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Looking to buy some silver dollars... tips?


TreasureGirl
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Not looking for an Internet deal (no offense guys, but I have no experience with that and want to see the coin in person before committing to a buy), but I was just wondering what to look for/be warned of when purchasing coins like Morgan, Barber, or Peace dollars. Since I'm just a poor college kid, I'm just looking for types - preferably relatively low wear and common dates - my collection is sadly without a single silver dollar.

 

Mostly, I just want to make an informed purchase since I've never spent more than $10 on a single coin. Thanks everyone!

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There are a lot of common date Morgan and Peace dollars available that have great eye appeal. You can find an AU/BU common dollar for just a bit over melt. (By the way there are Morgan Dollars and Peace Dollars but no Barber dollars). Any reputable dealer will have a number of coins for you to choose from. If you have a local coin club, they usually have a sale or auction and this can be a great place to find decent coins. Most of the people are happy to help a newcomer with advice and to make sure that your purchases match your desires.

 

Good luck.

 

By the way, most CoinPeeps will offer you a generous return policy on anything you purchase from them.

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I would look for a Peace dollar first, you can find loads of BU common dates (1922, 23, 24, 25) for likely less than $20. Watch for hairlines or signs of cleaning, and look at as many as you can before laying out your cash. After you get the experience with the Peace, you can use the same process with a Morgan, but just be careful since there are far more cleaned and problem Morgans out there than Peace dollars in my opinion, which is why I suggest starting on the latter to gain experience and build your confidence.

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So, how are some ways to recognize cleaning? I'm beginning to wonder if some of my previous purchases (a 1953 Franklin and a 1964 Kennedy) were marked down due to cleaning, now.

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So, how are some ways to recognize cleaning? I'm beginning to wonder if some of my previous purchases (a 1953 Franklin and a 1964 Kennedy) were marked down due to cleaning, now.

 

Oh boy, a difficult question to answer and I can barely tell if a coin may have been cleaned or not. Can't wait to hear answers too.

 

 

jtryka is right on. The Peace Dollar series is my favorite and first. Gorgeous coins that are modern compared to most other series but still look the way coins should. From the aesthetic and collectible standpoint, a great series.

 

All the coins are accessible even to collectors of modest means like you and me. You can complete most of the series with coins under $20 and many of those in very respectable grades and conditions. They keys will take some penny-pinching to aquire but they are very very reasonable and easy to get compared to keys in other series. From the financial standpoint, a great series.

 

The coins are also great for learning the basics of the hobby - mainly grading. You will first be after any Peace you see, then you'll start discriminating against coins with obvious flaws like bagmarks and big dings. The large size and the design makes the coin very vulnerable to damage in the fields and on the cheek, you'll notice this fast and will start hunting those without marks.

 

Then you'll start appreciating how easy it is to obtain higher grade coins and will thus have to learn how to quickly grade one. Elements of the design make grading easy other elements make it tricky. For instance, the curls of hair above her face are not terribly well distinguishable even in the highest grades, you'll have to look for subtle wear differences there.

 

The high points of the coin are easy to find and, without having one in hand, those include the cheek, curls and hair above the face, and the top of the eagle's wing.

 

 

I know this is a lengthy response but I am trying to convince you to collect my favorite series and my favorite coin. Take a look at my omnicoin collection and you'll see that I don't have many coins at all but I do have lots of Peaces. I love them so. Only 3 or 4 left to completion. Hopefully by the end of spring break!

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Oh, yes, I LOVE the Peace dollars. And the Walking Liberty halves, but I got one of those already for a birthday present. Anyway, it's definitely my favorite piece of silver, which is why I'm finally convincing myself to pony up for one...or a few. Have any pics of your collection? I'd love to see it!

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As you can see, my collection is mostly Peaces

 

I need to take better pics over break but I know I won't do that til the night before I leave for school again :ninja:

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Since you love the Liberty Walking Halves, maybe you should consider the ASEs. They are the same obv design. Larger than the halves. Contain 1oz of silver and are readily available and reasonably priced (for the most part). They make a beautiful collection by the way.

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Here is a link to my Peace Dollar registry set, though it's far from complete and really a work in (slow) process. My Peace Set.

 

The thing to look for in terms of cleaning more than anything else is hairlines. Anytime you see a lot of parallel hairline scratches on the surface of a coin, most likely it was due to harsh cleaning, or whizzing. Another thing to look for on uncirculate pieces is the luster. I would advise you to look at a lot of unc coins, and you will begin to see how the luster should look, how the light plays against the surfaces, to see what it should look like. Then when you see a coin that has been dipped excessively, you will immediately know the difference in the dull lifeless sheen that causes. You will also see the difference in a coin that's been polished (though a polished coin will be "shiny" the luster is totally different). Anyhow, hope this helps, good luck!

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You're lucky enough to have a major coin show coming to your area in May. I suggest you make your way over to St. Louis for the CSNS show. You'll get to see thousands of coins there and you'll quickly figure out what looks good and what looks "wrong."

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Huh, how long is the coin show? I'm getting married, going on a week long honeymoon and attending my sister and brother-in-law's graduation all in that month.

 

As for the ASE's, I happen to have one my dad got me for my birthday one year. I love it, it's one of my faves, and now that I think about it I might start adding them to my collection each year as I do with mint/proof sets.

 

Shoot, a "dull, lifeless luster" is kind of what my halves look like. Pics to follow.

 

Nice Peace collection! I guess I have a lot to learn about them. I didn't know there were variations like "Ray through L".

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Here is a link to my Peace Dollar registry set, though it's far from complete and really a work in (slow) process. My Peace Set.

 

Nice set you have going there. But to be honest, I like the looks of my lower grade 1921 more :ninja:

 

916527.jpg

 

 

 

Anywho, treasuregirl, I thought you and your fiance we're going to the CSNS show for your honeymoon. Weren't you????

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Nice set you have going there. But to be honest, I like the looks of my lower grade 1921 more :ninja:

 

916527.jpg

Anywho, treasuregirl, I thought you and your fiance we're going to the CSNS show for your honeymoon. Weren't you????

 

Yeah, too bad we couldn't reserve the site until after the honeymoon.

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my best advice for your original question is to look around your area to see if there are any local coin shops...this way you can see the coin you are purchasing.... there are books out there that can give you some pointers as to if a coin has been cleaned. If you happen to find a shop or a show....ask questions... I know that most coin dealers love to talk (hahaha) and most of us don't mind answering questions...

as for a coin sugguestion... the others are right... for your money you will get more with a nice common peace dollar... but there are quite a few nice morgans that can be had for $25-$40 as well.

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One thing you should really do is go to coin shows. There you will see large varieties of all coins and a variety of prices to go along with that. At most coin shows someone is always selling coin folders, books, plastic rolls, pages for albums, etc., etc. One more thing about a coin show is as a general rule most dealers are nice, friendly people that will answer your questions about anything. Pending how busy they are. I suggest if the show starts at 9AM get there at about 8:30. Here in the Chicago area there are 3 coin shows a month and occationally many more. Most are free admittance, free parking, great dealers, horrible coffee, free pamphlets and occationally free magazines like Coin World. Regarless of where you live go to Google or Yahoo and type in coin shows and your state or near by states. You should get some sort of listing. Also, you may want to try Coin World web site where they too have listings of coin shows. Other web sites also have coin show listings such as PCGS, JMS coins and lots of others. One thing I've noticed is there is a difference in those listings where some tell you of a show and others don't mention them. If your anywhere near Chicago we have lots of coin shows, coin stores, coin shops and even coin dealers at flea markets.

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If your anywhere near Chicago we have lots of coin shows, coin stores, coin shops and even coin dealers at flea markets.

 

Lived in Evanston the last 3 years and haven't heard of or been to one show in the area. I know some exist but you must be talking about smaller club shows.

 

The paper money expo is in town while I'm on spring break :ninja: and I really would like to hit it up and find those notes I can't find easily at a normal, large coin show.

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Watch on the boards here, in the For Sale section in the advertising board, usually someone will sell them from time to time. I have bought 50-60 of them in the last 1.5 yrs here.

 

I didn't know there was a place here that had coins for sale....looked all over the site and don't seem to find anything like what is mentioned above...educate me, please!

 

(PS at a local antique show last weekend I found a beautiful 1978 Morgan that I think is BU at a minimum for $17.00 but most of the Peace Dollars were $30...so it just depends on where you are and who is showing I guess.) bk

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Okay, here are the photos of the halves:

 

Coins023.jpgCoins022.jpgCoins021-1.jpgCoins018-1.jpg

 

Please know that my coin shop has been closed for more than a month due to the prolonged illness of the owner, and have been unable to purchase a loupe to do the camera-loupe trick to get decent photos. They're probably too bad to tell if they have been polished but hey, worth a shot.

 

Look, you can see the camera!

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If the question about the halves is if they were cleaned (I'm too lazy to look back in the thread), then I'd personally say they don't look cleaned. But I am not a pro at this and I wouldn't be surprised if I am wrong. Let's see what the real pros say.

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