Do You Regularly Get Rare American Coin Hungry?

Warning: This article on coin humor may have some adult content. If you’re offended by mild adult language, please skip those parts and continue reading. My other articles containing coin humor are generally inoffensive. I’m tired of being inoffensive, and it’s time to cut loose!

Maybe I should subtitle this article: The Shocking Truth Revealed: Rare American Coin Horniness Is Perfectly Normal!

rare american coins

Hang Gliding Foreplay

Many years ago, I was hiking near some cliffs, when I met a group of hang gliders. I stopped to talk to a couple of them. They talked of the thrills and sensations of hang gliding. At one point one of them confessed they even get “air horny”, if the activity isn’t pursued regularly.

I of course wondered how they satisfied their state of air horniness. Did they have air-gasms? I think back on the hang gliders occasionally and revere the passion they had for their sport.

Now, I can relate that to my need to acquire more rare American coins. I think it must be the passion for an activity that dictates its regular pursuit. After many years of guilt feelings, I learned this need isn’t some sort of perversion. It is perfectly healthy and indeed normal!

I love gold and silver rare American coins. I really, really love old and new coins. I can’t keep my thoughts off of the lovely, lonely beauties. I find myself regularly lusting after those little babies.

rare american coins

Coin Hunger, with coins for Desert

Like many men, I seek the thrill of the chase. I often zero in on my target and go after it to make it mine. (Liberty seems to be depicted as female). Real women are generally uninterested in me, but not so with a beautiful gold or silver rare American coin. For enough money, I can usually take a new coin home with me the very day I meet it.

Occasionally, the rarer, more expensive American coins have to be courted for a while. Not so much for them, but for me. I have to weigh a bargain price, against the possibility of something better coming along sometime soon.

I also confess that I have an appreciation for coins that are older than me. I treat my coins with the respect they deserve, and they stay with me for a long time. Another great thing about my Lady Liberties is they don’t get jealous of each other.

rare American coins

Love at First Sight

I regularly feel the need to acquire a new silver or gold specimen in fact. This desire is persistent and recurring, so I call it being coin horny.

Acquiring a new coin is only satisfying for a short time however, before another one starts to catch my eye and flirt with me. It’s the anticipation more than the reality that’s satisfying.

Then, I start to get coin horny again and look for another rare American coin. I’m driven to seek more and more amore. I think I have a perfectly healthy coin drive. I’ve never heard of anyone being “over-coined”. Have you?

While the hang gliders experience their “air-gasms” my relationship with rare American coins goes all the way back to their conception! How you conceive a coin you ask?

Are you ready? It goes all the way back to the initial ore-gasm. Oh come on, I really worked hard for that one… OK, I promise to write more educational/informative articles in the near future.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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The Many and Different Strikes of Rare American Coins

Some ideas struck me recently concerning the striking of a rare American coin. Strike can be used in so many ways when it comes to our valued coins. So many in fact that I was inspired to examine a few for this article.

I’m stricken by the number of strikes surrounding rare American coins.

It all starts when the prospector strikes the gold or silver. This in turn allows him to strike it rich. That means striking while the iron is still hot, and striking fear into the competition.

rare american coins

This won’t get our coins struck

The next step is the mining of the ore. Let’s hope of course, that the United Mine Workers contract is intact and the miners don’t decide to go out on strike.

The precious metal is processed and shipped to the mint which strikes the coins that are so strikingly beautiful. Most of these coins are released to the public to use to strike a bargain, or worse, strike a match.

A few of these beauties will strike the new owner’s fancy and they will be spared the daily exchange and abuse of the rest of their litter mates. A balance is then struck between the circulated and uncirculated rare American coins.

Silver coins bear a striking resemblance to raw aluminum and gold coins to gold colored anodized aluminum. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations. This message will strike home, if I can strike a chord with the reader.

I recommend striking up a lasting friendship with your favorite rare American Coins.

rare american coins

Going after strike two or three

Now, when I see terms like “First Strike” on an American Silver Eagle coin slab, I start to wonder, was that coin leading the walkout? Or, did it get the first punch in? Or will it be followed by a Second Strike and a Third Strike?

Maybe the graders could call them “Balls” instead of “Strikes”. Hmm, that almost has a sexual connotation. Of course, when I see “First Release” on other slabs, there’s another sexual connotation.

rare american coins

Stay away from me

Lightning might strike me if I pursue this line of thought. Worse yet, I might get struck off the numismatic association rosters, because this doesn’t strike anyone as funny, which is just as bad as being struck by a rare, non-treatable disease.

It’s time to stop this nonsense before the clock strikes twelve. After all, we have to strike the enemy before dawn.

So, why don’t I choose a synonym for strike? I can’t think of any…

 

 

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If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins That Receive a PCGS No Grade

Here is another educational coin grading video from PCGS covering coin problems that prevent grading services from giving a numeric grade to a coin. They will still holder most coins, giving them a details grade. But, a few coins can’t be slabbed at all and will be returned in a body bag.


Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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The Atrocity of Cleaned Rare American Coins

A mint state/uncirculated coin will NEVER need cleaning. Don’t even consider cleaning it for any reason. Circulated coins don’t have the value of their uncirculated counterparts and can sometimes be improved with a light touch up.

A well circulated coin needs to look well circulated, so leave it alone. That leaves the AU grade range of silver coins most vulnerable to being improved by cleaning. If you must clean the coin, do it properly!

Otherwise take it to a dealer and ask for their advice. The dealer will probably tell you to leave it alone, since improper cleaning will substantially decrease its value and sale ability. The more expensive the coin, the more disastrous improper cleaning will be for its value.

Remember, you cannot unclean an improperly cleaned coin.

Any coin whose surface doesn’t look quite right will be labeled “cleaned” by coin graders. The coin’s surfaces will look flat, have small scratches or hairlines in it, or some other sign of tampering. Among the most common reasons for a coin to receive a Details Grading is unskilled and improper cleaning.

rare american coins

1799 dollar ruined by scratches. See next photo.

Improperly cleaned is a generic term used by coin graders to describe unskilled cleaning when the exact nature of the action is uncertain. Improper is the operative word here. Improper cleaning is applying an abrasive such as a scouring pad, Scotch Brite pad, cleanser, polishing compound, etc. to the coin’s surface.

The term “improperly cleaned” used by the grading services suggests there are proper ways to clean a coin. Light, nondestructive cleaning, particularly when found on older coins, may still permit numeric grading of the rare American coin.

rare american coins

Scratches from improper spot removal.

There are a couple of nondestructive methods of cleaning silver coins. I’ll gently wipe business strike, circulated coins with rubbing alcohol and cotton pad to remove surface grime and finger prints. This makes the coin look more presentable without removing toning or doing surface damage.

Washing the coin in dish detergent also constitutes proper cleaning. Let the coin soak in dish detergent mixed 50/50 with water for ten minutes, then swish it around in the detergent water before holding it under the running rinse water, and finally blotting it dry with a terrycloth towel.

For very specific kinds of problems, there is a professional coin dipping solution called EZ-est, which removes surface contaminants quickly without apparently damaging the surfaces. This to me is a great product for enhancing the eye appeal of a coin without changing mint luster or any important characteristics.

I rarely dip silver coins. Dipping solutions only work for a limited number of very specific situations. They are not a panacea for problem coins.

I only dip a coin after carefully considering whether the coin will be substantially improved by its use. For example, if the coin has tarnished to a dark brown or black I’ll consider dipping it briefly. I don’t want to completely remove the toning, just enough so the features can be seen again.

I use a small sieve with the coin always visible. I’ll swish the coin just under the solution surface, so I can constantly monitor the coin surface change. Then I remove the coin just before it’s where I would like it. I immediately dunk the sieve into a container of water to stop the chemical action.

Only a few seconds in the solution will do what I need it for. I have noticed a glitter floating in my container of coin dip and realize the glitter is microscopic pieces of coin removed by the solution. Repeated dipping or leaving the coin in too long will constitute improper cleaning of the rare American coin.

The directions on the container say coin surface damage may result, if the coin remains in the solution for longer than 15 seconds. I  strongly recommend adhering to that time limit. If the problem isn’t solved  in that timeframe, it probably won’t be solved by the dipping solution  anyway.

Learn what coin surfaces should look  like in their natural state. It will help you appreciate what you have and not be tempted to alter it. If the coin has problems to begin with, DON’T BUY   IT!

For more on problem coins, see my  article: http://heritagecoingallery.com/2014/05/25/rare-american-coins-do-you-own-any-with-problems/

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

 
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Rare American Coins Get Weighed on a Rarity Scale

I’ve counted 13 scales proposed for defining rarity in coins. Only a few are well accepted and none are as universally accepted as the Sheldon scale for grading coins. Perhaps the most common rarity scale is also an adaptation of Sheldon’s scale.

Some rarity scales are merely descriptive of their actual rarity, while others base their judgment on numbers. I think using numbers is a much more accurate than only attempting to describe them verbally.

A version of Sheldon’s Rarity Scale may be universally adopted as the need for quantifying coin rarity increases.

Sheldon’s rarity scale has both a verbal description and numerical description associated with it, similar to his state-of-preservation grading scale. This is really helpful in understanding rarity.

I haven’t found a consensus regarding any of the rarity scales, so I’ve chosen this version of Sheldon’s Rarity Scale, because it uses quantities and descriptions that seem reasonable to me. That leaves both the numbers and descriptions open to debate.

Sheldon Rarity Scale
R1: Over 2000 estimated: Very Common, readily available
R2: 601–2000 estimated: Common, not too difficult to find
R3: 201–600 estimated: Less Common, available at most shows, but in limited quantity
R4: 76–200 estimated: Scarce, somewhat difficult to find, only a few likely at larger shows
R5: 31–75 estimated: Very Scarce, may or may not find at larger shows or auctions
R6: 13–30 estimated: Rare, unlikely to be more than 5 for sale anywhere in a year
R7: 4–12 estimated: Very Rare, almost never seen, only one may be offered for sale in a year
R8: 2–3 estimated: Prohibitively Rare, one may be offered for sale once every 5 to 10 years
R9: 1 estimated: Unique, or nearly so

As you can see, this scale refers to count estimations. It’s impossible to know an exact number. At any time, another coin could surface or disappear and change the figure.

Another useful scale was developed by Q. David Bowers. He calls it the Universal Rarity Scale or URS for short. I think this scale goes beyond simply stating rarity, to measuring the commonness of a coin. This can also be useful.

Universal Rarity Scale
Rarity Number of known coins
URS 0:    None known
URS 1:    1
URS 2:    2
URS 3:    3 or 4
URS 4:    5 to 8
URS 5:    9 to 16
URS 6:    17 to 32
URS 7:    33 to 64
URS 8:    65 to 125
URS 9:    126 to 250
URS 10:    251 to 500
URS 11:    501 to 1,000
URS 12:    1,001 to 2,000
URS 13:    2,001 to 4,000
URS 14:    4,001 to 8,000
URS 15:    8,001 to 16,000
URS 16:    16,001 to 32,000
URS 17:    32,001 to 65,000
URS 18:    65,001 to 125,000
URS 19:    125,001 to   250,000
URS 20:    250,001 to   500,000

C. Scholten developed a scale for rarity in 1953 that I think is less useful than the two above. The Scholten scale depicts the following degrees of rarity, but I can’t find any definition for the descriptions he uses.

Scholten Rarity Scale
Rarity    Number of   known coins
C    Common
N    Normal
S    Scarce
R    Rare
RR    Very Rare
RRR    Extremely Rare
RRRR    Of the utmost   rarity

So the next time you’re discussing “rare coins”, with another coin expert ask if it’s “R7 or R8 rare” or are we talking R9? If he doesn’t know what you’re talking about, he probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about either. Most rare coin experts are familiar with Sheldon’s Rarity Scale.

Thank you David Kenny for educating me on coin rarity and inspiring me to research coin rarity scales for this article.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Should You Invest in Rare American Coins or Modern Issue Coins?

The rare coin market like any other healthy market has its ups and downs. Pre WWII coins have been around long enough to have an established market. The modern issue coins can and often have a flash-in-pan type following.

Rarity value in American coins is always in context to their market demand.

If everyone in America became interested in silver coins, there wouldn’t be enough of any one coin to go around. For example, the 1921 Morgan was produced in huge numbers. Close to 87 million, in fact. That’s only around one 1921 silver dollar for every household.

Many modern collector coin issues are minted in relatively low numbers, but does that make them good investments? I consider many modern “rare” coins to be like jewelry. They have their intrinsic value in their precious metal content, but when you sell the coin, you might not get back the premium you paid for it.

The most risky modern “rare” coins I think are the ones hyped up in promotional material or catalogs. They often have a story about their conception or design.

rare american coins

A very popular modern commemorative silver coin

Low mintage numbers may be given to indicate rarity, but more often than not, a conditional rarity is created because of numbers receiving a certain grade by a third party grading company.

PCGS and NGC seem to be willing participants in grading modern common coins to give them a conditional rarity and legitimacy for the seller. The seller then asks four to ten times their worth to see if the market will buy the hype.

If you buy coins like these at the advertised prices, you might have to wait for a long time to sell them at a profit. Chances are you won’t have the promotional resources to package the coin so you educate/convince someone to buy your coin at a really inflated price.

Modern American commemorative silver or gold coins are risky to buy at inflated prices. The commemorative market tends to forget the original reason for the coin being special, and often won’t pay for that specialness in the future.

Modern silver and gold American coins don’t have the track record of the old established collector coins, which makes them somewhat risky as an investment. There are modern rare coins that appreciate in value fairly quickly, but I consider ten years to be a minimum track record for an investment coin.

However, if you have your hand on the pulse of future trends and can predict them with some accuracy, be contrarian. Buy the trend-maker coin and profit from it. Otherwise, simply buy the modern rare coin because you love it, and not concern yourself with future performance, because you don’t plan to sell it.

rare American coins

A well advertised silver American coin

I prefer American Eagle silver and gold coins directly from the mint. They have an established track record. The baseball coins may be a flash-in-the-pan coin. The promotional material of course says they’ll sell for multiples of their issue price. They might… Then they might not. I won’t take the chance.

Few modern commemoratives have become modern rarities. The 2001 Buffalo silver dollar, I think is one exception. It sold out quickly and now sells for multiples of its original mint price. The 2011 25th anniversary silver eagle set looks like another hit for those lucky enough to have gotten their order in early on the day of sale.

When there’s frenzy over a newly released coin, and they actually do get multiples of their original issue price, you need to be on either side of the frenzy, not in the middle of it. Either be the first one to buy some ahead of the crowd, or patiently wait out the frenzy to see where the dust settles.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins and the Importance of US Trade Dollars

U.S. Trade Dollars were never intended to be the same as silver dollars for domestic circulation, even though they have the same one dollar face value. The two coins were produced to serve very different purposes.

Trade Dollars were designed and minted essentially as bullion coins for trade in the orient.

American Trade Dollars, as well as all post 1836 Silver Dollars were specified to be 90% silver and 10% copper, but the Trade unit weighs slightly more. The Trade Dollar weighs in at 420 grains, while the U.S. silver dollar weighs 412.5 grains. 

American circulating Silver Dollars were just too light to interest Chinese businessmen, so a silver coin was developed with increased weight to compete with the slightly heavier Mexican and Spanish 8 Reales, or the British Crown.

Trade Dollars weren’t intended to circulate in the U.S., although a few did. Americans strangely enough shunned them for domestic trade. This coin was  created to be used for trade in the Orient, especially with businesses at the ports in Canton and in Hong Kong.

rare anerican coins

8 Reales Silver Coin

In the 19th century, the Chinese used silver as their primary medium of exchange. Before the U.S. Trade Dollar came into existence, Americans trading with the Chinese often resorted to Spanish or Mexican silver 8 Reales coins. The U.S. wanted a coin to compete directly with these coins.

The Chinese merchants would test the foreign silver coins and stamp their insignia on the coin. These stamps are now known as chop marks. You can find these chop marks on any of the coins used in trade with the orient.

During the 1860s, U.S. citizens with silver mining interests sought ways to market more silver. They persuaded Congress and other U.S. government officials that Trade Dollars should be minted for foreign use.

It was costly for U.S. businesses to exchange U.S. silver dollars for Spanish or Mexican 8 Reales coins before doing business with the Chinese. It made sense for U.S. businesses to get silver coins minted in the U.S., rather than use foreign silver coins for trade with China.

The Coinage Act of 1873 made Trade Dollars legal tender. Barber designs were used for this now rare American coin. Production stopped in 1878, except for a few proof coins.

France, Britain and Japan also developed their own dollar to the same standards as the other foreign countries for use in trade with the Orient. The newly opened oriental market was very lucrative for western merchants.

rare American coins

Unusually Nice 1873 U.S. Trade Dollar

Nearly 36 million Trade Dollars were produced from 1873 to 1878, with the vast majority after 1875. It was more efficient for the San Francisco and Carson City Mints to use silver mined in the western U.S. for these coins. Therefore the majority of Trade Dollars came from San Francisco. They minted more than Philadelphia and Carson City combined.

As far as collecting goes, the chopped coins are generally considered problem coins and not worth as much as their unchopped counterparts. Uncirculated versions are relatively scarce, but are really beautiful specimens of U.S. silver coinage and one of Barber’s better designs.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Rare American Coins Versus the Will of the People

The minting of all those Morgan and Peace dollars is just one more example of Washington lawmakers being influenced by minority special interest groups, rather than the will and benefit of the majority of people. These years set the precedent for today’s fiscal irresponsibility.

In 1960 the U.S. Mint reported 485,000 bags of silver dollars in reserve. By 1963, the silver dollars were being sold off at face value.

There was nothing rare about 485 million mint fresh silver dollars that nobody wanted.

rare american coins

Government Spending

The Federal Government was finally doing the will of the people from back in 1879. Back then, the general public wasn’t interested in using silver dollar coins for commerce. They were just too bulky and inconvenient.

In 1878, the government consummated their decision to spend millions of dollars buying silver, minting coins, and constructing vaults to store them. The lawmakers also spent thousands of hours arguing about what should be done with these new silver clinkers.

The American public wasn’t interested in spending silver dollar coins, but their vast numbers weren’t enough to influence Washington decisions. Here’s a brief summary of silver dollars during the decade of 1880-1889.

  • 1880: 72,000,000 dollars minted and the vast majority placed in circulation came back (as AU).
  • 1881: 102,000,000 dollars minted, with 34 million in circulation
  • 1882: 128,000,000 Morgans coined, with 35 million used. More vaults were being built to store them.
  • 1884: 185,000,000 with 40 million in use
  • 1885: 215,000,000 with most in the new vaults
  • 1886: 247,000,000 and $23 million spent on more storage vaults
  • 1888: 312,000,000 with now 60 million being used
  • 1889: 343,000,000 produced for storage

Minting all these silver dollars actually contributed to their own demise. There was so much silver on the market during this time that the value of silver dropped to $.70 an ounce.

Finally in 1904, the presses were stopped. We had run out of easily mined silver and the price couldn’t support minting coins that cost the tax payers so much more than their intrinsic value.

After melting 270,000,000 Morgan dollars to aid the war effort of WWI, the government decided to mint almost 87,000,000 Morgans to replace the ones lost in the melt. Similar mintage figures continued into the mid 1920’s.

Interestingly, they practically didn’t mint any fractional coins in 1921, but they outdid themselves on the silver dollars that no one used. For more on 1921 fractional silver coinage, see my article called “Silver Rare American Coins From the Year 1921, What Were They Thinking?”.

rare american coins

Fiscal Irresponsibility

The U.S. Government spent millions to mine, mint and store silver dollars during the Morgan and Peace production years. Then they spent millions more during the 1960’s selling them at face value to finally get rid of them.

The U.S. government seems to be quite irresponsible with taxpayer money on many fronts. Government bashing has always been a popular sport. There are so many people bashing the government today that I find less competition in the arena of bashing the U.S. Government of the past.

Then, as today the lawmakers in Washington were catering to the special interests who could afford to lobby and cut deals, rather than concern themselves with what’s best for the majority of citizens. Come to think of it, had lawmakers done the will of the people back in the 1800’s, as they swore to do, Morgan and Peace silver dollars would be far more expensive today. Hurray for irresponsible, uncontrolled Government spending…

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Are You Aware of the Profusion of Fake 1 oz Chinese Silver Panda Coins on eBay?

Do you ever buy Chinese silver pandas on eBay? I like the Chinese silver Panda series of coins. What distresses me is how many panda coins listed on eBay are fake. Probably close to half the Chinese pandas listed on eBay are very suspicious looking.

I rarely encounter fake rare American coins on eBay, but fake Pandas are common.

I bought some counterfeit pandas directly from China a few years ago and now know what to look for in a fake. They’re easy to spot when you know what to look for.

panda coin

Fake Silver Panda in Mint Packaging

The fakes are so well done, I’d swear the China Mint has a night shift going specifically producing fake versions of their own highly regarded silver coins. My coins were in capsules and even mint plastic envelopes. They looked for all the world like they were real.

I’m not sure what made me test one for authenticity, but I got a wild hair and proceeded to remove the capsule from the plastic pouch and then the coin from the capsule.

The first thing I did was give it the ring test. That’s where you balance the coin on the tip of your finger and tap the edge with a Paper Mate pen. It should give a high pitched, sustained tinggg. This one didn’t. It just went thud.

panda coins

Left Coin Fake, Right Coin Real

I got out another panda coin I know to be real and gave it the ring test. It rang pleasingly. Then I compared the two coins and noticed the suspect coin was probably 20% thicker than the real version.

The final convicting test was to cut it in half with a hack saw. The interior metal was a dark grey with a silver plating over it. I tried to contact the China distributor, but they ignored my request for a refund.

What makes me think the China Mint might be producing the fakes as well as the real version of their panda coin? The fakes resemble the real ones in every detail except one: the capsule that protects them.

panda coin

Fake Silver Panda Cut in Two

Remember, I said the fake pandas are thicker than their real counterpart? In order for them to weigh the same amount, and have the same outer case dimensions, there must be some extra room in the mint capsule for a thicker coin. And there is!

You see, the genuine Chinese Panda case has three tiny nibs on the outer edge of the capsule to support the thinner coin. The fake coins don’t have these three little nibs. Want to see how many fakes are on eBay? Look for the three little nibs on the capsule.

While getting out fake and real Panda coins to photograph, I also noticed counterfeit Pandas don’t age as well as their real counterparts. They are getting spots on their surfaces, so maybe just allowing them a few years will give them away.

panda coin

Fake Silver Panda, No Capsule Nibs

 

panda coin

Real Silver Panda Coin, 3 Nibs in Capsule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I’m interested in a silver panda coin where I don’t see the nibs, I contact the seller and ask them to check the coin with the ring test. I almost invariably get a response like “I know the coin is real. I’m not going to test it for you.” Or, I get no answer at all.

I feel like buying the coins and doing the test myself and then reporting it to eBay, if they turn out to be fake. Suddenly reality hits me. It’s a losing battle. It’s my word against the seller’s.

The seller can always claim I switched their real coin for a fake, just so I could accuse them of selling counterfeit coins on eBay. Selling counterfeit coins on eBay is strictly against eBay policy and will get you banned from ever selling on eBay again.

I can’t single handedly stop the sale of fake coins on eBay, but I can educate potential buyers who will listen, and not bid on counterfeit coins. I rarely encounter a counterfeit Morgan or Peace dollar on eBay, but there’s a profusion of fake pandas for sale there.

Check out other informative articles on this website using the Search, Recent Articles, or Category features on the upper right side of this page.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

 

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Rare American Coins and Their Market Cycles

Generally speaking, the rare American coin market cycles to a new low every 6 years or so. The market currently seems to be going sideways since 2012. Have no fear; cycles in the market demonstrate that it is healthy and this current sideways market will start rising again.

Strangely enough, the American coin buying public suffers a very strong urge to buy at the top and sell at the bottom of a market cycle. Coin dealers often suffer cash flow problems during a market low, because they have to liquidate inventory at the worst time.

This is a great time for the rare American coin buyer to find real bargains.

At market cycle tops, dealer inventories are high and cash flows quickly. At the other extreme, dealer inventories are exhausted and cash is tight.

rare american coins

The Gold Coin Cycle

At market peaks, publicity is favorable, even though the rare American coin market still isn’t very big. During market lows, coins are badmouthed by everyone. The public generally hates coins and has less than usual interest in them.

At a bottom, there are all sellers and few buyers. True market bottoms happen when all the sellers have sold every coin they have. Eventually, there are no more sellers and prices start to go up.

They say most people aren’t buying during a market bottom. Many millionaires don’t even buy during a market bottom, but billionaires do!

Generic coins are the mainstay of the coin market, and their prices have collapsed over the last few years. Rare coin prices get slaughtered in a market low with many of their prices being half of their highs.

Price corrections are all a part of the coin market cycle. The good news is: the market is healthy and if you compare prices during past bear markets, each one has had higher lows along with higher highs.

Over the long run, the market is rising; showing that coins are a great long term investment. Long Term investment means keeping your coins 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. When you think in those terms, buying coins you really like is important so you can enjoy them while they appreciate in value.

When you’re a long term player, you’ll have a certain percentage of your holdings you can sell when the market enters a bubble. You’re also prepared to buy bargains when everyone else is selling.

At market bottoms, you can get higher quality coins for the price of lower quality in the past. Pursue higher quality rare American coins during these times.

rare american coins

Get your nicest coins graded so there is no dispute, if you decide to sell them. Resist the urge to sell your really nice coins in a low market. Be a buyer in a down market, buying the best gold and silver coins you can afford at bargain prices. Don’t let the naysayers discourage you.

Coin collectors like to buy rarity first and quality next. Rarities are bargains in down markets, but MS64 and common coins are also bargains and both will appreciate faster/more as the market returns.

Superb quality world coins are also real bargains right now. For some reason, demand for foreign coins is often low, and they can be found at spectacular prices during market lows.

If you are interested in investing in silver or gold products, check out GoldSilver.com, or AmagiMetals.com.                               

If you are interested in buying gold or silver bullion at the lowest price, check out BullionVault.

If you are interested in learning more about rare American coin, or foreign coin collecting and investing see NumisMaster from Krause Publications.

If you would like to buy interesting modern, or old rare gold and silver coins take a look at either NewYorkMint or GovMint.

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Posted in Coin Collecting | 4 Comments