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.

Chester A. Arthur Featured on Presidential $1 Coin

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).

2012 Silver Eagles

Amidst the recent decline in silver prices, the US Mint is getting ready for the release of the 2012 Silver Eagle bullion coins. From the launch of the series back in 1986, collectors and precious metals investors have eagerly looked forward to each newly dated release of the series. In recent years, demand for the latest issue has been pronounced.

According to information found online, the US Mint will begin sales for the coins to authorized purchasers on January 3, 2012. The first chance the authorized purchasers will have to pick up the coins will be January 6, 2012. After that point, distribution to the general public can commence.

As has recently been the trend, many of the 2012 Silver Eagles will likely be sent en masse to coin grading services like PCGS and NGC. Coins which receive the top grade of MS70 sell to collectors for a premium. Some will also seek out the coins which are denoted as “First Strike” or “Early Releases” although the utility of such classifications is suspect.

American Silver Eagle bullion coins are frequently sold individually, by a roll of 20 coins, or in a green monster box containing 500 coins. The larger the quantity purchased, generally the lower the cost per coin.

During 2011, the US Mint sold around 40 million Silver Eagle bullion coins as the market price of the metal jumped from $30 per ounce to nearly $50 per ounce, and then fell to its current levels below $30. Will investor and collector demand prove resilient in the coming year?

Later in 2012, it is expected that the US Mint will offer numismatic versions of the American Silver Eagle, which have also been an annual favorite.

Bill Introduced to Honor Centennial of Lions Clubs International

On June 8th, 2011, House Resolution H.R. 2139 was introduced into the 112th Congress, requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization. It was founded in 1917 by Chicago business leader Melvin Jones, and empowers volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.

The bill specifies that not more than 400,000 $1 coins in commemoration of the centennial of the founding of the Lions Clubs International, each of which shall weigh 26.73 grams, have a diameter of one-and-one-half inches, and be made from the standard 90 percent silver / 10 percent copper alloy.

The bill also states that the design of the coins shall be emblematic of the centennial of the Lions Clubs International, and include a designation of the value of the coin, the year of its minting, 2017, and the inscriptions of the words “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “United States of America”, and “E Pluribus Unum”.

A surcharge of $10 per coin will be added to the final price, which will be paid to the Lions Clubs International Foundation to assist in furthering its programs for the blind and visually impaired in the United States and abroad, investing in adaptive technologies for the disabled and investing in youth and those affected by a major disaster.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, where it will be voted on, and if passed there, be sent to the full House for approval. A comparable bill will need to be introduced in the Senate, and if both bills pass their respective chambers, after which it would be presented to the President for signature into law.

2011 Proof Gold Eagle Sales Slower

Sales of the 2011 Proof Gold Eagle are off to a much slower start compared to the frenzied activity seen last year. Collectors faced with an expanding US Mint product line and higher issue costs may be making decisions about how to best allocate their collecting budget.

Sales of the individual coins and four coin set began on April 21, 2011. This was many months earlier than the prior year coins, which were offered very late in the year in October. There were no household limits imposed, although there were production limits for each different ordering option. Some of these limits represented increases from the prior year.

In the opening days of sales, customer orders were about half the levels experienced for the 2010 Proof Gold Eagles. This was to be expected since last year’s coins were offered following a one year cancellation and lengthy delay during the year.

Through the current date, sales levels have reached almost 17,000 out of a maximum 30,000 individual one ounce coins, about 2,500 out of a maximum 15,000 one half ounce coins, a little under 4,000 out of a maximum 16,000 one quarter ounce coins, and 9,300 of a maximum 30,000 for the one tenth ounce coins. The expensive four coin set has sold 7,431 units out of the maximum 40,000.

Quick sell outs seem to be clearly off the table, although this has not typically been the case for Proof Gold Eagles. Only for a few years when product limits were kept intentionally low were sell outs achieved.