December 22, 2008 | Vol. 8 Number 17
Collectors Club Price Guide Pop Report CoinFacts Auction Prices Realized Set Registry
PCGS Looks Ahead to 2009
By Jaime Hernandez, eCollector Editor

With 2009 just around the corner, the new year looks exciting for numismatics. The U.S. Mint will kick off the year with some truly exciting coins including the 2009 Ultra High Relief and new quarter designs.

PCGS will ring in the new year with exciting new features on our website and with our services. Please browse around our site and view some of the new features we have recently launched such as the new CoinFacts Wiki and the PCGS Price Guide horizontal expansion.

This issue features a wide-ranging video interview with PCGS President Don Willis. Be sure to check the Coin Giveaway (upper right) to see if you've won this issue's special, uniquely packaged coin. And don't forget to take advantage of our Collectors Club Membership Special – time is running out! Please feel free to drop us a note to let us know how you are enjoying the new eCollector.
eCollector Subscribers: WIN a Free Coin!
(For eCollector Subscribers only)

In each issue of eCollector, we randomly draw a name from our subscribers.

The winner in this issue will receive a FREE $1 2008 MS Silver Eagle in a special, one-of-a-kind PCGS holder indicating eCollector Issue #4! Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

Last week's winner of the 2008-S Bald Eagle 50 cent piece was Charles Groth of Denland, Florida. Congratulations, Charles!

Offer good while supplies last, and may be altered or cancelled by PCGS at any time.
The Oregon Trail Commemoratives – 1926-1939

In 1811 John Jacob Astor, the wealthi-
est man in America, orchestrated one of the most significant explorations of new lands in the West. Astor, America's first multi-millionaire and a successful fur trader and entrepreneur, arranged for two groups of men to travel from St. Louis to the West in hopes of expanding his successful fur trading business westward.

One of the groups he sent on this journey ran out of food, supplies and livestock due in part to the tough terrain they encountered. A small group was sent back to St. Louis to request assistance from Astor. This group, led by Robert Stuart, stumbled upon a large passage through the Rocky Mountains. This passage permitted sizeable wagons to pass through it, something that was previously believed to be practically impossible.

As a result, this exploration gave way to the historical and significant path to the West, allowing passage for well over a half-million settlers. Most of the settlers who traveled this 2,000 mile journey consisted of women and children, as can be seen on the obverse of the Oregon Trail Commemorative coins. These families were in search of a better life in the West, where it was believed there were new lands with bountiful harvest. Several years later, many more families would travel further west, hoping to prosper from the California Gold Rush.

The Oregon Trail Commemorative coins were produced for several years with the same design, with the exception of the different dates and mint marks. The different coins were produced as follows:
  • They were first produced in 1926 at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints.
  • No coins were produced in 1927, as1926-dated coins remained in the Mint's inventory.
  • In 1928, the coins were only produced in Philadelphia.
  • In 1933 and 1934, they were only produced in Denver.
  • In 1936, the coins were produced in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
  • In 1937, they were only produced in Denver.
  • In 1938, the Mint produced the coins in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco.
  • In 1939 the Mint produced the coins in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. (The 1939 coins contain the lowest mintages for the Oregon Trail Commemorative series, as each mint produced and sold 3,000 coins).
Get to know PCGS President
Don Willis

Watch video!
2008 State Quarters Make Way for 2009's Offering
Last month, the 50th and final State Quarter in the 50 Statehood Quarter Program was released. An estimated 147 million collectors have been collecting the U.S. State Quarters and after ten years, these collectors finally have the opportunity to assemble a complete set representing all 50 States. U.S. Mint Director Edmund C. Moy stated “This groundbreaking initiative has been the most successful coin program in the Nation's history.”

To date, the U.S. Mint has issued more than 34 billion quarters, earning a seignorage (profit) of approximately 6.1 billion dollars. Approximately 51 percent of the state quarters were produced at Philadelphia and the remaining 49 percent were produced at the Denver Mint.

Now that the 50 State Quarters Program has been completed, the new 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territory Quarter designs have been introduced. View the complete press release on the new quarters.

The first design is for the District of Columbia. The reverse design will depict musician Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington seated by a piano which has the inscription DUKE ELLINGTON.

The second design honors the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The reverse design depicts a sentry box in Old San Juan with a view of the sea in the background and a hibiscus flower to the right in honor of the territory's official flower.

The third design honors the territory of Guam. The reverse design displays an outline of the island of Guam, a latte stone and a native boat in the background. Read More...
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