Entries Tagged 'Coin Series' ↓

Taking A Look At Indian Head Cents

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.

2011 Proof American Gold Buffalo

A little more than two months after the release of the bullion version of the coin, the US Mint began sales of the 2011 Proof American Gold Buffalo for collectors. This is the sixth annual release for the 24 karat gold coin series.

The issue has had a dedicated following due to the use of the popular design. The obverse and reverse are taken from James Earle Fraser’s Buffalo Nickel, representing the Type 1 variety issued in 1913. The broader series continued until 1938, when it was replaced with the Jefferson Nickel.

Each 2011 Proof Gold Buffalo contains one troy ounce of .9999 fine ( 24 karat) gold. This was the first offering of the United States Mint to be struck in this level of purity. The popular American Gold Eagle is struck in a purity of 22 karat of .9167.

As the price of gold has risen, the proof Gold Buffalo has become more expensive. Each coin is priced at $1,760. Many collectors will wish that fractional weight versions of the coin were available to provide a lower pricing point. The US Mint did make fractional versions in 2008, but discontinued the offering after only one year.

This one of many coins this year that I will “wait and see”. The price of various offerings that I collect has been increasing, leaving less room for series that I have occasionally collected.

Deigns for 2011 First Spouse Gold Coins

The US Mint recently announced the designs to be used for the obverse and reverse of the 2011 First Spouse Gold Coins. Although this series started off very popular, interest has receded to a smaller, but somewhat stable base of collectors. Some issues featuring a popular design or well known spouse have done better.

The 2011 releases will feature Eliza Johnson, Julia Grant, Lucy Hayes, and Lucretia Garfield. These are the spouses of the 17th to 20th Presidents of the United States.

The Eliza Johnson First Spouse Gold Coin features an obverse portrait of the First Lady and a reverse scene from the children’s ball that she hosted for President Andrew Johnson’s 60th birthday. The obverse design is by Joel Iskowitz and the reverse is by Gary Whitely.

The release honoring the First Lady during the 18th Presidency is the Julia Grant First Spouse Gold Coin. This issue features an obverse portrait by Donna Weaver. On the reverse is a scene of a younger Julia Dent and Ulysses S. Grant riding horseback. At the time the future President was a West Point cadet.

Lucy Hayes was well known for her role in the Temperance movement, however this is not the subject of her coin. Rather the Lucy Hayes First Spouse Gold Coin shows a scene of the First Lady applauding at the first White House Easter Egg Roll. The obverse portrait is by Susan Gamble and the reverse scene is designed by Barbara Fox.

The Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin will be the final release of the year. It highlights her interest in painting. The obverse portrait is designed by Barbara Fox and the reverse image is designed by Michael Gaudioso. The reverse shows the First Lady seated before a canvas with brush and palette in hand.

2011 American Gold Eagles

The American Gold Eagle is minted in 22 karat gold and features one of the most beautiful coin designs of all time. The bullion versions of the coins are offered in four different sizes and contain one, one-half, one-quarter, or one-tenth ounce of pure gold. The coins have been minted and issued since 1986.

The obverse design was created by Augustus Saint Gaudens and used for the circulating gold double eagle, minted from 1907 to 1933. Liberty appears in flowing gown, with a lit torch and olive branch. The rays of the rising sun are behind with an image of the U.S. Capitol building offset to the left. The reverse features a family of eagles designed by Miley Busiek for the series.

The 2011 Gold Eagles went on sale to authorized purchasers on January 3, 2011. Like other US Mint bullion coins, this group purchases in bulk quantities and then resells to the public. The initial sales levels show a retraction from last year, when demand for gold bullion was especially heavy.

Currently the US Mint only has the one ounce bullion version of the 2011-dated Gold Eagle available. Fractional weight bullion coins are expected to be offered later in the year. Collector proof versions across all standard weights are scheduled to be released on April 24, 2011.

2011 American Silver Eagles

The American Silver Eagle combines a classic design with one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. This combination has made the coin one of the most popular annual offerings of the United States Mint.

The obverse design is taken from Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty Half Dollar, issued for circulation from 1916 to 1947. Liberty’s full figure is depicted striding towards a rising sun, while she holds a bouquet of olive branches and has an American flag draped across her shoulders. The reverse was created specifically for the series and features a heraldic eagle designed by John Mercanti.

The 2011 Silver Eagles will represent the latest year of the series, which began in 1986. The bullion coins are distributed through the US Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. They buy the coins in bulk quantities of at least 25,000 ounces based on the market price of silver plus a mark up. The coins are then resold to other dealers and the public.

The first opportunity for the authorized purchasers to order 2011 dated Silver Eagle bullion coins was January 3, 2011. Once order fulfillment begins from the US Mint the coins will make their way into the hands of collectors, continuing the tradition for this beautiful series.