2012 - The Coin Year In Review 

December 31, 2012

We will have the 1806 O-108 half dollar, Knob 6, No Stem Through Claw, in PCGS Fine-12 at the FUN show for sale by sealed bid. The coin is an R-7 with 7 known specimens. Bidding will close on Friday, January 11 at 4 pm EST. The minimum bid is $97,000.
1806 O-108 PCGS F-12
My next show is FUN in Orlando, FL, Thursday January 10 thru Saturday January 12, 2013, table #312.  Please stop by and say hello! 
And here is the rest of 2012 - - The Coin Year In Review


  • MOST SURPRISING PRICE - - $170,000 for an 1885 Liberty nickel in PCGS MS-67.
  • BEST FIND #1 - - 1853-O No Arrows half (the 4th known) found in a group of coins from an inheritance. Graded VG-8 at PCGS, sold for over $200,000 in auction.
  • BEST FIND #2 - - 1817/4 half (the 10th known) found in an old collection. Graded VG-8 at PCGS, sold for over $100,000 in private sale.
  • BEST FIND #3 - - 1808/7 half cent C-1 variety (2nd finest of about 17 known) found by a non-numismatic source. Graded F-12 at PCGS, sold for over $125,000 in auction.
  • BEST FIND #4 - - 159 ancient Roman gold coins are found buried in England.
  • BEST FIND #5 - - 1796 With Pole half cent in EF is found in a matchbox in England. It will be auctioned in January 2013.
  • BEST FIND #6 - - Indian Cent dealer Rick Snow finds an 1888/7, S-1 cent in VF-35 on eBay for less than $50. He sells it for nearly $10,000.
  • BEST FIND #7 - - 1870-S $3 gold piece (the 2nd known) found in a book by a tourist in 1997. Was being auctioned raw by a non-numismatic auction house.
  • BUT WAIT A MINUTE - - The aforementioned 1870-S $3 gold piece did not match the diagnostic features of the only known example. It was pulled from the auction, and it hasn't been seen since.
  • BEST COIN FOUND WITH A METAL DETECTOR - - 1652 NE Sixpence (one of 8 known) found in a potato field in Long Island in 1990. Rated VF details, damage by PCGS. Sold for $35,200 in 1991 Sotheby's auction. Then, . . . . .
  • BEST REASON TO KEEP A COIN FOUND WITH A METAL DETECTOR - - The aforementioned 1652 Sixpence that sold for $35,200 in 1991 is auctioned in 2012 for $431,250.
  • MOST FUTILE SEARCH - - Searching the Cooper River in New Jersey for counterfeit nickels made by Francis Henning and dumped into the river in 1955. Can't imagine what condition these nickels are in now!
  • WHEN WILL IT EVER END - - The Langbords file an appeal to the trial court verdict in the case of the ten confiscated 1933 double eagles.
  • BEST NEW DIE MARRIAGE DISCOVERY - - 1825 N-5 cent identified. Had been described by Frank Andrews in 1883, but hadn't been seen since, and was delisted as it was thought it did not exist. A collector from Alabama finds it on eBay.
  • I GUESS THEIR LUCKY NUMBER IS 12 - - Coin dealer Doug Winter and Teletrade's Irma Kane are married on 12-12-12. Congratulations to the happy couple!
  • BIGGEST CHANGE IN BUSINESS MODEL - - J. J. Teaparty closes their store in downtown Boston, moves to the suburbs, and now sells coins at shows and on the Internet. I congratulated Liz Coggan for adopting my business model. ;-)
  • TRAVELOGUE MENTION - - Somehow I am mentioned in Cliff Mishler's travelogue in the November 27 Numismatic News. The bigger surprise is that the mention came because I sold Cliff a Morgan dollar.
  • COIN THAT'S OUT OF THIS WORLD - - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity takes a 1909 VDB cent to Mars!
  • BEST NEWS FROM eBAY - - eBay bans sale of counterfeit and replica coins effective February 20.
  • WHAT A RETURN! - - Continental Dollar bought at a flea market for $1 in 1969 is authenticated, graded and sells for $120,000.
  • GONE TOO SOON - - David Akers, coin dealer, cataloguer of the Pittman Collection, and author of several books on U. S. gold coinage. Arnold Margolis, error coin dealer, writer and researcher. Ed Milas, owner of Chicago coin dealership RARCOA. Russell Rulau, writer, editor, and author of the most important reference book on tokens.
  • DON'T SPEND THEM YET - - FBI investigating theft of $20,000 worth of unissued Series 2009 $100 Federal Reserve Notes.
  • MOST OBSCURE PERSON TO BE PUT ON A U. S. COIN - - Alice Paul is put on the First Spouse gold coin related to Chester A. Arthur. She was born the same year that President Arthur became President.
  • HOLEY MOLEY #1 - - The ANA recovers its Australian "Holey Dollar" which had been stolen and auctioned for $191,000.
  • HOLEY MOLEY #2 - - Stack's Bowers Galleries auctions a 53-pound piece of Yap money. Shipping was extra.
  • HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - - The Liberty Seated Collectors Club offers gold and silver medals celebrating the Club's 40th Anniversary.
  • CAVEAT EMPTOR DEPT. - - Someone buys an 1873 No Arrows Open 3 half dollar in VG off an online venue for a fairly low price. Unfortunately, the coin is an 1873 With Arrows half that had the arrows removed.
  • BEST EXHIBIT - - 1943 bronze and 1944 steel cents, all Mints, at the 2011 FUN show.
  • MOST HONEST EBAY AUCTION LOT DESCRIPTION - - "1858-O Seated Liberty Half crappy condition". Similarly, another eBay lot description: "1837 Crapped Bust dime".
  • BEST PRE-SHOW PARTY - - Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage, invites dealers and others to his house before the Dallas ANA Money Show. A wonderful time! Thanks again, Jim!
  • BEST AUCTION OF LIBERTY SEATED COINS - - The Battle Born Collection, a complete 111-coin set of Carson City coinage, is sold at the Philadelphia ANA. Highlights included the unique 1873-CC No Arrows dime which sold for $1,840,000.
  • WHAT'S OLD IS NOW NEW - - NGC offers a Limited Edition "Retro Holder" that looks similar to the original (and rare) NGC black slab.
  • BEST NEW BOOK (BUST AND SEATED COIN DEPT.) - - Dick Graham's "A Registry of Die Varieties of Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836 - 1839" is published.
  • BEST REASON TO CHECK YOUR CHANGE - - 1992 Close AM cent sells for $24,056 and a 1992-D Close AM cent sells for $20,700. Also, a 2007-D Sacagawea dollar with the Presidential dollar edge lettering sells for $17,161.
  • INFLATION HITS THE AUCTION BUSINESS - - Stack's Bowers, then Heritage, raise their buyers' fees to 17.5%.
  • IS SOMEONE BURIED IN THIS COIN - - 2009 Ultra High Relief PCGS MS-70 PL First Strike sells for $20,903. There are 27 such coins graded.
  • BEST NEWS ON THE CRIME FRONT - - Buffalo, NY man is sentenced for selling counterfeit U. S. silver dollars. Counterfeits included an 1873-CC Seated Liberty Dollar With Arrows. Unfortunately, the sentence was only one year.
  • MORE GOOD NEWS ON THE CRIME FRONT - - Former Philadelphia Mint police officer is sentenced to 3 years on charges of theft of error coins from the Mint.
  • MORE NEWS ON THE CRIME FRONT - - The Secret Service decides that the "NORFED" Liberty dollars are counterfeits, although that they do not resemble any U. S. coinage. They convince eBay to ban their sale. Wonder where the Secret Service was over the last several years when thousands and thousands of much-more deceptive counterfeit coins came into this country from overseas?
  • KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR - - The finest known 1870-CC double eagle, an NGC AU-58, is stolen from a Brinks shipment. There is a $100,000 reward for its return.
  • THE HOBOES NEVER GOT THIS MUCH FOR THEM - - Collection of 218 Hobo nickels sells for $170,000.
  • BUSINESS CHANGE - - Richard Weaver purchases Delaware Valley Rare Coin Co. from Frank Greenberg, who founded it in 1969. Congratulations to both!
  • HE LOOKS YOUNG, BUT HE IS VERY SMART AND WILL DO GREAT - - Congratulations to new Coin World Editor Steve Roach.
  • AND, HAPPY RETIREMENT WISHES FOR - - Beth Deisher, who edited Coin World for 27 years.
  • CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD LUCK TO - - New ANA Executive Director Jeff Shevlin. Nice guy with a difficult job.
  • RAREST COINS I SOLD - - Probably a tie between the 1873-CC Seated Dollar in PCGS XF-40 and the 1822 dime in NGC AU-58+. You can see both in my Archives page.
  • WILDEST TONED COINS I SOLD - - Another tie between the 1881 Seated Quarter in PCGS PR-64 and the 1823 Half in PCGS AU-58. You can see both in my Archives page.
  • HEADLINE NEWS - - I make the front page of both Coin World and Numismatic News for my purchase of the 4th known 1842 Small Date, Small Letters Reverse half dollar.
  • BEST COIN I SAW THAT I PREVIOUSLY HAD NEVER SEEN AN EXAMPLE OF - - an 1807 O-111 prime Capped Bust Half Dollar. (6 or so known). The prime die state is the earliest die state of the coin that normally comes with a die crack making it a "Bearded Goddess".
  • BEST DINNER - - Our customary ANA dinner with most of our table assistants and some key suppliers. This year we enjoy Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Philly. Highly recommended!
  • BEST CREW TO WORK WITH - - My table assistants, Bill Bugert, Len Augsburger, Bill Cowburn, and Dick Graham, as well as my wife Karen.
  • BEST NEWS FROM RICH UHRICH U. S. RARE COINS INC. - - We had a very successful year in 2012, with record sales. We are expecting another good year in 2013.
  • WHEN I STARTED THIS BUSINESS - - I was thinking it would be a nice part-time career. It has been seven years now, and each year has been more enjoyable and successful than the previous year. A very large part of our success is due to our loyal customers who make this business fun every day. Thank you very, very much!  - - Rich Uhrich  

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