Houlton HS Lot Cecil Starcher collection - (Hover for larger image)
1899 Indian Cent Houlton HS - (Hover for larger image)
I have decided to number each volume based on the year. Since this is a new year, I am using a new volume number. I drove to California and spent a great holiday with my daughter's family in San Luis Obispo.
Matt M. - Are the 50 State Quarters encased in spoons considered encased coins? I have seen that the 2000 Sacagawea US Mint fob has been considered. Are the US Mint Christmas/Holiday ornaments considered as encased coins?
Editor - Good question. By my strict definition an encased coin is a "token" which is surrounded by an encasement containing good luck symbols and/or good luck wishes, with advertising on the reverse side of the encasement.
I consider the Christmas Ornaments from the Mint to be exunomia and ornaments, but not tokens. So I do not consider them as "encased coins". Let's explore this area a little. I personally have cuff links, tie tacks, a bolo tie clasp containing a cent. a rather large number of paperweights containing coins and a variety of other items which incorporate a coin in the design or decoration of the pieces. All of these are fun! But they are not encased coins. They are not tokens. Then do not contain a "good luck" message or good luck symbols. Some paperweights contain multiple (up to 75 plus) coins. They are not encased coins. By definition if they contain more than one coin they don't fit the encased coin category. If they are encased in a spoon, ornament or apparel wear, i.e. tie tack or cuff links, they are not tokens, so not encased coins. From a universal or "big" picture all of these coins are encased and I collect most of them. I admit to being unable to resist shiny objects containing coins. But and this is the thing. The encased coins, which encompass the majority of my collection, are traditional tokens. They are encased in an aluminum ring with good luck and advertising on them. I have in excess of 900 of these. I do have easily 50 or 60 paperweights with "Embedded" coins in them. I love them and they are everywhere in my house. Including the soap dish in the powder room and the letter opener right here next to my desk. But they are NOT encased coins. So I am opening the discussion to comments, corrections and criticisms.
Buck noticed that a listing for a 1901 Pan Am encased had been removed from eBay. Strangely I had been bidding on the piece. First because it contained a 1909 cent, not a 1901. I found that interesting and if I could get it for a reasonable dollar I could decide if it was a replace cent or an error manufactured in 1909 or later. The seller removed the piece and when I inquired of him as to why, he responded that he had missed that is was a replace cent and removed it for that reason. He also noted that he was still willing to sell it.
An old correspondent Joel R emailed me recently asking for my updated list of "Victory" encased. I pointed him to encasedcoins.info/victory.html which has a complete up to date list of the "Victory" encased that i know about and I added him to this newsletter.
Buck has been blowing up my email box recently with comments and questions about slabbing encased coins. Recently there have been a plethora of slabbed encased coins offered on eBay. I won't list them here as most of you look at the eBay offerings fairly frequently. There have been offerings from NGC, ANACS and ICG. The prices have ranged from reasonable to "really??". I have a habit of looking at the eBay listings for encased coins starting with the highest priced and working my way down. I wonder why some things get listed as they do. They clearly are not worth the asking price. I suppose that since you can list the coin for free and have it continue to be relisted with little or no effort, why not? As PT Barnum was reported to say? "'There is a sucker born every day!" Some of these listing have been there for literally years. More on that in a moment.
I have several encased coins that I am considering having graded and slabbed. I will use NGC, because I know a few individuals there and they have a solid reputation. So why am I thinking about slabbing these? First to preserve the encased coin. Second because the piece is rare and I want to insure the piece and preserve the value of the piece. I see no value in slabbing a common encased piece such as the "Veterinary Services" "There is No Substitute". this is a common often found in MS full red condition. There is a copy available with a starting bid of $75 slabbed by NGC. 10 years ago unslabbed this sold for $5 or less. They are always available and seldom in less than AU condition. Sorry way too expensive for my taste, but good luck to the seller.
So my bottom line is that I am going to have my "Teddy Bear" encased slabbed. For the reasons stated above. I see no value in slabbing an irradiated dime as they have a plastic cover over the coin already and they aren't all that valuable. Celluloid encased also have the coin cover. For me rarity and value are the reasons to have an encased coin slabbed. I also want to preserve the coin in the condition it currently is.
The prices being asked on eBay currently are high? Exorbitant? Ridiculous? I don't follow other categories on eBay like I do for encased coins. So I cannot speak about other cats, but I follow encased coins closely. 5 years ago 99 cents was the starting point of almost all auctions. Now anything under $9.99 is unusual IMHO. Irradiated dime which were junk box coins for many years are now listing from $4.99 to 24.99 as a starting bid and there are some with over $200.00 buy it now listings. Nothing special or exciting, just pocket change that had been irradiated. No proof or MS dimes, just worn pocket change. Is it me or the market?
I have uploaded a couple of new articles. "The Introduction to the Stork Club Series" by James M. Lawniczak. Jim wrote this article for the ECI site years ago. I received permission to reprint it and it is now available on the site. I comment at the bottom of the page on a couple of things from the article. I posted an article about the "Anderson Carriage Manufacturing Company" of Anderson, Indiana. I have created a page for the newsletters for those who didn't get one or joined after the list started. I have updated the article list and fiddled with the navigation, but who cares...lol.