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CONECA (pronounced: CŌ´NECA) is a national numismatic organization devoted to the education of error and variety coin collectors. CONECA focuses on many error and variety specialties, including doubled dies, Repunched mintmarks, multiple errors, clips, double strikes, off-metals and off-centers—just to name a few. In addition to its website, CONECA publishes an educational journal, The Errorscope, which is printed and mailed to members bimonthly. CONECA offers a lending library, examination, listing and attribution services; it holds annual meetings at major conventions (referred to as Errorama) around the country.

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1953-D Jefferson Nickel MMS-003 Rarity?

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  • 1953-D Jefferson Nickel MMS-003 Rarity?

    I recently found a 1953-D Jefferson Nickel MMS-003, which is listed on variety Vista as ex. rare. I have found that the variety rarities on VV are not infallible, and can often be based on incomplete information (such as 1972 P/D jefferson RDV-007/ODV-023, which is listed as rare, but in my own experience can be found on about 1 in 5-10 coins of this date). I am curious if anyone here is familiar with this mint mark variety and perhaps has a sense of whether it truly is scarce. Here is a picture of the mint mark in question.

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  • #2
    The rarity scales used are often outdated. I can't even bring up the Nickel mint mark styles on VV. It is difficult at best to keep up with all of the details on things like this. At the time the data was listed, it was probably scarce to whoever put together the list. Since that time, it would have had to change.

    My personal take is that things like universal rarity scales and just using the words scare or rare are terribly over rated. Because a particular item was only reported once or twice does not mean it is rare or scarce. Only that it wasn't reported much. I don't know of any collectors who track this information for the sake of updating a list. Do you?
    Bob Piazza
    Lincoln Cent Attributer

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    • #3
      Fair points! Personally, I don't care too much about exact rarities, but I do like to have at least a reasonable sample size to know that a coin is at least fairly scarce if I'm going to save it. If it's perhaps 1/50-1/100 I would consider that a reasonable proportion to be worth saving and I wouldn't be interested in splitting hairs between scarce, rare, ex. rare, etc., but if about 1/5-1/10 coins is of a given variety, then it's a hard sell for me to care about saving them.

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      • #4
        Another thing to consider when addressing scarcity is the actual die state of the example you have. Knowing how many examples were struck is a better indicator of how many of a particular variety are actually out there. The mint used to print how many coins were struck by die pairs in their annual report. If your coin was an LDS specimen, that could tell you that there are hundreds of thousands out there even though only a hand full were actually reported.
        Once again...the word 'reported' is key.
        Bob Piazza
        Lincoln Cent Attributer

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        • #5
          How could I go about finding that information, Bob? And would it be recorded how many dies with this mint mark style were made in 1953?

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          • #6
            On VV Wiles notes it as rare: http://www.varietyvista.com/04a%20JN...k%20Styles.htm

            I am not sure about rarity. Sometimes a good gauge for rarity and covetousness is eBay sales.
            Jason Cuvelier

            CONECA
            Lead attributer

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