Author Archives: Ginger Rapsus

Mystery outweighs facts for 1792

Many numismatists begin their collections or type sets with the 1793 coins, the copper half cents and large cents. The coinage of 1792 includes a number of rare and historical pieces, of quaint designs, that fascinate the collector to this day, even if every detail of their manufacture and design is not known. Continue reading

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Can’t afford it but can admire $20

Mintage figures can be deceiving.Collectors of Saint-Gaudens double eagles learn this quickly. Many of the later date coins in this series show healthy mintage figures in the hundreds of thousands or more, but check out the prices for these coins and see how so many are out of reach for the average collector. Continue reading

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Cents of 1793 evolved at U.S. Mint

Anyone interested in United States coins knows the significance of the 1793 cents. The first year of cent coinage saw three distinct varieties, all enjoyed by specialists, type set collectors and historians. Each design is lovely in its own way, if not classically beautiful. Continue reading

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Animals populate U.S. coin designs

Everyone who has ever handled a United States coin knows that eagles and buffaloes appear on many coins. Big birds and bison aside, a good number of coins feature animals, birds and fish. Quite a few state quarters feature animals, but creatures can be seen on coins dating back to 1616 in the English New World colonies. Continue reading

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Not all coins loved by collectors

Most numismatists enjoy their coins, and even have special favorites. But there are a few United States coins that were quite unpopular during their time. These coins were so disliked, mintage was often stopped after a short while. What made these coins so disliked? Their similarity to other issues is a big factor. Continue reading

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Circulation turned up gems in past

New collectors checking their change for unusual coins have many different design types to search for. The Westward Journey nickels of 2004-2006, the special 2009 Lincoln bicentennial cents and of course, the State and National Parks quarters give collectors a great number of coins to find. But it’s not like it was years ago, when silver coins still circulated, old-fashioned coins were still around, and some really old pieces could be found in every-day change. Continue reading

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Did the big one get away from you?

Fishermen enjoy swapping stories about the great catch that got away. Coin collectors often tell stories, too, about the big coin that got away because they couldn’t afford it, or the price wasn’t agreeable, or perhaps they reasoned that the coin would come up for sale again. Sometimes a collector only gets one chance to obtain a beautiful coin just right for her collection, and when this chance isn’t taken, the collector is left with a story about a great coin she could have had. Continue reading

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Third side of the coin called edge

Heads or tails? Obverse or reverse? When studying a coin, remember – the edge is the third side of the coin. Interesting things can be found on the edges of coins, and a dedicated type collector can even assemble a type set of edges. Collectors, new and experienced, are familiar with the plain and reeded edges of coins. Current cents and nickels have plain edges. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are reeded. Continue reading

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Short gold series long on varieties

The early gold eagles of the United States are a fascinating although short-lived group. As a large gold coin containing nearly one-half troy ounce of the precious metal, the early gold eagle was not heavily saved and that coupled with usually modest mintages makes the early gold eagle a tough coin even for a type collector today. Continue reading

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Short gold series long on varieties

The early gold eagles of the United States are a fascinating although short-lived group. As a large gold coin containing nearly one-half troy ounce of the precious metal, the early gold eagle was not heavily saved and that coupled with usually modest mintages makes the early gold eagle a tough coin even for a type collector today. Continue reading

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