Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Good Old Days: Abe Kosoff

The dean of 20th-century American numismatics was Abe Kosoff. Not only was he a wonderful gentleman, an impeccable dresser and a quality public speaker; he was also at the forefront of numismatics in the middle of the century as it turned from a hobby of a few (usually) moneyed collectors to a wide-open race for investment-quality coins and rolls or even bags of mint coins.

Abe made his mark, and when almost every rare coin and major collection came to light, he was in the midst of it.

In an interview with Ed Reiter of COINage magazine in . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thomas Jefferson's Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin Available August 30

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint announced today the opening of sales for Thomas Jefferson's Liberty First Spouse Gold Coin on August 30 at 12:00 noon (ET). Orders for both the ½-ounce proof and uncirculated versions of the 24-karat gold coin will be limited to one per option, per household for the first week of sales. The United States Mint will reevaluate this limit after the first week, and either extend, adjust, or remove it. Mintage of Thomas Jefferson's Liberty First Spouse Gold Coins is limited to 20,000 for each product option.

"This beautiful coin captures a classic image of Liberty from Jefferson's time, connecting us to the history of our coinage and . . .

Full story at:

US Mint to Release Thomas Jefferson Presidential Dollar Coin

WASHINGTON - Most folks can correctly name George Washington as the nation's first president. After that, things get tricky.

The U.S. Mint is hoping its new dollar coin series will help refresh some hazy memories of Adams, Jefferson and all the rest.

That could be a tall order, however, given the results of a poll the Mint commissioned to find out just how much knowledge Americans have about their presidents.

According to the telephone poll, conducted by the Gallup Organization last month, nearly all those questioned knew that Washington was the first president. However, only 30 percent could name Thomas Jefferson as the nation's third president, and memories of the other presidents and where they fit in was even more limited.

Mint Director Edmund Moy believes the new dollar coin . . .

Full story at:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Carson City gold deserves appreciation (NumismaticNews)

(A.C. Dwyer - "Has anyone else noticed that most of the articles each week in Numismatic News are written by Paul Green? Usually two articles are authored by him each week, including the Item of the Week column. What bothers me is that Mr. Green died over a year ago. How timely can these articles be? I admit that I enjoy Mr. Green's writing but I think it's time for Numismatic News to find someone to write some newer pieces. If the top columnist at The New York Times were to die, I doubt they'd still be publishing his writing a year later.")

Gold has been in the headlines a lot since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Almost every day you see someone offering an opinion that puts gold at some incredible high price sometime in the future.

These headlines, though, are for generic gold. For collectors, that kind of gold has no soul. If we could have gold with a soul, what would it be? I nominate . . .

House approves NASA anniversary coins (

The "NASA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act" calls for the Mint to produce 50,000 $50 gold coins and 300,000 $1 silver coins that "shall be emblematic of the 50 years of exemplary and unparalleled achievements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration." The $50 coin, as specified by the bill, would bear an image of the Sun and a design honoring the astronauts who lost their lives in duty, while the nine $1 coins will depict the planets of the solar system along with designs on their reverse symbolizing the contributions of NASA's research and its space centers. . . .

Investing in gold coins (

With the oil price once again lingering near all-time highs, the idea of investing in gold is gaining momentum. Of late I have been receiving many enquiries about the merits of investing in gold coins as a possible hedge... but is this a good idea? Here’s what the experts say. . . .

Nickeled, Dimed and Screwed (Dallas Observer, TX)

Hard-sell coin dealers make chump change

The 2004 magazine ad for Silver American Eagles that caught Maureen O'Neill's eye included a thumbnail history and some mumbo jumbo about the coins being "certified gem brilliant uncirculated" and "sonically sealed in a tamper-evident holder." But the 74-year-old widow and retired nurse didn't understand or care about any of that.
O'Neill just figured that filling out the coupon would save a trip to the mall: "I thought they would make nice Christmas presents for my son and son-in-law."

Two weeks later, O'Neill received a phone call from the Beaumont-based company that sold her the silver. The salesman was extremely personable, eager to hear all about her newly adopted grandson. The salesman also learned that she lived alone in Connecticut and her family resided out of state. It seemed he had all day just to chitchat. She enjoyed the attention.

So, what the heck, she bought some more coins. "I spent a couple thousand here, a few thousand there." And her phone kept ringing. . . .

Woman Gardening Finds Rare Penny (WPVI-TV, Philadelphia)

BURNHAM, Pa. (AP) - August 1, 2007 - A penny saved is a penny earned, but a 1793 cent found in the garden is probably worth a lot more to a Mifflin County woman.

Cheryl Corbin first thought she had picked up a quarter while planting flowers in June, then saw the date and thought it was a bicentennial coin. At work the next day, Corbin said, "I had the office in an uproar."

Co-workers searched the Internet and identified the coin as a 1793 copper "chain" cent. The front featured Lady Liberty and the back had a circle of 15 chain links representing the 15 states in the union at that time. . . .

There's money in coins, but not for everyone (The Sydney Morning Herald, AU)

THERE'S money in rare coins and notes all right, but which ones?

The question is prompted by the imminent launch of the Australian Rare Coin and Banknote Fund, which hopes to raise $25 million or more from investors.

A booklet on the fund says turnover . . .

Do I have to Buy the Best Quality Coins if I Want to Make Money? (

Buy quality! Buy quality! Buy quality! That's all you hears these days when you are considering rare coins as an investment. First, are you really buying coins as an investment, or merely for the pleasure of owning a piece of history? That is sometimes the real dilemma for many collectors, or is it investors? Everybody wants to make sure that their investment is protected, but there are no guarantees, especially in rare coins. In fact, some rare coins . . .