Saturday, May 16, 2009

Another Astonishing Find

I just discovered that Heritage Auctioneers sold a PCGS MS67 full-red 1909-S V.D.B. for $92,000 in 2005! This is the highest grade example known and has likely increased in value. This coin, in this grade is a needle in a haystack! Unreal! This definitely makes me want to go on a treasure hunt! Just to think, there could be one sitting in an old collection sitting in an attic!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Dream Coin

General Information:

The 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Wheat Cent remains one of the most popular U.S. coins of all time. Collectors are still hunting through garage sales, old collections, estate sales, etc. to find one. The 1909-S V.D.B. has a very low mintage on only 484,000! This first year, San Francisco mint Lincoln bears the designers initials on the lower reverse side of the coin, adjacent to the rim. There were four variations of the 1909 penny:

  1. The 1909 from the Philadelphia mint, excluding the designers initials.
  2. The 1909 from the Philadelphia mint, including the designers initials on the reverse.
  3. The 1909-S from the San Francisco mint, excluding the designers initials.
  4. The 1909-S from the San Francisco mint, including the designers initials on the reverse.

The following represent the actual mintage of each variation, according to PCGS.

  1. 1909 has a mintage 72,700,000
  2. 1909 V.D.B. has a mintage of 27,995,000
  3. 1909-S has a mintage of 1,825,000
  4. 1909-S V.D.B. has a mintage of 484,000

When looking at the specifics provided, it is clear as to how scarce the 1909-S V.D.B. actually is. The truth is that there are not enough 09-S V.D.B.'s for all of the collectors who have hopes and dreams of having one. The price for this coin has been on a steady rise each year and the Brilliant Uncirculated examples are demanding a premium.

What is the 1909-S VDB Worth?

As with any coin, the value is based upon it's 'Grade' and condition. The chart below shows certain values base upon grade. Please note that on 4-21-2008 a PCGS graded MS66 red 1909-S VDB sold for $17,500. This represents $1000 over the price guide value.

Here is a key to the chart provided above. The numbers represent the coin's grade. Each number represents a grading category. Please see below:

  • Good 4: This is heavily worn coin on both the obverse and reverse. It's Design will be fully legible including the date, but will be faint in spots and may be difficult to read.
  • Fine 12: This is a coin with moderate wear and most details, excluding those on the highest points show all the coin's major details.
  • Extremely Fine 40: This coin has strong detail, but a few areas will show signs of wear. The detail on the coin may not be sharp but must be fully visible.
  • Mint State 60-67: These are Uncirculated-Gem Brilliant Uncirculated examples. A coin bearing the grade MS60 or higher cannot have any signs of wear, whatsoever. Coins grade beyond MS66 become very hard to pinpoint. Leave it to the professionals.

There are other grades in between the ones listed, but the focus remained on the grades represented in the chart from PCGS.

Thinking Of Buying Or Selling A 1909-S VDB?

First of all, if you are looking to buy a 1909-S V.D.B. be aware that there are many replicas and/or modified variations. There have been several reports of scammers adding an 'S' to the 1909 V.D.B and selling them as uncirculated, red examples. A dealer in the Los Angeles area bought a complete roll of modified 1909-S V.D.B Lincoln Wheat pennies, all in GEM BU grade only to learned that they were fake. Another dealer phoned to warn him, but it was too late. The point is that when buying a 1909-S V.D.B. stick to the coins verified by one of the major grading & authenticating companies. In the event you have a 1909-S VDB and you want to sell it, you may want to send the coin in for certification to maximize the price realized.

Who are the major grading companies?

  • PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service)
  • NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Company)
Many collectors only trust coins specifically graded by one of the three companies listed. Though there are many out there, these remain to be the most respected. Grading fees average about $30 per coin for a standard service level.

This coin will always be sought after by collectors of all caliber. The variety in grades allow for coin collectors to buy the one that suits their budget. Having owned two 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cents remains to be the highlight of my personal coin collection.

My passion for the coin collecting hobby will keep me adding to this Blog and with time, I will continue to share my knowledge with you by exploring other significant U.S. Coins.

In the event you have anything to add to this blog, I am looking forward to your posts.