Old Pueblo Coin – Tucson, AZ

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Mercury Gold Coin


For the Mercury Dime’s 100th anniversary the US Mint produced a 1/10 gold version. It sold out in 45 minutes. We have access to a limited number of these. Please call or stop by for current pricing and availability. 520-881-7200.


The mint will also produce a 100th anniversary gold version of the Standing Liberty quarter and the Walking Liberty half dollar. We believe these will remain popular with collectors, as the 2001 $1 silver buffalo has stayed popular.

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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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The Super Bowl and Coins

Question: What do the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers have in common?

Answer: Both have or had a United States Mint in their respected city.

Denver- The Denver mint was first established in 1906 and quickly became one of the main sources for coins in the United states. At that time the only other mints were in San Francisco, New Orleans and Philadelphia. Today only the Denver mint and Philadelphia mint produce coins for circulation. The mint in San Francisco still issues collector coins and sets and there is now a mint in West Point (NY) that produces silver and gold coins. Unknown-1

Charlotte- The Charlotte mint only struck gold coins. It was in use from 1838 until 1861. It is not a coincidence that the mint went out of business at the start of the Civil War. There was also a mint in Dahlonega, GA that stopped production in 1861. All Charlotte mint coins are considered rare and desirable. The mint was sold and moved to a different location where it stands now as a museum.Unknown

Who wins the super bowl? If you are going for volume and longevity you have Denver. The old man Peyton Manning has produced and produced, just like the Denver mint. The flashy team would be Carolina. Nothing but gold baby!   – I’m not sure a numismatist is qualified to make this selection, but I’ll take Charlotte gold any day!

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The year was 1921 and the US had just started producing Silver Dollars again after a 17 year absence. At first the US started producing the Morgan dollar, which had been made from 1878-1904. They were working on a new design for a new era. World War I was still fresh on the minds of the masses and people were hoping for a change.

In the fall of 1921 the new dollar came out. It had a depiction of Lady Liberty on it with a crown of rays going out from her head band. A strong ‘LIBERTY’ rises above her. The back of the coin has an Eagle perched on a rock. On this rock is the word “PEACE”. The nickname for this dollar is the ”Peace Dollar” because of that word. The word “PEACE” is very faint. Perhaps this is a reference to the fragility of peace…or just because that is how the design is…either way the name has stuck.


We often get calls about one more detail on this coin, and that is the word “trust”. It is spelled out in all caps: “TRVST”. The “U” was stylized to look like a “V” and that “V” stood for Victory. The peace dollar was born out of WWI and both sides of the coin symbolize that….with the “V” for victory and the “PEACE” for their time.


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Happy 2016

Welcome to the New Year. Have you heard the expression “New Year, New You?”. Is that true for coin collectors as well?

For collectors of brand new mint products the New Year always brings something new to collect. New commemoratives will come out that depict events from 50, 100, 150 or more years ago.  Some examples from the US Mint for 2016 include the National Park Services commemorative and the Mark Twain Commemorative coins. There will also be gold coins commemorating the coins of 1916 – The Mercury Dime, Standing Liberty Quarter and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. These coins should be spectacular and very popular.

So we know that modern coins bring new things to the collector, but what about folks who don’t collect modern mint pieces? Do you, or I, change our collecting ways in the new year? Should we? First of all, if you’ve never made a road map or outline for your collection, then you may want to consider trying it. A quick set of goals will make collecting more enjoyable. Consider these questions:

-What series of coins will you collect?

-What grades will you accept?

-What price ranges?

-What will you NOT buy?

-Will you buy only slabbed or only raw or either?

Thinking about these things will help you find the coins you like and know when to make a purchase and when to pass on a coin. I recently had a customer make the change to only buy certified coins. And only within a certain grade set. And only within a certain time period. And only within a certain size (or denomination). Now when he is at a show or a shop and he finds something that does not meet all his criteria then he will pass on it without any regrets.  But if it meets all his criteria then he feels comfortable with his purchase.

Another customer has decided to go in an entirely new area of collecting. He previously didn’t do any foreign coins but now has fallen in love with ancients. This is his knew target. He is starting to learn and buy a little bit here and there and is enjoying the process. If you’ve been considering a different series, now may be the time to start. It can really rekindle your passion.

So what about you? New Year, new you?

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Commemorative Bullion – Silver Edition

The US Mint makes commemorative coins annually. These coins are often well advertised and active collectors would recognize most of them if they saw them at a coin shop. But there are entire series of commemorative coins that most collectors will never see unless they actively seek them out.


America The Beautiful

In 2010 the US Mint started the America The Beautiful (ATB) quarter series. Each state and the territories will have a state park put on a circulating commemorative quarter. You may have seen these in your pocket change. What you are not likely to see is the 5 ounce silver version that the mint is creating concurrent with the quarters. The 5 ounce versions are still a quarter face value.

Fort McHenry Bullion version of the 5 ounce silver quarter.

Fort McHenry Bullion version of the 5 ounce silver quarter.

These large silver  coins have very low mintages and come in both a ”bullion” and ”numismatic” version. The bullion version does not have a mint mark. They come in tubes of 10 and most of them have mintages below 35,000 pieces. The bullion version has a bright satin finish to them.

The numismatic version has a mint mark, they come in a custom box, and have a ”burnished” finish to them. Most of these coins have mintages below 25,000.

The price for these coins vary greatly depending on the source. You can pick many of the bullion pieces up for a slight premium. Currently silver is around $16 ounce and you can find many issues for $20 and ounce ($100 each). On the other extreme the most popular coin is the Hawaii with mint mark. This coin trades up to $600.

Silver Eagles

Silver Eagles are the most well known and highly collected of all US Bullion issues.  So much so that some of the bullion issues are trading at double the price of silver (1986, 1996). In 2001 the mint started to produce ”Burnished” uncirculated coins. These came in special boxes and have the “W” mint mark. The burnished UNC coins mostly trade in the $40-$80.

There is one error in the Silver Eagle series. It is a 2008 dated coin with a reverse of 2007. This type of error is commonly referred to as a ”mule”. The difference is subtle. In 2008 a serif was added to the coins. The error version is san-serif. It trades for $450+.

The mint also creates the Proof version of the silver eagle. Many of these trade in the $40-$75 range. In 2006 the mint produced it’s first ever Reverse Proof coin. With a mintage below 250,000 pieces it trades in the $200 range.

In 2011 the mint produced a 25 year set with 5 different coins. It includes an “S” mint UNC and a reverse proof. These two specific coins have mintages below 100,000 and also trade in excess of $200. In 2013 the mint came out with the first ever ”enhanced proof”. These coins trade in the $75 range and are a good value relative to the 281,310 mintage.

It will be interesting to see what new twist the mint will put on the Silver Eagle series moving forward. One thing is sure, it will continue to be a popular series to collect.



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Silver Not For Sale


Silver Not For Sale!


The current silver market is frustrating. Wholesalers are backed up for weeks. Retailers can’t get it to sell. Buyers can’t find it to buy. Some buyers consider it a conspiracy that when the metals drop they can’t buy any. The reality is that demand has outpaced supply. This has happened several times over the last couple of years as the price has come down. There is a quick drop in the price and the buyers react with a quick spike in orders.

This happened in August. The demand increased to the point that the US Mint stopped accepting orders for Silver Eagles. They wanted to make sure they could fill all the orders that they take and meet demand.  The companies that make silver rounds are now in a similar situation. Instead of halting orders they simply push back delivery times. Delivery times that were once less than a week are not several weeks, in some cases over two months.

Some believe this could become the new normal. If history holds true then we will see the supply loosen up in a few weeks time. Until then you can expect to see showcases that are empty or nearly empty.

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Commemorative Bullion – Gold Edition

The US Mint makes commemorative coins annually. These coins are often well advertised and active collectors would recognize most of them if they saw them at a coin shop. But there are entire series of commemorative coins that most collectors will never see unless they actively seek them out.


In  2007 the mint started producing the presidential dollar series. In this series they release one coin for each president (for presidents who served non-consecutive terms the get two separate coins). The US Mint releases 4 coins per year. As a companion to that series they release the ”first spouse” series. These coins have a $10 face value and are one half ounce of .9999 fine gold.

Some of the presidents were not married at the time of their presidency. Most of these coins have a depiction of a classic US coin. There was an odd exception when in 2012 Alice Paul was placed on a coin.

The first year of the coins saw mintages averaging around 18,000 for proofs and 17,000 for BU coins. The mintage dropped significantly in year two, with proofs averaging 7,000 and BU averaging 4,000. The most recent mintages are even smaller with mintages under 2,000 for BU coins and under 3,000 for proofs.

Most every coin from this series trades at or near the gold prices, despite the low mintages.


In 2009 the mint made a one time issue called the Ultra High Relief. It is exactly one ounce of gold. The coin is unusually small in diameter but thick. It has the design of the St. Gaudens $20 High Relief coin. The mintage exceeded 114,000 pieces. The popularity, however, has kept the coin trading well above the price of gold. Currently gold is around $1150 per ounce and these commemorative bullion coins are trading near the $2,000 range.


This may become a trend. In 2015 the mint produced a different high relief coin. It has a completely new design and is also one ounce of pure gold. The coin had mintage limited to 50,000 pieces. These coins were issued around $1500 and are trading around $1,800 as of this writing. This coin has a face value of $100, making it America’s first $100 gold coin.


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2015 Readers Choice Awards

Vote Old Pueblo Coin Best Coin Shop in Tucson

Vote Old Pueblo Coin Best Coin Shop in Tucson

Family and Friends and Friends of Friends! It’s time for the Arizona Daily Star’s “Best Of Tucson” annual Readers Choice Awards!

This year they have ”Best Coin Shop”, and we’d like your support! VOTE HERE.


You can vote once a day for each email address you register. Voting ends Monday, August 31st at 5:00 p.m. We have links on our webpage and Facebook page. Please share with your friends.

If you vote in 30 or more categories you are entered to win $1,000.00.

And while we are at it, we made a best of best of list. Here is a list of our favorite favorites. You may have been dying to list some of these.

  • Huevos
  • Funeral Home
  • Grout Cleaners
  • Long Distance Company
  • Customer Service
  • Olive Oil/Balsamic Vinegar
  • Best place to buy a piñata

Thanks for your support! And God Bless America! (Don’t you love election season).


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Commemorative Bullion – Platinum Edition

The US Mint makes commemorative coins annually. These coins are often well advertised and active collectors would recognize most of them if they saw them at a coin shop. But there are entire series of commemorative coins that most collectors will never see unless they actively seek them out.


The US started producing platinum bullion coins in 1997. For the uncirculated version of the coins the design has been the same. But starting in 1998 the proof versions have had a different reverse every year. From 1998 to 2002 they produces the ”Vistas of Liberty” series which had images of New England, the Southeastern Wetlands, America’s Heartland, the Southwest Desert and the Pacific Northwest. In 2003, 2004, and 2005 they had individual allegorical images. 2006-08 saw the creation of the “Foundations in Democracy” series which featured a coin for each of the branches of government. Since 2009 they have been producing a series called “Preamble to the Constitution”.

Collecting these coins is very challenging. Not just because platinum is a more expensive metal, but because the mintages are very low. Most of the one ounce proofs have mintages below 10,000 pieces. The last three years of platinum issues have a mintage of less than 20,000 combined!

There are many nuances to collecting platinum commemorative bullion coins, including: Uncirculated, Proofs, Burnished Uncirculated coins, and a Reverse Proof. There are also fractional issues (1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz), however, the fractional coins have not been produced since 2008. So, even though the fractional issues have higher mintages, they are also hard to locate because the lower price points opens the collector market to more people. Platinum is currently below $1,000 per ounce, but most one ounce pieces trade in the $1,200-$1,800 range. The least expensive coins are the 1/10 oz pieces which trade anywhere from $110 on up.

Platinum Coins- Photo from the Red Book.

Platinum Coins- Photo from the Red Book.


Platinum Coins - Photo from the Red Book.

Platinum Coins – Photo from the Red Book.


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