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Where's Speed When I Need it?
April 07, 2008

I hope it isn't going to be one of those days. It has taken 10 minutes just for me to sign into my computer and get everything up and working.

I have a lot of work to do on the 2009 edition of the North American Coin and Prices book.

The charts of price performance need updating. These are a record of how certain coins have fared on the market since 1972. Some have really zoomed. Some have been up gently. The data is interesting to look at.

This year's pattern seems to be that the truly rare stuff, like an 1802 half dime or an 1878-S half dollar, did incredibly well. The half dime in F-12 jumped from $40,000 to $85,000 and the half dollar went from $22,000 to $45,000 in F-12.

The meat-and-potatoes stuff, like an F-12 1914-D Lincoln cent, moved ahead by just $10 to $395.

None of these issues would get any points for being anywhere near the finest known. It is nice to see that solid collector coins have a strong underlying demand.

I suspect that the two that did so well might have been a bit underpriced in the 2008 edition, but even so, the numbers are strong.

The year 2009 will be the centennial of the Lincoln cent design and I would expect that prices will accelerate higher for the key and semi-key collectible dates.

Wish me luck. If it took 10 minutes to sign in, I don't know what the spreadsheet is going to do to me.

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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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