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Early US Commemorative Half Dollars

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Picked up a few over the past few years and now i am hooked.

 

After attending the local coin show here in Richmond, i picked up a few more commems. Last year i picked up the 36 Connecticut since i attended grad school in Hatford and i used to ride my bike past the Charter Oak. Little did i know how much that single coin would cost and i was shocked. After the CT half i picked up a few of the texas commems because i really like the extreme detail on the coin. Fast foward 18 months later, while at the Richmond coin show i picked up the Dansco album for the 55 piece type set as well as a few coins at the show. Although most of these coins have mintages well under 10k amd as little at 2k, they are all readily available.

 

The one thing i will say is you must be patient and do your research before buying any of these coins. Many sellers are way overpriced and there are a lot of counterfeits out there. When i find a coin worthy of a bid i take snapshots and do comparisons with graded coins looking for counterfeits. Bu doing this it really gives you a better idea of how the coin looks as well as pointing out inconsistencies. Every coin i ourchase i weigh them once received and to date i have only received one counterfeit, the seller was more than willing to make it right as he admitted to know nothing about them as he acquired it with other stuff from a rental unit.

 

To date i only need the Hawaii and thw Spainish Trail to complete my Dansco album and i started the complete set in the 2 volume Dansco albums. These coins have amazing high relief detail and really show the artistic creativity of the day not to mention the long term investment potiental.

 

Here is my advice.

 

1. Be patient and dont buy using Buy it Now unless the coin is 20 to 30% below fair market value. Auctions are where the best deals are.

 

2. Study each coin and do detailed comparisons with graded/authentic coins, this will help avoid counterfeits.

 

3. After receiving the coins, weigh them, they should be in the 12.3 to 12.5 grams. The weight could be as low as 12.04 grams but that will be a very worn out slick. Anything higher or lower needs further testing. My brother wound up with 2 counterfeit halves one weighed 11.4 and the other weighed 14.04 grams. Both looked amazing nut they were fake.

 

4. Never ever buy from Russia, China or for that matter oversees. These are where the counterfeits are coming from. Also ask yourself, wjat would someone in Russia, Lithuania pr China be doing with these? Not to say people oversee collect them, it is just too risky to buy from them.

 

6. Only buy from those with perfect or almost perfect feedback.

 

7. Really check out the pictures very well. There is one dealer that has great feedback with about 140k transactions. Their pictures look amazing and their RAW coins sell consistently at graded prices. I made my 1 and only purchase from this particular dealer as the pictures were fantastic only to discover they were all cleaned. The pictures they take do not show cleaning marks or hairlines. After this purchase i looked at their negative feedback only to see that most complaints were about their coins being cleaned. Learned lesson, even with the largest dealers you have to be careful.

 

8. Read all negative feedback. Although some dealers with huge numbers of transactions may have negotiate feedback, read the feedback to see if there is a common complaint.

 

9. Again, be patient and let the coin come to you. As you get started it will be very exciting as you learn about these rare coins so dont jump on each one as they come up.

 

10. Dont be affraid to buy graded coins and worry about cranking them out for the dansco album. If you follow step #1 and get it at the right orice it will be ok to crack them out as they look so much better in the album. Dont get me wrong, some of the higher end graded coins will be better served in their holders.

 

Tom

 

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They make an attractive set of halves and are something of a window on past commemorations and follies. Member "leeg" has a huge repository of fascinating information on these coins.

 

Financially, they have not done well for the past 25 years, so enjoy them and forget about any profit.

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To follow up on RWB's comment, at the Jan FUN show I attended a Scott

Travers presentation , and he identified this area as one that will continue

to underperform in the foreseeable future.

That being said, I love the set's history and wish you much success !

Rich

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Picked up a few over the past few years and now i am hooked.

 

After attending the local coin show here in Richmond, i picked up a few more commems. Last year i picked up the 36 Connecticut since i attended grad school in Hatford and i used to ride my bike past the Charter Oak. Little did i know how much that single coin would cost and i was shocked. After the CT half i picked up a few of the texas commems because i really like the extreme detail on the coin. Fast foward 18 months later, while at the Richmond coin show i picked up the Dansco album for the 55 piece type set as well as a few coins at the show. Although most of these coins have mintages well under 10k amd as little at 2k, they are all readily available.

 

The one thing i will say is you must be patient and do your research before buying any of these coins. Many sellers are way overpriced and there are a lot of counterfeits out there. When i find a coin worthy of a bid i take snapshots and do comparisons with graded coins looking for counterfeits. Bu doing this it really gives you a better idea of how the coin looks as well as pointing out inconsistencies. Every coin i ourchase i weigh them once received and to date i have only received one counterfeit, the seller was more than willing to make it right as he admitted to know nothing about them as he acquired it with other stuff from a rental unit.

 

To date i only need the Hawaii and thw Spainish Trail to complete my Dansco album and i started the complete set in the 2 volume Dansco albums. These coins have amazing high relief detail and really show the artistic creativity of the day not to mention the long term investment potiental.

 

Here is my advice.

 

1. Be patient and dont buy using Buy it Now unless the coin is 20 to 30% below fair market value. Auctions are where the best deals are.

 

2. Study each coin and do detailed comparisons with graded/authentic coins, this will help avoid counterfeits.

 

3. After receiving the coins, weigh them, they should be in the 12.3 to 12.5 grams. The weight could be as low as 12.04 grams but that will be a very worn out slick. Anything higher or lower needs further testing. My brother wound up with 2 counterfeit halves one weighed 11.4 and the other weighed 14.04 grams. Both looked amazing nut they were fake.

 

4. Never ever buy from Russia, China or for that matter oversees. These are where the counterfeits are coming from. Also ask yourself, wjat would someone in Russia, Lithuania pr China be doing with these? Not to say people oversee collect them, it is just too risky to buy from them.

 

6. Only buy from those with perfect or almost perfect feedback.

 

7. Really check out the pictures very well. There is one dealer that has great feedback with about 140k transactions. Their pictures look amazing and their RAW coins sell consistently at graded prices. I made my 1 and only purchase from this particular dealer as the pictures were fantastic only to discover they were all cleaned. The pictures they take do not show cleaning marks or hairlines. After this purchase i looked at their negative feedback only to see that most complaints were about their coins being cleaned. Learned lesson, even with the largest dealers you have to be careful.

 

8. Read all negative feedback. Although some dealers with huge numbers of transactions may have negotiate feedback, read the feedback to see if there is a common complaint.

 

9. Again, be patient and let the coin come to you. As you get started it will be very exciting as you learn about these rare coins so dont jump on each one as they come up.

 

10. Dont be affraid to buy graded coins and worry about cranking them out for the dansco album. If you follow step #1 and get it at the right orice it will be ok to crack them out as they look so much better in the album. Dont get me wrong, some of the higher end graded coins will be better served in their holders.

 

Tom

 

See more journals by TMCGRADY

Regarding your point #1 - If a coin is listed at "fair market value" and you like it, there's nothing wrong with a buy it now at that level. Rarely, will you obtain a coin for 20-30% below fair market value.
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Frankly if you ARE able to buy them 20 - 30% below "fair market value", check them VERY carefully because they are probably a problem coin, a counterfeit, or maybe stolen.

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They certainly are cheap these days. Might be a good time to buy??

 

Which ones and cheap compared to which other coins?

 

I know they are much cheaper (also in nominal prices) versus the bubble peak in 1989. Since the most recent market advance didn't lift their prices (at least noticeably) and $50 silver didn't either, I don't see them ever returning to 1989 levels (adjusted for inflation).

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They are cheap compared to prices 5-10 years ago. Marylands 66 , Elgins 66, Bridgeports 65, Long Islands 65, California 66, are half the price they were. Hawaiians in 64 were $3000, now thats 65 price. Pan Pacs were $2000 in 65, now thats almost 66 price. Wisconsins in 67 are about half the price they were. As a collector who came back in 1998, many of my commems are worth less than what I paid for them, but it was never all about money to me.....

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This is a good time to buy classic commem's. I won a Heritage live auction last night for a Grant gold dollar. Researching a sampling of past auction results, I got the dollar for hundred's less than I would have 4-10 years ago. I have no plans to sell it any time soon.

Gary

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They are cheap compared to prices 5-10 years ago. Marylands 66 , Elgins 66, Bridgeports 65, Long Islands 65, California 66, are half the price they were. Hawaiians in 64 were $3000, now thats 65 price. Pan Pacs were $2000 in 65, now thats almost 66 price. Wisconsins in 67 are about half the price they were. As a collector who came back in 1998, many of my commems are worth less than what I paid for them, but it was never all about money to me.....

 

I agree the coins are cheap versus past prices.

 

I don't know whether they are cheap compared to other coins which a buyer of classic commemoratives might buy as an alternative. My opinion is that this might be true for some but not most.

 

The post after yours mentions the gold commemoratives. To my knowledge, these coins have also lost a lot of value. However, considering recent sales on Heritage and the TPG population counts, I consider these expensive. Heritage lists the last 1903 Jefferson sale at $1997 in PCGS MS-66. The PCGS count in 66 is 563 and NGC is somewhere around 360. In 67, almost a combined 200. Even with duplicates, still seems like a lot of supply for the price..

 

For the silver, I have always liked the Isabella quarter, Lafayette dollar and Sesquicentennial. From a price standpoint though, I understand that some you listed (such as Hawaii and Pan Pac) are among the most popular in the set. However, the price for the supply still does not seem particularly cheap for the supply unless the TPG records contain a lot more duplicates than I believe..

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