US Coins

The Reverse Proof American Buffalo, a marketing model

The 1913 design by by James Earle Fraser will forever be held near and dear to the hearts of both U.S. Mint and coin enthusiasts alike. You'd be hard pressed to find another design quite like it. Scott Schechter writes on the coins impact in the week's print edition of Coin World.

Orginial images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The latest Coin World weekly issue, dated Sept. 11, 2017, is out the door, and we present some exclusives, to be found also in our latest digital edition.

The one and only: Reverse Proof American Buffalo

The U.S. Mint introduced a Reverse Proof finish — with mirrored devices and frosted fields — in 2006 in the American Eagle program, and has used it since then for several different coins. Also in 2006, the Mint introduced the American Buffalo gold bullion coin, sporting the same designs as the famed Indian Head 5-cent coin of 1913 to 1938 by James Earle Fraser.

Scott Schechter writes in his “Making Moderns” column that combining the two — the innovative finish and the gold coin with a tribute design — did not happen immediately. “At last, in 2013, the Mint finally obliged, creating a Reverse Proof American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coin to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fraser’s design,” Schechter writes. Read the column to learn how the market reacted to the coin.


Where did a Lincoln cent ‘coin cluster’ come from?

Bill O’Rourke uses his monthly “Found in Rolls” column to share his discoveries from searching through thousands of coins in rolls he gets at his local bank. Recently, he discovered what he describes as a “coin cluster” — a phrase he coined for the occasion.

“Two rolls of cents contained dozens of Lincoln, Wheat cents, many of which, like the ones shown here, would be considered About Uncirculated 58 condition or better,” he writes. “Further, every date and Mint mark combination from 1937 through 1958 was present in this ‘coin cluster’ with the exception of a 1943-S zinc-coated steel cent.” How did these coins come to be together?


One more look at a coin suffering from ‘collar shimmy’

In recent installments of his weekly “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column, error coin expert Mike Diamond has been looking at what he calls “collar shimmy.” He writes, “In this collar-generated striking error, reeding that should be normal is transformed into sloppy-looking, irregularly spaced reeding by oscillatory or erratic movements of the collar while the coin is held between the dies.”

In the most recent column, he examines an “irregular stretch of reeding on a 1996-P Washington quarter dollar [that] stood out as an unmistakable case of collar shimmy.” Learn what to look for in reading his recent columns on the subject.


A growing government hostility toward collecting?

Attorney and hobby advocate Peter K. Tompa warns in the “Guest Commentary” column about what he believes is a growing movement among some world governments to curb the private collecting of antiquities, including ancient coins.

He writes that government claims that terrorist groups like ISIS are funding their activities in part through the sale of stolen artifacts have unraveled, but, “Given a perceived terrorist threat, world governments have grown increasingly hostile to the longstanding practice of collecting antiquities,” he adds. He also reports on the efforts of the coin community to fight government intrusion into the hobby.


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