Market Report

New Collectors, Key Issues Stay Strong as Market Steams into Summer
Market expansion continues as focus is on modern issues. Key dates in popular 20th century sets are dominant leaders in upward movement. It's a two-tiered market as bargains abound in many areas. Quality conscious collectors? Of course! Bowers & Merena "Lake Geneva" sale shows special strength in rare date gold.
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Subscribe to the online PCGS Population Report for as little as $4.95 a month! Updated weekly, get the latest census data on all coins graded by PCGS. Click here to get a free preview of the Three Cent Nickel statistics.

The Expert's Corner

The Three Cent Nickel Series
Three Cent Nickels were discontinued in 1889, yet 150 years later, interest is extremely keen for this quaint little series. Both Mint State and proof collections are currently being formed by astute numismatists. Certain Mint State dates have long been known to be rarities, but with today's condition conscious collectors, some other dates have turned out to be just as elusive as these low mintage dates, especially in MS-66 and higher grades. John Dannreuther examines the Mint State issues in Part 1 of this two-part analysis.
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Collector's Survey

Which of the following commemorative half dollar designs do you consider to be the most attractive?

1. Norfolk (that beautiful ship)
2. Bay Bridge (that beautiful bear)
3. Oregon Trail (that beautiful everything)
4. Connecticut (the beautiful Charter Oak)
5. Texas (Remember the Alamo!)

Click here to answer. Results will be posted in the next eCollector.

Search for your favorite PCGS Authorized Dealer by specialty. Building an Three Cent Nickel set? Go to the Authorized Dealer link on PCGS and click on Nickel Coinage in specialties. Looking for dealers with internet sites? Click on the Internet sites link in services. Search for more than a 1,000 dealers in the PCGS Authorized Dealer listings.

This week's Featured Dealer is David Lawrence Rare Coins. Since 1979, David Lawrence Rare Coins has provided collectors with top-level service and quality at the best possible prices. Their website has an online store with a shopping cart for coins, currency, and books.

Set Registry Spotlight

Bruce Scher & Ron Iskowitz - PR Three Cent Nickel Set
The Number One Finest Set of All Time

Without a doubt, Mr. Scher and Mr. Iskowitz should be congratulated on a fantastic achievement. With a grade point average of 67.04, there is no possible set finer. The set has 8 stunning different examples at the Proof 68 level and nothing in this set grades lower than Proof 66. Most all coin dates are "stand alone finest" or tied for finest at the assigned grade.

The PCGS Set RegistryTM is a work in progress with new sets continually being added. If you'd like to see a set added, please send your suggestion to [email protected].

How does your set stack up? The Set Registry has hundreds of sets registered with new sets being added every day. Click here to visit the Set Registry.

Our Readers Ask

Question: What does "cameo" mean, as in cameo Proof? Where are these listed? Is a cameo Proof better than a non-cameo Proof? I am not able to put my finger on much information. Can you help?

Answer: The term cameo with regard to Proofs refers to a Proof coin on which the main design, most notably the portrait or central figure, has a frosted or lustrous finish, while the fields or flat areas are deeply mirrorlike. Just about all of the copper, nickel, silver, and gold Proof coins made at the Philadelphia Mint from the early days, through the time of general availability of Proofs to the public (1858), down to 1902, are cameo Proofs. In 1902-3, someone at the Mint began polishing the deep recesses in the Proof dies, and Miss Liberty on some Proofs of 1902, most all of 1903, and some of later dates have "polished" rather than cameo portraits. Most copper Proofs 1905-1909 (Indian), nickel Proofs 1905-1912), silver Proofs 1905-1915, and Liberty Head gold Proofs 1905-1907 revert to the cameo style. It was discovered that adding the word cameo to a description of, for example, a Proof half dollar of the 1890s, would increase its marketability, never mind that almost all Proofs are normally this way. One thing led to another, and today cameo is a popular adjective, including on some of the more recent holders. Fast forward to 1950, when Proof coins were struck for collectors, after a hiatus since 1942. From 1950 onward, Proof die preparation was apt to be erratic, as demand was tremendous and vast quantities of Proofs were struck. Thus, rather than being prepared by a handful of specialists, Proof dies were processed by more employees at the Mint. Some employees polished the interior of the portrait and others left well enough alone (an unpolished die = a lustrous or cameo portrait in most instances). Thus, among Proofs from 1950 onward there are some notable differences, "polished" vs. "cameo" portraits on some series, such as Franklin half dollars 1950-1963. Such are quite popular to collect and study. Among such later coins the addition of "cameo" to a description has some real meaning.
--Q. David Bowers, Bowers and Merena Galleries

Do you have a question you would like to ask our experts? Click here. Or, visit the PCGS messageboards, the most active coin forums online.

Looking for the ANA website? How about the U.S. Mint? Visit the Resource Links on the PCGS website. Two clicks and you are there! Click here for resources.



PCGS will be at the Atlanta "Pre" Coin Show, the PNG Show and the ANA World's Fair of Money!

PCGS will be accepting submissions and offering on-site grading service at the following shows:

Atlanta "Pre" Coin Show
Gwinnett Civic Center
Duluth, GA
August 2 - 5, 2001

PNG Show
Cobb Galleria Center
Atlanta, GA
August 6 - 7, 2001

ANA World's Fair of Money
Cobb Galleria Center
Atlanta, GA
August 7 - 12, 2001

Take advantage of PCGS' Show Service!

  • Special Show Service -- $60 per coin valued at $1,500 or less
  • Standard Show Service -- $100 per coin
    Coins may be submitted to all other PCGS grading levels at the show.

    Have your coins graded by PCGS and save on one-way postage! You may submit your coins at the show to all PCGS grading service levels. Submissions will be accepted from Thursday, August 2*, through Sunday, August 12. Your PCGS-graded coins will be mailed to you following the show.

    *Thursday, August 2 and Monday and Tuesday, August 6 & 7 are Dealer Set Up Days. Check with the show promoter for access to the facility.

    Atlanta "Pre" Coin Show and ANA World's Fair of Money Show Hours are as follows:

    Date Dealer schedule Public schedule
    Thursday 8/2 Pre Show 3pm - 8pm *Set-up Day
    Friday 8/3 9am - 6pm 10am - 6pm
    Saturday 8/4 9am - 6pm 10am - 6pm
    Sunday 8/5 9am - 2pm 10am - 2pm
    Monday 8/6 PNG 5pm - 8pm *Set-up Day
    Tuesday 8/7 PNG/ANA 8am - 7pm *Set-up Day
    Wednesday 8/8 ANA 8am - 7pm 10am - 6pm
    Thursday 8/9 9am - 7pm 10am - 6pm
    Friday 8/10 9am - 7pm 10am - 6pm
    Saturday 8/11 9am - 7pm 10am - 6pm
    Sunday 8/12 9am - 2pm 10am - 2pm

    For more information about PCGS grading at the show, call

    For more information about the Atlanta "Pre" Coin Show call
    253-565-6565 or the ANA World's Fair of Money show, call

    Note: Show schedule subject to change.


    If you're planning to attend the ANA and would like to learn more about Collectors Universe, the parent company of such leading companies as PCGS, Bowers and Merena Galleries and Lyn Knight Currency Auctions, then please join us at the following informational meeting:

    Cobb Galleria Center
    2 Galleria Pkwy NW
    Atlanta, GA
    Thursday, August 9th
    Room 104
    7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    See you in Atlanta!

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