Gold Krugerrand

When I first came across a South African Gold Krugerrand, I knew that this coin had a much larger story than what sitting in the palm of my hand. If this coin could talk, it would take the next 30 years to tell it’s unique story. When I buy anything, there is usually some emotional attachment even if I say or think different. Put this coin head to head with a gold bar or gold round and you will know that you are buying value based on look. The graceful springbok, an African gazelle is what I find so intriguing! It is as beautiful as the Gold American Eagle coin. Read the rest of this entry »

Coin collecting is a rather simple and popular hobby which requires a small capital and much care. There are not big expenses associated with this collection hobby, as in most cases, the most expensive item could be the coin itself. Most of the coins though, found in retail or antique shops are relatively cheap. Only coin aficionados that look for something really rare and unique, such as vintage bank notes, might need to spend more money, but for most people a coin collection requires little money indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review of Fractional Money

The half dollar: workhorse of former years; little used today. The twenty cent piece: created for private interests; legislated out of existence unwanted and unused. These are but some of the facts presented in Neil Carothers’ Fractional Money. Subtitled “A History of Small Coins and Fractional Paper Currency of the United States,” this book is an exhaustive study of the use and legal development of American money less than a dollar from colonial times until the late 1920s, when the book was written. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favorite Numismatic Mentor

My favorite numismatic mentor would have to be my grandfather. I can remember when I was only about 4 years old and my grandpa taking me and my brother to local coin shows. At the shows he would introduce us to some of the dealers there, who would sometimes give us coins. When Mike (my brother) and I got back into the car, my Grandpa Larry would spend the whole ride home telling us about the coins. Some of my best memories of when I ws littles are those car rides home with my grandpa. Read the rest of this entry »

By the 1830’s, the half dollar had unofficially become America’s chief denomination. A Bust Dollar was an unheard-of find in circulation, yet the mint directors of the last decade had been pushing hard to revive the silver dollar. In 1831, Mint Director Samual Moore finally received authorization to begin making dollars, however it was in 1835, when Moore was replaced by Robert Patterson, that the mint took action in creating a new dollar. Not since the 1792 Half Dime had mint officials put so much attention in a coin. Patterson hired Thomas Sully to design Liberty on the obverse. Patterson requested that the design look similar to the figure of Britannia featured on English copper coins. For the reverse, Patterson hired noted painter Titian Peale. Patterson hired then unknown Christian Gobrecht to transfer the obverse and reverse to a die. Read the rest of this entry »

Die Variety “Coin Con Artists”

As a young and active collector of Early Half Dollars, I often attend local shows to find coins that I judge “suitable” for my growing albums. Many know that the Early Halves are most desired for their die varieties noted by Al C. Overton in Early Half Dollar Die Varieties: 1794 – 1836. In fact, that is what initially drew me to the hobby. I have recently discovered that some malicious coin dealers have attempted to take advantage of this and have tried to falsify die varieties. Recent Coin World articles have brought to my attention that many dealers, now more than ever, are looking out for themselves; not so much the buyer. Read the rest of this entry »

Liberty Head Gold Dollar

The tiny Liberty Head Gold Dollar had tremendous purchasing power – equivalent to a full day’s wages or more for many Americans in the mid-1800s. Read the rest of this entry »

Capped Bust Dime

The Capped Bust Dime was designed by Mint Assistant Engraver John Reich. Read the rest of this entry »

Ireland Half Penny

The history of the Ireland Half Penny began in the early 1200’s during the reign of King John. It ended in 1987. Read the rest of this entry »

Indian Head Half Eagle

The Indian Head gold pieces, including the Indian Head Half Eagle, are unlike any other coins produced before or since by Uncle Sam: their designs and inscriptions are sunken below the surface of the coins, rather than being raised. Read the rest of this entry »