Parts of a Coin – Obverse

While there are a couple different parts of a coin, there is really not a whole lot that differentiates U.S. coins.  Sure, they have different designs, but generally have similar elements.  Below are the typical parts to the obverse of a coin: Legend – This is the primary or focal lettering on the coin Field

Technical Tuesday #2 – Varieties

Some Background Varieties are characteristics to certain coins that are unique to the die used to strike it.  This allows collectors to trace coins back to a certain set of dies that were used to strike them.  Before 1836, every die required extensive hand craftsmanship of all letters, details, numerals, etc.  After the introduction of

Commemorative Monday #2 – Mt. Rushmore

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the completion of Mt. Rushmore, the mint produced a series of commemorative coins available in clad, silver, and gold.  The clad and silver coins feature Mt. Rushmore on the obverse.  The clad features an American Buffalo on the reverse, and the silver dollar features an eagle and “burst” shape. 

Date Sets

Date sets are complete collections of a series of coins.  This includes every year and mint mark within the series.  There are affordable sets such as the Kennedy half dollars or extremely expensive sets such as a Capped Bust quarter set.  Generally driving the price is the mintages and collector interest. As I mentioned in

An Introduction

It has been a week since I started this blog and would just like to introduce myself and describe the mission and intent of this site.  I have been collecting coins, off and on, for about 20 years.  It started when I would occasionally accompany my dad to local coin shops and auctions that had

What is a Coin Planchet?

Planchets are small metal discs that are made into coins.  Generally speaking, the mint uses raw materials obtained from commercial sources to create the planchets and begin the coin making process.  The exception however is the cent.  Cent planchets are prepared for the mint before they arrive.  Nickel planchets are made at the mint, and

The Lincoln Wheat Cent

In honor of National Oatmeal Month, we’ll take a what certainly must be one of the most “collected” coins in U.S. history – the Lincoln cent.  Everyone has encountered a “wheat penny” and tucked it specifically away in their pocket to keep because it may be worth more than face value. History The Lincoln cent

1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent

In yesterday’s post regarding the differences between a doubled die and machine doubling, I briefly mentioned the 1955 Lincoln cent.  This is one of the most famous (and duplicated) instances of a classic doubled die. The Story: 1n 1955, a mint worker in the Philadelphia mint made an error where the hub and die were

Technical Tuesday #1 – Machine Doubling vs. Doubled Die

There are two similar but distinct types of doubling that can appear on coinage, doubled dies and machine doubling.  The distinction is subtle but can really impact a coins value, especially when a doubled die is the culprit. Doubled Die This is the type of doubling that most collectors attribute mint errors to.  Doubled dies