United States Mint Offers 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coins Through Online Subscription Program Cent Coins

Mint Seal

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint will offer two-roll sets of the third and fourth redesigned 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coins-featuring coins emblematic of Abraham Lincoln’s professional life in Illinois and presidency in Washington, D.C.-through its Online Subscription Program beginning June 24, 2009.  Pricing for the Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Coin Two-Roll Set Subscription is set at $8.95 per unit.  Customers may enroll in the program to receive the maximum household limit of five units.  Multiple subscriptions that result in quantities exceeding the household limit will be cancelled.

$10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coins – 1907 to 1933

By: John Douglas

The $10 Indian Head Eagle gold coin, also know as the $10 Eagle, minted from 1907 to 1933, is considered to be one of the most beautiful American gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint. Its production came about through the insistence of President Theodore Roosevelt. He did not like the current design on his Inaugural Medal that was designed by Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, nor other coins being produced by the mint at the time.

The President had some artistic friends who encouraged him to have it re-done. “I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness,” President Theodore Roosevelt wrote in a note to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie Mortier Shaw on December 27, 1904, and then continues, “Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like
Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty?”

President Roosevelt commissioned the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens for the task of coming up with a new design. Saint-Gaudens accepted this assignment, but was so terribly busy that he only had time to sketch out some rough ideas on a paper napkin while making the train trip from
Washington. He had told President Roosevelt that he would need to have his associate, Adolf A. Weinman, to do most of the actual work on the design. Collectors today will probably know Weinman for his work on the Mercury dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar.

Several modifications of the initial design were made for reasons of minting problems and the $10 Indian Head Gold coin was finally released to the public. There were 239,406 of these that were put into circulation in the fall of 1907. They continued using this last design until the early part of
1908.

Indian Head Eagles are 26.80 mm in diameter, weigh 16.718 grams and are composed of .900 fine gold. The reverse depicts a standing eagle, wings slightly spread, regal in appearance. The obverse depicts Lady Liberty wearing a Native American war bonnet. The edge of the coin is unique decorated with 46 raised stars for the 46 current states in the union at the time instead of the typical reeded edges that had become so common.

President Roosevelt strongly felt that using the words In God We Trust was blasphemous so they did not appear on these new coins at first. So there were 33,500 of these coins made in Philadelphia, and another 210,000 in Denver that did not have those words on them in 1907 and 1908. However, Congress was not happy with this decision and insisted that the words be put
back on the coins. In 1908 they appeared to the left of the eagle on the back side of the $10 Indian Head Gold coin. The mint marks for Denver (D) and San Francisco (S) appear to the left of the bundle of arrows the eagle is standing on. There is no mint mark for $10 Indian Head Eagles produced in Philadelphia.

While there were regular issue coins that were made at all of the mints from 1908 to 1911, and then in 1914, only Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints made eagles in 1912, 1913 and 1915. They were made only in San Francisco in 1916 and 1920.

As far as collecting goes, there have been a few of both the 1930-S and the 1933 $10 Indian Head Gold coins that have shown up periodically. If you are looking for scarce and rare coins to add to your collection, you will want to search for the ones with 1909-D, 1911-D 1913-S, 1915-S and 1920-S. All of these coins are rare, especially in mint state condition. So you are a lucky collector if you find any of them. Common date Indian Head Eagles are widely available in mint state certified condition at reasonable prices. The $10 Indian Head Eagle was well received when introduced to the public in 1907 and continues to be popular with collectors today.

Article Source: http://collectibles-articles.com

An avid fan and collector of American gold and silver coinage, John Douglas writes extensively on the history and mintage of pre-1933 American Gold Coins. Find in depth information about collecting American Gold Coins, their history and design, and supplies for all coin collectors at www.americangoldcoinshop.co

$5 Indian Head Half Eagle Gold Coins – 1908 to 1929

By: John Douglas

America in 1908 was a nation in the midst of wide ranging social and economic change. Headlines of the day sound like they were ripped right from todays news. Women were banned from smoking in public in New York City. A car began production that was advertised to get 25 miles to the gallon. The first “Round the World” car race was staged. New Years Day was celebrated by the famous ball dropping for the first time in New York’s Times Square. And the new $5 Indian Head Half Eagle gold coin, as well as its smaller sibling the Quarter Eagle, debuted in November 1908 to great controversy.

President Theodore Roosevelt had determined it was time for the nations coinage to change and become more beautiful. The well known sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt designed the obverse and reverse for the Half Eagle as well as the smaller Quarter Eagle. And the design was controversial from the start. It didn’t look like the typical American gold coin with its incuse, or sunken, design. Complaints were made that the portrait of the Native American model appeared emaciated. Banks complained the gold coins were difficult to stack and would be too easy to counterfeit. It was even claimed by some that the coins design would harbor dirt, germs and disease making them a hygiene problem, all of which proved untrue.

Roosevelt let the coins production move forward as planned despite the complaints and the complainers. The $5 Indian Head Half Eagles production lasted only a few, short years from 1908 through 1916. It was resurrected again in 1929 with a production run of 662,000 pieces but the majority of those were destroyed before ever leaving the mint. It was the last time a $5 Half Eagle gold coin was to be minted for circulation in the United States. From the time American gold coins were first minted in 1795 to 1916 the $5 gold coin only missed production in 3 years, 1801, 1816 and 1817. It was one of the most successful denominations produced by the U.S. Mint.

Today, the $5 Indian Head Half Eagle is one of the most popular collectible American gold coins. It is relatively inexpensive when compared with its big brother, the $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle.

The obverse features a proud Native American facing left and wearing a War Bonnet. Around the obverse are 13 stars and the word LIBERTY featured at the top. At the bottom is the year produced and just above the year are the initials of Bela Lyon Pratt. A standing Eagle dominates the reverse of the coin standing on a bundle of arrows. Around the circumference is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, to the left of the Eagle is E PLURIBUS UNIM, to the right the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Physically the coin is 21.60 mm in diameter, weighs 8.359 grams and is .900 pure gold. There are key dates that stand out in this series. Obviously 1929 is one, followed by the 1909-O and 1911-D.

Because of its design it is somewhat difficult to be graded correctly, especially by those unfamiliar with its unique design, because it doesn’t have the traditional high spots where you’d normally look for wear. That’s why it’s important to look for coins that are graded by either PCGS or NGC, or that you know and trust the person from where you are purchasing the coin.

These beautiful American gold coins enjoy a very strong following and sell quickly, especially in certified mint state or about uncirculated condition. They are a great addition to anyones coin collection. The $5 Indian Head Half Eagle is far more popular today than during the time it was produced.

Article Source: http://collectibles-articles.com

An avid fan and collector of American gold and silver coinage, John Douglas writes extensively on the history and mintage of pre-1933 American Gold Coins. Find in depth information about collecting American Gold Coins, their history and design, and supplies for all coin collectors at www.americangoldcoinshop.com

What are the Advantages of Buying PCGS Graded Coins?

As a coin collector or an investor of coins, you no doubt have asked yourself the question of why you should buy professionally graded coins. These coins are also known as slabbed or certified vs. an uncertified coin which is known as “raw”. The term “slabbed” came about because certified coins are in a plastic slab.

A topic such as this is quite controversial as each side of the coin has its staunch proponents. In this article though, we will concentrate on the advantages of graded coins, specifically PCGS graded coins. As you may know, there are several other grading services out there but PCGS has been ranked the most consistent in grading and ability.

PCGS, a subsidiary of Collectors Universe, started grading coins for the public in 1986 and since then PCGS has graded millions and millions of coins. So why buy PCGS coins? Let’s answer that question now.

The first reason, and this applies to all slabbed coins, is that a slabbed graded coin is now protected from further damage. Imagine taking out your best coin, a 1942-S Walking Liberty in what you believe to be MS-67 condition. In this condition, PCGS gives an estimated value of $25,000.00. It is an absolutely beautiful coin. To prepare for this moment, you put on your white coin gloves so as to not pass body oils to the coin. As you pick it up to examine it the telephone rings, or your two year old snuck up behind you and nearly trips you. The coin goes flying out of your hands and is rolling across your floor right towards the floor heat vent. You make a mad dash and dive to save the coin, but it is too late. The coin rolls over the lip of the heat vent and slips between the cracks into your house heating duct. You lift the vent out of place and reach in for your coin. Fortunately it did not go around the bend and begin the spiral down to the furnace. It may as well have. Your once $25,000 coin now has several scrapes, scuffs, and a ding smack dab above “In God We Trust” due to the screw it landed on in the vent. This same coin in MS-65 condition is worth $700. Even worse, in MS-64 it is worth $110. While the coin still has its original mint luster, the physical damage is there. Do you think this is an extreme example? Maybe, but I guarantee you that many a coin has been accidentally dropped by dealers and collectors reducing its grade by a couple notches and its value by countless thousands of dollars. Personally, and sadly, it has happened to me. I once dropped what I thought would be a MS-66 Red 1909 VDB Lincoln cent. Upon close examination after I dropped it, I noticed a few scrapes and scuffs not previously their. Yes, they were minor and barely visible, but I had it graded anyway, and it came back as MS-65. While my example was not with a $25,000 coin, it happens. I now clear a special area for handling GEM coins so this never happens again. A certified coin comes in a hard plastic container that not only protects it from silly mistakes but also it is sealed to further protect it from the elements. Yes, the natural elements (air pollution) can damage coins over long periods of time. Most grading companies will encase the graded coin in an air-tight container to ensure preservation.

The second reason to buy a PCGS slabbed coin is that any coin graded a specific grade will retain that grade. A MS-65 coin will always be a MS-65 coin, unless of course you submit it for re-grading. With PCGS coins though, you can be fairly certain in the consistency of graded coins. With other grading services, inconsistencies bring uncertainty into an assigned grade.

The third reason to buy PCGS graded coins is that when it comes time to sell, PCGS graded coins will command a premium over other slabbed coins. As an example, I checked recent sales of the very common 1921 P Morgan dollar in MS65 condition. Those certified from PCGS were commanding prices upwards of 50% over similarly graded coin from other grading services. While this is an extreme case, it simply points out the faith by collectors in PCGS coins. Naturally, it will cost you more to buy PCGS coins than other certified coins.

The fourth reason to purchase PCGS certified coins is a coin graded by PCGS gives it instant credibility. Grading services first came about so that coins could be bought and sold without the buyer having to see it first. This was in the age before digital cameras and the internet. While there was a grading system in place in the early 80’s, grading was very arbitrary. A coin graded F-12 by one person would grade G-4 by another. By introducing an outside, disinterested party into the equation, both sides of a transaction could agree that the grade was correct. The idea was to create a system whereby dealers could trade/buy/sell coins without seeing them first. The idea was a hit. Today PCGS graded coins offer instant credibility. Whether you are buying or selling though, always buy the coin and not the grade. I have regrettably bought a few truly ugly high grade PCGS coins. While they were in decent shape, some had very unattractive toning and had I seen the coin first, I would not have bought it. Even though a coin carries a certain grade, you still need to ask details about certified coins and look at them first.

With the introduction of the State Quarter program several years ago, coin collecting has seen a surge in the number of collectors. Thousands and thousand of new collectors have entered the hobby and with that there will be a higher demand for certain coins. While most of us began our hobby for the pure enjoyment of collecting, we still like to know that our investment is somewhat safe. I believe, and this is my opinion only, that with more and more collectors entering the hobby, certain high-end certified coins will continue to rise in value due to demand. As those collectors who started on State Quarters mature in their collecting endeavors, they will no doubt begin to collect older coins such as Walking Liberty halves and Morgan Dollars. Most likely this will be coins that have been certified. This will no doubt raise the value of certified coins. But this is only my guess.

Coin Collecting can be a wonderful hobby and as you refine your collecting interests, PCGS graded coins can make a wonderful addition to your collection.

As always,

Happy Collecting!

Rare Coins May Be Hiding In Your Pocket

When talking about coin collecting, rare coins are some of the first things to spring to mind. After all, coin collecting is often considered to be an investment and rare coins are the most valuable coins out there. They are highly sought after and coveted and, because they are in so much demand, they tend to be worth a great deal. However, because they are worth a great deal, they tend to be much more in demand, which increases their value. So if you want to look into rare coins, remember that you have some heavy competition.

One of the best places to find rare coins is, of course, in your pockets. No, you are not going to find any coins that are worth thousands. But you can find an occasional needle in the haystack that will be worth much more than you might expect. This is because there are a lot of coins in circulation and some rare coins just float along and get lost in the shuffle because nobody bothered to see what was in their hands. However, as a coin collector, you should take a look at the change that passes into your hands so that you can be sure to catch the occasionally unusual coin that comes your way. Of course, it is difficult to keep your eyes out all the time for that coin that slips through the cracks for years on end, but the rewards are well worth the effort of checking your change routinely.

In order to ensure that you find the rare coins that pass your way, you need to be well informed. Which means that you need to do your research so that you know what to look for. You could have fistfuls of rare coins in your hands, but they are only worth something if you notice that they are rare. So you should keep on top of coin collecting and have the research handy when you look through your change for rare coins. Plus, by doing the research now, you can avoid kicking yourself later for overlooking a rare coin that was right in the palm of your hand.

Though your own pockets may hold a good supply of rare coins, a more reliable place to hunt for rare coins in at your local coin dealer or online. The coin dealer is often superior in this instance, as you will be able to look at the coins directly, rather than relying on photography and description to figure out if the rare coin you desire is the one you are attempting to buy. However, there are reputable coin dealers on the Internet and they have excellent selections of rare coins. But do your research before you buy so that you know the person you are dealing with can be trusted.

Rare coins are not only good investments, they can be fun too. After all, having something unusual that everyone else wants is rather enjoyable on its own. Not only does it provide you with a sense of satisfaction for having found something others overlooked, it gives you the chance to take some pride in your own process of discovery. And, with coin collecting, the fun is not only in having a good collection, it is in building it. So get to building an excellent collection by including some rare coins.

Rare And Beautiful World Coins

Ideas for Collecting Coins from Around the World

Collecting world coins is a fun hobby that gives you the feeling of travelling the globe vicariously through your coins. A collection of world coins offers a unique insight into the culture and history of other countries, and encourages you to learn at least a few words of a variety of different languages. World coins can also be an interesting step into the world of coin collecting, because it is a relatively inexpensive pastime. Many of the coins are still in circulation, making them easy to find and light on the pocketbook to buy. Oftentimes, children start their coin collections with world coins for this reason.

Ideas for Collections of World Coins

While some people may enjoy collecting world coins haphazardly, simply enjoying whatever coins they happen to come across, others prefer more of a challenge. While it may be impossible to collect every coin from around the world, you can create a lovely coin collection that is challenging and fun to complete by selecting a particular theme to pursue.

The most obvious theme for a collection of world coins is a concentration on a specific country. If that idea seems a little bit stale, you can also broaden your collection by concentrating on a region or aspect of a country. For example, you could start a world coins collection from South American countries, nations where English is a national language, or from island nations.

Another interesting possibility is to combine two interests by concentrating on a favorite thing or hobby outside of coin collecting. For example, a coffee lover might collect world coins from countries that produce coffee beans, or an auto enthusiast might collect coins from countries that produce his or her favorite automobiles.

You don’t have to use countries as a central point of your world coins collection, however; you can also build a collection around a specific motif on the coins themselves. Some people have collections of coins featuring a particular animal, such as an eagle or a panda bear. Others concentrate on flowers, trees, or birds. Someone interested in military history might enjoy a world coins collection featuring famous fighters, for example.

Another idea for starting a collection of world coins is to concentrate your efforts on coins from a particular year. Some people really enjoy collecting world coins that were minted in their birth year, or which commemorate another date that is important to them.

If none of those ideas appeal to you, perhaps you’d like to concentrate on a specific metal used to make the world coins. While precious metals like gold and platinum are obvious choices, some people enjoy putting together collections of world coins minted from common nickel or copper.

If any of these ideas have inspired you to start a collection of world coins, you might want to pause a moment before you start building a collection, and check out the prices and availability of coins matching your desired theme. It won’t be much fun to start a collection of gold bullion coins, only to realize that you can’t afford more than one or two pieces. A few minutes with a world coins catalog will help you decide if your ideal theme for a collection is also feasible with your budget.

United States Mint Launches First Coin With Readable Braille at the National Federation of the Blind Headquarters in Baltimore

Mint Seal

BALTIMORE – United States Mint Director Ed Moy, joined by National Federation of the Blind (NFB) President Marc Maurer, launched the Nation’s first coin with readable Braille during a ceremony today at the NFB headquarters in Baltimore.  The coin commemorates the life and work of Louis Braille, who developed the tactile method of reading and writing used by the blind.  The ceremony included a videotaped message from United States Senator Christopher J. Dodd, one of the primary sponsors of the “Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin Act” (Public Law 109-247).

Old Coins: Discover The Thrill Of Owning A Piece Of History

Among the mainstays of coin collecting, old coins are among the most exciting and sought after members of the coin family. Not only do they tend to be rarer than modern coins, but they are often made from valuable materials that actually worth more now than the actual denomination of the coin itself. Which makes old coins that much more of a thrill.

One reason why old coins become value is the simple fact that old coins were often made from precious metals, such as gold or silver. Thus, old coins can often be worth more melted down than they would if they were spent like regular change. However, the fact that they are still stamped coins makes them even more valuable. And their value is only enhanced even more by the fact that they have been around for a while.

Old coins are made even more valuable when they are also rare. Fortunately, the fact that coins are old tends to make them rarer. This is because the older a coin is, the more likely that people have exchanged it for more modern currency and the more likely that the government has gotten a hold of it and melted it down. In fact, most governments have specific legal requirements to destroy old coins in order to keep the money supply modern, making it more difficult for coin collectors to find old coins.

However, coin collectors don’t just look for old coins because they are valuable. They are also unusual and provide a connection to people who lived long ago. When you have an old coin in your hands, you are holding the same coin that was passed from hand to hand one hundred, one thousand, even two thousand years ago. They are not just metal, they are pieces of history. What you see and feel in your hands is exactly what your forebears saw and felt.

When you hold old coins in your hands, you are not just holding some old money. Rather, you are holding links to your forebears. Those coins have moved through history as surely as great architecture. And the old coins you collect may have even made history on their own. Who knows whose hands those old coins may have passed through? They may have been in the palms of kings and presidents, philosophers and physicians, writers and artists, or inventors and tycoons. And with the number of times that change changes hands, there is no telling who might have spent those old coins you are adding to your collection.

While old coins can be good investments, they are much more than that for a coin collector. They are windows to long gone pasts and forgotten times. They are connections to people who have lived all manner of lives and done things both great and small. So when you see old coins, remember that many people have worked to earn that coin and they have all, at some level, appreciated its presence in their lives. So enjoy those old coins that you collect and appreciate them for the fact that they could fill entire books with the stories that they have to tell.

What is the Difference Between a Coin’s Price and its Value?

Price and Value are Not the Same Thing

There is a big difference between the price of a coin, and the value of a coin. Although you often see these words used interchangeably, it is important that you understand the different concepts represented by each.

The “Price” of a Coin is How Much it Would Cost You to Buy it From a Dealer

This is pretty straightforward. The “price” of a coin is merely the amount that it would sell for on the open market, otherwise known as its “retail price.” Coin prices are set by many different factors, including the type and grade of the coin, its rarity and desirability, and to some extent its availability in the marketplace. The most frequently used price guide to U.S. coins is the Red Book.

The “Value” of a Coin is How Much You Can Sell it for Today

Here’s where it gets a little complicated.

When you want to establish what your coin collection is worth today if you wanted to sell it, you are establishing its value. The amount you can sell your coins for (its “value”) is considerably less than its “price” if you had to replace them. Dealers need to make a profit to stay in business, so when you go to sell your collection, you’re not going to get those nice, high Red Book prices. The Red Book prices are retail amounts.

Consider the Blue Book

There is another book, known as the Blue Book, (formally titled “Handbook of United States Coins”), which is the most widely used guide to wholesale coin values. These are the values a coin dealer will offer to pay you for your collection. They typically run about half of what the coins retail for. Coins which derive most of their value from bullion (such as common-date American Eagles and Double Eagles) will get you more (75% to 85% or so) because most of their value is based on the gold itself, rather than the rarity of the coin.

Appraising Your Collection for Insurance Purposes

The one time when it is correct to use the “Price” metric to determine what your collection is worth, is when you are establishing its value for insurance purposes. In this case, you want to insure the replacement cost of your coins. Since you’d have to pay the Red Book (retail) price to replace them, this is the metric you should use.

Always be Realistic About Prices and Values

There is nothing more satisfying to a collector than to pluck a coin worth $100 in the Red Book out a dealer’s $10 pick bin. And in this case, you’ve probably done very well, because it’s likely the dealer overlooked something here. But the more typical case is finding lots of $20 Red Book priced coins the $10 bin. This is because the dealer is probably overstocked in this material, and would be happy to get his cash back to make more marketable purchases. Be careful that you don’t get carried away thinking you’re getting bargains in cases like this, because the amount you can sell the coin for, its value to you, is about what you paid for it. In other words, don’t deceive yourself into thinking that the value of a given coin is equivalent to the price you paid for it.

Identifying US Coins With Bullish Futures

Okay, let’s get something straight… I do not advocate the purchase of United States coins strictly for investment purposes. Like most traditional collectors, I believe coins are to be primarily appreciated for their artistic beauty, historical connections, and the joy of pursuing them. However, it should be no secret that a significant number of us do add to our numismatic holdings while simultaneously peeking at the payback angle, too.

In truth, there are probably substantial numbers of traditional collectors who prefer to acquire coins destined to increase in esteem and value over time; treasured heirlooms and a source of pride to be passed from one generation to the next. On the flip side of this equation, it seems implausible that anyone would buy a coin with the hope or expectation to see it stagnate or decrease in value. Indeed, any commentator who suggests the words “investment” and “coins” should never appear in close proximity to one another is ignoring a heavily populated segment of our hobby.

Now that we’ve established that it’s not numismatic heresy to seek coins with strong upside possibilities, let’s get down to basics. The guiding principle is simple: Any coin that has demonstrated solid, consistent gains over a long period of time is likely to show continued growth in the years ahead. Easily said, but as we shall soon see, not so easily put into practice.

So exactly how does a one identify coins with a potentially bullish future? The best clues are revealed by analyzing the retail value trends over a long period of time for a given coin. Observing current prices alone does not yield enough information to correctly evaluate prospective price movements. What was the coin selling for two or three years ago compared to today? Dig deeper, and find the market price for the same coin 5-10 years ago. While you’re at it, get something from 20-30 years or more in the past, too. The more good data researched, the more reliable will be your final conclusions. Now whip out your spreadsheet and chart the numbers, or compute annualized rates of return. Flat or negative trends are bad. Positive trends are good. Steep positive trends are best. Any coin displaying a proven annualized growth pattern of at least 5-10% over a span of many years qualifies as an attractive option for the collector desiring coins headed for much higher price levels a few years down the road.

During the course of my lengthy numismatic career, I’ve researched the long term value trends of most collectible US coins. Thanks to my trusty computer, I’ve calculated annualized compounded percentage return rates and honed in on a handful of coins that have consistently beaten the overall coin market averages. Unfortunately, the blue-chippers are scarcely encountered. Perhaps it is this fact that explains why so many well-intentioned hobby purists scorn the idea of blending coin collecting with the profit motive.

Individuals whose objective is to satisfy their numismatic pleasure by assembling a collection certain to be the envy of tomorrow’s collectors must do their homework today. Remember to research historic value trends and evaluate growth potential based on previous performance. One last word of advice… never loose sight of the fact that you are handling artifacts of America’s past, and that all of us are merely their temporary custodians. Respect these coins and the history they represent, and you’ll always discover new avenues of adventure not found in most other investment opportunities.