eCollector - May 20, 2003 | Vol. 4 Number 10 


Market Report

Gold Up, Overall Market Strong, Rarities Hit Unprecedented Highs
The Rudolph sale from Stack's is nothing short of heroic. Gold bullion is on the move as the dollar weakens. Flow of generic gold from Europe is "crummy." Prices for certified gold coins are still attractive. Bowers & Merena "Sanctuary Sale" is on June docket. Kingswood "New Castle" sale is now online. Click here to read more.

Set Registry Spotlight

Pittsburgh Collection - The Number One Finest Modern Commemorative Set, Circulation Strikes (1982-present)
For weeks we have been spotlighting classic sets. But what about the modern sets?! There are many collectors focusing on the post-1950 sets and the Registry is host to some spectacular examples of these late-date sets. Take, for example, last year's 2002 Set Registry Award winner, the Pittsburgh Collection. This collection, still ranked number one, contains a slew of Pop-tops (the finest graded). As a matter of fact, sitting with a GPA of 69.90, the set is only .10 away from being perfect. Congratulations! Click here to enjoy.

The 2003 PCGS Set Registry Awards are just around the corner. As a reminder, the deadline for updates is June 30, 2003. Click here for details.

New set composites online include Early Mint and Proof Sets from 1909-1915; Half Cents Basic Set, Proof (1831-1857); Half Cents with Varieties, Proof (1831-1857); 20th Century Gold Series, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933); 20th Century Gold Series with 1933 $20 & Patterns, Circulation Strikes (1907-1933). The following weights are currently being previewed: Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes 1793-1814; Large Cents Basic Variety Set, Circulation Strikes 1793-1814; Large Cents Complete Variety Set, Circulation Strikes 1793-1814; Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes 1839-1857; Large Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes 1839-1857; Large Cents Basic Set, Circulation Strikes 1816-1839; Large Cents with Varieties, Circulation Strikes 1816-1839. To learn more, visit the Set Registry News page for frequent updates.

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 Modern Commemoratives set? Go to the Authorized Dealer link on PCGS and click on Commemoratives 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.

News in Numismatics

Ultra-Rarities Smash Price Records in Sensational L. K. Rudolph Auction
1870-S Liberty Seated dollar sells for $1,000,000+! 1885 Trade dollar realizes $920,000. Tremendous bidder interest is shown throughout the sale. Gobrecht silver dollar rarities bring unprecedented prices. 1871-CC Seated dollar brings $218,500. 1884 Trade dollar sells for $258,750. Many other highlights are listed here as well. Click here to read more.

Collector's Survey

Let's take a trip back in time to the 1903 ANA convention. You have a pocketful of money and you're ready to spend it on your collection. What are you going to buy? You can't buy High Relief $20 gold pieces because they haven't been minted yet. You can't buy Standing Liberty quarters or Walking Liberty half dollars for the same reason. Barber coins are pocket change. So....?

  1. The 18th century classics! Let's load up on 1794 silver dollars and 1796-97 half dollars!
  2. Proof gold! A Gem Proof 1898 $20 is probably going to cost double face at the most!
  3. Bust half dollars! Imagine building a Gem date set for about $10 a coin or less!
  4. Liberty Seated dollars! Look at today's prices and dream of the bargains of 1903!
  5. Whopper copper! A Gem brown uncirculated Chain cent for $90 and a full red 1877 Indian for $5!

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

Results from last survey: 34% believe that MS65+ "dated" gold has the best chance of re-attaining its 1989 price level. Click here for a complete breakdown.

What does "Pan-Pac" mean? Find out in Lingo, the PCGS dictionary of numismatic definitions. Click here for Lingo.

Subscribe to the online PCGS Population ReportSM 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 modern commemoratives.

Our Readers Ask

Question: Does PCGS grade the high profile coins like 1913 Liberty Nickels and the 1933 Gold piece and 1804 Dollars, etc., with the same standards as the not-so-famous rarities or common coins?

Answer: There is some misunderstanding about all three of the ultra rarities you mention.

First... 1913 Liberty nickels... at least the four I've seen... have a Matte like surface. They do not look like the brilliant surface 1883 to 1912 Proofs. I am personally very comfortable with the grades of the two 1913 Liberty nickels PCGS has graded.

1804 dollars look weird too... the grades we have given seem mostly OK to me, though I have my personal preferences.

The 1933 $20 is another story. This coin was reviewed by PCGS graders, myself included, in the Beverly Hills office of Sotheby's. We took our own lights and therefore had ideal lighting conditions. The coin is a no question MS65 in my mind... great creamy luster, like all late date Saints, and minimal marks. At every coin show I go to I have dealers show me 20 or 30 Saints in PCGS 64 holders complaining to me that they should be in MS65 holders, and they are never as nice as the 1933. I do not understand why there are some people who gripe about this coin and say it is not a MS65.

To answer your question, I believe that people get really weird about the grades of ultra rarities. The rule in the coin market is that ownership usually adds a point to a person's grading opinion. For ultra rarities, I believe the rule is that ownership adds a point or two... and non-ownership subtracts a point or two. These are very high profile coins and people seem to get very emotional about them. I believe we just try to grade them according to PCGS standards. That said, I believe we look at ultra rarities very carefully and definitely try to grade them as high as we can based on our standards.

-- 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!


Oh, that magic Carson City mintmark! It brings back the history of the American West, the Comstock Lode and times when coins were made out of silver and gold. For the second quarter special of 2003 (April 1-June 30) Collectors Club members may submit one Carson City coin of any denomination for FREE grading and authentication by the PCGS experts. All you have to pay for is the postage. Each coin will be handled through the Regular Service, which takes 15 business days. This offer is available to Gold and Platinum level Collectors Club members only.

Kingswood Coin Auctions' New Castle Sale Now Online!

The New Castle Sale, the 14th in the line of Kingswood's "alphabet series" of auctions, is now online. This sale features 966 lots of PCGS and NGC certified coins, including a wide selection of 19th and 20th century rarities as well as ultra-high grade modern issues. Click here to view all lots and to bid online. In addition, all lots in the New Castle Sale will be available for viewing at the Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo, May 28-31.

Important Show Updates!

Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Exposition
Long Beach Convention Center
100 South Pine Ave
Long Beach, CA
May 29-June 1

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont, IL
June 26-29

Long Beach Coin and Collectibles Expo: PCGS will be offering walk through Service. You may also submit your coins to all PCGS grading service levels through Saturday. Your PCGS-graded coins will be mailed back to you.

Walk Through Service
  • $65.00 per coin (5 coin minimum per order) for coins valued under $1500.00
  • $100.00 per coin for coins valued over $1,500.00
Show Hours
  • Thurs. 5/29 - 10 am - 6:30 pm
  • Friday 5/30 - 10am - 6:30 pm
  • Sat. 5/31 - 10am - 6:30 pm
  • Sun. 6/1 - 10am - 3 pm
    (PCGS will not attend on Sunday)

MIDAMERICA Coin Expo: Have your coins graded by PCGS and save on one-way postage! You may also submit your coins to all PCGS grading service levels. Your PCGS-graded coins will be mailed back to you.

  • Thur. 6/26 - 10 am - 6 pm
  • Fri. 6/27 - 10 am - 6 pm
  • Sat. 6/28 - 10 am - 6 pm
  • Sun. 6/29 - 10 am - 2 pm
    (PCGS will not attend on Sunday)

Upcoming Shows

The 31st Annual Maryland State Numismatic Assoc.
Convention and Coin Show (Pre ANA)

Ramada Hotel Exhibition Center
8500 Annapolis Rd.
New Carrollton, MD
July 26-July 28

ANA World's Fair of Money
Baltimore Convention Center
1 West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD
July 30-August 3

For more information regarding the ANA World's Fair of Money please visit

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