Coin Information

The Three-Legged Buffalo and how to Authenticate

If you collect Buffalo Nickels, then you are aware of the 1937 D three-legged variety.  It is one of the most sought after coins in the series.  To obtain one you could expect to spend from $400 for a coin in good condition to $1500 for a coin in almost uncirculated condition.   Uncirculated specimens start in the $2100 range and go up from there. The three-legged nickels were created when a mint employee tried to repair some heavily clashed dies.  A clashed die occurs when the dies strike against each other without a coin planchet between them.  This caused the design from each die to be struck into the other.  The mint employee tried to fix the dies by polishing out the clashed areas on the die.  In doing so he mistakenly polished out part of the back-front leg just above the hoof.  The ...

Lincoln Cents continue to cost more to produce than they are worth

Did you know that it now costs more than a cent to produce the Lincoln Cent?  In fact, it’s been over 10 years that the price for manufacturing the U.S. Cent costs more than the value of the coin.  It’s no wonder there have been many rumors of the government ceasing production of the penny, especially in today’s market where a cent is hardly of value. 2005 was the last year that it costs less than a cent to produce the Lincoln Cent.  At that time, it costs 0.95 cents to produce.  This means to mint a roll of 2005 Lincoln Cents at the time, it would cost fourty-seven and a half cents to produce.  The cost has steadily increased through 2007, where it costs 1.65 cents to produce a cent.  After the costs dipped down a little the following year, the costs continued to rise ea...

Why are 1899-P Morgan Dollars so cheap?

As collectors learn over time while trying to fill holes in their collection, some coins are tougher to find than the mintage or price indicates.  They may not be necessarily rare or expensive coins, but often you just can’t seem to find them out there, or when you do they aren’t in the grade you are looking for.  Often, these are coins that are scarcer than their mintage or price indicates, and therefore undervalued and end up going up in price at some point in the future. Quite the opposite is the 1899-P Morgan Silver Dollar.  With an extremely low mintage of just 330,000 coins, it is one of the lowest mintage Morgan Dollars in existence.  In fact, there are only six Morgan Dollars with a lower mintage!  Here is a list of the top ten lowest mintage Morgan Dollars:   1893...

Is the coin weakly struck or does it have wear?

For beginning coin collectors, grading a coin can be a very difficult task. There are so many different coins and so many different grades.  Each coin type is usually graded differently, and to make matters tougher, many times the same series of coins are graded differently depending on the year.  Heck, grading can be difficult for advanced collectors as well! There is another confusing and often misunderstood phenomenon in coins, and it’s called weak strikes. Coins that are weakly struck did not receive a full impression from the die, resulting in weak areas of the coin.  The areas of the coin that most often come weakly struck are higher areas of the coin.  For example, in 1921, the first year of the Peace Dollar, often came weakly struck on Miss Liberty’s ear and on the eagl...

What is the best coin certification service?

In this day and age of coin collecting, more and more people are buying certified coins. There are a lot of positives when buying coins that are certified by a third party grading services (TPG). One of which is the the coin is guaranteed genuine. This is especially important when buying rare or expensive coins. Another pro is the coin is professionally graded, so you know exactly what grade the coin is, though opinions still can vary. Lastly, the coin is protected in an air-tight holder, so it is not prone as much to tarnishing, hazing and corrosion. There have been many, many grading services over the years, but in today’s collecting age, there are four main grading services: PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG. The others out there are not worthy of review, as they are too inconsistent, or e...