What is an ?Orphan Annie? dime?
This is a nickname that was attached to the 1844 dimes from Philadelphia because they were a very low mintage (72,500), and Philadelphia was the only mint to strike dimes that year. For many years there were rumors that the coins had been lost at sea, captured by Indians and other similar ?explanations? for the rarity.
How do I get started in coin collecting? Please send me some advice.
In response to numerous variations of this question, I wrote a book. It?s called Coin Collecting 101, and it is full of advice for beginning and intermediate collectors. It?s available from F+W Publications or your favorite bookstore. The ANA Money Market also carries it.
I have several U.S. commemorative coins that obviously have been in circulation. Isn?t that unusual?
It was not at all unusual for the commemorative issues to circulate. This goes all the way back to the Columbian Expo 1892 and 1893 pieces that were placed in circulation when they didn?t sell. If not then, certainly they were put into circulation during the Depression when only a favored few could afford to hang onto collector coins. To the public they were basically just another coin with a stated value. The commemorative programs got a lot of bad press at the time because of the many abuses by promoters.
Why is it that you don?t list any prices for the commemorative coins in the lower grades? I have a Grant half dollar in VG/F that I would like to know about.
The best estimate I can give you on a no star Grant in VG/F would be less than $25. There is very little market for the commemoratives below AU grade, because most people try to collect them in the very upper grades. For all practical purposes, any really worn commemorative is likely to bring no more than bullion value.
What can you tell me about J.A. Bolen?
If the man had been alive today, he would either have spent time behind bars or changed his occupation. He was a well-known 19th century medalist of Springfield, Mass., who gained a wide reputation by making copies of rare Colonial coins.
The coins were struck in limited numbers and are as avidly collected as the originals. Among his copies are examples of the Confederato cent, the Higley cent and the New York cent.