February 26th, 2013
One of the favorite coins in my collection is one of tiniest. The half dime was authorized under the Coinage Act of 1792 as the smallest silver denomination. The weight of the coin was just 1.35 grams, which was later reduced to 1.34 grams. The diameter was a 15.5 mm, making it both smaller and thinner than the dime.
I came across this 1829 half dime, which was graded NGC AU 53 in an old holder. While the scan above does not convey completely, the coin is covered in colorful, original toning. Furthermore, the coin displays much greater detail and minimal wear than the grade level would suggest. As a premium example for the given grade, I decided to mark the purchase. I sent the coin to CAC and it received their gold sticker, indicating that the coin exceeded their standards for the given grade level.
Slowly but surely I will attempt to build a collection of the Capped Bust Half Dimes in similar grade and quality. The series is relatively short lived, running from 1829 to 1837. This makes for only nine different dates to acquire. There are no significant key dates for the series so all coins carry a modest price tag for about uncirculated coins.
It's not the most popular series, so not every dealer has a lot of examples available. However, I am sure I will be able to pick up an outstanding coin or two in the coming years.
October 10th, 2012
Do you enjoy collecting items to have a complete set? Do you have a love of history? Do you appreciate how it has made the United States such a great nation? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be interested in collecting state quarters. If you need some added motivation to understand the joy of collecting these quarters, look at the historical value of these quarters to see what treasures these coins really are.
Each quarter was made to display something important for the state that it represents. A good example of this is the statue of Liberty on the back of the New York quarter along with a picture of the state itself. On the other side of the coin is a portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Throughout the series, the coins follow the same format with a design representative of the state on the reverse and the common obverse design featuring Washington.
These coins can be very educational thanks to the landmarks and historical figures that are etched on to each coin. If you look at the complete set of quarters, you will see historical events that have happened over the years and much more on each unique coin. Some events depicted include the historic First Flight, the Crossing of the Delaware, the return of Lewis & Clark, and the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads.
The State Quarters are a great tribute to the past. Although no one can forget something as important as the Statue being located in New York, the coin still gives people an emotional reaction. It pays tribute to the way that this statue affects immigrants coming to America.
September 26th, 2012
Liberty nickels were coins that were produced by the US mint between the year 1883 and the year 1913. Although the coin features a relatively simple design, it holds great appeal to coin collectors. On the obverse of the coin there is a Liberty head, and on the reverse is a Roman numeral V positioned within a wreath. This five cent coin was stuck in 75 percent copper and 15 percent nickel in a low relief.
Both the beginning and the end of this coin series were marked by interesting events. The new coin was introduced in January 30, 1883. Almost immediately after its unveiling Mint officials realized that the five million nickels that were already distributed did not have the word 'cents' under the V on the coin. This made it easy for scam artists to coat the surface with gold to make them look like five dollar gold pieces. A new variety with the denomination indicated more clearly was created and distributed. However, many people had already been conned by the fake 5 dollar coins, which were actually 5 cent coins. This story has become much recounted within numismatic lore adding to the historical background of the series.
The Liberty Head Nickels were originally produced by the Philadelphia Mint, but in 1912, additional production took place at San Francisco and Denver. This year would become the last of regular production, but that was not the end of the story. Collectors found at least five 1913 Liberty nickels, which were apparently created under surreptitious circumstances. In 2010, one of these nickels sold for around four million dollars, a rather high priced historic oddity.
September 13th, 2012
Many collectors are especially fond of Indian Cents. Introduced to the general public in 1859 it is most often referred to as the Indian Head Penny. There is so much historical value and significance that is connected to this coin and we will examine some of that here.
One of the first historical significant factors stems from the fact that there were two different designs that were put into use for this series reverse side. On the first one in the laurel wreath was inscribed the words "One Cent". That version was issued in 1859 but just one year later the wreath shown was revised to show olive and oak branches instead. In addition above the wreath appeared a Federal Shield close to the top and at the base a knot of ribbon. In the year 1870 Chief Engraver William Barber did make a few minor modifications but basically until 1909 when it was discontinued this is the design that stuck.
Between the years 1859 and 1864 the Indian Head Cents minted were made up of 12% nickel and 88% copper. This was contrasting to prior designs that used copper as the primary ingredient. for the previous 60 years of what was known as the large copper cent. The final years of the series saw the composition change to 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc, which continued in use for the duration.
Through the years these coins have continued to grow in popularity due mainly to their historical significance and value. Collecting the series can be both a joy and challenge for the beginning or experienced numismatist.
April 7th, 2012
President Chester A. Arthur was our 21st President. He was the second President to ascend to the office after the assassination of his predecessor, in this case, President Garfield. Most of the existing Cabinet secretaries left in the first months of his Presidency, due to conflicts in ideology. His time in office oversaw the creation of the Civil Service Administration, as well as balancing the federal budget after a surplus was incurred after the Civil War.
The coin bearing President Arthur' image is the twenty-first in the series of Presidential Dollar coins, and the first to be issued in 2012. Its obverse depicts Arthur, his time in office (1881-1885), order of the Presidency, and the motto "In God We Trust". The reverse shows the Statue of Liberty in the same design as been depicted on all Presidential dollars. The edge has the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM", the year of issuance, and the mint mark.
The Chester A. Arthur Presidential Dollar will be released on February 16, 2012. This Presidential Dollar coin is the first to be issued under the Treasury Department’s suspension of production of the coin for circulation. The coins will be available from the U.S. Mint in the following products:
- in Presidential Dollar Rolls of 25 coins, bags of 100 coins, or in boxes of 250 or 500 coins from either the Philadelphia or Denver mints
- as part of the 2012 Presidential Dollar Proof Set
- as part of the 2012 Presidential $1 Uncirculated Set
- as part of the 2012 Presidential $1 Coin Five-Coin Set
- as part of the 2012 Uncirculated Mint Set
- as part of the 2012 Proof Set
- as part of the 2012 Silver Proof Set
- 2012 Presidential $1 Coin & First Spouse Medal Set
- 2012 Chester A. Arthur $1 coin cover
Visit www.usmint.gov for current prices and to order, as well as calling 800-USA-MINT (872-6468).