May 24, 2011 | Vol. 11 Number 10
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
Coins Trading Today Traded 100 Years Ago
By Jaime Hernandez

Reading one of the articles in this issue entitled "Common Gold?" got me thinking. The term common date refers to coins that trade at about the same price as all other common date coins, as long as they are in the same condition. If it's a gold or silver coin, they trade based off the silver and gold spot prices. These are the coins that trade most frequently and are a major segment of the coin market. And at one time they played a major role in our economy.

Some of these coins are not so generic after all. They are very special because they traded 100 years ago in commerce. Who knows, maybe your grandparents used some of these coins to pay the rent, put gas in the family car, buy food, or even lovingly buy you a toy. Just like these generic coins traded back then, there still doing so today, but as collectibles rather than being used to purchase things. Next time you see an old coin, no matter how generic or common it is, think of who spent that coin or what that coin has bought over the years and how many more times it will trade or even what things it will buy in the years to come.

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Common Gold?
By James Halperin

Among coin dealers, the phrase "common gold" generally refers to coins that have the lowest premium, which is often stated as a percentage over melt value. In my opinion, there is nothing common about gold. Since ancient times, gold has been the most universally valued substance on earth. And when used to produce United States coins, the value of this metal is greatly enhanced.

The first Double Eagle I ever bought was an 1868-S in choice AU grade. My cost was $43. I was hoping to pick it off for double face value, but the crotchety old dealer wouldn't budge. His reluctance to negotiate might have been because he didn't think a boy my age really had that much money in his pocket. Read More...

1998-S and 1999-S "Close AM" Proof Cents
By Jaime Hernandez

In 2005, the discovery of proof 1998 and 1999 cents that had been struck with business strike reverse dies was reported. First of all, in 1994 the Mint modified the reverse design for all proof Lincoln Cents. The reverse for all 1994 proof cents and after should bear the letters "AM" in America spaced apart from each other, also referred to as a "Wide AM." On business strikes, the "AM" should be the opposite, where the letters "AM" are nearly touching, also referred to as "Close AM."

These pieces can be distinguished by extremely close spacing between the letters "AM" in "AMERICA." Read More...

PCGS CoinFacts 1936 50C Oregon
(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:

David Hall: In 1936, the original sale price was dropped to $1.60, down from the $2.00 that was charged for the 1934-D. Oregons were struck at both the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints. The Philadelphia version was struck in greater quantities, almost exactly twice as many, and it is much more common than the 1936-S. There were 10,006 1936 Philadelphia Oregons struck and sold to collectors. Read More...

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A fantastic selection of coins highlights the Stack's Bowers June Baltimore Auction.
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The Origin of the 5¢ Nickel
By Mike Sherman

Among the first coins struck by the United States was the Half Dime in 1794. Worth five of the new large cents, the diminutive silver coin served for nearly 80 years as a key piece of small change in the pockets of Americans. In 1866 though, the U.S. Mint introduced a second five-cent coin. One might wonder why this new coin appeared since the Half Dime had already been serving in that role for many years. Read More...

Join PCGS in 2011 at the following shows:

Beginning with the Long Beach Expo next week, the summer coin show season is upon us. Join us and submit your coins directly to PCGS at the following upcoming shows. We look forward to seeing you.
Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo June 2-4, 2011 Long Beach, CA
Baltimore Expo June 16-18, 2011 Baltimore, MD
Summer FUN July 7-9, 2011 Orlando, FL
For a more complete list of shows, click here.
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