The Composition of the Cent: An Experiment in Extremes

Pattern glass cent. (Photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

Pattern glass cent (Judd-2069), Heritage Auction lot number 6170. (Photos courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

UPDATE: Lot 6170 sold to an anonymous bidder for $70,500, including buyer’s premium.

It was recently announced that, in 2016, the U.S. penny cost 1.5 cents to make. Congress has been after the Mint for years to find a cheaper way to make the coin, but the current, copper-plated zinc composition is about as cheap as it’s possible to get.

This is hardly the first time the Mint has been under pressure to build a better mousetrap with respect to the nation’s lowest-denomination coin. As if by divine timing, the numismatic media have recently been abuzz over a pattern United States one-cent coin produced in glass. More than 75 years ago, the Mint was under such pressure to make the cent in a different way, it approached American manufacturers for help—only this time, the cause of the pressure was not simple cost effectiveness but the need to win a war. The coin, owned by numismatic researcher Roger Burdette, will go up for bidding tomorrow night (January 5, 2017), as lot number 6170 in Heritage Auction’s “Platinum Night” auction at the FUN Convention.

Burdette’s glass cent is one of two known, and the only one that remains unbroken. The translucent amber coin, classified as Judd-2069 and RB 42-70, resulted from private-sector experiments at the behest of the U.S. Mint during World War II. In the early years of the Great Depression, production of one-cent coins had been relatively scant, averaging just about 20 million per year in 1932 and 1933. Production jumped in ’34 to almost 250 million; after that, it increased more or less steadily, reaching the upper 300 millions toward the end of the decade.

Then, in 1941, the Mint produced more than 1.1 billion one-cent coins. The War Production Board needed every ounce of copper and nickel it could get for the war effort, and the Mint was pressured to find a cheaper compositions for its one- and five-cent coins. Silver, ironically, had little military value, and was used as a “filler” for 35% of the composition of wartime nickels. Coins that were traditionally 90% silver (the dime, quarter, and half dollar), which would in later years lose their precious-metal content in the interest of economics, were unaffected by the hardships of World War II.

This WPA poster, produced sometime between 1941 and 1943, underscores the importance of certain metals for the war effort. (Library of Congress)

This WPA poster, produced sometime between 1941 and 1943, highlights the government’s need of certain metals for the war effort. (Library of Congress)

The Mint tried to come up with a cheaper one-cent composition on its own, and its pattern cents exist today in bronze, white metal, aluminum, lead, manganese, zinc, and zinc-coated steel. The Mint also reached out to the private sector, placing trade-magazine ads that attracted such manufacturers as the Bakelite Corporation, du Pont Chemical, Durez Plastics, Auburn Button Works, and Colt Firearms. These companies experimented with an array of materials, including many types and colors of plastic, Bakelite, and rubber. One company, Blue Ridge Glass Co., was asked to give tempered glass a try.

Glass might not have been as ludicrous as a material as one might think. Small discs of tempered glass, while obviously much more fragile than metal, were pretty sturdy. They wouldn’t be expected to last forever, just long enough to get the Mint and the American public through the war. Moreover, a penny had actual purchasing power in 1941. The people who had just been through the nightmare of the Depression would, as late as the 1970s and ’80s, be found hoarding cans of soup under their beds “just in case.” They certainly were motivated to handle their pocket change with care during the war years.

Obverse of the glass cent, based on a Colombian 2-centavo design.

Obverse design, based on a Colombian 2-centavo coin.

 

Reverse design, based on a George Washington medalet.

Reverse design, based on a George Washington medalet.

Chief engraver John R. Sinnock created the pattern cent dies. He didn’t need a new or special design, just something roughly the size of the existing cents. He based the obverse on the Colombian 2-centavo coin (which the Mint had struck in previous years), with Liberty in profile to the right. He changed the Spanish legend “Republica de Colombia” to the words “Liberty” and “Justice,” removed “Libertad” from the figure’s headband, and placed the date “1942” at the bottom of the coin. He based the reverse on an Anthony C. Paquet–designed Washington medalet, with a simple wreath of olive branches surrounding the legend. He replaced the four-line “Born 1732 Died 1799” at the center of the wreath with the three-line “United States Mint.”

Blue Ridge Glass Company received its set of pattern dies from the Mint and an order of tempered-glass blanks from Corning Glass Co. As it turned out, the challenge with the glass cent was not how to keep it from breaking—it was trying to strike one in the first place. Both the glass and the dies had to be extremely hot, just below the melting point of the blanks. Once the coins were struck, they had to be cooled quickly or the designs struck into the hot, soft glass would begin to flatten. The surfaces of the resulting coins were prone to “crazing” (notable on the reverse illustration, between and to the left of the words “States” and “Mint”) and other imperfections. The National Archives currently holds the company’s six-page project report, dated December 8, 1942. Unfortunately, it has not been digitized, and it takes a diligent researcher like Roger Burdette to access them.

According to the December 1975 edition of The Numismatist, the glass cents actually were satisfactory in the eyes of the Treasury Department—so much so,

that Blue Ridge went ahead and designed a new building to accommodate the company’s expected expansion. While planning the security measures which the building would require, [the firm’s president, J.H. Lewis] was informed by the Treasury Department that the project was being terminated. The Treasury gave him no reason, although official records of the era maintain that the glass patterns proved “too brittle.” However, Mr. Lewis discovered years later that the real reason involved national security. According to Lewis the glass cents for production were to contain uranium oxide (the experimental pieces did not) as an anticounterfeiting device; under ultraviolet light they would give off a fluorescent glow. But in 1942 the secret Manhattan Project was begun, and the government could not afford to have uranium diverted away from the development of the atomic bomb.

So much for the glass cents. As for the plastic versions, The Numismatist reported that the materials in “the only suitable plastics, urea and phenol, had joined copper and zinc on the list of critical materials.” Which is how the zinc-coated steel material the Mint had tried previously were used for the cents of 1943.

As for Heritage Auction lot #6170, a small glass disc manufactured by the Blue Ridge Glass Company of Kingsport, Tennessee, the minimum bid tomorrow night is $20,000. Pattern collectors, historians, and fans of the U.S. small cent will be following the auction with interest.   ❑


Resources:

Catalog entry, lot #6170, Heritage Auctions.

“The United States Experimental Cents of 1942,” by William G. Anderson. The Numismatist, December 1975, pp. 2643–2648.



Facebook Twitter Email

Comments

  1. KEITHSTER says

    Someday maybe all coins will be made with plastic and these will be the good old days? Did pick up the last roll the bank had of the new quarters wonder why the mintage is the lowest since the volcano’s? Hope they keep the 17’s low also ! Well Good Luck In The New Year All”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>

  2. Templepriestess says

    When costs run to high and change is suggested everyone freaks out, because no one wants anything to change. Not the penny fans, the Lincoln fans or” the good old days” fans. So we produce an inferior product that costs us all to much. Pennies are pretty much produced to be collected,rolled and cashed in for the past forty years.

  3. bobo says

    Why is it such a problem if it costs the mint 1.5 cents to produce a penny? The lack of seignorage? They are paying for the billions of transactions that a penny will faciitate over its lifetime, so it is a bargain that keeps the economy running.

    Now if the value of the metal exceeds its nominal value, that is a different story, since people would then melt the coins down and sell the metal.Is that the case with the penny? Kyle Bass is hoarding nickels because the metal in a nickel is worth more than a nickel.

  4. cagcrisp says

    Here are 10 FUN FACTS concerning the 2016 Gold Winged Head Liberty dime (Mercury)…

    1. With HHL of 10 there were 122,510 Sold in approximately 42 minutes @ $205.00 on Launch Day. Sales were at a trickle at the end of the 42 minutes.

    2. With HHL of 1 with Restrictions on who could/could not purchase there were 8,854 Sold in approximately 93 minutes on 12/15/16 @ $200.00. Sales were at a trickle at the end of 93 minutes.

    3. Net Mint Sales Preceding 12/15/16 were listed at 116,096 and the bay sales pricing was mid to upper $280.00’s.

    4. CURRENTLY bay sales are on Average $15-$20 Less than Preceding 12/15/16

    5. CURRENTLY bay offerings are UP 317% Since the Mint announced the secondary offering
    6. There have been More graded coins sold on the bay than raw coins

    7. Up UNTIL the Mint’s secondary offering, graded coins on Average Sold for Less than raw coins

    8. AFTER the Mint’s secondary offering, graded coins on Average are selling for More than raw coins

    9. BOTH BIN’s and auctions have Increased since the Mint’s secondary offering with many auctions selling for Less and many BIN’s listed for Less

    10. Bay pricing has gone down because what people are willing to sell for has exceeded what people are willing to pay. Supply and demand has Not been repealed and an Executive Order will not change that…

  5. cagcrisp says

    Here are 10 FUN OPINIONS concerning the 2016 Gold Winged Head Liberty dime (Mercury)…

    1. The 2016 Gold Winged Head Liberty dime was the most successful Mint Launch of 2016

    2. The VAST majority of the initial 122,510 sales reported by the Mint were purchased by collectors and Dealers and Not flippers.

    3. Dealers, on whole, do not sell on the bay.

    4. There is one Specific Dealer that has sold the Majority of graded coins.

    5. On the Mint’s secondary offering, the flippers were out in force Because they could see the secondary market pricing of mid to upper $280.00’s and cost was only $200.00

    6. On the Mint’s Initial Launch, flippers did Not participate percentage wise as much as they did on the Mint’s secondary Launch because Successful flippers like a Sure thing.

    7. The Mint’s secondary Launch was more of a Sure thing for flippers than the Initial Launch was because secondary pricing was established

    8. Once the initial Onslaught of flippers from the Mint’s secondary Launch has subsided, I expect prices to trend Upwards

    9. The question is how Low will prices go before trending Upwards

    10. When it’s all said and done the Winged Head Liberty dime is a $300.00 coin

  6. cagcrisp says

    Prices have yet to be lowered for the SLQ and the WLH. The Mint is aware of the pricing and yet has Not adjusted the website pricing OR changed the pricing grid…

  7. data dave says

    Just saw an auction on ebay where a proof Eleanor Roosevelt in OGP went for $1976. That looks to be the key coin for the proof series.

  8. Throckmorton says

    I think Eastman Kodak submitted a trial coin to the Treasury that was made from Tenite. Maybe they have better plastic today than in the sixties.

  9. Throckmorton says

    I also remember seeing a couple of the glass pennies at the annual Kingsport show when I was a little spud. Buyer beware! I bet more of these surface.

  10. Rick says

    Data Dave, problem-free Eleanor proof 70 is approaching $3500. Btw, we will know whether Eleanor uncirculated will be the key pretty soon. If mint pulls Truman and Johnson in the next few weeks, we will have a new key.

  11. fmtransmitter says

    data dave says
    JANUARY 5, 2017 AT 7:04 AM

    Why can’t the US follow the Canadian lead and dump the penny?

    We need a Toonie, $2 coin, put Trump on it? hee hee
    Anybody have any names what we should call our new $2 coin??

  12. Bill G. says

    Did anyone notice that the Mint is no longer selling the 2015 proof sets? I was looking at the latest sales figures regarding the 2015 Silver Proof sets and they are super low. There was no limited edition set in 2015 and the silver proof set sales were 387,460; lower than 2012. This means the silver Kennedy and dime will have a mintage of 387,460. The ATB silver proof sales were 103,369; meaning that each silver quarter will have a mintage of 490,829. Of course, the sales could still be adjusted, but these totals are significantly lower than 2012 for each silver coin.

    2012 silver proof mintage for quarters was 608,060 and for Kennedy and dime was 445,612.

  13. fmtransmitter says

    Could anyone help me, is 2017 the FIRST year of the Canadian Maple RP 150 privy? Or has there ever been a RP Canadian Maple silver $5 and what was the first year it was issued? Thanks in advance, ya’ll are great and if I didn’t say it before, Happy New Year to Everyone!

  14. fmtransmitter says

    joe#2 says
    JANUARY 5, 2017 AT 3:14 PM

    Just visited last Oct. Toronto. Great city. Love the Loonies and Toonies….

    RIGHT??? Doesn’t it make sense that we should have our own versions? The darn coin machine/vending lobby gets involved everytime any kind of bill comes up…

  15. fmtransmitter says

    They were able to take credit/debit cards via Wi-Fi and hook that technology up…Actually, if I think about it, that is little circuit boards and some wires versus pieces of metal having to be made. NOTHING is metal anymore. I saw a BRAND NEW Chrysler 300 driving down the road with the corner of the rear bumper just a flapping in the wind because a PLASTIC clip came off a PLATIC bumper…SMH

  16. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I love Canadian coins…. not so much the obverse with the Queen on every coin but the reverse designs are outstanding.

    The zinc lobby is responsible for keeping the penny in circulation.

    http://pennies.org/ is Americans for Common Cents and heavily supported by the zinc industry.

  17. fmtransmitter says

    dbingham says
    JANUARY 5, 2017 AT 5:48 PM

    APMEX has raw CML with 150 privy

    Yep, I saw that and got one but graded is nowhere to be found which I find kinda weird. Not sure how many were made, but I do not htink it warrants a $299 price tag in 70, although the RCM silver is crappy, I don’t care about .9999 or not, they get burn marks on them all the time.

  18. cal g. says

    Was thinking TESLA could take all the 97.5% Zinc cents, and, melt them down for batteries. The day will arrive when melting cents will be legal. Those hoarding pre 1981 coppers will be sitting pretty, if they have a forklift at home.
    When asked about the cent topic running a driverless car, one investor was quoted as saying..”I Zinc this is a great idea”

  19. data dave says

    @Bill G. – Yes, the silver proof coins from 2015 all hit new lows and the 2016 ones should surpass those lows very soon. The clad coins hit new lows also, but I think they are still falling.

  20. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    That’s a lot of money for a piece of glass.

    ….. sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    It’s hard to fathom that they would use uranium oxide in these coins had they been minted for circulation. I can only imagine the effects from carrying around a pocketful of this change.

    Sometimes I think it’s just a matter of time until we do ourselves in from something like this. It’s now known that PFOA (a key ingredient in teflon) is a carcinogen yet how many of us still have those non-stick pans in the cabinet?

  21. Cacgold says

    Us mint cannot produce any 2016 spouse gold in 2017, one reason why the sales of Betty ford and Patricia Nixon uncirculated gold have jumped recently. Wonder how many of these coins were produced by mint in 2016.

  22. says

    cag…many valid points on the gold Mercury dime sells on the secondary market .I haven’t been tracking them lately. I pre-sold nine for $320 each. I kept one and will always enjoy it.
    I (through a friend) bought another when they went back on sale…I sold it for $310 in Mint packaging.

    I’m really surprised that the dime was the only one one of the three that you you could flip and make money on.
    I was tempted to but another WLH before prices went up, but it was not a wise decision as so many SP 70’s sell for $925-950. There is no money to made there.
    However I bought one from the Mint when they first went on sale…$865.00 and I bought one NGC SP70
    soon after for $1015.
    I actually like the one in OGP…it has more luster.
    So, the WLH is not a money maker, but that’s ok…I like them and will keep them, and that’s what collecting is all about.

    i

  23. Mint News Blog says

    @cagcrisp, @Louis Golino, and others — Someone on Coin Update has a question about the large number of finishes on the 2006 ASEs. I could swear that someone in the MNB comments had an excellent explanation of this recently, but I can’t find it. Might have been @Throckmorton or @fmtransmitter — seems like it was someone with a longer name. Does anyone recall this particular comment, or the commenter’s name? Thanks…

  24. bobo says

    Here is a guess, but just a guess, about how many First Spouse coins were made in 2015 and 2016.

    If you look at the coins from 2013 and 2014 that sold out, here are the mintages (not audited, so likely to change):

    Helen Taft Proof (2013) 2,598
    Helen Taft Uncirculated (2013) 1,993
    Ellen Wilson Proof (2013) 2,511
    Ellen Wilson Uncirculated (2013) 1,980
    Edith Wilson Proof (2013) 2,464
    Edith Wilson Uncirculated (2013) 1,974

    So it looks like 2500 or 2600 were made of the 2013 proofs
    and around 1990 were made of the 2013 uncs.

    But even fewer 2014s appear to have been made:

    Florence Harding Proof (2014) 2,372
    Florence Harding Uncirculated (2014) 1944
    Grace Coolidge Proof (2014) 2,315
    Grace Coolidge Unc (2014) 1949
    Lou Hoover PF (2014) 2,392
    Lou Hoover Unc (2014) 1936
    Eleanor Roosevelt PF (2014) 2,377
    Eleanor Roosevelt Unc (2014) 1,886

    So it looks like less than 2400 were made of the 2014 proofs
    and around 1940 or fewer were made of the 2014 unc. In the case of Eleanor Roosevelt, only 1886 were sold of the unc,

    Now, if you look at the 2015 and 2016 coins that are still on sale, more than 2400 proofs have already been sold for most of them. From this we can infer that more proofs were made in 2015 and 2016 than in 2014, and if the pattern holds, then more than 1940 uncs were also made in those years, even though the current mintages are less than that. Conclusion: the fewest first spouses were made in 2014, If the mint keeps these on sale until they sell out, then the key will likely lie in the year 2014.

    Present mintages, but still on sale:
    Bess Truman PF (2015) 2,580
    Bess Truman Unc. (2015) 1,806
    Mamie Eisenhower Unc. (2015) 1,906
    Mamie Eisenhower PF(2015) 2,692
    Lady Bird Johnson PF (2015) 2,603
    Lady Bird Johnson Unc. (2015) 1,717

    Patricia Nixon PF (2016) 2,435
    Patricia Nixon Unc. (2016) 1,477
    Betty Ford PF (2016) 2,179
    Betty Ford Unc. (2016) 1,437
    Nancy Reagan PF (2016) 3,230
    Nancy Reagan Unc. (2016) 1,721

    My guess is that the Eleanor Roosevelt unc will end up being one of the most valuable, even if some less important first spouse comes in with a slightly lower mintage. She is really the only one of historical significance.

  25. cagcrisp says

    @bobo , that’s a Lot of work you did on the FS coins. I’m not a fan of FS coins, however, I Am a fan of hard work and you did a Lot of work…

  26. So Krates says

    @MNB – I don’t remember any comment discussing a “large number of finishes on the 2006 ASEs” here. Someone left an awesome comment about a light finish designation on certain ATB P pucks perhaps you’re thinking of. As far as I know in 2006 there were four options in ASE finishes:

    -regular/bullion/business strike
    -proof (W)
    -“burnished”/Uncirculated (W)
    -reverse proof (P)

    For the 20 th Anny they released a 3 coin ASE set (burnished/Unc, proof, reverse proof)
    and a 2 coin set with the 1 oz. burnished AGE and ASE

  27. Brad says

    I bought another Betty Ford Unc just before the Wednesday price increase. I have just over half of an extra unc set of spouses, which includes Eleanor Roosevelt. I figured I’ve blown money on worse things. so there was no real harm in having an extra Betty as well, just in case she ends up lower than Eleanor when the smoke clears.

    Did anyone notice that the 2016 ATB Quarter Uncirculated Coin Set is sold out? That seems surprising. How long was that thing on sale? The last reported sales figure was under 30,000 sets.

    https://catalog.usmint.gov/america-the-beautiful-quarters-2016-uncirculated-coin-set-16AA.html?cgid=america-the-beautiful-quarters#pmax=25&pmin=0&start=1

  28. cagcrisp says

    One of the reasons that sales jumped at the end of the year on FS coins is that Every year at this time false rumors are spread that the Mint would be pulling the FS coins. It happens Every Year with sales if you look back at sales numbers.

    In a week or so sales will be back to a dribble…

  29. Cacgold says

    What I heard is that mint might pull 2015 spouse coins, but not 2016 coins. If the sale spike was driven by the rumor, 2015 coins like Bess Truman and bird Johnson would have big sale numbers. But it is not the case. Instead we see big sale numbers for 2016 spouse coins like Nixon and ford. That’s why I suspect some people have insider information about 2016 spouse coin production. Just my two cents.

  30. cagcrisp says

    @Cacgold, The reason the Ford and Nixon’s were bought is because they are the lowest mintage of the bunch and IF you are playing the Low Mintage Wonder coin game, the lowest mintage coins would be the one’s you would be purchasing. IF Truman and Johnson were lower, they would be the ones they would be purchasing…

  31. Cacgold says

    Cag, Respectfully disagree. According to mint norm, Nixon and ford will be available at least for one more year. But mint could pull Johnson 1720 and Truman 1810 at anytime. If people did buy the rumor, they would rush to buy 2015 coins, not 2016 coins. So I guess the end-of-year strong buying was probably not driven by rumors. Just My two cents.

  32. cagcrisp says

    @Cacgold, the Rumor was that ALL FS coins were going to be pulled Including 2016 coins…

  33. Goat says

    I copied and pasted this info from sbcgold.
    (Please take into account that prices move daily, and this guide is not updated daily)
    Common Dated Morgan Dollars
    1881S MS64 MORGAN DOLLARS
    Oct 1989, High $198 May 1992, Low $41
    Today’s price $90
    Upside Potential 120%
    Downside Risk 54%
    1881S MS65 MORGAN DOLLARS
    Oct 1989, High $715 May 1992, Low $96
    Today’s price $190
    Upside Potential 276%
    Downside Risk 49%
    1881S MS66 MORGAN DOLLARS
    Oct 1989, High $1760 May 1992, Low $253
    Today’s price $340
    Upside Potential 417%
    Downside Risk 25%
    References: 1. Morgan Dollar Historical Records;

    I was told many years ago ,”buy highest grade you can find” and this chart shows why. Higher upside potential and lower downside risk for the higher grade. But (there is always a but) some say if the economy gets bad everything sells at market value and grade won’t matter. Will we see this same chart in the next twenty years ? Risk reward ?

  34. Buzz Killington says

    @Goat —

    Yours is a very questionable analysis. When you figure “upside potential” you are using a 28 year old figure, presumably not adjusted for inflation, and assuming that the coin might one day return to this price, even though the price fell off a cliff 3 years after that high, and has never returned to it.

    What your chart tells me is that 1881S Morgan dollars have been terrible long-term investments in all the grades mentioned, and nothing more.

    You have to be careful when you are quoting sales materials as investment advice.

  35. DBR says

    A few comments above mention the finishes on the 2006 ASE’s. I received my uncirculated versions of the 2016 NPS Commemoratives and under a loupe through the plastic holders, I find myself enjoying the uncirculated finish over the proof finishes as of late. No sure why. In other products like leather and paint jobs or plastic items I like the “matte” finishes over the high gloss shiny finishes.

    Call me crazy but I’m that highly mirrored background or cameo effect isn’t as appealing as it once was, not to mention that ANY flaw is so obvious on those proof surfaces. I’ve been purchasing the uncirculated versions because they are more appealing and smudge free.

    Does anyone else find their tastes are changing in finish preference?

  36. KML in KY says

    Speaking of coin finishes on ASE’s. I was hoping the Mint would do a special 30th Anniversary Set with a 2016-W enhanced finish, 2016-P reverse proof, 2016-S proof, and a 2016-D burnished with a mintage of 125,000 and a HHL of 5. Maybe they could do something like that in honor of the Mint’s 225th anniversary.

  37. Hidalgo says

    2015 Proof Set, 2015 Mint Set and 2015 Silver Proof Set Mark Mintage Lows

    http://www.coinnews.net/2017/01/06/2015-proof-set-2015-mint-set-and-2015-silver-proof-set-mark-mintage-lows/

    Interesting article. So far, I have not seen any significant swings in secondary market values for any of the above sets. The sets may have been around too long to increase demand, which will drive up prices. Further, there was no “surprise” sell outs. Everyone who wanted a set had a chance to get one.

  38. cagcrisp says

    This is what I got out of Goat’s post:

    There was a guy that bought at the highest point an MS64 for $198
    There was a guy that bought at the highest point an MS65 for $715
    There was a guy that bought at the highest point an MS66 for $1,760

    The guy that bought the MS64 has a coin Selling at $90 Today
    The guy that bought the MS65 has a coin Selling at $190 Today
    The guy that bought the MS66 has a coin Selling at $340 Today

    The guy that bought the MS64 has lost 55% of purchase price
    The guy that bought the MS65 has lost 73% of purchase price
    The guy that bought the MS66 has lost 81% of purchase price

    Ask the guy that bought at the top what he thinks about buying the highest grade.

    You have to keep in mind that Anytime a coin is Bought, there is someone on the other side of that trade that is Selling. For All those current MS prices listed, there is Someone willing to Sell at those prices.

    People on here constantly say “Buy what you like”. I say “Buy what you can Afford to buy if you are dead wrong and all your best laid plans go South”…

  39. Numismatrix says

    “Does anyone else find their tastes are changing in finish preference?” – DBR

    I’ve liked the uncirculated finishes the best simply because they
    are the closest to common circulating coins, and there is that
    strong subliminal attachment to “pocket coins” in mint fresh quality.

    The proofs are essentially gems and do not have that ordinary feel.
    i.e. they feel somewhat unnatural – like they belong in a museum and
    not in my pocket. So I almost always get the uncirculated versions.

    That said, my most favorite recent issue is the 2014-D Kennedy Half-
    silver- in high relief. That coin is a pure stunner, and have one in a capsule
    on my desk to look at and enjoy. I also enjoy the bullion ASEs.

    “”buy highest grade you can find” – Goat

    I have the 1881-S Morgans in grades : MS-64PL, MS-65, & MS-66
    in the old PCGS rattler caskets. I must have paid ~ $150 max for the
    MS-66 about 10 years ago. Some braggadocio!

  40. Macrohedge says

    The case for Bird Johnson unc. As the key.

    1. Mint pulls 2015 spouse in next few weeks. Johnson sales around 1750.
    2. Mint does not pull 2016 spouse coins until year end.
    3. Nixon and ford unc. sales reach 1800 by year end.
    4. If 1, 2, 3, you won’t find any bird Johnson unc. Below $2500 for sale in 2018.

  41. Dustyroads says

    DBR, The Mint really did a good job with the tribute coins in my opinion. However, I would have much more liked the 2015 gold HR with a proof finish, especially when the fields are raised, as are with the HR coins. With flat proof fields, I’m less impressed.

  42. Goat says

    I think it all goes back to dollar cost averaging. One seven months ago would say buying at spot was a good deal. But with the dip in price at the end of the year (2016) one would not be so proud. This, as a business would be very depressing at times. You would have to quick flip with profit to be sure of no loss, then that’s not a guarantee.
    Thanks to those who have posted their views, that’s why I like the MNB.

    Take my blinders off and look at the big picture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *