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New year offers many coins to acquire

A new year means there are coins with a new date on them to chase.

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In the old days, collectors simply bought a proof set and a mint set and had them all.

It is no longer so easy.

There are many coins that cannot be acquired in standard sets. That is actually a good thing, because most collectors cannot afford to buy many of these new coins because they are made of precious metals and/or come in very large sizes.

I don’t have to do anything to convince most collectors that gold American Eagle and Buffalo coins are pricey. Even if the Mint sold them at melt value, a one-once gold coin has about $1,300 of metal value. Selling them for melt won’t happen.

Collectors with the enough money are offered proof gold Eagle sets, which contain four coins that add up to 1.85 troy ounces of metal.

Silver is more reasonably priced, but even so, putting a proof silver Eagle and an uncirculated collector version would add well over $100 to any set they were put into. Then there will be a reverse proof this year in July.

What do you make of those 5-ounce America the Beautiful “quarters?”

I should take the quotation marks off the word because they really are quarters. Current price of the proofs is $149.95. There are five of them. If you are a collector who likes completeness, it would be five more to add the bullion coins that do not have a mintmark on them, 10 coins in all. If you want to buy the gold bullion coins to add to your collector versions, that’s another 1.85 ounces of gold.

I have not even mentioned the World War I commemorative silver dollar or the Breast Cancer commemoratives.

Even knowing all of this, I still get excited by coins with new dates. I look forward to holding them in my hand at a dealer’s bourse table even if I will not actually buy them.

There is nothing wrong with being picky. It will save you a ton of money. It will also help you in achieving a laser-like focus on only the coins that are truly important to you.

To save money, you can also go back to basics. Because the economy is booming, we will probably see 2018-dated cents in our change in major cities in the first week of January. When you find 2018-dated coins, email me at If you are the first, I will give you credit. Circulation finds are the part of collecting I have enjoyed since my earliest days in the hobby. I remember when it was tough to find new 1968-S and 1969-S nickels. But like most collectors, I kept looking.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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