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Rare coins in very worn conditions: In my browsing thru Ebay and other sites, I've noticed a peculiar thing. There are plenty of rare coins like 1909-s-vdb, 1922 no D, 1914-d, cents etc that look like they have been kept in circulation for decades. Why? How? Didn't the general population back in the day know about these key coins? Of course, there are gem MS grades of these that have been pulled from circulation because of their rarity too, but I wonder what happened to these worn out rarities? Any information or reply is appreciated. Thanks.
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Just like modern times, most people still don't know the key dates, and still don't know how to authenticate them when they do find them. Less people knew when they were first minted so it stands to reason they would have circulated beside the common dates and mints.
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And remember, there a lot of well made fakes coming out of a certain country that add to the "inventory". I wouldn't be surprised if the mintages haven't grown 10% by now because of the fake key dates.