December 6, 2011 | Vol. 11 Number 25
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
The Mint had an Extremely Successful Year
By Jaime Hernandez

The U.S. Mint has definitely had a busy year. If a collector wanted to purchase an example of every single coin the U.S. Mint struck in 2011, it would cost approximately $25,000! The Mint sold a ton of gold and silver coins this year. In the Silver Eagle Series alone, the Mint sold around 40 million Uncirculated Silver Eagles - a new record!

History has repeatedly proved that silver and gold have always been extremely popular. Some of our readers may remember the Hunt Brothers, who were infatuated with silver. If they would have played their cards right, they would still probably be among of the world's wealthiest individuals. To learn more about the rise and fall of these two brothers, please read our featured article entitled How the Hunt Brothers Cornered the Silver Market.

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The winner in this issue will receive a 1877-CC Seated Dime in a special PCGS holder indicating eCollector issue #81. Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

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How the Hunt Brothers Cornered the Silver Market
By Jaime Hernandez

It all started with two extremely wealthy brothers named Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Bunker Hunt - also known as "The Hunt Brothers."

The two brothers were the sons of Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr. who happened to be the wealthiest man in the world from the 1940s until the 1960s, thanks to his extremely successful oil drilling ventures in Texas.

Nelson Bunker, the second oldest son, became wealthy by overseeing his father's oil empire. Nelson, like his father, enjoyed gambling and he too began drilling for oil with his own money in the early 1960s in Pakistan. Unfortunately, he ended up losing $11 million on one of his first ventures. He continued to gamble and bid against some of the world's largest oil companies for some oil drilling leases in Libya. He acquired tracts #2 and #65 in Libya; Read More...

What You Need to Know About PCGS Sample Slabs
By Alan Canavan

In this article, I would like to introduce new collectors to the fast-growing world of sample slab collecting. It's time for those of you who already own sample slabs to reevaluate what you have to see what they might be worth.

I think of sample slabs as a way of watching the "slabbed" coin claim its place in Numismatic history and evolution. With each new slab design, a new era in sample slab collecting begins and a new face for coin holders appears in the marketplace. Sample slab collecting is by no means a new hobby, but it has become very popular and now is a good time to start or renew a collection.

With all this new growth comes the inevitable high demand and subsequent value increase. At the moment, the market is all over the place, which is to be expected as collectors discover which samples are rare, and which samples are common. Values should settle as the hobby moves forward. Read More...

PCGS CoinFacts 1829 10C Curl Base 2 (Regular 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:

Gordon Wrubel: The 1829 Curl base 2 is an extremely rare and much sought-after variety. PCGS has only graded a couple dozen examples in the past 25 years and so far, the highest grade was VF35. Read More...

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Numismatics should be FUN is the mantra of Bill Shamhart of Numismatic Americana.
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Can You Grade Like a Professional?
By BJ Searls

In January at the FUN show in Orlando, PCGS PhotogradeTM Online will sponsor the display of two PCGS grading sets: Morgan Dollars (MS60 to MS68) and $20 Gold Saint Gaudens (MS60 to MS67). In conjunction with this display, we will sponsor a PCGS Collectors Club Grading Contest. The winner will receive a PCGS Secure Plus MS65 $20 Saint Gaudens! Read More...

1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal
By Q. David Bowers

Robert I. Aitken, a New York artist, designed the octagonal and round 1915-S Panama-Pacific International Exposition $50 pieces. Both have the same design, except that unlike the round issue, the octagonal coins display dolphins in the angles on the obverse and reverse between the inscription and the points of the border.

The obverse depicts Minerva, according to the official description "The Goddess of Wisdom, Skill, Contemplation, Spinning, Weaving and of Agriculture and Horticulture," obviously, an all-around, ideal type of mythological person. Read More...

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