"SUN"'s Blog

28 Nov 2020

Coin Thoughts #106 by "SUN"

Coins | "SUN"


The number 484,000 many collectors would recognize as the mintage of the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent. Every now and then you will see an article in a coin publication comparing the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent to some other coin of similar or less mintage that might be a good buy because of the price. The bottom line of value, in my mind, is the demand and condition of the coin, not the mintage.

I have my own story on mintage and value I like to share. I will take my birth year as an example. The 1949 Franklin Half Dollar with a mintage of 5,614,000, has a COIN WORLD Trends value of $125 in MS 65 condition.

Taking a look at the 1949 Booker T. Washington Commemorative Half Dollar with a mintage of just 6,004, has a COIN WORLD Trends value of $100 in MS65 condition.

Two coins with the same date and denomination, from the same mint, have close to the same value, but widely different mintages! The reason is that there are more collectors of Franklin Half Dollars, thus the higher demand for the coin with the higher mintage.. Most collectors of commemorative coins, collect by type, not by date and mint. Collectors most likely would obtain a 1946 dated Booker T. Washington Commemorative Half Dollar with a mintage of over 1.2 million amongst the various mints.

The Denver and San Francisco Franklin Half Dollars have even a higher spread in value than the Booker T. Washington Half Dollar. The Booker T. Washington Half Dollars have the same mintage of 6.004 at Denver and San Francisco.


Long Beard

Level 5

That gap is closing fairly quick as I'm seeing more and more up for auction at the bigger firms. Some serious money going in that direction for grades 65 and higher. And yes, we agree on mintage vs value.

The value of a piece in the market may be higher due to supply in demand, but I'd much rather have a "rare" coin with a mintage of only a few hundred, like the earlier proofs. Survival also plays a large role in market value too.

It's Mokie

Level 6

So true,, that is why collector demand is the most important factor in the value of a coin. If that Lincoln Cent also had a mintage of 6000 and change, can you imagine the incredible prices it would bring in ANY grade. Thanks for a great analysis.


Level 6

One never knows what coin is going to take off. Even older coins we all collect continue to go up and down in value. It can come down to "The style of the times". Whatever the buyers want at any given time can be a matter of fashion. Years ago it was acceptable to dip a coin to get a blast silver finish. Now not at all. Toned coins are very fashionable now. All it takes is two people to drive up the price of a coin at an auction. Well thought out SUN. Thanks for your thoughts!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

LOL, reminds me of the Rolling Stones "She's a 🌈" Give me an honest coin any day. I'm a purist


Level 5

Doesn't make sense to me sometimes. Older commemoratives have low mintages, but prices are reasonable. Isabella 1893 quarter has a mintage of 24 thousand. So many are also cleaned. But you can buy a good one for a reasonable price. 2020 V75 eagle is going for hundreds of dollars and just released at a mintage of 75 thousand.


Level 7

Very well put. Those are two great coins. We have some things in common. It's very true what you say. There are low mintage coins that don't command good money. It's all in the coin . That's why we say buy the coin not the label. I have a 1931 S cent low mintage 866000. Now that coin graded high gets a good price. But graded low not so good even with the low mintage. It's in the coin. Not the label. Thanks my friend great information. I look forward to your blogs.


Level 5

Sun, you point out a fact that is often forgotten or refused to be acknowledged, some coins with wicked low mintages are very collectable, while others with moderate to high mintages are pricy, all due to as you so correctly point out, demand. I love the Booker T, I have one, not graded and not as nice as yours but I like it. Thanks for sharing and reminding us what we should never forget, collect what you like, Demand and in this case supply is the key. As always, I enjoy your input. Later!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

It's an interesting caveat for collectors to be reminded of. It's not the numbers minted, it's the competition to acquire the coin. For all us " special low mintage bullion collectors"..... Let the buyer beware. It's better to buy it because you like it, not that you are going to make a future killing on the market


Level 5

Thank you for the insight SUN! I have to agree with CS here, that the massive difference in demand is a MASSIVE contributor to price. Thanks for sharing! As always, Cheers, NM


Level 5

I have seen similar situations, but that difference in the mintage in relation to the difference in the price is insane!

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