How to Make Money With John Adams Presidential Dollar Coins
Whenever the US Mint comes up with a new concept for circulating coins, it inspires a new bunch of collectors and investors. That has certainly happened with the Presidential Dollar Series, which began in 2007.
First impressions of the George Washington $1 coins were luke warm, but then collectors started discovering errors. In some coins mostly originating from northern Florida, the lettering on the edge was missing. Whether intentional or not, the Mint’s lack of quality control helped fuel a frenzy on eBay, in which people were selling error coins for well over face value.
A recent search on eBay shows the coins typically selling in the $2 to $3 range, but you’ll also find error coins offered for hundreds more.. Meanwhile, unopened, uncirculated coin rolls are being offered between $30 and $40.
USA Coin Book is showing a similar price range of between $2 and $3, some even with free shipping. The more commonly minted coins aren’t fetching much of a premium.
There are a couple of issues that are working against the possibility of making money on John Adams $1 coins:
- There is a consensus among collectors that the Adams coin has a better design than the Washington. It seems that people may hoard the coins, creating strong demand among collectors. This might make it more collectible.
- The Washington coins have drawn a lot of attention, which may be about the errors or even about the series itself. Either way, the Washingtons may be drawing at least some added interest to the John Adams coins.
- Because of the situation with errors in the Washington coins, the Mint has allegedly worked to up its quality control to prevent the same outcome.
Despite this, if you do some quick research, you’ll read about doubled edge lettering on the John Adams coins. The error isn’t as common as it was with the Washington smooth edge (no lettering), making this the coin most likely to make money for the owner. Unfortunately, it’s less likely you have one given that it’s much less common.
If you decide to “invest” in a roll of John Adams coins, you may consider opening any rolls you’re not interested in collecting for yourself and check for errors.
If you find one or two coins that do have errors, I’d recommend putting it up for sale as soon as possible. It will give you a definite return, since collectors are zeroing in on the error coins. If you have several, you might sell a couple of them for a quick profit. You can hold the others for potential long-term appreciation. That will keep you covered either way.
The errors in the Washington coins were common, which means there are plenty floating around–probably too many for there to be any real profit potential. Meanwhile, the doubled lettering on the John Adams dollar seems to be sufficiently rare to generate nice premiums.
While this isn’t particular to Adams dollars, if you go through your rolls and find a coin struck through grease at the mint, which is considered by some as an error, you may have some luck making a profit with it on eBay.
It may be a minor error, but it’s enough to generate a substantial premium on an otherwise perfect coin. Minus the error, the coins would be worth no more than face value.
All this being said, you could probably make a small profit on each unopened uncirculated roll by selling them now on eBay, especially if you tend to overcharge for “shipping and handling” like most eBay-ers. For me, this small profit (maybe $5 a roll) wouldn’t be worth it, plus I would feel like I’m ripping someone off by selling them something they can easily get at their own bank for face value.
I’d strongly suggest spending some time checking out the comments on the Collectors’ Universe Message Boards. Since the forums are run by the grading service PCGS, you’ll get a chance to learn from some of the top dealers and collectors, who can offer suggestions on the best ways to sell the coins on eBay and other sites. I’d also be on the lookout for spam comments. There may be forum members weighing in only to draw attention to their own auctions. Regular contributors on the forum point out misleading listings with different scams and tactics. If you’re new to coin collecting, the forums are required reading.
So the John Adams hasn’t drawn the attention I originally thought it would. But there does seem to be significant profit potential in the coins with errors. It’s worth staying on top of events. If you can acquire coins or rolls at face value or slightly above, then inspect them for errors, you can make a nice profit. And the ones that are error-free can be resold for the going rate, to recover your investment.
It’s not a bad deal, and it may be well worth the search.