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Selling Steel Cent Hoard Not Easy
July 16, 2009

I had a phone call this week from someone who said he had 25,000 1943 steel cents that he had put into individual 2X2s. He wanted to sell them.

From time to time I get calls from people who want to sell coins. I tell them that we are a publishing firm and don't buy or sell coins.

Of course, that line has to be modified. Our online business has undertaken the purchase of some new issues and then offers them online. This was inspired by yet another set of phone calls and e-mails that occur after the Coin of the Year is announced. Those contacting us want to know how to buy the Coin of the Year and the contenders.

For years, we've simply shrugged and suggested contacting dealers on the secondary market. This year we are trying to sell a few.

Will it work? That is a two-level question. First is, can it succeed simply on a business level? Can we sell enough coins to generate enough profit so that our superiors believe it is worth the bother?

The second question is will advertisers think we are competing with them? There is that risk. It isn't our intent. The reason we got the inquiries in the first place was our advertisers didn't have the Coin of the Year coins in stock, either.

So, we will see.

As for the caller with the steel cents, I told him he would have to contact some coin dealers in his area and see if they were interested.

I have never heard of a hoard of that many steel cents in individual holders. Bags are findable and more easily traded. After all, that is just five bags the size of a bowling ball.

Are they all uncirculated? The caller was vague on that point.

I imagine he has his work cut out for him to turn his hoard into cash at a price he wants.

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Recent Comments
On July 21, 2009 dennis.smith said
I don't believe publishers of numismatic publications should be in the coin or coin supply business. Your competitor is and it always bothered me as I am a dealer. I no longer subscribe to their publications.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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