eCollector - Dec. 17, 2002 | Vol. 3 Number 26 


Market Report

Gold is Off and Running as Rare Coin Market Remains Blistering Hot
Gold bullion breaks the $335 barrier. Certified gold is white-hot, but supplies are dangerously thin. MS63, 64 and 65 gold in the greatest demand. Heritage to offer 16,000 lots in nine sales in early January. Bowers & Merena "Rarities Sale" is now online. Click here to read more.

Set Registry Spotlight

Mitch Green - The Number One Finest Shield Nickels, Circulation Strikes (1866-1883)
A 2002 Set Registry awards winner, Mitch's fine set is 100% complete with a rating of 64.71. Three of the coins in his basic set grade MS66 with none graded higher. His 1881 grades MS67 with none higher. The set also boasts an optional MS64 1866 overdate which is the finest known example. Click here to view this outstanding set of Shield nickels.

PCGS SET REGISTRY RECEPTION. If you are planning to attend the Florida United Numismatists Show next month, don't forget to RSVP by January 3rd your plans to attend the Set Registry Reception being held Friday, January 10th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. David Hall, Collectors Universe President and one of the founders of the Professional Coin Grading Service, will give a discussion on how the Set Registry concept came about. Also, meet other set registrants and members of the PCGS staff. We look forward to the opportunity to thank you for your participation in the Set Registry program. To RSVP or if you have questions, please e-mail BJ Searls.

Check out the weighting preview on the Set Registry News page for the following sets: Barber dimes, quarters and half dollars. If your expertise is in one of those categories, please send us your feedback if you feel a weight for a particular coin should be changed. The following sets have recently been weighted: Four Dollar Gold, Proof (1879-1880), Three Cent Nickels, Circulation Strikes (1865-1889), Three Cent Nickels, Proof (1865-1889), and the 1950-1964 Proof Set. You'll find all this information and other updates on the Set Registry News page.

In January, PCGS will launch the new Canadian Coin Set Registry at the New York International Numismatic Convention. The first sets listed will be those of the incredible Belzberg Collection, the finest Canadian coin collection ever assembled. The Belzberg Collection goes up for sale by Heritage Numismatic Auctions on January 13th in New York City. Click here for details.

Fun, educational, and sometimes controversial, the PCGS Set Registry Messageboard remains the number one informative coin forum on the Internet. Get involved with other collectors who are currently participating in the Set Registry program or are just beginning. Click here to chat on the Set Registry Messageboard.

The PCGS Set RegistryTM is a work in progress. If you have any suggestions or comments please e-mail [email protected].

Building a Shield 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 1,000 dealers in the PCGS Authorized Dealer listings.

Expert's Corner

David Hall's Thoughts on the Market
"It was like someone suddenly flicked the lights on" last November. That was when the sleeping rare coin market started to wake up, and it's hasn't rested since. Coin market expert David Hall offers a few thoughts on the state of the rare coin market in 2002 and what the future will likely bring. Click here to read more.

Collector's Survey
Which coins will be the best performers in 2003? Here are five general areas that look extremely promising for next year and beyond. Which one of these five will do the best of the best?
  1. MS65 gold! The beautiful $20 St. Gaudens, the underpriced $20 Liberty, the gorgeous $10 Indian and so forth.
  2. MS63/64 gold! Not as high a quality as the MS65 pieces, but so underpriced that the growth potential is amazing.
  3. MS65 type coins! The Three Cent silver, the Liberty Seated quarter and the Capped Bust half dime are but three of the big winners in this category.
  4. MS64/65/66 DMPL dollars! These big beauties are hot, they're cheap and they're ultra-popular.
  5. Walking Liberty half dollars! The 20th century's most beautiful coin will rock and roll in 2003.

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

Results from last survey: From our list of five ultra-rare and "fantasy" coins, 31% would choose a legal-to-own, MS69 1964 Peace dollar for their collections. Click here for a complete breakdown.

What are Rays and what do they have to do with Shield nickels? Find out in Lingo, the PCGS dictionary of numismatic definitions. Click here for Lingo.

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 peek at the population statistics for Shield nickels.

Our Readers Ask

Question: Does PCGS downgrade for mint occurring die breaks? In other words... if I had a coin that was perfect, but with a die break or something mintmade as struck would it be downgraded?

Answer: "As struck" die breaks are considered neutral, i.e. they neither add to or subtract from the grade of a coin. The exception to this would be a huge die break that obliterated a major part of the design. In this case I believe we would consider the die break a negative eye appeal factor.

-- David Hall, Professional Coin Grading Service

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.

Join the PCGS Collectors Club ...Enjoy the Benefits!
If you love collecting coins, the PCGS Collectors Club is for you. Members enjoy direct access to all PCGS grading services, complimentary PCGS gradings and a wealth of essential information. All PCGS Collectors Club Members enjoy access to all Collectors Universe auctions, eShops and messageboards and the eZines of their choice. Joining is quick and easy. Just click here or call PCGS Customer Service at 800-447-8848. Do it today!


Do you collect Indian coins? Well, so does almost everyone else! Indian cents, Indian gold, or the Indian Head nickels of the past (or the Indian Head dollars of the recent, recent past). For the fall 2002 quarter (October 1 - December 31) Gold or Platinum Collectors Club members can have one of any Indian Head coin certified by PCGS for free. Your only cost is the postage. These special Collectors Club coins will be graded through the Regular Service and will be returned to you in approximately three weeks.

Online Bidding for the Bowers and Merena
January Rarities Sale is Now Underway!

Welcome to the Rarities Sale! Once again it's in January, and once again the Rarities Sale will become one of the first large numismatic auctions of the year -- paving the way for another year of important Bowers & Merena Galleries events! Presale bidding closes Sunday, January 5th at 11 p.m. Eastern Time (8 p.m. Pacific Time). All lots will be sold at public auction in Orlando, FL on Tuesday, January 7th starting at 5 p.m.
Click here to browse and to bid.


F.U.N. Show
Orange County Convention Center
9800 International Drive
Orlando, FL
January 8 - 12, 2003

New York International Numismatic Show
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
301 Park Avenue
New York, NY
January 16 - 19, 2003

F.U.N. Show: PCGS will be accepting coins for on-site grading at the F.U.N. show.

Take advantage of PCGS' Show Service!
  • Special Show Service -- $65 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.

    New York Show: PCGS will be accepting coins at all grading levels at the show. Coins submitted at the show will be graded by PCGS and returned via mail.

    For more information about any of these shows, contact as below:
  • F.U.N. show: visit or call 407-321-8747.
  • New York show: call 414-421-3484.
  • For more information about PCGS grading at the shows, call 800-447-8848.
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