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Pinnacle Rarities News & Blog

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  • The March of Events in Baltimore

    Whitman's thrice annual Baltimore convention is always one of the best-attended numismatic venues, and we enjoyed seeing many friendly and familiar faces.  Pre-show business on Wednesday was more robust than usual.  Activity remained brisk on Thursday and Friday, and we ended the show satisfied with the turnover of older inventory items that made way for a nice array of new purchases.

    On Thursday afternoon, the Smithsonian Institution held a presentation detailing the creation of a major new display for the museum's National Numismatic Collection set to launch in 2015.  The exhibit will feature a metallic exterior and bank vault-door at the entrance to emphasize the valuable nature of the contents. Two-sided viewing of notes and coins will line the walls inside. Various drawers featuring items rotated in and out on a regular basis will also keep museum guests entertained.

    Stack's Bowers held the event's official auction.  Headlining was a Nobel Peace Prize Medal, only the second one ever offered at auction, and the first in almost 30 years. The medal was awarded to Carlos Saavedra Lamas, foreign minister of Argentina, for his part in ending the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia and for his work on a South American antiwar pact that was signed in 1933.  The historic piece was trading in South America for scrap before being discovered. A private collector from Asia was the winning bidder at an astonishing $1,116,000, blowing away presale estimates.  Since 1901, Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded 94 times.  The last auction sale was a 1903 Nobel Peace Prize medal sold by Sotheby's for just under $17,000 in 1985.  Guessing a few more of these famous medals may just hit the auction block soon.

    As always, we scoured thousands of coins on the bourse floor to bring home a few dozen rarities that we thought were the cream of the crop.  Enjoy the selection of new purchases and we look forward to hearing from you.

  • Classic Commemoratives—Highlighting America’s History

    Nearly half of our almost 100 newest purchases are Silver Commemoratives, since a long-time client with a great eye sent us his collection. So today’s missive is on this highly collectible series. Between 1892 and 1954 there were 50 different Silver Commemoratives authorized by Congress: 48 Half Dollars along with a single Quarter and Dollar. Since many of these were issued for multiple years, were struck at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints, and were issued with subtle design variations, the complete series is comprised of 144 issues. Majestic images portrayed by gifted sculptors highlight the milestones of America’s past, from the voyage of Columbus to the Monroe Doctrine to the Panama Canal.

    Commemoratives differ from regular issues as they are struck primarily for collectors rather than for circulation, although they are legal tender. Silver Commemoratives can be assembled in a nearly endless number of ways, in all price ranges, making them an easy area to pursue. Purchasing one of each of the 50 unique designs is referred to as a Type set. The ambitious pursuit of a complete set requires one of each of the 144 dates and mint marks referenced above. Of course, you can also pursue groups of coins from various subsets, such as Civil War, California, New York, or Art Deco issues. You can also assemble complete sets of the 6 designs that were issued over several years and at three Mints, resulting in highly popular Specialty Sets where one of each date and Mint is obtained.

    Specialty Sets

    Arkansas (1935-39) 15 coins
    Boone (1934-38) 16 coins
    Washington-Carver (1951-1954) 12 coins
    Oregon (1926-1939) 14 coins
    Texas (1934-38) 13 coins
    Booker T. Washington (1946-1951) 18 coins

    Besides the many historical and aesthetic attributes and the countless collecting possibilities, one of our primary reasons for promoting this area is that prices are at small fractions of their highs. Seventy of the 144 issues have original mintages of under 10,000, yet a large percentage can be purchased in MS65 and higher grades for less than $500. Silver Commemoratives have wide reaching appeal as beautiful objects in their own right. We have placed many fabulous examples from this series over the past two decades, and continue to have a high quality selection that is second to no other dealer.

    To view all of our newest acquisitions, click here.

    To view all of our newest Silver Commems ONLY, click here.

    For a link to items in the world class Sounder collection, click here.

    We look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at next week’s Baltimore Expo.



  • American Numismatic Association National Money Show – Atlanta GA, 2014

    Few coins shows begin with national news media hovering around the convention. This year’s ANA National Money Show, was the exception. Prior to the ribbon cutting many non-collectors and media types clamored to get in. Their reason unfortunately was not to get first shot on Pinnacle’s new purchases. The reason was the fabulous Saddle Ridge hoard.

    The ANA always brings in the best exhibits and this show didn’t disappoint with the Treasury and U.S. Mint setting up their informative and entertaining booths. But the Saddle Ridge hoard was the display that was on everyone’s lips. In case you’ve been living in a cave or have been buried in a tin can for the last month, the Saddle Ridge hoard was the buried cache of gold coins found by a California couple with an estimated value of $10,000,000. Hitting the mainstream news the week prior to the show, and with examples on display to the public, the largest find on U.S. soil generated quite a buzz. Some theories have been introduced claiming the hoard to be the bounty of stolen coins from the Mint, train robbery loot, Jesse James' hidden stash, and others. Yet as of this writing, all have proven just theories and the coins appear to be faithfully owned by their discoverers. According to David McCarthy of Kagin’s, all due diligence was done, and the likelihood of that unraveling is small. The lore of the California gold rush, coupled with the universally recognized excitement of a buried treasure make this is truly amazing find.

    In other news from the show, PCGS certified their 50 millionth item. The coin, an 1888-O S$1 MS66+, was placed in a special holder commemorating the milestone. The special tag features a reverse insert personally autographed by David Hall, CEO of the Collectors Universe. The submitter also received a 1986 Gold Eagle with special holder.

    After the auctions were completed and the bourse floor closed, we returned with a pleasing group of new purchases that include a wonderful array of copper and silver type. Many of the new purchases are posted to our website with more coins being added daily.


    Link to New Purchases

  • The Sounder Collection

    Pinnacle Rarities is pleased to announce the acquisition of an especially high-grade classic commemorative set assembled by an astute collector.  This offering of nearly 50 spectacular quality coins includes 13 MS68s, 4 MS67+s, 24 MS67s and 3 MS66s along with one PR66CAM and a single PR65CAM gold commem. Among them are several contenders for finest known status, with populations of less than 5. Whenever possible our client chose coins that not only met his strict technical standards, but displayed fabulous color. Quite a few of these coins have famous pedigrees such as Hidden Liberty, JFS, Jewell, the San Diego Collection, and Bruce Scher.

    The collector responsible for this outstanding achievement lives in our own Puget Sound backyard, which only partially explains the name of the collection. The other, less obvious reason is his passion for the game of soccer and the name of the local MLS team, the Seattle Sounders. He began collecting coins almost 40 years ago in a somewhat typical fashion—pushing coins into blue Whitman albums. After a 15- year hiatus, he returned to the hobby in 1999 and began working on several top-notch collections. The sale of this set funds his passion in the two other areas of numismatics that he continues to pursue. It is our pleasure to make available this gorgeous assemblage from one of our favorite series.


    Click Here to View the Collection




  • Non-Stop Action at February Long Beach

    Typically we arrive in Long Beach on Tuesday for pre-show business and auction lot viewing.  The lack of an on-site auction last week led us to arrive on Wednesday instead, arriving just in time for dealer setup.  In just three short days, volume proved strong on both buy and sell sides.  We turned over almost a quarter of the inventory we brought with us and bought nearly an equivalent number of new coins from dealers and collectors alike.  We were also able to locate a few desirable want list items, such as a wonderfully toned 1885 5c PCGS MS66+.  A very special collection from a long-time collector was another exciting acquisition that we will be revealing details about soon.

    Without a doubt, the coolest single coin we brought back is a spectacular 1799 Large Stars $10 PCGS MS65.  There has not been a public sale of one of these prized gems since 2006.  The strike on this gorgeous specimen is as strong as they come, with full definition on Liberty’s hair and all but one of the star denticles.  The eagle’s feathers, and the reverse shield, arrows and olive branch are all sharply defined with only the slightest bit of softness on two of the thirteen reverse stars.  The color and luster are also nothing short of stunning, making this one of the nicest 18th century gold coins we’ve seen in quite some time.  Another special acquisition is an 1805/4 50c NGC MS65 from the recently concluded Newman sale.  A delightful original patina in various shades of green and orange tone the wonderfully preserved surfaces.  The only other known gem example of this elusive date is the Eliasberg specimen which realized $100,000 when it sold way back in 1998, a time when very few coins brought six figures.

    Our other show purchases represent quite a diverse selection that span the numismatic spectrum from copper to gold.  They will continue to post through the end of the week, so check back often.  We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Pinnacle Rarities Purchases 1884 Proof Trade Dollar “Norweb Specimen”

    Pinnacle Rarities is proud to announce the purchase and subsequent sale of one of only ten examples of the famed 1884 Proof Trade dollars. 1884 and the “sister coin” 1885 Proof trade dollars are two of the most coveted issues in all of numismatics. Their story is steeped in numismatic lore and their host pedigrees include many of the hallmark collections in numismatic history.

    There is an official record of dies having been made for 1884, evidence of such was found (1917) within the estate of Charles Barber. However, no production is listed for either date and no specimens were given to the Mint Collection following normal Proof procedures. The issues were presumably held by then Mint Director Snowden abetting one William Idler. Idler was known to have close ties to Mint personnel. Idler provided the Mint with bullion replacement to acquire the examples. That practice was not uncommon at the time, and kept Mint records balanced. He then quietly stashed the examples in proof sets from the same years. The issues existed only as rumors until John W. Haseltine (son-in-law of Idler) began selling coins found among the 1884 and 1885 Proof sets in Idler's estate.

    The coins had remained in Haseltine’s possessions until his partner sold several examples to Virgil Brand in 1907. Brand became the principal buyer after the coins were disclosed. After a period, all the coins were dispersed into various collections. Subsequent appearances of any examples from either the 1884 or 1885 remain scarce even today. The pedigrees of all 10 1884s are well known and when one sells, its news.

    No coin has traded for nearly ten years until this month, when Heritage Auctions sold a PR65 specimen at just shy of $1 million dollars. That sale prompted an advanced Nevada collector who held this gorgeous PCGS PR63 specimen to contact Kathleen Duncan of Pinnacle Rarities. PRI quietly placed the coin with a private individual currently assembling a phenomenal set of both business strike and proof Trade Dollars.

    Kathleen commented "I had been trying to purchase this coin for a while, but the lack of recent trades made it very difficult for the previous owner to establish a fair price. When the PR65 sold for $1 million, we both agreed that the PR63 could be fairly valued at $600,000." Pinnacle is pleased to place this exciting rarity into another world class collection that will continue the star-studded pedigree, and where it will likely reside for many years to come.

    Pedigree. Unnamed Mint Official (likely Col. A. Loudon Snowden); William K. Idler; Capt. John W. Haseltine with Stephen K. Nagy; unknown intermediaries, probably Virgil M. Brand possibly Colonel Green; The King Farouk of Egypt; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, Feb. 1954); Henry Norweb (Bowers and Merena, March 1988); American Coin Portfolios (Dan Drykerman); private New York Collection (Bowers and Merena Galleries, Inc. March,1992); Q. David Bowers (personal collection); Summit Rare Coins (Chris Napolitano); Morris Silverman Collection (Heritage, March 2002); U.S. Coins (Ken Duncan, Sr.); private Nevada collection; Pinnacle Rarities, Inc. (Kathleen Duncan); current owner.


  • Blockbuster F.U.N. Bodes Well for Numismatics in 2014

    Although temperatures were freezing when we arrived in Orlando on Monday evening, the action beginning pre-show and continuing all week was red hot.  We sold many more coins than we bought, atypical for us at conventions.  Pre-show activity with dealers was extremely strong, and upon setting up on Wednesday we had a steady stream of collectors at our table, most actively purchasing.  This inaugural show is always a great opportunity to catch up with many of our favorite clients and meet new ones, as so many collectors attend.  Unfortunately, few of our clients were selling last week, and most of the nice material we found on the floor was priced aggressively.  On the positive side, we continue to have both dealer and collectors sending us coins here at the office and are currently showing over 100 new coins added in the last 2 weeks alone.  A few of the highlights include the lovely 1796 25c PCGS MS61 featured above, a beautifully toned 1796 10c PCSG AU53, a rare 1909 VDB 1c PCGS PR65BN, a glowing 1918-S 5c PCGS MS65+ and a pristine 1918-D 50c PCGS MS65.

    There was a lot of buzz about the two ultra rarities in the Heritage sale, the Brasher Doubloon NGC MS63 (realizing $4.58 million) and the 1913 Proof Liberty 5c NGC PR64 (realizing $3.29 million), surprisingly neither of which sold aggressively by pre-sale estimates. By and large, however, most material did well, and we surprisingly got outbid on nearly everything we wanted.  Even a couple of older inventory items that we consigned to the sale brought in excess of our retail asking prices, despite placing low reserves.  One was a lovely 1926-D 25c PCGS MS65FH that we had listed on our website at $14,950 and it brought $19,975 after the buyer’s premium.  The other was a low population 1913-D 1c PCGS MS66RD which we had priced at $9,850 that brought $10,575.  Neither were CAC stickered, showing again that nice coins bring strong prices with or without the sticker.  (Although we don’t routinely send our coins to CAC, we are usually happy to do so by request, free of charge.  And we will never charge more for a coin that stickers.)

    We are already working on an interesting collection that we hope to bring you later this month, and continuing to buy coins at the office daily.  So, as always, check our inventory pages often.  One of our resolutions for the New Year is to continue to bring you a higher quantity of quality material than any dealer out there.  Enjoy browsing what we hope to be an enticing array of high-quality rarities at competitive prices.  We look forward to hearing from you and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014.


    Link to New Purchases

  • December Newps Featuring Beautifully Toned Morgans and Much More

    2013 is winding down, but we are not slowing down our pace here in the office. We have added nearly 70 new coins this week and will have many more great coins coming in next week as well. Already posted online are nearly 15 beautifully toned Morgan dollars along with one phenomenal Proof. Amongst our newest acquisitions are high-grade Barber and Seated type, a few terrific Walkers, some wonderful classic commems, as well as a diverse array of other numismatic treasures. So take a peek at our new purchases page now but don't forget to check back frequently as we are posting new items almost daily. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Link to New Purchases

  • Business Brisk During and After Baltimore Show

    As a city that is within driving distance for many, Baltimore is routinely well attended by collectors.   We always enjoy visiting with the many who attend.  In fact, some are almost like family as we have such great long-term relationships with them.  As we always say, relationships are the key to our success.  While attending conventions such as the one last week are important from the aspect of buying and selling, they are just as important for building and maintaining relationships with collectors and dealers alike.   While at a typical show, we look through many thousands of coins to come home with 50-100 select items.  This would never be enough for us to successfully run our business.  Most of our inventory is purchased back at the office from our collector base.  Another substantial percentage is received from our dealer contacts between shows.  Since we've been back in the office this week, we have gotten several boxes of fantastic coins, far more than we were able to acquire in Baltimore.
    As we will be posting 25 or so new coins daily, check our inventory page often between now and early next week.  We have a bit of something for everyone.  Also, don't forget to update those want lists.  We were very successful in filling want lists in Baltimore, but as is often the case, some of the items wouldn't have made it into our inventory.  For example, one want list item was a rare date AU $10 Liberty, which is outside of what we usually handle.
    As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a huge THANKS to all of you who make our jobs so rewarding by allowing us to handle some of the nicest rare coins on the planet.   We will continue to work hard to deserve your business and trust by finding fabulous coins at fair prices and ALWAYS buying back what we sell.
    May you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


    Link to New Purchases

  • An Overview of the Standing Liberty Quarter Series - Part 2

    By Kathleen Duncan

    Standing Liberty Quarters were struck at the Philadelphia Mint from 1916 until 1930 with the exception of only 1922, when no quarters were produced at any Mint.  Strikings at Denver and San Francisco were more sporadic.  This is the only 20thcentury regular issue U.S. coin for which no Proof coins were produced.  Altogether, there are 37 regular issues as well as the 1918/7-S overdate, the most elusive date in the series.  While containing many challenges for the advanced collector, the other two most notable keys are the 1916 and the 1927-S, one of the foremost condition rarities in all of 20th century U.S. numismatics and the toughest date to find with a fully struck head.

    Particularly beginning with the Type 2 format (a redesign by Chief Engraver George Morgan mid-way through 1917) coins graded Full Head (FH) are much scarcer and more valuable than those lacking this feature.  To qualify, a coin must possess these attributes: the three leaves in Liberty’s hair must be visible; her hairline must be complete; and her ear indentations must be evident.  Other areas prone to striking weakness on some issues are Liberty’s right knee, the date, the eagle’s breast feathers, and the rivets as well as the center of the shield.

    stand lib heads Collecting Insights for the Standing Liberty Quarter Series  Part 2

    For an in depth look at both historical and design details of this popular series, please refer to Part 1 of this articlePart 1 also contains collecting insights for the dates 1916 through 1918-S.  Here in Part 2, the article continues a date-by-date analysis beginning with the ever-elusive 1918/7-S and proceeding to the final issue, the 1930-S.

    1918/7-S: To help meet the high demand of the San Francisco Mint and the wartime economy, an old Type 2 1917-dated die was re-engraved with an 8 over the final digit in the date.  This practice was supposed to have been abandoned around the turn of the century, but once in a while it is still practiced, and usually results in a very low mintage.  The mintage figure of this quarter is unknown, but obviously miniscule. These pieces circulated freely, and were not discovered until nearly 20 years after they entered commerce. Accordingly few mint state survivors are known today, and it is one of the key silver rarities of 20th century numismatics.  Two notable characteristics can be found on these coins, struck from a single obverse die: a die clash in the area next to Liberty’s right knee, from the E in E PLURIBUS UNUM on the reverse; and a small dot of extra metal above and to the right of the last digit of the date.

    1917 stand lib kd Collecting Insights for the Standing Liberty Quarter Series  Part 2The 1918/7-S is rare and relatively expensive even in the lowest grades. Mint state specimens are extreme rarities and specimens with fully struck heads are almost non-existent.  Combining the populations, there are a total of 136 PCGS and NGC graded uncirculated examples.  As a certain percentage of these are certainly resubmissions, it is likely less than 100 mint state survivors exist.  The two services have graded only 11 MS65 or better specimens (again a number certainly inflated) and none that have received the coveted Full Head designation.  The highest graded Full Heads are MS64s.  There are only 14 Full Head uncirculated examples in all grades combined on the population reports of the two major services.

    1919:  This is one of the most available issues in the teens in high-grade due to its mintage exceeding 11 million.  High quality examples with strong striking characteristics are among the most available for issues before 1925.

    1919-D: For unknown reasons the Denver Mint coinage of 1919, across all denominations, was poorly made, creating Key dates for the nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar.  Liberty’s head is almost always weak and the rivets along the left side of the shield are usually poorly defined.  Like its sister 1919-S coin, there are often interesting die breaks on the obverse around the date.

    1919-S:  Like the 1919-D of similar mintage, the 1919-S is a key to the series and rare in high-grade, particularly with full striking characteristics.    Rarity and price in high-grade examples with Full Head attributes run parallel with the 1919-D, both of which are quite a bit rarer than the more famous 1916.

    1920:  Even though the 1920 has the highest mintage of the entire series (more than double any other issue) its availability in the better grades of uncirculated is surprisingly low.  The government’s need for 27.8 million quarters this year overwhelmed the usually competent production staff in Philadelphia making Full Heads surprisingly scarce.  It was another situation where quantity ruled over quality.

    1920-D: In high-grade, particularly with Full Head attributes, this ranks amongst the most challenging of issues in the series.  Most examples display striking weakness at the top of the date and the third and fourth rivets are usually missing from Liberty’s shield.

    1920-S:  Taken as a whole, the Roaring Twenties witnessed some of the poorest produced coins in the history of the San Francisco mint.  This is true not just of the Standing Liberty quarters, but also of the nickels, dimes and half dollars produced at the time.  Both obverse and reverse almost always display weak strikes, making it one of the top strike rarities in the series, eclipsing even the 1919-D and 1919-S.  It is second only to the 1927-S in terms of fewest high-grade survivors, with and without Full Head status.  The elusiveness of Gem quality and finer Full Head examples has lead to pricing pressure on non Full Heads as well, particularly in the upper uncirculated grades.

    1921:  A relatively low mintage (1,916,000) may account for the fact that mint state survivors are usually well-struck.  However, whereas many Standing Liberty quarters display striking softness through the top of the date, the 1921 displays this feature along the bottom of the digits.  The first and second 1 in the date are slightly different when compared to other issues, leading some to believe that the design was again modified in this year, as was absolutely the case with the 1921 Walker.

    1923:  Albeit a high mintage issue, this date is quite scarce in Gem, Full Head condition.  Although the San Francisco issue of this year gets much more recognition as a Key date, in gem and finer Full Head condition, this coin has far fewer examples graded. As it sells for a fraction of the price, this issue should be considered a sleeper.  When found, high-grade survivors can be located with razor sharp striking detail.

    1923-S:  This date is elusive from the standpoint of both absolute and condition rarity.  It is more available than one would expect, however, and is perhaps one of the more over-rated dates in the series.  Gem and finer examples, even with Full Head details, trade relatively frequently.

    1924:    As if foreshadowing the date modification the following year, the 1924 was one of the most poorly produced issues in the entire series.  Furthermore, the obverse die cracked early in production, resulting in most mint state survivors missing the top portion of their dates.  Although over 10 million coins were produced, Gem and better examples are not easy to acquire.  This is another relative sleeper in MS66FH and better conditions, although prices are beginning to escalate.

    1924-D:  As was the case in Philadelphia this year, this Denver issue was also one of the worst produced in the series.  Many examples come weakly struck, not only on Liberty’s head but on the date and shield rivets.  It is not uncommon to find the top third or half of the date missing from a broken die.  This is a date that has many survivors in uncirculated condition, even in very high-grade, but almost all are Flat Heads.  Full Heads are quite rare in Gem and finer.

    1924-S:  Nearly 3 million were minted but the vast majority were poorly produced.  Full Head examples are rare but the striking problems did not stop with Liberty’s head, as the shield detail is also typically abysmal, as are the eagle’s feathers on the reverse.  The lack of availability of Full Heads has lead to Flat Heads in the higher uncirculated grades commanding strong prices.  A mere dozen MS66FHs have been graded between PCGS and NGC combined, a surprisingly low number for a date not recognized as a Key.

    1925: The date positioned on the first step of the passway was one of the designs highest features and wore away quickly, leading to the entire area of the first step being recessed in 1925.  This was a high production issue with a mintage of over 12 million, so not surprisingly examples grading up to MS66FH are readily available.

    1926:  This issue is poorly produced by Philadelphia standards.  Although over 11 million were minted, a low percentage of those display strong striking characteristics.  Finding Gem and finer examples in Full Head, while not especially difficult, is harder than one would think given the high mintage, the Philly Mint’s usual better attention to detail, and the previous year’s design change.

    1930 stand lib kd Collecting Insights for the Standing Liberty Quarter Series  Part 21926-D:  This is one of the rarest issues of the series in Gem Full Head and finer conditions, although locating an example that is high-grade with a Flat Strike is extremely easy.  Indeed, it is branded as the classic Flat Head of the series by Standing Liberty Quarter specialist J. Cline. The reverse strike also proves problematic, with typical examples displaying few, if any feathers on the eagle’s wings.

    1926-S:  This issue is several times rarer than its already elusive Denver cousin.  The San Francisco mint had problems striking up any coin designs in the twenties, and the 1926-S quarter is no exception.  Besides displaying weakness on Liberty’s head, her shield and the eagle’s breast feathers are notoriously soft.  The third and forth rivets are always missing from the shield.

    1927:  Although not as common as the 1929 and 1930, this issue was well produced in high numbers, with a mintage of nearly 12 million.  Finding a high-quality example, while not necessarily easy, is not overly challenging.  However, finding a superb Gem with Full Head details, is a feat, as it is with nearly all but a handful of dates in this challenging series.

    1927-D: Although this issue and its famous San Francisco sibling are the only ones in the series boasting mintages of less than a million besides the 1916, it is surprisingly easy to locate a high quality example, up to and including coins at the Gem, Full Head level.

    1927-S:  With only a paltry 396,000 produced, the 1927-S is the premier rarity among the regular issue Standing Liberty quarters.  It is even rarer than the 1916, even though almost eight times as many coins were struck since it wasn’t saved in the substantial way witnessed by the first date of the series.  The 1927-S is one of the foremost condition rarities in all of 20th century U.S. numismatics and aside from the overdate, the most expensive of all Standing Liberty quarters.  Even Flat Head examples in mint state command considerable sums.

    1928:  This date is amongst the most common, and is readily available in all grades Flat Head and Full Head, up to MS66FH.  The obverse and reverse of this issue are amongst the better struck in the series.  As with nearly every Standing Liberty quarter it becomes rare at the MS67FH level.

    1928-D:  This issue was poorly produced and the striking characteristics tend to be weak in all of the usual problem areas.  Accordingly Full Head examples bring strong premiums and are fairly elusive.

    1928-S:  Large and small mintmark varieties of this year exist, with the small mintmark being three to five times rarer according to J. Cline.  The small mintmark is further to the right and down toward the date and does not touch the star.  This issue is relatively common and easy to acquire up to the MS67FH level.

    1929:  This is the second most common issue in the series behind the 1930.  All grades up to MS66FH are readily available and reasonably affordable, making it a popular choice for type collectors.

    1929-D:  The mintage of 1,358,000 coins was the fourth lowest of any date and mintmark issue in the entire Standing Liberty quarter series. The low production in combination with the typical poor strike of Denver Mint issues during the ‘20s makes the 1929-D is an important condition and strike rarity.  Gem and higher examples with Full Head details are elusive, although not as rare as several of the Denver and San Francisco issues from earlier in the decade.

    1929-S: This issue was better produced than any other San Francisco issue from the ’20s, and finding high-quality examples should not be a problem.

    1930:  This is the most readily available of all issues in the series, except for the 1917 Type 1.  Strike is not a problem, nor is finding an example in any condition.  It is most often the type collector’s issue of choice.

    1930-S:  While not as well produced as its Philly counterpart, this date is still easy to acquire in any condition, albeit with weaker striking attributes, particularly on Liberty’s head and the inner shield, as well as the third and fourth shield rivets.

    The Standing Liberty quarter was discontinued in 1931, a year in which no quarters were struck.  Although the Law of 1890 mandated that coinage designs should not be changed more often than each 25 years, the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth in 1932 seemed an important enough event to issue what was conceived as a one-year commemorative quarter.   The Washington quarter, obviously, ended up continuing as a regular issue.   MacNeil’s Liberty, carrying both shield and olive branch, is a poignant reminder of a time when the United States was on the brink of joining the Allied Forces in the World War that had begun in 1914.  Although it was produced for a mere 15 years, it remains one of American numismatics most beloved.

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