US Coins: A Brief look at the $1 Morgan Silver Dollar Coins

In 1904, the Morgan Silver Dollar ceased production due to purchased silver under ther Sherman Act of 1890. In 1921, the Silver Morgan Dollars was back in production in very heavy mintage numbers of over 80 million coins. 3 US Mints were producing Morgans in 1921: Philadelphia, San Fransisco and Denver. 1921 was also the year that the Peace Dollar began production. The Peace Dollar was designed in honor of the end of World War I a few years prior to 1921.morgan silver dollar

Besides the Lincoln Cent, the Morgan Silver Dollar is the most collected and sought after coin. The Morgan Dollar was minted from 1878 to 1904 and then again on 1921. The Silver Dollar is named after the designer, George T. Morgan. George was a special engraver at the US Mint. The Morgan Silver Dollar obverse is Lady Liberty while the reverse is an American eagle holding arrows and an olive branch. In 1878, there were 20 million coins struck at the Philadelphia, Carson City and San Fransisco mints. However there were variations in this first year of production as some of the eagles have seven feathers while some have eight. Even though a bit flawed at the beginning of the mintage of the Morgan Silver Dollars, the new design was the first circulating silver dollar coin since 1873. There had been Trade Dollars but these coins were intended to be used in the Orient. The Bland-Allison Act led the path for an official standard silver dollar coin. There were many smaller denomination silver coins that bridged the gap of the time period without a circulating silver dollar coin.

There are some Morgan Dollars that are more prized and valued by coin enthusiasts. There are some examples of these types: the 1878 Philadelphia eight tail feather with the letters on the coin appearing to be doubled while in production and the 1888 New Orleans Hot Lips due to the lips of Lady Liberty appearing to be doubled again while in production. While these versions in lower grades are pretty common, the higher grades are rare and much more valuable.

The Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars have varieties in the coins due to the dies used. These varieties are also called VAMs. Author and coin researchers Leroy C. Van Allen and A.George Mallis have led the catalogue and identification process of the VAMs of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coin.



US Coins: A brief history of the $1 Eisenhower Silver Dollar

There is a large gap of the US Mint not producing US Dollar Coins between the Peace Dollar (1921-1935) and the Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1978). This is not the first gap of the US Dollar Coin. In 1878, the Morgan Silver Dollar had started minting which ended a 5 year gap from the last production of the Liberty Seated Dollar in 1873. The Liberty Seated Dollar was minted for 23 years. However the time gap between the Peace Dollar and the Eisenhower Dollar was a very long time with many events taking place. This time spanned World War II, the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the assassination of President Kennedy (as well as Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and the landing on the moon of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.Eisenhower dollar coin

The Eisenhower Dollar honored two of thes every important events. Eisenhower was the commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WW II and he lead the landing at Normandy in 1944. He became President of the United States for two terms in the 1950’s due to his leadership. The back of the Eisenhower Dollar was also a tribute to Preseident Kennedy, whose vision laid out the Moon landing by the end of the 1960’s. Therefore on the reverse of the Eisenhower Dollar, the Eagle is landing on the moon with the earth and space in the background. The Eagle has been a prominent fixture on coins and national symbol since 1782. There was a slight hiatus in 1975 by the Eisenhower Dollar. In 1976, the replacement of the eagle to the Liberty Bell was introduced to note America’s bicentennial. The folllowing year, the Eagle was put back on the Eisenhower Dollar to remain for another 22 years. In 1979 the Susan B Anthony Dollar Coin was introduced which ended Eisenhower appearing on the coin.

The Eisenhower Dollar Coins were minted in the tens of millions throughout the years. Therefore their value rarely is above face value, but there are examples of coins that are worth more than face value. For example, the 1973 San Fransisco minted Eisenhower Dollar Coins are an exception with its relatively small mintage of that particular year and mint.

How to invest in gold bars?

This is a simple yet complicated question.  There are a number of reasons why to purchase gold.  A gold bar is a symbol that you have chosen to hedge your bets against other investment options, like the stock market.  Owning physical gold can also protect you and your family in times of crisis, like war.  Current gold prices may or may not scare off potential gold buyers depending on your outlook on the future gold price in the USA.  Buying gold coins for investment instead of a bar of gold is another option on how to buy pure gold.  It is better to look at gold coins and bullion as an alternative asset and diversification of your overall financial investment.


There are also a number of places where to purchase gold.  You can buy gold bars online just as you can buy gold coins online.  You can buy gold bars from the bank.  If you are savvy, Facebook has many groups where you can trade and purchase gold bars … although buyer beware.  Some of these sellers offer all gold coins and bullion, while some are specialized in either just bullion bars or certain pre-1933 gold coins (as an example).  Since there are many places to buy gold, there is potential that the company is not reputable.  Always check the company’s reputation from many independent sources, not just the testimonials that are posted on the seller’s site.     


Another factor that is critical is if you are purchasing physical gold, paper certificates or investing in the gold mining companies.  Physically owning gold is the safest bet and there are companies that offer safe storage of your gold bullion that you can visit or pull out when you want.  Banks also offer a simple solution as well.  In home safes have been popular but please consider your residential circumstances.  


Please also ensure that you are buying the best pure gold bullion, which means 99.9% purity.  Some mints nowadays can offer 99.99% purity.  The sizes of the bars can range from a 1 gram gold bar to a one oz gold bar to a 100 oz gold or 400 oz gold bar.  Since you are buying gold for the weight, it is important to know exactly the weight of the bullion you are purchasing.  gold (new)

Coin of the Week: the Reverse Proof Roosevelt Dime from the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set

While most coin collectors are looking for that rare Morgan or High Relief Peace Dollar, I like to look at the new coins coming out from the mints to find the next round of treasures for the future.  With the improvements of all of the mints in today’s world, obtaining coins in today’s releases at Proof 70 just doesn’t seem as enticing to me for long terms investments.  You need to look a little more at certain details and be a bit savvy.  But this is not as easy as it sounds.  With millions of American Eagles minted every year and even commemorative mintage numbers usually a half million or more, you have to look deeper in the fine print.  The US Mint won’t announce anything in advance like “the rarest coin ever to be sold next month”.  But if you know the schedule you can have some idea of what is coming up on new releases, you can check the details and do some research.


In 2015, the US Mint released a pretty standard Silver Dollar Commemorative (even though it’s not called a Commemorative).  They release these types of coins every year, some years more than one design.  2015 showcased the March of Dimes Proof Silver Dollar from the West Point Mint, 90% silver at 26.73 grams.  The mintage limit was 500,000 which is pretty standard.  This coin honored the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  I am sure everyone is pretty much aware of the March of Dimes and the fact that Roosevelt is on the US 10 cent dime.  The first Roosevelt Dime was struck in 1946 and still in circulation today, this is important to remember for later in this article.  


In 2015, the US Mint also released the March of Dimes Special Silver Set.  This set included the above mentioned Silver Dollar (which in itself is a beautiful coin on both the obverse and reverse … really it is).  This set also included two 2015 Roosevelt Dimes.  These dimes are 90% silver, which is somewhat rare as you can only get proof dimes in 90% silver in the annual silver proof sets but about 500,000 of these sets (with the silver dimes) are minted and sold each year.  The fact that there is a silver dime in the March of Dimes set is attractive, but there are 500,000 of these types of coins minted every year so really not that special.  Not to mention the dimes from 1946 thru 1965 were comprised of 90% silver (even though many of those have been melted by now).  The special detail of these 2 silver dimes are that one is a reverse proof (never done before in a dime, usually reverse proofs are only struck on American Silver Eagles) and the other silver dime was minted from the West Point Mint (never done before in a silver dime).  OK, now we are talking special, really special.  The best part is that the mintage limits on these 2 special silver dimes is just 75,000 dimes … that’s it.  There are and always only be 75,000 of the reverse proof 2015 silver dime and proof 2015 silver dime from the West Point Mint.  I cannot guarantee that the US Mint will never produce another reverse proof silver dime or another silver dime from West Point, but I will bet every coin I own that they will not which makes these even more special and rare … and a great investment at a relatively low cost (under $100 for the 3 coin set).  


To get into more facts why I really love this particular coin is because for the last decade or so, the US Mint has been changing and replacing the designs all of the other coins that are in circulation today.  The penny was changed to the Lincoln Years, 4 coin series in 2009.  When this series was completed in 2009, the 2010 penny’s design was changed and still in circulation today with this new design from 2010.  2004 thru 2005 showcased the Westward 4 coin series of the US Nickel.  Then in 2006, the design changed and again this new design of the nickel is still in circulation as of today.  The very popular state and national parks quarters started in 1999 and still running strong as of today.  This is scheduled to keep running until 2021 and may be extended.  Whenever this series will be completed, most agree that the US quarter will change from it’s original 1998 design just as the penny and nickel changed when their special design series ended.  


But since 1946, the Roosevelt Dime’s design has stayed the same.  There is no special program announced yet.  This makes this 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set … well, even more special.  Sometime in the near future there will be a change in the Roosevelt Dime, same as the penny, nickel and quarter.  These low mintage numbers of just 75,000 will drive up the price of these coins when this new dime series is in circulation.  For these reasons, the Reverse Proof Roosevelt Dime from the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set is my Coin of the Week !!!!       dime.jpeg

Gold and Silver Investment for 2017 Forecast

With the stock markets at near record highs, it is now time to look to invest into gold and silver more than ever before.  If you invest now in the stock market, you will more than likely lose the money you put into the markets in the long term (when you retire).  It is always best to invest in the stock market when it has bottomed or at least below average earnings.  Gold and silver are relatively low right now and best investment for long term growth.  Plus, it helps to diversify your portfolio.  


OK, now we see a prime time to invest in gold and silver and watch our nest egg of previous investments of the stock market grow.  But it is better to invest in physical gold and silver or paper notes on these precious metals?  Banks will tell you that paper notes on gold and silver are safe … and they probably are right.  But if you had the option of real gold or silver, definitely own the real gold.  You necessarily don’t have to keep it in your home under your pillow, there are companies that will keep the gold and silver that you own in safe storage facilities.    


The other reason to own physical gold (versus a piece of paper that says you own gold) is that you can sell your gold when the price increases … let’s say 20%.  It doesn’t take much math to know how much you bought your gold and to know the current price … and figure the rest.  So right now gold is floating at $1,200 – $1,300 per ounce.  When gold gets back to $1,600 per ounce, you have the option to sell and reinvest your earnings maybe into the stock market if the market is back to lower levels.  If you are a gambler and have time, you can wait it out until gold gets back to $1,800 an ounce or even higher.  I know all major political players own gold and will do what they can to keep legislation on a strong gold price.  They will not just sit by and watch their own investments in these precious metals slide … and they have millions of their own money invested in gold.


Ok, well you might be like me and gold is just too rich for your blood.  Silver is you answer.  If you are new into precious metals, silver might be the better first step at learning how to manage your precious metals portfolio with much less risk.  However if you have the capital, I’ve seen many new players come in and start with gold and really make smart long term investments with a solid return when they want to exit.  Silver has been floating around $16-$17 per ounce for most of 2017.  I have always bought silver whenever under $20 an ounce.  If silver ever slipped past $10 an ounce, I would drain my savings and buy as much silver as possible (and live off of ramen and potatoes if needed).  If I needed some cash, I would sell off my silver when back up to $20 an ounce but I would really wait for silver to hit back up to $30 and ounce.  For the home run hitters, yes silver has hit $50 an ounce and yes I’ve seen the reports of $100 or $200 per ounce silver.  My thought is that if silver really gets to $200 an ounce, then that means there is major issues with the dollar and also the markets.  But if you do feel this downward spiral really coming, by all means buy silver (especially when under $20 an ounce).  If nothing bad really happens (i.e. the economic apocalypse), you can still make a large profit … if you buy smart as silver can easily get back above $25-$30 an ounce rather quickly.      


Gold and silver are commodities.  Demand is honestly increasing every year with no peak in sight.  Every year purchases of gold and silver exceed the previous record, which in most cases is the previous year.  Most are fearing that printed money with no gold or silver backing just will not last forever.  My thought is to keep it simple.  Right now stock markets are very strong and have nowhere to go but down …. eventually.  So instead of adding money to the markets that you know you probably will not recover (when you retire) hedge your bets on precious metals: gold if you can but at the very least silver.  It is not ramen and potato eating time but still a very solid investment that you can use when you retire in the next 10-20 years.          

 silver gold clock

Will the upcoming war with North Korea affect my Gold and Silver Investment

I hate to scare off so many people with the headline.  However I am hedging the fact that more than likely the next US War would be with North Korea … sometime in the near future.  Why North Korea?  Well with the US already sitting in the sidelines in Syria and the Russians fortifying the region for some time, I don’t think there is anything impeding with US intervention.  I am sorry for the 6 million refugees scattered around the Middle East and Europe, but if you look at the statistics the US economy has not directly suffered from this conflict.  It will impact many regional nations for decades and not to forget the literally millions of refugees … what a human tragedy.  The situation is beyond words but the US hedged that there would be no impact to the US and really the US itself was the one main conflict with the US economy in the past years.  This is an article about gold and silver investments so I will hold my comments on the Syrian War with this sentence.  


What about the increasing tension in the South China Sea?  Yes, tension is at the highest levels seen so far.  China is literally building military islands to fortify their stronghold in the region.  The US has also increased patrols but really will not engage with China on their home turf.  We really are talking about fish, right?  Yes, the Chinese need to feed their 3 billion population, however that is the official declared and census number.  It is probably closer to 4 billion unregistered.  With the Chinese rivers probably getting close to being depleted with that many people, the Chinese would definitely need to declare as much of the ocean and “theirs” to feed their nation … as any other nation would do.  This leaves the US ally, the Philippines, with little support on their fishing rights.  The US has stepped up strongholds in the region but the cost is increasing every month.  China will ultimately win this battle of the fishes.  They are logistically too close and in real need of this area to feed their enormous growing population, even with China curbing birthrates internally.  So again, this article is about gold and silver investments so I will hold any further comments on the South China Sea with this sentence.


This leaves North Korea as the main instigator to actually face war with the US …. in the upcoming future … could be many years.  Defectors from the North to the South have declared that the people are waiting for the war so the pain can be over.  They are ready to lose the war so there can be another leader in place that will provide a future for the people of the North.  This also demonstrates that the only means to the end is an actual “war” or at least an attack on US soil or ally.  More than likely this would actually mean an attack on the Japan or Taiwan Islands.  If North Korea would attack US soil, their best bet would be on Alaska.  There would more than likely be no Alaskan human casualties but the annoyance of their aggression.  If there would be an actual attack on Japan, Taiwan or Alaska … then the issue would be drastic, mainly in terms of economic depression for the whole world.  China is not only a vital trading partner to the US but also the EU, South America and Africa.  Tension would rise … on an economic global scale.  Even if the Chinese declare that the North Korean attack(s) are not within their intentions or approval, the millions of refugees fleeing north to China would impact their increasing demand of food to their nation.  There are many areas this article can lead, so I will hold further comments on North Korea with this sentence.


So that leads, how would a war … or more than likely an attack on an US ally or US territory affect my gold and silver investment.  Without going into many details, the price of gold and silver would tremendously increase.  The US dollar would decrease.  Economic transactions would be at a frozen standstill waiting the the world dominator of goods produced (China) to make official statements and the world to see what actions are taken thereafter.  China has been stockpiling gold and silver for the past decade(s) as they fear the trade deficit with the US would never correct itself.  With trade at a standstill, the US Dollar would be at historic levels.  Only the gold and silver that you own would get you through these times.  But I do declare, the silver lining is that this would be temporary.  The world (mainly China and the US) would not and could not let these tensions linger, there would be too much losses for both sides.  Everything would recover, but it would take time.  If you are looking to retire in the next 10-20 years, then you might not see this recovery in the markets from your loses and the only silver lining would be the actual silver and gold that you own.  


I am not a political or war historian, I would like to make the choice simple.  Hedge your future bets and provide you and your family a way to outlast the potential worst economic crisis in the 21st century.  If you buy gold and silver now, you can thrive while many try to survive.  war

Coin of the Week: 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin

This coin is perfect for all of the coin collectors who currently only have silver and other world coins in their collection but not any gold coins.  We all know most coin collectors start with pennies then work their way up to coins with some silver content to higher graded silver coins and then eventually gold.  If this sounds like you, then you have had in your collection the 90% Silver Mercury Dimes that were minted from 1916 thru 1945.  They were relatively cheap (current melt value at $1.30 per coin) and in my eyes have one of the best designs of its time.  


In 2016, the US Mint released a 1/10 ounce 99.99% gold Mercury Dime as part of the Centennial Gold Coin program to honor the 100 year anniversary of the 90% silver Mercury Dime first released in 1916.  There were a total of 3 gold coins released in 2016 for the Centennial Gold Coin program; the other 2 coins were the Standing Liberty Quarter and Walking Liberty Half Dollar.  The quarter was ¼ ounce of 99.99% gold and the half dollar was ½ ounce, thus making the Mercury Dime the lowest priced gold coin of the program.  Now if you are also a huge fan of the Standing Liberty and Walking Liberty, you should obtain all 3 coins.  The really low mintage numbers on the quarter and half dollar are hard to overlook: 100,000 gold quarters minted and only 70,000 of the gold half dollars.  However please note the prices on these 2 coins are much higher due to their higher gold content.  For me, I am a huge fan of the Mercury Dime and I really like better value coins to add to my personal collection.     


The 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin mintage numbers are only 125,000 coins, all from the West Point Mint.  To compare this mintage numbers against the 90% silver dime, the most coins produced from one mint was in 1944 when 231,410,000 coins were minted and the lowest number of coins produced from one mint was in 1916 when only 264,000 coins were released from the Denver Mint.  The 1916-D Mercury Dime is the most sought after coin of the program and prices range from over $500 for just good condition to over $10,000 for uncirculated dimes with higher graded coins going for over $40,000 per coin.  There has not been another year when the mintage numbers were under 1 million coins, until the 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin was released.  


Now this new gold dime will not fetch $40,000 in today’s market, but with only 125,000 coins that exist today – this is a great coin to add to your coin collection for first time gold buyers and collectors that already have gold coins as their main portion of their coin portfolio.  The 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin is available for under $300.  It’s a high premium for a 1/10 ounce gold coin but I still love this coin as it doesn’t break the bank and will hold it’s value over time.  For these reasons, the 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin is my Coin of the Week !!!!