US Coins

The U.S. market is landscape collecting endeavors

Four 1893-S Morgan dollars graded Very Fine show the jumps in quality — and price — within a grade. The VF Details, Environmental Damage coin, in the top row at left above, brought $2,880 while the VF Details, Cleaned piece (at lower right) sold for $3,290. Moving to problem-free examples, an average VF-20 coin (at top right) sold for $3,995, while an exceptional one with a green CAC sticker (seen at lower left) realized nearly $5,000.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The first issue for the new year, Coin World's January 2018 monthly edition, is on its way to you, and we present exclusive previews of a few of its articles, all found also in your latest digital edition of Coin World.

The U.S. coin market is not just one market

“The larger rare coin market is made up of many smaller areas, each with its own unique variables,” writes Steve Roach in his cover feature for the Jan. 1 issue of Coin World. He adds, “Starting a rare coin collection with an eye toward investment can feel daunting: there are so many different coins to buy, and so much information is out there.”

However, “But like any big project, the world of coin collecting becomes more manageable when you break it into parts. The larger market for rare coins in the United States is made up of dozens of individual segments, each one with its own rhythms and rules,” he writes in his article, exclusive to the print and digital issues of Coin World.

When notes that are pretty common bring high prices

Certain federal paper money brings high prices not necessarily because the notes are rare but because their attractive designs generate high demand. Series 1896 $2 silver certificates are much more available than Series 1891 $2 silver certificates, and yet the 1896 notes generally sell for higher prices.

William T. Gibbs writes, “Collecting is about more than looking at mere rarity. It is about connecting with the past and connecting with a story, and about appreciating an object’s beauty. Those additional factors, and more, help drive collector interest in an object, and establish different levels of demand for objects of varying rarity.”

United States was too late to trade silver dollars

The United States issued a Trade silver dollar in 1873 for use in Asia, but the coin was too late to make much of an impact, writes Mark Benvenuto in his feature article on world trade dollars.

“The idea of a large, silver trade coin has a long history, and certainly they did not see use in only one part of the world. Arguably, the first trade dollar of the modern world is the Maria Theresa taler, issued first from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and always dated 1780,” he writes. Those coins were joined by similar issues from Spain’s colonies in the Americas and later from other issuers.

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Back to Basics: How to get a possible new die variety confirmed

Collectors often contact Coin World because they believe they have found a new die variety. However, they are unsure how to get the coin confirmed and recognized by the collector community. William T. Gibbs takes collectors through the process of contacting an expert who can examine the coin.

“Fortunately, several experts attribute new varieties,” he writes, though most grading and authentication services will not routinely attribute new die varieties. Learn who to contact and how to begin the process in the new “Back to Basics” column, found only in the digital and print editions of the Jan. 1, 2018, issue of Coin World.

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