Michael Bugeja

Online Coin Auctions

Michael Bugeja

Michael Bugeja, a coin collector since childhood, is a professor at Iowa State University and also a former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. He is a nationally known author, journalist and educator.

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PCGS WTC Coins in Online Auctions

Some 15 years ago after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers, several vaults of silver, gold and rare coins were recovered and taken to PCGS for grading. A special American flag label was created, and thousands of coins released to the public for purchase.

Although many denominations were slabbed, the most popular remains the American Silver Eagle, a symbol of strength with its ageless obverse design patterned after Adolph A. Weinman "Walking Liberty" half dollar. 

Controversy arose initially about the purchasing of WTC coins in light of the catastrophe that claimed the lives of 2,996 people with thousands more injured and later diagnosed with illnesses from the dust and debris, especially police and firefighters who responded to the scene.

Many hobbyists defend their desire to collect WTC-slabbed coins as a token to remember the tragedy or to own a piece of history. Others prefer to purchase a US Mint 10-year anniversary medal whose surcharges went to the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum. 

That said, PCGS-slabbed WTC coins go for large premiums above their silver content. Many sell for about $100-$150 on Proxibid and about $150-$200 on eBay.

In general, the coins should not contain any spotting or toning. Those that do go for less. Any PCGS slab marked MS69 rather than brilliant uncirculated also sell for higher premiums. Some from numbered sets (as in the photo above) also sell for slightly higher premiums, especially with a Number 1. 
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