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Great things about "losers"


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Hi all,


I am browsing through the July 2010 edition of Coinage, a magazine that I mostly buy for the pretty pics. I've noticed in the last issue or two I've read that some of the writers are very negative about so many different topics in collecting. I was ticked off by one article titled "The 10 'Biggest Losers'" filled with comments about ten coins considered by the author as "Some of the worst ideas in U.S. coinage history". Instead of ripping into the author's criticisms, I want to say a few nice things about these "losers".


If you have some of these coins, post pics!


"Failure No. 1" - silver three-cent piece (trime)


- these pieces always are a hit when we have a thread for toned coins or a PCI. A handful of you have gorgeous examples that I ALWAYS drool over. Here's gpnyc's from omnicoin:




That is what I associate this series with - beauty and a fresh design.



"Failure No. 2" - cupro-nickel three-cent piece


- I think these pieces were all struck with die clashes. For some reason, perhaps its the design, they show clashes really well. It's not a gorgeous design but I like it and I'd definitely be happy to see this as regularly circulating coins. Here's mine:





"Failure No. 3" - $3 gold piece


- It's gold, reminds me of Africa, and has a unique issue. 'Nuff said.



"Failure No. 4" - Trade dollar


- These circulated in China in the 1870s. How cool is it to know that the coin you hold has chopmarks punched by a merchant in 19th century Peking? I've always wanted one of these. I used to (and occasionally still do) flip through the Red Book and drool over so many coins I'll never have. Whenever I got to one of the short sections with valuable coins, I dreamed of owning one. Trade dollars were one of these short but sweet series.



"Failure No. 5" - twenty-cent piece


- Another short but sweet series I drooled over in the Red Book. The 1870's would be a fun decade to conquer as a collector.



"Failure No. 6" - 1942-1945 "war nickels"


- Where to start? 1) It's a Jeff nickel. I'm a proud Virginian, so I was bred to love anything Jefferson. 2) Its an underrated series that has been around for a long time. 3) These nickels have silver. 4) These nickels were made partly of silver to help our troops beat the Nazis. They served our country indirectly. Always a great thing. 5) They are still found in circulation AND are easy to spot. 6) That mintmark is so cool. 7) They helped beat the Nazis.



"Failure No. 7" - Steel cents


- These were one of my first purchases (if not my first) as a collector. One of the first varieties I ever knew about. The occasional copper 1943 or steel 1944 always makes headlines. Haven't you ever dreamed of finding one of those?



"Failure No. 8" - JFK half


- There's no reason why these coins can't circulate. They are a great size. Big enough to make you appreciate the denomination but small enough to flip. The design is clean, powerfully reminiscent, and patriotic.



"Failure No. 9" - Eisenhower dollar


- It has the moon on it. THE MOON. It commemorates Man's greatest engineering feat. The man helped beat the Nazis. This is a dollar coin the size of a dollar coin. Imagine plopping a few of these down on a table. Wouldn't you feel powerful as you threw down a General and the Moon?



"Failure No. 10" - SBA dollar


- Take another look at her much maligned obverse. I see grace and stoicism. I see someone who fought for what is right. This "loser" still circulates and you can spend it today, get a curious look, and help spread the joys of collecting.




Anything you'd like to add in support of these "losers"?

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He considered them losers for several reasons (some applying to certain coins more than others):


- ungainly denomination

- lack of circulation

- too big/small

- looks too much like another coin

- ugly/uninspired design (have fun with that)

- poor compositions (streaks, rust, etc)


I'm sure he nitpicked about a few other things but I can't remember off the top of my head.

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Not sure if I posted on CP about finding three steel cents in a box search last week or not, but got two 1943s and one 1943-D. The best find was a 1911 in VF, and several other earlies in the teens and twenties in that box. Sometimes I search whole boxes and find 4-5 1950's dated wheats and nothing else, then you hit the jackpot with a box you buy on a lark in the grocery store branch of my bank. Go figure.

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I agree with the OP, I like most of these "loser" coins, there's something neat about all of them.


Probably the author's definition of loser coinage are coins that didn't get struck for more than 10 years, which is pretty loose.


The Flying Eagle cent didn't last very long either, but it's a neat design as well. What was the issue with them again? Too high of a relief to stack properly?

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