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
“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”
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