1976 Washington Quarter with my favorite, the Drummer Boy reverse
This past weekend, I had a discussion with someone I met at an estate sale about collecting modern versus classic coins. Although I recognize the differences in collecting each type, I think that after 53 years, it is time to give modern coins a chance.
The modern era of United States coins begins in 1965 when silver was removed from circulating coins except for the Kennedy half-dollar. The silver content of the half-dollar was reduced to 40-percent and clad around a copper core while the dime and quarter were copper-nickel clad, as they are today. It would not be until 1982 when the cent was changed from being 95-percent copper to being copper-plated zinc coins. The nickel has used the same copper-nickel composition since the release of the 1883 Liberty Head nickel except for the World War II issues.
For the average collector under 40 years old, coins have always been copper-nickel clad and the cent has always been made from copper-plated zinc. For a significant amount of their lives, the reverse of the Lincoln cent always had the Lincoln Memorial and the reverses of the quarter have been changing ever since they can remember. While many of us grew up with single designs, those of us who were around for the Bicentennial will remember the special reverses produced for the quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins. In fact, the Drummer Boy reverse of the dual-dated 1776-1976 quarters remains my all-time favorite circulating commemorative reverse.
Maybe it is time to give modern coins more respect. What do you think?
Over the last few years, Whitman has been adding more information to the Red Book to entice people to buy a new edition each year. This year, they are adding new information to the MEGA RED Book to the book whose page count continues at 1,504 pages. It is physically a large book with a lot of information.
The key feature of the Red Books are the prices. Prices are set by industry insiders who report what they have seen as prices for coins. Because of the publishing lead times, the prices may not be accurate to market conditions. Some say that the prices are not in line with current prices because the market moves quickly. In fact, a comparison with online resources like the Numismedia Fair Market Value prices and PCGS Price Guide shows that the Red Book may need updating for the most common coins. The disparity is that great.
Even so, the Red Book in all its forms probably is the bestselling book on U.S. coins of all time. Whenever someone wants to know more about U.S. coins and what they are worth, the persistent recommendation is to tell them to buy a copy of the Red Book.
This brings us to the latest poll question:
Will you buy a 2018 Red Book?
Yes, I always buy the Red Book (37%, 7 Votes)
I don't buy any of these books. (37%, 7 Votes)
I will buy the 2018 MEGA RED Book (16%, 3 Votes)
I don't always buy the Red Book but I will this year (11%, 2 Votes)
I buy the special edition Red Books when they are produced (0%, 0 Votes)
I buy both the Red Book and Blue Book (0%, 0 Votes)
I don't bother with the Red Book and only buy the Blue Book (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 19
Select as many as you want. If you have another opinion, add your comments to this post.
Yesterday, I wrote about sales of 2017-P Lincoln cents selling at nearly 20-times face value online. These are coins in production that the U.S. Mint will continue to strike until December 2017 at a pace that should yield over 5 billion coins.
At the end of the post, I wrote:
Maybe it is time for the American Numismatic Association and Professional Numismatic Guild to issue a statement warning the public. If these organizations are about protecting the collector, here is a clear case of price gouging that they should show concern!
2017-W American Liberty Gold Coin to be issued in celebration of the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Mint
When the U.S. Mint made the announcement about the American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, they mentioned that the coin will begin selling on April 6, 2017.
As a coin with one troy ounce of 24-karat gold, the coin will be at least the spot price of gold plus a premium to account for manufacturing costs and seigniorage (profit). Using the U.S. Mint’s pricing guidelines and their pricing chart, the price of the 24-karat Gold Buffalo Proof coin would be $1,540. However, given that this coin will require extra labor since it will be a high-relief coin and that the U.S. Mint will likely sell these coins in a fancy presentation box, the costs will likely to be higher. I would not be surprised to see these coins to sell at least $100 more than the gold Buffaloes.
What do you think? Will buy one of these coins?
Will you buy the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin?
No, I do not buy or cannot afford a gold coin. (48%, 32 Votes)
I'm not sure. (18%, 12 Votes)
Absolutely! It's gorgeous! (15%, 10 Votes)
I probably will. (10%, 7 Votes)
May be, it might be a good investment. (9%, 6 Votes)
Those who follow me on Twitter or watch the widget in the sidebar on these pages can watch the coin, currency, and bullion-related stories I find on the Internet. Rather than find the stories from the regular numismatic sources, I try to find things reported in the non-numismatic media.
Some of you may not use Twitter, find it difficult to watch the timeline, and do not see some of the stories I find even if you are peering into my timeline using the widget. You might think that you are missing something interesting that you would not think about otherwise. Some of the recent stories I found include:
If there is an interest, I will create a weekly newsletter with a short introduction to the stories and links to where to find more information. For example, I would write a blurb about the Battle of Hastings 50p coins, maybe add a picture, and send links to the 2-to-3 sites I found stories about the coin.
Most of these stories will be new content probably not appearing on the blog or in the numismatic press—with the exception of the coin recyclers’ issues since I have more information than what is published. It also provides insights into what the press says about coins and currency.
NOTE: If the poll does not appear please clickhere.
Yesterday I wrote about the announcement that the fifth edition of A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars by Q. David Bowers will include evidence that a 1964 Morgan Dollar exists or has existed. As part of their press release, they sent out an image of the cover with the coin. I questioned whether this is real given that their image appears to be of a circulated coin.
After the story posted I have heard from a few readers in private email (I wish you would post it to the page for everyone to read) strongly on one side or another. One person asked why I question the well-respected Q. David Bowers. I responded that just because he is respected does not mean he is not fallible. Bowers is still human and can make mistakes. Besides, we do not learn about our world if questions are not asked.
To add to the suspicion, if you look at the image carefully, there appears to be doubling in the portrait. Look at the left side of Liberty’s face in the image of the 1964 coin and see the doubled image. There is also doubling over Liberty’s throat. Compare it to a known mint state Morgan Dollar and the questions mount.
Image of the alleged 1964 Morgan Dollar from the cover of A Guide Book to Morgan Silver Dollars 5th Ed. by Q. David Bowers
1879-S Morgan Dollar (NGC MS-67+)
You decide! Click on the images to enlarge and use the slideshow controls to examine both coins. Do you see the doubling? Do you see the wearing? What do you think?
Do you think the report of the existence a 1964 Morgan Dollar is real?
No, it's a fish story to sell books. (40%, 10 Votes)
Maybe but I am just not sure. (24%, 6 Votes)
Let's wait and see when the book is released. (24%, 6 Votes)
Given the source of the information it has to be real. (12%, 3 Votes)
From my collection, a 2015 Canada Bugs Bunny $20 for $20 Silver Coin
Throughout the life of this blog, I have revealed a lot about myself and my collection. I do not mind sharing but every so often I would like to know something about you. Based on my logs, I know the blog has attracted new readers over the last few years for which I thank you for joining my little corner of the Internet world. But what do you like? If you are a long time reader, has your collection changed?
I am asking for two reasons: first, I am curious. I know that my tastes are different from yours and I am curious about yours. There is no wrong answer to this question because whatever you like to collect is right for you. It should not matter what anyone thinks of your collection because it’s your collection and you are the one that has to be happy with it. I want to know what makes you happy.
The second reason is so I know a little about who is reading the my blog. It will allow me to could tailor some content to your tastes. It is good for me to stretch out of my comfort zone a bit to learn about something else. But I want to do so in a way that I can write about it and someone will have an appreciation for the content.
The poll is anonymous. The usual set of website logs are kept on the server but it does not identify you or how you voted. Comments are encouraged and moderated only to prevent spam. If you are reading this from a site that aggregates web content, you will have to visit the page on my site in order to participate.
The problem with counterfeiting has been getting worse. Even though congress passed the Collectible Coin Protection Act, the added force of law has not dissuaded foreign counterfeiters from trying to scam the collecting public. In fact, it was reported that North Korea has cranked up its presses and is trying to flood the Chinese market with counterfeit currency.
With stories like this and how Europe is having a difficult time with the counterfeiting of £1 and €2 coins during a time of economic uncertainty had me considering what I could do to help the community.
Rather than just talk about the problems I decided that I would write about how help collectors understand what to do to protect themselves. This lead to the six-part series this past week about how you can check your coins to ensure that they are genuine. For some, the series may have been a rehash of old information. But sometimes seeing again may be a good refresher.
What do you think? Did you like the series? What did you (or did you not) like?
Do (or did) you like the series on Detecting Counterfeits?
Yes, I do! (78%, 7 Votes)
Sorry, this is not doing anything for me. (11%, 1 Votes)
It's OK but I really have no opinion. (11%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 9
Would you like to see more information about other topics? Would you like me to go back to just blogging in single posts? Leave me a comment here with your suggestions.
After reporting about the petition to return the Buffalo nickel to circulation, I thought I would ask my readers. Since I have not updated the polls for a while, I thought this was a good topic to begin this week.
While I love the design by James Earle Fraser and have starting hoarding Buffalo nickels during my estate finds, I am not sure that this is a design that would work on today’s nickel. Collectors of Buffalo nickels can tell you that while a great design the elements do not wear well especially on critical high points, such as the buffalo’s horn.
Possibly a better idea is to bring back the design of the 2005 Westward Journey American Bison nickel. Aside from having a better portrait of President Thomas Jefferson than the one currently in use, the bison on the reverse appears to work better on modern coins. Maybe the bison can be given a new look, but it would be a better version for today’s market.
2005 Westward Journey Nickel Reverse
What do you think?
Westward Journey nickel imaged courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
Not long ago an acquaintance asked if I was attending the National Money Show in Dallas. I said that I had wanted to but there was a conflict that prevented me. He said that it did not matter because there were too many shows and it does not pay to go to all of them.
Panorama of the 2013 National Money Show bourse floor at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans
I was a bit shocked.
When you enjoy something, there is never too many or too much. I try to go to as many coin shows as possible whether they are as large as the World’s Fair of Money or a local show with 30 tables that meets in a local hall. If I cannot be at a coin show, I love to go to car shows including ones where I can bring my vintage Mopar.
It is difficult to find a car show in the winter. Owners of classic, vintage and antique cars would rather park our babies under cover than take them out in bad weather. This is a good time to find all of the coin shows.
I woke up my baby this past weekend!
There are not enough coin shows, especially when the weather is not suitable for car shows. Since I have been attending these shows for a while, I know many of the local dealers at the smaller shows and a few more of the dealers at the larger shows. For me, this makes the show fun.
I asked why he thought there were too many he complained about the costs. He felt that he had to buy something at every show in order to justify his attendance.
When I go to a show, I have a budget I keep to, collecting goals for that day, and the knowledge that if I come home with money in my pocket I can still have a good day if I see people and talk about coins and collecting.
Maybe the problem with my acquaintance is that he sees going to shows as a buying trip while I look for the experience. He might consider talking to some of the people, make friends, and see if he could learn something from these dealers. Even if I do not spend money, if I learn something I will have had a good time.