The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Coin

The 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Coin series will be the first curved coins ever to be minted by the United States Mint. OK, so the United States Mint is celebrating the diamond anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum with a series of coins. The obverse of the coins shows a glove. The convex shape gives the glove the look that it really might catch a baseball. The reverse shows a baseball and has the Inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and HALF DOLLAR. As of the time of this writing, June 16, 2014, the US Mint has already sold out of all silver dollars and gold $5 coins. The proof clad half-dollar will be released on July 16, 2014. The uncirculated clad half-dollar will be available a couple weeks later on July 30. Altogether 750,000 clad half-dollars...

Scrip – Coal Company Tokens

There was a time when there were more than 20,000 company stores using scrip in pace of, or in addition to, cash wages in North America.(*1) It has been estimated that around 75% of all the scrip that was used was used by coal companies in Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. People in these areas called the tokens “scrip” and the name stuck and is what is still used today. Scrip was known by many other names in the early days, among them: Trade Tokens, Flickers, Secos, Clackers, Checks, P’Lollys, Good Fors, Lightweights, Bingles, Stickers, Chink-tins and Dugaloos (keep in mind that scrip came in paper as well as in metal form).  (*2) Scrip Started As A Company Store Trade Credit Scrip Coupon Book Scrip started out as a trade credit for the company store. For example,...

Junk Silver Prices And Rolls

About two and a half years ago I bought a few rolls of junk silver dimes for around $65 to $70 each including shipping. I shopped around and got them from different online auctions and websites. Even then the prices I found were barely above the spot silver value of the coins at that time. Individual 90% silver dimes were going for 2 to 3 bucks each and generally that was “plus postage”. My intent was to buy full rolls. If I had bought 50 dimes individually at that price I would have paid as much as $200 for a roll instead of $68 total. Junk Silver Can Help When You’re In A Bind 90% Junk Silver Dimes Awhile back we had some unexpected expenses and over a period of time I sold my rolls. The last ones went for $140, and that was ‘wholesale’ at a pawn shop! Now they...

Barber Quarter History & Information

Barber Quarter 1892–1916 The Barber quarter was designed by Charles E. Barber and first minted in 1892. Barber was Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint at that time. The Barber quarter was minted of 90% silver and 10% copper and used the same design as the half dollar and dime (Barber Dime). The Barber dime displays Lady Liberty on the obverse with a Phrygian cap encircled with a laurel wreath and a ribbon. The inscription on the headband reads “LIBERTY”. The reverse was a very simple design consisting of a wreath around the words “One Dime”. Mint marks, if present, appear at the bottom below the ribbon that ties the wreath. 1901 Barber Quarter Barber quarters were widely circulated yet one is more likely to find a higher grade example than they are a rare date. Some Barber quarter date...

Silver American Eagles Hit Record High Sales In January 2013

January of 2013 saw a small growth in the value of silver, around 3.7%. During the same period gold actually dropped by 0.8% but analysts seem to agree that gold will see a steady rise overall. Today silver is at $31.78. You can buy one dollar face value of circulated 90% silver US coins for around $30 including postage. How much you might spend will depend upon where and how you make your purchase as well as your level of knowledge on the subject. But, at the time of this writing I can easily find junk silver coins for that price range even when buying very small quantities at a time. Those who know little about coins and precious metals but who are interested in the idea of collecting are likely to fall victim to the highly over priced “collectable” coins seen in some markets....

Pre 1982 Copper Pennies Selling at Premium Prices

I have written and talked to people about the lowly copper penny for quite some time. US pennies minted before 1982 (and some struck during the first part of that year) are made of 95% copper. Later pennies contain only 2.5% copper. It takes approximately 115 pennies to make 1 pound of copper. If copper is at $1.15 per pound then a copper penny will be worth one cent. Currently copper is more than 3 times that amount. This means that 1 pre 1982 penny contains more than 3 cents worth of copper! Don’t underestimate this. You may be tempted to say ‘oh its only pennies…’ Copper Pennies In the middle of 1982 the composition of the penny was drastically changed. Previous cents were minted from 95% copper but were changed to 0.05% copper in the form of a micro-coating of copper...

US Nickel Cents of the Civil War

Nickel Cents of the Civil War Have you ever heard the expression “he doesn’t have a nickel’s worth of sense?” Believe it or not, there used to actually be “nickel cents”. Nickel Cents were minted during a specific time in history, and the hoarding of them, along with gold and silver coins, in Civil war times led to the passing of 18 USC 486, which made private tokens illegal to use. Nickel Cents were pennies with the Indian head symbol that were struck between the years of 1859 – 1864 that contained 88% copper and 12% nickel. They were referred to as nickels or “nicks”, before the days of the five cent nickel piece. We often hear today of the nuisance that pennies can be. Many people simply save them until there are enough to convert into...