January 6, 2009 | Vol. 9 Number 1
Collectors Club Price Guide Pop Report CoinFacts Auction Prices Realized Set Registry
Happy New Year From PCGS!
By Jaime Hernandez, eCollector Editor

All of us at PCGS would like to wish everyone a prosperous and happy 2009. With the new year ahead of us, it’s a great time to set goals for ourselves, whether financial, health or anything else, including numismatics. Whatever your numismatic goals are for 2009, we are here to help you achieve them.

At PCGS, our main goal is to provide the best possible service to each and every one of our customers. At the same time, we strive to arm our customers with as much knowledge as possible by providing an unparalleled body of information on our website, PCGS.com.

In this issue of eCollector, we are reprising a great article by Q. David Bowers on collecting the various categories of Silver dollars. Also, Mike Sargent discusses the 1877 Indian cent and how to tell the difference between an authentic and counterfeit example. Finally, we feature an exclusive video by David Hall recapping the 2008 rare coin market as we head into 2009. Please feel free to send us an e-mail 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 1989 BU Off Center Error Nickel in a special, one-of-a-kind PCGS holder indicating eCollector Issue #5!! Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

Last week's winner of the 2008 BU Silver Eagle was John Humbert of Matawan, New Jersey. Congratulations, John!

Offer good while supplies last, and may be altered or cancelled by PCGS at any time.
Getting Acquainted with Silver and Trade Dollars By Q. David Bowers

Welcome to the field of silver dollars and trade dollars!

Actually, silver dollars is a misnomer when applied to coins dated after 1935 (except for the 1964-D), for that precious metal was abandoned as a coinage alloy for circulating pieces, which were then made of "clad" metal-nickel alloy bonded to a copper core. However, some later silver pieces were made especially for collectors.

From the first year of production, 1794, down to recent times, many types and varieties of silver dollars were produced. A truly complete collection of dates and mintmarks would involve over 200 coins, and a complete collection of die varieties would go far beyond that. Researchers Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis have identified 230 different die varieties of the Philadelphia Mint 1878 Morgan dollar alone!

That reminds me that at a convention in California, a gentleman of serious mien came up to my bourse table, Van Allen and Mallis book in hand, and showed me an AU 1878 silver dollar, ostensibly worth, say $15, for which he had just paid $1,300, and considered it a bargain. It was a rare die variety he hadn't seen before. This goes to show that if you ever get deeply involved, you might find a treasure cheaply; such as this coin for $15, from someone who did not bother checking the variety. It has happened. In fact, the late Walter H. Breen was forever telling of great rarities in various series he found in dealers' "junk boxes." Once, he paid $5 for a coin he sold for $4,000!

If you are typical, you will want to collect silver dollars by design types – that is, one representative specimen of each major design – or will want to form a basic date and mintmark set, say of Morgan dollars and Peace dollars. However, once you familiarize yourself with the series, you may want to specialize in die varieties, say of a date such as the 1878 Morgan dollar. Who knows? Perhaps, you'll find an unlisted die variety!

David Hall recaps the rare
coin market in 2008.

Watch video!
Altering One of America’s Favorite Coins – the 1877 Indian Head Cent
by Mike Sargent

With the proliferation of counterfeit coins we are now experiencing, especially from China, PCGS has been at the forefront of countering the threat counterfeiting brings to collectors and the coin industry.

PCGS graders have always been taught how to detect counterfeit coins, and Mike Sargent is one of the leading experts in this challenging facet of coin authentication. In this article, Mike takes a close look at one of America’s favorite collector coins – the elusive 1877 Indian Head cent – which unfortunately, is one of the most likely coins to be faked. Mike will pinpoint the difference between the genuine article and altered versions. Read More...
© 2008 PCGS, Inc. A Division of Collectors Universe. All Rights Reserved.