September 1, 2009 | Vol. 9 Number 23
Collectors Club Price Guide NEW PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistryTM
Making Smart Decisions When Purchasing Coins
By Jaime Hernandez, eCollector Editor

If you want to make the best decision when purchasing coins, it's important to know who you are dealing with. Recently, I spoke to several individuals who were under the impression that just by spending money on coins they would automatically make a profit in a couple of years.

The truth is, that in order to make smart purchasing decisions on coins, you need to do your homework first, just like with anything else.

If you don't have the time to do your homework on every coin, it is important to find a reputable dealer you can trust to assist you in purchasing coins and making good decisions.

On a different note, please watch the video in this issue. At the Summer ANA Show, we spoke to some of the most prominent and reputable dealers in the business and got their thoughts on the current state of the market. Keep in mind, each dealer will have a different perspective as they specialize in different coins and different segments of the market. However, it should give you a good feel for the overall market.

As always, please let us know how you are enjoying the PCGS eCollector.
eCollector Subscribers: WIN a Free Coin!
(For eCollector Subscribers only)

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

Last week's winner of the 2000 $10 Liberia coin was Donald Casillas from Middletown, New York. Congratulations Donald!

The winner in this issue will receive a 1943 Walking Liberty Half Dollar in a special PCGS holder indicating eCollector issue #23. Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

View list of all past winners.

Offer good while supplies last, and may be altered or cancelled by PCGS at any time.
Coin Market Makers - Are You Dealing With Them?
By Jaime Hernandez

Any seller can offer you a coin at a high price. But it takes a market maker to be willing to make a market for the coin and buy the coin back at a reasonable price as well.

If you are only buying coins for pleasure and price appreciation is not a factor, then by all means spend away and have fun buying coins. However, if you are buying coins for fun and with the hope of getting your money back sometime in the future, read on.

Recently I spoke to an older gentleman and an older lady. The discussions were unrelated, but both of these individuals had a lot in common. Neither knew much about coins, they were both seniors, and they had been buying tens of thousands of dollars worth of coins from what they thought were honest sellers.

One of the individuals who sold the coins to the older lady told her that the most recent coin being offered to her was an exclusive offer just to her, since she was a very good customer. However, she had limited time to respond before the coin was offered to someone else. The coin offered to the older lady was realizing an average of about $4,500 in the current market and there were multiple sales in this price range. The seller offered her the same coin for just over $10,000.

Another reader of the PCGS eCollector also e-mailed me last week. He mentioned that he spent a large amount of money purchasing Franklin halves from a dealer who strongly recommended certain coins as an investment. After some time went by, he contacted the dealer to offer him the coins back, and the dealer was just not interested in buying the coins back at any price at all. Read More...

The 1983 Copper Cent
By Jaime Hernandez

Imagine receiving a large sum of money from a complete stranger for no apparent reason. If you think it can't happen to you, read on.

The 1943 copper cent is well-known to coin collectors and non-collectors alike as one of the most famous transitional error coins. Because of its fame, this coin commands a very high premium and for most people, a picture of the coin will be the closest they will ever get to owning one!

Our story begins in 1982, when the alloy of the cents was changed from 95% copper to approximately 95% zinc. All cents minted subsequently to the change contained approximately 95% zinc. However, since 1982 was a transitional year, the possibility existed that some leftover copper planchets could have been used inadvertently to strike 1983 coins. The same situation led to the 1943 Copper cent and the 1944 Steel cent. Read More...
2009 Summer ANA Report featuring Laura Sperber, Van Simmons, David Bowers and Jack Beymer Watch video!
The Intriguing Story of a Great Historical Coin
By Bruce Amspacher

If it's true that every great coin has a great story behind it, then this coin must be one of the greatest treasures of all time. Its history is filled with political intrigue, deceit and deception, high art, monumental rarity, the legends of the American West and, ultimately, vindication. To call it a numismatic classic would be to understate the importance of this coin. It is believed to be the finest example extant of this magnificent 19th Century prize.

The story of this coin begins in 1848 with the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. The word of the bonanza spread like wildfire and the great Gold Rush was on as treasure seekers across the nation and around the world came to seek their fortunes.

There was a tremendous coin shortage in the West during the mid-19th century, and private mint ventures sprung up all over the San Francisco area in 1849-50. One of those mints was the firm of F. D. Kohler & Company. When statehood came to California in 1850, Mr. Kohler anticipated being appointed State Assayer. On March 15 of that year he sold his business and equipment to George C. Baldwin and Thomas C. Holman. On May 1, the following ad appeared from Baldwin & Co.:

Successors to F. D. Kohler & Co.
Assayers, refiners and coiners
Manufacturers of jewelry, etc.
George C. Baldwin and Thos. S. Holman
All kinds of engraving. Our coins redeemable on presentation.

Baldwin and Holman hired Albert Kuner to design their new coins and engrave the dies. Read More...
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