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Populations of 19th century coins

I rarely buy the same coin issue twice. just a trend of mine, once I have owned a coin I rarely buy the same issue again. However, I recently added an 1859 Seated Half to my collection. I owned an 1859 half previously, but had to sell it. Now I am doing a bit of a rebuild and found myself doing just that.
This is a totally empirical observation and is a sample of only one. But, I always keep track of the PCGS/NGC combined populations when I buy a coin. The combined pop in 2006 when I purchased the first half was 448. The combined population today is 612. My high school math says that amounts to a 27 percent increase in slabbed coins over a 17 period. Or, about 10 coins every year. I consider the 1859 Philly to be one of those coins that is not all that rare, yet finding a nice one can take awhile. To me though, I do think it offers some example of what kind of population of rare coins may still exist raw when it comes to in between dates. By which I mean coins that are not considered RARE so anything, any grade gets in a slab, nor so common only the highest grade pieces get slabbed. As I say though, small sample to work with since I so rarely duplicate. James


  • MrBlusterMrBluster Posts: 317 ✭✭✭

    The only Seated half I have is a 1859. The coin is much scarcer than the 1859O. The tough one to get is the 1859S.

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    36.6% increase. I like the smaller date font on 1859 coins. 1858 is HUGE.

  • seatedlib3991seatedlib3991 Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    It is worth mentioning I flunked high School math.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Populations will continue to grow. There are far more coins (in general) that are still raw out there. Of course, certain rarities of one or two known, will be unlikely to increase. Cheers, RickO

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use the Liberty Seated series as the baseline for comparison versus mine, Spanish colonial pillar coinage. Compare equivalent denominations. It's the most comparable from US coinage and I'm not aware of a better one from world coinage.

    I've heard someone (Liberty Seated club I think) has or did take surveys, but I've never seen one. I've looked at Coin Facts and don't know what to think of the estimates. I also haven't attempted to look for the coins but don't place much weight on what I or any other collector sees. It's not representative. Usually, availability is highly correlated to market value.

  • breakdownbreakdown Posts: 1,923 ✭✭✭✭✭

    With all the crack out resubmits, it is very hard to know how many actual coins have been added to the population. I doubt it is anywhere near the 27 percent increase in grading events.

    "Look up, old boy, and see what you get." -William Bonney.

  • WCCWCC Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @breakdown said:
    With all the crack out resubmits, it is very hard to know how many actual coins have been added to the population. I doubt it is anywhere near the 27 percent increase in grading events.

    Maybe, but this needs to be evaluated in the context of the price. In the example of the 1859 Seated half covered by the OP, the coin isn't worth enough in circulated grades where there should be any duplicates. If any exist, it has to be very few. It's not until a grade like MS-63 (maybe MS-62) that it makes economic sense.

    The mintage for this date is 747K. Coin Facts estimates 1200 with 100 in MS-60+ and 10 in MS-65+. If 1200 is close to accurate, then the 1752-1772 Peru 4R series (same size coin) I collect should almost entirely have a few dozen for each date. Mintages are no more than 6% and the survival rate should lower too. I've only seen a few for practically all dates in 20 years but think it's more than that. I estimate usually 50 to 100, though literally almost entirely on the low end.

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 10,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As far as rising populations of 19th century issues due to “lots of raw coins still out there”,
    this needs perspective.

    There are certainly lots of raw Morgan dollars out there in all grade ranges. Lower grade circ Bust and Seated coinage, ditto.
    These coins in higher grades like AU and Unc, that have never been slabbed, not so much. Sure there are still some out there impounded in old time collections, but these have become the exception. Attend a major show like FUN and tell me how many of these you see raw….chances are it was either cracked out of a details slab, or never submitted because of issues.

    Even among copper issues, the EAC dealers are carrying more certified pieces now, or their better raw coins were once slabbed then cracked out.

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