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Coins for Budget-Minded Collectors

from the Sept. 18 Numismatic News E-Newsletter

What coins do you think make good bargains for the budget-minded collector?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.

Two come to mind right off the bat: the 1996 mint set with the 50-year anniversary Roosevelt dime in it from West Point and the March of Dimes three-piece set with a low mintage. “S”-minted quarters that are uncirculated will have a lower mintage than the “P” and “D” quarters of the parks. Any older 1800s and early 1900s coins in higher grade AU to MS that have not been played with are getting harder to find.

Harry Schwartz
West Park, Fla.

There are several coins with lower mintages that can be had for affordable prices. Some of the later-issue 3-cent pieces (1860s-1880s), the 1912-S Liberty nickel, 1994-P and 1997-P matte finish Jefferson nickels (the latter of which has a 25,000 mintage and can be found for under $200 online), New Orleans Barber halves (several sub-million mintage coins can be had for less than $200), and I still believe that some of the earlier Walking Liberty halves (1916-S, 1921, 1921-D) are great bargains at their current prices.

These coins are great values for their price considering their lower mintages!

Ryan Kordziel
Schenectady, N.Y.

I think ancient coins because most collectors are using [them for] studying in accordance with their religious beliefs. They are also widely used by students to have an example of historical studies. The second type of coins is the new commemorative coins because many collectors like to update their collections. It is up to the dealer to increase the prices of commemorative coins when the upsurge of interested collectors exceeds their limit of giving introductory prices.

Name and address withheld

First, in any order or preference, recommendations are uncirculated World War II (something called “short set”) Mercury dimes, all silver Roosevelt dimes in high grades, Franklin halves in AU, Buffalo nickels with some horn left.

Second: Peace dollars in the mid-grades. Peace dollars have never had the interest as compared to the always-popular Morgans.

Third: If a budget collector, depending on whether it is monthly, periodically or annually one’s budget (amount allowed), is planning ahead toward a specific purchase, cultivate good contacts with coin dealers who have the stock or access to good material. And, when again allowed after this pandemic, attend coin shows and club meetings; not one or two but as many as possible.

Lastly, regardless as to one’s budget, the great credo and teaching of the late Ronald L. “Ron” Miller, a famous and intense California-based coin dealer, remains: quality endures.

Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

I think Braided Hair half cents are a good choice for a budget-minded collector. It is a short series with a small mintage, all pre-date the Civil War, and they are reasonable prices for high-grade coins. What could be better?

Name and address withheld

I started out pre-ordering my silver dollars many years ago. You get the better price. Always buy the MS-70 if you plan on selling far into the future. If you don’t sell or plan to pass on to family, give them the best.

Tim Kenyon
Mechanicsburg, Pa.

American silver Eagles still make a good collectible coin that may still retain its value over time. We recommend all young collectors to start with change and collect modern-day coins at face value.

With the decrease in Lincoln wheat cent values from trends, it might be a good collectible at a low cost to the collector.

Carl Hornberger
Integrity Coin Store
Poquoson, Va.

I think wheat cents because pretty much all of them are cheap, except a few, and they are easy to get.

Name and address withheld

I strongly feel that the Standing Liberty dollar coins are the best bargain and are popular to collect.

Name and address withheld

Circulated Peace and Morgan dollars are bargains around the $30 area.

Bill Chumley
Edmond, Okla.