Friday, March 30, 2007

Hunt on for $4 Billion underwater treasure in Spain (India, India)

In February 1694, British admiral Francis Wheeler set sail from the Bay of Gibraltar with an important mission. He was to bring a large sum of money to the Duke of Savoy in order to buy his loyalty and to ensure victory in Britain's ongoing war against France's Sun King Louis XIV.

But when the HMS Sussex arrived in the Strait of Gibraltar, it was hit by a violent storm and Wheeler struggled in vain to save it. The 50-metre warship went down with more than 500 men, 80 cannons and an estimated 10 tonnes of gold coins on board.

Three centuries later, a US company specialized in underwater treasure hunt intends to haul up what is believed to be the world's richest sunken booty.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration has reached an agreement with the British and Spanish governments to explore a wreck it believes to be that of the Sussex at a depth of about 800 metres.

The value of the gold coins is estimated at up to 3.3 billion euros ($4.4 billion). . . .

Full story at:

Venezuelan President Chavez Calls for Local Coins (Bloomberg, Latin America)

March 29 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked his government to draft a plan to develop regional coins to circulate in select regions of the country for set spans of time, to boost business at economic cooperatives.

The coins would be ``good for certain things in certain places for certain periods,'' Chavez told members of a farming collective he met in a televised appearance in the country's eastern city Puerto Ordaz tonight. He said areas of northern Brazil use similar coins for local transactions. . . .

Full story at:

Of military excellence, affiliation and heraldry -- the story of military coins (Ft Leavenworth Lamp, KS)

Most coins rarely warrant much attention. Sure, the recent proliferation of state quarters made collectors out of non-collectors, but the garden-variety coin usually finds a home in an automobile ashtray, underneath a sofa cushion or in a jar designed for savings.

To the acronym-inclined, the word "coin" may conjure up counterinsurgency measures or policies.

But when talking about military coins, challenge coins or award coins . . .

Full story at: 2007/03/30/features/features1.txt

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Joint Stamp and Coin cover by Royal Mail and Royal Mint to mark 200th anniversary of abolition of slave trade in Britain (

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A stamp and coin cover jointly issued today by the Royal Mail and the Royal Mint to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain features the work of an East Anglia-based design and branding consultancy.

Silk Pearce, based in Colchester, has designed the envelope, insert card and postmark for the cover which features a set of six stamps carrying contemporary portraits of six of the most prominent anti-slavery campaigners and a new two pound coin minted to mark the anniversary. . . .

Full story at: Category=Business&itemid=IPED22%20Mar%202007%2012%3A42%3A40%3A313

Washington state quarter will enter circulation next week (KATU_TV, OR)

DENVER (AP) - Mike Gregoire, husband of Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, led a ceremonial strike of the state's commemorative quarter at the U.S. Mint on Monday.

Gregoire hit a green button on the coin press twice, making one Washington state quarter for himself and one for his wife. But they won't be able to use them until the new quarter goes into circulation on April 2.

The reverse side of the Evergreen State quarter bears an image of a king salmon leaping out of the water with Mount Rainier in the background. Gregoire said it represents the whole state. . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Unique $2.5 Million Gold Rush Coin Returns to Bay Area (

Made in 1854 in San Francisco with California Gold Rush ore, a one-of-a-kind, historic $20 denomination gold coin will return to the Bay area for a three-day public display in Santa Clara, California.

(Santa Clara, CA) -- One of the first Gold Rush-era coins minted in San Francisco, a unique $20 denomination gold piece valued today at $2,500,000, will return to the Bay area for only the second time since it was made in 1854. The historic gold coin, known as the "Kellogg Twenty," will be publicly displayed during the first three days of the . . .

Full story at:

Monday, March 26, 2007

British wreck could yield $1-billion in treasure (Mail & Guardian, UK)

Up to a billion dollars' worth of gold and silver on a sunken 17th-century English warship may soon be recovered following an agreement with Spanish authorities.

Professional marine treasure hunters working with the British government have reportedly been given the go-ahead to recover gold and silver pieces from what is thought to be the wreck of the HMS Sussex, which took 560 sailors to a watery grave off Gibraltar in 1694.

Although the Spanish government had given its approval, authorities in the regional government of Andalucia had been blocking progress towards recovering the 10 tonnes of gold and silver believed to have gone down with the vessel. . . .

Full story at:

Spain and Britain to dive for treasure on 1694 wreck (Reuters, UK)

MADRID (Reuters) - Three hundred years after the British warship Sussex sank in a storm off southern Spain, researchers are preparing to dive to the site to see if it was carrying a fortune in gold coins.

Spain and Britain said on Friday they had agreed to start underwater exploration to find the ship that sank near Gibraltar in 1694. Any treasure will be claimed by Britain, the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement. . . .

Full story at: idUKL2316223620070325

Sunday, March 25, 2007

1841 Seated Liberty Dime Found In Confederate Sub H.L. Hunley (Wilmington Star, DE)

Crew's identities point to Old World

Some aboard Confederate sub were Europeans

Charleston, S.C. The story of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, the first sub to sink an enemy warship, is leading back to the Old World as researchers plan to spend weeks trying to discover the roots of four European crewmen.

Scientists also said Thursday they have recovered a second coin from the hand-cranked sub - a silver dime to go along with a $20 gold piece recovered in 2001.

With a mint date of 1841, the dime shows Lady Liberty seated in robes, surrounded by 13 stars. It was found with the remains of a European crewman known only as Lumpkin. . . .

Full story at: pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070323/NEWS/703230344/-1/State

Saturday, March 24, 2007

2,000-year-old Ancient Coins for Education: Students Meet Julius Caesar on the Ides of March (FV Newswire, MO)

Place a genuine 2,000-year-old coin in the hand of a student and the centuries will vanish before your eyes. Teachers across the country will do just that on the Ides of March to bring a history lesson to life and kindle a reverence for the past that might be surprising.

Gainesville, MO (FV Newswire) - The Ides of March (15th) was a bad day for Julius Caesar. The Roman general who rose to the pinnacle of power in 44 BC discovered that being "King of the Hill" was a risky business. Indeed, the fear of kingship guided a dagger into his heart on that portentous day.

On the 2050th anniversary of his murder by a protégé, Brutus, and other supposed friends, Latin and Classics teachers across the country will use ancient coins to teach a realistic history lesson. Of course there are no photos of Julius Caesar or his assassins, but lifelike portraits do exist on ancient coins. One silver coin with the inscription EID MAR (Eidibus Martiis = Ides of March in Latin), actually commemorates the murder of Caesar as being a patriotic act. . . .

Full story at:

ADAMS DOLLAR - MAKING A MINT: With new coin, John Adams gets his due (The Patriot Ledger, MA)

PHILADELPHIA - Would John Adams ever have imagined he’d be remembered this way - his face on a $1 coin, cascading from collection chutes like Las Vegas slot machine tokens?

In a cavernous production plant in Philadelphia’s Old City section, the U.S. Mint is busily turning out millions of the Adams dollars, as the agency gets ready to spotlight the nation’s second chief executive and Braintree native in its new Presidential Coins program. . . .

Full story at:

Friday, March 23, 2007

Where have all the $1 coins gone? (The Island Packet, SC)

Usually it isn't too difficult to find a picture of George Washington on your money.

Whether it's a few crumpled dollar bills shoved in a pocket or some quarters set aside for the vending machine, the father of our nation usually is close at hand in currency form.

But the first president's latest monetary incarnation -- the presidential $1 coin -- has been a bit harder to find on and around Hilton Head Island.

Tammie Polley, teller coordinator at the SunTrust Bank on Lafayette Place on the island, said the rolls of 25 coins were snapped up quickly after they came out in mid-February.

"We actually did have them, and we went through them pretty fast," Polley said. . . .

Full story at:

Britain's Royal Mint issues coins for Queen Elizabeth's 60th wedding anniversary (Int'l Herald Tribune, France)

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II, who usually appears alone on British coins, shares space with her husband on a special issue marking the 60th anniversary of her marriage to Prince Philip.

The Royal Mint unveiled the design of the five-pound (€7.50; US$10) coins on Thursday, well before the Nov. 20 anniversary.

It is only the fifth time in British history that two people have featured on a coin, the Mint said. . . .

Full story at:

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Altered Washington Dollars Surface (

Presidential Dollars are filed to resemble widely publicized Missing Edge Lettering examples

Less than a month after their official release, Presidential $1 Coins with altered edges are being submitted to NGC for certification.

Considerable attention has been focused on Presidential $1 Coins with edge lettering errors. The edge lettering is applied to these coins after they are struck in a process similar to the upsetting mill that raises rims during planchet preparation. As such, the edge lettering orientation will vary depending on how the coin falls into machine that impresses the letters, and its positioning and orientation on the coins are random. Nonetheless, coins are being offered and sold in the marketplace as mint errors in cases where the edge lettering is “upside down” in relationship to the obverse. This is not an error . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Sacagawea "Edge Lettering" Hunt Begins (

It seems inevitable. Sooner or later, a Sacagawea Dollar is going to find its way through the edge lettering segment intended only for the new Presidential Dollars. After all, the Sacagawea Dollar, which has been made since the year 2000, is mandated by law to be struck in numbers that are no fewer than 1 Sacagawea for every 3 Presidential Dollars struck . . .

Full story at:

Zoo Cashes In with Rare Coin Collection (WIBW-TV, KS)

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) _ The David Traylor Zoo in Emporia is thousands of dollars richer, thanks to a collection of rare coins and currency brought in by an anonymous donor.

Zoo officials of said a man delivered the cash to the zoo in a Rubbermaid container and left without giving his name. . . .

Full story at:

Presidential $1 Coins With "Upside-Down" Edge-Lettering Are Not Errors (Press Release)

It has come to the attention of the United States Mint that some people are offering to sell so-called George Washington Presidential $1 "error" coins with "upside-down" edge-lettering on on-line auction sites. These coins are not "error" coins. The Presidential $1 Coins are inscribed on the edge without regard to their "heads" or "tails" orientation. . . .

Full story at:

PCGS Certifies Blank Planchet, Lettered-Edge Presidential Dollar (

Newport Beach, CA - Professional Coin Grading Service of Newport Beach, California has certified the first known lettered-edge, blank planchet Presidential dollar. As part of its previously announced reward program, the owners of the coin will receive a $2,500 finder's reward for being the first to submit an example to PCGS. . . .

Full story at:

Monday, March 19, 2007

$500 Million Dollar Treasury Note: For the Love of Money (Charlotte Observer, NC)

Come see what a nickel's worth

How's it feel to hold half a billion dollars?

Better than it feels to give it back.

The National Money Show is at the Charlotte Convention Center from Friday to Sunday. On Thursday morning, the organizers let me help unpack. This included getting my hands on a $500,000,000 U.S. Treasury note, just part of the Treasury Department's $1.1 billion exhibit. . . .

Full story at:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Coins Up, Stocks Down (

There has been plenty of excitement in the stock market this past week as the Dow took a major hit and fell over 400 points in just one day; and that was after making a comeback from over 500 points down. Investors felt the pressure of losing billions of dollars that shook the confidence in owning stocks. This also points to the fact that Americans have little or no confidence in the direction of the economy and will look at other potential investments, such as rare coins. We have seen this happen before and the coin industry becomes the welcome beneficiary. . . .

Full story at:

Family has no rightful claim to 1933 double eagle coins, say feds (The Sentinel, PA)

PHILADELPHIA — A family that asked the U.S. Mint to authenticate 10 extremely rare coins cannot prove they were obtained legally and has no right to them, government lawyers argue in court papers.

The gold coins, 1933 “double eagles” that were never circulated, could be worth millions of dollars apiece.

A comparable one sold for $7.59 million in 2002 — the highest price ever paid for a coin. . . .

Full story at:

The art of coin collecting (Daily Princetonian, NJ)

On the wall of the reception room in Firestone Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) hangs an unassuming white frame. The structure contains a display of 18 coins dating to the 11th century Byzantine Empire.

No one is sure why the Byzantines chose to use cup-shaped coins for the 300 years the empire occupied Eastern Europe. But scholars of numismatics — the study and collection of coins, paper money and other currencies — are the ones to turn to for possible theories and explanations. . . .

Full story at: 2007/03/15/news/17749.shtml

Faceless goof: Dollar coin has 'In God We Trust' but no George Washington (USA Today)

DENVER — Mary and Ray Smith can't make heads or tails of a new presidential dollar coin they found last week. It doesn't have either. A week after the revelation that some of the coins slipped out of the U.S. Mint without "In God We Trust" stamped on the edge, the Smiths said Tuesday they found one with nothing stamped on either flat side.

It does have "In God We Trust" on the edge. What's missing is the image of George Washington on the front and the Statue of Liberty on the back. Instead, the Smiths' coin is just smooth, shiny metal. . . .

Full story at:

Shipwreck Coins: Lost treasure coming to TV buyers (Daily Comet, LA)

The Franklin Mint has purchased about 360,000 coins recovered from the wreck of El Cazador, a Spanish brig-of-war that sank in early 1784 during a storm in the Gulf of Mexico as it attempted to reach then-Spanish-controlled Louisiana.

The cache will be offered for sale . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Presidential Dollars Fraud Report - Beware of "Buffy Dollars" and Upside-Down Edge Inscription "Errors" (

No sooner had the mass media picked up the story of the "Godless Dollars" than I began getting a slew of emails reporting more eBay fraud. Most of it related to a new surge of upside-down edge lettering "errors" (see below) but many were disturbing, such as Jason C.'s , from Nevada, (who coined the clever phrase "Buffy - The Dollar Coin Rim Eraser.") People are reporting Presidential Dollar plain edge specimens purchased on eBay that weigh 7.3 to 7.7 grams, which is well below the proper weight of 8.1 grams (or 125 grains.) . . .

Full story at:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Presidential Dollars: 'Godless' Coins or History Lessons? (

The new one-dollar presidential coins have elicited a wide variety of reactions, with some experts criticizing them as "godless" and the legislators who promoted the new design praising them as "a great opportunity for educating both children and adults about the history of our country."

"I thought it was a slick move by the government to take it step-by-step but eventually not have 'In God We Trust' on the front or back of any coin," Troy Thoreson, president of Thoreson Numismatics in Los Banos, Calif., told Cybercast News Service on Thursday."

When this story first started to develop from the U.S. Mint, I could see the writing on the wall," said Thoreson, whose primary expertise is in dealing with modern coins. . . .

Full story at:

Precious Metal Coin Dealers Lawsuit Doubles Plaintiffs (

Last month, 15 consumers from 10 states launched a $500-million lawsuit against a group of Texas coin dealers for fraud and deceptive trade practices. This month, the number of plaintiffs is set to double with the claim amount moving closer to $1 billion.

Attorney Jason A. Gibson of The Gibson Law Firm in Houston told RI that after the news hit the wire, he's received calls from across the country with complaints about the defendants.

"Since the news broke, I have signed up an additional 15 clients or so who invested at least another $5 million with the companies in Beaumont," he said. "I'm amending my petition this week or early next week to include the additional plaintiffs." . . .

Full story at:

Beware Scams with Dollar Coin, Experts Warn (The News Journal, DE)

A Delaware currency expert is warning residents not to get suckered by auctions of new presidential dollar coins -- incorrectly hawking coins' expected variations as valuable errors.

Printing errors on paper money and striking errors on coins greatly increase their values, with prices depending on how many examples of errors are found . . .

Full story at: NEWS/703110350/-1/NEWS01

Friday, March 09, 2007

Godless Dollars: A Statement from the United States Mint (

A Statement from the United States Mint

The United States Mint has struck more than 300 million George Washington Presidential $1 Coins. We have recently learned that an unspecified quantity of these coins inadvertently left the United States Mint at Philadelphia without edge-lettering on them. It is unknown how many of these coins without inscriptions on the edge have been placed into circulation. . . .

Full statement at:

Godless - Plain Edge - Washington Dollar FAQs at

(About:coins is such an excellent resource for coin collectors seeking information about the hobby that I didn't hesitate last year to allow my article about First Strike coins to be published on the site. Susan Headley, the guide to the coin section of the site, does such an excellent job with putting together timely articles that I had to point you to this great FAQ article she wrote on the recently released Washington dollars. And if you like this article, don't hesitate to Sign Up Here for her free newsletter about coins. And if you were wondering, I do not work for and did not get paid for this plug. I really do believe the site and her newsletter are worth checking out.)

About:Coins Article by Susan Headley
There are a lot of incorrect rumors going around about the plain edge George Washington Presidential Dollars. These are the new golden dollars with no lettering on the edge, also called "missing edge lettering" and "Godless dollars" (because IN GOD WE TRUST is among the missing inscriptions.) The hobby collectively seems to be settling on the term "plain edge" and so that is the term I will use for now.

In addition to rumors, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what the numbers on the boxes the dollars are shipped in mean, where the coins were rolled, and other details. I did some research, and my findings are below. . . .

Full story at:

Over $600,000 in Rare Coins Selling for Under a Buck -- or Not (TreasureHunt)

(I like the following article, but I'm confused by the "originally published" date of March 9, 2007. Near the bottom of the article it talks about the 1913 Liberty Nickel that sold "last month" for $4.15 million. That nickel sold in 2005. . . Hmm. . . Read a similar article I wrote about the Twin Towers commemorative: Link)

. . . I'm continually astounded at the number of ads hawking collectibles that, in many cases, are worded so cleverly it's questionable just what's being sold at all. More often than not, those "collectibles" are anything but.

Last week, I spied another ad taking up most of the page in a major national weekly magazine. At the top was a large headline that read "The Most Valuable Morgan Silver Dollars Ever Minted." . . .

Full story at:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Collectors investing in flawed dollar coins (The Delaware News Journal, DE)

PHILADELPHIA -- An unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions, including "In God We Trust," and are fetching around $50 apiece online. . . .

. . . Ron Guth, president of Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the world's largest coin authentication companies, said he believes that at least 50,000 error coins were put in circulation.

"The first one sold for $600 before everyone knew how common they actually were," he said. "They're going for around $40 to $60 on eBay now, and they'll probably settle in the $50 range." . . .

Full story at:

US Dollar Coin Sold for $400 on eBay (The Sydney Morning Herald, AU)

US$1 coins missing their inscriptions are selling for fortunes on eBay.

In God We Trust. In machines? Not so much.

An unknown number of new US $1 coins bearing the image of George Washington are missing the words 'In God We Trust' and other lettering along the edges, the US Mint has said.

The Mint released more than 300 million gold-coloured, George Washington $1 coins last month, but it recently discovered a problem. . . .

Full story at:

Feds Erase "In God We Trust" From Face of Coins - Tiny Scratches on Edge Don't Cut It (

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2007 ( - The Thomas More Law Center, a national pubic interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is encouraging the public not to use the newly issued Presidential $1 Coins, which have "In God We Trust" removed from the face of the coins.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented, "It is astounding that Congress has effectively done what atheist litigants have been unsuccessfully trying to do for years -- erase all reference to God from our money."Continued Thompson, "I encourage the public not to use the coins, and petition Congress to repeal the law under which they are being minted.

This is just another step on the road to a secular society where all religious symbols are removed from public view. Besides they look and feel cheap - - like amusement park tokens." . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Historian complains wrong people on presidential coins (Norwich Bulletin, CT)

The U.S. Mint is selling four-coin sets of the new presidential $1 coin.

The problem, according to one historian, is the wrong men are depicted on the first four coins.

Stanley Klos, author of "President Who? The Forgotten Founders," has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission seeking an injunction to halt "all sales of U.S. coin products." . . .

Full story at:

U.S. Mint Goof Creates 'Godless Dollars' (New York Times)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- An unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions, including ''In God We Trust,'' and are fetching around $50 apiece online.

The properly struck dollar coins, bearing the likeness of the nation's first president, are inscribed along the edge with ''In God We Trust,'' ''E Pluribus Unum'' and the year and mint mark. They made it past inspectors and went into circulation Feb. 15. . . .

Full story at:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Dollar Coin Controversy (WCPO-TV, OH)

Have you heard? The Government is coming out with new Gold $1 Presidential coins!

Only problem, they're barely minted, and now some folks are calling for a boycott. Why? I'll explain.

The new Presidential one dollar coin will feature all the US Presidents....just like the State Quarter program.

But a new email -- spreading like fire among computer users -- tells you to boycott the new coin. . . .

Full story here: 330249e.html

Monday, March 05, 2007

Unlike silver and gold pieces, copper pennies seldom worth much (Columbus Dispatch, OH)

Dear Mr. Stebinsky: I have more than 1,000 pennies collected by my parents in the ’50s and ’60s.

They collected all coins at the time, but when the price of silver went up in the late ’70s and early ’80s, they sold the silver pieces.

I want to dispose of all these coins but don’t know where. These include Indian-head pennies as well as rolls of coins from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. . . .

Full story at: 04/20070304-H6-02.html

Friday, March 02, 2007

Gift of rare Chinese coins enriches Princeton University collection (Press Release)

A gift of more than 2,000 coins to the Princeton University Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections will make relics from ancient and medieval China available to researchers on campus and around the world.

Lawren Wu, a 1992 alumnus, arranged for the donation from his mother, Tung Ching Wu, in memory of his father, the late collector and DuPont chemist Souheng Wu.

"The Wu Collection is notable for the care with which it was assembled, with many examples that are extremely rare or notable for their subtle variations in calligraphy," said Alan Stahl, curator of the University Numismatic Collection.

Part of the extensive assemblage can be viewed on the department's new online database for numismatics. Stahl said he believes Princeton may be one of the only institutions to catalog its collection of Chinese coins on the Internet. . . .

Full story at:

Treasure find by dad and son (Lancashire Evening Telegraph, UK)

TWO 14th century coins found in a field have been declared treasure trove.

Ron Blair, 60, of Windermere Avenue, Clitheroe, and son James, 37, of Nelson Street, found 30 medieval coins on a metal detecting expedition near Clitheroe last August.

The final two coins from the find were ruled on by an inquest in Blackburn and are being kept at the British Museum, London. . . .

Full story at: mostpopular.var.1215518. mostviewed.treasure_find_by_dad_and_son.php

Secret Service Warns Of Counterfeit Bills In NYC Area (WNBC-TV, NY)

The U.S. Secret Service has issued a warning notice concerning counterfeit $50 and $100 bills circulating throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

Click here to view the counterfeit $100 bill
Click here to view the counterfeit $50 bill

The warning notice is being transmitted to area financial institutions and police departments. . . .

Full story here:

Collecting coins more than a hobby for Scott (The Orange Leader, TX)

Dewey Scott never imagined a child’s hobby would become a life long interest for him or his three sons, but that is hat coin collecting has become for this close-knit family.

For more than 50 years, Scott has been an avid coin collector and dealer, and it all started from the interest of one of his children. . . .

Full story at: