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22 Jul 2016

Silver Queen Strikes again

Coins-United States | user_7361

I enjoy collecting coins and old currency, just as the rest of you do. I have a large variety of nice coins and paper currency in my collection but lately I have developed a taste for collecting junk silver coins. Every time I make a purchase to add a coin to my collection I have to buy some junk silver as well. I have become an junk silver addict and now I'm known as the "Silver Queen" amongst my fellow collectors. I walk into my local coin dealer and when they see me coming through the door they automatically pull the junk silver tray out for me and put it on the counter. Yes, even the local coin dealer knows I'm a junk silver addict.I always get teased and told I have a nose on me that can sniff junk silver out miles away.Does anyone else out there like junk silver coins too? Please share your story.

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09 Jul 2016

1909 S V.D.B. LINCOLN CENT... yes another auction win!

Coins-United States | Kepi

This is a funny story about auctions... Of course we all know about the 1909 S V.D.B. Lincoln cent so I won't go on about the specs. My husband and I always wanted this coin, not only because it's cool, but because it's a good investment as well. So lets just say we both find potential purchases offered on two different auction sites... We both bid on separate coins knowing we probably won't get even close to winning. Yep, you guessed it. The next morning, two winning bid notices in our e-mail !!! Well the old saying goes "If one is good, then two is better"... : )

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09 Jul 2016

YOU BOUGHT WHAT!!! HOW MUCH DO WE OWE???

Coins-United States | Kepi

After the auction closed this is exactly what I said to my husband. "You bought what! How much do we owe?" Now keep in mind I've always wanted the coveted 1916 D Mercury Dime...as Mercury Dimes are my thing and that year was always just a dream. But there it was, a reality come true... an invoice from Great Collections in our e-mail : ) After all was said and done, with the coin in my hand...I thought she's beautiful !!! My husband is amazing, my hero and as I later found out quite the bidder. He sniped this beauty at less than half of what it's worth in the Red Book. All is good..... : )

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02 Jul 2016

Morgan dollar: identifying the "strike" quality

Coins-United States | MiketheCPA

What are the criteria to determine whether the "strike" on a particular Morgan dollar is weak, average or strong?

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09 Jun 2016

Slab Coins.........................

Coins-United States | BigMB72

Need to know if there is any dealers out there who specialize in slab coins. Especially NGC. If anyone has dealt with such a dealer and would like to recommend one that would be great.

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09 Jun 2016

NGC ONLINE PRICE GUIDE

Coins-United States | user_2716

This is likely a naive question but I am relatively new to collecting. Is the NGC online price guide a realistic place to look for retail prices of coins? I ask because here in Canada there is an excellent website with many fine features but the price guide it offers seems to be out of sync with actual retail pricing. Is there a better starting point to find current market pricing for U.S. coins?

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03 Jun 2016

How I Got Started

Coins-United States | World_Coin_Nut

I started collecting coins in the early 1970’s by helping my grandfather sort pennies for our Lincoln folders. We would spend hours sitting around my grandparent’s dining room table. I remember being absolutely amazed at the size of his collection of what I considered to be impossibly old coins.

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25 May 2016

Authenticating coins

Coins-United States | MiketheCPA

I am preparing to sell parts of my collection but I want to authenticate four or five before hand. I am aware I can send them to NGC but wonder if there are sources closer to home. I live in the Pacific Northwest.

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17 May 2016

My Take on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar

Coins-United States | coinsbygary

The 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar commemorates the 1825 founding of Fort Vancouver by the Hudson’s Bay Company and it’s first administrator, Dr. John McLoughlin (1784-1857). The obverse features a left facing bust of Dr. McLoughlin based on a sketch by Vancouver, Washington native John T. Urquhart.[1] The reverse features a frontiersman clothed in buckskins standing in front of the Fort Vancouver stockade with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background. Portland, Oregon native Sidney Bell is credited with the coin’s original design and Laura Gardin Fraser with modifying the motifs and preparing the final models.[2]Interestingly, Laura Gardin Fraser nearly missed out on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar. After rejecting Sydney Bell’s models, the Federal Commission of Fine Arts sought medalist Chester Beach who himself designed the 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half-Dollar to modify and complete the models. However, Chester Beach was unavailable and Laura Gardin Fraser was commissioned with the task on June 15, 1925. Subsequently, She finished the new models by July 1 and the first 50,028 coins (28 for assay purposes) were ready for delivery on August 1.[3] Because of their love and admiration for the old west, both James and Laura Fraser were adept at modeling subjects relating to western themes. Accordingly, it is probably for the best that the commission fell to Laura as I will detail in the following paragraphs. To understand Laura’s rendition of Dr. McLoughlin on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar it is important to understand the man.In the October 1925 issue of the Numismatist, Portland resident George A. Pipes wrote the following about Dr. McLoughlin. “Dr. McLoughlin was truly a great man. He ruled this great territory as an absolute monarch, a benevolent despot, Haroun-alRaschid reincarnated. He was able to convince the savage tribes of Indians that he and his company intended them no harm. If an Indian did wrong to a white man, he was punished, and the same punishment was administered to a white who wronged an Indian. He forbade the evil practice which had existed theretofore of trading "firewater" to the Indians. He dealt with such justness toward these savage tribes that for hundreds of miles around they acknowledged him their Big Chief and lived in peace and quiet among the whites.”[4]Laura Fraser’s rendition of Dr. McLoughlin’s bust features him as an older man, and as such someone who is dignified and demands respect. Dr. McLoughlin’s high cheek bone and deep eyes show him to be determined. His thick eyebrows remind me of someone who is wise or in deep thought. Furthermore, Dr. McLoughlin is dressed in clothing that seems to suggest that he was a shrewd businessman. Consequently, when you read Dr. McLoughlin’s biography, the image of his bust on the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar is exactly what you might expect to see. These then are all the little things an artist can subtly add to their subject in order to portray a certain image without significantly altering the subject.I do not know for sure what changes Laura Gardin Fraser made to the reverse motifs of this coin. However, according to the US Rare Coin Investments website she added the frontiersman to the original design.The most prominent device on the reverse of the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar is the frontiersman. Ergo, he is symbolic of the type of person who traded furs in the mountainous regions of the Pacific northwest during the early to middle 1800’s. That his head has an appearance of towering higher than Mt. Hood shows that he is more than equal to harshness of the environment in which he lives. He is tall and stocky, indicating that he is strong and physically fit. He is wearing a coonskin cap with a full beard and a stern face proving that he is resilient and ready for any adverse weather conditions he may encounter. His buckskin clothing has the appearance of authenticity as the edges are tattered. His leg muscles are well defined and powerful such as what he would need to traverse rugged terrain. Finally, the frontiersman is standing with his rifle in a position of readiness to defend the fort behind him. This man then is a representative type of the 1,000 white men who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company under Dr. John McLoughlin.Finally, I’m not sure how this coin may have turned out if Chester Beach finished the models. However, I do know that Laura Gardin Fraser executed the design features of the Fort Vancouver Centennial Half-Dollar well.

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