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Daniel Harris
125 followers -
Publisher of CoinStudy.com
Publisher of CoinStudy.com

125 followers
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Still Looking For a Home
 
“I have one old coin, a penny from 1904, and I don’t know what to do with it?”
 
Your question as to what to do with your 1904 Indian cent is a dilemma people are sometimes faced with. 
Here are my thoughts… 
 
First value, a 1904 Indian penny is not a rare coin, in worn condition, value is a dollar or two if you were to sell the coin. If your coin is in good shape and just lightly worn, it’s worth $6 to $7 dollars. Finally if in “uncirculated” condition (like brand new) the value is in the $30 range.  See how your coin matches the grading images and value on the following page.
 
http://www.coinstudy.com/1904-indian-head-penny-value.html
 
If you determine your coin is $1 to $2 value, selling requires either visiting a coin shop or mailing the coin to sell it.  Not very cost effective. 
 
Is there a young relative that might find the coin fascinating?  With a spark of interest and the coin in hand they would perceive your 1904 penny as a treasure.  This is close to how I started on my journey into the coin collecting hobby.  
 
I know of other collectors who have just spent old coins of this type and value knowing it would eventually find a home. I have done the same, always imagining a young collector and their thrill of the find. 
 
I understand your concern; keep the coin with you, and someone will come along, perform a good deed and be deserving of a “lucky penny.”
 
Hope this helps.  
Dan
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Gaining in Popularity | Franklin Half Dollar
 
A tradition of American symbolism on coins continued with the half dollar in 1948.  Here is a coin introducing a non-president’ Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and, unique to circulating US coinage, the Liberty bell on the reverse.  As a series it is not as popular as others, hopefully its uniqueness will catch the eye of more in the future. 
 
As to value, the entire production is 90% silver.  In today’s market most dates and mints follow the price of the metals, especially in circulated condition.  And as a quick value check, divide the one ounce silver price by 3 and you are in the ball park of how much each is worth.
 
Here is a small collection, assembling the entire series is not necessary.  Ample variety and meaning is found within sub-sets of every year.  
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Grading Franklin Half Dollar Video
 
Franklin half dollars have been the focus lately.  Most move up and down in value following the price of silver.  Grading the condition of the coin however separates the higher value collector quality pieces from those moving with silver.
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Safe Coin Storage
 
How your old coins are stored often determines their value over the long term.  A thoughtful approach to storage avoids the two major contributors to most problems. 
 
Select and house higher valued coins individually.  Subtle but additional wear does occur on coins when in contact with others in a large group, most noticeable on the finer condition examples.      
 
Secondly, consider the box or containers where your entire collection is placed.  Because of its materials many are adverse to coins, leading to discoloration, especially evident on copper and silver coins.
 
Highlighted are three different supplies that are excellent for storing and maintaining the condition of your coins; Mylar 2x2 size single coin holders, tubes for multiple coins and the Intercept Shield archival box.  Close-up images of the holders I personally use are on the page Safe Coin Storage.
Http://www.CoinStudy.com/safe-coin-storage.html
 
There are many more excellent storage supplies available today beyond what is highlighted here.  All far exceed the methods used decades ago.  Revisiting a coin stored in a paper envelope for a long time and seeing the effects are thankfully something now easily avoided.
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#CleaningCoins? A Good Idea?
 
Here is an example of the rare coin market in action and how it perceives a cleaned coin.  Two Morgan silver dollars are pictured, one with original non-cleaned surfaces, the other cleaned.  Both are circulated coins showing wear to the surface, technically the same “grade” the only difference is one is cleaned.   
 
Each of these 1879-CC Morgan dollars (a highly scarce and desirable date and mintmark combination) appeared at auction.  Bidding for the cleaned coin topped at $276... impressive.  However the un-cleaned dollar reached $920. 
 
Today’s collector seeks coins in original condition, even if “dirty” or “tarnished.”  The un-cleaned silver dollar pulled from circulation long ago and left to age naturally was clearly favored.   
 
In the above silver dollar example collectors either heavily discount value or pass over coins that have been cleaned.
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It was the Mercury dime that sparked my interest in coin collecting.   In the late 1950’s and early 60’s you could find them in circulation mixed in with Roosevelt dimes and I tried to keep everyone found.  Amazingly, although heavily worn, an occasional 1917 and 1918 came along, even mint marked ones.  However at this stage in my collecting should I keep one of these early years this often meant a later date piece had to go.
 
Never found the sought-after 16-D or even a 21…   although every flip of a coin to the obverse was exciting.  Coin Collecting is friendships and discovering something new every day. 
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