Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rare Coins USA: Peace Dollars

Among the most beautiful rare coins of the USA, Peace dollars were struck from 1921 to 1928, and again from 1934-1935. There are 24 coins in the full date and mintmark Peace dollar series.

A representative mintmark set of Peace dollars is 3 rare coins, one struck at each of the branches of the US Mint at that time: Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.

The 1921 Peace dollar, the first in the series, is also one of the key dates of the series. It is thought by most people to be the third-toughest date in the series. The 1928 and 1934-S are the other two toughest dates.

Getting the highest grade coins you can is important in all or almost all series, and maybe even more true of Peace dollars, as most are average or below average strikes.

To find well struck Peace dollar examples is rare, and also grades of 64 and above are quite rare, for the tougher dates.

Even so, a full set of Peace dollars, all 24 coins minimum MS-62 except the key dates 1921, 1928, and 1934-S could be minimum MS-60, could be a nice long term goal.

Some of the most common dates could even exceed MS-62, I had at least a few Peace dollars that were graded higher than MS-62 in the set I had been assembling some years ago.

Experience in grading Peace dollars specifically will be enormously helpful, especially in the mint state range, where some dates the difference between AU 58 and MS 60, and also the difference between 62 and 63, and between 63 and 64, and for that matter 64 and 65, and etc.

It might be best to buy NGC, PCGS and ANACS graded coins at least until you gain sufficient personal experience in coin grading. You may want to consider NCS, Numismatic Conservation Services if you have any coins that are in a situation of degrading, they did a very nice job with a 1924 MS-63 Peace dollar of mine that had suffered PVC degradation.

Peace dollars are some of the most beautiful USA rare coins for sure.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rare Coins USA: Morgan Dollars

The US Morgan Dollar, one of the most popular and sought after USA old rare coins and silver dollars, is 90% silver and named for its designer George Morgan. Morgan dollars and all US silver dollars that are 90% silver contain a bit over three-quarters of an ounce of silver.

The Morgan Dollar was first struck in 1878 at four branches of the US Mint: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, and San Francisco. The series was struck by the US Mint continuously through 1904, and then in 1921 the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco branches of the US Mint struck Morgan dollars for the final time.

Some people consider the first five years of the San Francisco Morgan Dollar series to be special. These 1878-S through 1882-S Morgan dollar dates had many coins struck with a proof-like appearance and some with a deep mirror proof-like appearance (DMPL). Those beautiful specimens are highly sought after and worth considerably more than average regular strikes.

The so-called "King of the Morgan dollar series" is the ultra-rare 1895 proof struck at the Philadelphia branch of the US Mint. Since less than 1,000 pieces were struck, very few people can truly have a complete set of Morgan dollars.

The Carson City branch of the US Mint struck Morgan dollars starting from from the first year of issue in 1878 through 1885, and again from 1889 through 1893. The two rarest key dates in the Carson City Morgan dollar series are the 1889-CC and the 1879-CC, with the 1892-CC and 1893-CC ranking high among old USA rare coins also.

A number of other dates in the Morgan dollar are quite rare also, especially the 1892, 1893, and 1895 series from all branches of the US Mint.

As with almost all other series struck by the US Mint, you if at all possible want to get the highest graded and highest quality Morgan dollars you can, mint state if possible. The 1921 Philadelphia is the least costly in mint state, followed by the 1881 San Francisco.

Some people are fans of a Morgan dollar "mint mark set", 5 Morgan dollars, one from each of the branches of the US mint that struck Morgan dollars over the duration of the series. The Denver coin in the set would have to be a 1921 because that is the only year in the entire Morgan dollars series that any were struck at Denver, which only opened in 1906, two years after the last Morgan dollars were struck.

Solid mint state Morgan dollars are a joy to behold and some of the most popular rare coins of the USA.

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