Friday, June 22, 2007

Arrg! Real-Life Pirate Adventure Delays Volvo Treasure Retrieval (

Video: Volvo's Pirate Adventure Promotion

Full story of real-life treasure controversy at:

Treasure hunter scoops loot from the Santa Margarita (Scripps)

A.C. Dwyer - "Watch out, after losing this treasure they stole from the New World, the Spanish will probably try to steal it back again as they are doing with Odyssey Marine Exploration's recent find."

Michael Perna's first treasure finds turned out to be a joke on him.

Several years ago, the Vero Beach native began discovering what appeared to be 300-year-old treasure coins on the Treasure Coast beaches. What he didn't know was that a friend was ahead of him in the dark, tossing fake coins in the sand to set off Perna's metal detector.

"I thought I was a millionaire," he said.

Even in the years since then Perna hasn't found much, but he didn't give up.

On June 10, his patience paid off. The 27-year-old professional scuba diver helped find what treasure hunters dream of: a small multimillion-dollar lode of gleaming gold, pearls and artifacts on the ocean floor off the Florida Keys.

They're from the Santa Margarita, companion ship of the famed Spanish treasure galleon the Atocha, loaded with tons of silver, gold bars and jewelry that sank during a hurricane in 1622. . . .

Full story at:

No going back to paper, plastic money is in currency

It’s one of those vast social upheavals that everyone understands but that hardly anyone notices because it seems too ordinary: The long-predicted “cashless society” has quietly arrived, or nearly so; currency, coins and cheques are receding as ways of doing everyday business; the US has become Plastic Nation. In the tangled history of American money — from tobacco receipts to gold and silver coins to paper money and cheques — this is a seismic shift. Time to pay attention.

If you visit the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing (one operation in Washington, the other in Fort Worth, Texas), you can still see greenbacks being made. They come off the presses in sheets of 32. In fiscal 2007, the government will print about 9.1 billion individual bills. But 95% is to replace worn currency, not to . . .

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The Coins Jesse James Never Got (

They were called "The Coins Jesse James Never Got!" And it was true, he didn't get them, but in fairness, neither did Frank James, Cole Younger, Bob Younger, John Younger, Jim Younger or any other bank-, train- or stage-robbing Western outlaw. Why? Because the coins in question were part of the General Services Administrations' June 1, 1973 to July 31, 1973 sale of excess silver dollars still in government vaults -- most having languished there since their minting in the 19th century.

The sale was the second in a series of GSA disposals of nearly 3 million silver dollars, largely from the Carson City Mint, that remained in Treasury's hands. The first sale, "The Great Silver Sale," was held from . . .

Full story at:

First Spouse Coins Sell Out on First Day (NumismaticNews)

The first two First Spouse gold coins honoring Martha Washington and Abigail Adams sold out June 19, the first day they were offered to collectors.

With a maximum mintage of 40,000 pieces for each design, the coins were priced at $429.95 for the proofs and $410.95 for the uncirculateds.

There was an order limitation of five coins per household per sales option. . . .

Full story at:

$500 Million Treasure hunters accused by Spain victims of a misunderstanding

"It has been a terrible misunderstanding that has inconvenienced a lot of people and cost a lot of money and it's been exacerbated by irresponsible media reports," Stemm, Odyssey co-founder, said.

Treasure hunters accused by Spain of taking a valuable hoard from its waters said on Friday they were victims of a bizarre misunderstanding.

News last month that Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration had found one of the world's biggest treasure troves raised suspicions in Madrid after it was seen apparently trawling the seas near the Spanish coast.

The company's ships are now stranded in Gibraltar because Spain has threatened to intercept them if they enter Spanish waters that surround the British colony.

Odyssey co-founder Greg Stemm said the company's secretive movements near Spain were in fact part of a job for car maker Volvo, which had asked it to plant treasure that one lucky prize winner would later be taken out to 'find'.

In an interview with Reuters, Stemm said Odyssey had always made clear its bonanza discovery of gold and 17 tonnes of silver had been in the Atlantic Ocean, far outside Spanish waters. . . .

Full story at:

1850 Lake Erie Shipwreck Found - Millions in gold coins aboard according to legend

A 177-year-old shipwreck that has eluded divers for decades has been found in Lake Erie.
“We have found the General Anthony Wayne,” Christopher Gillcrist, executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society, said this afternoon.
Gillcrist and divers involved in the search made the . . .

Read more at The Columbus Dispatch

2008 Beijing Olympics: China unveils more Olympic coins (

China's central bank unveiled on Wednesday a second set of gold and silver coins to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The second set consists of eight commemorative coins, two made with a third ounce of gold, one with five ounces of gold, four with an ounce of silver, and one with a full kilogram of silver. . . .

Full story at:

U.S. Mint apparently goofs again with more 'godless' dollar coins (AP)

PHILADELPHIA - It looks like the U.S. Mint has struck again , or actually, not struck again.

Some of the new dollar coins featuring John Adams are missing edge inscriptions including "In God We Trust," according to the Professional Coin Grading Service, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based rare coin authentication company.

The company said hundreds of Adams dollar coins have been found without the edge lettering, repeating a mistake the U.S. Mint had aimed to fix after it marred an earlier batch of presidential dollars. . . .

Full story at:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Treasure ship's half-billion-dollar question: Who owns the past? (St Petersburg Times, FL)

Scrutiny of the Bounty

Treasure ship's half-billion-dollar question: Who owns the past?

Pounded by a storm on the last leg of a five-week journey, the Merchant Royal limped through the sea on Sept. 23, 1641, weighed down by tons of gold, silver and jewels.

Its 80-man crew feverishly worked two pumps to keep out the ocean that was leaking through the groaning and gapping planks of the Royal.

Though the ship was privately owned by Britons, it carried a load of treasure fresh from Spain's American mines. The doubloons' original courier, a Spanish treasure ship, had arrived at the Azores islands aflame. Spanish authorities put out the fires and hired the 700-ton Royal to complete the trip, not unusual when the lines of public and private, nationality and allegiance, crossed in far different ways than today. . . .

Full story at:

$500 Million Shipwreck Treasure Debate: Spain's own tracking system confirms presence of Odyssey Marine Exploration Vessels in Atlantic

As Spanish reports continue today to claim that Odyssey vessels have not been operating in the Atlantic, further counter claims have today emerged in which Spanish maritime officials are aware that this was not the case.

Maritime sources in Spain have today confirmed that official details have already been released in public during the past weeks in which Spain's own coastal tracking system has placed the vessels beyond the 30 mile limits of their surveillance equipment in Atlantic waters. . . .

Full story at:

Plain Edge Adams Presidential Dollar is Found! (

A very lucky collector in Greenville, South Carolina, has been the first to report finding an elusive, genuine plain edge Adams Presidential Dollar! Elizabeth of BlizzardBayCoins eBay auctions listed her coin for sale on Friday evening, June 1. Although I became aware of the coin on Saturday, I wanted to make sure I was reporting a genuine specimen rather than a so-called Buffy Dollar. . . .

Full story at:

John Adams Presidential Dollar Errors (

It should come as no surprise to coin collectors that some mint errors are being found among the John Adams Presidential Dollars, which were officially placed on sale this past Thursday, May 17. I've had a scattering of reports, most of them minor, and some of them recurring on the reverse in the same fashion as they are known for the Washington Presidential Dollars. However, I have one report of a major error on the Adams Dollar . . .

Full story at:

From coin collecting to Britain's largest coin dealer (UK)

The Real Business: Coining it in by turning a childhood passion into a business

How many people are fortunate enough to translate their childhood passion into a multi-million pound business? Ian Goldbart, the managing director of Noble Investments, Britain’s largest coin dealer, began collecting coins in 1976 when he spent £40 of his 13th birthday money on a 1795 guinea.

Today he runs a £30m company that has the potential to more than treble in size over the coming 18 months. Goldbart says: “I sold the 1795 guinea for £120 to a jeweller in Burlington Arcade a week after buying it and started to think that there might be something in this coin collecting.” . . .

Full story at:

Presidential Dollars: Still cold to hard cash (Washington Post, DC)

Paper money can cause problems for vending machine owners -- more service calls to fix the machines, more hassle in dealing with crumpled bills and a loss on sales from unaccepted bills.

So the vending machine industry welcomed the $1 coins when the U.S. Mint started its presidential series Feb. 15, said Brian Allen, director of government affairs and counsel for the National Automatic Merchandising Association.

But the presidential dollars haven't been nearly as popular as the successful state quarter series, and vending machine officials have seen few of the coins.

The Mint released the John Adams $1 coin into circulation . . .

Full story at: