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Coin Market Update

The big news in the coin/bullion market is the shortage of physical silver bullion for immediate delivery.  Gold bullion is readily available, but most silver bullion items are on back-order and the premiums over spot silver are at the highest levels in years.  The rare coin market, after a pause the last year, seems to be improving.

What’s Hot: Any 90% silver or silver bullion. Collector series showing some strength include uncirculated 3 cent silver and nickel, Barber dimes/quarters/halves in MS63 or higher, and Type 1 (1850-1866) $20 gold.
What’s Not: Any over-graded or unattractive coins.

Which Coins Should be Certified:
The advent of professional third-party certification was a huge boost to the coin market.  Beginning with ANACS in the early 1980’s and accelerated by PCGS then NGC in the late 1980’s, the market was transformed and expanded by certification.  But which coins should be certified?  Here are several considerations:

  • Authentication – Many valuable collector coins (1916-D mercury dime, 1909-S VDB cent) are heavily counterfeited.  Third party certification with its guarantee of authenticity has become crucial.  Even for coins that are easily authenticated (3-legged 1937-D buffalo nickel, 1916 standing liberty quarter), certification provides comfort to potential customers.  With the influx of Chinese fakes, this is more important than ever.
  • High Value Coins – We generally certify any coins over $500 in value for the protection of our customers.  There are exceptions (generic US gold coins), but few retail customers will buy or should buy $1000+ coins without third-party grading.
  • Large Value Differences Between Grades – Dealers and especially retail customers tend to be conservative in valuing uncertified coins.  If there is a big jump in value to the next grade, they will invariably value a coin at the lower grade.  For instance, it is virtually impossible to sell raw MS66 or MS67 Morgan dollars without accepting an MS65 price.  Better to get them certified.
  • Perception – The perception has become that if a valuable coin is not certified, “there must be a reason”.  So the assumption is there must be something wrong with an uncertified coin, whether true or untrue.
  • Protection of Heirs – Advanced collectors know the value of their coins – but what about their heirs?  We’ve worked with many widows who have no idea of the value of the coins they just inherited, let alone the grades.  There are buyers, not many but a few, who will take advantage of this situation.  We strongly recommend that collectors protect their heirs by certifying valuable coins and leaving notes as to their value and disposition.
  • Preservation – Grading company “slabs” are not a guarantee that valuable coins will not deteriorate with time, but it’s one of the better ways to store a valuable coin.

The downside of certification is that people are no longer forced to learn coin grading skills, and many don’t.  But overall, it has been a great boost for the industry.

Feel free to contact us any time for more information on coin-related topics, whether bullion coins or rare coins.

Brad Welles
Solid Rock Rarities, LLC


Top of Page About Coins

A New Face on the Ten Dollar Bill

By Doug West

The Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, announced on Friday, June 26th that the current ten dollar bill would be changing - move over Alexander Hamilton, there is a woman taking your place. No one knows right now who this woman is that will be the new face of the ten dollar bill. The selection of the women for the ten dollar denomination note is going to be a lengthy process and by 2020, the new bills should be in circulation. There may turn out to be two ten dollar bills in circulation, the existing one with Alexander Hamilton, and the other with a portrait of a woman. The selection and development process is still ongoing.

This upcoming change makes me think, who was Alexander Hamilton and how long has he been on the ten dollar bill? I remember from history class that he was a statesman in the early years of our young country and I vaguely remember him in a duel with Aaron Burr. Unfortunately, that was where my memory ran completely dry – so I did a little digging to come up with his story and I realized what an accomplished man he was.
Alexander Hamilton didn’t enter the world with a silver spoon in his mouth. Born on a small island in the British West Indies between 1755 and 1757, he was abandoned by his father at age 10 and at age 13 his mother died of yellow fever. About all he inherits from his mother is a pile of books, which he reads voraciously. Forced to earn a living at age 14, he worked as a currency exchange clerk for a general store on the island of St. Croix.  The owner of the business became very ill and Hamilton began became the manager of the mercantile at the young age of 14. The leaders of the island recognized the extreme talent of this young man and set up a fund for him to travel to the American colony in order to be educated.

Alexander arrives in America in 1773 and enrolls in King’s College in New York City. The city was a hot bed of revolutionary fervor and he quickly adopts the revolutionary cause of the colonists against the British and joins the army of the revolution in 1775. Within two years, he has risen to the rank of Lieutenant Cornell and becomes General Washington’s senior aid.
After the war in 1789, Washington appoints Hamilton as the first Treasurer of the United States. Hamilton studies various coinage systems and reported his findings and recommendations to Congress on monetary matters in 1791. He advocated a system with decimal subdivisions and multiples of the dollar and urged the use of both the silver and gold in U.S. standard coinage. By 1793, the mint was up and running and produced a small quantity of half cents and cents. In addition to help with the development of the mint, he was integral to the establishment of the federal government’s domestic and international monetary policy.

Unfortunately, Hamilton’s story doesn’t end with him riding off into the sunset in his golden years – it ends abruptly and violently at the hand of one who had been his onetime friend and comrade in arms. Alexander Hamilton had been involved in a long term political feud with Aaron Burr and the rhetoric turned personal. In 1804, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel to avenge his honor. Hamilton, duty bound by his honor, reluctantly accepts the challenge. Since dueling was illegal, the pair and their companions met on the plains of Weehawken, New Jersey for this famous duel - Hamilton would die of his wounds the next day. At age 47, Hamilton was struck down in the prime of his life. Though Burr won the duel, his political career was over and he became a pariah to the American public.

Alexander Hamilton first appeared on U.S. currency in 1928 on the small size ten dollar Gold Certificate note and he has been on the ten year note ever since. The currency has changed through years from the Gold Certificates, Silver Certificates, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, North African and Hawaii emergency bank notes of the Second World War, and finally our current Federal Reserve notes. The design of the ten dollar note was significantly changed in 2003 with a larger portrait of Hamilton (see the figure).

Ten Dollar Bill

Though we don’t know exactly who will fill Hamilton’s place on the ten dollar bill, we do know that she will have mighty big shoes to fill.


Top of Page About Coins

The 2015 Harry S. Truman Presidential Dollar
By Doug West

In 2007, the United States Mint started a dollar program that honors past presidents by placing their image on the obverse of the coin. Each year, four different presidents are represented on the coins. Initially, the dollar coins where meant for circulation, but they weren’t very popular with the general public. In 2011, the Mint stopped issuing the coins for circulation. Now the coins are only available directly from the Mint and various secondary sources, such as eBay and Coin Shops. The coins are gold in color, but they do not contain any of the precious metal gold. The reverse of the coin has a design featuring the Statue of Liberty. The date and mint mark is found on the edge of the coin. The motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, was moved from the edge of the coin to the obverse, starting in 2009. In addition to dollars that were meant for circulation or the collector, the Mint also produces proof Presidential Dollars. The proof coins are made from specially polished dies and have mirror-like surfaces. The proof coins are issued each year in proof sets sold directly from the U.S. Mint.

The program will end in 2016, with President Reagan being honored on the final dollar coin in the series. Federal law does not allow the image of a living president to be placed on a coin or currency. In 2015, one of the four dollar coins issued will feature the Missouri-born President Harry S. Truman.

Harry S Truman Coin

A Short Biography of President Truman
Harry S. Truman held the office of President of the United States of America from April 12, 1945 to January 20, 1953. He was the 33rd President and served two terms. It was during his first term that the Second World War ended. He was also the American President to witness the advent of the Cold War and the Korean War.

Harry S Truman PortraitAs President of America, he was best known for the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. He was directly involved in the creation of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On matters of international relevance, President Truman was also part of the decision-making bodies that formed the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Truman presidency was characterized by numerous post-war domestic reforms as well as critical decision-making involving international readjustments as the world faced the challenges in the aftermath of the Second World War.


The Early Years

Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, to John Anderson and Martha Ellen Truman. John Truman was a farmer and entrepreneur. At the time of his birth, Harry’s family lived on a farm in Lamar, Missouri. He was named after his Uncle Harrison. The “S” in his name did not stand for anything specific. The middle initial was given to Harry by his parents in honor of the family names Shipp and Solomon. The middle name was sort of a tribute to the boy’s two grandfathers, Solomon Young and Anderson Shipp Truman. Harry was raised in Independence, Missouri, where the family moved in the summer of 1890. Both of Harry’s parents were avid supporters of the Democratic Party.

As a child, Truman was interested in music and he started learning the piano at the age of 11.  He practiced playing the piano fervently before going to school in the morning and aspired to be a concert pianist in his youth. The young boy was also very passionate about reading since he was unable to perform well in sports due to poor vision. He spent a lot of time reading at the Independence Public Library. The young Harry was a helpful and friendly boy. Realizing this, he sought to become tougher and more feisty—closer to the traits and attributes of his father. He also wanted to attend West Point, but he was refused entry due to poor eyesight.

In 1901, Harry graduated from Independence High School. During his studies there, he became deeply interested in history and thought it relevant and useful. Harry Truman did not go to college because his parents could not afford the tuition. Soon after graduation from high school, Harry found a job placement in the mailroom of the Kansas City Star. From 1902 to 1906, he worked different jobs, including bookkeeper for the Union National Bank and bank clerk for the National Bank of Commerce. At one time, he also served as timekeeper for the company in charge of the Santa Fe Railroad construction.

After working and being on his own for four years, he was summoned by the family to help at the homestead in Grandview, Missouri in 1906. Harry spent several years on the farm helping with daily operational and managerial tasks.

When World War I erupted in Europe, Truman re-enlisted in the United States Army. He was 33 years old—beyond draft age—when he joined the National Guard artillery unit. Truman was shipped to France in 1917 with the 129th Field Artillery. He left the service in 1919 with the rank of Captain of Battery D. The Meuse-Argonne campaign was an important turning point in Truman’s life. He survived the war and returned home to Missouri with confidence and conviction.

Harry Truman married Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace on June 28, 1919 in Independence, where they settled and started a family. Their courtship had started in 1910. They were blessed with an only child named Mary Margaret Wallace Truman. She was born on February 17, 1924.

Harry and Bess Truman
Harry and Bess Truman’s Wedding Photograph

With the help of a partner named Eddie Jacobson, the Trumans opened a haberdashery in Kansas City in the latter part of the year 1919. The store was named Truman & Jacobson Men's Haberdashery. The store was initially profitable but suffered from the recession of the early 1920s. After just three years, the store failed and Harry Truman had to pay off his share of debts in the years to come.

Public Life Begins

On November 9, 1922, Harry S. Truman assumed public office. He was elected to an administrative post in the Jackson County Court in Missouri. He post was that of a judge, but the functions resembled the job of a county commissioner. It was an administrative position, not a judicial one. Truman vied for re-election in 1924, but he was defeated. He became interested in the position again in 1927 and was successful in winning the vote.

During his years of public office, Harry Truman’s political ambitions grew. As a member of the Democratic Party, he campaigned and was elected as a Missouri Senator from 1935 to 1945. Truman came into prominence at the national level when he was appointed as Chair of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program in 1941. This body was eventually known as the Truman Committee.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt chose Harry S. Truman as running mate for the US Presidential Election of 1944, the two men barely knew each other. Harry Truman did not seek the nomination actively. President Roosevelt, who was to campaign for a fourth term in office, was partial to another fellow Democrat. Senator Bennett Champ Clark was the person who nominated Truman for the vice-presidency at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1944. It was a strategic choice for the Democratic Party. They needed a man they could trust, especially since FDR’s health was already deteriorating. The Roosevelt-Truman ticket won 53.4% of the votes over the Republican team of Thomas E. Dewey and John W. Bricker.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died suddenly of ill health on April 12, 1945. On that day, at 7:09 PM, Vice President Harry S. Truman was sworn into office as the 33rd President of the United States of America, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Truman himself spoke the following words as he tried to sum up his feelings about the unlooked-for appointment: "Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now. ... When they told me what had happened, I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me. I've got the most terribly responsible job a man ever had." Truman barely had time to breathe upon assuming office. He was immediately thrown into the decision-making machine that was churning away with the main objective of putting an end to World War II.

President Truman’s actions and decisions during his presidency influenced the fates of the United States and the rest of the world for the next half a century. Historians consider Truman as the “last great leader” of the American nation. He was one of the prime movers in the post-war rehabilitation of Western Europe, particularly Germany and Japan in East Asia. He also showed steadfastness against the spread of communism from the Soviet Union, which affected the destinies of many nations on two continents.

Truman was one of the key figures in the Potsdam Conference, along with Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain. The event was organized in order to discuss matters concerning European settlement after the unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945. It was his 61st birthday when President Truman announced the defeat of Germany to the nation.

One of the most critical decisions that Harry Truman had to make early on in his presidency involved the dropping of the atom bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of the utter destruction caused by the bombs, the Empire of Japan surrendered to the Allies in the Pacific on August 14, 1945. The dropping of the atom bombs helped cause the end of the Second World War. Nevertheless, the morality of the decision is debated to this day.

On June 26, 1945, with the help of other world leaders, President Truman’s efforts to promote world peace culminated in the signing of the United Nations Charter.

Peacetime recovery in the United States was a huge challenge because of demobilization and inflation. President Harry S. Truman proposed the Fair Deal in order to alleviate domestic problems. The Fair Deal, which was presented to Congress on September 6, 1945, sought to address various areas including price control, rent control, guaranteed employment, and higher minimum wage for workers, expanded social security benefits, public health insurance, and public housing. Truman’s public health program was a first for any president of the United States. No leader of the nation proposed universal health coverage. The Fair Deal also proposed the formation of a Fair Employment Practices Committee to deal with racial discrimination in America. Most of the projects proposed by Truman’s Fair Deal did not come into fruition because the Republican Party, which comprised the majority of Congress, blocked them.

During his first term, President Truman’s foreign policy was mostly defined by his administration’s stand against the spread of communism worldwide. As such, relations between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States deteriorated. The Truman Doctrine was the central policy that aimed to “contain” communism. Because of opposing principles, tensions continued to rise as the two sides continued to disagree about matters concerning the unification of Germany and the provision of military aid to Turkey and Greece.

The Truman Doctrine lent its main principles to the Marshall Plan of 1947. This Plan gave rise to the Foreign Assistance Act, which was signed on April 3, 1948. It was also instrumental in the implementation of the Point Four Program, which governed post-war reconstruction in Europe, as well as the formation of NATO in 1949. The year before, in 1948, President Truman publicly expressed immediate and full recognition by the United States of the birth of the State of Israel.

Despite bitter opposition and with the help of an intensive nationwide campaign, President Harry S. Truman won the US presidential election of 1949 to serve a second term. His second term also saw the Democratic Party win and claim the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Truman’s housing act was passed in 1949, and his administration continued to promote anti-communist policies. In 1951, the United States was once again thrust into war when the Korean War broke out after North Korea invaded South Korea. The commitment of the United States to send “police action” to counter communism worked in the favor of South Korea and saved it from the North’s aggression.

In 1952, Winston Churchill gave a tribute to President Truman. Directly addressing the president, Churchill said, “You, more than any other man, have saved Western civilization.”

During his second term, some of President Truman’s actions were deemed controversial and unpopular. When his term ended, he supported the candidacy of fellow Democrat Adlai Stevenson. However, the Republicans won the election and Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th president of the United States.

Life after the White House

President Truman returned to Independence with his family after leaving the White House. In mid-1957, the Harry S. Truman Library was dedicated in his hometown. From that time onward, until 1966, Truman worked tirelessly at the Truman Library. The former president also worked on his memoir, which was published in two volumes and released between 1955 and 1956.

On December 26, 1972, Harry S. Truman died of pneumonia in a Kansas City hospital. He was 88 years old. Truman was buried within the grounds of the Truman library.

Learn more about the life and times of Harry S. Truman with this video tour of the Truman Museum in Independence, Missouri. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2r9OaTUFMo

March 2015

Truman Coin Top of Page


How Should I Store My Coins?

There are two concerns when discussing the storage of coins. First, the storage of the individual coin, and Second, the storage of a group of coins, or an entire collection.

Storage of a Coin Collection

The Environment of the entire Collection, or Group of Coins is the focus, taking into consideration Temperature, Humidity and Light. A relatively constant, moderate to low temperature and low humidity are preferable for long term storage of numismatic collectibles. Placing packets of silica gel, which absorbs moisture, in the coin storage areas helps control atmospheric humidity. The less light, the better; and absolutely no sunlight. This is why a safe or vault is ultimate storage container; because it controls Temperature, Light and Humidity, and provides Superior Safety.
Groups of Coins, or Collections are best stored in plastic coin boxes, such as sold by PCGS, NGC and Whitman, and which will hold 20, separated, "slabbed" coins. Another alternative is a cardboard coin storage box (single and double; red, blue or black), which stack easily on each other. Different sizes are available for slabs, as well as Vinyl and Cardboard Flips.

Storage of Individual Coins

Putting Individual coins into Holders is Imperative for all coins whose condition is BU and above, or MS60 and higher. Coins below these designations are considered "circulated" because they are found in the general circulation of money. Typically this will mean they are found in pocket change, or in rolls of coins purchased at a local bank. Although collecting Circulated coins is a great personal challenge for many collectors, the more serious Coin Collectors will concentrate on "Uncirculated" coins (BU+ and MS60+ ) because of their better condition (grade), value, and appearance.

Types of Containers or Holders.

Almost anything will do for coins with small or no numismatic value. A coin that is worth only face value, is not likely to have much numismatic value. while nearly airtight holders made of inert materials are a better idea for valuable coins.

Bags, jars and boxes are adequate for raw pocket change and circulated coins.

Paper Envelopes or Paper Flips of various sizes (usually 2 x 2) are still used for single coins. Be sure to use envelopes made explicitly for holding coins, otherwise your coins may change color (tone) over time due to reaction with sulfur or other chemicals present in the paper. Since the coin can not be seen, it is now out of favor with collectors.

Folders and Albums are sold primarily for series and type sets. Properly used, they offer moderate protection from wear and handling. Over the years coins may tone due to reaction with sulfur or other chemicals present in the folders and albums, and are therefore not a good choice for long term storage of higher grade coins. The coins are still exposed to light, air, chemicals and human touching. Albums have clear plastic covers over the coins, which slide in and out. This sliding action can leave unwanted and unattractive marks on the coin.

Plastic Flips are available in various materials. "Soft" flips were once made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which decomposed over time with disastrous results for coins; leaving a green appearance and substance. PVC flips are no longer made and sold. Mylar, vinyl and acetate flips do not contain PVC. While not airtight, they are reasonable choices for moderate value coins that will be "left alone" for multiple years.

Vinyl Pages (8 ½ x 11) which fit into a 3 ring binder. Well suited for Cardboard and Vinyl Flips, with great visibility of coin obverse and reverse. This is a Great Favorite.

Mylar-lined Cardboard Flips, often called "2x2s" or cardboard flips. At one time, the most preferred and commonly used. but also available in other sizes, are similar to plastic flips. A coin is placed between the two halves, which are then folded over and stapled together (some brands contain an adhesive). The boxes that they come in are ideal for multiple coin storage.

Tubes are plastic containers designed to hold a number of the same size coins. They come in different sizes for different coins. They are fine for bulk storage of circulated coins and are appropriate for higher grade Uncirculated, BU+ and MS60+ coins. A disadvantage is that the coins cannot be viewed without being removed from the tube.

Hard Plastic Holders are preferable for more valuable coins. They are self sealing, and not known to contain any materials that harm coins and offer good protection against scratches, touching and handling, air and chemicals, and other physical damage. They are available for individual and small sets of coins, and come in all sizes.

Slabs are Sonically Sealed hard plastic holders for individual coins. They offer Excellent protection. Because of the expense of having a coin slabbed, they are generally suitable only for more valuable coins - i.e.: BU+ and MS60+ Coins.

Although generic slabs are available, most often, a slab will be seen holding a coin that has been Professionally Certified and Graded - which has tremendous advantages. The biggest advantage is when buying a coin on the Internet or by phone. You know what you're getting. A coin Certified and Graded by one of the "Top Four" gives reliability, assurance and security. A big advantage over the scam sellers of raw coins, and non-conforming grading companies.

Have fun collecting your Perfect Coins!
Robert L Taylor, JD
Copyright 2006

Robert Taylor is a 59 year old retired Lawyer, from Denver, CO, who spent most of his career representing people who could not afford an attorney, and who has had a passion for collecting US coins, since the age of 6. Wanting to share his Passion, he created http://www.ThePerfect-Coin.Com which features US Rare and Modern Dollars (from 1878) and Coins (from 1960), all Certified and Graded by NGC or PCGS; and then created http://www.Beginning-Coin-Collecting.Com which features US Modern Coins (from 1960) that are high quality BU, Certified and Slabbed Coins that are all priced less than $10 per coin.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_L_Taylor



Tips to Attending Your First Coin Show


By: Brian Lomas

Whether you are new to coin collecting, or you are simply in a place where you have been doing all of your coin dealing at a local shop or online, you might be quite excited to hear about a coin show in your area.

A coin show is a lot of fun, and not only can you get coins for your collection that you cannot get anywhere else, you are also going to be able to connect with people who have the same interests that you do.

If you are interested in rare and interesting coins, a coin show is a great place to go, but before you do, make sure that you remember some important coin show etiquette.

When you are going to be attending your first coin show, remember that you should be courteous. If there are coins that are lying out in the open, do not pick them up and handle them unless you have the dealer's express permission.

Also remember that because theft is such a big problem at these events, you should always keep your bags or purses to your side or pushed to your back.

The issue is that coins are very easy to steal because they are small and because they are easily overlooked. Make sure that you think about wearing tight fitting sleeves or short sleeves so that you do not obscure the coins and to put the dealers mind at ease!

Good etiquette with purses and bags goes further than simply keeping it away from the tables. When you sit down at dealer's table, make sure that you keep your purse or your bag under your chair or behind it. Don't put the bag between your legs because one common ploy is to handle a coin and then to simply drop it into the open bag.

While it might seem as though the dealer might be being too paranoid, you will find that the truth of the matter is that theft is very common at coin shows, and that in many cases, the dealer is right to be wary.

When you are looking over the coins at the show, make sure that you remember where you took the coins for and put them back in the same place. One way to stay on top of this is to make sure that you only look at one price group at a time. You are saving the dealer and the customers behind you some aggravation when you do this.

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should keep your checklists and pricing guides away from the tables. In general, keep paper away from the tables, because it is very easy to hide coins between two sheets of paper buried in a book.

If you are planning to buy several coins from a dealer and need to take some time making your selection, remember to hand the coins to the dealer while you find the rest of what you want.

Holding too many coins in your hand at once is usually something that is looked on with suspicion, so make sure that you pay attention to this.

Never walk away from the dealer's table while holding coins, even for a minute, because this can get you thrown out of the show quite quickly!

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Tips-to-Attending-Your-First-Coin-Show&id=3113167] Tips to Attending Your First Coin Show

Counterfeit Coin Detection: The Initial Visual Evaluation of Your New Coin (Spotting the Giveaways)


By Paul St. Julien

I derive a lot of satisfaction from studying my coins. I love the detail and admire the luster. On rare occasions however, something out of the ordinary catches my eye and I pursue the possibility of it being bogus.

1. When stars were used at all on the coin, US coinage always used six pointed stars. The stars are usually well defined. On a suspect coin these stars may look more like asterisks than the stars. They are not sharp and smooth across their top surface. This can be seen easier with a magnifying glass.

2. Continuing with the close magnifying glass observation, you may notice the date numbers don't have the same font style as the original. Sometimes the font style is so different that it makes me wonder if the creator wasn't doing it on purpose, to give it away as a fake.

3. Sometimes the date number alignment is off on one of the numbers. The fake will have a date number slightly tilting, higher or lower than the other numbers, or slightly larger or smaller than the others, or even too close or far away from the other numbers. This is not always true for coins struck in the U.S. before 1800. Some of them look pretty crude.

4. Also check the obverse/reverse alignment. American coins usually have the reverse device 180 degrees from the obverse. If they aren't exactly in alignment, the coin is a fake. Some foreign coins have the obverse and reverse sides on the same axis, but always in alignment.

5. Silver and gold coins have an edge treatment that is difficult to duplicate. Look for sharp reeding or writing around the perimeter of the coin (pun intended). The perimeter edge of a coin never wears out. Closely scrutinize any coin with apparent worn off edge treatment. Reeding is the sharp lines put around the coin. Writing is either incused or protruding letters around the perimeter.

Study your coins of interest closely to see what they should look like, so you can spot a fake easier. If you know what a genuine version of the coin looks like, it is easier to identify the real thing. It also makes things that don't look right, stand out immediately.

Fortunately, the most rare coins minted in the US didn't have a lot of variations in them, so spotting the real coin is easy. Anything that varies from the original idiosyncrasies of the coin reveals the coin as fake. There are many fine reference books available that detail the idiosyncrasies of coin production to help you authenticate coins.

To learn more about coins: collecting issues, purchasing, investing and the coin market, I invite you to visit http://www.heritagecoingallery.com for videos and free tips on buying coins at the best prices.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Counterfeit-Coin-Detection:-The-Initial-Visual-Evaluation-of-Your-New-Coin-(Spotting-the-Giveaways)&id=7189709] Counterfeit Coin Detection: The Initial Visual Evaluation of Your New Coin (Spotting the Giveaways)


What Coin Purchases or Sales Must be Reported to the IRS and/or US Government?


Coin dealers are subject to a number of regulations which involve government reporting:

  • Cash payments over $10,000 whether in a single payment or related payments must be reported to the IRS on Form 8300.  Cash includes US currency, traveler’s checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks.  Personal checks and bank checks over $10,000 are not considered cash.
  • Most coin dealers are required by Section 352 of the USA Patriot Act to have Anti-Money Laundering (AML) plans in place.  These plans may require dealers to obtain the name of customers involved in cash transactions over certain thresholds, though the names are not reported.  “Suspicious” customers may be checked against the US Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons list, and suspicious activity may be reported via a FinCEN Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).
  • Large sales of some bullion items must be reported to the IRS on Form 1099-B. The items involved are: Gold bars .995+ totaling 1 kilogram or more, Silver Bars .999+ totaling 1000 troy ounces or more, Platinum Bars .9995+ totaling 25 troy ounces or more, Palladium Bars .9995+ totaling 100 troy ounces or more, 25 or more 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs, 25 or more 1 oz. Gold Krugerrands, 25 or more 1 oz. Gold Onzas, or $1000 face value or more US 90% silver.  These gold items are sometimes referred to as “reportable” gold as opposed to “nonreportable” or “private” gold.  Since the regulations are specific to the items listed, there are plenty of bullion items that can be sold in any amount without reporting (e.g. US gold eagles, US silver eagles, 1/10 oz. gold bullion coins), along with all pre-1933 US gold.

Complicated – yes.  Bottom line: unless you are a known terrorist, laundering money, buying with large amounts of cash, or selling large quantities of certain bullion items, you are unlikely to trigger mandatory reporting.   Dealers are not permitted to coach customers on how to avoid reporting, and we are certainly not attorneys or CPAs.  We can provide you copies of the regulations or direct you to qualified sources for legal and/or tax advice, if you ever have concerns.

Do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any assistance as you acquire, sell, or appraise your coins and currency.  We’re always delighted to hear from our customers and friends.

Brad Welles
Solid Rock Rarities, LLC


What is a CAC Sticker Worth?


Certified Acceptance Corp (CAC) was launched in 2007 by John Albanese, co-founder of PCGS and NGC, along with other leading numismatists.  The purpose was to reward nicer PCGS and NGC certified coins, whose prices were being depressed by the larger number of less attractive coins certified in the same grade.  While PCGS and NGC do a great job of grading coins, inconsistencies and variation within a given grade are inevitable.  Coins that are under-graded are frequently cracked out and resubmitted, while those that are over-graded are virtually never resubmitted.  Consequently, there is a buildup in the marketplace of coins that barely meet (or don’t quite meet) their assigned grade.  Enter CAC, which places a green sticker on PCGS and NGC coins that are solid or high for their assigned grade.  CAC also makes a market in coins they have stickered and will buy them sight-unseen.

What is the value of the CAC “green bean”?  Earlier surveys in Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin World, and other industry publications have shown it to be 15-20% on average.  Now a comprehensive survey utilizing public auction prices has been completed by Mark Ferguson for CoinWeek.  You can request a copy at http://www.coinweek.com/coin-grading/comprehensive-market-study-reveals-cac-price-premiums/.  The results are unequivocal.  In no case did CAC coins sell for equal or less than non-stickered coins, and in some cases they averaged as much as 70% higher at auction.

Since we have always targeted nicer coins to offer our customers, Solid Rock Rarities, LLC became a CAC-approved dealer early on.  Consequently, we submit many of our coins to CAC for consideration and many do receive CAC stickers.   This allows us to offer nicer coins to our customers at very competitive prices, and makes resale much easier in the future.  Of course, we screen all our coins for quality before offering them to our customers, and you can count on us for an honest assessment of each coin’s quality – whether it sports the coveted “green bean” or not.

Do not hesitate to contact me if we can be of any assistance as you acquire, sell, or appraise your coins and currency, or if we can assist on any questions.  We’re always delighted to hear from our customers and friends.

Brad Welles
Solid Rock Rarities, LLC