Posts Tagged ‘Silver Dollars’

Rare Coin Market Update

The Market in 2018

The coin market has continued to show some consolidation in 2018, continuing the trend we have seen for the last few years. The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) estimated that in 2017 the size of the Rare Coin market was about 3.5 billion dollars. This is down from 4 Billion dollars in 2016. Several major coin collections have come to market and it takes a while for these coins to be absorbed The rapidly rising stock market has also taken some of the wind out of the sails (and sales) of Rare Coins. With the Dow Industrials hovering around 25,000, the emphasis has been on paper assets as of late.

This is great news for those that have a 401k and stocks. Very few people predicted such a strong stock market and it’s been good for the economy. The market for Rare Coins and Precious Metals over the last few years has been quiet and the strength in stocks is partly to blame.

The PCGS 3000 is a composite index of Rare coin prices. Below is the index for the past 10 years. As we can see there was a little weakness starting to show in the beginning of 2015. That weakness accelerated in 2016. There has been about a 20% drop in the index in the past 3 years or so. These types of swings are not uncommon to the Coin Market and have happened in both directions many times over the years.

The PCGS 3000 Rare Coin Index Back to 2008


So What’s the Good News?

Prices for nice coins haven’t been this attractive in years. The market usually rewards those who are patient and can afford to wait. There are some nice coins coming on to the market and there are some great opportunities right now. This is a great time to fill some spots in your collection.

Next Time – Which areas look like a bargain?

Stay tuned. Next time I’ll highlight some areas in the market that seem to be a good value at these levels.

Why your 1922 Peace Dollar is Probably not worth 100K

Why your 1922 Peace Dollar is Probably not worth 100K

1922 Peace Dollar

1922 Peace Dollar High Relief


In 1921, the U.S. Mint began production of the new “Peace” design for silver dollars, a design commemorating peace after the end of World War I. The designer, Anthony de Francisci, intended for the coin to be struck in “high relief”, which resulted in a boldly raised design. In 1921 the Peace Dollars were struck in this way, but despite the medal-like beauty of the high relief, the U.S. Mint decided to strike the coins in low relief from 1922 to 1935. The high relief design was just too stressful on the machinery, and resulted in many broken dies. Reluctantly, de Francisci agreed to create a new plaster mold with a lower relief, and starting February 13, the 1922 Peace dollar was made in “low relief.”

Authenticating the 1893-S Morgan Dollar

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Authenticating the 1893-S Morgan Dollar is not difficult given the right tools and some patience. The 93-S is the key date to the series.  It’s tiny mintage of only 100 thousand coins makes it the lowest mintage regular issue Morgan Dollar in the entire set. With values in Very Good condition in the $2,500.00 range and nice Extra Fines approaching $10,000.00, it’s easy to see why this date is tempting for counterfeiters.

Most of the fakes are made from altering another coin rather than striking them or casting them (although these exist as well).

The Three Keys to Authenticating the 1893-S Morgan Dollar

The keen numismatist has a distinct advantage with this issue.  Since the mintage was so low, only one obverse die  was used, allowing detailed study.  The coin has a few distinct diagnostics.  Here are the two most important ones.  First, get yourself a good 20x loupe – it will pay for itself many times over if it saves you from buying a bad 93-s.

First Two Major Diagnostics

Note the horizontal line at the top of the “T” and the chip in the foot of the “R”


All genuine 1893-S Morgan Dollars have a horizontal die scratch within the “T” of “LIBERTY” on the headband.(see photo) This scratch is going to be raised metal within the “T”.  I realize that it’s a pretty small scratch, but the key to remember is that it’s on EVERY genuine coin.  Even lower grade ones.  The “T” is recessed enough to protect the raised scratch from wearing off. Also, there are two small die chips in the left upright of the letter “R”.  Again, this is on every genuine coin.

Third Diagnostic

Also the base of the “1” in the date lies almost directly over a denticle. You can draw an imaginary line from the center of the denticle straight through the center of the “1”. Use this as secondary confirmation after you find the primary ones above.  Only use this diagnostic as an additional confirmation once the above two are found.  It is not enough just to have this one as some other 1893 dollars can be found with this date positioning. Armed with this information, you can be pretty sure you have a genuine coin.  Once you’re certain of that, then focus on the grade and make sure you are paying a fair price. (That’s another blog entry entirely!).

Use these tips and authenticating the 1893-S Morgan dollar will be in your power to do!


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