Monday, March 4, 2013

When Q. David Bowers is Interested, Coin Collectors Listen

As described in Wikipedia: Q. David Bowers’
"…dedication to the hobby and his lifelong interest in rare coins, along with his pursuit of scholarly knowledge, have made him one of the most honored and revered numismatists of all time"
In his recent column in Coin World Magazine, Mr. Bowers is intrigued by the great differences in mint mark positions on 1973 and 1975 Jefferson Nickels as described by Mike Diamond in another Coin World column from the Dec. 24, 2012 issue. In that column, Mike Diamond notes:
“Mint marks were punched into working dies by hand up until 1990. For any given series and date, a collector could track down any number of minutely different Mint mark locations.”
Mr. Diamond continues:
“Remember, however, that tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousand of coins can be struck from a single die pair, so such varieties are not considered rare.”
Rare or not, Mr. Bowers was intrigued enough to buy an “errant Mint mark 1975-D” as he calls it for $25.00.

Harris 16x loupeRepunched mintmarks and misplaced mintmarks have enjoyed an active niche in numismatics for years. These mintmark varieties add interest and a premium to otherwise common coins. 1970’s Jefferson Nickels struck for circulation certainly qualify as common. Mr. Bowers acknowledges the huge mintage numbers, but also the possibility that they are indeed rare. Mr. Bowers has had considerable success in numismatics as well as a large audience. Perhaps his interest will translate into wider collector interest. Thanks for the tip Mr. Bowers; I’ll be checking my change, with a magnifier of course.

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