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  1. You can look them up in the NGC price guide, but bear in mind that those prices don't much relate to reality. I would recommend bearing in mind that most world coin collections that are mostly post-1940 and are mostly not precious metal are mostly not worth a great deal. Most world coins circa 1900-1940 meeting the rest of the descriptors are worth slightly more than very little. If you really want to find out what people pay for a given coin, identify it (might be worth buying the Krause catalog for a given century), then search for it under sold listings on Ebay. That will tell you what people actually paid for it. That datum is relevant; those in the catalogs are far less so.
  2. But do those dumb *spoon*holes ever listen? Nooooooo! JustBob, obviously I'm supposed to turn you in for betraying the Deep Board, but as I am having a weak day, I'll just request that you please watch it in the future. It can be just between us; no one will ever know.
  3. I don't have an adverse view of coins as investments (not that anyone advocated one; just further pensiveness on my part), but here's the thinking. One of my investment strategies in real life involves closed-end fixed income mutual funds, aka CEFs. I like them because I can reliably get them to pay me 10-15% in annual dividends. There is some risk of capital loss, some risk of dividend cuts, and so on; if I wanted 5%, or 3%, I could reduce those. Before I put money into a CEF, I get some idea of how they fund that dividend. I do a moderate amount of research. For example, if it turns out to be an equity CEF, I'm generally not interested. Asset allocation, mostly same, and so forth. Over the years I have come to understand these, what yields are unrealistically high and probably won't be paid for long at that level, and so on. I had to pay some tuition to get good at this. I had to absorb some capital losses, get disappointed by some surprise dividend cuts, you get the idea. If you're well enough funded to buy seated silver dollars as investments, you probably have similar stories about some sector of the securities markets. I do read a fund's prospectus, and I like to look over a recent annual report and holdings list. This is easier for me because I used to work for a mutual fund manager, but it's an acquired skill. So is determining cleaning. If you are going to invest in coins, it's not materially different than growth investing in securities; you just learn how to evaluate them as you would PTPs or common stocks or conventional mutual funds or what have you. If it were very easy, surely more people would do it. Most people lose money and many get bummed out. Some lose money, call it tuition, and grow. Not very comforting when you get your coin back as Unc Cleaned, but many of us have paid it.
  4. It would seem that the experts saw something about the coin that escaped you. Most cleaning is improper, so the slight distinction there is not as big as it sounds. Since we can't see it, we can't go very far in guessing what they saw, but it might have been buffing on the surface. Could also have been dipping residue. What usually tips me off to cleaning is not scratching or residue, but color. Most rough cleaning will impart a very unnatural color to the coin, or a very unnatural surface in some other way. A cleaned coin in a slab is still an uncirculated coin proven genuine. While your results will vary, my general outlook is that cleaning knocks the value down a grade's worth; a bad cleaning, maybe two. For example, a Merc that is blast white and brightly shiny but has G-4 details? Well, it doesn't have that far to fall, but if it were a somewhat uncommon issue, it might value like an AG-3. There are many views on this and that's just how my experience and dealer conversations have gone. I used to have a local dealer who was highly scrupulous about marking coins as cleaned. An Unc Cleaned coin tended to sell for AU money--sometimes EF money. In one area, at least, you paid tuition to learn a valuable lesson: if the coin is an investment, buy it already slabbed. If the idea is that you will buy them raw and then improve their overall value through careful selection and certification, then it is time for you to become expert in assessing cleaning. There are several ways you could do that.
  5. You still wouldn't know. The values are all over the place and bear only passing relation to reality. Search Ebay, and other sites if you can, for sold listings of that coin type and grade. Ignore live listings; only the figures it sold for have any relevance.
  6. None of that is going to change anything. Also, the Wanapum are a Native American people from the mid-Columbia region of modern Washington. If you are thinking of "wampum," that's an eastern Native American term that has nothing to do with the western USA. You could Goole that.
  7. If you ever want a sector you will never fully master in this lifetime, there's always ancients and the Islamic world. Just when one thinks one is getting a handle, another complexity bubbles to the surface.
  8. Except that a coinless economy will not make the old coins disappear. It'd just mean no more tedious posts about the newest year's supposed errors, no more gushfests over a basic bullion coin, and so on. Put another way, it'd mean more people collecting the way I do: if it's after a certain timeframe, I have minimal interest in it. When the washing machine came along, washboards and wringers were no longer made, but antique collectors still collected them. Still do. It's true, there wouldn't be any more checking of one's change, and I acknowledge the effect that has on young people's collecting impetus, but I give future generations more credit than to think they will be so stupid and ignorant as to be unaware of what coins were (a medium of exchange and commerce dating back at least two and a half millennia).
  9. Or steal it when we're too old to notice, then either spend it at face or take it to a dealer who doesn't ask that many questions.
  10. We see that here with imagined errors. In amidst the sincere and fair-minded seekers are a legion of text-speaking wise*spoon*s who demand to be told that they have a Great Rarity and will become playas or ballas or whatever. When told patiently that their coin is worth face value, that their "mint error" is PMD and their "double die" is mechanical doubling, some of them seem to think that if they just insist hard enough on their fantasies, those will come true. I suppose this is a symptom of a post-factual society.
  11. These days, it's not that the young people aren't interested; it's the lack of disposable income. Their cost of living relative to what they earn has many of them struggling, and it doesn't allow for much spending on stuff like collecting. There is however a problem with attracting YNs to the hobby. I think many coin clubs and shows could do a better job of it.
  12. I don't think the reverse toning and frostiness detract at all. It's beautiful. I do see the die crack but am not enough of an expert on VAMs to offer any intelligent commentary on value or variety.
  13. GSA is a subclassification of each of these issues. If you crack one out of its holder (unlike if the grading service does it; they will preserve that classification and put it on the holder), you will subtract an indefinite amount of value from it on the spot. If you want to sell them in their holders as they are, fine; if you want formal grades, that's also fine; but taking them out yourself to sell separately, I think, would be combusting value.