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Veterans opposed design

I would like to know what symbol was originally on the Peace dollar, but not distributed. Was it a broken sword? Do any exist?


According to Q. David Bowers in Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars of the United States, “Representatives of World War veterans’ groups had obtained a copy of the drawing for the reverse and did not like what they saw. It featured an eagle breaking a sword (or bending a plowshare, depending upon one’s viewpoint). Veterans saw this as an admission of defeat by the United States … the White House was deluged with telegrams demanding that the offensive artwork be withdrawn.” No coins or patterns were struck with this rejected design.

What’s a good way to tell the difference between an About Uncirculated and an Uncirculated Morgan silver dollar?

The difference between AU and BU Morgan dollars is minuscule and takes practice to differentiate. Watch for any interruption in mint luster and be careful to determine that the luster hasn’t been artificially enhanced. The obverse high points are the hair above the ear, hair above and immediately behind the forehead line, the second curl above and between the last digit of the date and star, the top of the eyebrow, top part of the cheek under the eye, tip of the cap, and fold under the outer leaf. Feathers on the breast and behind the eagle’s beak are the high points on the reverse. Since many dates and mintmarks were poorly executed, you still need to learn which will be weakly struck when considering a silver dollar’s grade.

I’ve read that it is a better investment to buy gold mining stocks than physical gold. Could it be true I might make more by buying stock in coin businesses than by buying collectible coins?

It would, of course, depend on which you choose to buy. There are only five U.S. businesses associated with coins that are publicly traded on stock exchanges. Their NPI (Numismatic Price Index) was 151.20 on May 10, 2016. Two years later, their NPI was 173.57, or an increase of 12.88 percent.

What are the names of these five companies?

These are Collectors Universe, DGSE Companies, Sotheby’s, A-Mark Precious Metals and Johnson Matthey Metals.

What advantage do you see in purchasing stock in these companies rather than buying collectible coins?

The only advantage is liquidity. Stock can be sold almost immediately using any of several forms of electronic communications. Coins are a physical commodity and, for that reason, usually take longer to sell.

You said “usually take longer to sell.” Does that mean some coins can be liquidated as quickly as can a stock?

It might take several days to get paid, but it isn’t unusual for coin dealers to sell another dealer something by telephone, especially if it is bullion coinage. The seller still needs to wait until the buyer receives the merchandise and then pays for it. But this coin transaction rapidity hinges on the two parties knowing and trusting each other.

How can I tell if my 1922 Peace dollar is the High Relief variety?

While High Relief 1922 Peace dollars are rare, all 1921 Peace dollars were struck in high relief. I would suggest comparing your 1922 dollar to that of 1921. There is the additional diagnostic of two short rays above the coronet, L and We Trust, as well as strengthened detail to the hair and feathers.

What is the reason for the 1879-CC silver dollar mintage of less than a million coins?

According to the 1879 Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, “Although situated in close proximity to a large silver producing section of country, owners of silver bullion have been demanding a high price for delivery at Carson than silver could be procured for at Philadelphia or San Francisco.”

I have a 1983-D Washington quarter that seems to be made almost completely of copper. There may be small areas that have another metal, but looking at the edge, it is not like a normal sandwiched quarter. How should I proceed?

There are several planchet and die error sub-varieties known of the 1983-D Washington quarter, but this is the first possible wrong or faulty composition planchet of which I am aware. An error of any copper-nickel clad coin could occur where the copper may appear on the surface rather than the nickel. The coin needs to be examined by a well-recognized third-party certification service to determine what has happened.

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