May 7, 2012 | Vol. 12 Number 10
Collectors Club Price Guide PCGS CoinFacts Services Set RegistrySM
Being a Smart Buyer
By Don Willis

We all love to collect coins and that means occasionally buying or selling. Historically, some dealers have depended on "inside information" that was not readily available to the collector in order to give them an upper hand during negotiations. Relying on incomplete information can be dangerous and expensive for the collector. So what tools do today's collectors have at their disposal that will "level the playing field?"

For starters one of the most important resources is the Auction Prices Realized database provided by PCGS. With over 2.2 million actual sales records from 39 auction companies, the PCGS APR database provides a trove of valuable information. There is nothing more concrete than seeing how much others have paid for the exact coin you are considering. This data is updated daily with the latest sales information.

So stay current, stay informed and be a smart buyer by using Auction Prices Realized.

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(For eCollector Subscribers only)

In each issue of eCollector, we randomly draw a name from our subscribers.

The winner in this issue will receive a 1821 Bust Dime in a special PCGS Secure Plus holder indicating eCollector issue #91. Check the next issue to see if you won. Good luck!

Last week's winner was Eddie Jones. Congratulations Eddie! Please send an email to [email protected] to claim your prize.

View list of all past winners.

Offer good while supplies last, and may be altered or cancelled by PCGS at any time.

Where's all the Fun?
By Don Willis

Where is the fun in collecting? Many would say the fun is in actually owning the coin, but is it? If you are like me, all your coins end up packed away in a bank safety deposit box. So owning the coins isn't the entire reason we collect. I believe the real fun is in the courtship and the conquest so-to-speak. Finding just the right coin for your collection means learning everything there is to know about it. Striking characteristics, varieties, population statistics and survival rates, along with many other pieces of technical information acquired along the way.

More romantic issues such as the history surrounding the creation of your coin series, the life and times of the Mint when your coin was manufactured, and the actual people involved in the creation of your coin are all fascinating aspects of building any collection. For example, what a great feeling it is to hold a coin manufactured from Martha Washington's silverware set or examined by Thomas Jefferson! Read More...

The Chinese Lunar Series
By Mike Sherman

Last time we took a look at the very popular Chinese Panda Series. In this article, we'll take a short look at another popular issue from the China Mint, the Lunar Series.

The Lunar Series coins are based on the Chinese Zodiac, or Shēngxià. In contrast to the Western Zodiac, which uses stellar constellations as its symbols, the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac are represented by animals.

The Lunar Series began in 1981 (Year of the Rooster) and for the past 31 years has been issued in a variety of denominations and metals including Silver, Gold and Platinum (1988). The China Mint has introduced a wide variety of innovative formats for this series over the years, making a collection of these coins both interesting and challenging. Read More...

PCGS CoinFacts 1991-S Mount Rushmore Commemorative Half

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: Four of America's former U.S. Presidents are prominently featured on the obverse of the 1991-S Mount Rushmore half dollar.

Obverse: From left to right: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln's portraits are intricately carved on Mount Rushmore, which also happens to be the world's largest stone sculpture. Below Mount Rushmore, the words "In God We Trust" are listed along with the year 1991, which is the date the coins were issued. Arched below are the words "Mount Rushmore." Read More...

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Readers Responses - 1959-D Mule Article

In the April 29 issue of the PCGS eCollector, we ran an article discussing the 1959-D Mule Cent. Since then, we have received a large amount of feedback from our readers. Here are some responses from our readers we thought you might enjoy:


"My belief is that someone in the Mint produced the coin and smuggled it out. Who knows, maybe other odd U.S. coins that wind up with only five-to-ten in existence should fall under the same conclusion." Read More...

Canada's Dinosaur Coin a Big Hit!
By Phil Arnold

When I was a little kid there were two things I was crazy about; coins, and dinosaurs. In the third grade I fancied myself my elementary school's premier junior archeologist and paleontologist. I spent many recesses digging up prime areas of the school yard, and although my finds would mostly be rusty nails and cast iron (evidence of an old school fire), I did pull up a lot of tiny fossilized Devonian shells. My studies also led me to make plasticine reconstructions of the brontosaurus and the parasaurolophus, which won me some prestigious accolades and became part of the school library's permanent collection. Read More...
Survey Question

Where do you buy most of your coins?
A.Coin shop
B.U.S. Mint
C.Auction house
D.Coin dealer
E.Other websites (not mentioned here)

Click here to answer.
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