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US Mint Bullion Silver Eagle Coin Sales In Jan. Beat 2014

2015 American Silver Eagle sales ended at 5,530,000 last month. That is more than double the 2014 December sales that reached 2,459,000, which stopped abruptly because the US Mint stopped all production for Silver Eagles that year. Still, the 2014 Silver Eagles claimed the record for annual sales ending at 44,006,000.

January 2015 sales topped the 4,775,000 Silver Eagle sales of a year ago by 15.8%. The American Silver Eagle bullion coin was introduced in 1986 and only four other months have scored higher than the Jan. 5,530,000:

Jan 2013, 7,498,000 coins

Jan 2011, 6,422,000 coins

Jan 2012, 6,107,000 coins

Oct 2014, 5,790,000 coins

This years 2015 Silver Eagle bullion coins were debuted on Jan. 12th. Distributors for the US Mint still cannot order as many as they want because all US Mint sales are rationed to maintain their inventory and hope for even distribution for all.

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Collector Strikes: Reverse Proof & Enhanced Uncirculated

As a collector, it is important to understand all of the different strikes a coin can have. Strikes can range from a regular, mint state business strike, a proof strike, reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated strike. Almost everyone is familiar with a regular business strike and even a proof strike. What about a reverse proof or enhanced uncirculated?

Reverse Proof

A reverse proof coin is struck exactly like a proof coin, but the the fields of the coin are frosty and the raised devices are mirror like. The term “reverse” doesn’t refer to just the reverse of the coin. The term “reverse” comes from the fact that the fields are frosty rather than mirror-like.

Enhanced Uncirculated

The enhanced uncirculated strike is a special strike that has only very recently been implemented by the US Mint. It’s not a business strike, it’s not a proof and it’s not a reverse proof. It’s actually a little bit of a mixture of all three. Enhanced uncirculated coins include three or more different finishes including mirrored surface, soft frost and heavy frost. The strike is done with a special laser treatment that gives it the one-of-a-kind look. The Mint has also indicated that there may be different finishes added in the future.

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Coin Grading Scale

If you are interested in getting into numismatics, it is important for you to understand the scale on which all coins are graded. Getting a coin graded is a great way to determine the actual value of the coin and is very important to all coin collectors.

Here is a outline of the basic elements of coin grading for both mint state coins and circulated coins:

Mint State Coins

Surface Preservation (marks): Largely a result of the type of handling the coin receives after being struck.

Some surface preservation issues include bagmarks, small scratches, gouges, scrapes, cabinet friction from storage in older coin cabinets, slide friction from albums or flips, roll friction, or hairlines from being wiped.

– Strike: The way a coin is struck can be weak or incomplete due to several factors such as: worn dies, inadequate striking pressure from the coin press, improper spacing of the dies, or slight irregularities in the blank.

Note: as a rule, usually hard metals such as nickel will have more issues than soft metals like gold.

– Luster: is the reflectivity of a given coin caused by the manner in which light reflects off of the flow or stress lines of the coin.

– Eye Appeal: (most often manifested in the toning of color of the coin) is the most subjective of all of the areas of grading uncirculated coins

Circulated Coins

Wear: graded by presence or absence of design elements

Eye Appeal: how well the coin looks to the naked eye

Here is the grading scale that is universally accepted in the entire numismatic community:

MS 60-70 Uncirculated

AU 50, 53, 55, 58 About Uncirculated

XF 40, 45 Extremely Fine

VF 20, 25, 30, 35 Very Fine

F 12, 15 Fine

VG 6, 10 Very Good

G 4, 6 Good

AG 3 About Good

FA 2 Fair

PR 1 Poor

Getting your coins graded by third party grading companies like NGC or PCGS is a great way to solidify the exact value and quality of that coin. By getting a coin graded, it can take a coin worth its market value in gold or silver and raise it to something much more valuable.

Hopefully this helps anybody that is wanting to learn more about numismatics and coin grading itself. Happy Hunting!



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What Is A “Proof” Coin?

If you are new to numismatics, it is very important to do your research before you dive in head first. For me, the first thing I learned was what the difference is between a proof coin and a mint state coin. You could say, “one is shiny and the other isn’t”, but we all know that there is a little more to it than that.

Here is a little information on what a proof coin is and how they are made:


Proof coinage means special early samples of a coin issue, historically made for checking the dies and for archival purposes, but nowadays often struck in greater numbers specially for coin collectors (numismatists). Nearly all countries have issued proof coinage. (Wikipedia)

In order to prepare to strike a proof coin a polishing of the die usually occurs. Proof coins usually have much sharper rims and designs compared to mint state coins, along with the fields of the coins being much smoother. Modern proof coins usually have raised, almost frosted images because of the chemicals that are placed on the die before the coin being struck, with the field of the coin having an almost mirrored background, almost polished in a sense.

The term “proof” has nothing to do with the coin but refers to how the coin was made. Most proof coins are struck more than one time under very high pressure to give it that very detailed look with a very full strike.

Proof coins are also handled differently than mint state coins. Once being struck, they are handled individually rather than being thrown in a pile full of coins. They are handled much more carefully, and intended to be a “collector” coin. That being said, it is much easier to receive a higher grade on a proof coin from a third party grading company like NGC or PCGS.


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Things To Look Forward To At The Long Beach Expo

The last weekend of January, 2015 is going to be another exciting event for numismatics. The Long Beach Expo is being held and there is no shortage of spectacular items both for sale and display. It is going to offer both first day of issue coins and some very exciting rarities.

The Long Beach Expo(Jan 29-31) will kick off the first day with the United States Mint offering the U.S. Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coins. Three coins offered: a half-dollar, silver dollar and gold $5 commemorative. These coins will be available at the United States Mint booth #1126. Any coin bought at the show will ensure the customer the coins in hand on the first day of issue. Also, PCGS will have a booth at the show and offer First-Strike labels for all of the commemorative coins purchased.

When it comes to rarities, the D. Brent Pogue Collection will be displayed at the show. There are 175 coins from the collection being displayed, including one of only three known 1822 Capped Bust Half Eagle gold coins and the Dexter 1804 Class I Draped Bust silver dollar. All of the D. Brent Pogue Collection will be displayed at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries booth, #502.

Some other very rare specimens being displayed include:

– 1794 Flowing Hair Half dime LM-3, PCGS SP-67

– 1827/3 Capped Bust quarter dollar B-1, PCGS PR66+ Cameo

– 1797 Draped Bust half dollar, Small Eagle O-101A, PCGS MS66

– 1807 Draped Bust half dollar O-105, PCGS MS66

– 1808 Capped Bust Left Quarter Eagle BD-1, PCGS MS65

There is also the famous Simpson Collection of Gobrecht Pattern Dollars being displayed. This is the all time finest set of 1836-1839 Gobrecht Dollar patterns ever, according to the PCGS Set Registry. This is the very first time this set will ever be on display on the West Coast. The set will be at booth #807, courtesy of the owner of the set, Bob R. Simpson of Texas, and Legend Numismatics of New Jersey.

There will be more than 500 dealers in attendance at the Long Beach Expo waiting to buy and sell coins, gold, silver, paper money, stamps, sports memorabilia, estate jewelry and other collectibles. There will also be a Heritage Auction of rare U.S. coins that you do not want to miss.

Admission for adults is $8, $4 for senior citizens and children ages 8-16.

The Long Beach Expo will be held in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave. Show hours are Thursday and Friday, January 29 and 30, from 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday, January 31, from 10 am to 5 pm.


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The History of The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (or NGC) is the world’s largest third-party grading service. They have graded over 30 million coins since being established in 1987. NGC has been the official grading service for the American Numismatic Association since 1995 and the official grading service for the Professional Numismatists Guild since the year 2005. As of 2014, NGC employed more than 30 full-time coin graders.

NGC was founded in New Jersey in 1987. In 2006 they moved to the custom-built 60,000 square-foot facility in Sarasota, Florida. They also have opened satellite offices in Zurich, Switzerland and Konstanz, Germany.

The service they offer is coin grading: a fee-based service in which a coin or medal is sent to an independent company to render an opinion on its authenticity and condition. Graded coins are then encapsulated in a plastic holder or, colloquially, a “slab.” A label insert identifies the coin and provides a grade on the 70-point Sheldon grading scale. Coins that are not genuine or have been altered in some way are not graded. (Wikipedia)

In the year 2000, NGC introduced its Star Designation on their labels for coins that had very exceptional eye appeal.

In 2007, they released and introduced the Edgeview holder. And in 2008, they announced that the Edgeview holder would be would be standard for all coin types. The Edgeview holder was actually tested by the Smithsonian Institution. They encapsulated their top 200 coins using the new holders made by NGC.

In the year 2010, NGC stated that they had graded over 20 million coins since being founded in 1987. And as of April, 2014 that number grew to over 30 million. They are still the leading third-party grading service offered today by the volume of coins that they have graded.

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Rare Coin Auctions Gathered $536 Million In 2014, Will 2015 Be Even Higher?

The size and rapid growth of rare coin auctions is powerfully shaping the coin collecting hobby each and every year.

Last year, 2014, nearly $536 million in rare coins were sold at public auction, easily surpassing the 2013 total of about $393 million.

With some of the collections being auctioned off in 2015, including Gardner, Newman, Partrick, and Pogue, it looks like 2015 will topple last years record $536 million.

Last years record $536 million only refers to U.S. coins. No paper money or world coins.

The rare coin auctions started off with a bang at the 60th Annual FUN Show in Orlando, Florida Jan 8th-11. With some coins realizing more than $2 million each, it really set the ball rolling for the new year.

For comparison, in 2014 more than a dozen rare coins sold for more than $1 million among all of the Numismatic auction firms.

Just at the Heritage FUN Show auctions in Orlando, seven coins sold for over $1 million. There were actually seven coins with online bids over $1 million before the first auction even started on Jan 7th!

According to PNG, the estimated size of the rare coin market in 2014 reached around $5 billion, meaning that auctions compose only around 10 percent of the total market. The rest is handled by transactions made from dealer to collector, or from wholesale dealers to other dealers.

It looks like 2015 is going to be a really exciting year for all numismatics. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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The Coronet Collection Of Morgan Dollars To Be Auctioned In 2015

2015 is going to be an extremely exciting year for rare coin buyers and enthusiasts. If you are a Morgan Silver Dollar collector, you will not want to miss The Coronet Collection being auctioned off by Legend Rare Coin Auctions, starting June 25th.

This collection is for sure the finest collection of Morgan Silver Dollars anybody has ever seen. This very special collection includes the $1 1893-S PCGS MS67 CAC Ex Vermeule / Jack Lee, which is estimated at $2 million, the finest of its kind.

Collectors of Morgan Silver Dollars are some of the fiercest competitors. Among all of the competition, The Coronet Collection sits at the top, as the number one finest date set and basic set in all of PCGS. This collection is full of coins that will absolutely blow you away. Whether you are a fan of eye appeal, color, superior strikes, or quality, this collection has it all.

The owner of The Coronet Collection has been asked to remain anonymous but has spent almost 50 years putting this incredible set together. When he started collecting he had one goal-to assemble the finest Morgan Silver Dollar set known to man. After purchasing the 1893-s graded MS67, he knew he had reached that goal.

Here are a few more incredible coins that make up some of The Coronet Collection:

1. $1 1881-CC PCGS MS68 CAC

2. $1 1882-O PCGS MS68+ CAC Ex Jack Lee

3. $1 1885-CC PCGS MS68+ CAC Ex Jack Lee

4. $1 1886-O PCGS MS65+ CAC Ex Eliasberg

5. $1 1891-CC PCGS MS68PL CAC Ex Eliasberg

6. $1 1892-S PCGS MS67 CAC Ex Eliasberg

7. $1 1893-O PCGS MS66PL CAC Ex Eliasberg

8. $1 1893-S PCGS MS67 CAC Ex Vermeule / Jack Lee

9. $1 1897-O PCGS MS66 CAC

10. $1 1898-S PCGS MS68 CAC Ex Jack Lee

11. $1 1900-S PCGS MS67PL CAC

12. $1 1901 PCGS MS66 Ex Jack Lee

For the last ten years, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics, has been instrumental in finding and securing the finest coins for The Coronet Collection. This collection is a masterpiece that contains a number of prominent coins including those of Louis Eliasberg and Jack Lee. Some coins going to be auctioned off from this collection have never been seen before!

Sperber states that “the 1893-S PCGS MS67 CAC is a ‘must see,’ even if you’re not a potential buyer. Not only is this piece the finest 1893-S in existence, it’s also the world’s most valuable Morgan! We estimate the value at $2 million.”

The first half of The Coronet Collection will be up for auction in the  June 25th Regency Auction XII, while the second half going up for auction at Legend Auctions October 15th sale.

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Donald G. Patrick Collecttion Sells For More Than $10 Million At Florida’s FUN Show

Heritage’s Jan 8th auction held at the FUN show, in Orlando, Florida, showcased the Donald G. Patrick Collection. The collection, made up of a dozen 1792 pattern coins, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each and every bidder.

Leading the way for the 12 coins auctioned off was a 1792 birch cent that ended at $2,858,000.

Next, a classic 1792 pattern quarter dollar, Judd-12, graded by NGC MS63 with a CAC sticker. This coin’s opening bid started at $1.5 million before being sold for $2,232,500.

Many onlookers stated that the winning bid was a “steal” of a price. Some even believed it to be the best coin in the collection.

The design, presumably by Joseph Wright, is considered one of the most beautiful in early American numismatics. It is one of two examples known, the other being in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and of inferior condition to the present example.

Another coin surpassing the $1 million mark, was a 1792 pattern copper disme, Judd-11 graded by NGC MS64 with a CAC sticker. It sold for $1,057,500. It is the finest of three examples known of this variety.

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