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The Benefits of Collecting Key Date U.S. Coins
by D. L. Crane

What is a Key Date Coin

A coin that is typically the last to be placed in a collection is a key date coin, because the date or date and mint mark combination is particularly hard to find or unusual. Key date coins are coins of solid investment potential. This is the coin that most collectors want to complete their coin collection.

The rarity of the coins is a low mintage, often the lowest of the respective series. In coin collecting, a key date refers to a date or date and mint mark combination of a given coin series or set that is harder to obtain than other dates in the series. The next level of difficult to obtain coins in series is often referred to as semi-key dates or simply semi-keys.

A key date coin is normally the rarest or the most difficult to find coin of a series to obtain. Key date coins frequently carry an additional air of mystery and allure, besides their rarity. One of the primary reasons for this is they are typically the final coins needed to complete a set. Key date and ultra rare coins have in the past, been excellent investments. A key date coin is generally considered to be the most important coin in a series, usually the lowest mintage and, or most expensive. Rarity is based purely on the number of particular coins that are presently in existence.

The number of coins initially minted is not nearly as important as the continued existence rate. The age and original mintage of a coin in reality have little effect on the present value of a coin.

Rare coins are not being produced any more. Once a coin was minted, the original die was destroyed at the end of the year, that way they will never be minted again. However, the rarity of a coin today is actually decided by the number of them existing in a specific condition. Although original mintage figures show the number of coins struck generations ago, these figures do not automatically indicate rarity. Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) the two major independent grading services, publish population reports that have shown that many issues considered rare for years are in fact relatively common.

Why a Key Date Coin

These are the low mintage rare coins in the most popular coin series, and so they appreciate at a higher rate than other coins. This would an excellent list of great coins in which to invest. The answer is then, for a buyer to know the coins worth collecting for the purpose of completing their collection or for reselling someday at a higher price.

Collecting key date coins is where coin collecting gets serious for the coin collector. It is these key date coins that set the marketplace for coin prices and also a rare coin of a popular series is more likely to increase in price. For any collector of a certain series of coins, you must know the key date coins because these are going to be the most difficult coins to buy. Finding these rare coins can be a challenge, but worth it because collecting rare coins can mean big money profits.

Always remember that focusing on keys has been a great strategy because having coins that have clearly outperformed the rest of the market during the last several years will pay off. These key coins are beneficial to increasing the value of your coin collection.

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