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New Life In The Coin Market

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2008-01-12 02:48:38     
Article by Larry E. Smith

It took the 50 States quarters program, introduced in 1999, to breathe new life into the coin collecting hobby. Millions of American people began once again to check their pocket change looking for tougher dates and a prolific number of error coins. Regardless of where you live, in good times and bad, using coins as a means of making a profit has been a key factor in many people being involved in the hobby. It is exciting to the metal detecting hobby too as thousands of users in the US are competing to be the first to complete a set of all 50 states.

I got started coin collecting in the boom era of US coin collecting back in the 1960's. Coin prices soared to all time highs as the uncirculated roll market was a phenomena unequaled in its power to attract collectors and investors. The 1950 D Jefferson Nickel rolls are a classic example of this boom. This roll sold for as much as $1200- a price of $30 per coin in the 40 coin roll. As a college student, I would go to coin club meetings and purchase BU rolls of Morgans and Walking Liberty halves for $30 to $40 and double or triple my money the very next day. Good spending and expense money for a student who was working about 30 hours a week to help pay for my education. But the roll boom sputtered in the second half of the decade and late-date rolls have never regained the influence they enjoyed in the hobby at that time. This drop in importance reflected a growing knowledge that coins that could be purchased in roll or bag quantities were not likely to become scarce or desirable to serious coin collectors. The coin collecting emphasis began to shift to single coins with low mintages and superior quality.

The ending of silver minted coins in the 1960's also led many US hobbyists to back away from coin collecting. Almost overnight the silver coins disappeared from circulation and could not be found in pocket change. The inability of finding scarce collectibles in their small change removed the most important factor for participation in the hobby and the marketplace. In 1999, it happened again! These popular 50 States quarters have all of us looking at our change again. My 80 year old Mom has purchased BU rolls of all issues for her and her grandson. Children of all ages have folders and albums for their coins and some of them are also educational tools that geography and history teachers are utilizing. As a treasure hunter, every new one I find brings almost as much excitement as a good silver or gold coin. If you are new to the hobby of metal detecting or to coin collecting, the 50 States quarters are a good place to begin. Here's to "diggin' it"!

Larry

Specialized in: Life - Coin Market
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