Low Ball Coin Collecting

One of the newest fads is "low ball" coin collecting.  The objective here is to collect coins in the worst possible grades. This fad is sure to make the coin grading services happy. While many coins in high grades are sent to the grading services, the lower grade coins generally are not.  I am now seeing ads for low-ball coins on such places as ebay. Before you laugh too hard, the Bicentennial dollar pictured (graded as AG3 by PCGS) is on sale at APMEX for $99.  If you had the same coin in about uncirculated, you would have a difficult time fetching $1.50. APMEX brags that only three coins have been certified in this grade with only two lower.  Yes, the race to won the worst is on!

If you really want a low ball coin, simply take a coin and rub it continuously against your oriental rug.  In about a week, both the coin and the rug will be in fair condition.

Why the artificial desire to have coins in low grades?  Dr. Planchet does not know the answer to this one.

75th Anniversary of the Old Spanish Trail Commemorative Half

This year marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most bizarre coin designs in US history.  I speak, of course, about the 1935 Old Spanish Trail Commemorative half dollar.  
The coin celebrates the 400th anniversary of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca leading an expedition to explore the gulf coast.    In Spanish, “Cabeza de Vaca” means “head of a cow.”  Instead of a portrait of Mr. De Vaca, the mint put a portrait of a cow's head.  For more information about this coins, please go to peterplanchet.com/commemoratives/old_spanish_trail.html