US Coins

Did you buy a winner or a loser from the U.S. Mint?

What factors determine whether a particular U.S. Mint product is a "winner" or a "loser"? Paul Gilkes examines some recent offerings from the U.S. Mint and how they fared in the primary and secondary markets.

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The latest Coin World monthly issue, dated Oct. 2, 2017, is out the door, and we present exclusive previews of a few articles, to be found also in our latest digital edition.

Winners vs. Losers: The U.S. Mint’s Many Products

What does it take for a product of the United States Mint — a coin, a medal, a set — to become a winner, or a loser? In his cover feature, Paul Gilkes examines U.S. Mint products that sold out fast and quickly rose in value, and products that failed to gain the attention of the primary or secondary markets. Some products even sold out fast and soared in value until the marketplace lost interest and prices plummeted.

What do the experts say are some of the factors in play when a product rises in value after it is sold or lingers at issue price or falls in value?

The Investment Column: Rare Cars and Rare Coins

A 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 Roadster recently sold at auction for $22.55 million, a record for a British car. As Steve Roach writes in “The Investment Column” in the October monthly, “Cars and coins are often grouped with fine art, watches, and wines and spirits, as ‘passion investments.’ ”

The car sold in the auction, like many rare coins, has a solid pedigree, having won a prestigious race in 1959 and having been driven by a number of famous race car drivers. For a comparison of the rare car and rare coin markets, be sure to read the article in this week’s print and digital issue.

First Grade: Learning to Grade the Lincoln, Wheat Ear Cent

The Lincoln cents of 1909 to 1958 are among the most collected of U.S. coins, and while the series has its share of scarcer pieces, most pieces are affordable in circulated grades. In his “First Grade” column, Michael Fahey offers advice on grading the series from Good 4 to About Uncirculated 58, with photos of the various grades.

He also has a suggestion for collectors. “Every collector of circulated Lincoln, Wheat Ears cents should take the time to assemble a grading set,” adding, “Assembling a grading set will make you a better grader, and your set will be the kind of educational tool that can be shown at coin clubs and shows.”

Q. David Bowers: Cycles in the Rare Coin Market

In his “Joys of Collecting” column, Q. David Bowers writes that as a young collector, he soon realized that the rare coin market moves in cycles, which he could track in part by reading advertisements. The headlines in the ads often gave hints to the status of the market.

“This week’s column begins a review and analysis of the rare coin market from the early 19th century down to today,” Bowers writes. He adds, “Read the series, and you will likely learn more about the history of numismatics in America than 90 percent of the people collecting coins already know!”

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