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picked up a new book tonight - anyone need a US go


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I like vintage books, and vintage coin books are really cool! I picked up a 1884 book entitled 'The Current Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations" The spine is coming a bit loose, but hte pages have beautiful sketches or lithos of the coins, nice detail indeed! I really get a kick out of the 'current value' of these coins listed, when one compares them to today's prices for the same coins.

 

Notably, there is a multi-page section in the back that says 'actual value of US Gold, Silver, Copper, Bronze and Nickel Coins'. Below that heading points out that the prices are based on auction results compiled by the authors between Jan. and July 1883. Here are some examples quoted:

 

"Gold Double Eagles"

"1849: Only one coin known to exist, which still remains in the coin cabinet o the US Mint in Philadelphia. This unique piece stamps, therefore, all other double eagles with the date 1849 as base imitations.

1850: a sharp, uncirculated impression sold at $26

1851 - 1870: uncirculated issues, worth $22 to $25

1871 - 1882: Proofs, $23 - $25; uncirculated $21 to $22.50

1883: Brillant Proof, $20.50 - $21.00"

 

 

note: it goes on to distinguish between 'brillant proof' and 'proof' in gold coins. The former "exhibit a burnished, mirror-like, reflecting surface", while the latter coins are "former brillant proof coins that are soiled or tarnished"

 

 

"Gold Eagles - Uncirculated condition"

" 1795: $15.75

1796: $ 20.00

1797: $ 16.50" etc, etc.

 

 

 

"Gold Half Eagles"

"The gold Half Eagle of 1815 is the rarest coin of the United States series. Only about three genuine specimens are known. One coin is now in the cabinet of Mr. Garrett, in Baltimore, for which he paid, June 26, 1883, $400.00. The second one is at present in a museum in Europe, and the third is supposed to be in the collection of the King of Sweden. An 1815 Half Eagle in the collection of Col. Adams is generally considered of very doubtful parentage."

 

 

The book goes on to details the other gold issues, all of the US silver dollars up to 1883, and the rest of the coinage produced up to that point.

 

I'll be happy to look up the 'actual values' for anyone's coin if they would like, just let me know the type and year. Overall, this is a pretty cool book, and a window into the souls of the early US coin collectors.

 

 

 

Doug :ninja:

 

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According to the westegg.com inflation calculator:

 

1795 gold eagle was worth $20 in 1883 money which is equivalent to $383 in 2005 money.

 

That 1815 half eagle worth $400 in 1883 would cost us $7645 in 2005 money.

 

See what supply and demand has done to make today's values much less budget-friendly!

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Very cool book !!! :ninja:

 

Now, who has a time machine I could borrow ... :lol:

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Very cool book! And I bet there were still millions of people back then that still though it insane to pay more than face value for a coin!

 

Out of curiousity, what does it say about the Civil War issues? Or the 1857-S and 1865-S coins that are now more plentiful from the SS Central America and SS Brother Jonathan?

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Very cool book!  And I bet there were still millions of people back then that still though it insane to pay more than face value for a coin!

 

Out of curiousity, what does it say about the Civil War issues?  Or the 1857-S and 1865-S coins that are now more plentiful from the SS Central America and SS Brother Jonathan?

 

 

I forgot to bring the book to work with me, i'll look it up tonight and report back. good point, i'm now anxious to look up other "rare" gold/silver issues to see what it reports.

 

 

Doug

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Very cool book!  And I bet there were still millions of people back then that still though it insane to pay more than face value for a coin!

 

Out of curiousity, what does it say about the Civil War issues?  Or the 1857-S and 1865-S coins that are now more plentiful from the SS Central America and SS Brother Jonathan?

 

 

The values in the back of the book doesn't specify minmarks when talking about the auction prices. It only speaks of the year, with the amount. Strange to think about, considering how much more rare a coin can be with a different mintmark.

 

Regarding Half Eagles, there is no price increase over the previous years for the Civil War timeframe, except the 1863. It lists the 1863 Half Eagle as:

" Brillant Proof, $27.00 Very scarce, only thirty coined"

 

The same can be said for the Double Eagles, Eagles, and Quarter Eagles; there is no price increase for the war years. Also, I can't find any mention of either ships sinking or the dates you mentioned being more scarce/expensive.

 

 

Some of the "dollar" coins seem to be highly prized, in looking at their auction prices. Some of the more notable ones are:

 

"1794: Flowing Hair, head sharply struck, the profile, eye and hair perfect; the legend and date very plain. Upon reverse, the eye and eagle and all other finer lines very sharp and distinct; $160.00 "

 

"1804: On the 24th of May 1883, Mr. O.H. Berg of Baltimore, offered in New York City, at auction, a dollar of 1804. Obverse, evenly and handsomely struck; reverse, slightly double struck. Although a little worn by circulation, it is classed as very fine. The upper right star is very close to the letter "Y" in LIBERTY - barely escapes touching it - while the upper star on the left is very far from the letter "L". It sold to Mr. Garrett, of Baltimore Md., for $740.00 "

 

"1836: Flying Eagle, "Gobrecht" in field; eagle and stars. Brillant Proof, $71 "

 

"1851-1854: Brillant proof issues, $68 each"

 

"1873 Trade Dollar, Brillant Proof, $3 "

 

check this out!

 

"Half Dollar"

 

"1795: There was also sold, on January 29, 1883, in New York, a 1795 half dollar which formerly belonged to Mr. Chas. P. Britton, of New York City, which had its obverse countermarked at the British Mint with small head of George III., for $20.25"

 

Wow, i bet you don't see those often!

 

 

Anyone have any other quarters, dimes, nickels or pennies they want looked up?

 

 

Doug

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Are there varieties such as double dies listed?

 

 

Remember in Back to the Future II when Biff has the book that tells the outcome of every sports game through 1985? What if we could do the same thing with coins and snatch them all up before the prices became astronomical! Wow...

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