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Coins November 2019

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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!

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United States
Active Interest Media
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
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. On July 29, 2019 we picked up one of those bags, went home, and split it three ways to hunt. As I was searching my portion I found a dateless Indian Head Cent along with several wheats. Hopeful that we found a great bag, I made sure to check every variety that I know of with a USB…

3 min.
philadelphia’s fourth minting facility celebrates 50 years

PHILADELPHIA – The United States Mint marked a historic milestone today: the 50th anniversary of its fourth and current minting facility in Philadelphia, Pa. In celebration of this milestone, on August 14, visitors will have a rare opportunity to speak directly with Mint personnel who make our nation’s coins. The original “five-handed” shovel used for the ground-breaking of the fourth Philadelphia Mint will also be on display. “We have come a long way from our modest beginning in 1792,” said Mint Director David Ryder. “In those days, it took three years to produce our nation’s first one million coins. Today, the current Philadelphia Mint is a state-of-the art facility equipped with the technology to produce one million coins every 30 minutes.” The fourth Philadelphia Mint opened on Aug. 14, 1969. Its location…

11 min.
classic u.s. commemorative coins

FOR MOST collectors, collecting by design type is preferable to assembling sets of all date and mintmark combinations. Consider Barber quarters; the series has three big keys or stoppers: 1896-S, 1901-S, and 1913-S. The least expensive is the 1896-S, which lists for $550 in G4 in this magazine’s pricing guide “Market Watch,” MW). Between 1892 and 1954, the U.S. issued a variety of commemorative coins; coins designed to honor people, places, events, or institutions. Some of these had worthy themes, honoring people such as the prominent black Americans Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver and events such as the centennial of the independence of Texas. Others, unfortunately, celebrated less worthy events and/or people. The centennial of the incorporation of the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut comes to mind. The obverse of this…

10 min.
peace dollars, 1921-1964

MOST MODERN collectors think that the Peace dollar came about solely because the public wanted something to commemorate the end of the War to End All Wars. The first steps to this end, although not of course realized at the time, actually began during World War I when Great Britain needed to strike a large number of silver coins for India. London purchased a considerable quantity of silver bullion from the United States, obtained by melting 270 million Morgan dollars. Not all of the silver was sent to India, however, as part of this metal was used in the heavy domestic silver coinage needed during wartime. One of the stipulations connected with the sale was that the government stockpile of silver had to be replenished after the war ended. This was…

8 min.
modern commemorative gold half eagles

THE UNITED States Mint has produced an impressive array of commemorative proofs since what can be called the modern commemorative coin series began in 1982. Amidst the large number of issues that have come out in the past three decades are some fascinating $5 gold pieces, generally called half eagles, and indeed made to the same specifications as the classic half eagle gold coins of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since these new half eagles have been issued in commemorative sets in virtually all cases, it’s a fair bet to say that not all that many collectors assemble groups of them exclusively. We usually buy the set. But there may be some wonderful collecting possibilities here for those of us who wish to look at this now well-established…

5 min.
basics and beyond

My collecting history has followed a path that many of my readers may identify with. I began as a junior collector when I was in junior high school (today’s middle school), continued collecting throughout my high school years, and put my collection away while I was in college. My college years consumed the better part of a decade, but when I took my first (and only, as it turned out) major position, I dusted off my albums and resumed the life of a coin collector. Initially, I worked on completing collections that I had begun many years before. These were sets of familiar series such as Lincoln cents, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Washington quarters, and Walking Liberty half dollars. At some point, it occurred to me that I might enjoy the challenge…