Types of Collections

Many people think a coin collection is simply one coin of each date in a series. For example, many people collect Lincoln Cents, starting in 1909 and obtaining one coin for each year of issue and usually with each different mint mark. This might include the famous 1909S V.D. B., the 1914 D etc. However, you could just as easily form a date set for considerably less money. This collection would have an example of any coin in the year of issue. Thus you would have a coin from 1909 but not necessarily the  V. D. B.,maybe a nice $5.00 coin rather than a $500.00 coin. This great for someone on a budget. You can always upgrade later.

A very popular collecting theme is the Type Set. This is a collection of one coin from every style or type of coin and or denomination. An example is a collection consisting of United States half cent, large cent, Indian head cent, Lincoln cent, two cent, three cent nickel, three cent silver… all the way to silver dollars and gold coins. But you would only have one coin of each type, not all the dates and mint marks. An impressive and fun set to put together. We have many customers working on these collections.

You might collect coins that have personal meaning, Date of birth, first child, grandparents birth, graduation or any other date could be used. This is often nice with a photo or note, great family heritage.

You might gather a coin from every country in the world, one from every country you’ve visited or country of special family history.  If you are a musician or artist, or any profession, perhaps a coin that commemorates a person or sport. There are many non-round coins that are very interesting, coins with animal themes, holes in center, different composition. I’m just naming a few of the possibilities. I’ll bet you can come up your own interesting ideas!

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1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

1909-S V.D.B. is the most famous and desirable cent in the first year of the Lincoln cent. The coin was designed by Victor David Brenner (V.D.B.). His initials originally appeared on the reverse near the bottom of the design. They were removed and didn’t appear again until the 1918 cent, this time on the obverse under Lincoln’s shoulder. There were also matte proof coins struck from 1909-1916. Uncirculated 1909-S V.D.B. cents have a total mintage of 484,000. The 1909 from Philadelphia by comparison has a mintage of 72,702,618 according to the Red Book Guide. The Lincoln penny is the first regularly issued coin representing a real person. Previous coins have Lady Liberty, eagles, and other designs.  In 1909 there were six different cents:

  • Indian Head 1909-P & 1909-S;
  • Lincoln 1909-P & 1909-P V.D.B.; and
  • Lincoln 1909-S & 1909-S V.D.B.

It is also the first year “In God We Trust” appeared on a penny. Lincoln was the choice design because it was the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

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What is a mint mark?

A mint mark is one or two small letters indicating where the coins were made. The main mint is located in Philadelphia; as such they did not put mint marks on coins prior to 1979, with the exception of nickels during the Second World War 1942-1945. The mint mark is generally found on the reverse of the coin. When Philadelphia did use mint marks it was the letter P. There have been eight mints in the United States. C= Charlotte, North Carolina (1836-1861); CC= Carson City, Nevada (1870-1893); D= Dahlonega, Georgia ( 1838-1861, gold coins only); D= Denver, Colorado (1906 to date); O = New Orleans, Louisiana (1838-1861, 1879-1909); P= Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1793 to date, they produced the very first United States coinage); S= San Frisco, California (1854-to date); W= West Point, New York 1984- to date). Some of the smaller branch mints had limited production and as such their coins are quite scarce. For example, we seldom see coins from the Dahlonega or Charlotte mint out on the west coast. The romance of the old west gold and silver strikes is especially popular in the San Francisco and Carson City coinage.
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 This blog is ever-changing and is meant for our customer’s and reader’s enjoyment. We try and present facts and opinions that we hope are interesting and or entertaining. We welcome your input.

We started in the stamp and coin business in 1971. Over the years we have helped build collections for beginners as well as serious advanced collectors looking for very scarce and difficult material. Many people start with Lincoln cents filling in a blue Whitman folder. As collections grow, interests often change. People may move to dollars, old copper large cents or perhaps coins from a country holding special meaning. Maybe you were in the Peace Corp in Panama or your family is from Thailand or you might have had a great vacation in Germany. These could all be starting points for a new collection. You’re buying a piece of history, miniature art representing the culture, lore and history of a country or region. There is an investment aspect as well as a sharing of the traditions, famous patriots, political figures, cultural events and other aspects national pride that are deemed worthy of commemorating. All in all coin collecting is a very satisfying hobby that offers fun, history and an investment in your future. You might be specializing in a particular coin or series, or just collecting what appeals to you at the moment (maybe coins with animals, or one coin from every country), or even trying to finish filling you coin album. Collecting is a fun activity that you can share with everyone in your family, in fact many family pass the family collection on from generation to generation. So why not get started or add to an already existing collection, have some fun!

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