eCollector - March 26, 2002 | Vol. 3 Number 7 

Market Report

Baltimore Show, Bowers & Merena Auction Sparkle as Market Remains Hot
Suburban Washington/Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention finds both coins and currency to be strong and active. High demand and "supply squeeze" skew supply/demand ratio. Certified gold market still offers many bargains. Toned coins with eye appeal are also in great demand. Bowers & Merena auction of Wayne S. Rich collection is huge success. Click here to read more.

Set Registry Spotlight

GRFN - Tied for the Finest Franklin Half Dollar Set Circulation Strikes (1948-1963)
Last year we highlighted the Honeycutt Franklin Half Dollar Set, a phenomenal set that was sitting in the number one spot. Honeycutt now has serious competition as the GRFN collection has tied him for first place! 100% complete with a GPA of 66.00, the GRFN collection lists 25 coins with a population of none higher. The 1951 MS67FL and the 1954-S MS67FL are the finest known. Congratulations to GRFN for putting together a fabulous set and look out Honeycutt!!! Click here to view this set.

There are currently 2,200+ sets registered! PCGS wants to thank all set registrants for your hard work so today we are announcing the First Annual PCGS Set Registry Awards Program. Winners will be selected this August and their sets will be listed on a web page dedicated to the "Best of the Registry 2002." All winning sets will be identified with an award icon. Current registrants were sent an email earlier today with specifics. If you are a future participant and are interested in learning about the various awards categories, click here.

We are in the process of weighting sets (or re-weighting sets as the case may be), removing varieties from Basic Sets, and adding Sets with Varieties. We are posting these sets on the Set Registry News page for at least a week prior to actually making the changes. This is allowing registrants time to review the changes and submit feedback. Recently weighted were the Modern Lincoln Cents, both Circulation Strikes and Proofs. The survey we sent out last week on the Modern Type Sets has now been reviewed and we will soon be posting final set compositions and weighting on the news page. Thanks to all registrants for your invaluable feedback.

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 email [email protected].

Building a Franklin half dollars set? Go to the Authorized Dealer link on PCGS and click on 20th Century Coins 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.

The Expert's Corner

The Franklin Half Dollar
Benjamin Franklin may have said "A penny saved is a penny earned," but he would have opposed putting portraits on those pennies. Had he been alive in 1948, he might have changed his mind when he became the fifth American to be featured on a coin -- and not a penny, but a silver half dollar. The Expert's Corner examines the history of the Franklin half, a pet project of Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross and numismatic tribute to a great American and the liberty he believed in. Click here to read more.

Collector's Survey

Franklin half dollars have become one of the most popular of all 20th century series. An MS65 set is affordable to most collectors, and even an MS65FBL set can be assembled for a reasonable price if you just avoid a few of the ultra-toughies. The Proofs are also in high demand, and a DCAM [deep cameo] is a beautiful coin. Which of these sets would you like to assemble the most (disregarding price/resale value)?

  1. Deep cameo Proofs! Every coin in PR65DCAM, with the 1950 in PR64DCAM because of its rarity.
  2. Top quality Proofs. Rather than cameo or DCAM coins, I'd like to get every date in the highest possible numerical grade. Proof 67, 68 or 69, depending on the date.
  3. A beautifully toned set of Mint State coins. They can be MS63, MS64, MS65 or higher as long as they have rainbow toning or colors with terrific eye appeal.
  4. A white Gem set with full bell lines. I'd accept the 1953-S and one or two other dates in MS65 (non-FBL) but the basic focus would be MS65FBL.
  5. A cherry set of MS coins! Full bell lines aren't important to me, but super surfaces are. Every coin would be among the finest graded of the date, but the FBL designation wouldn't be necessary.

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

Results from last survey: 43% answered that the 1909-S V.D.B. in PCGS MS66RD is their favorite Lincoln cent, disregarding price. Click here for a complete breakdown.

What does the term "Full Bell Lines" have to do with Franklin half dollars? 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 Franklin half dollars.

Our Readers Ask

Question: I would like to know why cleaning a coin as opposed to leaving it dirty or with a certain sheen of age is frowned upon. I do understand that any time an abrasive, no matter how finite, will add to the marks on a coin and therefore tend to alter its value or grading determination. But I have seen metals, coins etc. dipped in cleansing solutions to remove dirt without removing metal. Would this not enhance the beauty of a coin and possibly add to its value?

Answer: It is considered less desirable in the numismatic hobby for a coin to be cleaned versus an original piece that has not been abrasively treated. As you noted, the abrasives can and do leave tell tale hairlines and luster impairing evidence behind. Even a coin that has been dipped too many times will be regarded as cleaned. This is due to the fact that the luster will have been severely impaired in the process even though there is no abrasive evidence. Polished coins are yet another extreme and are evidenced by the glossy finish the polish gives to the surfaces of the coin.

-- Rick Montgomery, PCGS

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. Silver Members enjoy direct access to PCGS's Online $30/30-Day (1970 and earlier) and $12/30-Day (Post-1970 coins) grading services. Silver Members must join online and membership is FREE! Gold and Platinum 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



Central States Numismatic Society Convention
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, Ohio
April 25 - 27, 2002

On-Site Grading: 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.

For more information about PCGS grading at the show, call 800-447-8848.

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