US Coins

These commemorative coins spark collector's interest

Net surcharges from sales of the 1992 White House Bicentennial silver dollar contributed $5 million to the White House Endowment Fund.

Original images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

Coin World's latest weekly edition is on its way to you, and we present previews of a few of its columns, all found exclusively in the print and digital editions of the Jan. 8 issue of Coin World.

Collectors still got excited about commemorative coins

Sales figures suggest that several recent commemorative coin programs have not excited collectors, but it was much different in 1992. As Scott Schechter writes in his “Making Moderns” column, the maximum mintage for the White House 200th Anniversary silver dollar was much smaller than the mintages for earlier programs.

“Collectors responded enthusiastically to the restricted production and the coins sold out quickly,” he writes. To learn how sales of the coin unfolded, and what happened to prices afterward, read the column, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of the Jan. 8 Coin World.

How can a ‘scratched’ coin get such a high grade?

A reader recently wondered how a 1796 Draped Bust quarter dollar in the Eric P. Newman Collection received a grade of Mint Stat 64+ and was given a green CAC sticker. “Scratches from an outside source would require a ‘details grade’ would they not?” he asks.

In a response appearing in the “Readers Ask” column, William T. Gibbs identifies the scratches as Mint-generated “adjustment marks” and explains how the marketplace can react to this form of “scratches” (hint: reactions can be mixed).

Does hobby define the word ‘error’ too narrowly?

For some purists, the minting process “ends as soon as the hammer die reaches the lowest point of its downstroke,” writes Mike Diamond in his “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column. “Anything after that is considered ‘damage,’ ” he adds. He also disagrees.

“Many other collectors have adopted a more expansive view of the minting process,” he continues, explaining the kinds of mishaps that some consider damage but that he believes to be a collectible form of error coin.

Something weird was going on at the Denver Mint in 1922

Collectors have long known that something unusual was happening at the Denver Mint in 1922, especially with the production of 1922-D Lincoln cents. Michael Fahey, in “Detecting Counterfeits,” writes, “Some type of austerity program must have been in place that year, as dies were kept in service way past their normal lifespan.”

Some 1922-D cents are known for their Weak D or Missing D Mint marks, and some of those varieties carry premiums. Fahey provides diagnostics for one of the Weak D cents to aid collectors in identifying a genuine example of a particular variety.

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