Educational

Ranking Coin Shows for Collectors. Updated 9/1/17

I get a lot of questions from collectors about which major coin shows would be best for them to attend. Travel distance aside, if you are a collector longing for a positive big coin show experience, here are my suggestions, ranked in order.
Best National Coin Shows For Collectors:

1.) FUN Show (January)
Absolutely the biggest and best national show of the year. It’s the best place for collectors to find nice coins and the best show for dealers to sell to collectors. It is the only great super-show remaining. [...]

By |August 28th, 2017|Educational|0 Comments|

Watch New Toned Indian Cent Video by Larry

Toned Indian Cent Proofs, the most beautiful, under-valued and under-appreciated (yet still affordable) segment of the American Rare Coin Market. To watch this informative video and see some absolutely gorgeous coins, click on “Read More” below.
See Larry’s Collection
Click here (copy and paste) to see Larry’s personal collection of toned Indian Cent Proofs:

http://www.pcgs.com/SetRegistry/MySetRegistry/Album.aspx?setid=140723

The Two Varieties of Indian Cents Struck in 1886

How to recognize 1886 Var.1 versus Var.2 Indian Cents

The two 1886 varieties are quite easy to distinguish, and once you see the difference you will be able to recognize them with your naked eye. The difference lies between where the bottom feather on the Indian’s head bonnet points, relative to the letters in America. Using the photos below, note that the bottom feather of the 1886 Var. 1 points between the I and C in America, while the much scarcer Var.2 shows the feather pointing between the C and [...]

Successfully Working With Coin Dealers — Educational Post

In the modern Internet age of eBay, forums, online auctions, etc. many collectors believe they no longer need to work with coin dealers, and they can save the coin dealer’s markup just by dealing directly with each other. In some cases that’s true, but if you want to acquire truly exceptional coins and have a shot at the best material when it becomes available, you can’t be fully successful without having excellent, established coin dealer relationships.

At this point I can imagine some readers rolling there eyes and thinking,”That’s just [...]

By |September 30th, 2015|Educational|2 Comments|

Choosing an Auction Company

I personally believe that honesty, ethics, trustworthiness, integrity and how consignors are treated are all just as important as size, stature, advertising budget and how many zillions of registered bidders a firm claims to have. I don’t like firms that have a “our way or the highway” attitude. I don’t like to deal with firms that are one-sided on every aspect. I don’t like firms that are arrogant, talk down to you, or treat you like you should feel privileged to to business with them — and only on [...]

By |September 21st, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|

World Coin Size Chart – Educational Post

 
World Coin Size Chart
 
It is very difficult to judge the size of a coin based only on a photo. While U.S. coin buyers generally are aware of U.S. coin sizes, the same does not apply to world coins. I will post sizes in my World Coins descriptions. To help you visualize the size of a world coin, here are approximate diameters of current U.S. coins for comparison, in millimeters:
• 3 Cent Silver 14mm
• ½ Dime (Liberty Seated) 15mm
• Roosevelt Dime 18mm
• Indian/Lincoln [...]

By |September 20th, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|

The Coinage of Saxony — Educational Post

HISTORY-Saxony

Saxony is an area of immense natural beauty, with a rich cultural landscape, and centuries old traditions. In addition to world famous craftsmanship from the Ore Mountains, people also maintain Sorb traditions, and the Vogtland dialect.

Saxony was one of the largest and most important German states during the late middle ages. Its rich monetary history culminated from the wealth and power of the region and an abundance of silver mines discovered in the mid-1400’s. Saxony and its capital, Dresden, prospered from the 15th to the 18th century before their [...]

By |September 20th, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|

Piedforts or Pieforts – Educational Post

WHAT’S A PIEDFORT (OR PIEFORT) ?

You will see these terms come up in my world coin descriptions on occasion, as they are one of my favorite categories of rare world coins. I felt that an explanation would be beneficial, since most American collectors are not familiar with them.

While both spellings are commonly used throughout numismatic literature, Piedfort is a French word meaning “strong foot,” or “heavy measure.” Although I can’t say with 100% certainty, I assume both meanings refer to the fact that piedforts are always unusually thick, [...]

By |September 20th, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|

Maundy Coins (Great Britain) — Educational Post

Maundy coins consist of four small silver coins, penny, twopence, threepence and fourpence. The coins are produced annually and are given by the reigning King or Queen to elderly poor people who are deemed worthy. The presentation is a ritual performed on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, as part of a religious ceremony dating back to the reign of Edward II in the early fourteenth century. From then until 1670, the coins presented were regular issue pieces, usually silver pennies. The first issue of “special coins,” or Maundy [...]

By |September 20th, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|
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    Update on the Famous $69,000 Oregon Trail Commemorative Coin

Update on the Famous $69,000 Oregon Trail Commemorative Coin

There was an interesting post on the PCGS U.S. Coin Forum today (September 8, 2015), recalling the Superior Galleries Auction in 2004 when a spectacularly toned PCGS MS-67 first-generation (aka rattler)-holdered 1926 Oregon Trail Commemorative Half Dollar sold for an astounding $69,000. It set off a media firestorm. Normal price for an average MS-67 specimen would have been around $2,000 at that time. Many followup responses on the forum raised questions about the whereabouts of the coin today, whether it was getting darker in the holder, and even if [...]

By |September 8th, 2015|Educational, General|0 Comments|

Larry Shepherd Video on Why U.S. Commemorative Coins are Great to Collect

Classic Silver Commemorative Coins 1892-1954
What first got me interested in U.S. Commemorative Coins was the fact that there were 50 different designs. There is a great story behind each one of them. I’m talking about the classic commemorative coins dated 1892-1954. Many would rank them among the most beautiful coins ever made. And you can collect some really nice commemorative coins on almost any price level. In fact, most commems are selling at historically low levels for the last 30 years, and represent great value at current prices.

New PCGS Holders

PCGS recently introduced new, more secure holders. While I like the changes they made in the design, I must caution you to be very careful when trying to remove (crack out) a coin from one of the new PCGS holders. The plastic does not break as cleanly as on the PCGS holders of the past twenty years, and the chances of scratching a coin during removal is many times as great as before.

By |July 16th, 2015|Educational|0 Comments|

SIMCO Archives – Finest Known Isabella Quarter*

*From the original Shepherd Collection

Visit the SIMCO Archives ( under the See Our Coins tab) to see a sampling of the many amazing coins we have handled over the past three decades!

Catch a glimpse of how “cool” coins, and collecting coins, can be!

Think about letting us build you something special that will dazzle and amaze you and your friends! Whether a set, an entire collection, a Box of Twenty, or just some special and meaningful coins, we can put it together for you in a way that no one else can rival.

2015 ANA Board of Governors Election

From ANA Press Release:

“The American Numismatic Association Board of Governors adopted new budgeting guidelines that include the use of up to three percent of the ANA’s investment principal to fund yearly operations. The new budgeting guidelines were approved by a unanimous 7-0 vote during a teleconference meeting held Tuesday, April 14, 2015. The motion, proposed by Governor Greg Lyon, also permits the use of an additional one percent of investment principal for unanticipated non-capital expenses.”

“We are not necessarily like a business where every year every dollar that comes in has [...]

Highest Graded is not the same as Finest Known

The two terms are not always synonymous. Most often there is a difference between highest graded, or pop. top, and finest known. Sometimes that can be a big difference, both in quality and price.

Finest known is a measure of quality; highest graded is a product of the whims of grading.

If you want to collect in the top-of-the-line arena, make sure you understand which coin you are buying. A highest graded, pop. top, coin is not a guarantee of finest known quality. Don’t pay finest known money unless the coin [...]

By |October 2nd, 2014|Educational|0 Comments|

A Few Thoughts for the ANA Governors and Leaders

1.) Doing the right thing is not that hard.

2.) The ANA belongs to the members, not to the ANA Staff. Your job is to serve the members; not the other way around.

3.) It’s the American Numismatic Association, not the Colorado Springs Numismatic Association.

4.) The members have every right to know everything you are doing with their organization and their money.

5.) If you do things right, and focus on doing the right things, there is no reason to be secretive and fear transparency.

6.) If the Governors are afraid to do [...]

By |October 1st, 2014|Educational|0 Comments|

Organizations and (So-Called) Leaders

The mores of an organization flow down through the organization from the top to the bottom. This applies to numismatic associations like the ANA, PNG and auction companies just as much as large commercial corporations and national organizations. Collectors should never lose sight of the following:

*It will not be an ethical organization if it has an unethical leader.
*It will not be an honest organization if it has a dishonest leader.
*People will not respect or support insincere phonies, regardless their lofty title.

By |October 1st, 2014|Educational|0 Comments|

Proof, Uncirculated, and Bullion Coins — Beginning Collector’s Educational Post

What is the difference between Proof, Brilliant Uncirculated and Bullion coins?

As Explained by the British Royal Mint:

The Royal Mint produces three types of uncirculated commemorative coin finish: Proof, Brilliant Uncirculated and Bullion. Proof coins are the highest standard of commemorative coin produced by The Royal Mint. Brilliant Uncirculated coins have a higher standard of finish than Bullion coins, without the extra finishing and detail provided on Proof coins. Bullion coins have a similar standard of finish to circulating coins.

What are Proof coins?
Royal Mint Proof coins are the highest [...]

By |September 20th, 2014|Educational|0 Comments|
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