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Why Do ‘Original Holders’ Matter?

I’ve noticed several dealers advertising coins for sale certified by third-party services as being housed in “original” holders. Can you explain why this matters? It is the opinion of some dealers and collectors that the accuracy of the grading offered … Continue reading

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Do I Have a 1901/O-S Half Eagle?

How can I tell if I have a 1901/O-S half eagle? This overdate variety is known as Breen 6780. It can be identified via the remnant of the curve of a “0” near the upper right of the final “1” … Continue reading

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Background on the Belleville Mint

What is the story behind the Belleville Mint? John Gibbs of Belleville, N.J., billed himself as the Manufacturer of Medals and Tokens. Gibbs produced, among other things, Hard Times tokens. Gibbs shared a building with Stevens, Thomas, and Fuller, who … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: The ‘Big Three’ Certification Services

What sets the so-called “Big Three” certification services apart from the other similar services? Each of the companies that are well-accepted as being standards of the business of coins has made their grading standards public. Each of these services is … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Mint Didn’t Learn High Relief Lesson

By Richard Giedroyc Since the U.S. Mint had so much trouble striking Ultra High Relief double eagles in 1907, why did they once again attempt to strike very high relief coins in 1921, these being the Peace dollars? Since when … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Advice For Selling U.S. Mint Proof Sets

I’ve made the decision to sell in bulk my 1960-2019 U.S. Mint standard proof sets. Before I sell these sets, I want to check them for major errors. I’ve reviewed my Mega Red Book and found a handful or so … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: What Happened to the Dalles Mint?

Why was a branch mint proposed for Oregon when a mint was already in operation in San Francisco? A Pacific Northwest mint was perceived as being necessary following the discovery of gold in Idaho in 1860. Due to the distance … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Who is Farran Zerbe?

The American Numismatic Association has a Farran Zerbe Memorial Award. What can you tell me about Zerbe? Farran Zerbe (1871-1949) was president of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) between 1908 and 1910. One of his important contributions was to purchase … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: How Does Restoration Improve Coins?

What can a professional coin restoration service do to improve my coins that I can’t do by cleaning them myself? Restoration services don’t “clean” coins; they restore them. Such services can remove artificially and deliberately applied contaminants, these contaminants having … Continue reading

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How Do I Determine the Grade on a Coin Described as ‘Uncirculated Details?’

How can I tell if my Hobo nickel is an original or a modern machined example? An extremely worn, dateless Buffalo nickel without a mint mark likely of low value is used as the host coin for most modern reproductions. … Continue reading

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