2013 - The Coin Year In Review 

December 31, 2013
My next show is FUN in Orlando, FL, Thursday January 9 thru Saturday January 11, 2014, table #616.  Please stop by and say hello! 
And, without further ado, here is the 2013 - - The Coin Year In Review


  • MOST SURPRISING PRICE - - 1983 Lincoln cent in PCGS MS-62, struck on a copper planchet (used in early 1982 and earlier) rather than the 1983 standard copper-plated zinc planchet, sold at auction for $23,000. So start weighing every 1983 cent you find! 
  • BUGGED BY GOLD - - As of early today, gold is $1,188 per ounce, compared with $1,677 at close of business 12/31/2012, a 29% reduction.
  • AND SILVER WAS WORSE - - As of early today, silver is $19.01 per ounce, compared with $30.38 at close of business 12/31/2012, a 37% reduction.  
  • BEST FIND #1 - - A workman at a French winery discovered 497 U. S. double eagles while working on a renovation project in 2012.  In 2013, the coins sold for $945,000.    
  • BEST FIND #2 - - Jeff Garrett discovers "special strike" coins, similar to Special Mint Set or Specimen coins, for appx. 100 previously unreported coins from 1950 thru 1979, in the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection. Perhaps if the Smithsonian actually displayed some of the National Numismatic Collection, this discovery might have been made much earlier.   
  • BEST FIND #3 - - 1825 N-5 Large cent found in Good, the 4th example known.   
  • BEST FIND #4 - - 1796 half cent found in an English attic last year sells for $358,000.   
  • BEST FIND #5 - - Second known 1802 JR-1 dime found (Good with scratches).   
  • BEST FIND #6 - - 1834 N-7 Large cent found, the second known circulated coin along with 6 proofs and one impaired proof.   
  • BEST FIND #7 - - 1793 S-15 Liberty Cap cent found, the 13th known and the first one found in 80 years.   
  • BEST FIND #8 - - 1794 NC-11 Large cent found, the third one known.   
  • BEST FIND #9 - - Collector finds an 1841-O dime, Closed Buds, Small o, on eBay for $99. It grades XF-40 at PCGS and is worth about $10,000.   
  • BEST FIND #10 - - Variety collector Brian Raines discovers a 1902-O Morgan dollar which is a new variety, now listed as VAM-26A.   
  • BEST FIND #11 - - 1848 Seated quarter with a 90 degree clockwise rotated reverse, found by collector Brad Holt, recently acquired by us. So far, only one such coin is known. We will have the coin at the FUN show.   
  • DON'T SPEND IT YET - - PayPal accidentally credits a customer with $92 quadrillion. Even more money than Bill Gates has!
  • NEWEST ERROR - - A new medal from the Vatican has the name of Jesus misspelled. The medals have been withdrawn and have skyrocketed in value.  (And, as an aside, one of the easiest words to misspell is "misspelled".)    
  • HAPPY RETIREMENT - - To John McCloskey, President of Liberty Seated Collectors Club and Editor of the Gobrecht Journal since 1975.  John announced his retirement effective at the 2014 ANA convention.   
  • BEST RETIREMENT GIFT - - The LSCC presents John McCloskey a full set of the LSCC medals, including the gold medal, upon his retirement announcement.   
  • AND THERE IS ANOTHER ONE SELLING IN JANUARY - - 1913 Liberty Nickel in PCGS PR-63 sells for $3,172,500.    
  • OH SO CLOSE AWARD - - A PCGS MS-65 1793 Chain Cent sells for $998,750.   
  • MOST SURPRISING PRICE - - 1964 Special Mint Set sells for $151,200. Really.   
  • MOST FUTILE SEARCH - - PCGS offers a $10,000 reward for the opportunity to examine a genuine 1964-D Peace dollar. The U. S. Treasury has declared such a coin illegal to own, and none have ever been publicly traded or displayed.   
  • WHEN WILL IT EVER END - - The Langbords' appeal of the trial court verdict in the case of the ten confiscated 1933 double eagles, starts in Federal Appeals Court.   
  • NEW TERM TO DESCRIBE A COIN - - As the U. S. Mint follows the U. S. Postal Service's path of product proliferation, we now have "Enhanced Uncirculated" 2013-W American Silver Eagles.   
  • BEST NEW ANA BUZZWORD - - "Transparency" re: ANA Board activities.   
  • MOST UNUSUAL NEW COIN - - "Bitcoins" are virtual currency created by a computer. No, I don't understand them either.   
  • BIGGEST LINES AT THE ANA SHOW - - Were for the 2013 Reverse Proof $50 Gold Buffaloes. Most people who bought them flipped them for an immediate profit of $100 to $200 per set.   
  • HEADLINE NEWS - - I make the front page of Coin World for the discovery of the seventh known 1806 O-108 half dollar (Knob 6, No Stem Through Claw). The coin was owned for 60 years by a woman who acquired it at age 12, when her father allowed her to pull a handful of coins out of a jar of coins he owned. The coin was graded F-12 by PCGS, and was subsequently sold to a collector.   
  • WELL, WE DID SO WELL THERE BEFORE, WE MIGHT AS WELL DO IT AGAIN - - The ANA selects Anaheim, California for the site of the 2016 annual convention. This after the 2009 ANA in Los Angeles, which was the worst attended and least business ANA show in recent memory.   
  • MOST DECEPTIVE TITLE - - The "Marketplace Fairness Act" which seeks to have every vendor in interstate commerce charge sales tax based on the buyer's place of residence, could well have been entitled "The Law Requiring You to Report Sales and Pay Tax to Over 7,500 Municipalities, Any of Which Can Audit You If They Don't Like Your Numbers". Here is my simple solution: If I go into a store and buy something, no one in the store asks me where I reside, the store just charges the sales tax where the store is located. Why can't we do that for online sales, too? This would accomplish the task, without requiring a huge amount of additional administrative effort!   
  • INTERESTING ITEM IN THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY'S COLLECTION - - My storecard with the obverse of an 1823/2 quarter has made it into the ANS's collection! It is listed as item 2008.55.2 and the listing can be viewed online.   
  • STRANGEST ENTRANCE - - The ANA show in New Orleans had an entrance with about 16 doors, all locked, except for one marked "Designated Door" which we could open.   
  • A BIG THANK-YOU TO - - John Albanese of CAC and Greg Shishmanian of LSCC got together and agreed to provide CAC memberships to LSCC members who wanted them, plus ten free coins could be submitted to CAC free! Thank you both!   
  • NEW MEMBERS OF LIBERTY SEATED COLLECTORS CLUB'S HALL OF FAME - - Seated Dime expert Gerry Fortin, and the late dealer Jim O'Donnell.  Well-deserved honor for both.   
  • WHAT A RETURN! - - Eric Newman coins sold at auction, cost to Mr. Newman was $7,500, and the sales prices totaled $23 million.   
  • GONE TOO SOON - - Bill Cowburn, collector, Trade dollar expert, exhibitor, and my table assistant and friend. Steve Deeds, headed Bowers & Merena auctions.  Lonesome John Devine, author of several errors books. Dr. Richard Doty, curator of the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection. George Fuld, wrote books on Civil War Tokens. Bob Hammond, collector and very nice guy. Alan Herbert, longtime Numismatic News columnist and errors expert. Henry Hilgard, collector and very nice guy who often worked at Sheridan Downey's table. Ray Merena, cofounder of Bowers & Merena. Joe Raudensky, collector and president of Harrisburg Coin Club.  Gar Travis, numismatic author and photographer. Eric von Klinger, longtime Coin World writer. And, my Mom.   
  • CHANGING HIS SIGNATURE - - Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew had to change his signature (which previously looked like either testing out a new pen, or a drawing of a Slinky) in order for his signature to be placed on Series 2013 currency.    
  • NEW CURRENCY ISSUED, BUT DOES IT HAVE A SECRET MISSION? - - The Series 2009 $100 bills issued in October have more security features, including a much more evident security thread. But the rumor is that these bills can be scanned when they are in luggage or being hand-carried, so that the scanner will know how much money you have.   
  • HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - - The Liberty Seated Collectors Club issues gold and silver medals celebrating the Club's 40th Anniversary. A total of 23 gold, 130 silver satin, and 180 silver proof medals were sold.   
  • MORE TURMOIL AT THE ANA - - ANA fires Executive Director Jeff Shevlin after less than a year on the job, then names Kim Kiick the new Executive Director with a 3-year contract.   
  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Brad Karoleff, named ANA's Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year.   
  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Coin World writer Paul Gilkes awarded the Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing. Paul has authored over 5,000 stories. (And I think that writing this Year-End Summary is difficult!)   
  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Our table assistant Bill Bugert is elected to the Rittenhouse Society, a group of numismatic researchers.   
  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Our table assistant Len Augsburger is elected as a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society.   
  • CONGRATULATIONS TO (WE THINK) - - New ANA Board members Ralph Ross, Laura Sperber, and Jeff Swindling.   
  • BIGGEST JUMP BID - - Laura Sperber jumps the bid from $5.5 million, to $8.525 million, in order to make sure she acquired the 1794 dollar in PCGS MS-66. The total including the buyer's fee was $10,016,875.    
  • MOST HONEST LOT DESCRIPTION - - This one from a long-time advertiser in Numismatic News: "Lot (appx. 200+) holed, dateless and/or damaged type coins. Stuff uglier than me (name of seller)".   
  • BEST AUCTION - - What else? The Eric Newman Collection.   
  • IS SOMEONE BURIED IN THIS COIN - - 1995-W Silver Eagle PCGS PR-70 DCAM sells for $86,655, then another one sells for $90,000. There are 21 such coins certified by PCGS.   
  • BUSINESS CHANGE - - Whitman cancels the Philly show which had been held in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013.   
  • RAREST COINS I SOLD - - The aforementioned 1806 O-108 half, an 1838 Gobrecht dollar, and two 1827 JR-10 dimes (appx. 12 known), one in NGC MS-65PL and one in PCGS XF-40.   
  • WILDEST TONED COINS I SOLD - - An 1810 half in PCGS AU-53, two 1834 halves, one in PCGS MS-64 CAC and the other (the "halo coin") in PCGS AU-58, plus an 1861-O half in NGC MS-64+ CAC.   
  • REALLY RARE COIN, BUT I SOLD 3 OF THEM THIS YEAR - - 1872-S quarter.   
  • REALLY RARE CIRCULATED PROOFS I SOLD THIS YEAR - - 1873 2c piece in PCGS PR-15, 1877 nickel in NGC PR-8, and 1858 Seated dollar in PCGS PR-15.   
  • BEST DINNER - - Our customary ANA dinner with most of our table assistants and some key suppliers. This year we enjoyed Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Schaumburg, IL.  Highly recommended!   
  • BEST CREW TO WORK WITH - - My table assistants, Bill Bugert, Len Augsburger, Dick Graham, and Richard Meaney, as well as my wife Karen.   
  • BEST NEWS FROM RICH UHRICH U. S. RARE COINS INC. - - We had a very successful year in 2013, with record sales. We are expecting another good year in 2014.   
  • WHEN I STARTED THIS BUSINESS - - After I retired from my career with a Fortune 500 company, I started this business thinking it would be a nice part-time career. It has been eight 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 friendly and loyal customers who make this business fun every day. Thank you very, very much!

  I wish all of my customers and their families a happy, healthy and successful 2014!
                                                       - - Rich Uhrich
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