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Coins March 2020

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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.
dimes in a penny roll

I get my rolls of pennies from my Community Bank. This time, I found two dimes that were the same color amidst the pennies. One dime was from 1967. It was nice to have a little extra money in a roll! Happy hunting! Rod Trower Northfield, Vt. I was on my weekly trip to the local laundromat to do my clothes. I put a $20 in the quarter machine and as it was dispensing I heard the sound that a silver quarter makes as it hits the change cup. I gathered them all and spread them out on the washing machine and there was this 1941 beauty (see photo above.) It can happen anywhere at anytime. Brian G. Newark, N.Y. It has been a fun year of Circulation (Circ) finds for me! In February…

8 min.
working on a standing liberty quarters registry set

IF YOU’VE been reading my column in this magazine, you know that I was “turned on” to Standing Liberty quarters at the World’s Fair of Money ANA convention in August 2019. For some reason, I’ve always wanted a nice 1923-S quarter and have sort of idly looked at coins over the years in XF condition. The reason for that condition is that many coins I’ve seen in lower grades didn’t have a full, four-digit date. At the convention in Rosemont, Ill., this year I happened to find myself at the table of a dealer who had both the 1923-S and the 1921 quarters in mint state, the former in MS-64 and the latter in MS-65. In addition, he was interested in several coins I had brought to sell or trade, the…

4 min.
curious about curious currency

When I read the title of the book I’m going to review in this column, it occurred to me that I almost never spend cash (coins and paper money) anymore. In fact, I rarely carry coins in the U.S. However, in countries like England and continental nations of the EU, I almost always have a pocketful of cash. One reason for this is that the countries have no bills denominated less than 5 pounds or 5 euros. So, if you want to buy a few postcards, a small snack, or anything else that costs less than about $5, you’ll find it convenient to have some change. Looking at the situation today in the U.S., I can envision a world bereft of hard money, a world in which monetary transactions will be done…

8 min.
the journey from rarity to modern workhorse

IT’S HARD to find a collector today who does not remember quarters being very common coins. Indeed, an entire generation of collectors has now come of age who pretty much always remember our quarters as the coins with several reverse designs per year. Quarters are always around. They serve in a multitude of spare change transactions and are one of the most used coins we have. Yet it hasn’t always been that way. Our 25 cent pieces have come a very long way from a truly humble beginning. A survey of our quarters can be extremely revealing. 1796, Birth of a Denomination The United States Mint was authorized by Congress in 1792 as part of our first national coinage system. The full title for this is: An act establishing a mint, and…

12 min.
the allure of the bygone half cent

DENOMINATIONS OF United States coins that are no longer seen in the marketplace are perhaps among the most interesting to collectors. One of the more alluring of these bygone pieces (especially to those who specialize in early copper coins) is the lowly half cent, the smallest value struck by the United States Mint. Even in its heyday, which lasted from 1793 until Congress abolished it in 1857, there were areas of the country which rarely, if ever, saw a half cent being used to pay for goods. Yet there were other localities in which this denomination was relatively common and well used, especially by young children. The history of this coin really began in early March 1790, when Congress asked Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to draw up a plan for creating a…

1 min.
market watch

The price of many late 19th and 20th century silver dimes and quarters is in decline, including key dates and condition rarities. The trend does not hold true for half dollars, while Morgan and Peace silver dollars continue to flat line. The balance of the market appears to be steady, with coins offered via auction rather than over-the-counter or by some other alternative simply not performing as well. The investor segment of the business of coins appears to be concentrated in the auctions as well. Blame it on auction fever if you like, but auctions appear to draw the crowds while satisfying that all-important demand for that fixed supply of better collectible coins. These coins aren’t necessarily making record prices, but they are the most active sector of the market.…