SOUTHGATE SNIPPETS - Plug into Your Coin Investments

Somer tells the secrets of investing in rare coins, and a review of next week's Carson City coin action.

Plug into Your Coin Investments

By Somer Athari

Hi there fellow coin enthusiasts. As my fellow teammates here a Southgate Coins so lovingly say, "due to most popular demand," I am back writing this week's article. So without further adieu, here is one little question we girls at Southgate Coins hear often that has a very large answer, with a slight dramatic flare.


Southgate Girl: Hi, How are you today?

Customer: Fine.

SG: Oh well that's great to hear. What can we do for you today?

C: Well... well, I am looking for coins.

SG: That's great. You certainly came to the right place! What kind of coins do you like to collect?

C: Umm, do you have any bullion coins: you know like Gold Kruggerands, Pandas, Maple Leaves, and stuff like that.

SG: Of course. Do you have any particular reason for wanting bullion, if you don't mind me being so forward to ask such a question?

C: You know, for investment reasons. Do you recommend something else?

At this point it is time for the staff at Southgate Coins to validate our mastery of what we've been trained to say. If you want to collect coins but are unsure about which direction to go, it's ok. That's what us girls are here to do, help. It's our job and moral duty to provide answers for all people who would like to know more about coins, and get into collecting.

We have gotten to the real question that the customer has wanted to ask and now we're ready. Very rarely, in this business is there ever a simple answer, but regarding this question I have a visual... plugs. That's right, plugs, and I don't mean advertising plugs, electrical plugs, or even hair plugs. Yikes! The plugs that I am referring to are called "RARE" plugs. In the old blue Whitman coin folders, the ones that used to sell for maybe a quarter, the Whitman Company would put a "RARE" plug to fill in the gaps of the coins that most people would never be able to find in their pockets, or water jugs of coins. It's almost humorous at first when you bring out these coin albums once used by collectors when they were kids, but it's true, a children's book provides insight into even such important investing questions as these. I know. It's so simple, right? If only all children's books tackled such vital facts with visual aids like these!

To know what those coins are, remember this equation: coins in limited supply with high demand usually equal good investments. If you are more mathematically sound, here's the formula: coins + want = investments. Now that you know the secrets we use to teach customers about coin collecting; I want you to know the 7 most important things to look for when you are collecting.

1. Get the rarest coins. (check)

  • If you cant afford the rarest date, buy the second rarest date.

  • If you can't afford the second rarest date, buy the third rarest date

  • Follow the progression from the rarest, down the scale, until you come to the rarest date you can afford.

2. Get the rarest coins in the highest conditions.

3. Get the rarest coins in the highest conditions, with a smile.

4. Get the rarest coins in the highest conditions, with a smile, within your budget.

5. Get the rarest coins in the highest conditions, with a smile, within your budget, allowing you to hold them for at least 10 years.

6. Follow steps 1-5, then tell your wife/husband about the whole thing.

7. Just kidding. Put step 6 in front of step 1.

Now if your curiosity leads you down another path, your next question might be, "Well, Somer, what about the rare coins that aren't in those old blue Whitman folders?" Great question. For that question you need to refer to much more sophisticated books, called Auction Catalogs. These are the books we look at very closely, especially if Carson City coins are presented in them.

Usually, Rusty will tell us about all the major "CC" coins that are up for auction, because it is always an experience to be apart of things of such magnitude and historical significance. We all waited anxiously during the weeks prior to the sale of the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime, and we were very excited when that lot came up last year and Rusty won it for nearly $900,000.

This time, the big auction is just around the corner and two of the rarest coins in the Carson City collection are going to cross the auction block. Rusty has informed us to be prepared like Vikings for victory next week, and of course to shout if his is the winning bid. We are all optimistic because it would just add to the romance of the Carson City Mint history, if we could bring the 1873-CC Without Arrows quarter (of which only five are known) and the 1876-CC 20-cent piece (estimated in Rusty's book to only have 17-19 in existence) back to Nevada. These are two coins that should create lots of excitement if they could make it back to their home state, and I know Rusty would love to bring yet more "CC"s back home.

Well, there you have it! I have tackled the difficult question of what coins are rare, and what are the best ones to collect for investment purposes.  Sorry, I wish I could help with all your other questions... especially taxes, but some things should be left to the professionals, or Sarah! (I owe that one to Sarah because we tease each other)

Your friendly correspondent,