on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 13:38. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  October 2018 Issue

93% and I’m Still Disappointed
by Warren Mills

Welcome to the fall issue of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  It was a very busy summer for us.  We were fortunate to buy a few really nice collections and collector coins.  Many were very wholesome and submissions have been filtering in all summer and will continue into the fall.  Be aware that I recently acquired a very nice Bust half collection in circulated grades, no high-grade examples, but perfect coins for specialized collectors.  They went in for submission and will be filtering back this month and next.  Keep an eye open if you are a Bust half nut!

Every now and then one of our older longtime buyers will contact us about selling their collection.  The first step is to send the coins to CAC for maximum value and liquidity.  This particular customer acquired his coins between 1990 and 2005.  Long before CAC was in business.  Yes, I know most dealers don’t even want to think about informing clients about sending coins to CAC.  Two reasons come to mind.  First, most dealers are not very discriminating about what coins they sell.  If it’s slabbed, it’s good to sell and many just can’t tell the difference!  Secondly, they can buy non-CAC coins and send them to CAC to get all or any juice for themselves.  Well that’s not the RCNH way.  We always look out for our client’s well-being, period. 

on Thursday, 09 August 2018 14:02. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  August 2018 Issue

The Summer Baltimore Show
By Warren Mills

WOW, the summer has been very busy for us!  I am thankful for being in continual catch up mode and apologetic for not getting an Enthusiast up on our site!

I went to the summer Baltimore show and it was a surprisingly good show for us.  Keep in mind that only about 2/3rds of the dealers that attend the spring and fall show come to the summer show.  Since there are fewer dealers, I can cover the show in fewer days.

I arrived in Baltimore at about 9:00 on Wednesday morning, the day before the show opened.  I hit the dealer set up at the hotel immediately.  The show came on the heels of Long Beach, so there was a lack of anything fresh.  I spent a woeful amount of money before the show and that had me worried. 
When the show opened on Thursday, I went right to my dealer friends that hold nice fresh coins for me and thankfully, I lucked out!  A few of my dealer friends saved the excellent, fresh, original, high-end coins for me.  You have to pay, but I’m happy to get the opportunity. 

on Thursday, 05 July 2018 13:36. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  June 2018 Issue

Central States Numismatic Show
By Warren Mills

Welcome to the summer edition of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  I’ve been remiss in putting together an issue due to planned trips and overwhelming business.  Just recently, we’ve acquired a collection with 13 large bins of mixed coinage that has taken hours just to break down a single box.  We are always thankful for any opportunity that we get, but sometimes things can get a bit frantic.

In May, I decided to take a trip out to Illinois for the Central States Numismatic Show.  I haven’t attended the Central States Show for over ten years.  My hope was to find a group of dealers from the Midwest that I may not have a relationship with and maybe find some new fresh material.  I’m glad I went, but it was the old tried and true dealers that I saw early that had the best material.  I spent more money at this show than even the F.U.N. Show!  Unfortunately, it sold very fast a
nd most of it never even made our inventory list.  Considering how hard it is to find nice fresh material, I was elated.  With diligence, the odd nice pieces are out there, just don’t expect to look at a Greysheet and figure you are going to buy primo coins without stretching.  By stretching, I mean like Gumby.

on Monday, 16 April 2018 16:11. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

The 2018 Baltimore Show
By Warren Mills

Welcome to the April issue of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  I recently attended the Whitman Coin Show in Baltimore.  Many flights were cancelled due to inclement weather, but I was lucky enough to make it to the show.  About 15% of the dealers weren’t able to fly in, so the tables weren’t full.  I’m not sure why, but it worked as a plus it seems, because we were able to pick up a fair amount of coins.  Activity was brisk with many aggressive buyers.  If sellers were realistic with their prices, coins sold.  We filled many want lists and anything really expensive sold immediately.
I had about twenty-five auction lots to check for customers, to see if the coins were worthy of placing bids on.  About half of the coins were fine, with a couple of very P.Q. examples.  The coins we labeled as the choicest pieces brought incredibly strong prices.  One example that comes to mind was a very fresh, lustrous and original 1925-D Saint Gaudens in MS-64 PCGS CAC.  My bid was $23,000 plus the 20% buyer’s fee which would mean that the price to me would be $27,600.  I did not label the coin as an upgrade, but it was a very fresh and lustrous example.  Could it 64+ on its attributes?  I guess so, but it really was just a very nice 64.  I felt it was worthy of a premium bid due to the fact that a knowledgeable buyer would recognize the true value of the coin.  The Greysheet bid is $13,500, CCE high bid is $11,500, the high CAC bid is $18,000 and the PCGS Retail Price Guide is $17,000.  When you look at the numbers, it seems that $27,600 is absurd.  Then look at the CAC wholesale bid and compare it to the PCGS Retail Price Guide!  Why the discrepancy?  For the most part, the price guide reflects a coin that may be low end to average for the grade at best!  Also, certain denominations may have price guide numbers that are way too low, way too high or close to accurate numbers.  At best, you have a rough retail price for a low end coin to mid range coin.  On rarer issues, which seldom come onto the market, you have to go by your gut.  This coin was so fresh and original, but not an upgrade in my opinion, that I felt was worthy of a premium bid.  It finally sold, including the buyer’s premium, for over $32,000.  The CCE bid in MS-65 is $50,000 and the CAC bid in MS-65 is $100,000.  In this business, the most knowledgeable buyers are setting the prices.  Also, look at the differences between CAC and non-CAC issues for the same coin in the same grade!  It really is astonishing.
Public attendance at the show was so-so, but those people that came were there with a purpose to buy.  Overall, auction prices for the nicest coins were super strong.  Demand at the show was strong and if things really break right we could be in the beginning of a resurgence in the coin market.  If people gain a better understanding of the difference between low-end and high-end coins for the grade, watch out!
Finally, Lou spoke to a knowledgeable buyer last week.  He said he will complete his sets with coins that may not be CAC’d and CAC them later.  To me, this is puzzling.  It’s a good strategy if everything you buy is at a cheap price and then it CACs.  If however, you are paying high prices for non-CAC coins and they don’t work at CAC, you are taking a giant risk.  I would say it’s not worth it.

Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979.  Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association.  He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years.  He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.

Is CAC Worth The Money?

By Joe Presti 

Are you skeptical of CAC?  Well, we were cautious of CAC when they first started 10 years ago.  After all, we have seen a lot of new numismatic enterprises come and go over the years.  So before we fully embraced CAC, we wanted to see what the product looked like and judge if they were “real.” 

We are glad to say that after a short period of time we were convinced that CAC was the real thing by offering an extra layer of protection for anyone buying coins.  Not that we questioned our credentials and ability to grade coins, but our goal is to always minimize the risk to our clients.  So if we can sell coins that are top end for the grade, we will do it and have done it since our inception.  Even after 10 years of CAC’s existence, we still hear an occasional dealer say that it is a scam, a collector just doesn’t believe in it or that someone really doesn’t want to spend the $14 to submit their coin.  Ridiculous.

At the recent Baltimore Coin Convention, we looked at 17 lots of gold coins for potential inventory or client acquisition.  Some we chose to bid on, others we did not.  The coins were all CAC stickered and ranged from $2.50 Liberty to $20 Saints in grades from MS-62 to MS-65.  Nothing extremely rare, but some common dates to scarcer coins were bid on.  The PCGS Price Guide, which is basically a retail price sheet, lists the coins anywhere from $1,900 to $17,000 each. 

In the end, the coins all sold for more than we could justify paying for.  Since we have an obligation to our clients to provide nice accurately graded coins, we also feel obligated to provide good value.  And the final selling prices of these coins exceeded what we felt was good value.  The reasons could vary from a collector wanting to fill an empty spot in their collection, to a dealer feeling that the coin is an upgrade shot.

You will notice that I have not mentioned the Coin Dealer Newsletter (Greysheet) in my discussion.  That is simple, you cannot buy accurately graded coins at Greysheet levels, and if you think you can you are fooling yourself.  I just wish that the publishers of the Greysheet would recognize this and not be so reluctant about raising bid levels.

When the auction was over, the coins we wanted to bid on had a Greysheet bid total of $118,920, a PCGS Price Guide total of $145,950 and sold for $221,700.  That represents a premium of 52% over the PCGS Price Guide and a whopping 86% over the Greysheet.  I will leave it to you, is CAC worth the premium?  There is a reason CAC coins consistently bring higher and sometimes much higher prices than non-CAC stickered coins, overall they are generally better coins.

If you think I have salted this article by cherry picking only the coins with the biggest discrepancy, then please do your own research.  Go to any auction, pick any series and compare auction prices realized for the same coin, same grade, CAC and non-CAC.  Then let me know the results.

If you are interested in having your coins submitted to CAC, we will be happy to do that for you at our cost.  We will even sit with you, examine your coins and advise which coins we feel are worthy of submission.  As always if you have coins to sell please, please, please think of RCNH when you want to liquidate.

They Did The Right Thing
By Dave Carleton

I like to write about how my interest in coins has been a constant thread in my life.  Obviously coming to the same office in the People’s United Bank Building for the last 30 years is a constant thread, but the coin related stories and occurrences outside the office are constantly happening. It seems that whenever it comes out that I’m involved in numismatics, someone has an interesting tale of coins they’ve found or coins they’ve lost.

Recently, I met a gentleman that told me an interesting story of how he got started with the coin collecting hobby.  Apparently, when he was a young man back in 1972 he worked at a bowling alley, where one of his duties was to take the change out of all the pinball machines and other arcade games. One day a group of three young men were having a grand old time playing all the various games for what seemed like hours.  After they left he went over to one of the machines to check the coin container, thinking that it must be quite full because the boys had played it the most.  When he dumped out the coins, he immediately noticed that something was different.  They sounded different and had a different look than what he usually finds in the machines.  Upon closer scrutiny he realized that all of the coins were pre-1965 silver coins.  While he was examining the coins, he became aware of the various dates and then determined that all of the dates were consecutive. He then went around to the other machines and found basically the same thing.

He knew something wasn’t right so he went to his boss, the owner of the bowling alley, and showed him what he had found.  His boss told him right off the bat that it was someone’s coin collection and that they needed to find out who the owner was.  It seems that the owner of the establishment knew who one of the boys was and called his father.  Sure enough, the boys had taken several Washington Quarter and Mercury Dime sets and spent the coins at the bowling alley.

The way the story ended was that the owner of the coin collection was so happy to get his coins back that he offered both the owner and my story teller a reward of several coins from that collection. That was it, the seed was planted and my story teller was off on a 45 year numismatic journey.  This journey by the way has been a remarkable one according to my story teller.

I thought I’d share this story as it was fresh and told to me last week. This is just another reason why I love coins!


David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills  (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.

This Is Why We Wait 10 Business Days For Checks To Clear

By Joe Presti

When I saw this short video I said to myself, “Perfect, maybe now people will understand.”

For years we have had a policy of waiting 10 business days for checks of any kind to clear before we will ship product to a customer.  Despite our explanations people would still call us and want to know why the check has cleared their bank and why we won’t send their bullion or coins.

All I can say is watch this video and you will have a better understanding of why we have this policy in place.


Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
D.T. emailed us the following question:

"I’ve been collecting for several decades and have accumulated some coins that have been certified by ANACS.  I want to maintain maximum value when I sell.  Is it best to keep them in their current ANACS holders or try to cross them over to PCGS or NGC?"   - D.T.
Thanks D.T.
Old timers like us always feel that the coin should carry its own weight regardless of the holder that it is in.  However, that is not true now!  For over three decades, people have been conditioned to think more about PCGS or NGC.  Why?  Because they have a strong dealer network of buyers, and the retail end user clamors for them.  ANACS does a great job of authenticating coins and like all of the other services, they have high-end and low-end coins slabbed in their holders.  However, ANACS just doesn’t have anywhere near the support network that PCGS and NGC has.  Just check the auction results for these services and compare the prices.  Also, look at how infrequently you see really expensive coins in ANACS holders.  PCGS and NGC have a virtual lock on this market.  So if you want maximum value when you sell, yes by all means cross them over.
Please keep your questions coming.
Thank you,





on Tuesday, 06 March 2018 15:30. Posted in News

  March 2018 Issue


How to Survive at Auction
By Warren Mills

Welcome to the March Edition of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  This month I want to address the need to acquire coins from auctions.  This is my 39th year in the coin business and it is a true blessing to work at your hobby.  However, there are times when I encounter situations that can be very frustrating.  Allow me to give you a description of such a scenario.
We connect with a customer by phone, email, or at a show.  After pleasantries the question is, “Are you still buying coins?”  In many instances the answer is, “Yes, but I buy most of my coins in auctions now.”  I follow up with, “How come, you’ve acquired great coins from us in the past, why now mainly auctions?”  Usually it has to do with our inability to supply or find solid coins when there are tremendous amounts of marginal ones in auctions.  Auctions do have some great coins, but most are marginal at best!  Okay, I get it, but three recent encounters with clients made me see a need to address potential pitfalls here.
Auction houses are great at marketing their products.  Once your buying patterns are established, they email you about future lots that are coming up for sale which may be of interest to you.  This is fine if you know what you are doing.  Many buyers only have an idea of what they like.  They may have started buying coins with one or two reputable dealers, then figured out they’ll cut out the middleman and buy direct.  This is just enough knowledge to actually have a negative effect on the value of your purchases.  Here are a few examples that we recently encountered: 

The Morgan Dollar Enthusiast - He found a wonderful offering of dates and price ranges in auctions, checked out the scans, focused on the lots he liked and went to town.  When I reviewed his purchases, I found that he had no ability to detect original white from over-dipped bright.  His nicely toned coins had way too many marks to justify grades, but the marks were partly hidden under the toning.  Proof-likes and Deep Mirror Proof-likes had too many die striation lines to technically warrant the designations.  Older holder P/L’s and DMPL’s are particularly subject to this.
So after years of making these types of acquisitions, the client decided to send them all in for CAC review.  Only a handful CAC’d and although there was disappointment, I informed the customer of why the coins didn’t work out and the education benefits made it all worth it to him.  The customer received a better understanding of what to buy and how to grade.  We also re-established a relationship with a customer who has since acquired very nice dollars for his set from us.  He still buys from auction, but allows us to review all the lots ahead of time for him so he is getting the best value for his hard earned dollars.  We do charge a modest fee for this service.

The Beautifully Toned Proof Indian Cent Buyer - I love original, pretty toned Indian Cents, however focus on the keyword “original”.  Nice iridescently toned Indians take decades to acquire their beauty and to top it off, we’re talking about proofs!  However, I have an awful time finding any in the market that I am 100% sure are original!  I know that is sad and a shock, but there are many dealers that doctor coins, who have spent decades perfecting techniques to fool the grading services and retail buyers.  If I handle a handful a year that are 100% original, I’m lucky.  I see quite a few at auctions and in dealer cases that makes me suspicious.  In all cases, I err on the side of caution and pass. 
One collector recently told me that he sent in about 30 of his pretty toned Indian Cents, which were all acquired from well known companies, to CAC.  Alas, only one stickered, wow that’s a shock!  Again, the lesson here is don’t let your passion cause you to acquire coins that are a terrible value or compromise the liquidity for you or your heirs in the future.  Be patient and continue the learning process with honest dealers, so tens of thousands of dollars later, you’re not wondering what went wrong!

The Pretty Toned Silver Type Buyer - He recently decided to have his collection CAC’d.  We sent in 73 of his 19th Century type coins, all with varying degrees of bullseye and rainbow toning from PCGS and NGC.  Many were auction purchases, but a fair amount were from dealers. 
When I was previewing the coins, I noticed a lot of his dimes graded Proof-67 with bad surface hits, I couldn’t believe it!  I told him that small Proof coins should not have marks, and any denomination that has abrasions on Proof surfaces should be graded substantially lower.  Nice color can only forgive so much, especially on a Proof coin.  Also, many of the coins were lightly cleaned and/or dipped and toned back.  The surfaces at some point were tampered with.  There were also quite a few coins that I thought had color added and were Q-tipped with dip to give it that bullseye toned appearance. 
Remember, when an auction house sees your pattern of buying, they pigeonhole you to be notified on those coins.  Also, when a dealer knows your pattern of buying, you will be fed, or should I say stuffed.  In many instances, there will be no regard for the true technical nature of the grade.  It will be, “Sell it and forget it!”  Oh yeah, and about those 73 pretty toned coins we sent in to CAC for him.  Only 11 of them CAC’d, a success rate of only 15%!  I know for some dealers that’s good, but it should be much, much better.
In all of these recent cases, there is obviously still a lot to learn.  Remember, high grade coins are around, you just need to focus on the cream of the crop.  Why? So you can get real value for your money.  Beware of dealers running your bids up on you if you attend the auction.  I always stay at the back of the room so as to not publicize my buying for customers.  I want to attend just to get a feel for how the sales are.  I try to watch out for shill bidding and inordinately high reserves.  Also, beware of dealers calling your attention to auction lots and then kindly helping you formulate bids.  These coins could be their own pieces in the auction or coins that friends of theirs consigned and then they split the profit!
Many people buy in auction because they feel that under-bidders assure them of limited downside.  That is wrong!  If an under-bidder doesn’t really know what they are doing, they could be caught up in auction fever and guess what, that’s contagious!  Plus, a dealer or two may focus on a coin because they feel it is an upgrade.  They chase it for that reason and you have the fever, so you go right along and feel great to get it.  This is when you need to step back and examine recent auction sales to see why this is dangerous.  Look at the Gardner and Newman sales, some of those coins sold for great numbers.  Yet, less than a year later those coins are being auctioned again and voila, they sell for substantially less!  In some instances, less than half the original sale price!  Why?  Well, in many instances they are tainted.  The perception is that they didn’t work for upgrade, so here they are again.  Then they sell for substantially less.  There’s more to consider, but let’s not write the whole book today.
So what do you do? 
First, stop being a slave to auctions.  Align yourself with not just knowledgeable, but honest dealers that truly work to deliver value.  Go back to school and realize you don’t know what you think you know.  When you open your mind and not just your wallet, the value for your money will improve.  Also, you can still have the fun of bidding on auctions.  Just pay a fair compensation to a dealer to review lots for you.  This way the traps will be sprung on someone else.  In the end, you will end up with less coins, but the quality of the coins you do buy, will be way better.  And guess what, in many instances a good dealer can sell you great coins at a lot less money than what you’d have to pay in auction!

Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979.  Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association.  He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years.  He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.

Gold Eagles – Proof or Uncirculated
By Joe Presti

Most bullion calls we receive, center around the American Eagle gold coin in uncirculated condition.  These coins can theoretically be minted in unlimited quantities, as long as there is gold available to mint the coins.  The government produces enough coins to meet demand, and as such, mintages have ranged in the 500,000 to 1,000,000 coin range since the inception of the series in 1986.

On the other hand, proof gold Eagles are struck on specially prepared planchets, encased in a velvet box, and packaged in a cardboard outer box.  They have mintages that average around 50,000 coins.  Anyone who collects coins would readily admit that there are not many coins more beautiful than a proof gold piece, even if recently minted.

If someone wanted to purchase a backdated gold Eagle today, that coin would cost approximately $1346.50 per coin, plus associated costs including shipping.  That price is based on gold spot of $1321 per ounce and current premiums could possibly change, increasing or decreasing that price.  On the other hand, proof gold Eagles with their beauty and limited mintages can be bought for something in the $1375-$1400 per ounce range, with earlier dates and sets sometimes commanding a premium.  These proof Eagles, up until about a year ago, were selling for upwards of $300 per ounce premium over gold, as compared to a $50 premium today.

What has changed? 

Back in the 1980s, the government instituted regulations which prevented individuals from putting rare coins into their IRA’s.  The exception was that bullion of various types were still allowed.  What the government did not foresee was that proof gold and silver Eagles, as long as they were ungraded, were considered bullion.  As this loophole began to be exploited, some dealers saw an opportunity to focus on this area and began to sell massive quantities of these coins.  This caused premiums to skyrocket as high as $500 per ounce or more on a retail basis. 

The reason for the price collapse, appears to be two fold.  First was the lack of people funding gold and silver IRA’s.  The other was that some of the dealers that charged high premiums, went out of business.  Both situations resulted in decreased demand. 

If someone is interested in buying any of these proofs, we only recommend that they be in their original mint packaging, which includes the inner and outer boxes mentioned above, along with the certificate of authenticity issued by the mint.  By all means do not buy graded gold Eagles.  Many dealers have scammed the uneducated buyer on Proof-70 silver and gold Eagles, charging outrageous premiums based on a low population story.  Don’t be fooled!

The thought here is that if one were to purchase uncirculated gold Eagles, why not contemplate buying proofs, which have much more going for them.  Beauty, limited mintage and a history of higher premiums than the uncirculated version has ever had.

The Calvin Coolidge 1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial Half Dollar Presentation Piece
By Dave Carleton

Last Monday was President’s Day, and because we are located on the top floor of The People’s United Bank that honors the holiday, we found ourselves having a three day weekend too. This I thought would be one of our last chances to go skiing in Vermont before the snow melts. Our mountain, Mad River Glen, was extremely crowded on Sunday because of the holiday and school vacations, but the skiing was wonderful.

When we return back to our home in New Hampshire from these trips, we like to take alternative routes with the hopes of stumbling on some interesting sites or historical markers along the way. On Monday we really weren’t thinking about President’s Day at all as we traveled south on Route 100.  I was checking out the map and noticed that we would be traveling right through a town named Plymouth Notch, which happened to be the birth place of our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge. We decided to stop and check out the Coolidge family homestead.

When we arrived at the location, it was very quiet and peaceful and we walked around reading all the informative markers.  Then we noticed a building that turned out to be the
Calvin Coolidge Visitor Center with a parking lot full of cars.  The center isn’t usually open until the middle of April, but because it was President’s Day, they were open and there was a crowd listening to an orator reciting one of the President’s speeches. We came in towards the middle of the presentation, so we went in to another room and watched a movie of his life.

Some of the facts that we learned was that while he was Vice President to Warren G. Harding and on vacation at his homestead in Plymouth Notch, VT in August 1923, he was informed of President Harding’s untimely death.  Later that day, he was sworn in as our 30th President by his father.  He was known as the first President to address the American people by radio.

This is where the coin part comes in.  In 1928, during his administration, the Territory of Hawaii asked our government to produce a coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Captain James Cook, the first European to come to the island.  At that time, getting such a request granted was almost impossible, but for some reason it was approved without any hold backs and President Coolidge signed the order. 

While touring the visitor center we also went into a room with all kinds of documents and some very interesting coins, like the President’s inaugural medal.  That’s when I realized that I had a connection to this.  It came to me all of a sudden, five years ago I had placed with one of my collectors the 1928 Hawaiian presentation coin that was actually given to President Coolidge by the Territory of Hawaii!

The US Mint produced 10,000 Hawaiian Commemorative half dollars, and out of that number 50 were made for presentation. They were originally referred to by the Mint as Sand Blast Proofs and had similar surfaces as the Proof gold coins from 1911 through 1915.  Many of these coins were acquired by non-collectors and were mishandled. The Proof Hawaiian my friend has is graded by PCGS as a PR-64, with all the proper paperwork that accompanies and authenticates the coin’s provenance. Not only is it the actual coin given to President Coolidge, but it’s the only Proof Hawaiian that CAC has ever approved. 

These are the kind of happenings that make me love coins. It seems to me that the saying, “a coin is a piece of history in your hands,” never stops ringing true.


David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills  (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.

Questions From Our Mail Bag
By Warren Mills

What’s your viewpoint on toned Proof Indian Cents?  The rarity of them, originality and pricing?    - D.M.
Thanks D.M.!  This is a question that fits right in with the first article of this newsletter.
I love nicely toned Proof Indian Cents.  Copper tones differently than silver, so really nice colored coins are like works of art.  They were popular at shows in the early 1980s, so much so that many artificially toned pieces were being sold.  Then the grading services came along and wouldn’t grade blatantly artificially toned coins.  On many occasions at shows, I saw people that had no interest at all in original red coins.  They seemed to always want nice toned ones.
True original toned beauties are scarce!  Unfortunately, there are some dealers that spend years perfecting techniques to deceive.  It’s at the point today that probably less than half of the certified toned Proof Indians are close to original!  Now, instead of total artificial color, some dealers will enhance color.  This enhancement is still artificial, but a lot harder to tell. 
For the no doubt, original, pretty 65’s, start at $1,000 against a bid of $400+.  Proof-66 beauties are what a buyer will tolerate for the price.  With these coins, originality is of the utmost importance.  CAC is a good starting point.  They are very much aware of enhanced toning and try to err on the side of caution.  Remember, some dealers that handle these coins are making no representation other than they are nice looking.  To get the real value for your money stick with CAC coins, not all of them are nice, just the ones that you really like.

Feel free to email me with any questions you have.



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