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What’s Your Favorite Coin?

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Have you ever been asked what your favorite coin is? It’s a question that’s been thrown my way over the years, and for some it can be a remarkably difficult one to answer. It might be because, as is the case for so many collectors, collecting tastes aren’t often satisfactorily summed up to just one series, one coin, or even one period in numismatic history. That’s not to say some collectors don’t have favorite coins, with the pluralized qualifier offering much more room for people to share their two cents on the coins that most pull on their heartstrings. This is certainly the case with me…

Draped Bust Dollar, 1801 $1, PCGS MS65. Click image to enlarge.

As I think across the spectrum of United States numismatics, which is has been the prime area of my collecting concentration since I entered the hobby all those years ago, I can’t help but point to the Draped Bust Dollar as among my favorites. Boasting a classic design symbolizing Miss Liberty and the American values of freedom she represents, the Draped Bust Dollar falls into the category of early American dollars, which – along with the Flowing Hair Dollar – categorically encompass the very first examples of our nation’s silver dollar, the unitary denomination around which our entire monetary system is built.

St. Gaudens $20, 1907 EX-HR $20 Lettered Edge, PCGS PR69. Click image to enlarge.

Another coin that tickles my fancy? The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is a little piece of art by one of the nation’s greatest sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Many may tell you there’s nothing like a 1907 Ultra-High Relief Double Eagle. Yet, even the latter output for the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle series, which spanned from 1907 through 1933 and saw exclusively lower-relief specimens beginning later in 1907, are absolutely handsome coins. Those who appreciate the ultimate marriage of classic art and numismatic history will choose the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle as a must-have coin.

Lincoln Cent (Wheat Reverse), 1909-S VDB 1C, RD, PCGS MS67RD. Click image to enlarge.

Then, there is the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, which has tempted collectors young and old alike for generations. The “holy grail” for Lincoln Cent enthusiasts, the 1909-S VDB is one of the hobby’s most storied coins. It’s by no means the rarest coin, with a mintage of 484,000 and perhaps 50,000 survivors. But it’s a coin for which millions of collectors vie. Many of these collectors will spend a lifetime searching for the 1909-S VDB “penny” in circulation and perpetually come up short. For around $1,000, one can accomplish the feat with a circulated example. The 1909-S VDB penny was my first numismatic love. And, all told, if I had to choose just one coin as my favorite, this would have to be it, if for nothing other than long-held sentimental reasons.

What’s your favorite coin? Do you have one? If not, maybe this would be a good time to choose one that speaks to your heart. After all, in a hobby like coin collecting, we are often drawn by the allure of the pieces that speak to us in one way or another. How nice it is to belong to a community of hobbyists who have such passion for the things they collect.

Coin Collecting: Basics

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