August 16, 2011 | Vol. 11 Number 17
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
Two Different Movies at the Theater
By Jaime Hernandez

The economy reminds me of the movie theater. I'll watch a suspenseful movie, while next door my kids go off and watch a Disneyland film. I come out of the theater biting my nails, my heart beating fast and many times disappointed with the ending. On the other end, my kids come out very happy, worry-free and really excited about what's ahead.

I feel a similar way about the economy. It feels as if I just watched a suspenseful movie, where the Government runs out of money and just averted a huge debt crisis while having its credit rating downgraded. Even more worrisome is that investors lost over $1 trillion dollars in the stock market in one single day.

On the other hand, the coin market can be compared to a Disney movie. Dealers are making money and having a great time with gold hitting over $1,800 an ounce. For collectors, whether they're selling or just keeping an eye on the market, they're also excited and relieved that they bought silver, gold or rare coins. They are currently a rare breed, as their investments have performed really well compared to most other people around the country.

Regardless of what's happening in the overall grim economy, the coin market is extremely vibrant. Many other collectibles are also performing well. For example, Sotheby's, one of several collectible auction firms, has had its best year ever, selling over $3 billion worth of collectibles in the first half of 2011. They are definitely seeing an unprecedented demand for collectibles, just as coin dealers are seeing a huge demand for bullion and rare coins.

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Numismatic Traditions
By Richard Giedroyc

Isn't it amazing how much we take for granted on our coinage?

Virtually every coin we encounter has a date, Mint mark, denomination, designs on two sides, edge reeding and denticles about the circumference.

How many people ever think about if some of these devices were removed from our coins? Would it really matter? How did some of these devices get to become part of the coins we are so used to seeing jingling in our pockets?

Dates did not always appear on coins. It wasn't until the 13th century that the first European coin displayed a Christian date. Read More...

All the Information on All Coins. Now at Your Fingertips with PCGS Mobile CoinFacts
By Don Willis

An Amazing 10-Day Free Trial Offer…Friday, August 12 to Sunday, August 21.

You are at a coin show standing at a dealers table, or at home bidding in an online auction.You are interested in making a purchase. You have a price guide in your hand, but you're not sure that it's telling you everything you need to know. So you reach in your pocket and pull out your smart phone.

Enter the PCGS number and grade, and instantly you have the PCGS Price Guide and PCGS Pop Report. Read More...

1964 - A Pivotal Year
By Mike Shickler

The year 1964 was a pivotal year in history for United States coins. It was the last year the United States minted 90% silver coins, and there are myriad reasons leading up to this decision.

In 1964, an ounce of silver was valued at about $1.29 an ounce. It was then that the U.S. government forever stepped off the silver standard, ending an era lasting almost 200 years where conscientious lawmakers adhered to an established weight ratio of silver to the Spanish milled dollar and later the U.S. dollar. Dozens of countries since the 16th century adopted a silver and gold standard in one form or another in an effort to stabilize a medium of exchange, without having to use wampum, beaver pelts or other material items of wealth to barter. Read More...
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22kt Gold Proof Sacagawea Dollars
By Jaime Hernandez

In June 1999, the U.S. Mint test struck 39 Proof Sacagawea Dollars in 22 kt. gold planchets. These gold metal planchets were 27 mm thick and composed of .9167 fine gold. These are the same planchets currently used to strike $25 Uncirculated Gold Eagles. Additionally, the 2000-W Proof Sacagawea Dollars also had a slightly different design than regular-issue 2000-dated coins.

Since the 22 kt gold coins were struck before regular-strike coins, they contained an experimental design on the reverse of the coins. Read More...

Readers' Responses

The first two responses are for the article "Size Matters"


Jaime, if size "really" mattered, the Eisenhower Dollar would be as widely collected as the Morgan or Peace Dollar. Of this, I have absolutely no doubt.

IMO, the ONLY reason folks collect Morgan or Peace Dollars is threefold:

1. Silver Content. Far and away the initial attraction to these since the last time silver was in American coinage in this particular alloy was 1964. Read More...
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