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A Newbie looking for thoughts on American Eagles

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I am new to coin collecting and first got lured in through the mint statehood quarter program. I was checking out the USmint web page for some general program information on the day that they happened to be selling the Delaware quarter bags. I bought some and have kept up with it since. However, I have been disappointed by the saturation of mint products that were orginally hard to obtain. In the begining, you only had up to a couple of hours to order the quarter bags until they sold out. Now you have several months. Therefore I have started to lose interest because they are not relatively worth anything anymore.

 

I have a very limited budget and therefore cannot start collecting some of the beautiful classics. Instead, I have turned to the eagle series (the smaller gold and platinum, and silver). I know, I know........why the heck would you want to collect bullion? I like the idea of the precious metals over the clad in the moderns.

 

What are the thoughts on the collectibility of the eagles? Am I way off base on this and just wasting money? I was acquiring the MS grades but was wondering about whether the proofs were the way to go. I really want to get into the gold indians, but that will have to wait for some time. A long time.........

 

Sorry for the dual post on ask the experts section. I couldn't seem to post on this forum at first.

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I'm no expert on moderns and bullion material, but I think you should collect whatever makes you happy.

 

The American Eagles are very attractive, so it's no wonder people like them. But, as bullion products, you should be very careful about how much you pay for them. Keep in mind that they are likely lousy investment vehicles.

 

If you wish advice on how to pursue classics on a limited budget, just let me know. I can be far more help in that arena...

 

EVP

 

PS Welcome!

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Welcome to the board! Let me first echo EVP's sentiments that you should collect what you like and makes you happy. Second, I think the bullion coins are nice, but are really more tied to the metal value than the numismatic value. I think you should look into other areas, and judge for yourself how costly things are. Just browsing a local coin shop can be a real eye opener! Classics are not always so far out of reach, especially in circulated grades. Look at Franklin halves, or even Washington quarters in circulated grades are quite affordable. Another area you might consider are modern commemoratives, as they contain gold and silver and some have very nice designs. Bottom line, look around and see what you like, and even if it is costly, try it! Indian half eagles are certainly worth more than bullion, but you can buy one in XF for probably the same cost as 3 quarter ounce gold eagles. It may be worthwhile to collect fewer coins that you really like (the Indians) than more coins of a series that you are just settling for. Just my thoughts, and feel free to let me know if there is any way I can help you.

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Actually, in this market, you can buy some lower graded MS(61-62) and higher graded AU(55-58) Seated Dimes, Quarters & Halves for what you would pay for a $5 Gold Modern Commem. Some of the dates on Seated Material are extremely low populations. Prices on nuch of this material are back down where they were in the late '70's.

 

Some day the collecting world is going to figure this out, or maybe they won't. If they don't, it will be because too many collectors are not familiar with this material and it is too much trouble to read a book when you can buy a modern slab and have someone else think for you. tongue.gif

 

I really like original (toned) older series, because they are so strikingly beautiful (see attached).

35801-1904OMorg.jpg.a754f96e16d12eab0979d254044df0b5.jpg

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Thanks for the welcome.

 

What advantage(s) do modern commemoratives have over the American Eagles in terms of value or collectibility? These Eagles are a source of confusion for me. I know that they have been commissioned as bullion, but of course also have a monetary value associated with them. All major grading companies seem to grade them, unlike the true bullion bars/rounds, so I am wondering if there really is a potential for these "coins?" in the future. I know that the seasoned numismatics really do not appreciate the eagles. I assume it is because there really will never be a historical value associated with them (?).

 

Also, are there any thoughts as to whether the platinum eagles will gather more interest over time, since it is the first coin composed of such a precious metal? It also has a unique design that I find appealing.

 

I really do like some of the earlier coins such as the walking liberty halves and standing liberty quarters. However, I really do not prefer them in the circulated condition. (go figure). I also wonder how easily I would be able to sell the average circulated condition when I started to upgrade. This is where I try to move into the slabbing debate. I already have "buy the coin, not the holder" burned into my forehead. However, isn't there a degree of confidence that is conveyed by a (reputable) holder. This is obviously of more importance to someone like me who is just starting to get his feet wet. I would imagine that this would be of increasing importance when it is time to sell. I am very fond of ebay. That way I can be a closet collector.

 

Thanks for entertaining my naive questions.

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The future potential of the American Eagles is practically zero. Very few people collect them by date. They are owned because they are made of a precious metal. Anyone buying these as an investment is only fooling themselves.

 

I would strongly suggest that is you want to buy these "coins" that you do not buy them form the mint. You can usually buy them from dealers a few weeks after they are released for much less.

 

The modern commemoratives are an odd series. The designs for most of them suck. They are awful. Therefore they have low mintages. However, the ugly designs coupled with the odd themes has kept demand low. The odds of these coins going up in value is low.

 

If you're looking for an investment tied to bullion then you should look at St. Gaudens. You can get examples in BU condition for little above melt. They're prettier than their bullion knock offs and they have at least a small chance of going up in value.

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Well, I agree with a lot of what Greg said, and bullion coins are just that, bullion. The legislation that created them indicate such, and the only "collector" coins per the Bullion Coin Act of 1985 are the proof versions of the coin. Although the proofs are nice, I think they are overpriced. As far as modern commems go, there you have to really buy what you like, and I agree there are some really ugly ones. But there are some nice ones too, like the Statue of Liberty, Congress, Constitution and Columbus, where the $5 gold pieces are selling for barely above melt. Well, even if the coins never become popular, at least they are gold. Now I would caution against paying huge premiums for high grade slabs of modern commems (for full disclosure, all but 2 of my commems are raw).

 

As far as platinum, I don't know, but I would question their long term value, since platinum is really more a strategic metal rather than a monetary metal. What happens to the price of platinum if we stop making cars with internal combustion engines?

 

Raw circ coins have a market, despite what the PCGS Kool-aid drinkers might tell you. Why would anyone have a nice VF 1920 Walker slabbed? There are millions, or even billions of circ coins that should never be slabbed, and the market will still exist for them. If you have a preference against circ coins, that's fine, but valuation is another consideration entirely.

 

I agree with Greg on the unc Saint market, but would add that you should buy the Pre-1920 coins for the best value right now. Finally, I think that you need to be clear in your own mind why you are pursuing this hobby. If it is for beauty and enjoyment, great, but if your main motivation if future profit potential, let me save you some heartache and encourage you to buy financial assets, such as bonds or stocks. Just my 2-cents.

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Beware of slabbed Eagles. There's a ton of them out there raw you can get for less money in the same condition. Collect them if you like looking at them but don't expect it to be an investment opportunity.

Be careful about choosing stocks and bonds too. smirk.gif

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Welcome didntbuyithun - lots of great advice provided above. I also agree that you should buy whatever turns your crank, and don't buy it for the sake of making money, rather only the sake of making yourself happy.

 

I also think that bullion coins are a poor investment, but if you like them (again), a full run of Walking Liberty proof dollars (from 1986 to present) can be a stunning run of coins. Easy to come by and not expensive (except for the 1995-W). I think that the proof eagles, silver, gold, and platinum, are the loveliest of the bullion coins and have a modest numismatic value/interest. I particularly like the vistas of liberty platinum series from 1998-2002. This is truly a commemorative series - honoring liberty across the land - and quite beautiful. But they are expensive in the large denominations.

 

Modern commems? Pick and choose as you please! Many (too many) to choose from.

 

Best of luck in your pursuits. And the offeres for friendly advice given above are priceless.

 

Hoot

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Hmmmm - the mintages are pretty low by todays standards. Most of the coins that are minted - are only bought for their bullion value and therefore not stored correctly or with the intent to preserve condition. The premium for higher grade coins is only slightly above melt value. A lot of today's collectors look down on the coins and consider them not worth collecting.

 

I wonder how many silver or gold coins there were in the past that collectors of that time had the same kind of opinion about. Kinda makes ya think don't it about what may be 20 - 30 - 50 years from now ?

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I'm guilty. I have a full set of Silver Eagles.

 

I like the coin itself - so I enjoy having them. More importantly, I am partially collecting for my current enjoyment, and more significantly to leave an admireable collection to my son. At age nine, he only has a passing understanding of my passion, but I can't help but feel in thirty or so years he may appreciate the beauty and hopefully, the value of such a collection.

 

 

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What timing. Having just left a post here, I turned on the TV and found The Coin World's favorite hacks - The Coin Vault duo hawking a set of PF70 Silver Eagles - 1986-2002.

 

They are promoting the availability of one set of every year in PF70 for the low, low price of:

 

$7,699.95

 

get on the phone now - this won't last! shocked.gif

 

This never ceases to amaze me.

 

(edited to correct formatting)

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Wow, $7,699.95 for a slabbed silver eagle set? I didn't realize that plastic has gone that far up in price? And to think that I have been just giving those empty milk jugs to the recycle guy for nothing.

 

I didn't mean to give the impression on my original post that I was collecting the American eagles strictly as an investment tool. I do like the fact that you can obtain these pristine "coins" for a low price and that they are readily available. Because of this, you can safely buy them on ebay with few surprises. Oh yeah, I also like the design - they kinda give me a feeling of deja vu for some reason. I, however, wanted to think that if my collecting interests changed that there would be a chance that I could recoup a portion (ok, a large portion) of my costs. I have noticed on ebay that there is a tide of interest in particular rarer dates, especially in the silvers. When a particular date is selling very low, I have bought a couple only to sell when the tide has turned. It has not made me rich, but it has fared considerably better than my stocks. It has provided me with a way to support my eagle habit by absorbing some of the costs

 

I really do like some of the classic halves and golds, but I have been watching them on ebay for a rough idea of what to expect. Those collecting days will just have to wait for that next substantial raise.

 

I have also watched the state quarters and have been amazed at how much the slabbed high-end coins are going for. I think that I should be looking at my pocket change a little more closely..... grin.gif

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Some of these dates now wholesale for up to five times bullion. None are made in really large numbers and it's not impossible that demand could outstrip supply. If so many believe that they are unlikely to go up in value and they go to higher prices anyway then there may well be some factors being over-looked. It is worth some interest.

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I have recently purchased a few $5 gold commems. The prices (except for Geo. Washington) were close enough to melt that I feel I am not taking a risk. My interest in these is really focused more on the representation of the Eagle on these coins. Other than that, they are not designs that really turn me on. tongue.gif

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didntbuyithon

 

Welcome to the board and to the hobby. You've asked some great questions and received a lot of sound advice. You're off to a good start by getting as much information as you can before you jump headlong into spending tons of money on the many "rarities".

 

ENJOY!

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I'm guilty. I have a full set of Silver Eagles.

 

I like the coin itself - so I enjoy having them. More importantly, I am partially collecting for my current enjoyment, and more significantly to leave an admireable collection to my son. At age nine, he only has a passing understanding of my passion, but I can't help but feel in thirty or so years he may appreciate the beauty and hopefully, the value of such a collection.

 

Frank, I too am somewhat building a set of these. I initially purchased some slab MS69s from the Coin Vault hacks (turned out not to be a bad deal vs. some of the other dealers I've seen mentioned here and on PCGS). However, now i'm wondering if I should return those and just create a set of mint proofs instead. What is your collection made of?

 

-Ray

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Well, everything shared has been thought provoking for me. On one hand, I like buying precious metal coins (the Eagles) that are affordable, attractive and readily available. On the other hand, I do not want to sink lots of money into something where I will not be able to recuperate a fair share of my costs if my interests change.

 

I have listened to the criticism of collecting the eagles and it has convinced me that while I will continue to collect them, I will not pay the large price tags for the high-grade key date coins. For instance, I have been seeing the 1994 silver eagle, PCGS ms69 steadily going for $300 on ebay. The PCGS ms68 1994 has gone for as little as $15. I will fill these holes of my collection with the lesser grades.

 

I have shifted my focus on the Platinum eagles, as so few of them have been minted and they do not sell for such high premiums over melt as do the silver and gold eagles. Only 6,000 of the 1/10th platinum eagles have been minted so far this year and I hear that this year might be the last due to the difficulty in obtaining adequate stocks.

 

In the mean time, I have acquired a keen interest in the walking liberty halves and have been watching the prices of the high-grades, later dates on ebay - surprisingly affordable. It is probably only a matter of time before I relent.

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Two bullion type coins I like are the Chinese pandas and the Mexican Libertads, particularly the later date ones with the newer design. As much as I love the Weinman walking liberty design, I just think those coins are much more eye appealing.

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