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Clad coins an opportunity?
December 09, 2009

Even though I have done it many times before, there is something fascinating about digging out after a blizzard. When I arrived in the office this morning, the usual crew was absent in my corner of the building. They will straggle in as the day goes along and those who commute some distance on country roads might not make it in at all.


That’s life. It is routine in this part of the country.


Before I went home last night I interviewed free-lance author Ginger Rapsus for this week’s Coin Chat Radio program.


We talked about what many collectors might consider to be a routine subject: clad coinage. Ginger wrote the book.


When clad coins were released in late 1965, many collectors called them clad trash and turned up their noses.
As Ginger pointed out, with 2010 dawning, we are 45 years into the clad coin era. That is a pretty hefty chunk of history to denigrate.


The state quarter series has helped generate interest in recent coinage, but for the most part these coins are treated like stepchildren compared to Morgan dollars, Saint-Gaudens $20s and the like.
There is opportunity in clads, as Ginger pointed out.


The world coin field went through a similar phase. Many of the coins that could have wound up in grab bags of 10 coins for a dime in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s created a similar attitude to those coins as American collectors have to clad coinage.


Current world coin collectors are discovering some very scarce issues hidden away in many world base metal coin series.


With gold in the headlines it pays to look from time to time at coins not in the current spotlight.


One final laugh: as I was writing this an e-mail arrived from corporate headquarters saying that the Iola office is closed today. The governor has declared a state of emergency. I don’t know when Wisconsinites decided to surrender to snow. It used to be “do your best and get there when you can.”

 

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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, Bank Note Reporter 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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