US Coins

Inside Coin World: Readers Ask lucky silver dollars

A reader with an unusual encased Morgan dollar wanted to know more about his find. The “Readers Ask” column in the April 15 “Coin World” provides some answers.

Original images courtesy of Michael Lindsay.

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Readers Ask: Collectors get answers to questions

In his responses to two collectors in his “Readers Ask” column in the April 15 issue of Coin World, editor-at-large Steve Roach digs up history about a Chicago real estate business owner who gave away special encased coins and explains why Wartime Alloy 5-cent coins tone differently than the regular copper-nickel pieces.

One reader wanted to know something about an unusual encased Morgan dollar in his collection. As Steve explains, it is one of many distributed by a well-known Chicago real estate businessman. He was famous for distributing $1 bills to children and apparently did the same with silver dollars. 

In his second response to a reader question, Steve examines how the composition used for 1942 to 1945 Jefferson 5-cent coins toned differently than the usual composition found in the denomination.

To learn more, read the “Readers Ask” column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Coin Values Spotlight: 1895-O Barber dimes

The 1895-O Barber dime is one of the key dates in the entire series, reports senior editor Paul Gilkes in his “Coin Values Spotlight” column in the April 15 Coin World.

Paul examines the history of the coin and why it is popular with collectors, and expensive in most grades. The coin has the lowest mintage of any of the circulation strikes in the series. Grading services have certified hundreds of the coins, with the majority of them being in lower circulated grades. Prices reflect the coin’s scarcity in most grades and rarity in the highest levels of preservation.

The article also looks at price trends for the coin over the past 10 years in two popular collector grades.

To learn more about the 1895-O Barber dime, see the article, available only to subscribers to the print and digital editions.

Numismatic Bookie: The first coin grading guide

Until the late 1950s, dealers and collectors of U.S. coins followed no set grading standards. As Joel J. Orosz writes in his “Numismatic Bookie” column in the April 15 Coin World, that changed with the publication of the first grading guide. 

In 1958, Martin Brown and John Dunn published A Guide to the Grading of U.S. Coins, a book that quickly became known as “Brown and Dunn.” Collectors used to modern grading guides might be surprised at the limited scope of the first versions of the book: it contained grading descriptions for six grades from Good to About Uncirculated, and contained no photographs. It was an instant hit, with five printings required from February 1958 to September 1959.

To learn more about the book’s huge effect on collecting and the marketplace, read Joel’s column, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

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