US Coins

Design failures, desirable rarities, or both?: Inside Coin World

Some coin designs were rejected before circulating even a year, among them the 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cent (background) and the 1808 Draped Bust quarter eagle. Many are now highly desired.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The latest Coin World Monthly issue, dated September 4 2017, is out the door, and we present some exclusives, to be found also in our latest digital edition.

Design failures or desirable rarities, or both?

Some coin designs last for decades, like the Seated Liberty design or the Lincoln cent’s obverse. Then there are the “one-year wonders,” or designs that lasted just a year, or less.

In our cover feature, William T. Gibbs looks at coins like the 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cent, the 1808 Draped Bust quarter eagle, and the 1883 Liberty Head, No CENTS 5-cent coin. None lasted for more than a few months, and today they avidly sought by collectors.

Pricing the unique collectible

It can be difficult to place a price on a great rarity, especially if it is unique or nearly so. In his “The Investment Column,” Steve Roach compares an Apollo 11 lunar mission bag that once held rocks collected by Neil Armstrong on the moon and the Langbord 1933 double eagles. The government sought to confiscate the coins and the lunar sample bag, but only one was deemed legal to sell at auction.

Fill your bookshelf with essential world coins references

 Collectors of U.S. coins have long had A Guide Book of United States Coins, aka the “Red Book.” Jeff Starck reports that world coin collectors have their “Red Books” as well, focusing such topics as the coins of Canada, Mexico, and England and the United Kingdom. What books do you need to add to your bookshelf?

Paper or plastic? The changing nature of ‘paper’ money

From paper made of mulberry bark to high-tech polymer, paper money has been produced on a wide range of “paper” for hundreds of years. William T. Gibbs takes through a brief tour through the evolution of what paper money is printed on.

From thin and thick paper used for Colonial-era notes, to paper bearing a wide swath of blue fibers, to polymer with security threads and more, paper money has constantly changed.


Want to subscribe?

Get access to all of these articles, and a whole lot more, with a Coin World digital edition subscription!

Coin World subscribe

Community Comments