Is More Better?
We often have the mindset that “more is better.” And although that may be true in many areas of life (for example the amount of dessert on the plate or the size of your paycheck) it is not the case with the minting of coins.
One of the main determinations of a collectible coin’s value is its availability. Coins that are easily attained do not have the same appeal as those that are tougher to find and are only available to a limited number of collectors. Therefore lower mintage coins are often of greater value due to those mechanics of supply and demand.
But mintage numbers are not always the best determination of coins remaining today. Many factors can influence the availability of an issue after its output. For example melts, attrition. and the number of issues in established collections will greatly affect the number of coins remaining from production.
For example, Morgan silver dollars were often stored directly after minting in bags at the Mint and U.S. Treasury. Huge numbers were never circulated and were later destroyed as part of government melts during the world wars. In fact, many coins with silver content are melted during periods when metals values rise.
Where to Go From Here:
As a coin collector you’ll need to look beyond mintage numbers and consider the actual quantity of coins remaining to help determine value and desirability of numismatic collectibles. As always in the realm of coin collecting, the more you know the better!
Happy coin hunting!