August 2, 2011 | Vol. 11 Number 16
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
Silver and Inflation
By Jaime Hernandez

Am I the only one surprised at today's price of silver? In 2009, the silver spot price was as low as $10.51 an ounce. In 2010 it averaged about $18 an ounce most of the year. In 2011 it has hovered around $35 an ounce for most of the year and now it's in the $40 range. I'm not necessarily surprised at the $40 range since it has already hit the $50 range. What I am surprised about is that it has maintained at the $35 - $40 level most of this year, despite taking huge jumps in such a short time period. Usually big jumps mean there will be corrections, but so far with silver there haven't been any major negative corrections.

Two years ago, I remember many collectors and dealers thought silver was over-valued at $15 an ounce. Today, most people think it's undervalued whether it's at $35 or $40 an ounce. So, with all the talk about inflation and hyperinflation, has hyperinflation kicked in right underneath our eyes and we just didn't see it? Or is silver overvalued at today's prices? That's the big question; are these prices the new levels for silver and will we ever see silver below $15 an ounce again?

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The winner in this issue will receive a 1871-S Seated Liberty Half Dollar in a special PCGS holder indicating eCollector issue #72. Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

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The 'Almost Perfect Counterfeit'
By Mike Sargent

In over 30 years of working professionally with rare coins, I can seldom remember a more unusual group of counterfeit coins.

In the mid-1980s I remember being at a Long Beach Coin Expo while working for Harlan White from San Diego. Up to our table came another dealer who was very excited about a gem roll of 1934 quarters that he had just bought from a customer who had just mysteriously walked in off the street. This date is not a rare date by any means, but having a roll of 40 gem coins was unheard of, even in the 1980s before coin grading and encapsulation came to be what they are today. Read More...

Coming Soon

Visit the PCGS Store for more information and to order our new three-part video series on Counterfeit detection by Mike Faraone.

PCGS CoinFacts 1997-P 5C SMS, FS (Special Strike)

Since the launch of PCGS CoinFacts,™ we have been hard at work updating and expanding the site's information. Here's another recent example:

Jaime Hernandez: The 1997 Satin Finish Nickels were only sold in the 1997 Botanic Garden Coin and Currency Sets. Just 25,000 total sets were sold. Read More...

Haven't tried PCGS CoinFacts yet? Sign up for a free 10-day trial at PCGS CoinFacts Free Trial.

Debasement of Modern Circulating Coinage
By Richard Giedroyc

Debasement. When coins in circulation are comprised of precious metal and the amount of that precious metal in the coins is reduced or removed, we call this debasement.

The ancient Romans debased their coinage as inflation took its toll on the economy of the empire. The United States debased its coinage in 1838 out of necessity when it was found there was too much gold and silver in our coins. Read More...
Larry Shepherd details the benefits of ANA Membership. The ANA means more than just great coin shows.
Watch video!
ANA TrueView Specials

If you're going to be buying high-quality coins, you should get the highest-quality images for your treasures. PCGS will be offering two TrueView imaging specials at this year's ANA show in Chicago August 16-19, 2011.

The purpose of the PCGS TrueView photo service is to provide a high-quality image of a specified coin. 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...
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