US Coins

The fallout from the Enhanced Uncirculated Coin set

Here is Chantz Floyd, left, who purchased 500 Enhanced Uncirculated Coin sets at the U.S. Mint booth at the ANA World’s Fair of Money last week. Plenty of angst and frustration surrounded this release. We discuss a few lessons learned from the complicated release in our Aug. 21 issue of Coin World.

Coin World image by Paul Gilkes.

The latest Coin World issue, dated Aug. 21, 2017, has been sent to the presses, and we have a quick preview of some Coin World exclusives, to be found also in our latest digital edition.

Lessons learned from Enhanced Uncirculated Coin set sales

The U.S. Mint’s handling of sales of the 2017 Enhanced Uncirculated Coin set once again angered collectors who were unsuccessful in acquiring any of the sets when they initially went on sale Aug. 1, writes managing editor William T. Gibbs in his Editorial. “Coin World  began receiving phone calls and emails from angry collectors within minutes of the ending of sales. The refrain was familiar — why does the Mint always sell these limited edition sets with no household limits? That only caters to deep-pocket dealers.”

However, the set went back on sale two days later and collectors should learn from that experience: Use the Mint’s email alerts when a product becomes available again, and remember that the immediacy of the internet and web enabled Coin World to alert readers of the news that the sets were available once again.


More than doubled die varieties can be found

Collectors who limit their variety searches to doubled die coins are placing restrictions on their possible finds. In his “Varieties Notebook” column, John Wexler writes about another kind of variety that one contributor discovered in his collection.

“John Horgan gets us started with a very nice repunched Mint mark variety on a 1940-S/S Jefferson 5-cent coin” Wexler writes. “It would be described as an S/S South, with ‘south’ being the direction one’s eye must travel to get from the primary (stronger) Mint mark punch to the secondary (weaker) Mint mark punch.”

However, doubled die discoveries await as well, and Wexler shares in his column additional reader finds and provides diagnostics that can help other collectors identify the same varieties in their collections.


Some numismatic literature has limited ‘shelf life’

While much numismatic literature can be timeless, some forms are fleeting by design, including fixed-price lists of coins in a dealer’s inventory. In his “Numismatic Bookie” column, Joel Orosz writes, “Once the coins sell, there is little reason for anyone to keep an obsolete list, so their survival is usually a matter of chance.” Those that do survive can provide insight into the coin market at a particular point in time.

“A couple such price lists were issued early in the career of the late James F. Ruddy,” Orosz writes, noting that Ruddy rose from being a small dealer in 1954 to becoming a partner with Q. David Bowers in Empire Coin Co., which made history by exceeding a million dollars in annual sales in 1961. The two would be partners in several major coin businesses.


Markets ebb and flow as collector tastes change

“The hobby is going to hell in a handbasket. We all know the reasons. It’s just that they change over time,” writes Gerald Tebben in his “Coin Lore” column. He looks at the markets in 1963, 1989 and 2017, and how coins that were hugely popular (and expensive) in 1963 and 1989 today go wanting at prices much lower than they were decades ago.

As for 2017, “Prices are going to go up and down. Some items in demand now will have trouble finding buyers in the future. Some neglected areas will catch fire. … Nonetheless, the hobby will endure” Tebben writes.


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