Have lots of coins
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I concur with Hoopster. Buy the book, even if it is a year or two old. You can learn a great deal by looking at your coins through the book. Grading them is another issue. Either choose an ANA dealer or spend the bucks to have them graded. Just to be honest, just because you have “lots” of coins, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have anything other than face value. The book can be a great guide for this.

Edited by Mr.Bill347
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I am a newer collector, other than going thru pocket change and rolls, and one of the things I really struggled with at first, and I am still working on, is grading coins in general.  I would get a handle on that first before you go thru the coins.  I got the latest 2023 ED of the Red Book (RB) which has the 2022 prices.  Strange, but that's how they do it, and in the RB there are basic grading descriptions for each major type of coin (e.g. Morgan 1878-1921) which I find helpful.

I also got the ANA Grading Standards Book 7th ED which I am finding very helpful, with both pictures and detailed descriptions of each grade for the major coin types, including all 10 MS grades 60 thru 70.  Although for now I am just lumping all MS grades together in either BU or Gem BU and will work on the more nuanced difference between say an MS-65 and MS-66 when I have more experience.

And of course, there are additional online references for grading like the PCGS Photograde which includes guidelines for appearance or eye appeal, but I found I needed a basic handle on major grades (e.g. G vs F) before the lightbulbs started going off with the different picture grades and appearances with only very basic descriptions ... PCGS Photograde Online

Just my 2 (Indian Head) Nickels :grin:

00 Book - Red Book 2023 ED Cover - Small.jpg

00 Book - ANA Grading Standards 7th ED Cover - Small.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
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Sound advice above, if you know nothing about coins or how they are made you will see many minor production defects and think you have hit the jackpot.   The US mint is a high through put production facility with acceptable tolerances for production.   Once you learn how coins are made and what is an error or not (use the link that @Oldhoopster provided) and save yourself (and us) a ton of grief.   Also know in advance that the hype videos on you tube about how everyone has millions of dollars in valuable coins in their pockets is total garbage, just a hook to get clicks, if that were true we would all be on a beach somewhere instead of on here advising other folks. 

The red book is an essential tool for coin collectors, if you do not wish to buy one at first you can usually find one to check out at a public library.

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Btw, does anyone know why the 2023 RB has the 2022 prices?  Were they constantly behind a year, and then at some point got caught up and were like ... "Oh well, we can just add a year to the title"? :insane:

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On 8/5/2022 at 2:01 PM, EagleRJO said:

Btw, does anyone know why the 2023 RB has the 2022 prices?  Were they constantly behind a year, and then at some point got caught up and were like ... "Oh well, we can just add a year to the title"? :insane:

A book called 2023 goes ON SALE in April of 2022. BEFORE April of 2022 it has to be edited, printed, and distributed. And the new pages need to be written. So the book dated 2023 is “put to bed” likely in late 2021. See the problem?

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Yea, I had heard that by the time the RB comes out the prices are already outdated, but they try to make that one of the last clean up items.  Decent guide, although somewhat low in general sometimes.  I was just curious why they don't name the edition the year it comes out ... e.g. earlier this year I bought the RD titled 2023 Edition, not 2022.

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On 8/5/2022 at 4:34 PM, EagleRJO said:

Yea, I had heard that by the time the RB comes out the prices are already outdated, but they try to make that one of the last clean up items.  Decent guide, although somewhat low in general sometimes.  I was just curious why they don't name the edition the year it comes out ... e.g. earlier this year I bought the RD titled 2023 Edition, not 2022.

I buy one every 20 years lol I actually look for old ones.  

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On 8/5/2022 at 3:34 PM, EagleRJO said:

Yea, I had heard that by the time the RB comes out the prices are already outdated, but they try to make that one of the last clean up items.  Decent guide, although somewhat low in general sometimes.  I was just curious why they don't name the edition the year it comes out ... e.g. earlier this year I bought the RD titled 2023 Edition, not 2022.

Low what? Prices? No way on earth! If anything, the prices in the Red Book are ridiculously HIGH! I’ve never paid anywhere near a Red Book price for any coin. 

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On 8/5/2022 at 4:34 PM, EagleRJO said:

Yea, I had heard that by the time the RB comes out the prices are already outdated, but they try to make that one of the last clean up items.  Decent guide, although somewhat low in general sometimes.  I was just curious why they don't name the edition the year it comes out ... e.g. earlier this year I bought the RD titled 2023 Edition, not 2022.

At best, The Red Book has prices that are in the ballpark.  Under no circumstances should anybody use them over recent auction prices going back a few months or so. (thumbsu

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Collectors can use Redbook prices to get an idea of which dates are common and which dates are better and may require additional research.  

Many Mercury dimes for example, are priced at bullion value in circulated grades, but a quick scan will easily tell you that the 21 and 21D are better dates.  As a bonus to the new collector, it shows them where to find the mm and some basic grading info.

  

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On 8/5/2022 at 11:02 PM, VKurtB said:

Low what? Prices? No way on earth! If anything, the prices in the Red Book are ridiculously HIGH! I’ve never paid anywhere near a Red Book price for any coin. 

Yes, for many of the moderately priced Trade Dollars as well as Morgans I have been looking into (earlier CC's, some late 1890's, and more recent "O" mint coins) Red Book has definitely been low compared to PCGS/NGC valuations and auction summaries, as well as actual sale prices at Great Collections and eBay.  And those are eBay sale prices, and not listings which are "pie-in-the-sky-let-me-see-if-I-can-sell-to-a-sucker-prices" sometimes, often with cleaned or dipped garbage.

An example I am watching prices on now is an 1893-O Morgan $1 graded XF-40.  Red Book lists the value as $525.  The PCGS value is at $750 which references auctions from 03/2022 to 07/2022 as going for between $630 to $797.  Actual sale prices at Great Collections from Oct 2021 thru July 2022 (not referenced in the PCGS values) are between $692 and $984 with most in the low to mid $700 range, consistent with the $750 PCGS valuation for the XF 1893-O Morgan, and about 40% higher than RB.  This has been the case for quite a few coins I am looking at.  It looks like to me that prices have significantly spiked starting the end of last year to the beginning of this year, which I am hoping is just an anomaly with too many bored people having extra pandemic cash to spend.  :grin:

1895-O Morgan $1 Prices PCGS & GC.jpg

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You may be right historically and possibly for coins other than the ones I have been looking at which include the older/newer Morgans, ASEs. Trade Dollars, Peace Dollars as well as many of the older/newer quarters and half dollars.  I still use RB and Coin World for a rough idea on values, particularly when looking at differences between say a $50 coin vs a $500 coin, and then I dig deeper from there [looking at NGC/PCGS values and auction results] if I am actually interested.  In any event, it just seems like prices have been ridiculous lately, and I'm hoping a momentary fad from having extra money to spend that passes.

Edited by EagleRJO
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On 8/6/2022 at 1:02 PM, EagleRJO said:

You may be right historically and possibly for coins other than the ones I have been looking at which include the older/newer Morgans, ASEs. Trade Dollars, Peace Dollars as well as many of the older/newer quarters and half dollars.  I still use RB and Coin World for a rough idea on values, particularly when looking at differences between say a $50 coin vs a $500 coin, and then I dig deeper from there if I am actually interested.  In any event, it just seems like prices have been ridiculous lately, and I'm hoping a momentary fad from having extra money to spend that passes.

Yes, there is an unsustainable bubble recently in rarer pieces. 

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On 8/6/2022 at 12:49 PM, EagleRJO said:

It looks like to me that prices have significantly spiked starting the end of last year to the beginning of this year, which I am hoping is just an anomaly with too many bored people having extra pandemic cash to spend. 

Yes, and that exogenous demand factor has abated...but prices are sticky to the downside.  The premiums could last for years -- or longer -- so if you see something you like, you may just have to pay up.

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@Forget69  it sounds like you are already off to a good start by separating the denominations. Now just look at them and you’ll see some look better than others with either less damage or color. Look at the red book, or an online site, to rough grade them.  If you made it this far, welcome to the hobby.  You likely have some great finds.    

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