2014 - The Coin Year In Review   
December 31, 2014

My next show is the FUN show in Orlando, FL, Thursday, January 8 thru Saturday, January 10, Table #712.  Please stop by and say hello!


Here is my 2014 - The Coin Year In Review:  


  • BEST FIND #1 - - A family in the United Kingdom discovered a 1794 Silver Dollar in a long time family collection.  The coin subsequently graded PCGS AU-50.

  • BEST FIND #2 - - New obverse die for 1803 Draped Bust, Large 3 silver dollar discovered.

  • BEST FIND #3 - - A new 1817/4 Bust half was discovered, but the long-time owner had tried to scratch away the "4" part of the underdate.  It was slabbed by PCGS as VF details, damaged.

  • BEST FIND #4 - - A 1788 Vermont copper was started on eBay at 99c. It ended at $29,900.  The coin was an R-7 with only 6 examples known.

  • BEST FIND #5 - - A collector found a 1969-S doubled die obverse Lincoln cent in a roll.  The coin graded PCGS AU-55 and sold for $19,800 in auction.

  • BEST FIND #6 - - A hoard of over 2,000 Roman bronze coins was found in the United Kingdom.

  • BEST FIND #7 - - Stacks Bowers acquired a hoard of over one million coins, including bags of large cents thru silver dollars.  The coins weighed 30 tons.

  • BEST FIND #8 - - 1793 Chain cent found in a bag of coins purchased in the U. K. for $17 was sold for $41,500.

  • BEST FIND #9 - - Collector finds an 1861-O half dollar WB-102 (with the CSA die crack) in a roll of half dollars.

  • GOLD FLAT, SILVER DOWN AGAIN - - Gold closed at $1,183.50 (down 2% from 12/31/2013's close of $1,208) and silver closed at $15.72 (down nearly 20% from 12/31/2013's close of $19.54).

  • SELLING MORE AND MORE - - U. S. Mint has record sales of 2014 American Silver Eagles, beating 2013's record.

  • YOU REALLY HAVE A ROLL OF THESE? - - A collector acquired 53 1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln cents over 25 years, and the coins are now being offered as one lot.

  • BIGGEST LINES AT THE ANA SHOW - - For the Gold Kennedy half dollars.

  • BIGGEST FIASCO - - The distribution of the Gold Kennedys at the ANA's World's Fair of Money annual convention.  Want to read the details?  Check my website Newsletter page, click on August Gold Kennedys.

  • MOST SURPRISING PRICE - - Someone paid $100,000 for the first Gold Kennedy certified by PCGS.  Not the first one minted, or the first one distributed, but the first one slabbed.

  • IS SOMEONE BURIED IN THIS COIN? - - See item immediately above.
  • CHANGE AFTER 39 YEARS - - The Liberty Seated Collectors Club congratulated John McCloskey on his retirement.  John had been President of the LSCC and Editor of the Gobrecht Journal since 1975.  Congratulations to new President Gerry Fortin and Publications Editor Bill Bugert, as well as all of the new officers!

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO: LSCC Publications Editor Bill Bugert, who has converted the Gobrecht Journal into a full color, full-size magazine.  A big improvement!

  • NEW MEMBER OF LIBERTY SEATED COLLECTORS CLUB'S HALL OF FAME - - Gene Gardner.  He built a wonderful and amazing collection.  But, in addition, as anyone who knows him will attest, he is willing to answer a lot of questions, even from people whose collections are much less impressive than his (i.e., that means just about all of us.)  A very well-deserved honor for Gene.

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Garrett Ziss, 12 year old numismatic prodigy, expert on Capped Bust Half Dollars, is the subject of an article in Coin World.  Garrett is fascinating to talk with and has a lot of interesting questions.  When I met Garrett, his first question was about the 1827 JR-14 dime.  That was the first time a 12-year old asked me that question.

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - "Mr. S.", a client of ours, who was extensively quoted by Q. David Bowers in a Coin World article "Top Collectors Seek Quality".

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - The ICTA and Lobbyist Jimmy Hayes, who were successful in getting the Collectible Coin Protection Act signed into law.

  • AND A BRONX CHEER TO - - Minnesota, which enacted a draconian law which has had the unintended result of many out-of-state dealers refusing to do any business with anyone in Minnesota.

  • SUPER-RARE BUT THERE ARE TWO BEING AUCTIONED EARLY IN 2015 - - Original 1861 Confederate half dollars (there are only 4 known).

  • OH SO CLOSE AWARD - - 1927-D double eagle NGC MS-66 sells for $1,997,500.  And an 1884 Trade dollar in PCGS PR-65 sells for $998,750.

  • MOST SURPRISING PRICE - - 1787 Brasher Doubloon sells for $4,582,500.  It was thought to be a big bargain.

  • GOLD NOBEL PEACE PRIZE SOLD - - First one sold at auction in the U. S., it sold for $1,116,250.

  • NEAR-UNIQUE COIN SOLD - - An 1861 Paquet reverse double eagle from the Philadelphia Mint, 1 of 2 known, in PCGS MS-61 sells at auction for $1,645,000.

  • ONLY HALF AS RARE AS THE 1861-P PAQUET - - Stacks Bowers sells an 1853-O No Arrows half, 1 of 4 known, in PCGS G-6 for $246,750.

  • ANOTHER 1804 DOLLAR SELLS - - Class III in NGC PR-55 sells for $1.88 million.

  • AND A SUPER RARE WORLD COIN - - 1937 Edward VIII gold sovereign, 1 of 2 known, sells for $875,000.

  • 1802 HALF DIME REWRITES THE PRICE GUIDES - - A PCGS VG-8 sells for $117,500.

  • CHECK YOUR PLATS - - A 2007-W $25 Platinum American Eagle with the word "FREEDOM" frosted instead of brilliant sold for $69,300 at auction.

  • TONERS ARE ALIVE AND WELL - - Legend sells an 1881-S Morgan in PCGS MS-68+ CAC for $45,825, and an 1879 Morgan in PCGS MS-66 CAC for $23,500.       
  • WHEN WILL IT EVER END - - The Langbords and the Government present their cases in Federal Appeals Court, in the case of the ten confiscated 1933 double eagles.

  • IT'S FREE, NO IT'S NOT, YES IT IS - - Confusion abounded when the U. S. Mint offered a free souvenir bag with all purchases above a certain amount.  But when the orders were filled, all of the coins were on backorder, so the only thing sent was the "free" bag along with a bill for the $5.95 postage.  But the bag was free, as the postage referred to the coins on backorder.  It might have been better to wait on the "free" bag and the postage bill until each customer was being shipped his/her first group of coins.

  • BEST NEW U. S. MINT BUZZWORD - - "Unauthorized".  The Mint has asked the Court to dismiss the suit against them for trying to confiscate a 1974-D aluminum cent, with their argument being that no aluminum cents were authorized.  Also known as the "Because We Say So" legal doctrine.

  • NEW MEXICO COLLECTOR ACQUIRES THE 10th OF 14 SACAGAWEA / QUARTER MULES - - So what happens when the Mint decides that these coins weren't officially released and are "unauthorized"?

  • 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!

  • BEST SALE (BUST & SEATED COINS) - - The Gene Gardner Collection (which will continue in 2015).

  • BEST SALE (COPPER COINS) - - The Missouri Collection, which was a COMPLETE set of Half Cents, including all die varieties.

  • BEST SALE (ALL COINS) - - The Eric Newman Collection.

  • QUALITY TRUMPS RARITY - - In the Missouri Collection, the 1808/7 Cohen-1 half cent in PCGS XF-40 (the finest of only 9 known of this variety) sold for $184,000, while the 1808/7 Cohen-2 half cent in PCGS MS-64+ (a high grade of a much more common coin) sold for $483,000.

  • COMPETITION IS ALIVE AND WELL AT ANA - - The ANA awarded the auction rights to the 2014 World's Fair of Money to two firms, Heritage and Stacks Bowers.

  • GONE TOO SOON - - Tom Becker, worked for Bowers & Ruddy, then Merena, for many years, then started the Becker & Kuehnert firm, wrote "Confessions of a Coin Dealer".  Bob Brown, local collector and expert on wooden money.  John Burns, book dealer and expert on just about every numismatic topic.  Rod Burress, copper coin dealer.  David Carr, dealer just recently on his own after many years with Delaware Rare Coin Galleries.  Philip Crane, U. S. congressman who was instrumental in legalizing private ownership of gold in 1974.  Gene Henry, wholesale dealer from Washington state.  Debbie Rexing, VP of Marketing at Heritage.  Len Roosmalen, error coin dealer.  David Sabo, Virginia coin dealer.  Dave Weygant, Florida dealer of beautiful coins.  Larry Whitlow, Illinois dealer who specialized in commemoratives.

  • NEW METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION - - Many of the Saddle Ridge gold coins from a hoard of $10 million, were sold on Amazon.

  • RAREST COINS I SOLD - - We represented the buyer in a purchase of a set of Early Half Dimes which included a high-grade 1802.  We sold an 1823/2 quarter in PCGS G-4.  We sold an 1838 Pattern half dollar, with the Seated half obverse and the Gobrecht flying eagle reverse, in PCGS PR-64 CAC.  We sold an 1825 Bust dime, JR-4, VG, full obverse cud.
  • WILDEST TONED COINS I SOLD - - 1830 Bust half O-113 in PCGS AU-58+, and an 1859 Seated half in PCGS PR-64.

  • FAIRLY RARE COIN, BUT I SOLD 5 OF THEM THIS YEAR - - 1852 half dollar, and also the 1824/2 quarter.

  • I DIDN'T EXPECT THIS #1 - - An excerpt of my 2013 Coin Year in Review was published in Coin World's Guest Commentary section.

  • I DIDN'T EXPECT THIS #2 - - I was awarded the "Dealer of the Year" by the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.

  • BEST DINNER - - Our customary ANA dinner with most of our table assistants and some key suppliers.  This year we enjoyed McCormick & Schmick's Restaurant in Rosemont, IL.  
  • BEST CREW TO WORK WITH - - My table assistants, Bill Bugert, Len Augsburger, Dick Graham, Richard Meaney, and Scott Lingo, as well as my wife Karen.

  • BEST NEWS FROM RICH UHRICH U. S. RARE COINS INC. - - We had a very successful year in 2014, with record sales.  We are expecting another good year in 2015.

  • WHEN I STARTED THIS BUSINESS - - I thought it would be a nice part-time career.  It turned into full-time fairly quickly.  It has been nine 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 2015!


                                                           - - Rich Uhrich 
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