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Silver has dropped below the $20 mark for the second time this year, the date of this writing is November 21, 2011. Remember the chart (it’s showing silver below $20 and is a live chart) to the left and the date of this article, since the pumping to buy silver will begin in earnest. All bullion companies, coin dealers, analyst and experts will begin to make excuses on why silver has dropped, then tell you all the reasons you should by for long term, and to buy from them.
I will agree with them on one point, buy silver now! I have always recommended buying silver when it drops, stop when it rises, then wait for it to fall again.
I buy and sell, so I rarely hold on to all the silver and gold I buy, but everyone should have some as part of their portfolio or coin collection.
However, I am fast falling of the long term benefit of holding onto silver. If you study the charts going back to the early 90′s then you will see the same ups and downs as we’re seeing now, it’s just a fact of the markets in general. If you go back to the 80′s charts then you can see when silver was at the all time high in history.
You have to fast forward twenty years from 1980 to 2011 before you see an equal silver market bull near $50, and that begun in a period of only a few years, as it did before, only to drop down to less than $15 an ounce this year (2013), and in a similar time period. What we’re seeing is history repeating itself although for different reasons this time around.
Let’s put this into perspective; If you bought silver at it’s height in 1980, you would be selling at a loss now, so what did twenty years do for the bullion silver investor? If you look at the facts then any long term silver investing advice would have been wrong based on buying during the bull markets. It doesn’t seem correct but that’s the facts. Unless you bought when it was down and immediately sold when it went up.
If you bought all the silver you could afford from the mid-80′s to 2010 then you would see a return on your investment and that would be considered long term. However, is this still doable if a person starts buying silver today for the next twenty years? No one can know this for a fact, but it’s possible that another bull is coming in less than twenty years, but will silver still maintain a bottom higher than, it appears to currently stand, after the next bull market? You would hope so, but there’s no guarantee.
It does makes sense to buy silver when it’s dropping, but keeping it and hoping for it to rise for retirement in several years, is what I am not sure about. It doesn’t seem to be a safe bet since we all heard a few years ago that silver was do to rise $100 and even $200 an ounce, but this was unfounded, so far. Now what makes things different now? Nothing! No one can know for certain what silver will be worth in the coming years, so watch out for their pumping of possible future gains.
A huge pump for buying silver usually proceeds a huge dump when it begins to rise from the stimulated demand. Furthermore, the pumps and analysis of the silver market use all kinds of excuses for why silver is dropping and why it will rise again. These excuses run the gambit but most involve foreign demand, foreign government economics or domestic economics as well as political reason, and these can be considered self-full filling prophecies to a degree.
For instance, all the large bullion companies, coin dealers, and experts often have huge mailing lists so they can send a pump-to-buy silver newsletter to hundreds of thousands of people, or include articles claiming that silver could drop if the Fed’s have something negative to say, or some politician or the government, or the strength of the Euro or US Dollar. So what do we see happening when all these subscribers and market watchers and day traders read these newsletters? They either buy silver or sell their holdings based on what’s being reported, and we know what that does to silver’s value, depending on their reactions to the latest news.
It seems the investor and traders hang on every word these experts have to say and try to play the game to make more money instantly when in reality they’re just a pawn in controlling and manipulating the market. I am not saying there’s anything wrong with making money but I am not for being a pawn in the big investors game. I don’t listen to it or read it anymore.
Therefore I buy the most silver when it’s down, then when it goes up a few dollars then I sell. I make money now, because I need it now, and not because I think I will get rich by holding onto it, at least not anymore.
Before you shrug me off on what I have said so far, I do believe in long term investments, just not bullion silver like bars, rounds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Fund). I just know that investing long term in silver US coins or US coins in general is a better investment than bullion silver. However, I do make an exception with the Silver Eagle, and the reason I refer to long term investing in US silver coins and the US Silver Eagle is due to their growth in numismatic value.
Coin values continue to rise, with some ups and downs, but on a continual steady pace and for long term gains. So I do recommend buying silver, gold, copper and semi-key dates, key dates and variety coins now to hold onto for your future. If you buy them frugally now then you will see a bit of a return in the future, if our future doesn’t see a dramatic change like our government falling or being took over by another country.
In my opinion, the numismatic value of coins is a better risk then buying silver bars and rounds or over-priced silver coins from the precious metal pumping companies. You can do better buying from certain coin dealers and online auctions like ebay. I stick with any coin that has a US Denomination and is highly collected and try to find the best bargains I can.
However, a study of United States History will prove that we have weathered many bad times economically and always seem to pull through it, so there’s nothing to lead me to believe the end is near, or that I need to hoard all the bulk silver bullion I can for the impending doom.
Disclaimer: The author of the article is not an expert investor and doesn’t promise any future gains or losses due to investing in coins, gold, silver or any precious metal. The author is also not responsible for any losses or gain incurred after reading this article. It is merely the opinion of the author and CoinHELP! and should not be taken as advice on investing.
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Why did you stop using ebay? It’s a question that doesn’t apply to me, so I wonder why you don’t. I personally can’t imagine life without ebay. I know that may sound corky to some but it’s the truth. I truly love and enjoy ebay everyday, it’s a few sellers that I can do without but that’s another issue to write on.
In actuality ebay provides my family with the means to pay our bills, by selling at ebay and promoting ebay on my website. Ebay is a money maker and it can save you money as well as make you money, it’s just not a easy as it used to be. I have sold at ebay since 2002, and I have promoted ebay as a partner since 2007, so I know what can be done by using your keen business mind.
Furthermore, ebay auctions can be fun and I can find things I have never seen before. I will never forget the viral auctions in the past, a boy selling his virginity or another person selling their kidney. The last two were pulled because they’re against ebay policy but it made people wonder “what would a person come up with next?”.
Recently I saw an auction for a Sleepy Hollow’s, Headless Horseman, Hobo Nickel. It amazed me how a person could take a Buffalo Nickel and etch such an intricate design into the surface. It’s not an easy metal to work with and takes a tremendous amount of skill to etch, let alone in any detail.
It was an accident that I found this auction and one of many reasons I enjoy browsing ebay, and it beats bumping buggies at Wal-Mart or the mall. I can look at items as much as I want without being herded along the aisles by impatient shoppers.
Do you remember the piece of toast with the likeness of Jesus that sold for several thousands of dollars? I do, and it was items like this that made ebay a pop culture icon and a place to list your junk and make some extra cash, or see the strange things people were selling. It’s still that place, but is now much more.
Of course, I still have to go to the store and buy groceries and household items, but for my coin collecting hobby and coin dealer business, nothing matches ebay. Period. Not even the coin shows, local auctions or even the flea markets beat the deals I can find at ebay.
I just don’t pay any attention to what other people have to say about ebay, I do my own thing and judge from my own merit and experiences. I have read many bad things people say about ebay, but after eleven plus years of buying and selling and using Paypal, I don’t have much to complain about. Furthermore, I would give ebay my own satisfaction rating of 97% or four and a half stars out of five stars.
I have come to a solid conclusion that most of the whiners were part of the problem in the first place. I don’t mean to judge those who had an unfortunate experience, but I can count the number of bad transactions I have had on my two hands, and that’s well over a decade of experience. So I just can’t accept that ebay is bad, far from perfect, but it’s not bad either.
I think a lot of the bad rap has come from sellers who started selling early on with ebay and with the fee hikes and feedback policies and selling policies in general, geared more for the buyer’s satisfaction, eventually drove many away. I can understand their frustration but in this ever changing world I choose to modify my style and business model to fit what I can’t change.
To put it in perspective, a new seller, that started selling today, would never miss the “old” ebay and start off using the most economical and sound business practices in order to sell items to maximize profit despite the fees. The newbie seller would also strive to be a Top Rated seller to get the discount on their fees, it’s not easy to maintain a Top Rated Seller status if you don’t care, but it’s worth it when you do.
However, they wouldn’t have any memories of what ebay used to be to miss lower fees and less policies that worked more in the seller’s favor. No, this seller would be the new breed of seller that would embrace ebay’s new mission statements, policies and fees. You can be that new seller if you wanted, or be a new buyer with a fresh out look on what ebay is now about and not what they used to be.
It used to be that a buyer was more at the mercy of the seller, sellers would hold back on leaving feedback until the buyer left feedback, and if the buyer left negative feedback then the seller would do so in retaliation. You had some buyer protection but it’s much improved save for some hiccups along the way, but now the buyer has more of a say and often more than the seller.
It might not sound fair but too many sellers were taking advantage of buyers and use their distance and poor images to hide behind the facts and the law. It had to change, and it did.
It’s been a growing trend in business for years, customer first and ebay was behind the times on this since they considered their business as nothing but a tool for selling. However no third party business wants to be involved in litigation because an independent seller defrauded a buyer. Remember, ebay is a just a tool for moving goods between buyers and sellers, but was forced to be more involved in the buyer’s and seller’s behalf because of complaints and litigation. Since this caused ebay to enact more policies, and to police the auctions more, it cost more money, so the fees had to rise.
Ebay is a business, and businesses have to make money, please employees, and investors, plus ebay has to please buyers and sellers. It’s a tough job when you consider the millions of people who use ebay daily. It takes a huge staff and a large amount of resources to accomplish all tasks. Furthermore it’s never possible to please everyone when you go to changing rules, regulations and how much you charge the people who use your services when there’s millions of people involved.
The seller rating system is another way to slowly weed out the sellers who don’t care, and no longer is 100% positive feedback the benchmark for a trusted seller. I personally think it’s a good thing, it made me more customer aware, and I am a Top Rated Power Seller by the way. Not bragging here, but I know what it takes and what it means to be one, and I weathered the changes and keep my business going, even though I feel like I am facing several obstacles against me.
Every small business faces several obstacles to stay in business, and maybe one day I will not be able to do business in the same capacity, but I don’t plan on quitting just because ebay changes or I think the new change is unfair. You can still make a lot of honest money at ebay. You just have to be a better wholesale buyer and seller. I never liked the old feedback system anyway.
As a buyer it has gotten a little more difficult to find the best deals on coins, but knowing this I take different approaches. I learn as I go when something stops working. I try to think of coins, varieties, grades that less people are looking for or I just look for collections and lots that look to have profit potential.
Currently there’s near 650 thousands US Coin auctions listed at ebay, on any given day, and that’s a huge coin show for me. It might even be the largest coin show on Earth and I can pick whom I buy from, if I want to buy from a big time dealer and pay their price I can, or I can search out sellers who rarely sell coins and try to bid a deal.
I don’t rely on ebay alone to buy things to sell anyway. However, I do buy my numismatic supplies, shipping supplies, books and holiday gifts at ebay, not all of them, but near 80%. My years of experience has taught me how to search ebay and pick through the sellers to find the best and most honest deals.
When I do find a great sellers then I just add them to my favorites and sign up so I get an email with their new offerings or deals. When it comes down to it you can’t beat, but maybe match, ebay’s services and how they try to protect the users from fraud and scams. Ebay might have a way to go in certain categories like collectibles and coins, but strides have been made.
So why did you stop using ebay? Did you base it on a bad experience or what another person said or wrote, or was it because you can’t afford the fees, or is it because you don’t trust the Internet with your money? I would like to know.
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Search ebay for mint error coins and you will find thousands of auctions listed, but not all of these auctions are mint errors, and many are just common and minor errors not worth the price that collectors are paying for them. The 1893 Barber Dime, pictured left, is a prime example that’s not a mint error but is damaged, referred to as PMD (Post Mint Damage)
It’s also apparent that many of these auctions are listed by individuals who don’t know much about errors, the coin minting process, or just desire to make a fast buck from the collectors who don’t know the facts about mint errors.
Certain people see something different about a coin and instead of seeking help from an expert they list the coin for potential profit at ebay, even if the coin is not a mint error or is of such a minor error type that they’re too numerous to be worth more than face value.
Consider the 1893 Barber Dime, pictured left, a lot of people would think this was a mint error or wouldn’t be certain either way.
You shouldn’t fall into this category, seek the facts or buy a book on the subject before you buy or try to sell a possible mint error. One book I recommend, and this will save you money and a future bad sell, is the Official Price Guide To Mint Errors by Alan Herbert. Mr. Herbert is at the forefront of mint error knowledge and if you buy his book, read it from cover to cover, then I promise you it will save you money!
You can find The Official Price Guide To Mint Errors at ebay or at Amazon, and often buy it in used condition. It’s worth buying even if the cover is missing. I just can’t stress enough how important and helpful this book will be in your collecting and selling of mint errors.
Now since I got that rant out of the way I think it important to cover a few misconceptions about mint errors that are most often found when looking through ebay auctions.
The term “mis-struck” is a generalized word used to describe something different about a coin, but there’s no such thing as a mis-struck coin mint error. Furthermore I have seen mis-stamped when referring to a possible mint error, but there’s no such words in variety or mint error terminology. It’s much more complex to identify a mint error than just using a handy and generalized term.
Just to gain an idea of the different terms used to describe and catalogue each mint error, visit our Mint Error and Variety page If it’s a mint error then there’s a proper name and classification for it.
You should know these classifications for mint errors. Not only will it save you money, but it can also make you money. Here’s our guide to the US Minting process and it shows you where and when each mint error and variety occurs during the minting process.
Just think, the more you learn about mint errors, plus varieties, the more your eyes are opened and you start to see and realize true mint errors and varieties. You will see things other people don’t and be able to buy errors and varieties at garage sales, flea markets and coin shows that for a decent deal because you knew more than the seller.
Errors And Varieties:
A variety is most often something different, either purposeful or accidental, to the coin die. It can be a doubled die, or the polishing off of a Buffalo Leg or a myriad of other things the mint employee or Chief Engraver has decided to change on a die, or something that accidentally happened and got past there’s quality control.
A mint error is a little more broad since it something that happens either during the planchet making process or during the striking of the planchet, or planchets. It’s become common to see pieces of metal being struck with a coin’s design being called mint errors. When something goes wrong during the striking of planchets or the creation of a planchet then it’s a mint error.
The high rate of speed the planchet fed into the coin chamber has created a huge amount of different errors to collect. Planchets can get jammed up and struck more than once, or they can be struck together, or something can get in the way and strike through the coins surface, a coin can get stuck on the die and and form a bottle cap shape and continue striking other planchets. The possibilities are near endless, but there’s a limit, and this is where most people get hung up, since they think every oddity is a mint error and has potential value.
Furthermore, there’s missing cladding issues and wrong planchet metal strikes and denominations struck on the wrong planchet and so forth. So you need the book I mentioned above and visit the pages I have linked to so far so you can identify mint errors. However don’t despair, it might be a bit overwhelming at first, but over-time it gets easier and easier to know what you’re looking at and how “that” happened to a coin.
Not All Varieties Are the Same:
Here’s another glaring problem I see at ebay. If you look in a price guide you will see a 1972 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln (DDO) Cent Memorial listed for several hundred dollars, but what most sellers and you might not realize is that there’s several listed Doubled Die Obverse’s for the 1972 Lincoln Cent. It’s a fact that not all 1972 DDO Cents are worth several hundred dollars, and some are only worth a few dollars.
One look at coppercoins.com and you will see that within the variety classifications there’s actually attribution labels for each variety type.
We won’t get into this since it can cover volumes when considering the many different varieties among all coin types and denominations. I do encourage you to look over coppercoins.com listings just to get an idea of how many different varieties for each date and mint.
This brings us to another indispensable recommendation, buy both volumes of the Cherry Pickers Guide, the money you spend on the books I recommended will more than pay for themselves, and often with your first passed-on purchase since with this knowledge you knew better than to buy the coin.
This is a hot topic if there ever was one, some people who are fortunate to own a valuable mint error, but don’t know much if anything about the mint error market, and hope you don’t either, list the mint error with an over-the-top price then make all types of claims to defend how much they want for their coin.
I see this a lot with a denomination struck on the wrong planchet like a dime on a cent planchet or visa versa. It’s true that these errors sell for a lot of cash, but more in the range of a couple grand and not the five digit or more figures I have seen them listed for. The wrong planchet error is rare but the market doesn’t sustain an equal value for their rarity, let alone what some think they’re worth.
So if in doubt about a mint errors value then check out Heritage Coin Auctions Archived, Heritage provides ended auction archives for near every coin they’ve sold, mint errors included. It’s free to join and browse.
I know I didn’t cover everything, but there’s so much to consider when buying, collecting or selling mint errors and varieties that all can’t be covered in a single article. So if you have more questions then feel free to ask in a comment, or join our free forum and post your coin images and questions as much as you like, we never get tired of helping fellow collectors. CoinHELP! Coin Forum
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Most coin collectors don’t think of Eisenhower Dollars as rare and valuable and, for the most part, that would be a correct assumption. However, there’s enough exceptions to this assumption to make it worth learning which Eisenhower Dollars are rare and valuable and why. So let’s get started.
The first thing you should know about Eisenhower Dollars is the varieties found within their ranks. The 1971-S Peg Leg and the 1972 Type 2 and Type 3 Earth varieties can bring a lofty premium, then there’s the 1976 Bicentennial issues with Thin Letter or Type 2 reverses (the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has thin letters). Here’s example images of the Type 2 and 3 Earth Type and reverse letters types, plus the Peg Leg variety.
Furthermore, might be the well known varieties but there’s several known doubled die reverses, doubled die obverses and repunched mint marks for all dates and mints. So there’s a good amount of varieties to be found and collected, plus a few lesser known like the “Friendly Eagle” and the “Tiger Claw”. More info on these can be found here.
The second aspect of collecting Eisenhower Dollars is searching for higher grade examples since most start becoming rare in MS65. The business strike (struck to be circulated or placed in mint sets) are most rare in MS67 and those grades boast the top population in PCGS’s population charts. However this doesn’t imply there’s not a few more to be discovered by astute collectors, if you’re willing to learn how to properly grade Eisenhower Dollars. Here’s some already graded images to help you get started.
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s 40% clad silver examples to look for and they come in cello with blue envelope, plastic GSA holder and brown box (proofs), then there’s the three coin Bicentennial sets that come in proof and mint state coins, and include the dollar, half dollar and quarter, and all clad in 40% silver.
If this got you interested in collecting Ike Dollars than let us know. You can also get you collection started by looking for great deals at ebay Eisenhower Dollars at ebay
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Identifying different varieties of Morgan and Peace silver dollars can be fairly intimidating to the new or inexperienced collector. These coins can come in an endless amount of variations, and are often referred to as VAM coins, after the founders, Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis. These two specialists wrote The Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars, which is one of the foremost authorities on the coins. Numerous types of VAM silver dollars exist; the best way to see if you have a VAM coin is to become familiar with the different types of errors and varieties that have been identified. In order to be able to see these small differences, you will most likely need a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe.
The dies of the Morgan and Peace dollars were extensively polished to ensure that accumulated dirt and grime would not affect the quality of the coin. Also, as we will discuss later in the article, polishing was used to eliminate the effects of what is known as die clashing. However, over polishing can cause the relief of the coin to become shallow, which can prevent many of the details of the coin from appearing. Also, in some instances you can actually see the marks from brushing the die, either in groups, straight lines or definitive swirls.
When an un-marked coin, known as a planchet, does not accurately feed into the press, the two dies can strike each other and leave an imprint of each die on the opposite side of the coin. In other words, the impression on the front of the die can be left on the reverse side and vice versa. While die clashes can occur with any coin, they’re most frequently seen with Morgan dollars. While traditionally labeled as common variations, clashed Morgan and Peace dollars have become more sought-after as of late. A distinctly clashed coin has seen appreciation over time and likely will continue to increase in value, especially if it is already a rare piece.
Cracks in the die will occur over time due to extensive use of the die. When cracks occur, it can leave hairline cracks on the coins. Unlike typical hairlines, which leave a mark below the surface of the coin, die cracks cause a raised effect, as they occur on the die rather than the coin itself.
Doubling (And Even Tripling)
When a planchet is struck more than once, often the overlap is seen in what is known as doubling. This can occur in nearly any variation, and on any of the features of the coins. For those who are not as familiar with the various features of the coins, doubled letters and numbers might be the easiest to see. This will look like a shadow on the characters and can occur on any lettering on the coin, including the date and mint mark. On the obverse side of the coin, the date mark is one of the most common areas where doubling occurs, as is the “LIBERTY” around the crest. On the reverse side, the mint marks and the lettering are typically where you will see doubling.
Mint Date and Mintmark Orientation
This variation is one of the most difficult for new collectors to identify, and refers to any mintmark that is not properly oriented on the coin. One way to tell if a mintmark is properly placed is to determine if it sits inside or outside of the “D” and the “O” in the word “DOLLAR.” While sometimes only slightly off center, more times than not, the variation can be seen with the naked eye. Also, the placement of the date with respect to the denticles on the coin is another way to determine if it’s properly located.
While we’ve just scratched the surface with respect to VAM coins, we hope that the above information will help you to potentially identify VAM coins in your possession. Prior to selling silver dollars, we recommend that you thoroughly inspect your coins, as you could potentially have a much more valuable coin in your collection than you realized.
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For those individuals that are collectors of rare, ancient, or shipwreck coins, there are few options more popular than Atocha coins. Atocha coins are coins retrieved from the shipwrecked Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon that sank near Key West, FL in 1622 from a hurricane. Mel Fisher, a famous U.S. treasure hunter, found the shipwrecked vessel in 1985, which included over 40 tons of gold and silver in various forms, including 100,000 Spanish silver coins, referred to as “pieces of eight.” These coins are commonly referred to as “Atocha coins.” Unfortunately, due to their popularity and demand from coin collectors, counterfeiters have entered the market in an attempt to capitalize on their value, and many counterfeit versions have entered the market. The purpose of this article is to help you identify authentic Atocha coins versus replicas so that you don’t make a costly mistake when investing in rare coins.
Thoroughly inspect the coins. Look for obvious signs of forgery. Authentic Atocha coins feature a Spanish shield on the obverse, or front of the coin, and a design of a cross on the reverse. If such depictions are missing from your coins, the coins in your possession aren’t authentic – at least not authentic Atocha coins. Another attribute to take into consideration is the fact that Atocha period coins bear subtle differences based on the New World mint where they were produced. If the coins carry a date after 1622, this means that the coin is not a genuine. This should be obvious, as the galleon carrying the coins was sunk in 1622. Although many counterfeit Atocha coins were produced for monetary gain, there are a few coins that were minted for Florida tourists to commemorate the tale of Atocha. For more information on Atocha coin history and original photos of such coinage, visit atochatreasurecoins.com.
Authenticity of Atocha Coins
Use visual aids. While the previous step can be undertaken with the naked eye, some imperfections can only be seen with visual aids such as a jeweler’s loupe, microscope, or magnifying glass. Using any of these aids, carefully examine the coin for obvious signs of forgery such as casting bubbles, plating wear, or lines that shouldn’t be present Keep in mind that genuine Atocha coins were manufactured using solid gold and silver bars, therefore they shouldn’t show any signs of plating, bubbles or seams on the edges of the coins.
Obtain a COA to verify the authenticity of the coins. Once you’ve made your purchase, ask for a COA to confirm the authenticity of the coins. When you purchase Atocha coins directly through Mel Fisher you’ll receive certification papers. While there’s no reason to question the authenticity of coins purchased directly from Mel Fisher, coins purchased in the second hand market should be scrutinized. Because certificates of authenticity can also be forged, it’s important to not solely rely on these documents when purchasing your coins from sources other than Mel Fisher. When in doubt, seek the advice of a rare coin dealer.
If you’ve been in doubt about the authenticity of your Atocha coins, the aforementioned tips will help you determine whether you’ve struck gold or if you’ve possibly been the victim of a counterfeit coin. Conducting a thorough inspection, using visual aids, and receiving certification for your Atocha coins can prevent you from being scammed. Even after implementing each of these steps, it’s important to consult with a rare coin dealer to confirm the authenticity of your items.
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