2015 Coin Year in Review      
January 2, 2016

My next show is the FUN show in Tampa, FL, Thursday, January 7 thru Saturday, January 9, Table #513.  Please stop by and say hello!

Here is my 2015 - COIN YEAR IN REVIEW:  
  • BEST FIND #1 - - A new die marriage was found for the 1798 Bust dollar.  It is designated as B-34 (BB-126). The discovery coin is VF details, cleaned.

  • BEST FIND #2 - - 1919 Mercury dime doubled die obverse discovered.  It has a wide spread on the motto, in fact it is puzzling that it took 95 years to discover this one.

  • BEST FIND #3 - - Similarly, a 1926 Mercury dime was found with a doubled die obverse.  This one is much more difficult to see than the 1919 doubled die.

  • BEST FIND #4 - - 1885-CC dollar is certified as the first branch mint proof 1885-CC.

  • BEST FIND #5 - - A 1971-D half on a 40% silver planchet was discovered.

  • BEST FIND #6 - - 1988 American Silver Eagle on a commemorative silver dollar planchet sold for $50,000.  How to tell: ASE weighs 31.1 grams, dollar weighs 26.7 grams.

  • BEST FIND #7 - - The first known note on the First National Bank of Rhyolite (Nevada) sold for $258,500.

  • BEST FIND #8 - - Archaelogists in Columbia discover the wreck of the San Jose ship which sank in 1708.  Next year we will find out what is in the wreck.

  • GOLD AND SILVER DOWN AGAIN - - Gold closed at $1,062 (down 11% from 12/31/2014's close of $1,197) and silver closed at $13.86 (down 14% from 12/31/2014's close of $16.11).

  • VARIETIES BY THE 5 DOZEN - - Sixty different doubled die reverses have been discovered (so far) for the 2015-P Nebraska homestead quarter.  Collect them all!

  • BIGGEST NEW NUMISMATIC BOOK - - The Deluxe Edition of the Red Book (also known as Mega Red) is 1,500 pages and weighs in at 7 pounds despite being a paperback.

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO: The Liberty Seated Collectors Club, as its electronic publication, the E-Gobrecht, received the 1st place ANA Outstanding Club Publication Award in the Electronics category.  Congratulations to the Club, to Publications Editor Bill Bugert, and to all of those people who contributed articles to the E-Gobrecht!

  • NEW MEMBER OF LIBERTY SEATED COLLECTORS CLUB'S HALL OF FAME - - Jim Gray.  He built an amazing collection of Seated coins that was complete except for a few ultra-rarities, he wrote extensively for the Gobrecht Journal and he compiled the auction results column for the monthly E-Gobrecht.  A very well-deserved honor for Jim.

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - Garrett Ziss, 13 year old numismatic prodigy and expert on Capped Bust Half Dollars.  He delivered a presentation to the John Reich Collectors Society at the ANA in August, on the topic of bust coins illustrated on currency of the period.  Garrett's presentation was well-researched, included a PowerPoint presentation, was well-delivered, and resulted in a standing ovation.  For those of us who know Garrett, none of this was a surprise.

  • CONGRATULATIONS TO - - The ICTA and PAN, who were able to convince Pennsylvania legislators to not apply the state sales tax to coins.  We think.

  • IF YOU DO THE CRIME, BE PREPARED TO DO THE TIME #1 - - Mark Yaffe, formerly of National Gold Exchange, was sentenced to 20 months and ordered to pay $3 million restitution to a bank he defrauded.

  • IF YOU DO THE CRIME, BE PREPARED TO DO THE TIME #2 - - Tommy Thompson, who found the S. S. Central America shipwreck treasure, then went underground to avoid a suit by investors who claimed they were not reimbursed for the salvage process, was arrested while hiding out in Boca Raton, Florida.

  • IF YOU DO THE CRIME, BE PREPARED TO DO THE TIME #3 - - Joseph Romano was previously sentenced to 15 years for defrauding investors in coins.  This year he was sentenced to life for paying a hit man to kill the judge and prosecutor.

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

  • IT PAYS TO BE THE ONLY ONE - - The only known specimen of the 1794 O-109 half dollar (NGC VF-25) sold at auction for $705,000.

  • QUARTER EAGLE BIG AT POGUE SALE #1 - - The 1808 quarter eagle, a one-year type, was MS-65 and brought $2,350,000.

  • 1827 QUARTER (ORIGINAL) SETS RECORD AT POGUE SALE #1 - - PR-66+ CAM SOLD FOR $705,000.  Nine Original 1827 quarters are known.

  • OH SO CLOSE AWARD - - The Lord St. Oswald example of the 1794 dollar, PCGS MS-66+, sold for $4,993,750.

  • RARITY PAYS OFF - - The 1798 Capped Bust Small Eagle half eagle in PCGS AU-55, one of 6 known, sold for $1,175,000.

  • AND A SUPER RARE WORLD PROOF SET - - An 1839 British proof set sold for $778,776.

  • NEW THEORY - - The 1776 Continental Dollars were struck in Europe!

  • NOW THAT IS A DONATION - - The DuPont specimens of the 1866 proof No Motto quarter (unique), half (unique) and dollar (two known) were donated to the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.  Hopefully these wonderful coins can be viewed by the public and won't end up in a back room somewhere.

  • WHEN WILL IT EVER END - - The Langbords and the Government continue their lengthy ordeal in the case of the ten confiscated 1933 double eagles.  On April 17, a 2:1 ruling in the Court of Appeals reversed the jury's decision awarding the coins to the government.  On July 28, the Federal Court of Appeals vacated the April 17 ruling.  A new hearing was held on October 14, and we await the results of that hearing.

  • SOMETIMES THE GOVERNMENT RETURNS COINS IT HAS CONFISCATED - - "Liberty Dollars" issued by NORFED founder Bernard von NotHaus seized by the Government in 2007, will be returned to their owners.

  • SOMETIMES THE GOVERNMENT LOSES ITS CASE - - The owners of the 1974-D aluminum cent won their case.

  • BEST SALE (ALL COINS) - - The D. Brent Pogue Collection.  Two parts have been completed in 2015, and included some amazing coins.  More to come in 2016.

  • BEST SALE (BUST & SEATED COINS) - - The Gene Gardner Collection. Gene owned just about every Bust and Seated coin, in high quality.  In Seated coins, his collection was complete except for two unique coins and one with 4 known.

  • BEST SALE (EARLY COINS) - - The Donald Partrick Collection, which had wonderful Colonial coins, plus the most 1792 pattern coins seen in one place.

  • SOME REFRESHING NEWS - - After the sale of Part 1 of the Donald Partrick Collection, the owner postponed the remaining parts of the sale, because he wanted to enjoy his coins a bit longer!  I hope Mr. Partrick does enjoy his coins!

  • MANAGEMENT CHANGE - - Coin World Editor in Chief Steve Roach has become Editor-At-Large, and William Gibbs has become Managing Editor.  Good luck to both in their new roles!

  • SURPRISE WINNER - - The 2014 First Spouse medal set was issued at $16.95, two months later it was trading over $200.

  • NEW ISSUES MEET WIDE ACCEPTANCE - - The Mint issued a March of Dimes set including 3 coins, a March of Dimes silver dollar, a reverse proof 2015-P silver dime, and a proof 2015-W silver dime.  The first coin is the first reverse proof dime, and the second is the first W-mint proof dime and only the second W-mint dime after the 1996-W.

  • NEW ISSUES MEET WIDE ACCEPTANCE VOL. 2 - - The U. S. Mint sold out of the Truman Coin & Chronicles set in 15 minutes.  Mintage of the set was 17,000 and I believe most of them were flipped for significant profits.

  • NEW ISSUES MEET WIDE ACCEPTANCE VOL. 3 - - The 2015-W American Eagle platinum proof $100 coin was limited to a mintage of 4,000 and sold out in 5 minutes on the U. S. Mint's website and phone lines.  Lucky buyers either got a rare coin or flipped it for a decent profit.

  • COMPETITION IS ALIVE AND WELL AT ANA - - The ANA awarded the auction rights to the 2015 World's Fair of Money to two firms, Heritage and Stacks Bowers.

  • GONE TOO SOON - - Dwight Brockman, Cheyenne, WY coin dealer.  Jay Cline, longtime dealer in Standing Liberty Quarters.  Shane Downing, publisher of the Coin Dealer Newsletter.  Lloyd Gabbert, Advanced Morgan dollar collector.  Chuck Moore, California dealer specialized in Canadian coins.  Evelyn Newman, wife of famous numismatist Eric P. Newman.  Gary Overton, Florida dealer and FUN Board member.  Diane Piret, driving force behind the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) for many years.  David Queller, longtime collector of patterns, silver dollars, and just about every denomination both business strikes and proofs.  Margo Russell, editor of Coin World for 23 years.  Henry "Hank" Schab, expert on John Chalmers coinage and a founder of the Colonial Coin Club of Annapolis, MD.  John Turner, Austin, IN coin dealer.

  • GREYSHEET CHANGES HANDS - - John Feigenbaum and a group of investors buy the Coin Dealer Newsletter more often called the Greysheet.  John was previously the CEO of David Lawrence Rare Coins and he has pledged to improve the quality of information on the Greysheet.  Good luck, John!

  • NEW CEO AT DAVID LAWRENCE RARE COINS - - Longtime employee John Brush takes over after John Feigenbaum joins the Greysheet (see above).

  • POLITICAL SWEETHEART DEAL WILL RESULT IN PALLADIUM BULLION COINS BEING MADE WHETHER OR NOT ANYONE WANTS TO BUY THEM - - The American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 required a study to determine demand for such coins, and whether or not they could be produced profitably.  "Technical revisions" were made to this law in 2015 that required that the study be ignored and the palladium bullion coins be produced anyway, from palladium sourced in the U. S.  There is only one company in the U. S. producing palladium, the Stillwater Mining Company.  It seems to me that most companies in this country have to do their own work to make a profit, rather than getting the government to guarantee them a profit.

  • MUCH LESS PAPER NEEDED NOW - - The ANA has digitized its 127 year run of their magazine The Numismatist (except for a couple of years when it was called Numismatist).  Over 110,000 pages are now available to ANA members!

  • MUCH LESS PAPER NEEDED NOW VOL. 2 - - The Newman Numismatic Portal has digitized the Gobrecht Journal, the magazine published by the Liberty Seated Collectors Club.  A total of 120 issues were digitized and can be searched.

  • RAREST COINS I SOLD - - We sold an 1838-O half (9 known) and an 1853-O No Arrows half (4 known).  We sold two 1851 Original Seated dollars and one 1852 Original.  We sold two 1878-S halves, an MS-65 1842 Small Date half, and an MS-64 1876 Large over Small Date half.   We also sold an 1831 O-120 half (R6).

  • WILDEST TONED COIN I SOLD - - We sold a fabulously toned 1870 2c piece in PCGS PR-65 RB, and we represented our client in the purchase of a wonderfully toned 1796 dime in PCGS MS-66.

  • I DIDN'T EXPECT THIS #1 - - An excerpt of my 2014 Coin Year in Review was published in Coin World's Guest Commentary section.
  • I DIDN'T EXPECT THIS #2 - - We decided to move to Florida!  When I returned home from the Portland ANA, my wife Karen suggested we move to Florida, to get closer to my in-laws, to avoid the harsh winters in Pennsylvania, and to avoid the sales tax on coins proposed by the Governor of Pennsylvania. So we drew a circle 100 miles in radius around the in-laws, and searched for houses in that area. My in-laws checked out a lot of the houses that Karen found on-line. It turned out that Karen found a great house about 15 minutes away from her parents. She showed me pictures on-line, went down to look at the house, made an offer on it and she bought it. The first time I saw it in person was when we got down here, about 1 hour ahead of the moving van. That, my friends, is called "trust".  
  • 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.  Highly recommended!

  • 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 2015.  We are expecting another good year in 2016.

  • 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 TEN 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 2016!
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