US Coins

Do coin doctors deserve scorn like counterfeiters?

Both images show the same coin. The holed version is what it looked like in 2013; the unholed version is what it looks like today. What happened?

Original images provided by Professional Coin Grading Service.

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Do coin doctors deserve scorn like counterfeiters?

In the Editorial this week, we explore whether coin doctors deserve the same kind of scorn as the counterfeiters of coins. As I write, “Coin doctors alter coins in an effort to improve their appearance and to mask problems; and while people can disagree on whether that is appropriate, it becomes fraud when a coin doctor attempts to sell a coin or have it slabbed by a third-party grading service without informing potential customers that it has been altered.”

The Editorial references this article, which is about a coin that was heavily altered and submitted to Professional Coin Grading Service, presumably in an effort to have it slabbed as a new example of a rare die variety from 1792. To learn more about how the hobby may view coin doctors, read the Editorial exclusive to the print and digital editions of the May 28, 2018, issue of Coin World.

Inflation notes: something big for very little

“One of the most entertaining ways to collect world paper money is to focus on inflationary issues from around the world,” writes Wendell Wolka in his “Collecting Paper” column, adding, “The notes are often fairly inexpensive because there is no shortage of examples and no face value/conversion issue to worry about.”

Wendell writes: “Perhaps the best-known example is post World War I Germany. At the height of the inflationary period in Germany in 1923–1924, German marks were literally not worth the paper they were printed on.” To learn about collecting these notes, and the countries for which they have been issued, see his column in the May 28 issue.

Something unusual occurred in 1922

In his continuing recap of coinage production and the collecting community in the early 20th century, Q. David Bowers focuses on 1922. “The year 1922 was a low point in U.S. coin output. The Federal Reserve had many coins on hand, and the call for more was slight,” he writes.

The reduction in production was especially felt for the Lincoln cent, and the conditions at the Mint facilities in 1922 resulted in an unusual coin that collectors still prize today. To learn more about the year 1922 and the coins struck (including the very special ones), read David’s “The Joys of Collecting” column in the May 28 Coin World.

Collectors seek help, and find it

John Kraljevich Jr. is widely recognized as one of the leading experts in early American numismatics in the nation, and as he writes, many of those “who seek information about their Colonial coin or early American medal … find their way to me.”

John does not mind the questions. “In many ways, it’s the best part of the job. Few things are more exciting than sharing the joy of discovery with a metal detectorist, or new collector, or anyone else who happens to find something historic or cool.” To learn more on the joys of helping others, read his column exclusive to the May 28 issue of Coin World.

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