• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Newbie Questions

5 posts in this topic

I started getting the coin collecting bug again with the release of the statehood quarters back in 1999. I used to collect Lincoln cents as a kid but haven't done any collecting over the past 20 years or so. However, I really got the bug again helping my other half settle her family's estate after he Mom passed away. Her Dad had a nice modern coin collection, i.e., 1970-1990 proof sets (he passed away in 90), some mint sets from the same years, some commemorative sets from the 80s and also a number of American Eagle silver proofs and gold proof sets. He also had some old currency, a few Morgan and Peace dollars, a few walkers, etc.


I picked up a Red Book in order to help assign a value to the collection for my other half's family estate and also to learn a bit more about the coins I'm interested in. Thus, over the last month or so I've been thinking about picking up the 1999-2002 Silver Proof Sets (mainly for the statehood quarters). I might eventually try to put together an entire proof set collection as well. I also was quite taken by the American Eagles and have decided to put together a set of those as well. For non-modern coins I've decided to start with putting together a set of Peace dollars.


Last week I stumbled across SAH network's Coin Vault at about 1:00 .a.m. when the movie I had been watching ended. Needless to say I got all caught up in it and a few of the deals looked okay so I got a couple. I ordered 2 sets of 5 AU/BU Peace Dollars because according to the Red Book the price was decent to good depending on the years they shipped. I also picked up 7 slabbed NGC MS69 American Eagles.


Of course over the weekend I discovered this message forum and read a number of posts regarding American Eagles and their lack of collector value, etc. I also read a number of posts regarding the Coin Vault and their practices. I actually became skeptical of the guys pitches when I watched that first bit, but by the second time I caught it (I was keeping my eye out for it) I definitely caught on to him over hyping the value of some of their stuff especially PF70UC American Eagles, etc. I really like the Eagles so I'm not really trying to buy them for an invenstment, but if they turned out to be that it would be a plus. I've researched the ones I purchased and have determined that the deal I got was pretty decent compared to some other dealers mentioned in this forum, i.e., I payed about $25 to $35 less for my "set". My question is whether is what people thought about putting together a collection of just mint released proofs vs. the slabbed MS69s. I could perhaps see putting together a set of PF69s in lieu of the MS69s as well. I can return the MS69s so any input would be appreciated.


As for the Peace Dollars the 2 "sets" I got turned out to be a bit of a rip. However, if I put together 1 "set" and return the other it isn't that bad of a deal. I mostly got 22s, but did get two 23s and two 24s. I think I may keep a couple of the 22s, the 23s, and one of the 24s. Based on the Red Book this would make the $80 I paid for this "set" just a little high by a few bucks. My question is how do I determine if they were cleaned, wizzed, etc? I've seen a few posts on this forum cautioning against this. I only have a few more days to decide if I want to return them all or just a "set". I also have been eyeing Ken Post's Coast To Coasts website thinking that I would pick up some more raw Peace Dollars from him for my collection, but I just ran across a thread here that had some negative remarks with his company. Can anybody recommend a good dealer to pick up some raw Peace Dollars from in the AU55 or MS60-62 grade from? I may by some slabbed coins, but for now I'm tyring to follow the "buy the coin not the slab" mantra. shocked.gif


Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ray - Glad to have you in the forum.


A couple of thoughts... Your idea about a PF69 set of moderns (any or all modern series from about 1978 to present) is a reasonable goal. Quite a few people collect such series and there are a lot of coins of that grade out there, with few exceptions. Collect what you like, so if ou like American Eagle bullion coins, all the merrier. The proofs of those coins are the only ones with any margin of collector value, although some folks really like the MS versions, otherwise meant strictly for their bullion value.


As for the Peace dollars, I don't really know what to recommend, but given that you bought them off of TV, I'd send back as many as you can. Next, buy some books on Peace dollars, grading, and recognizing cleaned coins. Go to www.money.org (the website for the ANA) and look for books to suit your needs. Also look in the recommended books/literature thread on these boards. Read all you can and in the meantime go to as many dealers as you can and begin looking at a lot of coins. After a while you will settle on the look that you like in the series you like and that is the time to begin consideration of buying. There's a lot of material to peruse on the internet as well.


As an aside to the above, you may wish to hold on to the coins you have until you have decided what you truly like. This can take a while - often a year or more.


Coast to Coast coins... I once recommended them as a company I liked to deal with - and they are easy to deal with in terms of customer relations. But! They clean most of their coins. Period. For example, there is virtually no such thing as a BU bust half dollar, but they advertise them in abundance. They advertise all kinds of BU this and BU that. It's all cleaned, some of it severely, and much of it is XF-AU material. This is deadly and with silver coins that can hide "rub" well in a brilliiant surface, it is a trap waiting to spring. Avoid it with any dealer. Learning to recognize AU coins is one of the most fundamental things that you can do for yourself, and don't buy raw coins until you can. I learned the hard way. You don't have to.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree 100 % with all. Now I don't collect American Eagles...I do have a couple proofs I bought from the mint...I personally feel that if you're buying Eagles for collector purposes, don't buy the certified stuff from Coin Vault...just go buy nice uncs from a dealer. Even Coast to Coast is good for that. But if you want NGC MS69 Eagles and they make you happy, well that's what collecting is all about. Beyond bullion value, I'm betting they won't provide much investment potential...


Now about Coast to Coast...great customer service...but boy did I get burned on cleaned and AU coins. It was just so easy to go to them, and prices were good (too good...should've been first red flag). Finally started catching on:

1. Hearing other more experienced collectors at the coin club talk about them...

2. Seemed like all my Morgans had "weak strikes"


The final straw came when I took a couple of my prized Carson dollars to 2 local dealers to send them in for grading...both told me the coins were cleaned and wouldn't be graded...can you imagine a dealer not taking his cut for sending stuff in if they weren't honest.....now not everything I bought from them seemed cleaned or overgraded (just the big ticket stuff). There's no easy answer, but I wouldn't buy from them or any other big mail order house until you feel comfortable that you know what you're looking at as far as cleaning....and if you do buy, don't be afraid to use the return policy for any reason...if nothing else Coast to Coast is real good about honoring that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



welcome to the forum.


First thing I would do is send back everything you got off tv. It's over priced, the silver dollars have most likely been rubbed to death. You can much better material at your local coin dealer and from reputable ebay sellers. The forum members here can steer you in the right direction regarding good sellers.


enjoy the hobby.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses and all the advice. My other half's Mom had a Bausch & Lomb rectangular reading magnifier that she let me have. I spent some time with it and the Peace dollars I had bought from the Coin Vault hacks. Under magnification I could see what I perceived to be the small lines that I believe are due to the coins being "rubbed". Thus, I sent all 10 of 'em back yesterday. I was sort of bummed that I had to send back the cool Air-Tite cases they came in but I have found a dealer on the net that sells them so all-in-all I guess I'm going to be out about $10 for the shipping, i.e., $3 to get them to me and $7 to have send 'em back insured to SAH.


I'm still out to lunch on what to do with the MS69 American Eagles though. As I mentioned in my last post the deal was an okay one so I don't know whether to build out a complete set of them or to return them and shoot for PR69s or PF69s. I may also will have the opportunity to buy the silver eagles (and the gold ones I imagine) from my other half's family estate at grey sheet prices so part of me thinks I should see what becomes of that and then perhaps just complete a set of mint proofs, i.e., non-slabbed proofs. Then again since I really do like the SAEs so much I may just have to put a set of BUs together in a Dansco albumn so I can keep em at home to look at and the others in the safety deposit box until I get a safe for the house. wink.gif


I do want to stick with building a Peace collection so I'm trying to decide on building an CH AU or a low-end MS. I'm going to start with a 1921 and those seem to be a bit pricey in the MS grades. I've been scouring eBay and online merchant for slabbed 1921s because I'm taking Hoot's advice and buying slabbed until I can for sure detect a cleaned coin. I still will be buying a coin that I like not necessarily the plastic. cool.gif Can anybody suggest some "safe" ebay merchants and some on-line merchants as well that they've done business with. Also, and suggestions for coin dealers in the metropolitan Phoenix area would be appreciated as well.



Link to comment
Share on other sites