ZINIO logo

Coins December 2020

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
never pass up a garage sale

I recently found a 2020 “W” mint mark Weir Farm quarter in a roll from a local corner store in exceptional condition. I have found many finds at mini marts. Happy Hunting. Jeremiah Charland Syracuse, N.Y. My mother was tearing the carpet off the stairs of her home that was built in the 1940s when she came across a Missouri sales tax coin. During some research, she found that the house was built in Missouri and brought by train after it was ordered out of the Sears catalog. Name and address withheld I have been a coin collector now since the early 50s. About eight to 12 years ago while driving home from the store I passed a garage sale sign. I find it very hard to not stop so I turned around and…

7 min
a holiday fistful of silver

WHEN IT COMES TO SILVER, and it comes to the holiday season, satisfyingly large silver coins are always possibilities that work as far as gifts for friends and family, or for unexpected friends – as well as gifts you might want to give to yourself. Yes, that means there are probably thousands of choices, many of them beautiful; so let’s whittle the category down a bit. Here are five coins that will be great gifts for just about anyone. 1. United States silver Eagle The idea of bullion coins from nations large and small is now a very established one, with an entire generation of collectors having engaged our hobby never knowing of a time without them. The United States one-ounce silver Eagle is certainly a major player in the arena of…

11 min
the walking liberty half dollar

ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL United States coins of the 20th century, in the opinion of many modern collectors, is the Walking Liberty half dollar, issued from 1916 through 1947. It has been so popular, in fact, that when the Treasury decided upon the design for the silver bullion coin first issued in 1986, the Walking Liberty motif got the nod and is still being used. The history of this interesting artwork began in 1915, when Treasury officials realized that the old Barber designs for the minor silver coins were approaching that magical 25-year date when designs can be changed without Congressional oversight. Treasury Secretary William McAdoo, who just happened to be the son-in-law of President Woodrow Wilson, was legally responsible for choosing the new designs on American coinage. He almost certainly…

10 min
my 10 favorite barber coins

TO HEAR THE FAMOUS (or infamous) numismatist Walter Breen tell it, Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber’s record was notable for “. . . dullness and adamant opposition to outsiders’ designs.” When he was appointed one of three judges to consider new designs for the nation’s dimes, quarters, and half dollars, the result was a foregone conclusion: There were no winners. And thus it was that Barber himself was selected to render the new designs. Breen described the Barber quarter as “. . . Germanically stolid, prosy, crowded (especially on rev.), and without discernible merit aside from the technical one of low relief.” Of course, the silver coin series that bear Barber’s name are not the only widely used coins he designed. There’s also the Liberty Head nickel (or V-nickel) that replaced the…

5 min
a holiday gift for numismatists

Are you looking for a great Christmas gift for that numismatist on your list? In this column, I’m going to review a book that any collector of U.S. coins would be happy to find as a gift. (Its 8 x 10-inch format is much too large for your numismatist’s stocking.) The book is the 5th edition of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth. Jeff Garrett has been involved with coins since a family friend introduced him to collecting Lincoln cents. This led to membership in coin clubs followed by a succession of positions at major coin dealerships. One of these was the Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, which Garrett founded in 1984. Another is Sarasota Rare Coin Gallery, of which he is co-owner. Garrett has received a number of…

6 min
what about mining stocks?

Although I work buying and selling physical precious metals, many of our customers also own shares of precious metals mining companies. They sometimes ask my opinion on owning mining shares in general or about specific mining companies. I owned shares of a South African gold mine for some years in the 1970s but have not since. Although I see peripheral information about the mining industry in following precious metals markets, I am absolutely not the “expert” to consult for those considering buying such stocks. My late father-in-law lived the last several decades of his life in Alaska. He told me he had a gold mining claim that was a dredging operation. But, after the costs of maintaining the equipment, he was only earning about minimum wage levels from his claim. I do have…