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All Posts Tagged With: "Buffalo Nickels"

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: Coins Minted After 1934 tend to be Very Common, 1793 to 1933 is the Classic Era – Part 2

News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community, #23-Part2

A continuation of a Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

Usually, this column is published each Wednesday morning and not at other times. I came to believe, however, that this week’s topic is of tremendous importance and warrants two parts. [Click Here to View Part One] My survey of sophisticated collectors and expert dealers, shockingly, indicated that, while most realized that 1933/34 is the traditional dividing line between classic and modern U.S. coinage, few remembered or ever knew the primary reason. U.S. coins minted before 1934 are much scarcer than U.S. coins minted after 1934. Indeed, though there are a few exceptions, regular issue U.S. coins minted after 1934 are common.

From the perspective of a collector, this is the most important and clearest dividing line in the whole history of U.S. coinage. As the basis for this dividing line is not well understood, I feel compelled to explain and prove its importance. I presented logical points and evidence in part 1, and I provide more evidence herein. I then discuss one major reason why it is imperative to emphasize this dividing line now; many people are spending substantial or even vast sums for very common coins, usually without really understanding the factors involved and the traditions of coin collecting in the U.S.

IV. Walking Liberty Half Dollars

As the somewhat recent sharp rises in the price of silver has affected the values of circulated Walking Liberty Half Dollars, it makes sense here to consider those that grade AU-50 or higher. As no Walkers were minted in Philadelphia that date from 1922 to 1933, it may not be suitable to analyze comparative values for Philadelphia Mint halves in terms of the 1933/34 dividing line. Therefore, I refer to Denver and San Francisco Mint halves. Of all the Denver Mint Walkers minted prior to 1934, the 1929-D is the least expensive and the least scarce.

In AU-50 grade, a 1929-D half is worth about three to more than ten times as much as any Denver Mint half dating from 1934 to 1945, with one exception, the 1938-D. The 1938-D is the only regular issue exception, of the half dollar denomination, to the 1933/34 dividing line between relatively scarce U.S. coins and relatively common coins. The 1938-D half is scarce, much more so than any other Denver Mint half dollar issue in the 1930s or later.

In regard to San Francisco Mint halves, there is no such exception. In AU-50 or higher grades, any pre-1934 S-Mint Walker is worth substantially more, usually from two to more than ten times as much, than any San Francisco Mint Walker from 1934-S to the last S-Mint Walking Liberty Half, 1946-S. In relative terms, pre-1934 San Francisco Mint halves are ‘very scarce’ and post-1934 San Francisco halves are quite common. (more…)

Buffalo Nickels And Lincoln Cents Lead Heritage Long Beach Rare Coin Auction

A dazzling array of Buffalo nickels and Lincoln cents from The Brenda John Collection anchor the upcoming Heritage Auctions U.S. Coin Auction, with floor sessions held June 3-4 in conjunction with the Long Beach Coin Expo in Long Beach, CA. With incredible rarities in incredible grades, no Buffalo nickel or Lincoln cent collector will want to miss this auction.

Many famous varieties are represented in The Brenda John Collection. Among the Buffalo nickels is the dramatic 1916 Doubled Die Obverse graded an astounding MS64 by NGC. On this coin, the date is boldly doubled, so much so that many early descriptions called it the 1916/1916. But the variety was not discovered until well after its release, and the survival of Mint State coins is a matter of chance. This MS64 example is one of the ‘best of the best.’

Similarly important is a 1918/7-D nickel graded MS65 by NGC. Gem examples of this bold and popular overdate are extremely rare, and there are none in higher grades.

Among the very popular Lincoln cents is an off-metal error, a 1944-D cent struck on a steel planchet from 1943 graded AU55 by NGC, with another rare and impressive selection being a 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cent graded MS64 Red and Brown by PCGS.

Important condition rarities in the collection include a 1909 VDB cent graded PR65 Red by PCGS, a 1917-S nickel graded MS67 by NGC, the sole finest coin known to NGC or PCGS, and Lot 420, a 1926-S nickel graded an astounding MS66 by NGC.

Silver and gold collectors will find plenty of desirable coins to bid on as well. High on the list is a trio of Morgan dollars that traveled as part of the legendary PCGS Tour: an 1891-O dollar graded MS65 Deep Mirror Prooflike by PCGS with CAC attestation, an 1892-O dollar graded MS65 Deep Mirror Prooflike by PCGS, and an 1894 dollar graded MS65 by PCGS with CAC attestation. The PCGS Tour brought together some of the most amazing Morgan dollars known at the time. While nearly two decades have passed since then, some of these Morgan dollars remain the best of their kind. The New Orleans Morgan dollars, in particular, are nearly unknown in Deep Mirror Prooflike.

Collectors of earlier U.S. silver are sure to be delighted a legendary Judd-7 1792 half disme graded Good 6 by PCGS. The 1792 half dismes appear on the borderlands between patterns and money. They were struck late in the year, after the Mint Act was passed but before the Philadelphia Mint building was in operation. While they have been collected as patterns in the past, the wear on many pieces like this lot would indicate that they served as money.

Among the gold coin highlights a 1908 Indian quarter eagle graded MS67 by PCGS. It is one of just two 1908 Indian quarter eagles so graded by PCGS, and one of just four MS67 coins certified by that firm in the entire series. (more…)