2014 Lou Hoover First Spouse Gold Coin

Today, August 14, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint began accepting orders for the 2014 Lou Hoover First Spouse Gold Coin. This represents the third release of the year for the one-half ounce 24 karat gold coin series honoring the spouses of the Presidents.

Lou Hoover First Spouse Gold Coin

The obverse design of the coin features a portrait of Lou Hoover designed by Susan Gamble and engraved by Michael Guadioso. Inscriptions read “Lou Hoover”, “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, “2014 W”, “31st”, and “1929-1933”. This obverse portrait had been recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, while the Commission of Fine Arts had recommended a different candidate.

The reverse design carries a depiction of a late 1920’s style radio set to represent Mrs. Hoover’s significance as the first First Lady to give a public radio address. The inscriptions around the outer edge read “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “$10 1/2 oz. .9999 Fine Gold”. Below the radio is the inscription “First Public Address April 19, 1929”. This reverse design was recommended by both the CCAC and CFA, who felt it would be more recognizable than the microphones shown in other alternatives.

The Lou Hoover First Spouse Gold Coins are initially priced at $845 for the uncirculated version and $865 for the proof version. These prices are based on a weekly average gold price within the $1,300 to $1,349.99 range. Pricing for the coins is subject to potential weekly adjustment.

A maximum mintage of 10,000 pieces has been established across the proof and uncirculated versions of the coin. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins produced within the total maximum mintage.

Previous releases of the series for this year have honored Florence Harding and Grace Coolidge. Since the release date on July 10, the Harding coin has reached combined sales of 2,801 pieces. Since the release on July 17, the Coolidge coin has reached combined sales of 2,466 pieces.

The fourth release this year honoring Eleanor Roosevelt has a scheduled release date of September 4, 2014.

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  1. Brice says

    They shipped Wednesday, been on hold for 2 weeks as CC needed updated. Hopefully they were packed and I don’t receive the scraps.

  2. ABC says

    For the 100th anniversary of the Walking Liberty half, the Standing Liberty quarter, and the Mercury dime in 2016, I want the mint to produce 5 ounce reverse proof ultra high relief versions of each coin.

  3. Clark says

    VaBeachSteve–We’re not far from agreement. I only had 1 of 10 gold BHoFs come back PF69. Gold quality throughout all fulfillment cycles has been better than silver quality. I’m still waiting for the last two gold coins to come back from NGC, but they looked like 70s to my untrained eyes.

    Brice–Don’t worry. You can always take advantage of the temporary price dip for silver $1 BHoFs and grab some 70s for great prices. IMO, they won’t be this low again.

  4. Jerry Diekmann says

    bg35765 – regarding Grover & Frances Cleveland – the historian in me brings out a story of Grover Cleveland and a “scandal”. Apparently he had fathered an illegitimate child years before. When the Republicans heard about this dalliance on his part, they came up with the little ditty, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!” Actually, Cleveland was a pretty decent president, and the only Democratic president from 1860 to 1912 – that’s a long time!

  5. Jerry Diekmann says

    I remember when an MS65 coin was considered almost the best condition obtainable. The TPGs have ruined the hobby IMO. Based on what went on in Chicago, I would never consider going to an ANA coin show – what a mess and a black eye for numismatics.

  6. Pittsburgh P says

    @Chibi those are the list of all the 2014 JFKs available in 2014 not just the 50th anniversary release… That is why I split it up – First 7 then the last 6 are “regular annual releases” as it says in the post. Where did you get that I was saying all were 50th anniversary?

    Eddie said he only counted 9 in the type set for 2014 & asked where 13 came from- I was just listing them for him

  7. Larry says

    @ eddie – The mint had the four coin silver set at the ANA. As I have said in previous posts ( I know, you tired of hearing it) in my opinion the reverse proof Kennedy is stunning. The enhanced coin looks like the proof, except for some of the details, like the shield on the eagle. When I was at the ANA show I looked at the gold proof, then the four coin set and decided my money was better spent on the four coin set. The four coin silver set really has the WOW factor, I didn’t feel that with the gold.
    So hold on to your hats, the insanity is going to start again soon when this set is released. It will probably be even worse, as more can afford this one.
    @Jerry Diekmann – you should still go to the ANA show if you love the hobby. Unless you are lucky and live by a major coin dealer, where else do you get a chance to see such coins as the 1913 nickel, 1804 silver dollar, gold proofs. Not to mention the Barber, Seated Liberty, Indian head, etc…. proofs. The quantity of coins is almost overwhelming.

  8. Eddie says

    @Pittsburgh P I would like to thank you for posting those for the 1001 time it was very thoughtful of you and it is the 1st time seeing it.
    I wished Dansco would make a special page just for these because if they don’t the Kennedy album will always be incomplete.
    If you already have your 5 set and if you try to order more will the Mint just reject the order?
    I want one of the gold Kennedy’s so bad but just don’t have the money for it. I wished the Mint had a “Lay-away” or at that someone did.
    I am looking forward to the 4 coin silver Kennedy set. I have a feeling these coins are going to be so awesome.

  9. Pittsburgh P says

    @Eddie not a problem… Hope you took the 1001 times comment as it was to be – a joke 🙂 I know some haven’t seen it before & it never hurts to review… As you read it still caused disagreements.

    If you order more than 5 at once the Mint will cancel the whole order if you try to order 5 twice I think they’ll just cancel the later one…

    You’re not the only one anticipating the release of the silver set! It will be a great one to own…

  10. Eddie says

    @Larry That is what I have been saying about the reverse proof it really does look stunning in the pics. I never really cared that much for the reverse proof of the Walking Liberty but the Kennedy half looks like it was made for it.
    It could be like the TR set and we won’t get them until March or so could be wrong about it but the way the Mint does things who knows. I just hope it comes in a really nice presentation case.
    I am so disappointed with the 2 coin Anniversary set the strikes on the obverse should have been some of the best.

  11. Clark says

    Eddie–I’m using page two of Dansco 8167 album for the complete line of 2014 Kennedys, including the gold. There’s plenty of room for more pages in it, so it will fit nicely. I’m still a bit on the fence about treating coins from this year’s half dollar rolls as different from coins from the 2014 uncirculated coin sets, but what the heck, that Dansco page holds 20 coins, so why not?

    Some posters here feel that albums will tone silver coins, but in my many years of using them that’s not been a problem if I spend the $9 for the Dansco Slipcase with silver-guard corrosion protection.

    Lastly, the upside of gold Kennedy coins being minted to order and widely available from the Mint for a while and then forever from private sellers is that you have a long long time to save up for one…it’s a natural layaway option without any interest or fees. If you save $100/month, you’ll have your coin this time next year, probably at today’s $1240, unless gold prices soar. If they drop, you could pay less!

  12. Eddie says

    Is the Mint ever going to lift the household limit on the 2 coin set?

    @Pittsburgh P thank you again and that is exactly the way I took it. It is so hard to convey humor on a computer.
    Is there going to be a limit on the 4 coin set do you or anyone know? 5 is about all I can get anyway. I know know if I should order them all at once or break my order up. Any thoughts on the matter?

  13. Eddie says

    Clark I know what you mean I have slipcases for my Dansco albums and they do protect them better. I guess next year that will me one of my goals a gold Kennedy. I was wanting to get one from the Mint but “Life happens when you are busy making other plans” John Lennon. It is so true.

  14. says

    Current Guesstimates —

    Opening Day Only Sales Silver Kennedy

    • VA Rich 100k on 08/08/14 ; 137k 08/09
    • thePhelps 85,500 08/08
    • CaptainOverkill 75,000 08/08
    • cagcrisp 212,125 08/08
    • VA Bob 105k 08/08
    • HiCal 93,564 08/08
    • Bob R 169,000 08/08
    • Pittsburgh P 148,888 08/08
    • Hawkster 184,546 08/08
    • Dustyroads 64,000 08/09
    • Louis 115k 08/09
    • Sith 100k 08/09
    • GoldFishin 88,844 08/09

  15. Larry says

    Comparing the Reverse Proof Kennedy to the RP ASE’s, I think what makes the Kennedy and last years RP Buff look so much better is the way the complete head of Kennedy and the Native American stand out against the background. You don’t get the same effect with the ASE. When they make a complete RP proof set next year, that will be cool to see as in all of the coins the head a large part of the coin. Even a coin like the penny will be really neat with the polished bust of Lincoln against a satin background.

  16. Pittsburgh P says

    Eddie it is hard to convey humor & a lot of people take it the wrong way… Thoughts on the way to buy the silver set-really doesn’t matter unless you want to split payment methods. I will make 2 orders, 1 of 3 & 1 of 2 in case I want to keep a box sealed for grading to sell… Usually don’t but I may if they are going for enough to get mine cheaper.

    Cag looks as if most aren’t as bullish as me on first day sales

  17. Eddie says

    @Larry you said the Mint was going to make a complete RP set are you sure if so that would be so fantastic. Will the be making a regular silver proof set and a reverse silver proof set? Where did you read that I would like to read about if you have a link.
    Larry you just made my day if they go though with it.

  18. Eddie says

    Anyone have a date yet for when the silver Kennedy’s will go on sale or is the Mint still keeping that a secret?

  19. says

    General questions/comments on collecting modern commemoratives and various other modern issues.
    I have been following the comments/discussions on MNB for some time now and as a result believe my purchasing decisions have been much better informed than would otherwise have been the case. My thanks to the posters here.
    I now have a complete collection of 5oz -P ATB coins; most in OGP because the quality in the these coins has not been an issue, but a few in slabs when I couldn’t get the OGP when I wanted. I generally don’t like to pay for MS70 premiums onthese because quite frankly I have a hard time seeing the difference between PR69 and PR70. If I have a hard time without magnification spotting the difference then I think others will too….is it worth paying the premium for 69 vs 70 based solely on re-sale? (This question applies to all coins in my post).
    I have purchased 7 bullion ATBs as well. I have only purchased slabbed MS69 coins because of comments on this board about the low quality (I believe this especially applied to 2010) of the bullion coins. FWIW I think the bullion coins are just as pretty as the burnished ones.
    I have a reasonably complete collection of modern silver commemorative $1 pieces, all proof. Mostly in OGP for the same reasons as above; I see no reason to pay extra for slabbed proof moderns because the mint seems to do a reasonable job on QC. However does anyone here have comments on specific issues with specific coins? (Excepting the HOF coins).
    I am going to start a collection of moderm commem. $1 uncirculated coins. Here I think I’m going to go the slabbed route to ensure top quality coins. MS69 seems just fine to me, but in the MNB’s opinion (based on eventual re-sale only) is it worth paying the premium for MS-70 on uncirculated moderns? Do you guys think that in 20 years someone will still fork over huge premiums for 70 vs. 69? I personally believe it’s more likely to happen with uncirculated coins than with proof.
    I have some gold prf buffaloes ($50) but only in OGP. No way will I pay extra for slabbed coins there.
    And for the record I’ve ordered the Kennedy gold but haven’t received it yet.
    In general I assign zero significance to various labels. I will never pay extra for one. I think the FS label is the biggest farce ever so I even though I have a monster box of FS-eligible eagles I’m not going to have any of it graded.
    As to older coins, that is an entirely different subject…pretty much out of the scope of this blog, I think.

    Mark H

  20. fmtransmitter says

    I say whomever builds a standardized grading/scanning program that TPG’s MUST use by US Law will be the big winner in this hobby. It would take some time, but with lasers out there and technology, it could easily be done. It is done in manufacturing ALL the time! Quality Control! ISO 9002 etc etc…Coins are scanned and sent through a machine to have them looked at from a specific set of parameters and grades are based on those. Now wouldn’t that be something, in the not so far future!

  21. Eddie says

    I am with you there needs to be a standardized laser grading system as long as humans are making the judgment call as to what grade each coin receives there is going to be human errors. I wouldn’t want my coins to be graded as to what mood someone might be in or if they are tired and ready to go home or whatever the reason there are going to be errors made even if you are in the best of moods.

  22. says


    The silver Kennedies are thought to be going on sale in mid – October, shortly after the mint’s new website launches. No exact date yet, though.

  23. thePhelps says

    @fmtrans… are you going to then send your MS/PF70 coins to be regraded? I am sure that the system would be fine, but a lot of people might not be happy if they go to sell their human graded coins and are told they will get less for them, unless they resubmit them to the auto grading machine you suggest… I am sure there are a slew of other ways TPG will make even more money on the lazer setup..

  24. bg35765 says

    Mark H – I think the answer to whether paying more for a 70 than a 69 will provide a better return in the long run is different for each coin that you buy.

    My observation has been that even when the grading services are grading 80% – 90% of coins as a 70 on a new release, collectors don’t pay any attention to that and pay a large premium for the 70. Those prices will be sticky for a number of years, but in the long run (10 – 20 years) the premium for those 70s will slowly erode.

    But in the opposite case where the 70s are hard to come by it might be worth it to pay the premium.

    The other thing to consider is that there could be major changes in the hobby in the long term, and almost all of them would affect the 70s negatively.
    – The death of baby boomers will flood the market with coins with fewer new collectors to replace them
    – One of the grading services could have a scandal that ruins their credibility
    – Registry sets could decline in popularity
    – Grading standards could change which would increase the population of 70 graded coins (see the 1995-W silver eagle)

    The decision I have made for myself is that I buy 69s because they provide authentication and convenient storage at a low cost. I think you should probably do the same if you can’t see a difference.

  25. gary says

    Yup, Third Party graders are much like baseball umpires. They both have human faults when it comes to determining strikes.

  26. gary says

    @bg35765 RE: – The death of baby boomers will flood the market with coins with fewer new collectors to replace them

    I’m a 62 year old boomer and not waiting for death to sell certain coins. LOL.

    But your point is well taken… there are fewer and fewer collectors, especially of the big ticket PM moderns. The U.S. moderns that I have collected are in OGP only. If I had to buy one in a slab, a 69 grade would do nicely & sometimes they are cheaper than OGP.

  27. jeff says

    I think the mint has an golden opportunity to change the future of TPG all the mint would need to do is grade the coins themselves. I for one would rather have a graded coin from the US mint as opposed to the plethora of money hungry companies. The mint could easily add 20-25 % markup on these coins. The mint is leaving money on the table in my mind.

  28. mark says

    I cracked out a lot of pf69s bhof silvers and put them back in ogp. And sold them on ebay for more than pf69s were selling for.

  29. VA Bob says

    Jeff – I have to strongly disagree with you on the Mint grading coins and charging a premium. The Mint should be making as close to perfect coins as it could, always. Once the Pandora’s box is opened to charging more for better quality, no one would want the rejects, so all collectors would be forced to buy the Mints 70’s or risk their collections would never be worth anything. If you went to a doctor that provided standard service or for some extra cash you got some premium surgery, it wouldn’t take log to wonder what he does differently. Sure it’s an apples to organs (pun intended) comparison, but you can see how ethics issues that could arise would ruin this hobby. TPG work because not everyone puts their faith in them, nor are they required to.

  30. VA Bob says

    Mark – moderns are the TPG’s easy money ticket. Little work, big returns, especially if there is a series of fancy labels to market. They don’t mind them being cracked out at all, it’s a good chance for the next buyer to provide repeat business.

    Which leads to another inaccurate form of information: TPS population reports. No one tells them when they crack out a coin to keep those reports accurate. Yet many people make buying decisions from these same reports. One can never know if one coin is represented multiple times in the same or different grades (now including labels categories).

  31. Pittsburgh P says

    Agreed VaBob

    Mark some would say that is unethical-unless you note that this was done in the listing-since people buy OGP with the hopes of getting a 70. You’re giving them a coin that has already been graded a 69 and may be less since the coin could be damaged while removing it from its slab… And at a price higher that 69s are going for.
    I am not saying its right or wrong just what I have read here and in other coin blogs/forums.

  32. jeff says

    VA Bob your comments are away informative however I’m not saying grade every coin maybe 20-25% of the run. You and I know there’s money on the table and I see no detriment to the hobby. Additional another aspect could be the mint serial number this run. All I’m saying is there’s money the mint is loosing to TPS.

  33. mark says

    The 69s I cracked were perfect. And if I damaged one I would not sell it on ebay. You really could not see a difference between the 70s and 69s. And I would bet that some would regrade a 70. Even had repeat buyers because of the nice quality.

  34. VA Bob says

    Jeff – and if they ran out of 70’s from that run, would you settle for their second best effort? How long would a car company stay in business if they certified a portion of the first months or two of a particular model to be perfect, and the rest? Well you get what you get.

    I’m not concerned about the Mint making more money. The money they make more than covers the costs, and then some. I don’t believe paying for government spending (the national debt) should be borne entirely on the backs of the collector. This hobby, as far as moderns, can go away very quickly if it becomes unaffordable to the average collector. The Mint needs to expand the collector base, not gouge those it has. Too much emphasis, and money, placed on what TPG’s think a coin is. My opinion only. Also, thanks for the kind words.

  35. Clark says

    I agree with whoever observed that the declining population of Baby Boomers could lead to lack of interest in the hobby and lower coin values over time, however, I don’t think it will hurt modern precious metal coinage. Older more arcane coins will be of less interest to younger collectors, which is why I have spent over $150K on modern coins and $0 on the old stuff. We won’t really know who’s correct, or more correct, for 50+ years, so for now it’s just fun to speculate. IMO.

  36. Sith says

    @MarkH – You asked if it was worth it to buy coins grade 69 over 70. It depends on the premium. As far as someone paying extra for a 70 in 20 years I would say sure they would but will the premium be worth the extra money you put into the coin? For the most part I would say no it is not worth it to go after 70s, but that is me.

  37. Sith says

    @Clark – You maybe right but those old coins have stories to tell. Morgan Carson City coins may never have circulated and sat in a vault for decades but they were made in the old west and they command a premium. The new Lone Ranger movie aside cowboys and cowboy movies will alway entice people and people will always want something that was their, war nickels, peace dollars, all have stories to tell. My 2 cents.

  38. stephen m says

    Of course when the baby boomers reach the end of the line there will be coins, and slabbed graded coins, that will go to market. Of course a 70 grade will still command a premium over a 69 grade. Of course there will be a much larger market for all coins, 69’s and 70’s and not a smaller market because the world market for coins is growing as the world income per capita grows larger and larger.

  39. Brice says

    @Sith, I do wish old coins could tell their stories. I found an 1853 quarter ( quar dol as stated in the coin) helping my grandparents 40+ years ago picking up rocks and roots aka junk out of top soil they had hauled in from a local creek to put around their house. I can finish where its been but would love to know where it had been.

  40. MarkH says

    Thanks for the answers/suggestions/comments so far-my main takeaway is that collecting/investing (for the two merge and often overlap) moderns is a completely different game from the older coins. I am truly a collector at heart but have to focus more on investing and return of capitol over a 10 year horizon for now. So I can collect a variety of moderns but concentrate on what can be liquidated the most easily should a sudden need arise. In this instance I view the coins more like stocks…something I can not afford to fall in love with. And I do NOT daytrade……er….flip coins:-)

    If I had my druthers I’d be knee deep in my old favorites-key dates of various series and the older commems, but for now I get to sort of scratch that collector itch a little while still remaining focused on not losing money. So after a base in bullion I started looking more intently at modern commems. This is why sorting out the issues between 69 and 70 and knowing how many problems people have had with mint coins in OGP for the various issued coins (proof or uncirc) is so important to me. It is also why I wanted to know whether or not labels made a difference in valuation over the long haul. PCGS’ insistence on including “Mercanti” label valuations on their webpage notwithstanding, I don’t believe those special labels add value 10 years down the road.

    Mark H (also in Va.)

  41. Pittsburgh P says

    Mark I hope no offense was taken from my comment-just playin devil’s advocate… I do agree that many modern 69s could be cracked open & resubmitted to get 70s back. That is one reason I’m not big on grading moderns-at least for my own collection.

    Jeff I have to agree with VaBob on the Mint grading coins-they will never do it either. Now I would like to see serial numbers though but doubt that will occur either…

  42. VaBeachSteve says

    I just realized Virginia is the most represented state in this forum. “Virginia is for lovers & coin collectors”

  43. Larry says

    Eddie – I don’t remember where I heard that the mint was talking about making RP proof sets. I think it was on this blog somewhere. Anybody else have a link to it?

  44. VA Bob says

    MarkH – I always advise people to collect what they like, but since you suggested collecting as an investment, with a 10 year price point, my personal take is that modern commem’s are a bad investment. Beginning with 1982, there are very few winners. Sure PM’s have increased the prices somewhat since then, but seem to have found their resting place +/- the last year or so. But demand hasn’t taken off for many of these coins and the can still be had for reasonable prices.

    There have been much better vehicles for investing over the same time period that would have made you a lot more money. Just be careful. Had you said 30 or 40 years, that would have been better but still not a great investment IMO. As much as I hate to say it, the flippers probably do the best, in and out, no attachment, they make a quick buck and move on. It does have it’s risks as well. Best of luck meeting your goals though.

  45. VA Bob says

    Reverse Proof annual sets will accomplish one thing IMO, and that is to take the specialness away from the RP’s that currently exist. The Mint will be giving its special finish away each year with no new trick to offer. Before long they will have to do colorized, plated, hologram, glow-in-the-dark, or bejeweled coins to have something special to offer. Then they will be just like their foreign counterparts hawking wild gimmick coins. when that happens I’m out, because no one can possibly collect it all to ensure the got the few pieces that might have some long term value. Best to just collect the PM’s then and forgo the much higher premiums that will be necessary to make these small mintage wonders.

    I wish the Mint would reconsider if the news is true.

  46. Hawkster says


    Did you really come out much ahead by cracking out the HOF 69’s and selling them as OGP’s on ebay? After all, you wasted money on the grading fee. And there is also the ebay fee.

  47. tinto says

    @VA Bob

    “Reverse Proof annual sets will accomplish one thing IMO, and that is to take the specialness away from the RP’s that currently exist.”

    Agree. I went into the RP’s because of that specialness (and relative ease of assembling a complete set) and if the Mint goes into producing RP Annual sets I will probably stop after the first or second year (just so I have a complete type set).

  48. tinto says

    @VA Bob

    “… moderns are the TPG’s easy money ticket. Little work, big returns, especially if there is a series of fancy labels to market..”

    It’s like a never ending fountain of money, each year brings new issues for them to work over.

    And they are going big time into world coins and currency. At least they have not had the chance to add labels there (I think)

  49. Diga44 says

    I remember back in 1986-87 I had a baseball comic collectible shop and a guy I knew had a coin shop and he got out of the coins and into cards he commented how the grading companies had come in and it changed the market!
    The coin market at the time was down , I remember way back then seeing coin dealers trying to sell at baseball card shows because that’s where all the customers were
    Now go too 1992 -93 the baseball card market is flooded with cards and now the companies come in and start grading cards. Hmmm
    The card market was now the down market
    Well all these years later the cards that sell on eBay are the high graded cards, and also I sold comics too back in the 1980’s and that market crashed too and the comics that sell for good money are the graded ones because the companies came in and started grading them too…. Like I said I opened in 1986-87 and the graded items are the items that sell for the good money!
    It’s all bullcrap, but it is almost 2015 and all the discussion here about graded items
    Like PT Barnum said ” there a sucker born every day” and he said that a long , long time ago

    The End

  50. VA Bob says

    Give them time tinto. I believe PCGS has a branch in France. They will open one up where ever the money is.

  51. says

    Va Bob,
    I understand what you’re saying about the prices of moderns. They’re depressed right now for sure and over 10 years may not bring me any significant returns. My coins investment thesis has to do with artificial suppression of precious metals prices (not a topic for this forum) but given low PM prices and a basically stagnant market in the moderns ex BOH and Kennedy coins (you can buy all the proof $1 coins for an average of around $40 per), I believe the potential for a store of value in these moderns is significant. (At .77 oz of silver per coin all we need is for silver to return to 2011 levels to have the coins in the modern series approach melt value). For Proof coins????

    During the course of my research I found that older commems are still way below their 1990 peak and there may be a parallel with the moderns. Who knows? What I do know is that other investment vehicles I’m conversant with are either way over-bought or not producing the dividends they once did. My investment in PMs and coins will never exceed 30% of what I have in any case. And Oh-By-The-Way some of these coins are just so beautiful!


  52. says

    @MarkH, 30% ..wow…I try to stay between 5-10%. Currently @ 8.0%. You think gold is Suppressed and I think gold is Overvalued at this point relative to other investment options…

  53. fmtransmitter says

    If a new laser grading technology was introduced , without US LAW btw, just because it’s the right thing to do, the TPG’s could charge a simple amount to reholder all the human graded coins from past. Win win…:)

  54. VA Bob says

    FM – better yet make the scanner cheap enough for the public to purchase, and we won’t need TPG’s to authenticate and grade coins. That’s why this device doesn’t exist, it cut money out from the TPG’s, who would only be able to offer slabbing. The technology to do this already exists and had been available for years. The big chore would be creating the database of grades for every coin type and their variables. The hardware is there.

  55. Buzz Killington says

    It is interesting to see some politically conservative commenters mention how we need to use the force of law (Republicans call these “regulations”) to change the TPG business model. That is never going to happen.

    No matter what, grading, and eye appeal, is always going to be subjective.

    I am interested in the ideas here about not replacing the aging population of coin collectors, and what that does to hobby in general. I am concerned about it to the extent that all of my purchases are from the Mint directly. If I miss an issue (and I have missed some good ones, notably the fractional Buffalos) I am content not to get it, because I don’t want to pay a collector premium that I don’t think is going to last.

    As a previous commenter has mentioned, it has happened to comics, cards, stamps, and it is going to happen to our hobby one day, too. On the plus side, there is a precious metal floor, but that floor is A LOT lower that current PM prices suggest.

  56. Small time collector says

    I hope this is not a re-post as I’m new and tried to link a site using url and it didn’t show up.

    I just read a report on http://www.gold.org/supply-and-demand/gold-demand-trends and wonder if decreased demand may translate to lower sales from the mint as collectors buy vintage and existing moderns to fill in their collections. This might also decrease submittals to the grading companies.

  57. Larry says

    Coins for the most part are not a good investment because us average folks are buying at retail and selling at wholesale. Not a good way to make money, if that’s what you want to do.
    I pretty much buy directly from the mint as I figure that is as close to wholesale as I can get.

  58. MarkH says

    Cag-we’ll just have to disagree on the price of gold (and probably silver too)…at least you must admit there’s nothing like the heft of a 1Oz gold or silver coin.

  59. mgm says

    Paper or gold. I’ll take gold when we are 17 Trillion in debt with 100 Trillion in unfunded liabilities.

  60. Clark says

    Although I strongly condemn the recent antics of some TPGs, I could not manage my collection without NGC’s collector software tools. Many who are new to the hobby or unfamiliar with NGC may be unaware of the collection management software that comes with an NGC membership. PCGS also offers similar tools, but I’m not a fan of PCGS in general. Many of my sets are created to be “competitive sets” that allow me to pit my collection against those of others. At the end of each year, NGC judges the best sets and awards certificates for “most creative combinations,” etc. From a personal perspective, I use the collection management software to keep track of all the coins in my collection. If you must keep track of hundreds or thousands of coins, I’ve found it to be very helpful and far preferable to the excel spreadsheets I used to create from scratch.

    Anyway, just some information about non-grading related services from NGC, that might not be well-known. I’ve provided a link to a list competitive sets of modern commemoratives that shows photos of each members sets, descriptions, scores, etc.


  61. Sith says

    @Larry – I disagree unless your talking numismatic coins. Then as far as buying wholesale how do you buy numismatic coins wholesale? If that is your intent buy semi-numismatic coins they are priced at a % above spot. Sure you would have to sell back at a % below spot but if that spot price has increased and no guess work on the price. For exampling buying from the mint is costing you 30% above spot. You can get the same coin for a lot less above spot from a bullion dealer of course that coin will not be a proof coin. Not knowing your “investment” strategy you could get more bang for your buck by buying bullion coins.

  62. Sith says

    @diga44 – Are you saying those don’t grade their coins are foolish? I’m not sure what the point of your post was. All I can say is without a price point how can I evaluate your statement. How much did the buying the grade comic book cost back then? Your a dealer so obviously you have a better vantage point, but you are also making money on this and graded comics/coins are generating your best profits…

  63. Clark says

    MarkH–No problem. I, like most collectors, keep my coin collections in a bank vault, which makes it hard to access them when the need arises. Being able to see high resolution photos of all my coins in the NGC database 24/7 has been very helpful when I’ve needed to see my coins for various reasons (sometimes just to gawk, but mostly for comparisons while I’m at coin shows, etc.) I upload many of my own photos and use the high res pics that NGC takes when I submit coins for grading. My collections go wherever my smartphone goes.

  64. Wes says

    The laser scanner idea is a good one but not to grade coins. IMO they should be used as quality control measure to ensure that all coins being sold as collectibles are top quality.

  65. VA Bob says

    Eye appeal would be hard for a machine to determine. It would also be difficult to determine if a coin was cleaned. Harsh cleaning (with a hairline pattern) would be possible. Where it would excel is in coin authentication, probably the biggest concern for classic coin collectors.

  66. VA Bob says

    Clark – I use “Exact Change” software to keep track of my collection. You can put your own coin photos in, of course you have to take them yourself. It does keep track of all the important information in an easy to read manner and the reports are highly customizable. They also provide periodic market price updates at no cost. Program updates are also free for life. I’ve tried others before settling on this software. It might not be as fancy as NGC’s with smartphone integration, but it works well for a one-time cost.

  67. Sith says

    @Larry – not sure about your comment but any collectible makes a poor investment, the main difference between numismatic coins and other collectors is the PM content.

  68. Clark says

    VaBob–Thanks. I’ll have a look at Exact Change sometime. Whatever software you use, it’s a good idea to catalog, track the location and identify values of our collections. Can you imagine what a mess it would be for our heirs to try making sense (no pun intended) of our coin collections if we hadn’t laid it all out for them?

    One of my biggest fears about dying is that my wife or son will turn to a dishonest local coin dealer for help sorting out my collection. A lifetime of collecting could be sold for pennies on the dollar. So, I’ve gone to great lengths to map everything out, including values and locations, for all the valuable collections. They know I prefer that it not be sold and held for my son’s lifetime, but they don’t always follow my wishes!

  69. Jon in CT says

    VA Bob wrote on August 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM:

    Clark – I use “Exact Change” software to keep track of my collection. …

    I guess you must own an underlying piece of that action to afford the $79.95 plus the $6.60 California sales tax plus the $7.05 shipping and handling. 😥

  70. VA Bob says

    Clark – I hear you. One can’t be too careful with collection disposition. I would recommend anyone getting into the hobby catalog it right away to avoid a hassle later, even if it is just a simple spreadsheet.

  71. DIGA44 says

    What I was trying to explain that back in the 1980’s coins were tanking not a big collectors market and this was coins in general, old coin, I guess new coins, as my friend who owned a coin shop told me and then told me about the grading companies which I knew nothing about his business , and they were trying to make the coin collecting market more appealing to all the customers who lost interest, because he had mostly raw coins that he as a coin dealer would put a grade in his opinion so now the gimmick was to have coins graded by a 3rd party which supposedly made them rarer and
    Then cards tanked and they did the same , grading companies started, it was a joke but the customer wanted these graded cards and they would pay more for a graded,then the same with comics
    Like all here that mention how the big dealers get the perfect grades on the coins it was my opinion back in 1992-93 that this was happening with the cards, comics. and many of my fellow small time dealers felt the same
    But as a dealer and when you sell on the internet most likely eBay having a graded item is easier to sell because if the customer feels that the item he bought is not what you described, if it is graded , slabbed well they will have to complain to that company who did the grading
    All grading is expensive and who knows what grade you will get back especially when you are a small timer who doesn’t generate enough cash with the grading company you deal with
    As I mention before it was interesting seeing the coin dealers at the baseball shows back in the late 1980’s and they were having a tough time, maybe you guys who have been collecting remember this
    I wish I had bought coins back then…”.
    In short grading is a gimmick, but it worked just look at the prices for coin on eBay older coins like Morgans the grading ones sell better and for more

  72. ABC says

    I have a couple questions for those of you who collect silver coins.
    Years ago, my father gave me a few common date Morgan dollars. In the interest of preventing them from rubbing together and scratching each other, he decided to wrap them in Saran wrap. They were kept in this state for about 10 years when I finally decided to unwrap them and sort through my collection. Being new to the hobby (at that time), I had no idea that it was a bad idea to store those coins in that manner. A couple of the Morgans had developed black tarnish stains due to the sulfur that was used to manufacture the Saran wrap.
    Do you guys think I should leave them alone or should I have them dipped to remove the tarnish?
    If I decide to leave them as they are, will the black tarnish eventually eat through the rest of the silver?
    Thanks to everyone who answers.

  73. Howard says

    I have heard that collectable types of investments do better value wise in
    bad economic times. Seems like timing is almost everything.

  74. VA Bob says

    ABC – These coins may be able to be conserved, depending on the damage. If they are common date Morgan’s it may not be worth the cost. PVC damage usually leaves a green gook on the coin that actually eats into the metal over time. You’re description doesn’t sound like it (it could be tarnishing from humidity), but who knows what chemicals food wrap might contain. Very hard to tell without seeing the coins. If they are common, you can try a dip. Be careful and follow the instructions. If they are rare you might want to consider NGC’s conservation program. I’ve no idea what it costs, maybe someone familiar with that service can chime in. Good luck.

  75. Sith says

    @Diga44 – I don’t think anyone would argue that graded old coins are a good thing. You could even argue that the TPGs saved coin collecting, fraud was rampant at the time and the TPGs were created so people would have confidence in the market. However their are only so many old coins they could grade so they expanded to modern coins, then they added special labels which somehow makes a normal coin rare, and it is these expansion IMHO which will have a negative affect

  76. Sith says

    ABC- Don’t dip them unless you consider them already shot. Once they are properly stored and removed from the tarnishing agent they should stop getting worst.

  77. Sith says

    @Howard – It is my understanding that collectables do not do well in hard economic times. You would make out like a bandit if you could buy. Generally you would have to find a buyer willing to pay the full amount on the collectable. They are smelling blood in the water. Then in bad economic times a lot of the collectors are cash strapped, or worst actively selling . In other words they know the value of the item but you would have to make it worth their while to buy, generally that means offering a discount. It’s not to say that you would not make any money but had you sold during better economic times that collectable would still command a premium.

  78. says

    Mint BHOF excel spreadsheet update for 08/17/14

    Gold proof BHOF 32,887 down 0
    Gold unc. 18,449 down 4
    Silver proof 279,451 down 244
    Silver unc. 144,281 down 891
    Clad proof 207,066 up 2,267
    Clad unc. 130,642 up 3
    Young Collector 16,470 up 941

    Gold BHOF oversold 1,336
    Silver BHOF oversold 23,732

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