When I started coin collecting back in the 1980s, finding handy information about coins was far more challenging than it is today. This was pre-Internet (yes, I know I’m old) and it mainly came down to books that, at a minimum, you needed to update every year or two years at the least.
For coin collecting today, finding out this same type of information – mintage, designers, history of the coin’s design, and other coin facts – are literally one app away on your Android or iPhone. That app is the PCGS CoinFacts app. It is a free app and whether you use PCGS for your coin grading or not, you can find out facts and information about virtually any United States coin, commemorative, bullion, Colonial, Territorial, or Pattern coins throughout our coinage history. Not only is the facts that are found in the PCGS CoinFacts handy, it is also a quick and easy way to learn a little bit of history about our coinage.
After installing the app, when you first open it, you will see a list of the types of coins you can get information on, starting with Half-Cents and Cents all the way down to Patterns. If this looks familiar, it should. This is the same layout/listing that you find in the PCGS Photograde app.
Once you find the type of coin you want to get information on, select it from the list. In my example, I have tapped Half-Dimes and Dimes from the list which then brings me to a listing of only those types of coins. Again, scroll up and down to find the one you are interested in viewing.
In my example, I have selected Mercury Dimes which were minted from 1916-1945. Tapping that in the list will bring me to a listing of the years they were minted along with the mintmark such as a 1918-S. When I find the one I want to view, tap it and you will be brought to the PGCS CoinFacts page for that particular year and mintmark.
On this page you can get a lot of detail about this particular year and mintmark including its composition, mintage, what type of edge it has, the designer, and so forth. If you scroll down on this page, you will see PCGS listed coins of that year and mintmark that are for sale on eBay and a description of this history behind the design. On some coins, it will also tell you if it is key date coin and why it is so.
While the CoinFacts app won’t necessarily replace a good history book on US coinage, it is great for quick information while you are on-the-go or at a coin show.