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Coins October 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.
mangled coin mystery solved

The August issue of Coins shows a mangled quarter and questions how it got into a machine-wrapped roll. I metal detect a lot and I often find coins with exactly that sort of damage while searching in grass. The answer is that it was hit by a lawn mower. I do not see how it could get into a machine-wrapped roll, but obviously it did. Edmund Smith Palm Springs, Calif. Just a few days after submitting my suggestion for a “Viewpoint” to Numismatic News regarding buying coins in lots, I was able to successfully bid on a lot of six coins which included three large cents, two 2-cents, and one half cent. I had mentioned my passion for large cents and that I had not yet been able to acquire a 1793…

5 min.
reviewing the second edition of ‘pleasure and profit’

In this column, I’m going to review the second edition of Robert W. Shippee’s Pleasure & Profit: 100 Lessons for Building and Selling a Collection of Rare Coins. I’ll start this review by saying that I loved the first edition of this book, which combines golfing anecdotes with the buying and selling of a first-class type collection of half cents through double eagles. In a small “About the Author” section at the end of the book, Shippee self-identifies as a retired international banker. This tells me that he undoubtedly made enough money to have a sizable budget for numismatic purchases. The author also writes that he is a lifelong coin collector and a 10-handicap golfer. You can tell his pride in the latter by the way he notes that he has…

11 min.
the large cent, 1793–1857

IN THE 1850S COIN COLLECTING first took hold as a popular pastime among the general public and has remained with us since that time. But what started this first boom in obtaining coins for a collection? Prior to about 1857 there were, of course, coin collectors in this country. This hobby extends back into Colonial days but it was not until the demise of the old large copper cent (which was changed into the copper-nickel Flying Eagle cent) that public fancy turned towards a closer look at the copper cent pieces. The last copper cents were struck in early 1857; by the late summer of that year Flying Eagle cents were everywhere and the handwriting was on the wall for the bulky copper coins. This prompted many people to begin looking at…

3 min.
‘world’s most valuable coin’ set for october sale

The world’s most valuable U.S. coin, a 1794 dollar that last sold for $10 million, is set to appear in an auction again this month. Legend Rare Coin Auctions, Inc. has announced the sale of the Bruce Morelan Collection, a collection of coins from the early period of U.S. history, valued in total at more than $20 million, according to the firm. It will be sold as the anchor collection of an auction taking place in conjunction with the PCGS Members’ Only Show Oct. 7-9 in Las Vegas. The collection includes the finest set of early Mint State dollars ever assembled, including two incredibly rare coins, the 1794 $1 SP-66, and 1804 $1 PR-65, according to Legend. These coins are among the most famous coins in the world, as well as…

12 min.
popularly collected lincoln cent varieties

COIN TALK is my favorite coin site, and I check it at least once daily. From it, I’ve discovered that most new collectors who post there have questions about a Lincoln cent they’ve found. Usually their question is about whether or not the coin has some sort of error and what it is worth. Another frequent question is, “Should I send it to be graded?” By that, they really want to know if it’s worth enough to get certified. Actually, I don’t find it strange that new collectors would search Lincoln cents, as that’s the series I concentrated on when I was a junior collector in the mid-1950s. In fact, my serious collecting began when my father brought home a roll or two of cents every day. These were rolls that…

7 min.
errors too easy to fake

THERE ARE SOME amazing errors when it comes to error-based rarities in different United States coin series. A few are so notable that it is hard to believe they are just the work of some random series of chances. For example, in the past, a few coins have surfaced that were made on blanks intended for a different denomination. While it might have been a simple mistake of feeding coin planchets into some large hopper, this is so dramatic an error that even the least cynical among us must think that someone at the Mint was having a bit of fun at the expense of our hobby. If errors like mixed planchets or dies are hard to believe, well, there are some easy to believe ones as well. And some of…