Rare Coin Inventory
Early certified rare coins offer balance to your core bullion holdings.
Here are a few hand-picked suggestions, please confirm availability and price. Pictures available upon request.
Call (800) 225-7531 for more information. And your satisfaction is always guaranteed.
How Important is Certification?
This is a much discussed topic today in the rare coin field and you would think that because certified coins came into broad usage in 1986 with the advent of PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and soon afterwards NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation) that common questions would now be better understood. In fact however the general public is still working on how the certification process is best used to their advantage.
Which is unfortunate because certification is safe, transparent, necessary for higher value material and is a value-added process.
In the early days of certification coins could only be submitted through authorized dealers. And even today it might be a good idea to use an authorized PCGS or NGC dealer to help you with the process. There are many advantages here for those not familiar with what makes a rare coin valuable and why it should or should not be submitted. And authorized dealers do all the paperwork including packaging and insurance.
The process does take some thought because you want to certify only those coins whose value is high enough to make the cost of certification worthwhile. And you want to avoid sending in coins which do not make sense – like those cleaned or damaged unless they are extremely rare.
If certification cost plus shipping and insurance came to $30.00 per coin (typical) you would not want to send in a coin that is worth $50.00. For lack of a better word this “normal” type of submission can take a month to complete and the process should be selective. You don’t want to pay money for certification if it does not add value to your material and make your coins more salable.
If you want to expedite the process you could pay $60.00 and get the coin back sooner. If you were in a real hurry both services offer a “walk through” submission for something like $125.00 which is used for rare coins of extreme value.
There are also other options to consider before making up your mind. Visiting a large coin show (www.coinshows.com) and stop by the PCGS or NGC booth – in many cases graders are at the table and are happy to give you a free opinion as to whether your coin warrants certification.
So, do you need an authorized dealer to submit your coins to the grading services?
Actually you do not and once you become comfortable with the process certification is relatively easy.
The first step in certifying rare coins yourself is to contact your service of choice – PCGS (www.pcgs.com/services) or NGC (www.ngccoin.com). Each provides excellent online help to explain the process, costs, insurance, appropriate packaging and so forth.
Of course there is more to certification and if you have additional questions I’m happy to help (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks for reading!
|US Colonial Coinage – One of the most historical fields within numismatics – packed with hidden treasures and wild stories of early American life. This area contains many legendary rare coins which have set world record prices. Massachusetts NE (New England) shilling, the Higley coppers (he minted copper coins from his own mine and when the locals protested about the stated value he added the inscription Value Me As You Please), the famous gold Brasher Doubloon, the Nova Constellatio patterns, most of which are unique, the 1792 Birch Cent, lettered edge (To Be Esteemed Be Useful) 8 known, and the famous 1792 Disme in silver (3 known). But for the most part many rare issues are still surprisingly affordable.|
|1787 Fugio Cent – 4 cinq, 8 Stars – States United||1787||PCGS||XF40||$1100|
|Kentucky Cent – Plain Edge||PCGS||MS63BR||$900|
|1795 Talbot Cent||1795||PCGS||MS63BR||$750|
|Elephant 1/2 P – London – Thick||PCGS||MS63RB||$5000|
|US Type Coinage – As the name implies each is a distinct “type” of coin. Sometimes these types are defined by denomination – quarter dollar, half dollar or silver dollar. Some specialize by choosing the various “types” within same denomination. The Seated quarter series (1838-1853) for example contains 5 varieties – No Motto – Arrows & Rays – Arrows No Rays, Motto & Arrows at Date. Each of these changes in design reflected a change in the amount of silver the mint used to keep the coinage within federal statute. So lots of choices promoting creativity and value building.|
|Proof Buffalo 5 Cent Piece – The Buffalo series was struck from 1913 through 1938. Yet there are only 7 proof years and all of these are difficult to find in higher grades. There are two types of “proofs” – matte (sandblasted dies) and brilliant (highly polished dies).|
|Proof Buffalo Nickel 1936 – Type 2 Brilliant||1936||PCGS||PR67||$3,000|
|Proof Buffalo Nickel 1937 – Brilliant||1937||PCGS||PR65||$1,100|
|Proof Liberty Seated Dimes – Seated dimes were struck between 1837 and 1891. The first proofs were seen in 1853 and for the most part were struck each year through 1891. Most are surprisingly inexpensive in higher grades. Great value and potential.|
|10c Seated Liberty – No Arrows – Closed 3 – Proof||1873||PCGS||PR65||$950|
|Twenty Cent Pieces – 1875-1878 – From the very beginning the public complained about the similarity in design and size to the quarter dollar. This created confusion in commerce and so mintage numbers were drastically reduced after the first year and discontinued after 4 years. This series produced one of America’s great rarities the famous 1876 CC twenty cent piece worth upwards of a million dollars today.|
|20c 1875-S Liberty Seated||1875-S||PCGS||MS65||$2,500|
|25c Capped Bust Quarter – Reduced Diameter|
|25c 1835 Capped Bust Quarter – Motto Removed||1835||PCGS||AU50||$725|
|Seated Liberty Quarters|
|Note – Beautiful PCGS MS-65 and MS-66 seated liberty quarters have always been a favorite – unfortunately I’m sold out. If you have superior examples send a picture to email@example.com with your asking price, maybe I can buy yours. Thanks!|
|Barber Quarters – Designed by Charles Barber and truck between 1892 and 1916 – it was considered a “workhorse” coin of its time, meaning it was perfectly suited for daily commerce and so a large percentage of those coins struck were heavily circulated. I have always thought that higher grade proof and mint state examples have been overlooked by the public and many dealers for decades.|
|25c 1892 Barber Quarter – CAC||1892||NGC/CAC||MS65||$825|
|25c 1915-D Barber Quarter||1915-D||PCGS||MS65||$725|
|Standing Liberty Quarters – Replaced the Barber Quarter – designed by Hermon MacNeil. Struck from 1916 through 1930. Outstanding design & very popular. There are two varieties – Type 1 (No Stares Below the Eagle – 1916-1917) and Type 2 (Stars Below the Eagle – 1917-1930). If Liberty’s head is fully struck the grading services add the full head (FH) distinction to the holder and the coin commands a premium.|
|25c Standing Lib Quarter||1917-D||PCGS||MS65FH||$1,450|
|Draped Bust Half Dollars (1796-1807) – One of the most popular early American coins – rare in all grades, exceedingly rare in high grades.|
|Capped Bust, Lettered Edge (1807-1836) – Desirable in all grades, rare in higher grades. Designed by a German immigrant John Reich who was the first mint engraver to consistently include the denomination on US gold and silver coins.|
|1831 Capped Bust, Lettered Edge (a fascinating early anti-counterfeiting device which placed the coin’s denomination (FIFTY CENTS or HALF A DOLLAR) on its edge to discourage “shaving” – an early practice used to cheat in daily business.||1831||PCGS||MS64+ CAC||$4,200|
|Note the use of a “plus” sign in the official PCGS certification (MS64+). This is a relatively new addition to the PCGS grading process and is designed to distinguish coins which have a superior “look” within the specified grading range.|
|Seated Liberty Half Dollars|
|1875 Seated Half Dollar With Motto – Proof 66||1875||PCGS||PR66||$3,900|
|1883 Seated Half Dollar With Motto – Proof 66 CAC||1883||PCGS||PR66 CAC||$4,200|
|Barber Half Dollars – Also called the Liberty Head Half Dollar – struck between 1892 and 1915. High grade examples in proof and mint state are always desirable and keep in mind that collectors in this era saved primarily proof examples not business strikes so they are much tougher to find than the mintage’s might suggest. Inside tip – buy only top of the line examples with terrific eye appear and “pop”.|
|50c Barber Half Dollar||1900||PCGS||MS65||$2,250|
|50c Barber Half Dollar||1912-D CAC||PCGS||MS65||$2,150|
|50c Barber Half Dollar – NGC Proof 65||1912||NGC||PF65||$2,050|
|50c Barber Half Dollar – NGC Proof 65||1903||NGC||PF65||$2,050|
|50c Barber Half Dollar – NGC Proof 65 – Red Book Insert||1909||NGC||PF65||$2,100|
|Walking Liberty Half Dollar – A land mark coin with a wide following which was struck in both proof and mint state (1916 and 1947). Designed by Adolph Weinman and Liberty has the American flag draped around her shoulders. Original pattern ideas where much more dramatic but the final production coins are a high water mark in spectacular 20th century coin design. Weinman also designed the dime which shows Liberty wearing a winged cap. This classic depiction was initially thought to be the Roman god Mercury and to this day it’s mistakenly called the Mercury dime.|
|Mint State Walking Lib Half Dollars|
|50c Walking Lib Half Dollar||1916-D||PCGS||MS65||$2,175|
|50c Walking Lib Half Dollar||1934-D||PCGS||MS66||$1,400|
|50c Walking Lib Half Dollar||1934-S||PCGS||MS65||$2,300|
|Proof Walking Lib Half Dollars – Most overlook the notion that a complete “set” of 7 proof Walkers is rarely seen today, makes an unbelievable display and yet is still attainable with a small amount of diligence. The Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark) only struck proof examples in 1936 (the most difficult to find), 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 (proofs this year come with and without the design’s initial – AW) and 1942. Most of these dates are still inexpensive even in high grades and all are wonderful examples of the golden age of US coin design.|
|50c Walking Lib Half Dollar – PCGS Proof 67 CAC||1942||PCGS||PR67/CAC||$840|
|Early US Federal Dollars – Popular, studied and sought there are three types – Flowing Hair (1794-1795) – Draped Bust, Small Eagle Reverse (1795-1798) – Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Reverse (1798-1804). And what happened to all these coins? Over time the price of silver changed, in those times when silver was rising in price the silver dollar contained “too much silver” relative to statue requirement and so many were melted. The same fate awaited our early gold coins as the mint tried on many occasions to change “intrinsic weight” to reflect a silver or gold coin denomination.|
|Heraldic Eagle Reverse – The most affordable in the series, these historical coins have a wide following in all grades. Picture America’s first mint in Philadelphia and workers drinking beer – it was actually encouraged, the water spread yellow fever.|
|$1 Flowing Hair Heraldic Eagle||1798||PCGS||VF20||$2,600|
|$1 Flowing Hair Heraldic Eagle||1799||PCGS||VF25||$2,600|
|$1 Flowing Hair Heraldic Eagle||1799||PCGS||VF35||$2,900|
|$1 Flowing Hair Heraldic Eagle||1799||PCGS||XF40||$4,100|
|$1 Flowing Hair Heraldic Eagle||1800||PCGS||VF35||$2,800|
|Seated Liberty Dollars (1840-1873) – These beauties come in two varieties – the No Motto (1840-1865) and the With Motto IN GOD WE TRUST (1866-1873). A great many of these classics were melted because at times their silver content exceeded their face value.|
|1860-O Seated Liberty Dollar (With Motto)||1860-O||PCGS||MS63+||$3,750|
|Proof Trade Dollar – Regular production trade dollars were struck in 3 mints – Philadelphia, Carson City and San Francisco between 1873 and 1885. Especially prepared “proof” strikings were only made in 13 of these years and only at the Philadelphia Mint. There are two are major rarities – 1884 (10 known) and 1885 (5 known). From the beginning the Trade Dollar created a great deal of controversy and so the remaining 11 “proof years” were ignored and mistreated by collectors. High grade examples today are tough to find and undervalued.|
|$1 Trade Dollar – Proof Only Issue – CAC||1879||PCGS||PR65||$6,500|
|Better Morgan Silver Dollars – A trusted investment area with a huge following. Struck between 1878 and 1904 and bought back for one year only in 1921. Mintage numbers are not a good judge of rarity because under the provisions of the 1918 Pittman Act 280 million coins were melted. Designed by George T. Morgan who used a school teacher as a model for Liberty these historical silver coins were struck in Philadelphia (no mint mark), New Orleans (O), Carson City (CC), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S). These mint marks are located on the reverse of the coin under the ribbon.|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1879-O||PCGS||MS65||$2,600|
|$1 Morgan Dollar – CAC||1881||PCGS/CAC||MS65||$500|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1882-O||PCGS||MS65||$800|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1878-CC||PCGS||MS65||$1,175|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1880-CC||PCGS||MS65||$875|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1882-CC||PCGS||MS65||$410|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1883-CC||PCGS||MS65||$395|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1884-CC||PCGS||MS65||$375|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1885-CC||PCGS||MS65||$900|
|$1 Morgan Dollar||1888-O||PCGS||MS65||$400|
|Proof Morgan Silver Dollars|
|1903 Proof Morgan Dollar PCGS 66 – Spectacular Toning||1903||PCGS||PR66||$7000|
|1887 Proof Morgan Dollar PCGS 65 Cameo||1887||PCGS||PR65 Cam||$7100|
|The word “cameo” or “deep cameo” is sometimes added to a coin’s technical grade by both PCGS and NGC. It is a coveted distinction which describes the beautiful contrast rarely seen between a coin’s mirrored field and its sometimes frosted devices. Exactly what causes this halo kind of look on some but not all coins within a specific series is still being studied but is probably related to die preparation.|
|Better Peace Dollars – Issued between 1921 and 1935 the Peace dollar was a commemorative peace coin designed by an Italian immigrant using his beautiful wife as the model for Liberty. With diligence one can assemble a magnificent 24 coin set in MS-65! The stoppers being the 25-S, the 28-S and 34-S – the remaining 21 coins are undervalued, surprisingly affordable and historically important. The inside tip here is not to “buy the holder” – consider only fully brilliant, blast white examples with terrific eye appeal. This extra concern always pays dividends over time.|
|$1 Peace Dollar – High Relief||1921||PCGS||MS65||$1,650|
|$1 Peace Dollar||1922-D||PCGS||MS65||$500|
|$1 Peace Dollar||1922-S||PCGS||MS65||$1,500|
|$1 Peace Dollar||1928||PCGS||MS65||$3,100|
|$1 Peace Dollar||1935||PCGS||MS65||$625|
|Select US Investment Gold – Always popular – a selection of better material in higher grades.|
|$1 Dollar Type 1||1853||PCGS||MS65||$2100|
|$5 Gold Indian- Beautiful Color – Rare This Nice – Unique Incused Design||1909||PCGS||MS65||$7100|
|$20 Saint Gaudens – No Motto – Wells Fargo||1908||PCGS||MS65||$2,000|
|$20 Saint Gaudens – No Motto – Wells Fargo||1908||PCGS||MS66||$2,600|
|$20 Saint Gaudens – No Motto – Wells Fargo||1908||PCGS||MS67||$6,300|
|$20 Saint Gaudens High Relief – Wire Edge||1907||PCGS||MS64||$22,000|
|Early $2.5 Gold – Classic Head No Motto 1834-1839|
|Early $5 Gold – Draped Bust to the Left 1807-1812|
|$5 Gold Piece 1809/8 PCGS MS62||1809/8||PCGS||MS62||$13,500|
|Early $5 Gold – Classic Head No Motto 1834-1838|
|$5 Gold Piece 1836 Classic Head||1836||NGC||XF45||$825|
|Early Type 1 & Type 2 $20 Gold Choices – Struck between 1849 and 1876, sought after in all grades as these coins were struck during the gold rush days through the civil war. There is just something magical about these big early gold coins, they never last long.|
|$20 Liberty – 1865 – Type One – Without Motto||1865||NGC||XF45||$2,450|
|Classic Silver Commemoratives – Most early silver commemorative coins are half dollars struck between 1892 and 1954, the exceptions being the Lafayette dollar (1900) and the Isabella quarter (1893). These historic coins celebrate important persons and events in US history providing a world of education. Beautiful MS-65 examples trade for a song and Yeoman’s Guide Book of United States Coins always provides valuable insight.|
|50c Antietam Commem||1937||PCGS||MS65||$650|
|50c Grant Commem||1922||PCGS||MS65||$480|
|50c Hudson Commem||1935||PCGS||MS65||$975|
|50c New Rochel Commem||1938||PCGS||MS65||$360|
|50c Vancouver Commem||1925||PCGS||MS65||$630|
|Classic Gold Commemoratives – Struck between 1903 and 1926 most these coins are one dollar gold pieces. The exceptions being the $2 1/2 Sesquicentennial, the $2 1/2 Pan-Pacific Exposition, the $50 Pan-Pacific “Round” and $50 Pan-Pacific “Octagonal”. A “set” usually refers to 11 coins – two $2 1/2 gold pieces and ten $1.00 gold pieces. This series is woefully undervalued and presents a wonderful opportunity to build rarity into your holdings. Insider tip – when the US Mint struck these historical gold coins those that were not sold were melted (so mintage’s are not an accurate gauge of rarity) and many were defaced by the jewelry trade when hat pins were the rage. High grade examples are scarcer than price would indicate.|
|US Pattern Coins – Uniquely interesting – hugely popular – patterns are US Mint “idea” coins which were never placed into regular production. All are rare and a few have a wonderful dark side – “made to order” at night for important collectors or dealers. A mint official “perk” at the time to make a little extra money, today it would land you in prison. J. Hewitt Judd, M.D. was an early collector and helped codify this fascinating area in his book United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces. Today patterns are universally identified by their “J” numbers honoring the doctor.|
|3c Nickel 1868 J-618 – Proof Cameo||1868||PCGS||PR65CAM||$2,750|
|25c 1869 Standard Silver J-721 – Proof||1869||NGC||PF66||$2,700|
|50c 1859 Silver Longacre Design J-239 – Proof||1859||PCGS||PR60||$1,675|
|$1 1879 Silver Barber Goloid J-1617 – Proof||1879||NGC||PF65||$4,350|
|United States Error Coins A wonderful area of rare coin collecting and investing – mistakes which somehow were released into circulation to the delight of everyone except the US Mint. One of the standard references is The Error Coin Encyclopedia by Margolis and Weinberg, a fascinating read.|
|25c Struck 5% Off-Center||1968-S||PCGS||PROOF 66||$2150|
|High Denomination Small Size – US Currency – This is an interesting area which has been around for decades but since the advent of paper money certification has gathered a much wider following. The US stopped producing both the $500 and $1000 note in 1934. Increasing demand and shrinking supply have pushed prices higher since the early 1970’s. Independently graded $500’s range in price from less than $1000 to more than $3000 depending on condition. Graded $1000’s range from $1500 to $5000. We try to have a few examples of each on hand but they never last long. Call for availability and talk with Ken Slater or Harry Johnson (1-800-225-7531).|
STARTING A CERTIFIED RARE COIN PORTFOLIO
What does a model portfolio consisting of certified rare coins graded by PCGS or NGC look like? There are many variations and the above selection represents what we hope will be an interesting beginning. If you are looking for something specific call us toll free (1-800-225-7531) and ask for a check of our complete inventory or email firstname.lastname@example.org – there is never any obligation and I’m happy to help or answer questions.
In the meantime consider three reasons as to why placing hard asset money into this area makes sense:
First, certified coins offer an alternative to storing wealth which also protects against 3rd party intrusion.
Second, certified rare coins offer financial privacy and are fun because they are historically important.
Third, we believe many certified rare coins are undervalued and so offer investment potential.
The bullion portion of your portfolio is simply a choice of bullion coins or bars. But what about the choice of certified rare coins when it comes to investment balance? We offer a few rules here to get you started.
WHICH ARE THE BEST EARLY RARE COINS?
Which certified rare coins should you consider for long-term investment? In fact no person knows for sure, but there are parameters, which will lead you in the right direction. Look for coins which interest you – the more interest the more enjoyment – an added benefit. Early type, colonial coins, patterns, or better date silver dollars are a good start and these build good habits which lead to treasure and satisfaction.
THE RARITY VERSUS DEMAND SECRET
Rarity by itself is not the best way to approach this unique area. Rarity is good, but if there is no demand for a coin its rarity will be of little value. Link rarity with demand. Many certified coins are rare, but their popularity is what pushes their price dynamic.
WHICH GRADE IS BEST? AND WHAT ABOUT EYE APPEAL?
It is important that your certified coins are graded by PCGS (The Professional Coin Grading Service) or NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). This enhances liquidity and evaluation. Rare coins are graded using the Sheldon Scale from 1 to 70. The higher the number the better the condition and the more elusive the coin. Generally as rarity and popularity increase so does price. You are looking for a balance between rarity and affordability.
At the same time “eye appeal” or what makes the coin “attractive” is very important. The insider tip here is deal with professionals who understand what “premium quality” looks like within the grade range. An example here might help, let’s say you are looking for a particular coin graded by PCGS in MS-65 condition. The insider’s tip here is simple, not all coins graded PCGS MS-65 are created equal – the same is true for all grades.
Some coins barely made the grade and some are so nice they were almost given a higher grade – this is called the “grade range”. And understanding how it works will make your investment job more successful. The coin trade uses a special word to identify these exceptional examples – it’s called “pop”. And owning coins with “pop” is the most important step you can take in understanding rare coin success.
Look for material which falls into the higher end of the grading range – be patient and avoid lesser quality examples regardless of price.
How do you know your possible choices are special? Ask your representative how these coins were selected.
If the answer is vague or you are told “They are certified and so they are all are the same.” Be careful. Good coin companies know it’s good business to use trade experts to make their inventory sparkle – many have graded for PCGS or NGC and fully understand the “grade range”. Surprisingly some companies do not – they are simply interested in selling a “widget” – make sure you are doing business with the right kind of company.
INTERESTING STORIES ARE IMPORTANT
Certified rare coins with an interesting story are better choices. Stories and the history behind them bring these treasures to life. The more compelling the story the better the opportunity to build valuable holdings and the more satisfying ownership becomes. To understand this concept consider a series of books which unfortunately are no longer in print but can be found on Amazon called The Numismatist’s Companion – edited by Q. David Bowers. These small books were published in the 1980’s and present a wonderful look at the sometimes eccentric people, unlikely places and turbulent times which are now the foundation of today’s rare coin business.
CONSIDER MARKET CYCLES
The price history of certified coins will tell you where in the cycle you are and provide clues which lead to good decisions. People who have a strategy are better equipped because they develop a long-term plan taking advantage of “up” and “down” markets. They do their homework and choose attractive early rare coins. Past performance does not guarantee future results but it’s a good place to begin.
THE KEY IS LOOKING FOR VALUE
Some rare coins today can be purchased for less than their old highs which might suggest a value buy. On the other hand there are coins which are trading on their highs, do not dismiss these possibilities, but you want to identify both sides of the spectrum in making an informed choice.
Follow the “50 year rule” – it keeps you focused. Never invest in a rare coin which is not at least fifty years old because without an established price record the outcome becomes unpredictable. Choose early “coins of significance” – modern issues and certified bullion coins are easily overpopulated.
Building a powerful collection creates value, a journey through history and is fun to boot – but requires patience. If you have a bunch of “old stuff” consider consolidating into “better” material with a theme. Read a few rare coin books along the way. There is an old adage in this trade which says “buy the book before the coin” – the more you know the better your results. If you are looking for a good start consider Yeoman’s Guide Book to United States Coins. It is the best overall introduction and reference to US rare coins available today.
Finally, keep in mind we actively buy, sell and trade material. If you have certified rare coins you no longer want and are looking for a cash offer, or want to trade something you have for something we have (rare coins or bullion) just send me an email (email@example.com) suggesting what you think is fair – maybe we can do some business. Buying, selling and trading is a great way to improve your holdings and get a realistic idea as to value. Thanks for stopping by and if you want a written answer to your question contact me using this link – Ask an Expert