What is a signed coin?
What is a signed coin?
Signed coins are also known as signature coins or signature series coins and are an important part of the modern coin market for high-quality collector coins. Signed coins also crossover to the classic pre-1933 United States issues such as the Gold Liberty Head Series, Gold Indian Head Series, and Morgan Silver dollars.
The combination of a genuine hand signature by someone with a strong connection to a particular coin or series greatly enhances the exclusivity and collectability of any coin. Especially when the signature is paired with a designation such as Advance Release, First Day of Release, etc.
There are over one hundred people signing NGC and PCGS certified coins encompassing former Directors of the United States Mint, coin designers, coin engravers, coin legislators, politicians, high-ranking military officers, athletes, and celebrities.
The leading third-party coin grading services, NGC and PCGS maintain a census or population report recording how many coins of any particular issue has been signed. These reports also document if the coins are designated as Advance Release, First Day of Issue, First Day of Release, First Strike, Early Releases, etc.
How are signed coins collected?
Coins are collected by their date, condition, rarity, special strikes, and features. Signed coins allow people to customize their collection and add a level of exclusivity. Just like some people prefer to only collect NGC, PCGS, or ANACS certified coins, collectors have their preferred signature. Commonly, people may collect coins signed by Edmund C. Moy, 38th Director of the United States Mint. But may also want to acquire their favorite coin or an exceptional rarity signed by another signer who has a significant association with a particular coin. A Moy signature collector may also want to own the 2021 Type 2 Silver Eagle signed by Emily Damstra, the designer of this important key date coin and whose initials ESD are engraved on the coin.
What are the advantages of collecting signed coins?
A signed coin like a coin with the designation First Day of Issue adds exclusivity to a coin and lowers the certified population recorded by NGC and PCGS. A 2020 W Basketball Hall of Fame First Day of Issue Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Signature coin with a certified population of 660 coins is an attractive collectible because of the special nature of the curved coin and well-known athlete. Should a 2021 W $10 Gold Eagle Die Variety coin, the first mint error, and a key date coin in the new Type 2 Gold Eagle series signed by Abdul-Jabbar it may only have a population of one or two coins but most likely would not attract many bids from dealers. (Be aware of false rarity). One popular signature strategy is to acquire low price collectibles or favorite coins signed by three, four, or five different signers.
Signatures add discipline, focus, and purpose to a collection.
Signed coins are a fast-growing sector of the modern coin market and thanks to the widespread appeal of many recent U.S. Mint releases many collectors are just hearing about them.
The American Silver Eagle is the best-selling silver coin in the world. In 2021 the coin had its first design change in thirty-five years. Of all the coins certified by PCGS in perfect PR70 condition, 93.6% were signed coins. Proof coins are made for collectors so it’s significant that almost all the current PCGS certified population are signature coins. An impressive 19.4% of all the bullion strike coins certified in MS70 have also signed coins.