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Morgan Silver Dollar
- Mintages of popular coins vary widely based on a variety of factors, such as demand and the availability of metals. Depending on the coin, some mintages can range from hundreds of thousands to several million pieces. Occasionally, though, mintages of otherwise popular coins are at levels substantially below the usual swings. Here are a few examples of issues of coins that are notable for especially low mintages and the circumstances surrounding those issues. Arguably the most popular coin in the history of American numismatics, the Morgan Silver Dollar reigned supreme from 1878-1904. Although commonly used in daily commerce during their run, Morgans remain popular among avid and casual collectors alike, with many being passed on as heirlooms for generations. With a smattering of exceptions of releases from individual Mints, most Morgan issues went well into the millions. That is except for the period from 1893-1895. ...Read more »
- The concept of collecting coins was developed way back when coins were first minted. Archeological studies have shown that even in ancient Rome and Mesopotamia, citizens were likely collecting coins as a form of portable and affordable artwork. Alexander the Great himself gave the gold staters struck under his reign as gifts to his friends, and centuries later, Augustus Caesar followed suit with old coins and coins struck by foreign countries. During the early Renaissance, European nobility and even royalty grew fond of collecting the ancient coins of the Romans or the Greeks, earning coin collecting the nickname, the "Hobby of Kings." Today, there are more reasons than ever to become a coin collector, and an important aspect of the hobby is understanding the value of coins. This can be found through the coin’s condition, history, supply and demand and even your personal preference. Let’s take a look at these key elements of a coins value, to see if you would lik ...Read more »
- Many classic U.S. coin designs reveal a mysterious looking hat, including: the ...Read more »
- The historical aspect of collecting rare coins fascinates many people. For example, a silver dollar from Carson City might have been spent by in a saloon by a famous gunfighter. It is the historical possibilities like these that attract people of all ages to Numismatics. In spite of the fascination with a coin’s past, the most important element, however, is value. One of the main reasons I wrote the 100 Greatest US Coins, was the result of attending numerous cocktail parties, at which people would ask, “What is the most expensive coin in the world?” When I answered that a coin had sold for over seven million dollars at auction, most are people astounded. The common reply is, “How can a coin be worth so much?” It’s a great question. Many factors help determine the value of a numismatic collectible. One of the most common misconceptions is that age plays a large role when determin ...Read more »
- Much has been written about the subject of so-called “coin doctoring” in the last couple of years. I don’t like this term, as it suggests there is an evil element in the numismatic world trying to destroy our hobby. I don’t believe this is true. The subject has been much discussed and even the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) struggled for many months trying to define the problem. One thing that has been clarified is that “dipping a coin” is not “coin doctoring.” Nearly everyone has heard the term “dipping,” but many probably don’t know the exact definition. It falls into the general category of rare coin conservation and is an interesting subject to discuss, especially for non-professionals. Jewel Luster For most, the term “dipping” refers to dipping a coin into a rather mild silver cleaner. There are several brands, but the most com ...Read more »
- If you take a short drive from Reno, Nevada, you will quickly find yourself transported back more than 100 years to a time when silver and gold ruled the western economy. Tiny Virginia City - it's a gem of a town, and I've had the pleasure of visiting it several times. Many of the old saloons and stores from the last century are still standing (and doing very well, I might add!). The surrounding hills are honeycombed with the silver mines of the fabled Comstock Lode, a few of which are still producing silver. As I drove south out of town, I saw the remnants of several abandoned mines and stamping mills, and suddenly I came across Nevada's capitol, Carson City. Near the center of town stands the original Carson City Mint, looking much as it did when it struck its first U.S. "CC" mint-marked coins in 1870. Now a Nevada State museum, I enjoyed seeing the original ingot molds, tools, and minting dies on display. But most of all, it was a thrill to find the original old coi ...Read more »
- Whenever the Carson City Mint is mentioned, the discussion invariably recalls tales of grizzled miners, quick-draw gunslingers and saloon gambling. A simple look at the legendary "CC" mintmark and one is immediately carried back to the great coinage bonanza of the late 19th century. It's no wonder that today, the Carson City Mint is synonymous with America's "Wild West" era. Silver Vein Re-Writes History Prior to the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the massive silver vein tapped into to produce Morgan Silver Dollars, Carson City was nothing more than a small settlement that sold supplies to a steady stream of prospectors heading west in find of their fortunes in the gold fields of California. When the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1858, prospectors, miners, immigrants and other fortune seekers flocked to the area. As the ever-increasing riches were brought forth from the mines, Carson City bec ...Read more »
- There is no denying the impact the assassination of President John F. Kennedy had on the country. It's one of the few moments in our nation's history that Americans vividly remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news of this tragic event spread on November 22, 1963. JFK's assassination changed the course of history. It also had a lasting effect on U.S. coinage. Ironically, JFK had asked Congress to approve the minting of 50 million silver dollars on November 21, the day before his fateful trip to Dallas. The last silver dollar struck was the 1935 Peace Dollar and it was assumed that Anthony de Francisci's Peace Dollar design would resume on the 1964 Peace Dollar. After November 22, mourning Americans were suggesting the silver dollar - or another one of the nation's coins due for a design change - bear JFK's likeness as a tribute to his legacy. In the December 6, 1963, issue of ...Read more »
- It may seem hard to imagine, but the world's most exciting and dynamic coin market is not here in the U.S., but in China! The Chinese know about money. They practically invented it around 3,000 years ago. They also invented paper money and experienced the huge inflation and the destruction of value that can be wrought by the massive printing of it. This occurred hundreds of years before Europeans learned about paper money. China's Interest in Coins China came to love precious metal coins during the era of trade with Europe, following huge discoveries of silver and gold in the New World. Chinese merchants carefully examined each coin that passed through their hands. If the coin met their standards for weight and purity, the merchant would stamp the coin with their private "chop" mark. Over the years, some coins were chopmarked so many times that their designs all but disappeared! In the 1800s, Ameri ...Read more »
- The story of the San Francisco Mint is an amazing tale. From the very beginning, coins struck at this branch office were of the highest quality. This standard became a legacy that would endure throughout the Mint's long history. The Famous "S" Mint Mark The San Francisco Mint was established as a result of the nation's most famous gold rush. It's survived challenges from earthquakes, fires and production demands that tested its capacities. The epic history of this prestigious Mint spans over 155 years and today, many people believe that the coins produced there with the famous "S" Mint mark are some of the most beautiful U.S. coins ever struck. The California Gold Rush In 1846, only about 800 people were living in the San Francisco area. But in early 1848, after gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, 75 percent of those residents abruptly left to avoid the anticipated flood of people who would be descending on their quiet little hamlet. The ...Read more »