Friday, June 14, 2013

Coin Collecting 101: Coin Collecting Themes & Coin Collector Types

Coin collecting is long term hobby that sometimes starts out as fun project and then slowly turns into a serious yet rewarding investment. It is considered one of the oldest hobbies and was practiced by kings; thus is often referred to as ‘King of Hobbies.’ There are many different types of numismatists out there with different preferences, goals and budgets. Some prefer collecting coins from a particular country while others prefer coins from a certain mint.

coin collector types & themes

Here are at The Happy Coin, we talk to a variety of folks who collect coins for different purposes; here is a brief summary about various coin collector themes and types of numismatists.

Types of Coin Collectors

  1. “Just for Fun” Novice - Someone who collects coins as he comes across them. He doesn’t have a specific theme and relies on friends or family to give him the coins. A good example would be collecting coins from other countries or someone who is collecting quarters from all 50 US states. 
  2. Hobbyist - Someone who collects coins for hobby. He is in the beginning stages and wants to own a small specific collection without spending a lot of money. He prefers trading coins with members of his coin club or sometimes the local coin shop. Hobbyist will usually have coins in their collection which are easily available for purchase.
  3. Generalist - Someone who has coins from all around the world including rare and valuable coins. He has the money to spend on building his collection. Most of the coins will have a story to tell but the collection overall will not have a focus.
  4. Specialist - Someone who is the opposite of the generalist, he specializes in one particular collection and pools his finances in building a particular collection. It could focus on collecting commemoratives coins or mint sets. Most serious collectors fall under this category.
  5. Completists - Someone who wants to build a complete collection of coins from a particular category. This is a difficult task and is a rare occurrence.

Themes in Coin Collecting

We have listed some of the popular themes in coin collecting below:
  1. Series/Year Collection - Collecting coins  from a particular series that dates to every year such as Barber Quarters or Lincoln Cents
  2. Mint Mark Collection - Collecting coins from a particular mint such as Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark) or San Francisco mint (mint mark S)
  3. Date Collection - Collecting coins from a particular year. For example, 1909-S Lincoln VDB penny, 1909 Indian Head Cent, 1909-S St.Gaudens Double Eagle $20 gold coin, 1909 Barber quarter etc.
  4. Theme Collection - Collecting coins with a theme such as coins with Presidents on them.
  5. Error Collection - Collecting coins that have an error on them such Three legged Buffalo Nickel or 1955 Double Die Lincoln Cent.
We are curious to know what type of coin collector you are, and what kind of collection you have. Let us know in the comments below!

At The Happy Coin, your satisfaction really is our number one goal.  From tracking down hard-to-find coins for you, offering free shipping with free insurance on every purchase and having an easy return policy, we want you to be a satisfied coin collector.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Guess The US President On The Coin – Jeopardy! Style

As a coin collector, you are probably passionate about the coins you collect. You may also be trying to learn all the facts about them. You might actually know a lot of details about some of the rare and valuable coins you have in your collection. But do you think you know enough about the coins that you use in everyday life such as the penny, dime or nickel? As a coin dealer, we wanted to make sure that you not only learn about rare coins from us, you also get to know the not-so-rare coins.
In this blog post, we focused on US Presidents that have been featured on coins. We have designed it in Jeopardy! style with 5 clues to guess each President. All the answers are posted at the end of the post. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started:

US President on Coins

Question 1:
  1. This President has been featured on the coin since 1909.
  2. The coin was designed by Victor David Benner.
  3. This coin was minted to celebrate the centennial year of his birth.
  4. He was the 16th President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 1 cent.
Question 2:
  1. This President has been featured on the coin since 1938.
  2. The coin was designed by Jamie Franki.
  3. The President’s house “Monticello” is featured on the reverse of the coin.
  4. He was the 3rd President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 5 cents.
Question 3:
  1. This President has been featured on the coin since 1946.
  2. The coin was designed by John R Sinnock.
  3. The coin was minted to honor the efforts of his work for National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (popularly known as March of Dimes).
  4. He was the 32nd President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 10 cents.
Question 4:
  1. This President has been featured on the coin since 1932.
  2. The coin was designed by John Flanagan.
  3. The coin was minted to celebrate the bicentennial year of his birth.
  4. He was the 1st President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 25 cents.
Question 5:
  1. This President has been featured on the coin since 1964.
  2. The coin was designed by Gilroy Roberts.
  3. The coin was minted as a memorial to his death.
  4. He was the 35th President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 50 cents.
Question 6:
  1. This President was featured on the coin from 1971 to 1978.
  2. The coin was designed by Frank Gasparro.
  3. The coin was minted to commemorate his death and landing of Apollo 11 on the moon.
  4. He was the 34th President of the United States.
  5. The coin is valued at 1 dollar.

And the answers are:
  • Answer 1: Who is Abraham Lincoln?
  • Answer 2: Who is Thomas Jefferson?
  • Answer 3: Who is Franklin D. Roosevelt?
  • Answer 4: Who is George Washington?
  • Answer 5: Who is John F. Kennedy?
  • Answer 6: Who is Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Wondering why none of the recent Presidents are featured on the coins? By law, no living person can appear on circulating American money and a person can be featured on a coin only if they have been dead for at least two years. The two exceptions are the Roosevelt Dime and Kennedy Half Dollar. Learn more about coins at The Happy Coin website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 Recommended Coins For Every Coin Collector’s Cabinet

Below is a list of some of the coins that we recommend to collectors wishing to add some numismatic gravitas to their coin collection. These coins are visually appealing, often absolute or conditional rarities and, as such, casual collectors to advanced numismatists covet these coins. They are issues that have an easily identifiable historical price trajectory. While the coin market is speculative and past history is no guarantee of the future performance, it can, however, be a useful place to start. Careful analysis of the data surrounding each coin should be a vital part of any numismatic acquisition. Mintages, survival estimates, rarity and originality are some of the factors we consider when selecting a coin.

1. 1856 Flying Eagle Cent
  • Designed by James Barton Longacre
  • Original Mintage estimates are between 2000-3000 coins
It interesting to note that in May of 2003, an NGC VF 30 specimen sold at a Heritage auction for $6900. In August 2011, the exact same coin sold at auction, also Heritage, for $9775. In Top Population MS 66, PCGS has indicated a population of 2, with three auction appearances in the last 12 years…$83,375 in June of 2000, $103,500 in January of 2003 and finally a stunning $172,500 in January of 2004. This is with a 2 coin population, so that is a fairly compelling statement on the desirability of this issue.

2. 1911-D Strong D $2.50 Quarter Eagle
Designed by Bela Lyon Pratt with a scant original mintage of 55680, this is the key date to the Indian Quarter Eagle series. It has a somewhat spotty price history, but better quality issues seem to always bring strong money. In May of 2000, and NGC AU 50 example sold for $1335 and in September of 2012 another NGC AU 50 sold for $4994. Higher grade examples are very difficult to obtain, and as with all coins, quality and originality are key factors. These higher grade records indicate some nice appreciation…In February of 2000 a PCGS MS 64 sold for $16,962 and another in August of 2012 for $24,675. As with most coins, CAC stickers always seem to enhance the value and liquidity of the Quarter Eagles.

3. 1907 High Relief Double Eagle
This is thought by many to be the most beautiful coin ever minted. It was famously designed by Augustus St. Gaudens at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was said to be disappointed by the lack of beauty in American Coinage. While the original mintage figure of 11,250 seems somewhat low, the coin is generally available in a wide condition range. The general consensus is that this coin is popular due to its beauty. Nevertheless, the price history is fairly strong for examples displaying overall quality and originality.  In July of 2002, a PCGS AU58 sold for $6,210. In November of 2011 another of the same grade hammered for $13,800. In October of 2002, a PCGS MS 64 sold for $16,100.Ten years later, in October of 2012, another PCGS MS 64 sold for $32,900.
1907 $20 High Relief Wire Rim PCGS & CAC MS64
1907 $20 High Relief Wire Rim PCGS & CAC MS64

Please call The Happy Coin to find out more about adding any of these coins to your collection…800-544-3750. Chris Moran is a full time coin dealer and a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild. See his website at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Collect Coins?

Chris Moran, a full time coin dealer, PNG Member and owner of the website, The Happy Coin, explores the reasons behind why people collect coins in his recent November 5th 2012 article in the Member Articles section on the CAC website. As someone passionate about numismatics. Chris says that he was highly influenced by his grandfather’s numismatic acumen and enthusiasm. For him, the coins that his grandfather collected and left to him are part of a “direct connection” he has to the memory of his grandfather. When working with clients, he has come across many reasons why people collect coins, some common and others less so. His favorite motivations are grounded in a client’s desire to acquire an important rarity or invest in something tangible and meaningful that might one day become part of their intellectual, emotional and financial legacy.

Read the complete November 5th 2012 article at…

Monday, September 24, 2012

Morgan Silver Dollar

One of the most popular coins for coin collectors that is always in demand is the Morgan Silver Dollar. Mint quality uncirculated Morgan Dollars are very popular among new collectors and experienced numismatists and coin dealers alike. The Morgan Dollar was a United States Silver One Dollar coin minted between 1878 and 1904, and for one year in 1921 and it was named after its designer George T. Morgan. On the obverse, you’ll see the profile portrait of lady Liberty and the Reverse features an eagle with wings outstretched, clasping arrows and an olive branch. The Morgan Dollar weighs 26.73 grams, and reaches 38.1 mm in diameter; the composition is 90% silver and 10% copper.

Here are some fun facts about the Morgan Silver Dollar:
  • The Morgan Dollar is also known as the Liberty Head dollar.
  • In 1873, there was no provision made for silver dollars by the US government. The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 changed this and brought back the silver dollar into circulation.
  • The minting of the (90% silver-composed) Morgan Dollar stopped in 1904 because silver reserves were depleted.
  • 17 years after its production was stopped, the Morgan Dollar was again minted once in 1921, by melting and re-coining millions of silver dollars.
  • The Morgan Dollar was replaced by the Peace Dollar in 1921.
  • In 2006, the reverse design showing the eagle was used to commemorate the San Francisco Mint on a modern commemorative.
  • “CC” in the mint mark stands Carson City, Nevada.
  • It was minted in Philadelphia, San Francisco (mint mark: S), Denver (mint mark: D), New Orleans (mint mark: O) and Carson City (mint mark: CC).
  • The 1895 Morgan Dollar, also known as the “King of Morgan Dollars,” is one of the most valuable coins of the entire series.
  • The designer George T. Morgan’s initial ‘M’ can be found at the neck on the obverse side.
  • There are 13 stars on the obverse side.

Interested in buying the Morgan Silver Dollar? Looking to find the best deal on one? The Happy Coin is a certified coin dealer that sells hard-to-find certified coins & currency online. We sell all the popular coins such as Lincoln Cents, Buffalo Head Nickels, Barber Dimes, Kennedy Half Dollar, Morgan Dollar, etc. We carry both silver and gold coins.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why Collect Coins?

As unique and different as every piece of currency are the reasons why an individual collects coins. Whether you’re experienced or just beginning in numismatics, perhaps one – or all - of these reasons is why you’re invested in the wonderful hobby of coin collecting. Though discussed below are five reasons some get engaged in the coin collecting hobby, there are a myriad of other reasons that have brought individuals to numismatics.

  1. History: every coin has a deep and rich history. From the economic conditions of the year it was minted, to the figureheads or important symbols represented on the coins and even to the history of its production year, coins tell a story. Even the hobby of coin collecting itself dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians, around 650 B.C. If you enjoy learning about the past and have a passion for the government and history, coin collecting is right for you.
  2. Hobby: like any collection – whether its coins, buttons, Beanie babies, baseball cards or anything else – the joy of the hobby itself might be what draws you in. Coin collecting is an extremely intriguing and investigative hobby. Some collectors spend months, if not years, researching and then searching for an extremely valuable and unique coin. Experienced numismatists can often very quickly identify the worth and history of a coin seen at coin shows, trade shows, fairs or antique malls.
  3. Meet Others: one of the most enjoyable benefits to collecting coins is the ability to meet and exchange with other currency enthusiasts. At The Happy Coin, one of our biggest joys is being able to foster coin exchanges through our vast and ever expanding network.
  4. Challenge: the practice of collecting or trading coins can pose a challenge. For extremely demanding Want lists, finding all the rare coins to complete it grants a certain sense of accomplishment. Tracking down various coin dealers and individual coin collectors to uncover that one, unique coin is like solving a particularly taxing puzzle – both mentally challenging and fulfilling.
  5. Business/Money: as one of the world’s oldest hobbies, coin collecting has always been a hobby associated with money. Not only does the hobby itself literally deal with the exchange of, or collection of, money, but the certain pieces of currency themselves often times possess a worth that far exceeds their face value. If you have the knack for finding valuable coins at low prices, trading or selling can become a profitable business endeavor.

Why do you collect coins? When did you start your own collection? Comment below – we love to hear your personal stories!