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Coins May 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.
buried treasure in 1974

When I went through my change I found a 1944 Lincoln wheat penny from the San Francisco mint and a 1944 Lincoln wheat penny from the Denver mint. I wonder if they are of any value, since I believe they were supposedly taken out of circulation for the war efforts. Roy Reignier Riverton, Wyo. I have a 2019 ATB Lowell “W” mint marked quarter that I found in circulation. On the obverse it says “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and the “W” mint mark. The reverse has “LOWELL,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “MASSACHUSETTS,” AND “2019.” I sent an e-mail to the mint and received an answer that said: “We have no plans to nor did we produce an ATB Lowell National Historical Park 2019 “W” quarter. Can…

5 min.
popular questions on coin talk

It’s amazing all the things you can find online to facilitate your coin collecting hobby. For example, there’s eBay, where you can find literally tons of coins and books about coins for sale. Virtually every major coin business has a well-developed site to advertise its wares. Like eBay, Amazon has coin books galore, as well as a coin or two. Heritage Auctions, Stack’s Bowers Galleries, and other major coin auction houses have literally thousands of coins for sale, either at auction or directly. Their archives of past sales are invaluable when you’re trying to find out how much to bid on a coin in a direct sale. And then there’s the U.S. Mint (usmint.gov), which has both coins for sale and educational information. Another useful site is pcgs.com/coinfacts, which provides information…

10 min.
collecting walking liberty halves

LIKE MOST JUVENILE COLLECTORS in 1953, when I started collecting coins I concentrated on Lincoln cents. The reason was primarily financial: I could save one “old” Lincoln cent for a penny, whereas coins of other denominations were multiples of this amount. In other words, half dollars, unless they were particularly interesting, were out of the question. If you think about when this was, you’ll realize that most of the half dollars encountered in change were Walking Liberties. Franklin half dollars were only in their sixth year of production, whereas the Walking Liberty series had ended only a few years earlier (1947), having been produced for more than 30 years. Adolph Alexander Weinman executed the design for the Walking Liberty half dollar and the Mercury dime. Both coins were part of the renaissance…

10 min.
the twenty-cent piece

THOSE WHO were active in coin collecting during the late 1970s remember the introduction of the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar. Despite a heavy advertising campaign by the Treasury and large numbers of coins struck, the public simply refused to use them. The principal complaint, which was well taken, dealt with the fact that the new dollars were often mistaken for quarter dollars. There was a similar fiasco in the 19th century, when the equally ill-fated 20-cent piece was coined. It was also ridiculed by the public and the coins were often mistaken for quarter dollars even though the 20-cent piece had a plain edge. In the late 1970s, at the time of the Anthony dollar, well-versed numismatists were more than happy to point out to the government that the Treasury…

8 min.
capped bust half dollars

WHEN IT COMES TO COLLECTING half dollars, there are certainly plenty of possibilities for any collector, whether they are new to the scene or a seasoned veteran. There are some modern series which are filled with inexpensive coins, as well as some classic series that include some very expensive pieces. The Kennedy half dollars, for example, have become a rather long series, spanning more than five decades, yet even now pieces in high mint state grades do not cost too much. That’s simply because they have always been made in large numbers and to a very high standard, even back when the design was first released in 1964. When it comes to classic series of 50-cent pieces, the Walking Liberty half series almost always comes to the forefront, since the…

9 min.
acquiring coins

Circulation finds. Pulling coins out of circulation is a time-proven method of getting started. There is a wide variety of coinage in circulation, and the quickest way to become acquainted with it is to go through your change coin by coin. When you plunk a pocketful of coins on a table, you often see a wide variety of conditions. Cents range from the deep chocolate color of older pieces to a bright coppery red of newly struck coins. Various shades of color can also be detected as the modern nickel, dime and quarter wear. Studying these coins may not make you rich, but this time is well spent and might someday prevent you from a making a mistake that could make you poorer. Becoming comfortable with the aging process of coins, comparing…