Coins September 2019

Since its inception, in 1955, Coins magazine has been a hobby leader in providing collectors with important and timely information key to making wise decisions on what to collect and how to collect. With monthly contributions from leading hobby experts, it's your one-stop hobby source. Get market trends, buying techniques, and historical perspectives on all aspects of coins (numismatics). Each issue delivers in-depth analysis, up-to-the-minute valuations, answers to all of your coin questions and more!

United States
Active Interest Media
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12 Numeri

In questo numero

4 minuti
hidden gem

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. 1920. I walked through the store processing what had just happened. I never dreamed that I would find one in circulation, but it happened. It just goes to show that you never know when, where, or what the next find will be. James Tyler, Texas I walked into the fast food emporium…

10 minuti
collecting barber dimes

WHEN I started collecting coins in the mid 1950s, coins to fill contemporary sets could be acquired through change and roll searching, with an occasional purchase of a key date. At that time, dimes, quarters, and half dollars, which actually circulated, were 90 percent silver. Focusing on dimes, Mercury dimes were seen almost as often as Roosevelt dimes, which had been minted since 1946. From time to time, Barber dimes showed up, although they were usually in well- circulated condition, which today would correspond to the grades of AG3 through G6. Of course, numbers with grades were phenomena that were many years in the future. If you had the money to pursue higher denominations such as quarters and half dollars, the occasional Barber coin in these denominations would sometimes appear. As a…

11 minuti
the early dime coinage, to 1807

In 2019 we think of the dime as merely something with which to make change but this was not always true. Going back a hundred years or more the dime was an important coin with real buying power. Going back even further, the average unskilled worker in the 1790s, for example, rarely earned more than 75 cents for a twelve-hour day of hard physical labor. Although the dime was an important coin, it was in fact not widely seen in the marketplaces of the United States until after 1820. The reason was that the Spanish one-real silver coin, worth twelve and one-half cents in U.S. money, was heavily used throughout the early days of the Republic. And therein lies a tale. The first attempts at a national system of money for…

7 minuti
small but not forgotten

THE UNITED States Mint has been pounding out an absolute torrent of coins in recent years, including a wide variety of commemoratives and several sets of bullion coins, beyond all the circulating coinage. The quarters receive plenty of attention, as their reverse designs are changing constantly, and cents and nickels make it in the news because their production costs have risen to distressingly high levels. In the midst of all that, we also have plenty of dimes that are issued each year. Yet they seem to be somewhat forgotten. Curiously, if we ask about dimes among collectors, plenty of folks will have something rather kind to say about the Mercury dimes. They seem to have found a special spot in collectors’ hearts as beautiful pieces, and as the last series that…

5 minuti
adventures with the pound and the euro

My wife and I just returned from a week in England and another week on the continent. As usual, one of my carry-on bags contained coins left over from the trip. Getting rid of paper money is never a problem, as I swapped my pound notes for euros before leaving England and my euros for dollars before leaving Paris. The moneychangers won’t take coins, however, so I was stuck with them. I’ve been similarly stuck on previous trips and have a large stash of mostly low-denomination foreign coins. Of course, as a long-time coin collector, having all these foreign coins doesn’t particularly bother me. I just hope that when I die, my heirs won’t think that I kept them because the coins have great value. One opportunity that foreign travel provides…

5 minuti
grading your coins

Careful consideration must be given to the condition of a coin before arriving at its value, since a minor difference in grading can mean a substantial difference in price. There are several factors to keep in mind when attributing varying grades of preservation. Determining the condition of a coin is both an exact science and a subjective judgment call. Complete agreement on the exact qualities that constitute a grade of condition does not always occur between two individuals. The following chart is a consensus based on the 10 most frequently encountered coins commanding premium values in circulated condition (illustrations not actual size). The descriptive grades can be applied to other issues. Qualities described are based on the standards developed and adopted by the American Numismatic Association. MS-65 (uncirculated)—MS stands for mint state,…