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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 of sets listed with major mint errors; where else do you suggest I look? Is there a book or website you can direct me to?

You can expect anything considered to be a major error to be listed in any price guide. This includes the U.S. Coin Digest guide. Among reliable websites is Consider Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins and Strikes for anything more esoteric.

A dealer was selling slabbed clad statehood quarters for a dollar apiece at a recent coin show. How can he afford to sell these inexpensive coins this low, considering the additional cost of having had them slabbed?

Some dealers send large volumes of like modern coins to third-party certification services, who give them a discount on the price of encapsulating each coin. The dealers are hoping a few of these coins will be graded PR-70 or MS-70. If this happens, these few grade rarity examples will command a sufficient premium to pay for the entire group that was examined, plus a profit.

Banks routinely ship and receive coins and bank notes from the Federal Reserve. Is there a cost to this?

Banks must absorb shipping costs when ordering or returning coins and bank notes to the Federal Reserve. This is why many banks are reluctant to order rolls of coins for a collector, knowing the collector will return most of the coins later for redemption once the coins have been examined.

What is the difference between a High Relief and an Ultra High Relief coin?

The relief on a coin is the distance from the lowest to the highest surface design element. A U.S. Mint Ultra High Relief coin has a higher degree of protrusion in the field than a coin of unusually high relief. I would define “unusually” high relief as being greater than what is seen on normal circulation strike coins.

I’ve seen pictures of some ancient Greek coins that could be called high relief. These coins wouldn’t stack. Why would they make them this way?

High relief ancient Greek coins weren’t meant to be stacked. Most had sufficient purchasing power that a single coin could satisfy a financial transaction. Artistic quality rather than practicality also played a part in designing these coins.

President Theodore Roosevelt was an admirer of ancient Greek coins in high relief. He carried an Athenian tetradrachm in his pocket. He also wanted to send a message to other countries suggesting the increasing stature of the United States of the early 20th century.