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e-letters: Nov. 30, 2022

What coin(s) would you love to add to your collection but know you will never be able to get? Why?

1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coin

1913 Liberty nickel

1794 silver dollar

1964 silver Peace dollar

Tom Skulan

Leland, N.C.

I’d love to add a highly detailed 1916 Standing Liberty quarter to my collection. But prices have skyrocketed them to where they’re out of reach. I’ve had a few in the past: one Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) VF-35, another was an Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) XF-40. Nice coins to be sure, and the centerpiece of my collection at the time. But none actually held the details I was hoping for! I’m always on the lookout for just the right piece. Even had a chance at one in an online auction once, but shill bidding prevented that acquisition. I no longer entertain that particular auction site. But, nevertheless, I still maintain a watchful eye at other, more reputable sites just in case the right one comes along at the right price. Who knows? Anything is possible!

Jay K.

Owensboro, Ky.

1933 Saint-Gaudens (11 known and Only 1 available).

Ray Chase

Fairfield, Conn.

2022 limited edition silver proof set 2022. I would never buy anything overpriced, $201, and undervalued. The silver proof Eagle is $73, and the silver proof set at $105 has three more coins. The holder can’t be worth $23.

Mike White

Address withheld

The coin I would dream of getting, but realize I never will, is the [Isle of Man] 1984 edge-inscribed Viking 50-pence coin.

As a 50p collector with very nearly 1,000 coins in my collection, the above coin has a mintage of about 150 and is extremely rare.

Les Woodward

Address withheld

My Barber quarter collection will not have the 1901-S or the 1913-S. Even in Good condition, it costs more than I can afford.

Michael Hoffman

Plainfield, Ind.

1894-S dime

1871-CC dime

1893-S Morgan dollar

1873-CC quarter

Angelo Coiro

Address withheld

The 1995-W American Eagle (AE). Though I paid $9,000 for a 1916-D Mercury dime AU-50 years ago and another $9,000 for a $2.50 Indian gold, 1911-D MS-61, the price for the AE 1995-W, in my opinion, is too high for the coin.

Michael McLoughlin

Great Britain

1915-S $50 Pan-Pac octagonal gold

1916-T German East Africa: Wilhelm II gold 15 rupien

1035-1040, Harold I silver penny

1483-1485, Richard III, AR Penny (full flan)

1935-1936, U.S. Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp (ARRC) “Bingle” token $10

There was a time when I could have afforded most of these (not the Pan-Pac gold), but I took an early retirement after a major health scare and just like that, way more limited funds for the hobby. The 15 rupee and ARRC Bingle are the last pieces I need to complete those collections.

Greg Eaton

Oxnard, Calif.

Coins that I would like but probably will not see unless I win the lotto: 1933 double eagle and 1877 Indian Head cent in proof. Well that’s good for a starter, anyway!

Thomas Vincent

Salem, Ore.

Early pattern pieces by Barber or Gasparro would be a welcomed addition to the collection, but since they’re both scarce and extremely expensive, we did the next best thing and struck our own commemoratives of the same!

J. Grove

Grove Minting Company, Ardmore, Pa.

1793 large cent in good enough condition to make out the details.

Daniel L. O’Brien

Henderson, Nev.

1. 1737/1739 Higley copper in nice choice VF condition (or better). This would not necessarily fit into any of my collections, but I have always loved these coins. They have a unique design and are quite rare, of course. And of course with American rarity comes a high price to acquire one, generally in the six figures for a nice example.

2. Congo Free State 1896 gold 5 francs pattern.

This coin would be a great fit and highlight for one of my collections. It sold for about $55,000 several years ago. It is likely unique.

I imagine that it would sell for nearly six figures if sold at auction nowadays.

Scott Annechino

Rochester, N.Y.

Any $20 Saint-Gaudens gold piece. I think they are the most beautiful coins ever made. I will never own one because of the price they cost.

Ted Novak

Flint, Mich.

I would really like to own a “Schoolgirl dollar,” Judd 1608. The “Metric,” “Goloid” and “Washlady” would be some others.

Financial concerns prevent such ownership.

Thomas Fox

Gray, Tenn.

1962 Czechoslovakia 3 halere, KM-52.

Glenn Pallast

Louisville, Ky.

Una and the Lion 5-pound

Nigel Reid

Enfield, Middlesex, United Kingdom

1837 dime, MS-60

1799 anything

Dahlonega or Charlotte gold coin

Mark Geller

Address withheld

1936 dot Canadian cent. Cost!

Robert D. Kinsey Jr.

Address withheld

High relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Why? The price for such a coin is out of my league.


Address withheld

The 1836 Gobrecht dollar, the 1907 Saint-Gaudens high relief double eagle and the 1847 English Gothic crown. Any of the above three in the grades I collect, MS-62 to MS-64, cost what I spend on all my coins in a year to two years. Doing so would preclude my being able to buy and enjoy the numerous other coins that I would like to add to my collection.

Of course, if I win the lottery, all bets are off!

Lorne Lavertu

Herndon, Va.

These coins in better grades are out there, but I have not been able to purchase them from anyone:

U.S. 1864 Small Motto 2-cent, proof

U.S. 1880 business-strike shield nickel

U.S. 1873 Large 3 Over Small 3 Shield nickel

1937 brass specimen Canadian 50-cent

2002 non-magnetic Canadian small cent

Canadian N.W. token without a hole

1881 Hawaiian nickel

U.S. 1876-CC proof 20-cent

Just to name a few.

Sam Buscemi

Fraser, Mich.

The 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter in any Mint State.

Horst Seeley

Address withheld

I would love to get a 1909-S VDB MS-65 Red [Lincoln cent].


Brockport, N.Y.

A 1964 Peace dollar. They were made but not circulated. Rumors have that there are some our there.


Address withheld

1700s American silver dollars

Jack Lam

Address withheld

1909-S VBD Lincoln. Too much money in Fine or above.

Don Patrick

Southwest Kansas

This is a simple one: 1953-S Franklin half dollar in a PCGS MS-65 FBL holder for my registry set. Why? Another simple answer: I’m not going to pay what dealers are asking. So I’ll stick with my MS-66.

Robert Jonas

Springfield, Mo.

I have a complete set of Morgans and Peace dollars certified with more than 50 extra VAMs, but, as you can imagine, it’s missing the 1895 proof. Cost prohibitive

Mike Holstein

West Virgina

$4 Stella.

Ken Winchell

Address withheld

The holy trinity: 1916 quarter, 1856 Flying Eagle penny, 1895 Morgan.

Jim Southard, Jr.

Address withheld

My coin is the British Una and the Lion in PR-65 CAM. I’ve kicked myself for not stretching and buying one 20 years ago. It is a gorgeous coin with a beautifully engraved design. It is rare as a coin with limited mintage, and it is significant historically as the beginning of a long reigning monarch.

It is really difficult to pick one coin as I would have loved to own a 1794 dollar, a $4 Stella and many others!

Gene Bruder

Address withheld

1955 D/D Lincoln cent, MS-60 or greater.

I have purchased this coin from two auctions houses and a so-called reputable company. The auction houses refunded the payment due to being out of stock. The so-called reputable company went belly-up, and I never got a refund. $1,200.

Three strikes and I am out. I just figure I’m not meant to have this prize coin.

David Ninaltowski

Martinsville, Va.

I would love to own a 1953-S Franklin in MS-65 FBL condition half dollar. But, alas, that’s too much for my budget!

Frank Calmes

Brownsburg, Ind.

Any coin from the Dahlonega Mint.

Richard Festa Lula


I am still missing most of the key dates to complete my sets; their high cost is the main reason I do not have them. However, I do have a couple success stories, such as a 1916-D Mercury dime that I acquired as part of a rather large collection of coins that included the complete set of Mercury dimes, a complete set of quarters from 1932-1964, complete set of Buffalo nickels (except for 1913-S Type 2), and a nearly complete set of Lincoln cents from 1909-1958. I got the entire collection for $350 back in the mid-1990s.

I recently had the dime graded, and it came back from ANACS as VG-8. I also put together my own circulated set of Liberty “V” nickels and for years struggled to find the 1885 and 1886. I finally managed to land both of these for a price I could afford and condition I was satisfied with. So, who knows, maybe someday I will find the other key dates I am looking for at a price I can afford.

Daryl Conley

New Mexico

1909-S VDB Lincoln cent

Bob Merrifield

Address withheld

I like to collect coins in EF or better, and there are many sets I collect that I will never be able to complete, as follows:

First would be the 1893-S Morgan dollar, then the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter, and we can’t forget the 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent. The first half of the Walking Liberty half dollars, but I can always hope that my ship will come in some day.

Terrill Williams

Paola, Kan.

A high-grade bust cent. Why? The cost.

Rich Phillips

Address withheld

1871-CC, 1873-CC Seated dollars.

Michael Siano

Cathedral City, Calif.

1914-D Lincoln cent, MS-65 Red. That would jump my registry set a few places.

Brendan Boelke

Address withheld

1856 Flying Eagle and 1909-S VDB Lincoln. My pockets aren’t deep enough!

John Robison

Address withheld

I would like to add a high-grade 1793 chain cent as well as a 1794 silver dollar and a 1796 and 1797 half. But they are out of my price range.

Roy Herbst

Address withheld

I would love to acquire a Clark Gruber & Company 1860 $10 Colorado Territorial gold coin. The design is so unusual (Pikes Peak on the obverse that doesn’t remotely look like Pikes Peak). I am a resident of Colorado and for many years my office was just a few blocks from where the Clark Gruber & Company assay office was located. I love my home state and this coin really calls to me, for it was minted just after Denver was settled (1859) and represents to me the pioneer spirit of Colorado.

Bill Patterson


The whole Heritage Eagle set. It would be too expensive.

Conner Hopfer

Address withheld