January 31, 2012 | Vol. 12 Number 3
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
Metal Prices on the Move
By Jaime Hernandez

Gold seems to be picking up momentum and has already started to break price records this year. Silver and Platinum aren't too far behind; they also increased significantly following the Federal Reserve announcement that it intends to hold interest rates as low as possible. As of this writing, Gold is at $1,725 an ounce, Silver is at $33.67 an ounce and Platinum is at $1,611.90 an ounce. Overall, many coin prices seem to have moved based upon the information found on the PCGS3000 Index.

On a different note, on January 19, eBay announced that effective February 20, 2012, it will no longer allow coin replicas or copies to be listed on its site. This also applies to coin replicas or copies that have the word "COPY" on them. To read more on the subject, go to the PCGS Blog.

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The winner in this issue will receive a 1898 Barber Half in a special PCGS holder indicating eCollector issue #85. Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

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The Man Who Washes Coins for a Living
By Jaime Hernandez

Wearing white gloves has been a popular trend dating back thousands of years. Queen Elizabeth I of England is shown in many portraits wearing white gloves in 1566. Even Napoleon had over 240 pairs of gloves in his wardrobe in 1806. This trend continued to be popular in America up until about the 1930s. There was one problem though; anyone wearing white gloves who handled coins would usually get them dirty. To help prevent this problem, businesses would hire employees to wash coins (also known as coin washers). The primary job of a coin washer was to clean each coin before it was handed to a customer, to prevent the dirtying of their white gloves.

Today, there is at least one person in the world who still cleans coins for a living. His name is Rob Holsen. He works at the Westin St. Francis Hotel Union Square in San Francisco, California and has been a coin washer since 1993. Before Holsen, there was a coin washer who held this position for over 31 years! His name was Arnold Batliner. Read More...

Gold Buffaloes Bring Excitement to
the Market

By Jaime Hernandez

In 2006, the U.S. Mint struck coins with a Buffalo design made of pure (.9999 fine) gold. This was the first time in over a 200-year history the Mint struck pure 24-karat gold coins. There was a lot of excitement from the collectors, dealers and investors eagerly awaiting the release of these coins.

Finally, on June 22, 2006 the West Point Mint released the first pure 24-karat gold coins with a face value of $50 each.

For the design on this new U.S. coin, the Mint turned to James Earle Fraser's popular "Indian-Buffalo" motif that originally appeared on the circulating nickel from 1913 through 1938. Read More...

PCGS CoinFacts

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

Ron Guth: 1796 Half dimes are found in either of two major varieties: LIKERTY and 1796/5. The LIKERTY variety was not caused by an accidental misspelling, but by a defective B with weak crossbars at the top and bottom. Read More...

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Having a Great Attitude Pays Off in the Coin Market
By Jaime Hernandez

Some of the best aspects about coins are the stories behind them, and the stories about the individuals who owned or sold them.

Recently I was told a true-life story I thought was wonderful. It's about a long-time coin dealer who went way out of his way to make his customer happy.

Years ago, there was a collector at a local Long Beach coin show who was going around and purchasing coins from several different dealers. Read More...

Readers' Comments

I am in my late 50s and just started to collect coins about a year ago. I must say, it is the best hobby I have ever participated in. It feels so good to hold history in your hands and realize it is yours to keep and enjoy. It is not about the money it costs to collect. I have found coins that vary in price to fit my budget and so far, I have bought about 20 Liberty coins in various denominations and a few other coins as well. Read More...
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