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1804 Dollars and 1913 Nickels


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In another thread, speaking of Avesta Swedish 5-kopek Russian coins, the point was made that these are well-documented, limited quantity items pursued by knowledgeable collectors. Those same collectors know and condemn copies of these. That same line of thought would apply to the 1804 Dollars and 1913 Liberty Nickels.


The first five 1804 Dollars have some validity. Created at the request of the White House to be included in gift sets to foreign rulers by diplomatic missions, the original 1804 Dollars have some marginal historicity as curios. (I realize, also, that the mandate to make them was ambigous, but nonetheless, they were made openly and for a public reason in service to the government. At worst they are official medals.)


The later coins, Series II and Series III are worthless knock-offs. As curios of the Mint, they might have some value, as would a private medal struck by one of the Eckfield Family using Mint resources.


The 1913 Liberty Nickels are worthless. Known to be made by a dishonest employee for his own gain, they were foisted on the unsuspecting in a clever ruse.


That other people pay millions of dollars for these things is no different to me than the millions of dollars invested in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. It might be argued that every market is so-called "Ponzi" scheme as all that matters is food on the table and a roof over your head: of what value is anything else? Who decides? Ultimately, does not the buyer have a right to be happy with their purchase? Why should the government step in at all? So, in the context of a completely unruled and unlimited market where anything goes and the customer is always right, 1804 Dollars and 1913 Nickels and Madoff Securities are all worth millions of dollars ... as long as there is another buyer...


Is that your view of the hobby of numismatics?


Does historicity have no bearing on value?


Is a copy of a Roman coin as valuable as a Roman coin?

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I just finished reading a Coinage article about suspect coins that left the mint. They spoke at length on the 1804 restrikes and the 1913 strikes. After reading that article, I agree that they may not deserve to be called coins. What makes them coins? They were struck at the mint with mint equipment by mint employees but they were not fairly disbursed.


I've always thought the 1804 dollars were far, far, far overrated. If they are struck 50+ years after the original coins were minted, that's not a coin to me, that's a copy.


The 1913 nickels I will call legit but i'm biased. I love that series and the myth of those coins is what drew me to collecting.


As for why we pay for these objects, that's all in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't pay for the 1804 dollars because, to me, they are not coins. I would pay great sums for the 1894-S dimes or the 1964 dollars since those are two series I love. I pay what I think the coin is worth to me. I start series and work on them because I like the coins, the challenge, the designs, etc. I'm willing to pay the market price if I think it's worth it.

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