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Keep corroded coppers separately

As I was going through a container of pre-1983 Lincoln cents, several had green corrosion (verdigris?). Does this contaminate the other cents in the container? Should they be quarantined?

In my experience green corrosion on Lincoln cents and other denominations is often caused by the coins having been stored in a leather wallet. This is only one contaminant that may have come in contact with the coins. Since I don’t know the circumstances under which your coins became corroded I would suggest discretion – keep the coins separate.

I’m curious what the rationale was behind keeping silver in the Kennedy half from 1965-1970 while it was removed completely from the quarter and dime after 1964?


I wish I could call it rationale, but unfortunately it was our government doing business as usual. House bill HR. 8926 and Senate bill S. 2080 became the Coinage Act of 1965 following much debate. This debate included if mintmarks should be removed from newly minted coins for five years to discourage collecting coins. The coin shortage of the time was in fact triggered by silver coins being worth more than their face value due to the price of silver having escalated as well as exploding use of vending machines. A congressional committee amendment removing all silver from the half dollar was defeated, a compromise being reached at the half dollar retaining 40 percent silver, while the quarter and dime would become copper-nickel coins. At the time, this action was spun as the United States keeping a prestige coin made of silver.

Is the quality of a Mint State-70 First Strike encapsulated coin truly superior to that of a later strike coin also certified as MS-70?

If the quality of the strike of one coin is superior to that of the other then the other coin should not be certifiable as a Mint State-70 example. The coin certified as a first strike has artificially entered a special class that may enhance business, but doesn’t indicate the coin is better than the other. Buy the coin, not the encapsulation. Coins struck from new dies tend to be better than coins struck from a die that has reached the end of its working life. However, new dies are used the year round.

Is there a difference in value between No Lettered Edge Presidential dollar coins found in Mint Sets and those encountered from circulation but still in Mint State condition?

United States Mint Sets issued between 2005 and 2010 have a satin finish that does not appear on business strike coins of the same years. Although each is still scarce the most commonly encountered satin finish No Lettered Edge dollars are those depicting John Quincy Adams or James Madison.

I’ve heard of the “Orphan Annie,” “Godless,” and other nicknamed coins, but what is the “coin without a country?”

In 1859 Seated Liberty dime mules were produced on which the older obverse design with stars about the rim was combined with the newer wreath reverse die. As a result coins were struck lacking the legend “United States of America.”

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More Collecting Resources

• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2017 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.