Thursday, April 28, 2016

Honest Brick and Mortar Coin Sources Drying Up

[This is a contribution from collector ]

I started collecting coins in 1981 when I was in the U.S. Navy. We would pull into ports all over the world and I was fascinated with the designs on all the different foreign coins. Instead of dead presidents, I found flowers, birds, fish, and historical figures, as well as variations of the original French version which the U.S. Liberty coin designs were based on. I saved all the coins that interested me and kept them in a coffee can. It was more of a hoard than a collection.

Jump ahead to 1998.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

6 Coins Purchased at Sioux Falls, SD Coin Show

I went to my annual local coin show this past weekend. I am happy to announce there is only one hole left in my 20th Century Type Set album.

Here are my latest acquisitions:

Wheat Cent

Wheat Cent Coin Obverse

Wheat Cent Coin Reverse

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The anatomy of a coin

Sacagawea Dollar with info
The Anatomy of a Coin

The front ("heads") side of a coin.  Generally, the side with the date and principal design.

The back ("tails") side of a coin.
The outer border of a coin, which is the third side, can have plain, reeded, lettered, or decorated edges. Do not confuse the "rim" with the edge. Rims are features of the obverse and reverse of a coin.

Plain Edge Reeded Edge
Lettered Edge Decorated Edge
The raised border around the obverse and reverse that helps protect the coin's design from wear.
The main inscription or lettering on a coin.
mint mark:
A small letter or symbol on a coin used to identify where a coin was made.  Current United States mint marks are P (Philadelphia), D (Denver), S (San Francisco), and W (West Point).
The part of a coin's design that is raised above the surface.
The flat portion of a coin's surface not used for design or inscription.

*For a more in-depth treatment of this subject, please consider joining my e-mail list. I am currently putting together the first e-book, How Coins Are Made.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

2016 Gold Centennial Mercury Dime

It's coming...
I'm sure you've seen the above words as the opening of many a coin blog, post, or article. When I first saw the story of the golden dime, I paid attention. When the stories, articles, posts, and tweets kept rolling in, my eyes involuntarily began to move upward in an exaggerated roll.

"Here we go again," I thought, "another fad coin."

Gold Mercury Dime

A fad coin?

Monday, April 4, 2016

3 Ups and Downs Experienced by Coin Collectors

Coin collecting can be a hobby of ups and downs whether you collect silver, gold, copper, or coins made of any other type of metal. Here are three experiences, laid out in story form, that almost every seasoned collector has dealt with.

1. Finding that elusive slot-filler
Seasoned collectors know the agony/pleasure of spending years completing a set of coins. For instance, say a collector was working on a set of Mercury Dimes and lacked the 1916-D, the key to the series. Like most collectors, they cannot afford a mint state coin, because who really has an extra ten grand just laying around?

Our collector has been searching for a nice, slightly circulated 1916-D. They visit the local coin show annually and make an effort to find Old Winston. Old Winston is a hobbyist, not an active dealer, but he has always enjoyed coin shows and sets up a booth to help further the hobby with pieces from his own collection. Our collector sidles up to Winston's table and takes a seat.

"What'll it be?" Winston asks, sounding more like a bartender than a coin collector. But, let's face it, collecting can be every bit as intoxicating.