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The Number One Coin in the World

4th National Silver Dollar Convention

Houston, Texas

November 10 – 13, 1983


The Number One Coin in the World

By Dennis Loan, Blackhawk Coins


What is the number one coin in the world?  If you guess the U.S. silver dollar, you are right.  What makes it the number one coin in the world?  Well, there are several reasons why the U.S. silver dollar holds such a lofty ranking.

The first reason, and I think one of the most important, is price support.  U.S. silver dollar rolls and singles have held up in price and in some cases increased in price right through this recession.  This was remarkable in view of the fact everything else was taking a terrible beating.

One year ago I wrote an article for the National Silver Dollar Show warning that common date gem silver dollars were fast becoming a thing of the past.  I believe that in the last year one of the reasons that silver dollars increased in price is the fact that there is a very, very short supply of quality material on the market.  This caused the strong price support through the recession.  A meager amount of good material came on the market.  Silver dollars are in very strong hands.

The second reason, I feel, that makes silver dollars number one is the very wide dealer, collector, investor base.  In pure numbers there are more people involved in silver dollars than in any other area.  I don’t want to go out on a limb and make a statement about there being 3 or 4 times as many people in silver dollars over any other area of numismatics, but that appears to be so.  I just don’t have exact figures.

The third and final reason I feel silver dollars are number one is the mystique.  The public always has held the U.S. silver dollar high above any other coin we ever minted.  Even at a time when silver dollars were obtainable at banks, people saved their silver dollars in cigar boxes, socks and dresser drawers.  They gave them to sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and others.  They didn’t give halves and quarters – they gave silver dollars.  They gave silver dollars as gifts because they felt the dollar was something special and they had faith in it.  The words most often heard by those of us who received silver dollars as gifts were, “make sure you save these.”

The public’s interest in silver dollars was recently brought home to me by an incident at my bank.  The bank president asked me to come and look at five bags of dollars they had.  Well, you can imagine my anticipation when he informed me that these bags had been stored since 1961 and the bank now wanted to get rid of them.  On the day I was to look at the dollars, I stopped at my friend’s desk to tell him I was on my way to look at the silver dollars, and another bank officer said he too, wanted to see them.  We went downstairs where they had three young girls checking the count.  As we entered the room, I was very disappointed to find all five bags to be circulated dollars, not original bags I had hoped for.  However, I was the only one that was unhappy.  Five bank employees were very taken by the sight of “real silver dollars.”  I soon found myself answering questions about where to find mint marks, what does the “O” mean, etc.  They all had to touch some of the dollars – I could see the look in their eyes.  All of them, including the bank officers, could have spent all day counting, looking and handling those ugly old, dirty, circulated silver dollars.  As just an afterthought, I was told there was also a bag of half dollars.  No one had even bothered to open it, but all five bags of dollars had been opened.  These people handle thousands of dollars every day and yet, the sight of all those silver dollars stopped the show for a while.  I walked away thinking that what had been a let-down for me and been a thrill for them.

This experience only brought to my attention again what I already knew – silver dollars are number one!

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