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  JMS Coins :: Coin FAQ

  Coin FAQ
Untitled Document

Some Frequently Asked Questions...


Q. What should I invest in? Which coins are going up in value? Where do you think the price of gold and silver are going to?
A. We buy and sell coins. No one can predict the future, so we refrain from saying what is going up or down and which direction gold and silver are moving. Coins are a hobby, so enjoy them. Buy the best quality you can afford and stay away from problem coins. Youll do just fine.

Q. What is a typical dealer mark-up?
A. For normal inventory dealer mark-up is 15-25%. If a proof set sells for $10, expect the dealer to buy it for $7.50-8.50 depending on his level of inventory and current demand. Real Coin Dealers are in business. There are many Coin Dealers that are just selling their life-long collections. Thats fine, but they dont make a market. Remember department stores typically mark up 100% and wont buy the product back 3 years later.

Q. Should I buy original US Mint Packed Proof Sets, slabbed sets or sets in Capital plastic?
A. From 1956 to present you should only buy sets as issued in the original mint packaging with all the correct envelopes and certificates of authenticity as they apply.

From 1950-1955 original boxed sets are available, however, they will almost always exhibit some light-medium toning from the cellophane the mint used to package the sets in. Do not buy heavily toned boxed sets or boxed sets with obvious spots (toning is OK). Expect to pay a 15-25% premium for nice sets over the normal price points. Sets in capital plastic are ok. You will normally encounter some light toning on these sets as well. Typically all white sets mean some coins have been dipped (this is OK as long as it is done professionally and the surfaces neutralized).

From 1936-1942 original boxes are ultra rare (Ive never seen one in 20 years) so expect to buy these in capital plastic. I highly recommend knowing your dealer and/or your proofs before you buy the earlier sets in capital plastic. Slabbed sets are available at a modest premium and are cheap insurance on these early sets.

Slabbed sets for all years are OK if you plan on participating in the Registry Set competitions.

Q. How do I tell the difference between a Type I, Type II and Type III 1972-P Ike?
A. The Type I has a low relief reverse&simple. Its reverse is that of a 1971-S 40% Silver BU Ike.
The Type II has a high relief reverse and an Earth that has no discernable islands below Florida. The Earth is very non-descript and the edges almost merge with the field. The reverse is the same as the 1972-S 40% sivler BU Ike&see the trend?
The Type III has the high relief reverse like the Type II, although the islands below Florida are very distinct. The edge of the Earth is raised. The reverse is the same as the 1973-S 40% sivler BU Ike&see the trend?

Q. What is a cameo, and what is a deep cameo?
A. Cameo refers to the portrait and devices of a coin having a frosted look. For a coin to be a cameo both sides must exhibit a level of frost that is readily discernable. A Deep or Ultra Cameo must exhibit an extensive level of frost and almost jump out at you relative to the contrast between field and portrait/devices. Coins from 1936-1972 are extremely rare to relatively rare in cameo and deep cameo contrast. Between 1973-1977, cameo coins are extremely common, however, high grade deep cameo coins are elusive. After 1977 cameo contrast is common to virtually 100% of the coinage being deep cameo.

Q. What causes toning and why is some toning dark and other toning full of colors?
A. Toning is a chemical process that changes the look of a coin. This chemical process can occur naturally or unnaturally (artificially). Natural toning takes years to take hold. Artificial toning can be applied literally overnight. Many factors contribute to the color on a coin. The holder the coin was stored in, the humidity conditions, the amount of light and heat the coin receives and many other factors. These are the same factors that determine how pretty the color is. Bright naturally toned coins can command huge premiums, but only for the top end toned coins. Beware of average or darkly toned coins. They should be avoided, no matter how cheap they are.

Q. What is the difference between a type I and Type II mint mark on 1979 and 1981 proof coins?
A. The Type I mint mark on 1979 proof coins is a blob. The S mint mark doesnt even look like an S. The Type II has a clearer look. On 1981 coins, the issue is more complicated. There are 4 mint marks, two are type I and two are Type II. The two type I mint marks look much like the 1979 type II mint marks. The Type II 1981-S mint marks are very clear. You should be able to see the fields between the ends of both sides of the S. Think of a strand of spaghetti where the end never touchs and youll have it.

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