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Coins April 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

4 min.
‘w’ quarters galore

I found my second “W” quarter in the same place I found the first one back in September 2019; emptying the quarters from one of the pool tables at work. It is another Lowell design, but in much nicer condition that the first one I found. It would probably grade about MS-63 due to a couple of heavy bag marks on the obverse. Daryl Conley Truth or Consequences, New Mexico When paying for purchases with my debit card, I always get $3.00 cash back in quarters to search for 2019-W Washington Quarters. While paying for my groceries recently using my debit card, I got $3.00 cash back in quarters, which were 2019 Lowell Park. After getting home and going through them, to my surprise out of the 12 quarters, two had the…

5 min.
collecting coin-related items

When it gets close to Christmas, my wife and I begin keeping our eyes open for “stocking stuffers.” These are inexpensive gifts to stuff into our son and grandson’s stockings and into our spouses’ as well. This year, we spotted one such gift as soon as we entered Trader Joe’s in New Orleans, a sack of milk chocolate “coins.” In addition to getting a sack for our son, my wife also purchased one to put in my stocking. Over the years, I’ve acquired a variety of what I would call “coin-related” gifts. They’re not coins and in fact have little value beyond their appearance, which is coin-like. To illustrate, my sack of “coins” contains a variety of chocolates covered in gold foil that have the appearance of real coins. The U.S. “coins”…

9 min.
first spouse coins: bargain-priced?

I WAS TALKING to a friend at a New Year’s Day brunch, when the topic of coins came up. As you would expect, virtually everyone knows that I’m a “coin person.” Anyway, my friend reminded me that several years ago I had told him that North Carolina quarters taken from circulation would never be worth more than face value. As over a billion were minted, I feel sure they’re still worth only a quarter each. Apparently, he was undeterred from saving them and now has quite a few. From this, the conversation drifted into the presidential dollar series, which he seemed to be only dimly aware of. I then mentioned an issue that he had never heard of: the First Spouse series. Now, these are definitely worth more than their $10 face…

12 min.
silver and u.s. coinage

BEGINNING IN the latter part of 2018, the value of silver and gold started to climb. Silver was often at or above the $17 per ounce mark while gold passed $1500, sometimes very strongly. These recent fluctuations mask the fact that, for decades, the value of silver greatly influenced American coinage. Although regular silver coinage began at the Philadelphia Mint in October 1794, this metal had long played a key role in the American marketplace. As early as 1652, Massachusetts had produced silver coins from its mint in Boston but in the early 1680s, British authorities pressured them to close down this important source for coinage. After the demise of the Massachusetts mint, colonists had to make do with a variety of foreign coins, primarily small Spanish silver struck at Mexico City,…

7 min.
a fistful of bargains: finding good value in u.s. silver

THERE’S NO doubt about it, folks love a bargain. It need not be coins. We all like doing some after-Christmas shopping, just to see what might be out there at half price, simply because it is one day after the holiday. But that love for a good buy is certainly heavily ingrained among us collectors also. There’s a real feeling of pride when we land a good deal, something we know will become part of our collection for years to come. When it comes to United States coins, several of the popular series are collected heavily enough that we might find the idea of grabbing a bargain to be something of a fantasy. Let’s poke, prod, and tease some of the price lists for a moment or two, however, and see…

5 min.
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,…