quantity through the Spanish mints in the New World. While many date, assayer, and mint denomination combinations are common, there are many others that are extremely scarce and still more being discovered as the years go by. I always take a look at the DFS Treasure Auctions to see what’s new in the cob market and to peruse the odd shipwreck finds, hoping to expand my knowledge

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Modern $5 Gold – Even on a Budget

By Mark Benvenuto
The United States Congress brought a commemorative coin program back to life in 1982 in a quiet, almost simple sort of way. They authorized a single half-dollar coin honoring the 250th anniversary of the birth year of President Washington. The next year saw an explosion of commems, all aimed at the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles

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Stone Mountain Half a Reminder of Institutionalized Racism

By Robert Grand 
Great art is timeless, but also inevitably tied to the time in which it was produced. Many coins are miniature works of art and as such, reveal the ideals and prejudices of the time in which they were minted.
Today, as we struggle with issues of social justice, and particularly as we examine the role of civil war monuments and what they signify to Black Americans (indeed all Americans), it may be instructive to examine a coin issued in 1925 known as the Stone Mountain commemorative half dollar

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Letters to the Editor: Aug. 11, 2020

Research Reveals Find Created by Chet Krause
Check out this historic find! The steel penny isn’t part of it, it’s just something I picked up at the same time. I started researching and found that this publication’s founder made these. I thought it was a cool find considering I’m in Florida

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Reader’s Showcase: Series of 1929 Notes

By Peter Huntoon
Pete Papadeas has been collecting layout varieties on Series of 1929 notes with particular attention to the odd fonts, special symbols, and punctuations used on New Jersey notes.
A true prize along these lines that he found are the layouts used for this Woodstown bank. The bank received printings from three different sets of 1929 plates

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Community Voice Response: Aug. 11, 2020

from the July 17, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Have you come across counterfeits or suspected fakes during your time in the hobby? If so, what have you seen?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
I’ve gotten a few fake ancients at different times, one even fooled two high-ranking dealers/collectors. Thankfully I got refunds on them all

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The Masterpiece Syndrome

Writer’s Name Withheld
I am a recent coin collector whose preference when it comes to coins are modern and ultra-modern coins. When I share this with most seasoned collectors and coin dealers, there is a tinge of unintentional condescension. I find this group doesn’t seem that interested in discussing the wonderful and historically informative designs of the Native American dollars produced since 2009

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America the Beautiful Quarter Products Hit Market

More America the Beautiful quarter products have hit the market, and you will see their listings added to this week’s charts.
The three-coin set honoring Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut was released June 29. The set, comprised of a “P” uncirculated quarter, a “D” uncirculated quarter, and an “S” proof quarter, has sold 11,375 since its debut

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Community Voice Response: Aug. 4, 2020

From the July 10, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way you collect coins?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
I have changed nothing due to COVID.
Brian Schneider
via Facebook
 
Now that all of the coin shows and conventions are canceled, I am saving a lot of money

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Community Voice Response: July 10, 2020

From the July 3, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Do you purchase coin lots when adding to your collection? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
I have searched for and bought coin lots locally for many years. Putting ads in local papers and being able to buy coins and compete “collections” has helped me build the majority of my collection

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Coin Lots Make Collecting Fun

By Daryl Conley 
I may be an atypical collector; I may even suffer a bit from ADD when it comes to collecting. Some collectors focus on a certain type or series of coin, or even certain metal content such as gold or silver. Some focus on completing an entire set, putting together a registry set, or completing a BU or MS type set

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Letters to the Editor: July 14, 2020

No Coin Shows for California
For the first time in many years, California does not have a single coin show in the listing section of Numismatic News. This happened in the June 23 edition. All shows this summer have been canceled amid dim prospects that public gatherings of over 10 people will be allowed by local governments

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Community Voice Response: July 14, 2020

From the June 19, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Do you think it’s a good idea for the ANA to relocate the 2020 World’s Fair of Money to another state?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.
 
Yes, they should move it if they can have a show this year.
Lee Quast
High Ridge, Mo

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Do I Have a 1901/O-S Half Eagle?

How can I tell if I have a 1901/O-S half eagle?
This overdate variety is known as Breen 6780. It can be identified via the remnant of the curve of a “0” near the upper right of the final “1” in the date.
 
The motto “In God We Trust” first appeared on our bank notes during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s

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Average Collector at Disadvantage

By Larry Steinfeld
I’m afraid that I am like all the rest of the people in this country who have to depend on large coin collectors to receive the coin I received today. All the big coin collectors have us small collectors at a disadvantage. We are unable to get these coins at our local banks

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Letters to the Editor: June 30, 2020

‘W’ Quarter Find Renews Collecting Passion
I would like to give my opinion on the “W” quarters program. I have been a collector for about 65 years, and in the last few years I have been keeping up on the hobby through Numismatic News but not making any new purchases.
I started looking for the “W” quarters and found one

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Basketball Coin Sales Begin

With sales of the Basketball Hall of Fame coins and products beginning June 4, new entries have been added at the top of this page’s chart.
The first of the Mint’s 2020 commemorative releases, the coins honor the 60th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Surcharges from sales of the coins benefit operations and education programs at the Hall of Fame

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COVID Business Landscape: Part V

By Tom Michael
As we wrap up our look into what changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the coin business, we want to thank everyone who participated, sharing their insights and adaptations so that we might share them with our readers. We hope this mini-series has provided a breath of fresh air to all who have read it, while reminding everyone of the resilience and resourcefulness endemic in our shared hobby and industry. 
In this last installment, we bring you news from three of the largest producers of gold and silver commemorative and bullion coins in the world, plus an inside look at the workings of two creative coin originators who continue to push the traditional boundaries of modern collectible coinage

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Letters to the Editor: June 23, 2020

‘Coin Finds’ Inspiration
I just finished reading my latest Numismatic News (April 28 issue), and I very much enjoyed the new article “Coin Finds.” Since 1999, I’ve been searching coin rolls, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars (mostly pennies and half dollars). I would like to talk about pennies

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Proof Sets See Collector Demand

Since our last Mint Statistics report, the Mint’s America the Beautiful products honoring the Weir Farm National Historic Site have been tallied.
You will see a Weir Farm entry included in the America the Beautiful 5-Ounce Coins chart on this page and in the Bags and Rolls section where sales totals are recorded for 100-coin bags, two-roll set for Philadelphia and Denver, San Francisco rolls, and the P, D, S rolls set.
Proof Sets are the name of the sales game this week

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Community Voice Response: June 23, 2020

From the May 29, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How big of a role do auction results play in your collecting approach?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Auction results play some part in my collecting decisions; if I had to place this on a percentage basis, I’d say that auctions represent at least 20 percent, taking into consideration other factors that may/may not impact collecting decisions.
Ron Tartarella
Plano, Texas
 
None at all

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Coin Finds: Buried Treasure in 1974

When I went through my change I found a 1944 Lincoln wheat penny from the San Francisco Mint and a 1944 Lincoln wheat penny from the Denver mint. I wonder if they are of any value since I believe they were supposedly taken out of circulation for the war efforts.
Roy Reignier
Riverton, Wyo

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Community Voice Response: May 22, 2020

From the May 22, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
With the cancellation of coin shows, has your online buying and selling activity increased? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Yes, my online buying has increased substantially, especially since March of this year. I typically buy American Silver Eagles each month, but they have become very scarce and at such a high premium, that I have moved onto other sources (online)

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Viewpoint: Nugget News Story Should Be Relevant to Coin Collectors

By Dominic Cicio
I just read your article about NGC encapsulating Gold Rush nuggets in the May 5 issue of Numismatic News. Sunken treasure generally makes a good story, and authentic Gold Rush nuggets certainly bring the Old West to mind. Now, we know the nuggets were on the way to New York City, I can only guess that because NGC encapsulated the nuggets, it makes them a collectible?
If you told us that the nuggets were going to be melted down into planchets and then off to the Philadelphia Mint to make $20 Liberty Heads, it would tie into numismatics

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Coin Clinic: The ‘Big Three’ Certification Services

What sets the so-called “Big Three” certification services apart from the other similar services?
Each of the companies that are well-accepted as being standards of the business of coins has made their grading standards public. Each of these services is also well-funded and can afford to advertise aggressively. Some of the lesser services offer satisfactory work, however, there are also some services that ignore problems including cleaning and environmental damage to coins

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Letters to the Editor: June 2, 2020

What Type Set is This?
I used to collect Standing Liberty quarters in Fine condition. Several of them had evidence of clash marks like a star in the field. Error coins are caused by mishaps during the production cycle and are one of a kind

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Community Voice Response: June 2, 2020

From the May 8, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Are you exploring a new collecting avenue during COVID or focusing on your current collection?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Staying with my existing collection, organizing, documenting coins, and at the same time taking a break.
Name and Address Withheld
 
I am exploring a new avenue

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Star Varieties for 1798/97 Gold Eagle

A 1798/97 gold eagle graded MS-62+ by Professional Coin Grading Service. (Images courtesy PCGS)
It should come as no surprise that the first gold eagles of the United States are very tough coins. After all, back in the 1790s, a $10 gold coin was a lot of money for almost everyone

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Coin Clinic: Mint Didn’t Learn High Relief Lesson

By Richard Giedroyc
Since the U.S. Mint had so much trouble striking Ultra High Relief double eagles in 1907, why did they once again attempt to strike very high relief coins in 1921, these being the Peace dollars?
Since when has the United States government ever learned from its past mistakes? This is the same government that produced the unsuccessful 20-cent coin, then introduced the equally unsuccessful Susan B

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Viewpoint: Hobby Loses Great ‘Unknown’ Numismatist

By Scott Mitchell
There is an old Carole King song that alludes to our lives being a “tapestry,” so to speak. I forget the lyrics of the song, and whether or not they would even apply to what I hope to convey in this piece: however, the symbolism has remained with me. Throughout our lives, there are those with which we intersect; some for a day, some for a season, and some for most of our lifetime

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Mint Rebounds with Basketball HOF Coins, Kennedys

It’s been a challenging couple of months for business everywhere, including the Mint, but it seems it is now making a comeback with new products scheduled for June and the Basketball Hall of Fame coins finally making their debut.
On June 4, the Mint is releasing 2020 Kennedy half dollar rolls and bags. (All images courtesy U

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Industry Insider: COVID Business Landscape

By Tom Michael
Sometime in April I received a mistaken call from an old colleague at Educational Coin Company. She had dialed my number by accident and left no message, but when I called back to check what was up, we ended up having a nice conversation. I was pleased to learn that the company’s wholesale business was doing well and that the staff was all in good health

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New Hobby Podcast Available

By Clifford Mishler
Illustrated on the cover page of the Utah Numismatic Society’s monthly “The Mint Master” newsletter for March 2020 is an interesting and fascinating scrip issue of the Iosepa Agricultural and Stock Company. The note dates from Aug. 1, 1901, being just one of two examples believed to exist, and was issued in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints desert colony in Utah’s Skull Valley, populated by settlers of Hawaiian descent, located in Tooele County about 75 miles southwest of Salt Lake City

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Item of the Week: The 1938 Washington Quarter

This 1938 Washington quarter is graded PR-64 by NGC. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
A better date when it comes to a Philadelphia Washington quarter can be a relative matter. The 1938 Washington quarter is certainly better than the 1964 but with a total mintage of 564,341,347, it is probably easy to make the case that almost any quarter produced is better than the 1964

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Viewpoint: YN Perspective Key to Hobby Future

By Radek Molchan
I am a Young Numismatist, and I come from a family that has no knowledge or interest in numismatics. I have been a page for many coins shows and I exhibit as much as possible. I enjoy the competition of the exhibits, and I enjoy being a page for the simple fact that if you work hard, you can make a little money and get some coins to add to your collection

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Letters to the Editor: May 12, 2020

Profitable Collecting Takes Patience
The April 14 edition of Numismatic News was excellent! Working from home has not affected your ability to put out a great product.
The “Viewpoint” by CPA Ron Thompson was insightful. With most of the piece easy to agree with, a few ideas may be viewed differently

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Community Voice Response: May 12, 2020

From the April 17, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How do you think the landscape of the hobby will look once the pandemic is over and the market settles down?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Primary sales will be online and auctions. Face-to-face purchases will be reduced considerably

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Item of the Week: The 1833 Half Cent

An 1833 Classic Head half cent graded PR-64 Brown by PCGS. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
Good values can be found in some surprising places. The 1833 half cent might well qualify as a surprising place as it is not a half cent that gets much attention, but when you consider the factors surrounding it as a good coin for the money it can start to look better and better

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Coin Clinic: What Happened to the Dalles Mint?

Why was a branch mint proposed for Oregon when a mint was already in operation in San Francisco?
A Pacific Northwest mint was perceived as being necessary following the discovery of gold in Idaho in 1860. Due to the distance between The Dalles and San Francisco, gold dust was being used as currency in Oregon rather than wait for coins to be struck more than 600 miles away and shipped to Oregon.
 
Why wasn’t the Dalles Mint ever put into operation?
There were continuing construction delays

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Letters to the Editor: May 5, 2020

Hunt Continues Despite Series ‘Roadblocks’
I have always wanted to assemble a complete collection of one or more coin denominations, but it seems there are at least one or two roadblocks in each coin series. For example, the 1916-D Liberty dime, the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, or the 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent, just to name a few. Going back into the 19th century gets even worse, with more and more “key dates” needed to complete a collection

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Community Voice Response: May 5, 2020

From the April 10, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Do you think the “W” quarters with privy marks are a good way for the Mint to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
It is a great idea as long as this is not to make it easier for the Mint-contracted coin dealers to more readily identify the 2020-W quarters because they let some slip through to consumers and collectors in 2019.
Metro East Coin & Currency Club
via Facebook
 
It seems that such a world-changing event should have at least earned the entire reverse of a coin, not just a privy mark

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Item of the Week: 1949 Franklin Half Dollar

A 1949-S Franklin half dollar graded PCGS MS-67 with full bell lines. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
Franklin half dollars seem to have found an audience based on record prices and dealers running prices for coins they want to buy. An impressive list once came from the Littleton Coin Company in Littleton, N

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Letters to the Editor: April 28, 2020

Scout Coin Collecting Program a Great Success
Scouts from Troop 18 in Knoxville, Tenn., recently attended a Knoxville Coin & Currency Show to work on the BSA Coin Collecting Merit Badge. Attending the coin show completed one of their requirements and also enabled the scouts to complete their collections requirements if they were missing any coins while assembling at home

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Dates Not Set on Mint’s Product Schedule

At the time of this writing, the United States Mint does not have dates set for the remainder of its 2020 releases.
The last on-sale date listed on the Mint’s online product schedule is April 17 for the 2020 silver proof set. The next three products set for release are the Air Force silver medal, the American Eagle one-ounce 2020 gold uncirculated coin, and the American Eagle one-ounce 2020 palladium uncirculated coin

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Community Voice Response: April 28, 2020

From the April 3, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How have your coin/bullion buying and selling habits changed in light of the coronavirus bearing down on the United States?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I have been trying to buy when I can in different amounts and types so I can just keep adding to my bullion totals. Nothing too aggressive just basic silver 1-ounce rounds, 90 percent silver and maybe the occasional 1/10-ounce gold Eagle

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1804: Standout Era Dime

1804 dime with 13 stars on reverse. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
Being a tough early dime of the United States is not an easy thing to do as virtually any early dime of the United States is tough and expensive. That said, the 1804 stands out as one of the better dates

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Coin Clinic: How Does Restoration Improve Coins?

What can a professional coin restoration service do to improve my coins that I can’t do by cleaning them myself?
Restoration services don’t “clean” coins; they restore them. Such services can remove artificially and deliberately applied contaminants, these contaminants having been caused by improper care or storage. This includes such contaminants as polyvinyl chloride, spots, and fingerprints

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Letters to the Editor: April 14, 2020

1982 Small ‘D’ Cent
I’m pretty sure I found a 1982-D small-print penny. How do I go about finding its worth and selling it?
Mondo Sosa
Address Withheld

 
In Response to Mueller Error Coin
In regards to Christian Mueller’s error coin in the March 17 Letters section, I have been an error/die variety collector for three decades. I am also a  member of CONECA

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Community Voice Response: April 14, 2020

From the March 20, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How are you occupying your time during social distancing?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I am refreshing myself by grading my coin collection. This entails some 10,000 pieces-plus in my uncertified collection

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Community Voice Response: Fri, March 13 eNewsletter

From the March 13, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How have the economic and travel impacts of the coronavirus affected your current collecting approach?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I will miss connecting with my fellow collectors. In the age of cocooning, the bourse is dynamic

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How Do I Determine the Grade on a Coin Described as ‘Uncirculated Details?’

How can I tell if my Hobo nickel is an original or a modern machined example?
An extremely worn, dateless Buffalo nickel without a mint mark likely of low value is used as the host coin for most modern reproductions. Cut lines are sharp and clean, while lacking residue in those cuts. You should not be able to feel the engraving if you have an original

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Community Voice Response: March 31, 2020

From the March 6, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
What coin or coin series do you consider to be the most underrated?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Franklin half dollars.
Peter Gehrke
Address withheld
 
The large cent

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Community Voice Response: Feb. 28, 2020

From the Feb. 28, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
We are less than a year away from the end of the Mint’s America the Beautiful quarters program. Are you still collecting them?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers

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Coin Clinic: How Can I Determine the Value of an Error Coin?

Wouldn’t eye appeal be superior on a coin that has a better finish than another of the same grade?
One person may like nicely toned coins while someone else doesn’t like toning at all. A third person might think the toning on one coin is attractive, while the toning on another coin is ugly. The same goes for your opinion of the mint luster, if still present

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Reader’s Showcase: Key West, Fla.

By Peter Huntoon
Every once in a while, a national goes by that simply takes your breath away. This 1902 plain back from Key West is just such a note.
It appeared Stack’s Bowers’ Spring 2019 Baltimore sale as lot 6008

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Andrew Jackson Presidential Silver Medal

If you are a Presidential medal collector, be sure to mark your calendar. On Feb. 28 at noon ET, the Andrew Jackson Presidential silver medal will be on sale from the United States Mint

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Community Voice Response: e-Newsletter Feb. 14

From the Feb. 14, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Are you concerned about the ever-increasing tax requirements that affect coin dealers? What impact do you think it will have on the hobby?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I used to be a part-time dealer for a few years; it wasn’t a business and I wasn’t in it for the money

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Coin Clinic: Has the U.S. Ever Restruck Coins of Another Country?

There are now services that will “conserve” my problem coins. What is the difference between their conserving my coins and someone else cleaning them?
The principle goal of conserving a coin is to remove any detrimental materials from the surfaces while protecting the surface originality. A coin that has been cleaned may have contaminants removed, however, the surface is no longer original

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Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2020

New 2021 Silver Eagle Proposed Design
Again, America loses an opportunity to make a great design. The new eagle is great on the reverse, but arrows should be in the eagle’s claws, not olive branches. It continues to make America look weak just like the obverse with Walking Liberty

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Community Voice Response: March 3, 2020

From the Feb. 7, 2020, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Have you come across any error coins in circulation or in an inherited collection? If so, what was it?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I’ve found a few “BIE” error coins,  a couple of RPMs, some strike-throughs, and a couple die breaks

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Item of the Week: The 1804 Gold Eagle

An 1804 Crosslet eagle. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
The 1804 gold eagle is closely related to the famous 1804 silver dollar. There is one variety of the 1804 gold eagle that is actually tougher than the 1804 silver dollar but much less expensive, making the 1804 potentially one of America’s least-known rarities despite its famous date

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Coin Clinic: Color Designations

Are the color designations Brown, Red Brown, or Red a judgment call on half cents, cents, and 2-cent coins or is there some standard a coin must reach to be identified as such?
Uncirculated and Proof U.S. copper coins are considered to be Brown if they retain less than 5 percent of their original mint glow, Red Brown if the original red color covers 5 to 95 percent of the obverse and reverse surface, and Red if more than 95 percent of the surface retains this original color

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Viewpoint: Rethinking Coin Designs

By Bill Tuttle
While on YouTube, I came across a channel whose author talked about his “Ten least favorite coin designs” and made some suggestions for better designs (in his opinion). That got me rethinking about what I’ve written in the past about changing the coin and currency of our money.
The Union Shield cent was one of the ugliest coins listed

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With Brexit now a certainty, will you be watching for Brexit commemorative coins to be issued?

From the Jan. 31, 2020 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
With Brexit now a certainty, will you be watching for Brexit commemorative coins to be issued?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
As an English numismatist for 60 years, but as a convinced European, I am deeply resentful that my hobby is being sullied by the official issue of a coin to mark such an unworthy event

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The Difference Between Prooflike and Deep Mirror Prooflike

What is the difference between a Prooflike and a Deep Mirror Prooflike Morgan silver dollar?
A coin must first be at least Mint State 60 to qualify for either. According to Professional Coin Grading Service, the Prooflike has “mirrored surfaces at a distance of two to four inches. If the cartwheel effect or striations cause an area to lose clarity, the designation will not apply

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Contemporary v. Modern Fantasy

Why would it have been expected that there would be more demand for the 20-cent coin in western states in 1875 than in the East?
There was a shortage of circulating currency in the West at that time, much of it brought about by the refusal of many people to accept anything but specie. This eliminated the circulation of the cent, 2-cent, 3-cent nickel, and the nickel 5-cent coins as well as paper money. Silver dollar production had ceased two years earlier, while Trade dollars weren’t meant for domestic use

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Batty for New Samoa Coin

The 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters Program is kicking off with the National Park of American Samoa quarter rolls and bags, which go on sale Feb. 3 at noon (ET). The Uncirculated 5- ounce silver coin will go on sale Feb

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Community Voice Response: eNewsletter Jan. 24

From the Jan. 24, 2020 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Will you purchase a 2020 coin or medal commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Yes, if it is reasonably priced to match my budget

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Congressional Medals For Organ Donors

By Kari Browers
Several years ago, a senator and congressman introduced a bill that would give organ donors a congressional bronze medal for their unselfish act. For some reason, however, it did not gain enough support. Perhaps if the need for organ donation hit closer to home, more people would be in favor of a congressional medal for organ donors

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The 1796 Quarter

Images courtesy Heritage Auctions
There are not many coins in the history of the United States about which it can truly be said that they are both very scarce and very historic, but both things apply to the 1796 quarter, and that makes it a very special coin.
The 1796 quarter has a very secure place in history as it was the first quarter of the United States. The fact that it was not produced until 1796 is perhaps a good indication as to how low a priority producing quarters really was at the time

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Coin Show Etiquette Suggestion

By John Quarfoth
 
I appreciate the “Coin Show Etiquette” part one (as a buyer) and part two (as a seller) articles.
The articles included good tips for the collector both as a buyer and as a seller.
I think a third article is needed, “Coin Show Etiquette’” part three (dealer etiquette)

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BEP and U.S. Mint Participating at 2020 FUN Show

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and the United States Mint (Mint) will share booth #144 at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, Jan. 9 – 12, 2020.
The BEP is showcasing its Billion Dollar Exhibit featuring more than $1 billion worth of rare antique currency, including sheets of $100,000 currency notes, Treasury Bonds, and Gold and Silver Certificates

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The 1908 No Motto Double Eagle

1908-A 1908 Saint-Gaudens double eagle with No Motto. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions)
Some coins are important because they are virtually impossible while others are important because they are more available than might be expected. It is the latter which is certainly the case with the 1908 No Motto Saint-Gaudens double eagle

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What Are World War Two Tokens Made Of?

Are World War Two ration tokens made of cardboard?
The tokens are made of vulcanized fiber. The dyes used to make the tokens blue or red included an ultraviolet component meant to deter counterfeiters.
 
Why were these ration tokens produced? Weren’t there enough coins in circulation?
Many metals were considered too critical to the war effort to be spared for use in coins during the years of World War Two

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Hope For the Hobby

by Roy Herbst 
One of the biggest laments you keep hearing about numismatics is who is going to be the future collectors since younger people seem to have, at best, a lackadaisical interest in the hobby.
I know my own children, despite my constant prodding, are just not interested. I have dragged them to coin shows and even an auction or two but to no avail

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American Eagle 2020 One Ounce Silver Proof Coin, Congratulations Set

Luck be a lady tonight, or in this case, Lady Liberty. Another new product that the United States Mint is putting out during the first quarter of the new year is the American eagle one-ounce silver proof coin. It is set to go on sale Jan

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Community Voice Response: Jan. 1, 2020

From the Dec. 13 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
What are your numismatic resolutions for the new year?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
One of my numismatic resolutions is to do what I can to make sure coin collector’s concerns are represented and NOT deep-pocket businesses

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Mint’s Birthday Sets Kick Off 2020

While most of us are busy preparing for and perhaps already celebrating our December holidays, the Mint is readying its first products set to go on sale in the new year – and marking births and birthdays is the theme.
The first products available for collectors to purchase in 2020 are the Happy Birthday Coin Set, the Birth Set, and the Happy Birthday Currency Note. All three items go on sale at noon EST on Jan

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Did They Try to Get a Mint in Chicago?

In an answer, you mentioned that the Indian Head and Lincoln cents were struck at the same time in 1909. Weren’t the Buffalo nickels and Jefferson nickels both struck in 1938?
As nearly as I can find, the last Buffalo nickels were struck at Denver in early 1938, legally completing the 25-year requirement. Schlag’s design for the Jefferson nickel was not accepted until late July, so production would not have started until later in the year, meaning the two did not overlap

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Reader’s Showcase: Perryopolis note

Peter Huntoon
There is nothing quite like landing a national from the town where you were raised, particularly if it turns out to be the first of its kind in the census. Gerald Dzara reeled in this very attractive Perryopolis note under exactly these conditions. It is the first type 2 $10 reported from the bank

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Community Voice Response: Dec. 24, 2019

From the Nov. 28 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Do you collect numismatic items marking the Chinese Lunar New Year? If so, what types of items do you collect?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
 
I collect various Chinese Lunar coins depending on the occasion

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Georgia Innovation Dollar Rounds Out 2019

The last American Innovation dollar coin issued in 2019 is also the final product scheduled to go on sale from the Mint this year. Bags and rolls of the dollar commemorating the state of Georgia and its Trustees’ Garden will be available Dec. 19 at noon EST

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Nominees for 2020 Coin of the Year Awards Determined

It’s that time of year again! Time to start the process of narrowing down nominations for the Coin of the Year Program. Australian coins came out on top, earning a total of nine nominations in eight different categories, as the 37th annual Coin of the Year (COTY) program kicked off with nominee selection of 2018-dated coins.
The awards competition, presented by World Coin News and sponsored by The Journal of East Asian Numismatics, begins each year when the COTY Nomination Committee convenes to select the nominees

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Who designed the 1792 disme?

Can coins having belonged to Binion be identified?
Many of the more select coins, especially Morgan silver dollars, that Ted Binion put aside were later authenticated and graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation®. The coins include an acknowledgment they once belonged to Binion on their NGC® label. 
 
The United States issued U

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The 1796 Dime

The 1796 dime. Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions
It has few peers in terms of historical importance, and for those who like tough coins, it also qualifies on that front as the 1796 is both historic and scarce. The only real problem with the 1796 is that you have to find one being offered and then you have to be able to afford it which is sometimes easier said than done

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1944 Jefferson nickel without mintmark

I have a 1944 Jefferson nickel without a mintmark. The Red Book states, “1944 nickels without mintmarks are counterfeits.” Why would someone go through the trouble of counterfeiting a nickel that otherwise lacks numismatic value? Is it possible this could be a mint error coin?
There are no known mint error 1944 nickels lacking a mintmark

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Adams Presidential Medal Rounds Out Year

The last of four Presidential medals issued in 2019 will honor President John Quincy Adams. The silver piece goes on sale from the Mint today.
The Adams medal joins those issued this year for Thomas Jefferson in January, James Madison in May and James Monroe in August

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What is a Nevada ‘Pooping Horse’ Quarter?

What is a Nevada “Pooping Horse” quarter?
The best-known state quarter varieties are the Wisconsin “Extra Leaf” coins of 2004. These two varieties were caused by some change or alteration to reverse dies. The lesser-known 2006-P Nevada “Pooping Horse” quarter is a variety caused by an extra piece of metal somehow getting into the reverse die in a position where it appears the horse to the far right may be relieving itself

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Coin Finds: Coin Collecting Partner

I have what I consider a disappointing coin find. I collect Kennedy half dollars and for the last few years, I have been buying uncirculated rolls.  This year I bought my usual two sets and was breaking one set for gifts and resale when I discovered that the reverse of the Denver half was deplorable

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Community Voice Responses: Nov. 19, 2019

From the October 25 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
How has your involvement with a club or organization enhanced your hobby experience?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers
 
The smartest decision I made was to join the Charlotte Coin Club years ago. There’s a huge amount of knowledge among the members that they are always willing to share. Plus, there are always some good deals available for purchase

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Item of the Week: 1838-O Half dollar

1838-O half dollar. (Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions)
Without a lot of fanfare except among specialists, the 1838-O half dollar is probably on a very short list of the most important coins of the United States and also on the short list of the most historic.
The story of the 1838-O dates back before 1838 to the agreement to establish a branch mint in New Orleans

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Reader’s Showcase- Mt. Gilead, Ohio

by Peter Huntoon
 
Brett Irick sent this pair of notes that he assembled from Gilead, Ohio, (his birthplace.) Both are the only reported notes respectively from the Granite Bank and The First National Bank. The 25-cent scrip dated November 25, 1862, predates by 27 years the $5 brown back, which was printed in 1889

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Limited Edition Silver Proof Set Starts Strong

New in this week’s reporting is the 2019 limited edition silver proof set.
It contains eight silver coins: an American Eagle one-ounce silver proof coin with “S” mintmark, the five 2019-dated America the Beautiful quarters, a Kennedy half dollar and a Roosevelt dime.
The set made a strong debut with 29,691 sold in the four days since its release on Oct 17

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Thrill of the Hunt

My boys, ages 7 and 11, and I have just recently gotten into coin hunting and collecting within the past year.  We have found that buying $50 bags of pennies from banks is the easiest resource for us and we have met some great people that are willing to help us get coins to search.  We have found the usual wheats, Canadians, minor varieties, a few errors, plus the occasional dime and washer

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The 10th Anniversary 1995-W Silver American Eagle

Shown here is a 10th Anniversary 1995-W Silver American Eagle Proof. Images courtesy ofHeritage Auctions
It was a single special silver American Eagle and as such, it was expected to attract a lot of attention, but when the 1995-W silver American Eagle was offered, it did not result in the sort of sales which might have been expected. This has resulted in the 1995-W silver American Eagle becoming an extraordinary coin today and one which seems to keep looking better and better with the passage of time

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The Mint Urban Legend of the 1875 Dot Indian Cent

I’ve noticed a small dot in the “N” in “United” on my 1875 Indian Head cent. Is this a variety worth noting?
There is an interesting story behind the 1875 Dot Indian cents. It is believed a mint employee was suspected of stealing coins, according to a mint urban legend

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Circulating ATB Set, Innovation Proof Set Debut

The drought is over! You will notice that the 2015 America the Beautiful circulating and uncirculated coin set listings have been removed to make room for a new ATB product: the 2019 circulating coin set. Its debut week of sales made a strong showing at 14,113.
Also new this week is the 2019 American Innovation $1 proof set

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Community Voice Responses: Nov. 5, 2019

From the October 4 Numismatic News E-NewsLetter
Is attracting speculators good or bad for the hobby?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers
 
Some are good and some not so good. I’ve been collecting coins for a long time and like (some)other collectors, haven’t really thought much about grading if the coin looks good and it’s clean (not cleaned). I belong to several coin clubs & if I ask for some comments on grading, then I get lots of different comments

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Short Snorters and Courtesy Autograph Notes

Is there any premium value to a banknote that has been autographed above the facsimile signature by the Treasurer of the United States?
There is a modest premium for such notes, depending on who signed the note, the condition of the note, and the denomination. Mary Ellen Withrow notes appear to be the most common. During her term, she became a Guinness Book of Records record holder for having signed notes in person

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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 29, 2019

Cleaning a Coin
When a grading service renders a coin improperly cleaned that implies there is a way to properly clean a coin. What are those ways? I thought any kind of cleaning was a no-no!
Rodney Pelles
Toccoa, Ga.
 
Innovation Coins
Thanks to my e-mail alerts from the U

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Largest U.S. Proof set in number of coins

Why can’t I find an exact figure for the mintage of the 1823 large cents? You have it included in the 1824 mintage.
We use the same inclusive figure as is found in most reference works for 1824 in all our publications and catalogs, which includes all 1823-dated mintage, as this is the best available figure based on extensive research into the Mint records. The early records were frequently confused, including two or even three years of production in a lump sum, or including coins struck with dies for any of several years, so it is impossible to go beyond the generally accepted figures

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Community Voice Response: October 22, 2019

From the September 27 Numismatic News E-Letter
Do you prefer participating in online auctions or in-person auctions and why?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter reader
 
I prefer live auctions. I enjoy the presence of fellow collectors and the opportunity to view the coins in person.
James L

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Ten-Coin Set of 2019 ATB Quarters for $8.95

The United States Mint has announced that it will begin offering the America the Beautiful Quarters 2019 Circulating Coin Set on Oct. 9, 2019 at 12 pm Eastern time.
The set includes one of each of the five circulating quarters minted in Philadelphia and one of each of the five circulating quarters minted in Denver, for a total of ten coins

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Did the U.S. Half cent ever have purchasing power?

I recently read about the 2019 Floating Head variety Lincoln cent in Numismatic News. Since the image wasn’t clear, can you describe the coin?
The 2019 Floating Head Lincoln cent has no neck, although the tie at the throat area is visible. Since multiples of the variety have been discovered, it is likely the variety is caused by an inferior or over-polished obverse working die than from foreign material becoming lodged momentarily in a die

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Palladium Takes a Plunge

I had to look twice and then again to make sure I didn’t make a blunder last week.  Thankfully, it wasn’t my tired old eyes!  Last week, our Mint Stats showed 16,690 sold of the 2019-W proof palladium Eagle and this week, the Mint released the updated numbers and instead of growing, that number decreased to 13,319 – a change of 3,371 or a 20% downward adjustment.  That’s quite a reconciliation!
Silver bullion Eagles also saw a decrease, moving from 711,000 down to 686,000 in sales of the one-ounce coin

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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 15, 2019

Finally Found a W Quarter
After looking at literally thousands of 2019 quarters, I finally found my first W mint. It is a Lowell quarter, and I didn’t find it in a bankroll. I was rolling up quarters from the pool table at work and found just this one example

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Community Voice Responses: Oct. 15, 2019

From the September 19 Numismatic News E-Letter
The ANA is asking about the location for future World’s Fair of Money shows. What do you think? Stay in Chicago, continue rotating, or move somewhere else?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter reader
 
I think it should move somewhere else.
Jay (Last name withheld)
Address Withheld
 
Keep it in Chicago

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American Innovation™ $1 from Delaware Released

Last year, the United States Mint launched the American Innovation $1 Coin Program with the release of its introductory coin. Now, in 2019, the program truly gets underway. The 2019 Delaware $1 Coin is the first of a 14-year, 56-coin series recognizing innovation and inventions in each of the 50 States, District of Columbia, and five U

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$2 Charter Over Seal Variety

by Peter Huntoon
Michael Scacci sent this photo of a $2 Original Series note with the scarce charter number over seal variety from a printing made for The Bristol County National Bank of Taunton, Mass., charter 766.
He was responding to my article on the variety in the January 2019 BNR

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Percentages of existing examples of old series of coins

Has anyone compiled percentages of existing examples of old series of coins?
Walter Breen cites a few figures: An estimated 3 to 6 percent of the large cents survived, 4 to 8 percent of the early silver, and 0.02 to 2 percent of the half cents. Any such figures have to be classed as estimates as there is no known way of determining exact numbers

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Hidden Gem: Blazing Silver 1943 penny

One morning in April 2018 I went to a nearby store and checked the Coinstar machine to see what I could find. A couple of coins on the floor near the machine got my attention. When I looked into the reject slot, my curiosity turned into shock when I saw the reverse of a Walking Liberty Half Dollar!
As I scooped everything up (including two dimes and three pennies) and walked away, I turned over the half dollar to see the year

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Community Voice Responses: Oct. 8, 2019

From the September 13 Numismatic News E-Letter
Why do you think sales of the U.S. Mint’s American Legion 100th anniversary coins have not taken off as the Apollo 11 coins did?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter reader
 
They are not doing as well because almost all modern commemoratives have lost 50-75% of their original purchase price

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Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion

The United States Mint, together with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began offering a commemorative set, recognizing the 100th anniversary of the American Legion on September 16.  The set includes a commemorative 100th-anniversary coin along with a full-color print, embossed with gold foil to capture the artistry of the emblem.  The print is not available individually, but only with the set

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Coin Show Etiquette Part Two

by Bruce Frohman
 
Proper Coin Show Etiquette as a Seller
Most collectors have much less experience selling than buying and must adapt to a new set of unfamiliar experiences to be successful.
Dealers need coins in order to have merchandise to sell. However, they prefer coins that they know their customers want and avoid items that they know are difficult to move

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Community Voice Responses: Oct. 1, 2019

From the September 6 Numismatic News E-Letter
If you had an unlimited budget, would you buy an 1879 Coiled Hair Stella or an 1894-S Barber dime?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter reader
 
I have collected many things in the past (baseball cards, stamps, fossils, wildflowers, etc.)  Right now I am collecting books – primarily Zane Gray and John Grisham.  In general, once I get two of anything I start thinking maybe I should start a collection

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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1, 2019

DissapointMINT
Last May 28, I filled out a Mint form telling them I was missing a bonus cent from three I was supposed to receive.
In the box they were shipped in, the three cents were in a small cellophane bag, but the ends were open and not taped or stapled. I searched every part of the shipping box and the missing cent was not there

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San Antonio Missions National Historical Park 2019 Quarter, 3-Coin Set

On Sept.10, the United States Mint released a three-coin set, commemorating the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.  The set includes an uncirculated 2019 quarter from the Philadelphia Mint, an uncirculated 2019 quarter from the Denver Mint and a proof 2019 quarter from the San Francisco Mint

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How long have we had mintmarks on coins?

I found a 1965 two-cent coin from the British Caribbean Territories-Eastern Group. Where is this group?
The BCT-EG was formed in 1950 and uses a common currency. The group includes Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, The Leeward and Windward Islands, British Guiana and The British Virgin Islands

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The Market is Bullish on Bullion

Bullion Eagle sales for the month of August were modest, with 8,000 ounces of gold sold.  Putting this into perspective, the three previous months closed with 4,000, 4,500, and 5,500 ounces sold.  So, while 14,500 ounces isn’t as high as the January through April sales, it’s interesting to see, given the increase in the price of gold

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If you had an unlimited budget, would you buy an 1879 Coiled Hair Stella or an 1894-S Barber dime?

From the August 29 Numismatic News E-Letter
If you had an unlimited budget, would you buy an 1879 Coiled Hair Stella or an 1894-S Barber dime?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers
 
I would buy a decent selection of 19th-Century Italian gold.
Krzysztof Fordonski
via Facebook
 
The Stella.
John Veach
via Facebook
 
Both? The 1894-S dime certainly gets more notoriety, though

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2019 Palladium Eagle Features Reverse Proof Finish

On Sept. 4, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Palladium Reverse Proof Coin.
The Mint introduced an American Eagle One Ounce Palladium Bullion Coin in 2017, followed by a collector version palladium proof coin in 2018

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Are there any surviving 1964-D Peace dollars?

Price guides don’t appear to agree on the value of individual coins, and what’s more, many times dealers are asking prices that disagree even further. Is it really that difficult to put a value on a coin?
We like to, what a coin dealer recently called “commoditize”, the value of individual coins. Eye appeal is perhaps the most challenging part of grading and pricing a coin, but understand each coin needs to stand on its own regardless of how we may categorize it

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A Rigorous Analysis of Our Hobby

by Blaine Buckman
If this has not been proposed before, I would offer we all consider together to perform a rigorous analysis of our hobby.  Would we as members be able to pool information that we know or be able to obtain, analyze it using formal statistical and/or other analysis, and share that information in this publication? The goal would be to better understand how our hobby works and the relevance of it in a changing world. The possibilities are almost endless

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Community Voice Responses: Sept. 17, 2019

From the August 23 Numismatic News E-Letter
Are Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a threat to the coin collecting hobby?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers
 
No. The more people are satisfied with fake coins, the more real coins for me.
Mark Silverman
Chicago, Ill

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New Offerings for San Antonio Missions National Park Coins

Each of the 5-ounce coins includes 99.9 percent silver and is delivered in a keepsake box accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. (Image courtesy of the United States Mint)
The United States Mint will be opening sales for several new offerings of the 2019 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park coin, which are part of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program

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Why is the 1921 Canadian silver five-cent rare?

How many coins are needed for a complete Barber coin collection?
Assuming you mean the dime, quarter and half, respectively, 75, 74 and 73 coins to complete the three series, without varieties.
 
Listings refer to the lettered edges on the Saint-Gaudens $20 gold, but what does the lettering say?
The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is on the edge.
 
Are there two different designers for the two years of issue of the Canadian George V dollars?
The 1935 issue was the Jubilee design of Percy Metcalf, technically a commemorative

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The Mint Has Been Busy with New Products

In reviewing the numbers for this week’s report, one obvious thing that stood out was the volume of new products the Mint put out since our report in last week’s paper – six to be exact.  First in the report is the James Monroe silver presidential medal with sales of 7,723.  Two American Liberty products were released, including the gold one-ounce coin, which sold 4,948 and the 2

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Community Voice Responses: Sept. 10, 2019

From the August 16 Numismatic News E-Letter
What’s the best deal you have ever gotten that made you feel a bit guilty?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Best deal? I don’t know if this qualifies, but an elderly patron of the bar I worked gave me an envelope that said 28 foreign coins. I didn’t have time to look at it then because it was so busy

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A Breathtaking Rendition of Lady Liberty

The United States Mint American Liberty Program celebrates modern renditions of the iconic Liberty that embody the ideals of freedom and equality first set forth in our Declaration of Independence. In the 227 years since its establishment, the United States Mint has issued a vast array of medals with the concept of Liberty personified by allegorical female figures. More than two centuries of evolution have borne witness to an ever-changing symbol

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Coin Show Etiquette

by Bruce Frohman
The Coin Show is a major opportunity to buy and sell coins and provides a source of great enjoyment in our hobby. The astute collector can make the best of the experience by employing basic principles of show etiquette.
In past Numismatic News ‘Letters to the Editor,’ some collectors have complained about coin dealer behavior

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1894-S Dime Sells for Over $1.3 Million

The Legendary 1894-S Barber dime is one of just 24 coins struck.Only nine examples are currently known.
Numismatic history was made in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction at the 2019 ANA World’s Fair of Money, where an example of the legendary 1894-S Barber dime sold for over $1

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2019-S Proof Silver Eagle Sales Kick Off

War in the Pacific coins seem to be popular with collectors. Looking at the numbers, the 3-coin set gained 276 since last week and is closing in the sales of the American Memorial Park that release before it which is currently at 12,631. The 5-ounce coin also gained since last week, rising from 13,378 to 13,554

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American Innovation 2018 $1 Reverse Proof Introductory Coin

On August 14, the United States Mint began taking orders for the American Innovation 2018 $1 Reverse Proof Introductory Coin.  The United States Mint American Innovation $1 Coin Program is a multi-year series to honor innovation and innovators with $1 coins from each State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S

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Community Voice Responses: Aug 27, 2019

From the August 2 Numismatic News E-Letter
Should the IRS be taxing Precious Metals IRA purchases?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Yes, tax the IRA bullion at time of purchase then eliminate tax at time of sale like the Roth IRA.    
Joe Gorak
Carlsbad, Calif

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Letters to the Editor: August 27, 2019

Lowell W Quarter
I had a crazy couple of weeks, so I’m not sure where I received this coin. When things settled down I went through my change and found this!
That’s right! I found a Lowell W quarter! They are out there. Just keep your eyes open and keep hunting

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How many tokens were struck by Dr. Feuchtwanger?

Were there any competing designs for the new cent in 1909? Who designed the wheat reverse?
Victor David Brenner was selected as the designer by President Theodore Roosevelt, without any competition, at least from outside the Mint. The wheat ears design was one of three submitted by Brenner, a point often overlooked in the publicity given the obverse. It’s ironic, considering the controversy about his name and initials on the cent, that if he designed both sides of a coin in 2005, his initials would have appeared on both sides without the slightest question

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Community Voice Responses: Aug 20, 2019

From the July 26 Numismatic News E-Letter
Do you support the legislation to authorize the production of 2021 Morgan & Peace silver dollars?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Why not sell them as souvenirs of great collector coins? The mint, grading firms, modern coin dealers, tv show sellers will cash in big time. I’ll buy one example direct from the source if they make that possible

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Collector Favorite Returns for 2019

The perfect gift for any occasion, the 2019 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coin is also a collector favorite, as it is the collector version of the Mint’s American Eagle Silver Bullion coin.
The obverse (heads) features Adolph A. Weinman’s full-length figure of Liberty in full stride, enveloped in folds of the flag, with her right hand extended and branches of laurel and oak in her left

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Reader’s Showcase: IA-Macksburg

by Peter Huntoon
I’ve had reason to look into the smallest Series of 1929 issuances from Iowa lately and found that the four smallest were Montezuma (charter 2961) at 125 notes total, Keokuk (14309) at 135, Malvern (8057) at 228 and Macksburg (6852) at 336. I then checked the National Currency Foundation census to see if any survived. I hit goose eggs as I worked through this short list—not a big surprise—until I got to Macksburg

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Is it Illegal for Toll Booths to Reject US Currency?

I have dozens of rolls of lightly circulated 1960-D Small Date Lincoln cents, 1968-S to 1974-S Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels with various die breaks around the rim, etc.  Is there any collector value to these?
As with any other item there ‘may’ be someone who is interested in purchasing these coin rolls at a modest premium. Generally speaking, roll collecting isn’t as popular as it was in the past

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Ultra-Grade Common Coins

by Douglas Nyholm
Recently a 1938-S Mercury Dime was sold at auction by Legend Rare Coins for an astronomical sum of $364,000!  This is mind-boggling and I as well as many other collectors, are asking themselves ‘why’?  Yes, it is the finest known, beautifully toned, and a very attractive classic design but who would pay such a sum?  The ‘Coin Market’ in Numismatic News gives a value of $160 in MS65 FB.  Recently I have followed several relatively common coins which have sold for hundreds of times what one would expect with many making headlines equal to classic rarities.  Just to mention one other example is the 1958 MS67+ FBL Franklin Half which sold late last year for $129,000

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Happy Birthday and Congratulations

It’s interesting once in awhile to step back from the usual movers and shakers in the Mint Stats and take a closer look at some of the lesser-talked-about products. Take for instance the three annual miscellaneous offers – the Birth Set, Happy Birthday Set and Congratulations Set.  Every week, the numbers inch up from the previous week

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Community Voice Responses: August 13, 2019

From the July 12 Numismatic News E-Letter
Has the inclusion of a 2019-W  Lincoln Cent in select Mint products influenced your buying decision this year?  Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I had set plans to purchase each of the Mint’s Proof, Mint and Silver sets prior to the inclusion of the W-minted cents.  While I was not influenced personally, I did purchase an extra set of each for my younger brother and lifelong collecting partner

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The Mystery Behind ‘Magicians Coins’

I’m looking to invest in rather than to collect gold in some form. Are gold stocks or gold coins the better choice?
Are you looking for growth or a hedge against market calamities or hyperinflation? Gold mining stocks can be part of a retirement portfolio. Gold stocks offer appreciation, compounding, and a likely faster return

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US Mint Issues New Native American Coin & Note Set

The United States Mint (Mint) will open sales for the 2019 Native American $1 Coin & Currency Set (product code 19NR) on July 24 at noon EDT.
This unique set pairs one enhanced uncirculated 2019 Native American $1 Coin produced by the United States Mint at Philadelphia and one $1 Series 2017 note produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The reverse (tails) of the 2019 Native American $1 Coin depicts Mary Golda Ross writing calculations

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Is the ‘Youth Approach’ the Only Answer?

by Michael S. Turrini
Recently, I had an exchange with a distinguished and recognized national philatelist and ‘stamp booster’. We were conversing about the exemplary efforts annually committed by dedicated volunteers at the internationally known and well-attended WESTPEX, in Burlingame, California, at the end of each April

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Active Interest Media Acquires Four F+W Groups Including Numismatics

Boulder, CO: North America’s leading participant media company today announced the acquisition of four storied groups of enthusiast brands from F+W Media. “The addition of Writer’s Digest, Popular Woodworking, Horticulture, and the Collectibles Group significantly extends our footprint in passionate markets that fit Active Interest Media’s vision for future growth,” said President & CEO Andrew Clurman. “These groups bring a combined publishing history of more than 300 years and audiences that demonstrate incredible loyalty through their attendance at events, participation in online conversations, and high rates of membership and subscription renewal

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Mint Statistics: Clever Marketing Boosts American Legion Silver Dollars Sales

All 10,000 of the mintage limit of the American Legion 100th Anniversary 2019 Proof Silver Dollar and Medal sets sold out. With a retail price of $99.95, it’s a clever way for the Mint to move an additional 10,000 units of the proof silver dollar which has sold 29,546

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Community Voice Responses: August 6, 2019

From the July 12 Numismatic News E-Letter
What tips/advice do you have for new collectors looking to find error coins?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
Read, read, and read some more, books that is. Online info is also a good source if from from a reliable expert

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Pride of Two Nations Launch Event a Success

The United States Mint’s communications department shared some photos this week from the Pride of Two Nations launch event held on July 3. Mint Director David Ryder welcomed Royal Canadian Mint CEO Marie Lamay to the Mint’s Philadelphia facility to launch the 2019 Pride of Two Nations Limited Edition Two-Coin Set.
The set commemorates the nationhood of both countries with coins that capture their rich history, pride, and their close relationship as neighbors and friends

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Mint Statistics: Pride of Two Nations Charges Ahead

Released on July 3, the Pride of Two Nations 2019 Limited Edition Two-Coin Set has come and gone. The product limit was listed at 100,000 and this week’s sales report from the Mint shows 95,308 sold. Checking the product page today, the product has been listed as currently unavailable

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Community Voice Responses: July 30, 2019

From the July 5 Numismatic News E-Letter
What do you find most interesting about the SS Central America shipwreck finds?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
I find most interesting are the San Francisco Mint Reserves, particularly the gold coins like that Double Eagle 1857-S with 970,000 minted, how many nice pieces will be returned to the collector market and how it will affect prices. Not that I can afford one mind you

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Pride of Two Nations 2019 Limited Edition Two-Coin Set

The United States Mint announced its newest release, Pride of Two Nations 2019 Limited Edition Two-Coin Set on July 3.
This beautifully rendered and unique special set is the first-ever joint coin set between the United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint. It commemorates both nations with coins that capture their rich history, pride, and close relationship as neighbors and partners

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Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 with a Special $50 Bill

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has announced a new 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Currency Set to commemorate the moon landing.  The set features a Series 2013 $50 note with a serial number beginning with “1969” and an engraved representation of the famous “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph taken July 20, 1969. The reflection in Aldrin’s visor—which includes Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar lander—is embossed

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Mint Statistics: Will Apollo 11 Coins Take Off Again Soon?

With the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing approaching, if you are reading this issue when it is sent, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at how the Apollo 11 coins are selling.
Between the proof and uncirculated options, the gold $5 is about 80 percent sold. About 10,000 remain between the two

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The 1893 Isabella Quarter is in a Class of Its Own

Shown here, a fantastic example of an 1893 Isabella quarter in MS-67 PCGS condition. The coin is being offered at the July 11-14 Summer Fun US Coins Signature Auction in Orlando by Heritage Auctions. (Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions)
Coins that stand out or are unusual are always interesting and that is true of the Isabella quarter as the Isabella quarter ranks as the only commemorative quarter in U

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Coins Being ‘Cracked Out’ of Third Party Slabs

How long would a cancelled note (regardless of technique) remain in Treasury hands before being eventually destroyed, if that was in fact the case?
I didn’t find anything specific to cancelled US bank notes, but Howard M. Berlin’s book The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1927-1947 gives some insight into the subject through Palestinian Mandate currency.
According to Berlin, “Even as late as 1974 bank notes of the Palestinian Currency Board were redeemed and the Crown Agents in London still await any bank notes that may be redeemed

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Mint Statistics: Not Much Movement on Gold or Silver Bullion Sales

Gold bullion remained the same as last week, with total ounces at 4,000 and total units 8,500.  With the price of gold eclipsing $1,400, it will be interesting to see how long these numbers go unchanged.  Silver, on the other hand, added 305,000 and will end June at 855,000

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Community Voice Responses: July 16, 2019

From the June 21 Numismatic News E-Letter
Would you buy a coin that has not been authenticated?
If so, when? If not, why?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
For the most part, yes. But if there are any questions about high value or key date coinage, it’s an extra bird in the hand so to speak

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Letters to the Editor: July 16,2019

1986 ASE Coin Clinic Question
I noticed that Mercanti mentions the Denver Mint as a contributor in the production of the 1986 Bullion Strike ASE in his books on the subject. Does anyone know if the Denver Mint saved one? It would seem strange if they didn’t. There are no availabe records of how many were minted at Denver, either

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War in the Pacific Three-Coin Set Available

The United States Mint announced that a three-coin set honoring the War in the Pacific National Historical Park is now available. Orders began to be accepted on June 18.  This set represents the third of five sites to be commemorated in 2019 as part of the America the Beautiful Quarter Program

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Did The 1933 Gold Eagle Circulate?

Image courtesy of usacoinbook.com
The 1933 Indian Head gold eagle is probably the best coin of the United States, which could be called a poor man’s 1933 gold coin. Considering the 1933 gold eagle currently lists for $600,000 in MS-65 it is hard to imagine the word “poor” in any sentence involving the 1933 but since the only other gold coin of 1933 (the famous Saint-Gaudens double eagle of 1933) which once sold for $7

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Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation tokens

Can sharpness of color of an Uncirculated coin impact the Mint State grade (between 60 and 70) assigned to it?
The sharpness of color is particularly important to prooflike coins, but the sharpness of color or the severity of toning can impact the grade of any coin. This needs to be determined on a case-to-case basis.
 
Why were Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation tokens issued? Weren’t US coins legal tender in Alaska at the time?
The tokens of which you speak were issued during the 1930s through the US Federal Emergency Relief Administration

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Coinage System Needs Major Changes

by Tom Miller
Should Kennedy half dollars still be minted? Well, the whole system of coinage needs re-configuration.
Consider this; One hundred years ago one could buy a draft beer in a bar for five cents, and a penny bag of candy was enough to satisfy a child’s sugar craving. One could buy a complete steak dinner for two in New York City in 1899 for a quarter

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Letters to the Editor: July 9, 2019

2019 Floating Head Penny
I am writing to you about the 2019 Floating Head Penny from your June 4, 2019 issue of Numismatic News.
Would you answer my question regarding the article? My question is, is the head larger than the 2018 pennies?
I am concerned about the coin collectors and your subscribers. You do not apply answers that people ask you

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$370,000 Buys 1792 Silver Half Disme

This history of the production of the 1792 half disme is one of the most important events in the birth of our nation’s coinage. (Image courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers)
At the conclusion of bidding at Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers’ Pre-Long Beach Auction on June 2, a PCGS graded MS-64 half disme, which was estimated to sell $350,000 sold for $370,000.
Only 1,500 of these coins were struck and it is estimated that less than 200 examples survived

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Liberty’s Torch Shines On

The United States Mint released the gorgeous 2019 American Eagle One Ounce Gold Uncirculated Coin – struck in 22-karat gold – on June 13 at 12pm Eastern Time.
This coin is a collector version of the Mint’s American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin. Struck at the United States Mint at West Point, the obverse (heads) features a version of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ full-length figure of Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in her right hand and an olive branch in her left

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Which toned silver coins bring the highest prices?

Which toned silver coins tend to bring the highest prices?
Since eye appeal is the main factor, there is no “one size fits all” formula for valuing toned coins. In general a coin exhibiting naturally occurring waves of neon hues on the obverse tend to be the most popular. I can’t be more specific than that

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BEP Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing with the 2019 $2 Rocketship

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has announced a new product, the 2019 $2 Rocketship.
$2 bills have the fewest produced annually. In both 2014 and 2014, just 32,000,000 were produced each year, with 179,200,000 in 2016 and none in 2017

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Why is it a Penny When it’s not a Cent?

by Bill Tuttle
Since the beginning of its creation, the US cent has been mislabeled a penny (plural = “pennies”).
Why?
This author’s theory is because our roots as a country are British, which use the “Pound Sterling” counting system (240 Pence [“proper” plural of Penny] = 1 Pound). While we, the Thirteen Colonies, were “controlled” by the British, the Pound Sterling system was in use

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Community Voice Responses: July 2, 2019

From the June 7 Numismatic News E-Letter
What rare coins will be popular in 100 years?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
The Liberty of Thought  (aka Mercury) Silver Dime will always be a collector’s item as well as Walking Liberty Half Dollars. And any of the nineteenth century coins will demand collector interest, especially Bust type

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Mint Statistics: Kennedy Halves – What is their Future?

An interesting Letter to the Editor came in this week in which the reader was questioning the need to continue producing the Kennedy Half dollars for collectors, which got us looking at the Mint sales of those a bit closer. Released on May 1 this year, sales of both the two-roll sets and 200-coin bags increased by about 500 units each since last week. Looking at the three-year sales numbers, sales do seem to be declining each year

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Disney Dollars and other Souvenir Scrip

Aren’t Disney dollars and other currencies offered by entertainment venues as an alternate to cash a form of seignorage by which the issuer benefits?
Souvenir scrip can be purchased at a theme or entertainment park at face value. The scrip can later be redeemed by spending it at that venue. This is a novel way of creating seignorage for the issuer since many people will simply keep the scrip as a souvenir rather than spend it

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Community Voice Responses: June 25, 2019

From the May 31 Numismatic News E-Letter
Do you think a numismatic sales slump will hit this summer? Why or why not?
Here are some answers sent in from our E-Newsletter readers.
 
While the rarest coins in the highest MS/PR grades should not be affected, as there is a lot of money sloshing around among the nouveau riche [think: Silicon Valley IPO billionaires], the long-term prospects for the rest of the market are negative, simply because of the supply/demand curve. Have you walked around a coin show lately? If so, what percentage of those in attendance were Millennials?  Or even below age 50? Simply put, the hobby that the Baby Boom generation embraced is not being picked up by our younger generations in the numbers required to balance the supply and demand

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