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Greysheet – NGC – Mercanti – Standish – Conflict?

Many of you know that in the last year the Coin Dealer Newsletter (the greysheet) was bought by a conglomeration that included players at NGC, PCGS and Heritage Auctions. It doesn’t take much looking to see the possibilities for the tail wagging the dog.

I think we are starting to see some of that influence already. The March 2016 monthly supplement issue of the greysheet has a guest commentator named Miles Standish. He writes a glowing article about ”Why Mercanti Matters”. The point of the article is to convince the reader that the former US Chief Mint Engraver is a significant historical figure.

Now- skip along the internet path with me to the NGC website. Low and behold – “John Mercanti signs deal with NGC”. On another page , “Miles Standish joins NGC. What can Miles do for you (dealers)?”.

So NGC has become very active in creating a coin market. They do this by getting autographs on labels and then “dealers” sell them on late night TV shows. Then the greysheet promotes this all by having Miles Standish write a guest commentary on John Mercanti.

The CDN was there to supply accurate information about the market place. It was not designed to manipulate or create the market.

NGC and PCGS are suppose to be independent and give opinions on the condition and authenticity of a coin. They are not suppose to create markets. These companies were seen by some as a solution to the problem of how to evaluate rare coins and make trades fair between collectors and dealers. Today, it looks to me, like they are starting to create their own market place instead of providing independent grading.

I do not think either of these developments are good for the coin market. NGC and PCGS have graded most everything of value so they have turned to marketing tricks to keep going. The CDN appears to be in to process of creating marketplaces instead of reporting on the market place. We will see where this all leads, but in my opinion, it is not good for the hobby.

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2015 State Park Quarters

We just got the proof 2015 “America the Beautiful” State Park Quarters. The Nebraska, Homestead quarter is already out. But this is our first view of the other coins. It may not be an honest way to look at the coins (that being proof versions), but we are going to handicap the field based on our first impressions.
Proof versions can be very misleading versus the uncirculated coins. You’ll see what I mean as we look at the first coin. One more note, you can click on the name of the park and it will take you to the park’s official page.

 

Homestead, Nebraska

Proof Version. Homestead, NE

Proof Version. Homestead, NE

Uncirculated Version. Put out the fire!

Uncirculated Version. Put out the fire!

This coin features a humble wood sided home, with a water pump out in front. On either side of the home there are ears of corn. The proof version of this coin looks very handsome, as buildings often do on a coin. But what will it look like uncirculated? We already know that since the coin is in circulation. It basically looks like a house that is on fire. Many of the modern coins seem to have this problem. It appears that they were made to be proof coins with disregard for what an UNC will look like.

Bombay Hook, Delaware

Bombay Hook, Delaware

Bombay Hook, Delaware

These coins are going to the birds! Two of this years designs have a bird as the main subject matter. I’m sure someone will write in and let me know what type of bird this is, but I don’t know a Crane from a Loon from a Heron. Overall this coin looks nice, but I am concerned about how it will translate to a circulating coin. The landscape in the background may interfere.

Kisatchie, Louisiana

Kisatchie Park, Louisiana

Kisatchie Park, Louisiana

These coins are going to the birds! Oh, did I already use that line. Sorry. Once again I am not sure what type of bird flies here, but I’m getting hungry for Thanksgiving! The artist for this coin was able to design it in a way that made the bird look like it is in motion. Many coins attempt this but do not succeed. This coin should show well in the circulated versions since there are not competing images in the background of said bird!

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

I will admit that a parkway was not the first thing I think of when I think of a national park. This coin looks pretty cool in proof, but I highly doubt it will look good uncirculated. I don’t know if they could actually translate the vast park down to one coin, but if you look at images of the park, you may agree with me that the coin doesn’t do the park justice.

Saratoga, New York

Saratoga, The coolest Quarter Ever!

Saratoga, The coolest Quarter Ever!

And now for the coolest quarter of all. On a scale of 1 to 5 it is Chuck Norris. The Saratoga National Park has two hands and a sword with “British Surrender 1777” on it. The first reason this coin sticks out is because it does not have an animal, building, plant or monument depicted. The second reason is because IT HAS A SWORD. That automatically makes it cool. But not only that, it actually looks really nice. I think it will look handsome in person, but perhaps not as handsome as the proof version. I am looking forward to the 5 oz silver version.

 

 

 

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Herbert Hoover Dollar

Herbert Hoover was the 31st president and served the country from March 4th, 1929 to March 4th, 1933.  He was born in West Branch, Iowa. His dad died when he was 6 and his mom when he was 9. He was raised by his Uncle John Minthorn and attended the inaugural year at Stanford in 1891.

hoover-1

He came to the presidency from his position of Secretary of Commerce under presidents Harding and Coolidge. This no doubt shaped his  views on having business and government “work together”. He was preceded by Calvin Coolidge and was succeeded by Franklin Roosevelt.

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Arches ATB Quarter

The newest ATB (America the Beautiful) park quarter  has officially been released. The Arches, UT park quarter has one of the more recognizable designs. It is a place that most hikers want to visit and even casual nature fans have an affinity for.arches The park was established in 1929.  It has over 2000 natural stone arches.

Many of the ATB quarters have not been up to the standard you would want for a circulating coin. They are often too busy, or the topic is not recognizable. This coin has a great look to it (especially the special Proof version) and it is easy to recognize as Arches National Park.

You can visit the Park website here.

We expect to have them in inventory in the coming weeks.

 

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Why the Baseball Hall of Fame Coins were a good buy

Most mint products go down in value. It is a fact of life. If you look over the greysheet you’ll see a couple decades of coins that the Mint sold for $35-$45 and now list for $25-$30.

But if you were one of the lucky ones to get in on the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins you got some handsome coins and a good value. The Baseball hall of Fame coins already have appreciated in value. This doesn’t mean they will stay there. Many mint products go up in value right after they

baseballare issued. During that time there is some scarcity as those who couldn’t get through the mints poor website try to get the coins on the secondary market.

The reason the HOF coins will do well is because they are a popular topic, good design, and a first of a kind (possibly one of a kind) shape. Who knows if the mint will every make ”bent” coins again. The mint has the ability to take a topic or design and really botch it. This time the hit it out of the park. Having a concave glove design on one side and a convex ball design on the other side was brilliant.

Currently you can find the dollar coin for $100 or so online. This may still be a buying opportunity, as I think these coins are likely to trend like the 2001 Buffalo $1 did. The Buffalos currently trade at $150.  It is rare to find a modern mint coin that I’d say is a good buy at $100. Only time will tell if I’m right, but every once and a while you need to swing for the fences.

And if you are not a big hitter, the mint still has the half dollar available for $22.95 and $23.95 depending on if you get the proof or unc.

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New $100 Review

October 13th, 2013 was the issue date for the new $100 bill.  It was 4 long years since they tried to issue the notes, but had several problems during the production process. The biggest addition is a holographic strip that runs vertically on the front of the note. The image shifts from the “Liberty Bell” to a “100”. It is a really nice purple color.

New100

The note still has lots of micro-printing on it, as well as the watermark. The notes have a gold to copper color shift on the 100 in the bottom right corner as well as the Liberty Bell found in the ink well.  A large, multi-color “100” is on the back to help the visually impaired identify the note.

The back of the note has a newly refined version of  ”Independence Hall”. It looks sharp. I don’t know if there is a reason for the time on the Clock on Independence Hall, but it went from 2:22 on the old notes to 10:30 on the new note. Conspiracy theories enter here:_____________ . Maybe the artists simply took some liberties!New100R

The new bust of Benjamin Franklin is sharp. Previously it was just his face. These notes seem to have cripser lines and design details then the last incarnation.  We’ll see if that is because they wanted to put their best foot forward on the roll out of the new (2009-A Series) notes, or if the new process is that much superior to the old process. We should know in 6 months.

Overall I believe it is a big improvement in not only the technology side of things, but also aesthetics.  The holographic strip jumps off the note and the note will compete with the much better designed notes of other countries (especially our mates up north, don’tya-know). The new $100 bill is a big step forward from the older design.

You can find more about the new $100 on the BEP’s website.

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