Expensive, but Not Rare Coins
Ordinarily the pricier a coin is, the rarer it must be. Usually there is a strong parallel between rarity and value, but some coins are surprisingly easy to find despite their big price tag. Due to their immense popularity and marketability, these coins have remained high-dollar items despite being constantly available. This article will provide a few examples of this phenomenon.
1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent: The Lincoln Cent is quite possible the most popular series to collect in American numismatics. It’s extremely familiar to most collectors, many of the dates can be bought very reasonably, and many collectors got their start with this series. The 1909-S VDB is the key date in the series, but that doesn’t mean that it’s rare. This date can be found pretty much any time in VG through MS 65.
1937-D Three Legged Buffalo Nickels: A small amount of grease or debris got lodged in the die of a 1937 Denver nickel—and as a result the Bison on these coins is missing a leg! These humorous die errors make great conversation pieces, but by no means are they rare. From VG through MS 61, these can be sourced without any difficulty at all. They start to become rare in MS 63 and above, but in lower grade they’re quite abundant despite their $750-$2500 price point.
1911-D $2.50 Indians: The $2.50 Indian Quarter Eagle is the only “completable” gold series. Virtually every U.S. gold series has one or more dates than are prohibitively expensive, but a complete set of $2.50 Indians can be bought for less than $10,000. The popularity of the series has pushed the value of the key date 1911-D to lofty levels. They sell for $2,500+ in AU, $5,000+ in Uncirculated and around $20,000 in MS 64. Yet, one can always find multiples example of these on the market—even in the five-figure price category.
1907 High Relief $20 Double Eagle: There is no denying this coin’s extreme beauty and popularity. It is one of the most visually stunning American gold coins—and its backstory is among the richest in numismatics. Commissioned by Theodore Roosevelt and designed by famed sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens, this coin is as fascinating as it is beautiful. It’s no wonder why collectors have driven its price up to such lofty levels. These start at around $7,500 but typically command more like $15,000 to $25,000. They are quite expensive, but there are always dozens of these available in the marketplace at any given time.