Our latest Coin Update poll asked readers which type of coin or set is most interesting to newer collectors, and we now have our results. The highlight of this poll was the neck-and-neck horse race that materialized between the Morgan dollar and Kennedy half dollar, as both coins held the lead several times before being repeatedly overtaken by the other. In fact, the poll was kept open longer than anticipated in the hope that a clear winner would emerge, but the numbers stayed close no matter how many votes piled up.
As you can see on the chart below, the Morgan dollar eked out a slim victory by a single vote. It’s not hard to understand why this coin would fare so well in a poll like this. A big classic silver dollar redolent of the Wild West, the Morgan is impressive without being unobtainable, and remains “one of the most popular coins in all of American numismatics,” as Dennis Hengeveld put it in a recent article on how to collect these issues without breaking the bank. With its impressive air of history and wide range of varieties, it provides a clear gateway for beginning collectors to take their coin collecting to the next level.
Lest fans of the Kennedy half dollar cry foul for ending the poll with only one vote separating first and second places, I’ll point out that I voted with you. As a kid, it was always a treat to find a 50-cent piece in circulation, and that fascination has never worn off for me. So I’m a little disappointed the half dollar couldn’t get over the hump in such a close contest, but there is no shame in coming in second to George T. Morgan’s immortal design.
A couple of the categories in this poll are fairly general, and I appreciate in particular the game attitude of those who voted “World coins” or “Other.” World coins can refer to so many types of issues: there is quite a difference, for instance, between 19th century francs and last year’s “20 for 20” face value coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. What about the coins of Ancient Rome? Or the world’s various bullion issues?
The “Other” category is basically a way of admitting that it’s impossible to include all of the numerous types of coins and medals that draw people to numismatics. It’s an incredibly diverse hobby and this poll is admittedly simplistic, but I hope a bit interesting as well. If the coin you wish you could have voted for was not presented as an option, I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks to everyone who voted.