US Coin Encyclopedia
Our encyclopedia includes general data and valuable statistics about the US coin mints, celebrated designers and engravers, and some basics regarding coin grade. For specific coin values, prices, details and images for all US coin types ( year/mint/major variety ), click the links on the bequeath side menu to view the mint charts. These charts are besides integrated with our marketplace. We will add more information and articles here in the future. If you could not find what you were looking for, please check out our non-commercial coin and numismatic resources foliate for extra websites and resources which contain comprehensive examination and specialize information collected by early experts in the playing field over a time period of many years .
The United States Coin Mints
One of the first major priorities after the ratification of the Constitution was the build up a US Mint as a way to establish a national identity and provide a solid US currency system. The mint was created with the spend of the Coinage Act into law on April 2 of 1792. President George Washington himself appointed David Rittenhouse to become the first Director of the Mint. The Philadelphia Mint was besides the first mint created by this police and the inaugural coin was minted 5 months subsequently when the build up was built. This mint is even the most popular mint in modern times and is running firm .
There were 8 major branch mints created throughout the US history. The second mint was built in New Orleans because of strategic commercial location and nearby gold rushes. In fact, the New Orleans mint along with Charlotte and Dahlonega were established at the same meter by President Andrew Jackson in 1837. Charlotte and Dahlonega were single and small mints for gold coins due to nearby amber rushes in North Carolina and Georgia but New Orleans was a major mint and they produced silver coins a well. All three were taken over by the Confederates in the Civil War and the New Orleans Mint was the lone one that was re-established after the War but was former decommissioned.
Denver and San Francisco mints were besides created because of the western gold rushes and are still used today. Denver is the second most popular mint producing coins for general circulation while San Francisco mints proof coins and limited collectible coins for sets. One of the most modern mints is the West Point mint near the West Point Military Academy which was nicknamed the “ Fort Knox of Silver ”. West point was built in 1933 but officially became a mint in 1988 and about entirely mints Gold, Silver and American Platinum Eagle coins along with many commemorative coins as well. Browse the links below to read about the history and early information about each major batch :
Famous Coin Designers and Engravers
Below is a list of the major US mint designers creditworthy for designing, sculpting, modeling and engraving our common US neologism. Our mint encyclopedia would not be complete if we did not write about the history and the people reponsible for designing the coins that we love. These are besides some of the most big artists and sculptors in America during their times and some were appointed by the US Preident to become Chief Engraver and Sculptor of the US Mint, a mail held by merely 12 people in US history. For the full moon list, snap here to view the biographies of the coin designers, engravers and people of the US Mint .
US Coin Series, Programs, Collections and Sets
There are a few major commemorative coin programs released by the US Mint in holocene years. Some of these include the 50 State Quarters program, Presidential Dollars, Westward Journey Nickels and many more. We ‘ve been compiling an encyclopedic guide dedicated to each mint series and program. These guides include information about how each program got started, which coins and designs were minted and detailed, very high quality pictures and images of each of the designs in each course of study. These programs are modern and you may have hear of them before as they ‘ve produced a whole new generation of mint collectors. Below is an ever-growing list of US commemorative coin series and programs :
Most Valuable Coins
Using our database of closely every official US coin ever made, we ‘ve compiled a list of the most valuable u coins in being based on class, mintage figures, batch mark, mistake, major varieties and much more. We ‘ve included the all-time most valuable coin list along with sub-categories for those who want to look up alone the most valuable pennies, aureate coins, argent dollar coins, etc :
Most valuable Coins – all-time most valuable u coins list .
Grading Coins and Numismatics – Coin Conditions
Coin marking is a very important expression of mint roll up and can be done by feel collectors or professional numismatists. The most coarse standard for measuring the class or condition of a coin is through the Sheldon Scale, a system that ranges from the number 1, the poorest condition to the count 70, the flawless arrant coin. The higher the act is, the better condition your coin is in. This is specially crucial for valuing coins. In fact, the deviation between a Choice uncirculated MS-65 coin and a even MS-60 Uncirculated coin can mean the dispute between $ 100,000 or even $ 1 million depending on the coin .
There are two major categories of the Sheldon coin grading scale that need to be addressed. The PR system deals only with Proof coins and besides ranges from 1 to 70. The MS stands for the “ Mint State ” and it used to grade regular circulated and uncirculated coins. The MS arrangement besides ranges from 60 to 70 for grading uncirculated batch state coins. The regularly circulated coins are given grades between 1, being poor and 59, which is about uncirculated. These conditions are indicated by using letters and numbers such as : ( G – 4 ) for Good, or ( F – 12 ) for Fine coins and so on as shown in the list below. Any of the MS-60 through MS-70 coins along with Proof coins are normally graded by ocular entreaty and sometimes with the use of a microscope or magnifier of up to 8x scaled. Graders look at factors such as luster, toning, contact marks, hairlines and timbre for making decisions .
How to Grade Coins and Conditions
reasonably much anyone can grade mobilize coins once they are exposed to coins and get a good reference to which grade corresponds with what. Unless you are an expert or know enough about coins, you should only worry about trying to grade circulate coins. Most uncirculated coins, especially old ones should be submitted to professional mint grading agencies such as PCGS or NGC for accurate grade. It may cost some extra money but it is normally worth it for older coins or coins that you suspect of being near perfect conditions since the highest grade coins can easily be worth thousands of dollars, even modern perfective coins .
For the modal or novitiate collector, the first step is to start working on some regular mobilize coins containing old ones and common scoop exchange. It is besides advised to have uncirculated mint state coins at hand to use as a reference and compare your coins with. many of these kinds of coins are easy to obtain anyways. The beginning thing you need to start grading coins is a good bright lighter reference. If you are good and actually want to get good at it, you should pick up a magnifier with up to 8x soar. You do not need anything more powerful than 8x since this is the standard limit that the professionals would use. The magnifier is besides estimable used for very well details or determining a specific coin grade, particularly with uncirculated coins by and large, but it is a estimable instrument to have on hand .
If you have a big voltaic pile of coins, the best thing to do is look at each coin with the naked eye and classify according to how well they look. many people put the worst coins on the left and the best looking coins on the right, up adjacent to the uncirculated reference point coin ( that you credibly should have in a formative holder of sorts ! ). This is known as “ photograding ”. If you have a mint that looks much like the uncirculated coin, then this must be in “ About Uncirculated ” condition since it is closely uncirculated but you know it is circulated since you are touching it. View the references below to choose if your “ AU ” coin is a first gear degree one with lots of contact marks or if it is highly visually appealing .
An excellent “ photograding ” resource can be found at PCGS Photograde Online. This resource has a list of closely every US coin type out there, and a gallery of photograph of what each coin looks like in diverse grades, including Poor ( P – 1 ) up to Perfect Uncirculated MS-70 ( Mint State ) condition. This guidebook even allows collectors to discern differences between specific grades of uncirculated coins ( such as the difference between MS-63 and MS-65 based on pictures ). Grading uncirculated coins can be very unmanageable, except for the most experience coin graders. however, this is an excellent direction to learn how to grade coins yourself .
Look at all the coins next to each other from poorest condition to best condition. You can start to get an theme of how you can classify each coin, particularly if you have a large number of coins in a wide-eyed variety of conditions. many modern coins will never have conditions below identical Fine in some cases so you might need some older coins like Buffalo Nickels, indian Head Pennies and Mercury Dimes to work with. These are normally great coins for learning coin grading techniques since their conditions vary widely from heavily worn to very nice looking. Once you get good at grading coins, you can start to safely put them in cardboard coin flips like the one shown on the leave or the actually nice ones in the Air-Tite formative holders, and then mark their grade on them. This is how many mint dealers do it and how you can milk a small extra profit or get the best deals just by having dear coin grading cognition .
- Poor or Basal (P – 1) – This is the worst condition of coin. The coin must be identifiable, have a mintmark and a date, otherwise the coin is pretty much worthless. Usually the coin is just barely identifiable or has a lot of damage which make them poor or basal.
- Fair (FR – 2) – Fair coins are usually very smooth like poor coins but do not contain heavy damage.
- About Good (AG – 3) – About good is slightly better than fair coins and the date is hard to read but even the major details are worn down or nearly removed from the coin due to wear.
- Good (G – 4) – Good coins have heavy wear but you can still see the date. Usually the date is worn down or merges with the rim of the coin. The major details are also smoothed out or mostly gone.
- Very Good (VG – 8) – Coins in very good condition have heavy wear on them but the major details are more visible. The central details are still worn down and barely existing.
- Fine (F – 12) – Fine coins still contain a lot of wear but the overall design is bold and clear. Also, the rims of the coins are nearly separated as well.
- Very Fine (VF – 20) – A Very Fine coin grade indicates that the rims are clear and much of the wording is clear. There is moderate wear to the coin and the finer details are beginning to appear.
- Extremely (Extra) Fine (EF – 40) – A grade of Extra Fine or Extremely Fine is given to a coin with very little wear and much of the major and minor details are clear and bold.
- About Uncirculated (AU – 50) – A coin that is about or nearly uncirculated has very little wear but may have contact marks or scratches from other coins that came in contact or from the machines. AU-50 is not a very appealing coin but it is still nearly uncirculated.
- Very Choice About Uncirculated (AU – 58) – A Choice About Uncirculated coin is much like the AU-50 variety but has almost no contact marks, there almost full luster and the coin is visually appealing.
- Uncirculated – Mint State Basal (MS – 60) – These coins are uncirculated but usually have a lot of ugly contact marks and scratches usually resulting from wear and tear of flowing through the machines at the mint. There is almost no luster and the coin is not visually appealing, but it is still uncirculated.
- Choice Brilliant Gem Uncirculated (MS – 65) – A choice brilliant uncirculated is a coin with nearly full luster, almost no contact marks and is highly appealing with a great strike at the mint.
- Premium Quality Mint State Uncirculated (MS – 68) – These are highly attractive coins with a sharp strike. Premium Quality coins have a perfect luster and there are no visual contact marks to the naked eye.
- All But Perfect Mint State Uncirculated (MS – 69) – An all-but-perfect coin is highly appealing visual and has a perfect luster and perfect strike. The only thing that makes this coin not perfect is that there are microscopic flaws in the magnitude 8x range that include either contact marks or flaws in the planchet that the coin was struck on.
- Perfect (MS – 70) – A Perfect coin of the mint state uncirculated type is totally flawless even on the microscopic scale up to a magnification of 8x. The coin is also perfectly centered with full, highly appealing original luster. A perfect coin is also struck sharply on a flawless planchet. These are some of the most valuable and sought-after coins for collectors and numismatists.
- Proof (PR – 65) – The PR scale is used for proof coins and runs from 1 to 70 just like the normal MS scale. A Proof 65 coins is just like a Choice Brilliant Gem Uncirculated MS-65 coin except the coin is a proof. Proof coins are those with mirror-like surfaces which are specially struck longer and with greater pressure with thicker planchets. Typically, these special coins are meant only for collectors and are found in cases or sets.
How to Use Numismatic Price Charts
If you are newfangled to numismatics, this guide should get you on the correct lead on how to read our numismatic price tables and charts. here is a small sample of the table from our Lincoln Wheat Cents, which shows all the data on how much any pale yellow penny is deserving. I will explain each part of it below :
Year – In the Year column, you will see the date that this coin was minted in along with it ‘s mint mark, which shows where the mint was minted. In the case above, the coin you are looking at was minted in the year 1955 and the “ P ” means that the mint was minted in Philadelphia. There are 8 different mints, which are described at the top of the page : US Mint Locations. The year and mintmark will be in the form of a hyperlink. If you click that, you can view the specific page on that one particular coin .
Details – This column shows versatile details of the coins if there are any. If this cell is blank, then this is fair a plain standard coin. In the above example table, the first coin of the first course has a blank “ details ” cell, meaning this was merely the normal mint mint. The moment row shows “ Doubled-Die obverse ”. This describes a variation of the convention mint. normally, these are worth more and are rare .
Mintage – The mintage column tells you how many coins were minted of this particular type, mint marker and year. The smaller the issue, the rare the coin is. If you see “ N/A ”, this means the mintage is unknown in that no one knows precisely how many coins were minted of a particular type, which is typical for variations and error coins. “ N/A ” is besides used in our board when we do not have the mintage data at pass, which is typical for the most recent coins in which the datum is not so far available to us .
G (4) through PR (65) – This consists of 9 columns which describe the numismatic grade or condition of the mint. “ G ” stands for “ good ” condition. “ VG ” stands for “ very thoroughly ” condition and so on. We explain what all of these mean precisely above this guide in : How to Grade Coins. When it comes to MS65 and PR65 grades, some tables will have MS63 and PR65 or even PR68 alternatively. We selected the most popular numbers on the Sheldon Scale ( normally MS63 for older coins and MS65 for newer coins ) for a especial character of coin, so the tables can differ for unlike coins .
Underneath these numismatic grade condition headers, there are numbers which show how a lot the mint is deserving. For example, for the beginning coin, a coin in “ F ( 12 ) ” or Fine condition is worth $ 0.05. This like coin is deserving $ 0.14 in about Uncirculated “ AU ( 50 ) ” condition. As you can see for the second mint with the Doubled Die Obverse variety, a mint in “ G ( 4 ) ” beneficial stipulate is worth $ 378 and a mint in uncirculated mint circumstance “ MS ( 60 ) ” is worth $ 2,755. This lapp mint is worth $ 11,565 if it is in Brilliant uncirculated condition “ MS ( 65 ) ”. This is why we recommend getting your good uncirculated coins certified by a grading agency and they can tell you precisely which mint express count and condition your coin is in .
A smash “ – ” means either the price information is not available or unknown, which is common for rare coins or very old coins where coins in uncirculated condition may not exist. This is besides common for dates or mint marks in which proof coins were never minted. In other cases such as with heavy silver or amber coins, we omitted the price figures below a certain grade as the coin becomes american samoa valuable as the metallic element it is made of. With modern common coins ( 1965+ normally ), a dash would indicate that the coin is worth confront respect, which is distinctive unless the coin is uncirculated .
For Sale – The last column shows how many coins of a finical type are for sale by other members or dealers. A “ 0 ” means no one is selling the coin. At the exceed of our charts, there are 4 tabs for coins up for auction, for sale, on a regard list or in personal solicitation. Depending on which pill you select, this stopping point column will change accordingly so you can see how many coins may be on person ‘s wish list or in another member ‘s coin collection. You can buy and sell coins in the “ Auctions ” or “ For Sale ” yellow journalism. You can besides respond to a member ‘s wish number and offer them the coin they are searching for in the “ wish tilt ” tab key and browse through other people ‘s collection in the “ personal Collections ” pill .
If the count is not “ 0 ”, the wholly row will be color-coded to make it more obtrusive that a coin is for sale. In this event, it will be aristocratic when a coin is for sale, grey if a mint is for auction, green if a mint is on the wish list and aureate if a coin is in a personal solicitation ( if you clicked on one of the 4 tabs described in the former paragraph ). This number will besides be in the form of a hyperlink, so you can click that to view all the coins of that type for sale. The link in the “ year ” column will besides bring you to the like stead as well .
Mobile Device Users – Our update coin charts are nowadays “ mobile-friendly ”, meaning it is a lot easier to promptly look up coin values using smaller mobile devices such as cellphones, iphones, tablets and notebooks. On mobile devices, tap the summation ( + ) sign to the left of each year or the Details row to expand the coin values and other information for that specific year. Tap the subtraction ( – ) bless to close the menu. Click on the specific button which display the year to view the detail information page and case images for that specific coin .
Price Data and Sources
The mint prices we have listed on USA Coin Book are simply estimates of what we believe the value would be. This value would be a uncut poise between what a dealer would pay a collector for a coin and what a collector would pay a dealer for a coin. Although the prices lean slightly more towards the higher end, which we believe is most accurate ( the prices that a collector would typically pay a trader or another collector for a coin ). These prices are based on over a ten of our own monetary value chase of catalogs and versatile principal monetary value lists, along with concluding betray prices at early major populace marketplaces such as eBay and Heritage Auction Galleries, angstrom well as our own marketplace. We besides factor in valued metallic element prices on a live basis for aureate, silver and platinum coins as these alloy prices are highly volatile and much makes up a significant factor of a coin ‘s value .
US Mint Sales, Production and Mintage Figure Data – How to get the most recent mintage figures
It can sometimes be unmanageable determining the coinage figures for coins of the most late years, bullion coins, especial coins and proof sets. For circulating coins, the mintage can easily be determined at the US Mint ‘s Circulating Coin Production page. The coinage figures are besides well found for Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium bullion coins at the US Mint ‘s Bullion Sales page. note that these figures are for bullion coins alone, they do not include proof coins or burnished uncirculated coins ( those with the “ W ” or “ S ” batch marks ). bullion coins are not sold through the US Mint. alternatively, they are sold by private dealers who have a partnership with the US Mint .
By law, circulating coins and bullion coins are not produced any far after the year ends. So the figures found on those pages after the year ends, are the final examination mintage figures that go into the history books. This makes it easier for us to determine the final mintage figures that go into the USA Coin Book encyclopedia.
The most unmanageable coinage figures to find, are those for proof coins ( such as those minted in San Francisco and West Point ), change by reversal proof, enhanced uncirculated coins, validation sets and uncirculated sets, limited edition coins, gold buffalo, etc. These are sold directly by the US Mint, and much times they are listed for sale for around 2-3 years or even longer. The US Mint merely offers hebdomadally sales figures on their US Mint Cumulative Sales Figures page. When the intersection is sold out or the US Mint removes it from their sales page, then it no longer shows up in the weekly sales reputation. The final examination accumulative sales digit from the former week becomes the “ set in rock ” concluding mintage design for the history books .
As you can imagine, it can be difficult trying to keep track of all of the sales reports for every single workweek, to keep an eye out for which product/coin stops selling, to know when the coinage trope becomes final. therefore at USA Coin Book, we developed our own program that mechanically records and analyses weekly US Mint sales data for all US Mint products. The new data that we use for coinage figures can be found here on our foliate : USA Coin Book ‘s accumulative Mint Sales Data analysis and Mintage Figures. The data is now organized by individual Mint product and we can automatically see when a product stops selling at the US Mint and the accumulative sales figure becomes the final coinage figure for the history books ( known as “ LKS ” or “ last Known Sale ” ). These will show up as grey rows in the synergistic table. Visitors can besides see the stallion sales history for an person mint, proof fit or Mint merchandise, including commemorative coins. This analysis is highly useful and makes it much easier for collectors and investors who are concern in the latest mintage figures and coin curio .
Please note : For most late years ( final 1-3 years ) in our independent coin respect tables, we are using “ running totals ” for coinage figures based on the Mint ‘s datum. Unless these figures are for standard circulate coins or bullion coins, they are not the final “ set in stone ” mintage figures, and they will be updated each year until the US Mint discontinues their sales for a specific coin or specify. This applies to proof coins, burnished uncirculated coins, special coins, sets, and anything being sold as a numismatic intersection directly through the US Mint .
Category : Coin
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