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William T. Gibbs

Bill’s Corner

William T. Gibbs

William was appointed the managing editor effective May 1, 2015. He joined the Coin World editorial staff in 1976 as an assistant editor for "Collectors' Clearinghouse" and later became a senior staff writer before being appointed news editor. As managing editor, he manages the day-to-day editorial operations for Coin World, both print and online, and leads the editorial staff. He also serves as chief copy editor for all Coin World publications, including for all books published by Coin World since 1985. He has been project editor of mulitple editions of the Coin World Almanac. Bill began collecting coins at the age of 10 and soon discovered Coin World. As a teen interested in numismatics and journalism, he identified a writing position on the staff of Coin World as a dream job, which was realized shortly after he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a major in journalism. He collects store cards and medals depicting Adm. George Dewey of Spanish-American War fame.

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Archive for 'August 2016'

    Centennial gold coins make price guide debut

    August 23, 2016 11:12 AM by
    When the U.S. Mint announced that it  would issue gold versions of the Winged Liberty Head dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar, and Walking Liberty half dollar to celebrate the centennial of their release in silver in 1916, the editors here began planning our coverage of what we knew would be a popular series with collectors. Among our plans were special features on the three original series (we covered the dime in the February monthly issue, the quarter dollar in the May issue, and Gerald Tebben’s take on the half dollar will anchor our October issue). We also planned for senior editor Paul Gilkes to visit the West Point Mint to witness one of the coins being struck; you will find his videos and news coverage of his visit at our website and Facebook page. And we started thinking about how we would list the coins in our print and online price guide.

    The three gold coins make their price guide debut this week, in a special section along with the Mint’s other special gold coins of the past few years. They appear just after listings for the 2009 Ultra High Relief gold $20 double eagle and the American Liberty, High Relief gold $10 series, which debuted in 2015.

    We placed the three coins there after debating several options, including listing them with the original series. For example, that is the approach we took for the 1964–2014-W Kennedy gold half dollar. So why did we not take the same approach for the centennial gold coins?

    The Kennedy half dollar is an ongoing series and even though it has not been struck for circulation since 2001, it is produced every year in multiple versions (circulation, Proof and Uncirculated Mint set strikes, and in copper-nickel clad and 90 percent silver versions). Furthermore, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy half dollar’s release was celebrated not only by a gold version, but also by other versions with special finishes and unique Mint marks.

    However, the gold centennial editions mark series that have not been struck since 1930 (for the quarter dollar) and the 1940s (for the dime and half dollar). And while it would not have been “wrong” to list the gold coins with their silver counterparts, it made more sense to us to list them in the same section as the other special gold coins.

    The Mint has identified a market for these special gold pieces and their innovation is likely to continue. The American Liberty series should resume in 2017, and other special pieces may be in the early planning stages (a 2021 Peace dollar in gold?). For us, listing the 2016 coins in this section seems to be a reasonable decision. 

    Readers seek advice, reassurance on a wide range of hobby topics

    August 12, 2016 12:36 PM by
    An important part of the job for Coin World’s editorial staff is interacting with the collecting public. While on occasion we can do so in person at conventions like the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, in progress while I write these words, most of our interaction occurs over the telephone or via email. Still, we can learn a lot from you in these exchanges.

    Take, for example, a phone call from a reader about senior editor Jeff Starck’s recent article that referenced Kurdistan. The caller, who was very pleasant, wanted to point out that no independent nation called Kurdistan exists. When I edited that story, I should have made a revision to clarify the point in the article.

    After we discussed this topic, the caller then asked several questions, including seeking advice on what was the best auction house to which to consign his collection. I noted at the beginning of our conversation that it is inappropriate for editorial staff members to recommend one auction firm or dealer or grading service over a rival. But I was able to discuss the topic in general terms, offering some basic advice. All in all, it was a pleasant 22-minute conversation and we both learned from the exchange.

    Another recent exchange came via email from a reader who wanted to know what safeguards, if any, are in place at grading services to ensure that coins are not switched for inferior examples by the graders or support staff opening customer mail. It appears that this collector did not have much experience, if any, working with a grading service.

    This is a question I get periodically, and while I cannot speak about specific procedures practiced by all of the firms, I rush to reassure readers that grading services are trusted by professionals to grade coins worth thousands, tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. I add that it is unlikely that a professional authenticator or grader would risk their professional reputation or livelihood over a customer’s $100 or $200 coin (most callers on this topic are considering submitting coins of generally low value, though of importance to their owners, of course). All of us in the hobby are security conscious, naturally, so the reader’s apprehension is understandable.

    Another caller had been contacted by a firm wanting to sell him a recent Uncirculated American Eagle 1-ounce gold coin graded Mint State 70 at a price that was well above our price guide values. The firm, according to the caller, was stressing the mintage as being less than 8,000 coins. I explained to the caller that this was not an unusual mintage for coins of recent vintage. And while I couldn’t tell the reader what he should do, I was able to get him thinking about what steps he could take to determine whether a deal offered him was a good one.

    We are always happy to talk with our readers, so don’t hesitate to call me at 937-498-0853