From the May 11 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Do Morgan dollars beat Lincoln cents as the most popular collector coins?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
This is an excellent question. There is much to commend Morgan dollars: availability at all price points including Mint State examples; the size of the coin; and its place in history. Lincoln cents are an excellent starting point for new collectors. They are readily available in circulation. Wheaties are harder to find but affordably available from most coin stores. Key dates will always command a premium, but the remainder are attainable in pleasing condition. Among adults, Morgan dollars may be top. Among children and overall collectors, it is hard to beat the Lincoln cent.
Yes, the Lincoln cent used to be near the top of the pile. The Morgan dollar is now a leader on the boards. This is primarily due to 50 years of financial change and interest. In all fairness, having a few cents in one’s portfolio is good. A few rare dates and conditions are all that is needed. Be selective to your own needs.
No! Show me one collector that didn’t start with a penny collection and I’ll show you an 1804-S silver dollar!
Budget-minded collectors and newbies to the hobby initially lean more towards collecting lower-denomination Lincoln cents, whereas the Morgan dollar series is quite popular among collectors who have ample monetary resources.
Given that a lot of Lincolns cost a cent, and Morgans cost at least the price of silver, I am guessing that the cheaper ones are more popular, especially as an entry into the hobby. I have a few Morgans but lots of the cents, mostly elongated ones.
Two of my favorite coins! I think for the simple cost and availability of Lincolns vs. Morgans that the Lincoln cents will beat out the Morgans. The Lincoln cents are a great gateway into coin collecting for new numismatists, but you can’t beat that heft and sheer beauty of a Morgan!
Yes. You can’t buy a dollar’s worth of anything with just a cent.
Colorado Springs Colo.
I love Morgans, but I believe that the pennies will take over big time. That is my opinion.
I think Morgans are more popular than any other coin.
Lincoln Cents will always be more popular among children and beginning collectors. The coins are generally inexpensive, affordable, and easy to find. Higher-grade Lincoln Cents are beautiful coins that even the most advanced collector will acquire. A complete Lincoln collection is usually the first major accomplishment of a collector.
Morgan Dollars have become less collectible and less affordable as prices have risen in recent decades. The cost to put a complete set together is beyond the reach of most collectors. The best most collectors can hope for is a partial set. The coins are beautiful works of art and will always be popular.
Right now, the Lincoln Cent collector is in the lead for the number of collectors. Morgan Dollars are in the lead for total dollars spent to build a collection. Collectors of both series are winners in hobby enjoyment.
Bruce R. Frohman
I think that Lincoln cents will always be at or near No. 1 on everybody’s list. I have been collecting Lincoln cents on and off for the last 50 years.
I think the Lincoln cent holds a special place in all collectors’ hearts. Generally speaking I believe most everyone started off saving pennies. As we expanded our minds and collections in the hobby, Morgans eventually gained popularity.
I’ll bet there is an album or two of Lincoln cents, long forgotten in an attic or basement, that contains a copper 1943 penny just waiting to be discovered.
A 94 year-old neighbor asked me last year to inventory her 3,000 pennies from an old shoe box. I didn’t find the 1943 copper cent, but I did come up with a couple of 1922 No “D” gems, as well as three very nice 1955 double-die obverse cents.
Lincoln cents will always remain dear to all of us collectors.
Morgans are great coins to collect. For sentimental and childhood nostalgic reasons, though, the cent wins my vote.
Morgan dollars have always been the king of collectibles in my opinion. Started as a youth with Lincoln cents in the early 60s. My dad would bring home a $50 bag on Fridays to sort through on weekends to fill our Whitman’s. Morgans came later for us as money became a little better.
My money is on the Lincoln cent, although I believe the Morgan dollar is a beautiful coin and I continue to add to my set when possible.
Yesterday, after I read your column in the paper copy of Numismatic News about your friend who completed a coin set, the last three Lincoln pennies I needed (1909-S VBD, 1914-D and 1922 No “D”) arrived in the mail. It was a great feeling to finally complete a set I started in 1957. Such fond memories of taking my lawn-cutting/snow-shoveling money to the bank on Fridays and getting rolls of pennies and then the thrill of going through them and finding pennies to fill my folders.
I also think you are correct about the cycle of coin collecting. I look back over my experiences, and they fit your timeline perfectly.
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