Friday, September 20, 2013

1921-D Morgan Silver Dollars

by Jack Chapman

The 1921-D Morgan Silver Dollar is the only issue in the series minted at the Denver Mint. Notably, this is the only year that you can acquire a coin minted at the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mint. This year saw the return of the silver dollar after a seventeen year absence.

20,345,000 of these coins were minted in 1921 making this one of the more common dates in the series.

Some of the nicest examples of Morgan Silver Dollars we have seen have been from this year. The strike is sharp, and the condition of these coins when you find the brilliant uncirculated examples of them can be breathtaking.

The metal composition of these dollar coins in 90% silver and 10% copper. The diameter is 38.1mm and the weight is 26.73 grams. There is .7735 troy ounces of silver in one Morgan Dollar. As of the writing of this article the silver value of one coin would be $16.94 based on a silver price of $21.90 per ounce.

There is a numismatic value associated with each one of these coins. You can find them relatively easily and for a price not much over spot for junk silver. However when buying better quality collector coins you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $40-$60 for a coin in Extra Fine to Uncirculated in condition. Brilliant uncirculated coins can be anywhere from $60 to hundreds of dollars depending on the grade. The higher the grade the more intrinsic value the coin has.

You can purchase these coins online at our store, or by calling us toll free at 866-241-9901. Just click on the link in the first sentence to be taken directly to the page on our website where you can view our current inventory.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Indian Head Cents - How to Grade and Buy

by Jack Chapman

The Indian Head Cent, or penny is one of the first coins I started collecting as a kid. These pieces of American history are considered to be favorites with numismatics worldwide. These U.S. Coins started their initial run in 1859 and ended in 1909 giving way to the Lincoln Cent that we still use in commerce today.

Each year the Philadelphia Mint produced the coins. However the San Francisco Mint also minted these pennies in 1908 and 1909.

The Indian Head Cent was designed by James Longacre an engraver at the U.S. Mint. The obverse of the coin (heads) features a Native American Indian wearing a headband with the words LIBERTY on it. The letters in the word LIBERTY are very useful when grading these coins. The outer edges of the coin have the words United States of America and the year of issue. The reverse of the coin (tails) side had two designs.

The first design latest only one year, 1859. It featured a laurel wreath with the words ONE CENT inside of it.

In 1860 the reverse design was changed to an oak wreath and a shield with the words ONE CENT still inside.

For the first six years the pennies had a metal composition that was 88% copper and 12% nickel. Then in 1864 it was changed to 95% and 5% tin and zinc.

Grading Indian Head Cents

These are the basic guidelines when grading Indian Head Cents. Grading is subjective and at times a coin may be graded differently by different people. 

Good Condition (G4) - No letters in the word LIBERTY are visible.
Very Good (VG7) -  At least three letters in LIBERTY are visible.
Fine (F12) - All of the letters in LIBERTY are visible.
Very Fine (VF20) - There is slight, buy even wear on the letters in LIBERTY.
Extra Fine (EF40) - All letters in LIBERTY are sharp as well as are the details in the coin. There is just slight wear on the ribbon ends on the reverse.
Almost Uncirculated (AU50) - Minor traces of wear above the ear and lowest curls of the hair.
Brilliant Uncirculated (MS60) - No traces of wear, though there may be some blemishes on the coin.

Where to Buy Indian Head Cents

You can purchase these coins at any local coin dealer in your town, or you can buy them online. We do sell these coins ourselves and have all of the years and most of the grades in stock at U.S. State Don't let our name fool you, as we carry thousands of properly graded U.S. coins.