Next Year Coin Ideas Numismatics Header Image

Top 5 Things Collectors Want to See on Next Years Coins

If anyone reading this knows someone at the US Mint, please send them this list along with my resume.

1.) More Real Women (Lady Liberty does not count!)

I’ve complained about it before, and I will complain about it again. We need more real women on coins!

As much as I love all the Lady Liberty designs, she seems to be the default woman to put on coins. Any real woman that gets on a coin is put on the rarely circulating dollar coins.

Susan B Anthony Dollar Coin

Did you know the Roosevelt dime design has been the same since 1946? Maybe it’s time to retire old Roosevelt and think of an influential woman in US history.

2.) Animals

The 2020 American Samoa quarter with the two bats on it was a huge hit with the public! I even heard non-numismatists talking about how much they loved that design.

2020 american samoa bats quarter covid
The 2020 American Samoa Bat Quarter (Photo Courtesy of US Mint)

After the National Parks Quarter series ends, the Mint should consider doing a series on animals of the US. It would be a great way for kids and adults to learn about different animals across the country.

3.) Deeper Relief

For the past several decades, the United States Mint has been lessening the relief on coins. The lower relief is most obvious with quarters and nickels, although it is noticeable on almost all circulating coins.

This is due to changes in the way coins are minted. It is likely cheaper for the mint to produce coins with less exaggerated reliefs.

Having a high relief would mean the coins details could last longer depending on the type of wear they are under. It would also make it easier to identify coins by feel as well as sight.

4.) Continuing West Point Mint Marks

Since the West Point mint marks began in 2019, I have found only 3 West Point quarters! Adding the West Point mint mark to quarters made quarter collecting an exciting pastime for me again.

West Point Quarter Obverse Front
West Point Quarter Obverse

Finding silver in quarters has become so rare, that it feels not worth the time looking these days. Knowing that I now have a chance of finding a “W” Quarter or a silver quarter when I am coin roll hunting has really invigorated my passion for CRHing quarters. (Not familiar with coin roll hunting? Click here to learn!)

5.) Creative Proof Sets

I absolutely adore proof sets. It feels very special to have coins in pristine condition that are stored safely. However, I wish proof sets were better built for displaying.

Proof sets are much better quality now than they were several decades ago, but they are lacking some of the creativity. My favorite years of proof sets, from 1973-1982 had a built in stand for displaying.

1973 Proof Set in Display
Proof Set With Built in Stand

If you want to learn more about proof sets, head over to the “US Proof Set Buying Guide” by American Coin Stash.


I may have titled this article “Top 5 Things Collectors Want to See on Next Years Coins”, but a better name might be ” Top 5 Things I Want to See on Next Years Coins”. Anything you disagree with or want included?

Add a comment below and vote in our poll!

Top 7 Ugliest Coins in U.S. History

The U.S. Mint has made some really gorgeous coins over the last few decades… and some incredibly ugly coins. Let’s look at the ugliest coins ever made by the U.S. Mint.

Some of these are my opinion, and others were decided by popular opinion. If you feel like a coin deserves a spot on this list, post a comment or reach out on my Contact Page.

7.) JFK Presidential Dollar (2015)

John F. Kennedy Dollar Coin

We know the U.S. Mint can make a better JFK coin, because they did it on the Kennedy half dollar. All the presidential dollar coins are boring, but this one is on the verge of unattractive.

Not the ugliest coin on this list, but my biggest issue is how sad this coin looks. JFK looking down does not give him a presidential look, but more of a forlorn, forgotten look. Coins are all about symbolism, and I wish this coin had a more hopeful aspect to it.

6.) Cincinnati Half Dollar (1936)

cincinnati half dollar commemorative
Cincinnati Half Dollar

BORING!

This must have been done by one of the laziest engravers at the U.S. Mint. There are no details on lady liberty. She looks very blobby.

Besides the lack of detail, the ugliest part of this coin is Lady Liberty’s neck. Are you okay Miss Liberty? Necks are not supposed to bend like that.

5.) Flowing Hair Half Dollar and Dime (1794-1795)

1795 flowing hair half dollar
Flowing Hair Half Dollar

I can’t judge this coin too harshly, as it is one of the first coins made by the U.S. Mint, I’m sure they were still working out the kinks in the design process.

This coin has a some intricate detailing, but several design choices that are unappealing. First, Lady Liberty’s hairline looks strange to me. Perhaps she is suffering from early balding?

My biggest issue with this design is with the Eagle. This eagle looks more like a starving plucked chicken or a vulture than a powerful eagle. The head is way too small.

4.) Three Cent Silver (1851-1873)

Three Cent Silver Coin

Gosh, this coin is weird. It doesn’t resemble any other U.S. coinage, so I give the Mint points for bravery here.

The obverse reminds me of a sheriffs badge, and the reverse reminds me of a witches spell book. Most of the imagery makes sense, except for the large “C” on the reverse which I have yet to see an explanation for.

This coin was not popular in its time, nor is it popular for coin collectors today.

3.) Effigy Mounds Quarter (2017)

2017 d effigy mounds national monument quarter
Effigy Mounds Quarter

The Effigy Mounds Quarter is here due to public opinion, more than my own. Many coin collectors don’t like this quarter because the effigy mounds look like amorphous blobs in person.

In the picture above we can clearly see the blobs resemble animals, however in person the quarters are not as attractive once they’ve worn even slightly.

Personally, I like the effigy mounds quarter, I think the use of blank space is interesting and eye-catching, but I am in the minority with that opinion.

2.) Chain Cent (1793)

Chain Cent

The Chain Cent coin gives me the heebie-jeebies. Something is very scary about the depiction of Lady Liberty in the Chain Cent. She looks more like a body-less ghost floating around a haunted mansion than a symbol of strength.

The reverse is equally unappealing. I assume the chains are meant to signify unity, but it reads are more restricting and dystopian.

The shortening of “AMERICA” to “AMERI.” is also a strange choice, there is so much blank space on the reverse, there was easily room for the whole word.

I did not give this coin the number one spot on the list simply because it is a very early U.S. coinage.

1.) Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin (1979-1999)

1979 Susan B Anthony Dollar
Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin

So much went wrong in designing the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. There was interference from lobbyists, outdated laws, and public interest groups all working together to make this one of the ugliest U.S. coins.

On its own, this coin has some really attractive elements. The eagle landing on the moon is one of my favorite coin reverses. But what does the moon landing have to do with Susan B. Anthony? Nothing.

The U.S. Mint wanted to design a coin that was not a perfect square, but vending machine lobbyists interfered because it would be more difficult to use in a vending machine. Instead of scrapping that idea, the mint left in the hexagonal edges.

I know several people don’t like this coin because they think Susan B. Anthony looks too ugly, and that is a silly argument. We don’t put people on coins because they are attractive, we put them on our coinage because they were influential and inspiring. Abraham Lincoln is on the penny, but he was widely regarded as being unattractive for his time.

I like this coin for the lore around why it has so many different elements, but ultimately it is the ugliest coin due to the lack of a coherent theme.


What did you think about this list? Anything you would have changed? Share a comment below!

Decision Coin YES/NO Medallion Challenge Coin

Decision Making Token Review: Let A Coin Decide Your Fate

While browsing the internet recently, I found a really useful kind of exonumia (tokens): the decision coin! These tokens are meant to be flipped and will land on a side to help you make a decision.

Usually, the coin gives a “yes” or “no” side, but some of the decision coins get more creative. Here is a comparison of 6 different decision challenge coins.

The Classic Yes/No

This one has a very classic and simple design. The makers did a good job on the weight and diameter.

At 39mm in diameter, it is about the size of a silver dollar, but weighs .634 ounces. This means it will have a good weight for holding, but still be easy to flip.

I like this decision coin’s construction a lot, even though the design is a bit boring.

The Gothic Design

I love the design on this coin, especially the “yes” side. It’s a very gothic look with nice detail in the design.

This challenge coin comes in two colors: silver or bronze. The silver looks better, but weighs 1.37 ounces. A 1.37 ounce coin would be difficult for me to flip smoothly on my thumb. (It is not real silver, just silver colored.)

The bronze is a better weight at .81 ounces, but some customers have complained that the bronze is darker in person.

The Pirate Token

I’m not a fan of this coin’s design. The “YES” and “NO” font looks a bit tacky to me. Plus, there is no coherent theme. This coin is a strange mix of gothic and pirate and I’m not a fan of it.

Other than the design, this coin is by the same maker that did the two previous coins, so I have no qualms with the quality of it.

Go To Bed Coin

This design is so cute! I like the risk the designer took in making a coin for a very specific occasion.

The sheep on the back of the coin are adorable (although the feet freak me out). There are a lot of small details that really bring this coin together and make it a great gift for the bookworm in your life.

In the product description it says, “Coins are struck in the USA using antique machinery and traditional coining techniques.” So they get points for that! A lot of thought went into these coins.

At 35mm and 12 grams, I’d say it is a good weight and size for flipping in your hand. My one issue with this coin is that copper has a very distinct smell that can transfer to your hand.

If you are more of a binger than a bookworm, then this is the decision coin for you:

The Crude Coin

This coin is better for decisions with your drinking buddies than making decisions at work.

I like the design, it was really creative to have the palm in different directions for each side. The “ZFG” diamond logo also has a “H” for heads and a “T” for tails engraved in it which is a nice touch.

This is another coin of 39mm diameter and .81 ounces. This is a good coin for flipping.

The Simple Charm

This little charm is very cute. This would be a good decision coin for young kids, especially since it is about 25.4mm in diameter (the size of a quarter) it would be easy for a child to flip.

Practically, I’m suspicious of this coin being evenly weighted since it is handcrafted pewter. If you want a coin that you are sure is giving 50/50 odds of yes or no, then I would avoid this coin.


Anything else to add? Share a comment and vote in our poll below!

I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I earn a commission on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.

How to Properly Get Coins Into Whitman Coin Folders

If you have tried to complete a Whitman folder, then you know how hard it can be to fit coins into their respective slots. Some coins slide in easily, while others take minutes of pushing and shoving to still be not correctly in.

One of the golden rules of handling coins is not to touch the surface of the coin and only handle a coin by holding the rim. But how do you get a coin into a folder without touching the surface?

Using cotton gloves is recommended when you do have to touch the surface of the coin. This does not help you push the coin in, but it may give you confidence to put your fingers on the surface to get more leverage.

If the problem is that you cannot get enough leverage, or the hole seems too tight. I have a hack for getting coins in a folder that has been very successful for me.

Here is the best way to get coins into a coin folder:

1.) Take out the coin that does not fit properly.

1962D Quarter not fitting in the folder.

Here is my 1962D silver quarter that will not fit properly into the album no matter how hard I try pushing with my thumb.

2.) Insert a new coin, and press it in with another object

Pressing a 2020 Quarter in to widen the hole.

I am using a 2020 Quarter to widen the hole just enough for my other quarter to fit. I used the edge of a plastic putty knife, but you can really use anything that gets you enough leverage on the coin since you don’t have to worry about damaging the surface.

A hammer, pencil, or cup would also work well to press the coin in.

Here is the 2020 quarter in a folder.

2020 Quarter temporarily in the folder.

3.) Push the new coin out of the folder.

Using my thumb to press the coin out from behind.

You can use your thumb on the back of the folder to gently push the coin out of its position. Try not to bend the cardboard during this part, just push the thin paper section behind the coin.

4.) Put the correct coin in.

1962D Quarter in a Whitman folder.

Now I was able to put the correct 1962D Quarter in its slot with less force. Test how secure the coin is by flipping the folder upside-down and giving it a shake.


It may seem silly to put so much thought into coins going into a Whitman folder, more often than not, Whitman folder coins will not be your best coins. If you want to prevent damage it should be in an Air-Tite container.


If folders are too difficult for you, you can get a Whitman coin album. The albums have a clear plastic surface that you pull back, and then drop the coin in. The other benefit of an album over a folder is that you can see the front and back of the coins.

The Inside Of A Franklin Half Dollar Album

Share a comment below with any other tips or tricks you may have. Remember to vote in the poll below!


I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I earn a commission on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.

A Wheat Penny from a Roll of Pennies

What Makes Coin Collecting a Great Hobby?

For the uninformed, coin collecting may seem like a boring hobby. After all, most people touch dozens of coins a day and have never become interested in coins. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that there is much to love about the hobby.


Since coins have been around, they have been stored for their bullion value which is the value of gold, silver, and other precious metals. It wasn’t until the 14th Century that coins began being stored for their artistic and historical value as well.

During the Renaissance Era, kings, queens, and nobility began collecting coins as a sign of wealth. The Italian scholar Petrarch is the most notable and knowledgeable coin collector of the time.

Possibly because only nobility could afford to purchase and store coins for long amounts of time, coin collecting became known as “The Hobby of Kings”. As always, it was not long before the middle class began emulating this behavior and started collecting coins.

Coin collecting prevails to this day; a great hobby for the young and old. Keep reading to discover what makes coin collecting a fun and enjoyable hobby for millions of people around the world.

What Draws People to Coin Collecting Today?

I have friends ask me all the time what makes me so addicted to coins. There are many reasons I love coin collecting, it’s a hobby that is always evolving while still maintaining a sense of history and traditionalism.

Below is my list of the best parts about coin collecting. All these are aspects which drew me into the hobby and keep me interested in it. I think most numismatists will agree that this hobby has many facets and there are always new coins to enjoy and discover.

History

Coins are rich with history. Each coin is a product of the year, political climate, and social trends of the time. People who study coins are called numismatists. The study of coins can tell us a lot about a time period.

By the metal composition, we can know the resources in a surrounding area. This could also inform us of trade routes and the wealth of the country producing them.

By the art, we can get a sense of what was important to people of the time and what traits the government wanted its citizens to value. We also see what political figures were honored.

Even the condition of coins can tell us about the economy during a certain time period. The more worn down a coin is, the more it was used in circulation. Using this analysis, a scholar can figure out what denomination was used most at a certain time. This could help track inflation in history.

Economics

Coin collectors have their own economy to price coins. Coin prices change every year depending on trends in the hobby. Coins can be bought and sold for thousands of dollars.

A buyer can speculate on the price of coins, buying a coin with the plan to sell it at a later date at a higher value, or a buyer can look for discounted coins with the goal of immediately flipping the coin for a profit. Many people have made businesses on the buying and selling of coins.

That is not to say that becoming a coin dealer is easy. It takes years of learning to develop a good eye for well-priced coins. Most dealers start as collectors, who after enough years amass enough knowledge to begin successfully selling.

Community

Coin collecting is it’s own community; whether online or in-person, coin collecting has brought generations of different people together.

There are hundreds of ways to meet like minded people who are interested in coins. Reddit, coin shops, coin forums, coin events, word of mouth, family members, all places are great for finding others who value coins.

The best part about the coin community is that we are bonded by a common interest. Within that, everyone has their own expertise. There is very little one-upmanship, most coin collectors are eager to share their knowledge for the sake of teaching another human being about coins.

Store of Value

Some collectors are less interested in the art of a coin, but the coin’s metal composition. Before 1964, many US coins were made for circulation with silver. Since then, silver has increased in value to make a silver quarter worth about $3!

If we look back even farther in US History, coins were minted in gold. In the early 1800’s, gold was worth about $18.93 per troy ounce. Today, the same amount of gold is worth about $1,866!

Some collectors keep coins as a hedge against inflation, or to protect themselves against a crash of the US dollar.

Family

Most coin collectors are interested in the hobby as a life-long pursuit, buying a few coins a year and storing them. Eventually, the coins are passed on, usually through family members. Although some families choose to liquidate the collection, many treasure the coins as a memory of their family member.

It’s easy to get kids interested in coins by setting them up with a coin folder and a roll of coins to search though. I remember my grandfather giving me a State Quarter Folder when I was 9 years old that I still have today!

Promise of Treasures

I am always learning about new types of coins, errors, and varieties. The idea that I may have a coin already in my collection that could be worth hundreds is very exciting. Perhaps, if you took the time to look through even the change in your car you could find something valuable.

One of my favorite pursuits in coin collecting is the activity of coin roll hunting. This is where you get rolls of coins from the bank and search them for treasures. It is a cheap and easy way to find new coins for my collection. (Click Here to Learn More About Coin Roll Hunting.)


If you are looking to start coin collecting, I would recommend getting the proper supplies. This article on the Essential Items to Handle and Store Coins should help.

I would also recommend a new collector purchase a Red Coin Collectors Guidebook. You can read more about why I recommend this book by clicking here.

Anything I missed? Add a comment below and share what makes you love coin collecting!

PCGS vs NGC Grading Company

PCGS or NGC: Which Company is Better For Grading Coins?

For people looking to get coins professionally graded, two names come up most often PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Which company is better: PCGS vs NGC?

Both companies are in the business of grading and “slabbing” coins. A slabbed coin is one that has been put into a special holder or case with a grade and label. This case is also called a slab.

The benefit of getting a coin graded is that it is protected from damage, certified authentic, and more valuable for re-selling.

Pricing

Before submitting a coin, you should have a rough estimate of the price of your coin and the cost to get it graded.

Comparing the pricing levels is complicated without a specific coin in mind, so the price comparison table is a very broad overview as of January 2021 and does not include all pricing information.

To get a more accurate version of the pricing you should see PCGS’s Services & Fees and NGC’s Services & Fees.

Service LevelMax Value PCGSMax Value NGCPCGS PriceNGC Price
Economy$300$300$22$22
Regular$2,500$3,000$38$35
Express$10,000$10,000$65$65
Walkthrough$100,000$100,000$150$150
Modern (1965+)$300/$2500$2,000$17/$30$17
Mint Errors$10,000Tier$65Tier + 15$
Oversized Holder$20$20
Comparison of PCGS vs. NGC Pricing

I was surprised to see how similar these grading services were. In general, NGC is slightly cheaper. Those savings could add up if you are sending in multiple coins.

Both companies have yearly membership subscription services. It is hard to compare these services as both have coupons, yearly deals, informational packets, and bonus programs.

To keep things simple I will outline what discounts on grading these packages offer:

PCGS

  • Silver $49 – No grading vouchers.
  • Gold $149 – 4 grading vouchers.
  • Platinum $249 – 8 grading vouchers.

NGC

  • Associate $25 – No credit or discounts.
  • Premium $149 – A $150 credit with NGC.
  • Elite $299 – A $150 credit + 10% off grading.

If all this is confusing you are not alone. The simplest option may be to go to your local coin shop and ask for their advice. Many shops also offer to send coins in to grading for customers, as they get a discount on bulk grading submissions.

Credibility

PCGS is considered the more esteemed grading service overall. Coins graded by PCGS tend to have a higher resale value.

This does not mean that NGC is a bad grading company, it is still one of the top coin graders in the world and people will pay more for an NGC slabbed coin than a non-slabbed coin.

Grading Ability

Anecdotally, I have heard many people in online forums say that PCGS has a stricter grading scale. This could account for why PCGS coins command a higher resale value.

This has not been proven, there have been instances where NGC has given the same coin a lower grade than PCGS and vice-versa.

It may help to do some research on the type of coin you are sending in and the company’s track record with those coins. Check eBay for similar graded coins if you are unsure where to start.

Grading can be very subjective depending on who is grading your coin. Coins have been resubmitted to the same company and come beck with grades a few points above or below what they have originally received, but this is rare. Most grading companies will stick to the original grade given.

Why Pick Just One?

You do not need to pick one company over the other and stick with it for the rest of your life. You could get your coins graded by both companies depending on the price.

The benefits of consistently picking one company are that you could sign up for their annual subscription pricing plans where they give you discounts on grading coins.

The other benefit of consistently grading with the same company is that all your slabbed coins will be in holders of the same size. A PCGS slabbed coin may not fit into a box designed to snugly hold NGC slabbed coins.

Conclusion

Overall, I would have to pick PCGS as the better grading company. The company has slightly more credibility to coin collectors and the prices hold up well for re-selling.

If your goal is to get a coin slabbed on a tighter budget, there is nothing wrong with picking NGC. They are also a great company.

It is worthwhile to do research on the coin you are grading and the company’s track record with that denomination.


Where do you get your coins graded? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and vote in our poll.