Is Perfection Worth It?

November 19th, 2013

Since the advent of third party coin grading, many collectors have focused on finding examples of coins in the highest grade available. Some collectors who have worked to assemble top graded sets in classic series have been rewarded handsomely when their collections are sold at auctions decades after they were originally assembled. But will collectors of top graded modern coins experience the same benefit when it comes time to sell?


Modern series are much different than classic series in that the production quality is typically much higher. Many series are also created specifically for collectors leading to a very high survival rate. As such, it is possible for certain series to be collected entirely in MS 70 coins, signifying the highest grade on the 1 to 70 point scale.

For series which began in the past decade or so, these MS70 coins command a premium above raw of MS69 graded coins, but it is perhaps a reasonable amount since typically a sufficient number of coins have been graded as such to satisfy the market. However, going back a few years further, before coins were immediately graded in mass and production quality was not so high, the perfect graded coins are more scarce.

For example, many American Silver Eagles from the 1990’s are represented by only a handful of MS70 graded examples. Registry set collectors vie for these rare examples and bid them to prices in the thousands of dollars. This compares to prices below one hundred dollars for the same coin graded only one point lower.

Time will tell if these top graded coins retain their value. Prices may be impacted negatively by increased populations for the previously rare coins, or simply a drop in demand. However, it is also possible that as more people collect a certain series, there will be greater demand for the small number of top graded coins, driving prices higher.

The Value Of American Silver Eagles Explained

October 29th, 2013

1985 is the year in which American Silver Eagles were initially authorized by Congress. They were originally minted in 1986.  This is thought to be one of the highest quality silver currencies that has been minted in the US.

According to experts silver coins are certainly worth investing in.  US Silver Eagles have a one dollar face value in US currency.  For this reason, they are a cost-effective way for novice investors to get started in investing in precious metals.

Given the fact that the US government backs this currency it is quite sound as an investment.  This currency can be purchased by investors in proof, bullion and uncirculated versions.  Typically, only coin collectors will purchase versions that are uncirculated.  It is important to note that no mint marks are found on the buillion version.

People should take the time to consult with an investment adviser when before opting to invest in precious metals.  A financial consultant can explains the positive and negative aspects of investing in gold and silver with new investors.  At this time, investors can chose whether or not they will purchase paper or physical silver.

It is more difficult to buy physical silver than it is to make a paper investment.  This is due to the fact that investors will need to hunt down coins that are genuine.  Researching online sellers is the best way to accomplish this.  Once a seller has been found by investors, they will need to ensure his or her reputability.  Reading online ratings and reviews that have been posted by former buyers is how this is accomplished.  Learning the spot price of silver is another worthwhile activity for those who will be investing.  People who know this information are far less likely to overpay for the coins that they purchase.

Times of Change for the Quarter Eagle

August 14th, 2013

The quarter eagle represented the smallest gold denomination originally authorized under the Coinage Act of 1792. The denomination was first produced in 1796 with the distinctive Turban Head design. Fewer than 20,000 pieces were struck over the next ten years bearing this original design.

A new design featuring a version of Liberty with a capped bust appeared in 1808. After a small mintage of these pieces, there was a lengthy gap in production which would last until 1821. The same basic design was used, although some features were changed such as reducing the size of Liberty’s head on the obverse. Further change would come in 1829 when the standard diameter of the coins was reduced due to a change in technology at the early mint.

All told, there had been five different types or subtypes for the denomination across production of fewer than 100,000 pieces. These early years contain numerous rarities, some with original mintages of few than 1,000 pieces. While this area of collecting may be secluded to only deep pocketed individuals, the early changes within the denomination make for an interesting study.

Later series within the denomination experienced higher mintages as circulation of the coins became more commonplace. It is within the subsequent Classic Head and Liberty Head types that most collectors will find fertile ground for assembling a collection.

A New Style for the Annual Proof Set

March 15th, 2013

Collectors have long been enamored by products which can be purchased directly from the United States Mint. In the early history of collecting this included proof coinage and certain medals, which could be order through the mail or picked up at mint offices. In modern times, this has expanded to a large proliferation of different objects and packaging options that can be dizzying in nature. One noted expansion took place in 1983.

From 1968 onwards, the US Mint had been offering an annual proof set containing examples of each of the circulating denominations in proof format. These coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint and carried the “S” mint mark. Highly popular, sales extended into the millions of units for most years.

In 1982, Congress authorized the first modern commemorative coin, which was followed by another program in 1983 and for most ensuing years. The US Mint created a product which would combine the popular annual proof coins with the newly issued commemorative issues. These were all placed within a deluxe style of packaging and marketed towards an upscale audience. Th product was dubbed the Prestige Proof Set.

The offering proved highly popular, particularly for years which included commemorative coins with broad appeal. Sales reached a peak of nearly 600,000 units with the release of the Statue of Liberty Commemorative Coins. Despite the early popularity, over time sales would slowly slip as the Mint introduced many other new types of products. By 1995, sales had dipped to nearly 100,000 units. This was spelling the end, and in 1997 the final set was issued with sales of 80,000 units.