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New trends bury old favorites

There is no question that autographed slabs have taken the hobby by storm.

Who would have thought so many coin collectors would have placed so much value on the signatures of people who are basically famous only within the confines of numismatics.

But I guess we collectors can get starry eyed as much as any Hollywood movie fan.

However, there is only so much attention and money that coin collectors can give.

Some coins go out of fashion. Collectors stop buying.

I mentioned Washington quarters as an example of a sleepy series on Wednesday.

But what about tokens?

They seem to be sinking without a trace lately.

Perhaps a few irate letters from collectors of Hard Times tokens and Civil War tokens will set me straight on this point.

Perhaps they are not fading at all, just not getting the headlines they used to.

I decided to write on this topic this morning because the Florida Token Society has announced that it plans to dissolve soon.

That is a shame.

Tokens are worthy of our attention as much as they have ever been.

But they cannot currently compete with slabbed modern coins with special labels and autographs.

After all, who would autograph a slabbed Civil War token?

Perhaps descendants of famous generals can be persuaded to lend their famous names to slabbed numismatic items.

For Hard Times tokens, I cannot even think of how to make the connection.

I am sure there is one.

That is why I am looking forward to the day that intrepid third-party grading services will find a way to put new autographed life into old favorites like tokens.

Will it happen?

I don’t know when, but I expect it will after we run out of the current crop of artists and Mint directors.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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4 Responses to New trends bury old favorites

  1. sneauman3@gmail.com says:

    Instead of two or three TPG’s, how about the US Mint creating it’s own Grading authority ?
    Heresy, I know ! I’ve been collecting for 40 Years and since the advent of PCGS and NGC, I only Purchase NGC. The reason is, is that I’ve been burned for example by PCGS on an SP-70 1998 Matte Kennedy Half, twice, with very obvious flaws, whereas the ten from NGC were flawless.
    But, is the US Mint capable enough to do it ? Probably not.
    Concerning labels on slabs, I collect Coins not labels. An ASE without a Mint-Mark for the same Year is simply that…. just another ASE.

  2. Wow do I agree. I collect coins not labels. It’s the coin your paying for and might sell someday. Collectors are paying extra for these. A nice premium they have to know it. And there signing bullion coins. Not investment. You give me a coin with with a Barber autograph that’s different. But you have guys from t.v. shows signing these things. And I only deal with NGC. I have been burned by PCGS I asked them what happened the graders seeing eye dog was sick. He couldn’t make it in. Just an opinion Mike.

    • sneauman3@gmail.com says:

      Hey Mike, can anyone make sense out of the current pricing on the 2016-w ASE from the Congratulations Set ? While it may be true only about 6,000 of the Folders labeled Congratulations were stuffed with the ASE’s ,then sent to a TPG for slabbing with a label denoting ” Congratulations ” what about all the other same ASE’s that were put in Reagan Coin & Chronicles Sets and others ? Again, paying for a Label ?????????

  3. sneauman3@gmail.com says:

    The numbers I’ve found so far for the 2016-W Proof Silver Eagles is : 6,000 for the Congratulations Offer, 50,000 in the Ltd. Edition Silver Proof Sets, and 150,000 for the Reagan Coin & Chronicles Sets. So once again I ask why are people paying $ 1,000.00 plus for the 2016-W Silver Eagle Proof ????
    A LABEL ??????

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