US Coins

2014: great finds, good and bad laws, too many passings

Rich Uhrich is a coin dealer from Hershey, Pa., who specializes in Bust and Seated Liberty silver rare U.S. coins.

Here’s a look back at numismatics in 2014:

??BEST FIND #1 — A family in the United Kingdom discovered a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar in a longtime family collection. It grades Professional Coin Grading Service About Uncirculated 50.

??BEST FIND #2 — A new 1817/4 Capped Bust half dollar was discovered, but the longtime owner had tried to scratch away the “4” part of the underdate. PCGS calls it Very Fine Details, Damaged.

??BEST FIND #3 — A 1788 Vermont copper was started on eBay at 99 cents. It ended at $29,900. The coin was a Rarity 7 piece with only six examples known.

??BEST FIND #4 — A collector found a 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent in a roll. It graded PCGS AU-55 and sold for $19,800 in auction.

??BEST FIND #5 — Stack’s Bowers Galleries acquired a hoard of over 1 million coins, including bags of large cents through silver dollars. The coins weighed 30 tons.

??BEST FIND #6 — 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain cent found in a bag of coins purchased in the United Kingdom for $17 was sold for $41,500.

??GOLD FLAT, SILVER DOWN AGAIN — Gold closed at $1,183.50 (down 2 percent) and silver closed at $15.72 (down nearly 20 percent).

??SELLING MORE AND MORE — U.S. Mint has record sales of silver American Eagles.

??BIGGEST FIASCO — The distribution of the gold Kennedy half dollars at the American Numismatic Association’s annual convention.

??IS SOMEONE BURIED IN THIS COIN? — Someone paid $100,000 for the first gold Kennedy half dollar certified by PCGS. Not the first one minted, or the first one distributed, but the first one slabbed.

??CONGRATULATIONS TO — Liberty Seated Collectors Club publications editor Bill Bugert has converted the Gobrecht Journal into a full-color, full-size magazine. A big improvement!

??NEW MEMBER OF LIBERTY SEATED COLLECTORS CLUB HALL OF FAME — Gene Gardner. He built a wonderful and amazing collection. But, in addition, he is willing to answer a lot of questions, even from people whose collections are much less impressive (i.e., all of us.) Congratulations, Gene!

??CONGRATULATIONS TO — Garrett Ziss, 12-year-old numismatic prodigy, and expert on Capped Bust half dollars, is the subject of an article in Coin World.

??CONGRATULATIONS TO — The Industry Council for Tangible Assets and lobbyist Jimmy Hayes, who were successful in getting the Collectible Coin Protection Act signed into law.

??AND A BRONX CHEER TO — Minnesota, which enacted a draconian law that has had the unintended result of many out-of-state dealers refusing to do any business with anyone in Minnesota.

??OH SO CLOSE AWARD — 1927-D Saint-Gaudens double eagle in Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Mint State 66 sells for $1,997,500. And an 1884 Trade dollar in PCGS Proof 65 sells for $998,750.

?MOST SURPRISING PRICE — 1787 Brasher doubloon sells for $4,582,500. It was thought to be a big bargain.

??NEAR-UNIQUE COIN SOLD — An 1861 Coronet, Paquet Reverse double eagle from the Philadelphia Mint, one of two known, in PCGS MS-61 sells for $1,645,000.

??ANOTHER 1804 DRAPED BUST DOLLAR SELLS — Class III example in NGC Proof 55 sells for $1.88 million.

??AND A SUPER RARE WORLD COIN — 1937 Edward VIII gold sovereign, one of two known, sells for $875,000.

??MOST DECEPTIVE TITLE — The “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which sought to have every vendor in interstate commerce charge sales tax based on the buyer’s place of residence, did not pass, but could well have been titled “The Law Requiring You to Report Sales and Pay Tax to Over 7,500 Municipalities, Any of Which Can Audit You.” Here is my simple solution: If I go into a store and buy something, no one in the store asks me where I reside, the store charges the sales tax where the store is located. Why not do that for online sales? This would accomplish the task, without requiring a huge amount of additional administrative effort!

??BEST AUCTION (OF BUST AND SEATED LIBERTY COINS) — The Gene Gardner Collection (which will continue in 2015).

??BEST AUCTION (OF COPPER COINS) — The Missouri Collection, a complete set of half cents by die variety.

??BEST AUCTION (ALL COINS) — The Eric Newman Collection.

??GONE TOO SOON — Tom Becker, worked for Bowers and Merena for many years, then started Becker and Kuehnert, also wrote Confessions of a Coin Dealer; John Burns, book dealer and expert on just about every numismatic topic; Rod Burress, copper coin dealer; David Carr, dealer just recently on his own after many years with Delaware Rare Coin Galleries; Philip Crane, U.S. congressman instrumental in legalizing private ownership of gold in 1974; Gene Henry, wholesale dealer from Washington state; Debbie Rexing, Heritage vice president of marketing; Len Roosmalen, error coin dealer; David Sabo, Virginia coin dealer; Dave Weygant, Florida dealer of beautiful coins; and Larry Whitlow, Illinois dealer, specialized in commemoratives.

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