This 1794 half cent is graded XF-45 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions, www.ha
This 1822 half eagle is graded PCGS AU-50. (Images courtesy National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution via PCGS.com
This 1822 half eagle is graded PCGS AU-50. (Images courtesy National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution via PCGS
The gold 1999 George Washington commemorative $5. (Images courtesy United States Mint, usmint.gov
This 1851-O 3-cent piece is graded NGC MS-65 and is from the Richmond Collection. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions, www.ha
A 1793 Liberty Cap cent graded VF-30 by PCGS. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.)
The 1793 Liberty Cap cent, simply based on the date, is a good coin
This 1958 Roosevelt dime with Full Bands is graded MS-67 by PCGS. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.)
There is no way of getting around the fact that recent years have not been the best when it comes to higher prices for most Roosevelt dimes
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
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
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
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
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
A 1938-D/S Buffalo nickel graded MS-67 by PCGS. (Images courtesy PCGS)
When you think of errors, you usually think “expensive.” For example, the 1955 doubled die obverse Lincoln cent is not cheap, and with good reason
The 1870-S Indian Princess Head $3 gold piece. (Images courtesy Stack’s Bowers via usacoinbook.com)
The 1870-S $3 gold piece is one of the great American rarities and one of the great American stories
Life in 1793 at the United States Mint had to be exciting. It is unfortunate that there were no recordings or other ways of saving what went on that year. For historical reasons, it would be nice to determine exactly what happened and why
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
In the world of errors, there are relatively few major coins that have widespread recognition and general acceptance by collectors. The 1942/41 Mercury dime has to be considered one of the very few errors in U.S
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
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
An 1836 Reeded Edge half dollar graded AU-53, GR-1 PCGS Secure. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.)
There are two related but very different 1836 Bust half dollars
1946-S Washington quarter. (Images courtesy usacoinbook.com
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
The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.)
The 1927-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle may just be one of the most interesting great rarities of the United States
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
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
1792 half dime, flattened. PCGS Genuine. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions
Shown here are examples of the two 1903 Louisiana Purchase Exposition gold dollars. Jefferson is on the left with McKinley on the right. (Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions)
With a total mintage of 515,000, the 1860-O Seated Liberty dollars are 90% silver and 10% copper. Seated Liberty dollars from 1840 to 1866 did not include the “In God We Trust” motto, which was added back mid-1866. (Images courtesy of USACoinBook
1793 Flowing Hair Wreath reverse cent. (Images courtesy of usacoinbook.com)
It was probably a case where back in 1793 working at the U
The later version of the 1836 Capped Bust Half Dollar. The standard lettering on the edge of the coin (FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR) was removed and replaced with a reeded edge. (Image courtesy of usacoinbook
With only 118 specimens certified by the major grading companies, the 1920-S gold eagle draws a pretty penny at auction. A specimen in MS-67 PCGS sold for $1.7 million in 2007
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
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
With a metal composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, the 1874-S Seated Libertydime, designed by Christian Gobrecht, can be purchased for a reasonable price.(Image courtesy of usacoinbook.com)
There are many great coins available at what are really discount prices
There are some coins which are hard to describe, or understand, and the 1878 $3 gold piece is one of those coins. There may be theories, but facts explaining exactly why the 1878 $3 is so available are hard to determine.
Shown here, an 1878 Three Dollar Doubled Die Reverse, graded MS-64 by PCGS
The year 1804 is just magic when it comes to coins. The main reason is the famous 1804 dollar which, of course, was not even produced in 1804 but rather a few decades later. That said, everyone remembers 1804 simply because of the dollar
The 1870 two-cent piece is a slightly better date. It is not the key two-cent piece business strike as that honor falls to the 1872 while the proof only 1873 remains the toughest date needed to fill a collection. That said, the 1870 tells a story about the times and about the denomination so it’s a date worth knowing and having in a collection
The 1938-D Jefferson nickel in MS65 if valued at $15.00, while in 65FS the value jumps to $95.00
An 1889 nickel three-cent piece can range in price from $90 to $500, depending on condition, according to U.S. Coin Digest
(Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.)
It is hard to be certain whether the 1955 Franklin half dollar should be basically where it is in price or whether it should be significantly better as there are so many factors to be considered and in some cases they are hard to judge.
It started with a very unusual year
An assortment of circumstances at the time of its release explain why proof 1879 Shield nickels are today much cheaper than circulated examples. (Images courtesy of www.usacoinbook
Struck for just one year in relatively small quantity, the 1808 gold half eagle with John Reich’s new Turban Head design is a key type coin likely to only continue rising in price. (Images courtesy of www.usacoinbook
Although its mintage was less than two million, other factors played a greater part in why the 1921 Standing Liberty quarter is tougher than expected. (Images courtesy www.usacoinbook
The 20-cent denomination introduced in 1875 was unpopular with the public from the start. Today, the 1876-CC Seated Liberty is both tough and rare. (Images courtesy www
Its rich history as a relic of the Gold Rush, combined with its lower mintage, make the 1860-S Seated Liberty quarter both relatively affordable and a coin that is poised to keep rising in price.
Many collectors want a rare date at a bargain price. I happen to be among that group, but I am not very impressed when I read what others suggest are sleepers
While supplies of the 1894 Indian Head cent are decent, they are a long way from being unlimited, which may make this better date a sleeper. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
The 2018-S Pictured Rocks quarter proof. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
A small mintage, lack of contemporary interest, the Gold Rush, threat of melting, and exportation overseas are factors that led to the limited supply of 1850 Seated Liberty dollars available today.
The 1850 Seated Liberty dollar is definitely a better date, which in the case of this series says a great deal. There are virtually no Seated Liberty dollars that can be called available or common
Although lower-grade examples of the 1919-S Buffalo nickel are less costly than its sister 1919-D coin in lower grades, it vaults to nearly twice the 1919-D value in MS65 condition.
Things were pretty confusing back in 1919. The heavily favored White Sox lost the World Series to Cincinnati, and no one could understand that
Despite getting lost among other exciting issues of the time period, the 1954-S Franklin half dollar has shown solid price increases over the years. (Proof images courtesy www.usacoinbook
Although half a dozen or fewer examples are known, the 1873-CC no arrows quarter has lived in the shadow of the sole 1873-CC no arrows dime specimen. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
The year 1807 saw production of two half dollar designs: Draped Bust (top) and Capped Bust (bottom).
In the entire history of half dollars, there have probably been few more interesting and diverse years than 1807. It was a year when collectors simply trying to keep up with the different issues could almost have worn a path to their source of new coins, which makes for a truly fascinating story for collectors today
Currently listed at seemingly low prices in Mint State grades, the 1933-D Lincoln cent has long been overlooked by collectors more focused on years with lower mintages. (Images courtesy www.usacoinbook
While the reported mintage for the 1801 Draped Bust silver dollar is 54,454, many factors raise questions about the accuracy of that figure and, therefore, the true scarcity of the coin.
The first coins of the United States are both historic and interesting. They are also generally scarce, and for some of us, they can be frustrating
In a year filled with interesting coinage, the low-mintage 1955 Jefferson nickel has long been overlooked among other denominations. (Proof images courtesy www.usacoinbook
As control of the Dahlonega Mint moved from the United States to the state of Georgia to the Confederate States of America in the early days of the Civil War, questions remain on how many 1861-D half eagles were struck and under what authority. (Images courtesy www.usacoinbook
A combination of factors (including not being saved and becoming subject to melting) makes 1952-S Franklin half dollars not readily available in any quantity, especially in top grade. (Images courtesy www.usacoinbook
A nice 1878 Morgan dollar with 8 tail feathers is a special coin as the first of a very popular set.
When it comes to popularity, there are few U.S
The 1978 Eisenhower dollar is one of the more interesting modern-date dollars. It is a tough coin to figure out. Available supplies have never really been tested, and until there is a real test, it is hard to know just how good or available this coin might prove to be over time
Debuting in 1854, the gold $3 was struck at Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Dahlonega. Today, tracking down Mint State examples of the 1854-O (shown above) can be a difficult task.
Relatively little is known about the 1854-O gold $3
Whether or not demand will result in significant price increases, the 1805 Draped Bust quarter with Heraldic Eagle reverse is a historic coin with a relatively affordable price in lower grades.
Early quarters are just plain tough. In fact, if you are living on an average income, you could have a real problem trying to afford any early quarter
The 1907 High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle (shown here with wire rim) is considered by many to be America’s most beautiful coin. This, plus its historical significance, keeps prices high.
Most of us cannot afford a 1907 Ultra High Relief example of the Saint-Gaudens double eagle
While the 1810 Classic Head half cent is not readily available in any grade, examples from the lower end of the grading scale have shown exponential price increases over the past two decades.
Half cents are a lot tougher than you might think. Just try to buy one in G-4 condition – even an example that all the specialists would scoff at will cost you a very good premium over a similarly average large cent
The 1944-S Walking Liberty half dollar is edging closer to dates always assumed to be far better. While it probably will not catch either the 1941-S or 1942-S in price, it is only slightly more available than either. That should keep its price steady
Several factors – including a low mintage, lack of public and collector interest at the time, and limited supply in today’s market – have caused the 1855 Seated Liberty dollar to become a true sleeper.
Sleepers come in all forms. Sometimes coins are not heavily collected, and as a result, are not priced at the same levels as others with a greater collector base
The copper-nickel Shield nickel of 1882 had a relatively large mintage in comparison to the series’ previous five years of proof-only (1877-1878) and less than 100,000 (1879-1881) pieces.
The Shield nickel is not presently a hot area of the U.S
It is possible that the 1934-D Peace dollar was the only one in the series never released in bag quantities. (Images courtesy www.usacoinbook
Although not large by normal standards, the relatively high mintage for the 1820 Capped Head left half eagle (when compared to its contemporaries) led to a higher number of examples surviving in Mint State today than one would expect.
Let’s be honest – the average collector has little chance of acquiring a Capped Head left half eagle from the 1820s. It is just not likely to happen since the mintages are so small
Low demand keeps prices down for the 1905 Barber half dollar, especially for proof examples, which are actually easier to find than high-grade Mint State examples.
Normally people don’t get very excited about issues from Philadelphia, especially those from the past century. Their mintages were routinely higher than either Denver or San Francisco, so they tend to be more available
Although not widely collected at the time of its release, the 1908-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle supply is better than expected today as a number were shipped to Europe rather than melted.
While the 1908-S Saint-Gaudens double eagle is not a great rarity, it is tough. It also has an interesting story, which makes it fun for collectors to study and to own
Original bags of 1880-O Morgan dollars did not always contain Mint State coins, resulting in a limited supply of top-grade examples left for collectors on the market today.
The 1880-O Morgan dollar might just be a sleeper. It’s a better New Orleans date than most people realize, although it is still at least available in most grades
While lower-grade examples may still be readily available, the 1918-D Mercury dime in top grades is commanding prices that puts it among the top few regular dates in the series.
No one ever thought of the 1918-D Mercury dime as anything close to the key 1916-D in terms of availability, but that is beginning to change. Only in the past couple of decades has the 1918-D been sought in MS-65 condition with full split bands
The Type I 1917-S Standing Liberty quarter featured Liberty with a bare breast on the obverse. A covered breast, and three stars added below the eagle on the reverse, debuted on the Type 2.
There are two 1917-S Standing Liberty quarters, and it’s safe to say that both are interesting coins
A new design, a relatively low mintage, and an obverse mintmark (later moved to the reverse) are factors that combine to lend collector interest to the 1916-S Walking Liberty half dollar.
Even though the 1916-S Walking Liberty half dollar is not as expensive as its low mintage might suggest, it certainly is historic. While you may not get a bargain price, you do get a coin with a lot to offer
The loss of a limb on the 1937-D Buffalo nickel reverse probably resulted from too much regrinding of a die in order to remove clash marks.
Some coins just seem to catch everyone by surprise and create a special demand because they are different. That is certainly the case with the 1937-D Buffalo nickel, since the animal on the reverse has only three legs
There was little demand for the 1922-S Peace dollar when it was issued. Bags released in later years were not examined for high-grade examples, so fewer exist today than otherwise might.
Almost no one considers the 1922-S Peace dollar as one of the better dates in the series
The 1949-S Roosevelt dime did not draw much attention at the time of its release, resulting in a smaller number being put aside by collectors. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
Shown here is the 1864L type of Indian Head cent struck in bronze, which features an “L” in the ribbon behind the obverse figure’s hair. A second bronze and a copper-nickel type also exist.
Three types of Indian Head cents exist for 1864, and one of them may well be a sleeper
In addition to its importance as the first half dollar struck at the San Francisco Mint, the 1885-S Seated Liberty half dollar was also the only San Francisco half struck with arrows at the date.
There are a lot of interesting Seated Liberty half dollars. High on that list has to be the 1855-S, which is both historically important and a much more difficult coin than might be expected
Despite having the lowest mintage for regular-date silver coins of the 20th century, the 1913-S Barber quarter is neither the most expensive silver coin nor the key date of the Barber series.
Just call it an unrecognized rarity. While expensive and desirable, the 1913-S Barber quarter does not get the attention it deserves, especially as the lowest-mintage, regular-date silver coin of the 20th century
An initial lack of interest, combined with a rush to cash in silver coins for a high melt price, has left a limited supply of the 1960 Franklin half dollar. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
A wave of concern over appearances that the Mint was intentionally creating rarities led to more 1885 half dollars being struck than were needed, even though mintages are considered low today.
When is a rarity not a rarity? The answer might well be a coin like the 1885 Seated Liberty half dollar. While certainly a tough and valuable coin, it is actually more available than its very low mintage would suggest
Although only 10 examples of the 1884 Trade dollar are known, it has long lived in the shadow of the even rarer 1885. Just five examples of that date are known to exist.
A little mystery tends to help a great rarity
More available than expected in lower grades, tougher than expected in Mint State and rare in the highest grades, the 1918-S Buffalo nickel appeals to collectors on many different levels.
The 1918-S Buffalo nickel is one of the best of a very good group that is many times overlooked. At a price of $13,250 today in MS-65 condition, it certainly is one of the best of the branch-mint nickels from the teens and 1920s
While the 1877 copper-nickel three-cent piece had a proof-only mintage of just 900 coins, they were saved by collectors, and a high percentage survive today in Proof-65 condition or better.
There is little doubt that the 1877 Coronet Head three-cent piece is the key to the copper-nickel three-cent set. Interestingly enough, the date, which was issued only as a proof, is neither well known nor that expensive
While the Los Angeles Olympics silver dollar of 1983 can currently be purchased for $25 or less, its historical value in paving the way for modern commemorative coins is priceless.
As time passes, the Los Angeles Olympics silver dollar commemorative of 1983 receives less and less attention. That may be a natural consequence, but this is one coin that should not be forgotten
A composition change from copper-nickel to bronze, plus a pointed bust variety of the latter that includes the designer’s initial, resulted in three different Indian Head cents for the year 1864.
The Indian Head cents of 1864 are a very interesting and historic group. As you may have guessed from the word “group,” there is more than one
A heavy mintage for the time helped to make the 1799 today’s most available Bust dollar in Mint State condition.
In almost every set of U.S
Fewer 1898-S Barber quarters are available in top grades than might be thought based on mintage.
Finding a coin everyone has overlooked is fun. It does not happen often, because coin prices tend to be a very accurate reflection of the availability of most issues
Although it had an extremely low mintage, hoarding of the 1880 gold Indian Head dollar led to numerous Mint State examples becoming available and remaining at very reasonable prices.
It should be elusive, if not rare. But it is not
The 1867 shield nickel (obverse at center) has two reverse designs: the earlier with rays (top) and the later without rays (bottom). The lower mintage of the former makes it the better date.
For whatever reason, we do not seem to pay a lot of attention to Shield nickels
While pricing for lower-grade examples of the 1893 Morgan dollar reflects its small mintage, Mint State coins are priced more moderately than many Morgans considering the number struck.
There is no such thing as a readily available 1893 Morgan dollar. By that time, vaults at the Treasury were already bulging with silver dollars
A variety of factors have made Mint State examples of the 1896-S Barber half dollar tough to find.
If you want to find the better Barber half dollars, your first rule should be to not get hung up on mintages. Yes, mintage can be a good indication on some coins of how tough they will be, but it is not always reliable
Although more than 19 million 1923-S Peace dollars were struck, very few were saved by collectors who thought it was common.
It hardly seems possible that sleepers can still be found for any type of silver dollar. Along with its popularity have come articles, books and all the information we could seemingly absorb, including which dates are tougher in certain grades
Having been ignored when it was first released, then melted in large numbers when silver jumped to $50 an ounce, the 1965 Kennedy half dollar is tough to find in Mint State. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook
The 1920 Maine Centennial half dollar was successfully sold by the office of the state treasurer after it failed to be ready in time for the statehood celebration that year in Portland.
One would think that something like a statehood centennial half dollar would be a relatively straightforward commemorative. But considering what happened with the Maine Centennial half, one can see the potential for problems with later issues
Trade dollars struck in Philadelphia are regularly outshined by examples from Carson City.
Finding better-than-average Trade dollars is not an easy thing, especially ones in top grades. The situation is compounded for Philadelphia coins, since the toughest Trade dollars have been from Carson City
Even a high mintage was not enough to guarantee a large supply of the 1967 Kennedy half dollar. Saved examples were often turned in for melting, putting a premium on those that did survive.
The 1967 Kennedy half dollar marks the last in a series of three years when the coin was struck without mintmarks
Following the release of numerous commemorative half dollars in 1936, the 1937 half marking the 350th Anniversary of the Colonization of Roanoke Island, N.C., did not grab collector interest
Struck in small numbers, the 1869-S Seated Liberty dime has a proportionally high population of Mint State examples. Did these coins all originate from a small hoard discovered in Europe?
It’s amazing to consider how many stories there are regarding lost or missing coins. There are also numerous stories about coins that suddenly appear in places where they should not be
A surprising number of 1913-S Barber dimes exist in Mint State given its low mintage. Low-grade examples can be challenging to find but are often reasonably priced at less than $40.
Everyone loves sleepers
Limited collector interest at the time of its release now causes the 1918-D Walking Liberty half dollar to command a modern-day premium price, particulariy in higher Mint State grades.
Ever since we changed to a grading system with a number of different Mint State grades, we have been learning a lot about Walking Liberty half dollars.
Prior to grading them MS-65 and better, few would have thought that a 1919-D Walking Liberty half might be worth tens of thousands of dollars more than a 1921-S or a 1921-D
Released in large numbers only sporadically, the 1924-S Peace dollar never received much notice.
The 1924-S Peace dollar does not get a great deal of attention. Perhaps many collectors assume that better dates in the series come from its later years
“Close but no cigar” describes how the 1921-S Walking Liberty half dollar ranks among the key dates of the Walking Liberty half dollar set. While near the top of virtually every grade, it is almost never the key date.
That might mean it is a bit overlooked, as people tend to focus on the key dates
Just when you think you have rare coin pricing all figured out, along comes the 1878-S Seated Liberty half dollar to throw you a curve. Actually, it is not certain whether the 1878-S is the half dollar with the unusual price, or the dates around it with similar mintages are not correctly valued.
For those who like answers for everything, this might not be the place to find one
Sometimes truly remarkable things happen to a coin and that is the case with the 1885-CC Morgan silver dollar. This makes it one of the most interesting dollars in the series. That is no small accomplishment
The new 2016 gold Standing Liberty quarter is a reminder that collectors have been finding treasure in the 1916 silver version for many years.
For the Standing Liberty series, the 1916 is the key date. It also is the first date of issue
A weak date might mean the coin was struck while the Confederacy contolled the New Orleans Mint.
To be a great coin, it does not have to be rare and worth millions of dollars. A high price certainly helps, but there are other great coins that while not common are at least possible for many collectors to afford
Few 1911-D gold $5 coins have survived in Mint State grades, leading to very high MS prices.
The Indian Head half eagle is a much tougher set than many realize, especially if the goal is assembling it in MS-65. In fact, such a high grade set might be impossible unless you have an unlimited budget
If you had been handed a Trade dollar back in 1877, you might have been unsure how to handle it as it just had had its legal-tender status revoked. Some were saying they were silver dollars and worth as much while others correctly said they were worth their silver value. At the time, their silver value was declining to where they were worth less than a dollar
Carson City has a well-deserved reputation for very tough coins. The origin of the Carson City reputation is silver dollars. Thanks to Carson City Morgan dollars discovered in Treasury vaults and sold to the public, the coins that created the reputation are not all scarce
The silver three-cent piece was on its way out by 1870. The idea of a silver three-cent piece had been an interesting one based not on need but rather finding some coin which could circulate. This was due to some rather unusual circumstances
We already know the 1871 Indian Head cent may well be one of the best Indian Head cents in MS-65, but the possibility exists that it is even better than we already suspect.The 1871 Indian Head cent is among the elite coins of the series in Mint State-65.The situation back in 1871 was a complicated one, but it’s worth understanding as it almost certainly played a role in making the 1871 as tough as it is to find in Mint State today
Some coins are better than their mintages suggest and that is almost certainly the case with the 1853-O half dime. In fact, there are two 1853-O half dimes: ones with arrows at the date and one without the arrows and it is that latter which is potentially much better than its mintage totals suggest.The 1853-O half dime with arrows can be bought for only $20
The 1909-O Indian Head half eagle is a very underrated coin. In fact, the 1909-O, at least in MS-65, is a significant rarity ranking among the most difficult gold coins in top grade of the past century. It is not that available in any grade and while not well known by most, if you attempt a set of Indian Head half eagles, you will learn to respect the 1909-O very quickly
Three years of high issue prices for the 40 percent silver proof Eisenhower dollars left collectors sour to the series at the time, making a Prf-65 1973-S silver proof $45 today.The 1973-S Eisenhower dollar was the result of a pattern from the first couple of years of Eisenhower dollars. It had been decided that there would be 40 percent silver Eisenhower dollars that were offered in proof and brilliant uncirculated to collectors
The Stone Mountain Memorial half dollar is a coin that might very well not get approved today. It was a different era and people viewed things differently than we do today. That is not to excuse anything, or to draw any conclusions except to suggest that the idea of a half dollar to help pay for the carving of Confederate leaders and soldiers into a mountain in Georgia is probably today a non-starter when it comes to ideas
If you go back to 1929, you find that the 1929 Indian Head half eagle had a fairly large 662,000 mintage. Under normal conditions, that would make its VF-20 prices today about $390. After all, since 1908, there were 17 dates with lower mintages
Normally speaking, there would not be a lot of attention paid to the 1935 Peace dollar. In fact, the main claim to fame of the 1935 Peace dollar is that it, along with the 1935-S, were the last Peace dollars to reach circulation. We have to be careful as they were not the last Peace dollars to be produced
It is definitely easy to overlook the 1918-D Buffalo nickel simply because a small number of its mintage were the famous 1918/17-D overdate. Of course, back in 1918, no one noticed and decades later when the 1918/17-D was discovered, it was really too late to find them in top grades. In MS-65, if you can locate a dealer with one, the 1918/17-D would be close to $300,000
It’s technically the Illinois Centennial half dollar but it is Abraham Lincoln who dominates the design and is known to many as the Lincoln-Illinois Centennial half dollar. The fact that the Illinois Centennial half dollar was dated 1918 should give some clue as to its real original intent as 1918 was the centennial of the admission of the state of Illinois to the Union.Back in 1918, well before the glut of commemoratives, the Illinois Centennial half dollar might have seemed unusual
The 1893-CC Morgan dollar has the special distinction of being the last of the Carson City Morgan dollars – and one that is expensive and rare in upper grades.Even before 1893, there were clear signs that the Carson City Mint was not working out. Morgan dollars had been produced there through 1885 and then production stopped only to resume again in 1889 before coming to an end in 1893
You just can’t do enough to commemorate Ulysses S. Grant was the slogan in the early 1900s. As the victorious Union General in the Civil War this was natural although Grant’s time as president was a good deal less worthy of commemoration
It seems like the 1914-D is a very different coin to place correctly in its right place as an important Lincoln cent. I still have grave doubts that we have the 1914-D where it ought to be in terms of price and importance.Back in the 1950s, if a Lincoln cent was not from San Francisco it was hard for it to get much attention
Probably the best thing about Morgan dollars is that they are all different and you really can make no assumptions based on their mintages as to whether one is available or not. There are just always surprises lurking as some Morgans got saved and others were melted, but mintages do not tell you what happened to any particular date once they left the Mint.The 1889-S is a good example of this situation