Modern Rarities

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by LakeEffect, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    With all the hoopla surrounding the 2019 enhanced reverse proof ASE and its 30,000 mintage number, I got curious about modern rarities. Using the Red Book and data on the website, I put together a spreadsheet of every commemorative issued 1982-2018*, including a few oddballs like the 96-W dime and the 1994 matte finish nickel. I then sorted them a few different ways and looked at the results.

    Here's what fell out:
    • 17 issues under 10,000
    • 45 issues under 20,000
    • 71 issues under 30,000
    • 155 issues under 100,000
    Not surprisingly, uncirculated gold half eagles occupy 17 of the 21 rarest spots. Proof gold half eagles occupy 3 of the remaining 4 spots, with the unique gold & platinum bi-metallic eagle minted in 2000 rounding out the list.

    The rarest copper-nickel half dollar to date is the uncirculated 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness issue at 11,302. The uncirculated Boys Town 2017 issue comes in second at 15,525

    The rarest silver dollar is the uncirculated Boys Town coin at 12,234, followed by the uncirculated Breast Cancer Awareness at 12,520.

    In fact, the entire Boys Town set proved very unpopular, as exemplified by the uncirculated half eagle taking the overall number one spot with a paltry 1,822 minted.

    If I find the time and energy, I may add the American Eagles, Liberty, and Buffalo coins and various medals to see how it all shakes out.

    Anyway, I thought some of you may find this interesting.

    *Disclaimer: No guarantee my numbers are right. I did not include medals, bullion, or American Eagles. I did this for fun and it could be way off.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

  4. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Thanks, I somehow missed that thread. Good stuff there.
  5. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 65 years

    I wonder if these modern rarities will go down the same trail as the 3 cent nickel series. Based on mintages alone, many low mintage dates should be out of the price range of the typical collector but they aren't.

    As new "limited mintage" modern coins are created and sold to collectors, the demand for older "limited mintage" modern issues will wane, dropping the prices collectors will be willing to pay in the future.
    LakeEffect likes this.
  6. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Checking my numbers, it looks like I'm wrong on the Boys Town tally (I forgot to include 3-coin sets in the proof numbers). There is no issue with a mintage of 1,822

    Gold Proof: 7,347
    Gold Unc: 2,947
    Silver Proof: 31,610
    Silver Unc: 12,234
    Clad Proof: 23,164
    Clad Unc: 15,525

    (Source: US Mint cumulative sales figures through June 3, 2018)
  7. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Great question. I wish I had a crystal ball.
  8. Murphy45p

    Murphy45p Active Member

    Just an observation, modern collecting seems to focus on a lot of factors outside just the coin. For instance, the "rocket ship Kennedy", outside of the OGP or a TPG holder, there is no difference that I am aware of in the actual coin and other Kennedy issues during the year.

    "First day of issue" labels, or "Street car labels", that sort of thing by TPGs seem to add an additional layer of collectability outside of the coin itself.

    I do appreciate modern coins, but by producing coins only meant for collectors to begin with, it seems to me that rarity concepts need to be redefined. For instance, 484,000 coins meant for circulation 110 years ago didn't end with many in the hands of collectors at the time, while conversely, a coin with a "low" mintage of 100,000 today, available only as collector items (not circulated) ensures that 100,000 WILL be held as a collectable. Easier to determine populations for sure, and all will be in fairly high grades, especially considering the advanced technology of the day.

    It changes the hobby, but the hobby has always changed. Originally a hobby of those with means, it gained new life after WW II. So for me to resent that the hobby for new collectors means something different than it did or does to me, isn't fair. New issues dilute demand for older ones to some extent I think, but as strictly a collector, that's beneficial to me because I can obtain the older issues at more reasonable prices. As an investment though, it's not as lucrative as it once was.

    And I enjoy some of the modern designs as well, the mint still produces some gorgeous coins for sure, with more focus on aesthetics than in earlier times.

    I don't really have a point here, so I'll shut up now.
    wxcoin likes this.
  9. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    My uncle had a crystal ball...kept him out of the army. :)
    LakeEffect and wxcoin like this.
  10. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    And here I thought I had a pig in a poke.......
    LakeEffect likes this.
  11. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Well, the series is still quite rare, just not as rare as I had claimed. :)
    green18 likes this.
  12. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Thanks for starting this thread dear fellow. I never realized that many recent issues were so low in mintage we've got to get the 'demand' portion of things up and running.......:)
    LakeEffect likes this.
  13. Long Beard

    Long Beard Active Member

    Mintage figures don't always translate into rarity. Nor does rarity mean very valuable. As evident would be the 1927 Peace Dollar with a mintage of 848,000 which has consistently been selling at or near the 1924s with a mintage of 1,728,000. And there are many others across all denominations series as well.

    In the end, it comes down to popularity. Collectors embrace them or they don't.
    LakeEffect likes this.
  14. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    LakeEffect, I enjoyed reading your thread & would like to add a few of my thoughts to it :). Rarity for NCLT (non circulating legal tender) & business strikes (coins meant for daily commerce) should be viewed separately, & modern U.S. commemorative coins are NCLT. Modern U.S. commemoratives have been highly speculative, reaching peak values 7-8 years ago, until falling to current market values today. One factor that has played into their value structure has been TPG (3rd party grading) companies like PCGS & NGC. For example lets look at the $10 bimetallic coin of 2000. The example pictured below I bought at auction about 10 years ago for $1,900.00.

    IMG_3363 (2).JPG IMG_3366 (2).JPG

    The original mintage of this coin was 7,251, & PCGS has slabbed 567 coins in MS70 grade. In their current price guide it lists for $1,800.00. A couple of years ago you could pick up coins in this grade at auction for about $1,000.00. Today you can find examples in this grade in the $1,300.00 - 1,500.00 range. One coin in MS70 grade slabbed by PCGS sold for $4,600.00 by Heritage in July 2012 :jawdrop:! I bought the coin pictured above strictly for the novelty of its bimetallic composition & its low mintage. Will the coin go up in value or sink again o_O? Who knows :confused:.... I've bought other U.S. modern commemorative coins strictly on the basis of their art work, especially the $5 coins designed by Elizabeth Jones, see examples pictured below. I think she is a very talented designer :D.

    IMG_3315 (2).JPG IMG_3317 (2).JPG IMG_3323 (2).JPG IMG_3324 (2).JPG
    slackaction1 and LakeEffect like this.
  15. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Thanks for the feedback. This thread was a result of my compulsive need to tabulate and organize stuff. I was curious how other recent issues compared to the 30,000 piece American Eagle currently causing a ruckus. It wasn't really a comment on the value of anything.

    I think most readers of this site understand these NCLT issues are hoarded and will survive in mint state in large numbers. We also see the apathy towards them - the small demand that keeps prices low. Ironically, this results in lower and lower mintage numbers.

    In the future (maybe many decades from now?), will these scarce coins spark some interest, as future collectors thumb through their 2062 Red Book and notice the tiny quantities? Maybe, it's a fun question to ponder.
    WRSiegel and slackaction1 like this.
  16. WRSiegel

    WRSiegel Freshman

    This is something I think about a lot LakeEffect, how will future collectors view moderns? If the number of coin collectors stays relatively stable, but there are more and more coins to collect over time, will interest spread to modern commemorative issues, or will they continue to have lower demand and people will continue to focus on Morgans and Lincolns?

    Personally, in 2062 I feel like I may be one of the ones looking into all of these :)

    LakeEffect likes this.
  17. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    The wife dragged me to Hobby Lobby the other day, and when she does I always check out coin/stamp section. They had a 2020 Red Book and since I haven't updated since 2013 I bought one. I'm amazed at the low numbers regarding mintage of unc. for the last four years or so.

    (Red Book lists the BT gold at 2,947 but that's still the lowest in the last few years)
  18. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Yeah, the 2,947 figure is correct, I corrected myself in post #5 above. The uncirculated issues keep going lower in all denominations.
  19. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    I noticed that, leafing through the pages. The numbers of proofs sold has been falling too.
  20. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I think the salient point is that there's a very active, but very volatile market for exonumia involving the mint and TPGs. Strip away the packaging and special labels and you'll see how much attention is paid to the actual coins.
  21. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page