Coins December 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 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
coin collecting partner

I have what I consider a disappointing coin find. I collect Kennedy half dollars and for the last few years I have been buying uncirculated rolls. This year I bought my usual two sets and was breaking one set for gifts and resale when I discovered that the reverse of the Denver half was deplorable. The tail feathers, the designer initials and the field in that area were all in deplorable condition. So I looked at my uncirculated set and the half was in similar condition. Is this the new standard for the Denver mint or am I the only one who noticed or who caught this disappointing condition. P.S. I sent three sets back and bought one more and all were the same. Don (last name withheld) Springfield, Mo. Two years ago I…

4 min.
golden times at the 2019 world’s fair of money

On Monday, Aug. 12, my wife and I left our home in Mississippi and headed for Rosemont, Ill., and the World’s Fair of Money. After a long day of driving, we stopped for the night in Effingham, Ill. The next morning, we set out on the final leg of our trip. We got to our hotel in Rosemont, the DoubleTree by Hilton, by mid-afternoon. We checked in, ate our delicious chocolate chip cookies (a welcoming gift at the DoubleTree), and then left for the ANA convention at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (DESCC). Conveniently, the convention center is just across the street from both the DoubleTree and the Embassy Suites Hotel. During the convention, there were police persons to block traffic for convention goers wishing to cross the busy street running…

11 min.
silver dollars of 1794-1804

IN THE 1850s, when coin collecting first became a national hobby, the most popular coins were the old large cents and the early silver dollars. The interest in the older dollars is all the more remarkable because in those days a dollar meant something in buying power; wages of $10 a week were not all that uncommon. The story begins in the early 1790s. In April 1792, President George Washington signed into law the bill creating a mint and coinage for the United States. The keystone of this act was the silver dollar weighing 416 grains and containing 371.25 grains of pure silver. The fineness was thus set at .8924+, the only time this degree of fineness has been used in world coinage. The 1792 law was flawed in several respects but…

8 min.
getting a taste for classic, united states gold

WHEN THE United States Congress got around to authorizing a Mint, way back in the 1790’s, they made provisions for gold coins as large as $10. That was quite a bit of money back then, or rather, quite a bit of purchasing power, but the Mint set to the task and our first gold eagles were pounded out before the year 1800. For any collector new to gold, trying to land one is going to be quite an expense; and a person could thus be forgiven for thinking all gold is too expensive. But with both some patience and a bit of searching, we can come up with United States gold that is considerably more affordable. Let’s see what just might go into a basic collection of United States gold…

10 min.
ten most beautiful 20th century coin types

WHEN YOU think about your collection, do you ever give any thought to which coins are the most beautiful? I confess that some of the coins I consider the most beautiful U.S. issues are not ones I collect. Of course, one reason for this is that they are just too expensive for my numismatic budget. The Stella, or $4 gold piece, comes readily to mind. If I limit my consideration to just 20th century types, I find that expense becomes less of a factor. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the ten 20th century types I consider to be incredibly beautiful. Along the way, I’ll also tell you whether or not I own one or more. I’ll list my most beautiful types by denomination, with the lowest denominations first.…

1 min.
market watch

U.S. coins are on a roll. Prices for bullion and bullion-impacted coins are encouraging investors to leave the now shaky equity markets, but some of these investors are also taking a hard look at the more advanced market of scarce to rare coins. Collectibles in general had for several years fallen out of favor with the general public. Coins as both a collectible and as a physical asset without a shelf-life are an attractive alternative in times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. The upswing in sales and prices suggest this may not be a short term uptick, but appears to be attracting new blood into the hobby. The prices realized at auctions are worthy of attention, but so are the number of people participating in these auctions as well as…