Thursday, January 31, 2008

Odyssey Marine Exploration's Shipwreck Pirates & Treasure at the Detroit Science Center

Detroit Science Center hopes to find gold as it lands a touring pirate exhibit

Nautical-lore lovers or those infatuated by the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy, say "ahoy" to the new traveling exhibit "Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure," set to dock at the Detroit Science Center March 24 through Sept. 1.

The Science Center plans to announce today that Detroit is the first port of call for "Shipwreck!" which is currently at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Fla., through Feb. 10. The all-ages exhibit offers interactive games, photographs, pirate lore and facts, a tunnel that creates hurricane-force winds, and a robotic arm that retrieves buried treasure. In addition, there will be full-size, replicated portions of shipwrecks, such as the Civil War-era SS Republic that sank during a hurricane off the coast of Georgia in 1865, as well as a number of actual artifacts from the ship. . . .

Full story at: Pirate's and Treasure Story

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

NGC Alters Policy on Submission of Doctored Coins

Revision to NGC Rules, Procedures and Terms & Conditions to the Attention of All NGC Authorized Dealers

In recent months, NGC has seen a significant increase in the number of deceptively doctored coins submitted for grading. A doctored coin is one which has been purposefully and unnaturally altered to lend the appearance of a higher grade. In order to protect the collecting public, our authorized dealer network and NGC’s own reputation, we are announcing specific rule changes and new terms and conditions to deal with doctored coins. . . .

Full story at: NGC Alters Policy on Submission of Doctored Coins

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown banishes 300-year-old tradition by removing Britannia from British 50p coin

Gordon Brown's campaign to promote British values has been exposed as a sham after it was revealed he personally approved a decision to remove Britannia from the 50p coin.

The patriotic symbol - based on a Roman goddess - will no longer be on any British coin for the first time in more than 300 years, as part of a redesign by the Royal Mint.

An overhaul of all coinage in April, being billed as the most significant change to the currency since decimalisation, will see it replaced with a representation of modern Britain . . .

Full story at: Link

Sign the petition to stop Brown's plan to remove Britannia from 50p coin

Coins from The Bradford Exchange?

After having a good laugh from watching the recent George Bush coin video, I had to share another funny video on The Bradford Exchange even though it isn't directly about coins. I can justify placing this on a numismatic website since The Bradford Exchange now sells coins. . . .

Full story at: Link

Want to be a coin dealer? Alan Herbert answers the question "To Deal Coins or Not?"

Apparently there's a lot of mystery about being a coin dealer. It usually starts with a question to me, my answer, and then the person goes away mad.

It works like this: "How do I become a coin dealer?"

My answer politely suggests that if the person needs to ask, they probably are not suited for the job. Something on the order of: If you need to ask the price of a Mercedes, you probably can't afford it. I usually add some standard advice, but I always have the feeling that my advice is ignored.

They leave angry, but educatedif they take the advice to heart. I am blunt when necessary and this is one of many places where you can't sweet talk a person into becoming a businessman or a businesswoman.

There is no point in assuring the potential dealer that learning the business is a snap. They will find out soon enough that the exact opposite is true.

Consider that the average coin dealer . . .

Full story at: Link

Bald eagle pair named George and Martha adorn gold commemorative coin

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Another female bald eagle might have her talons on his heart, but rest assured, the love story between George and Martha is not quite over.

The products of their union, their eaglets, are pictured on a gold coin released last week by the U.S. Mint as part of a three-coin set honoring the national bird.

When the coins went on sale Jan. 15, there was no mention of George and Martha or of the construction workers on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project who named them. But follow the artist's initials on the coins, S.G., to Arlington County resident Susan Gamble, and her muse is clear.

"It just seemed they had to be immortalized, or at least I had to try," said Gamble, who used photographs of the eaglets to design the coins. . . .

Full story at: Link

Traveling buyer pays cash for gold

Gold prices: Record highs make for easy buys

There’s gold in them thar ... motel rooms. And Mel Manning wants to buy all he can from strangers stepping in from the cold.

“A little extra cash don’t hurt nobody,” Manning said Thursday as he held court in his Super 8 lodgings.

Early that morning, Manning had purchased some silver from a man and some old World’s Fair metallic mementos from a female seller. But it’s gold he’s especially after, and the current market puts sellers in the driver’s seat.

Prices are at record highs . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chinese Cash Coin Nets $103,500

A new record for a Chinese cash coin was set Dec. 2, 2007, at the Champion Hong Kong Auction. A hand-carved, brass pattern 1,000 cash (tzu ch'ien, or zu qian) from the Board of Revenue Mint in Peking, produced in 1853, sold for U.S. $103,500. (The prices quoted here include a 15 percent buyer's fee).

Only two or three other examples of this type of pattern 1,000 cash are known, all of them in museums in China. The coin sold is believed to be from the A.M. Tracey Woodward Collection. Woodward, who died in 1937, wrote the standard work on Chinese machine struck 10 cash coins and also the standard work on Japanese stamps.

Selling for a record $97,750 was the 1907 Gold Dragon tael (Kann 1541), graded MS-61 by NGC - the only example of this coin so far graded by any of the grading services. Only a few patterns of the 1907 tael and a matching 1906 tael were struck. . . .

Full story at: Link

Spike in gold prices draws prospectors

GIRDWOOD, Alaska - The snow is still knee-high along the banks of Crow Creek, where men are crouching up to their chests in near-freezing water, and the air is several degrees colder.

But for Mike Telgenhoff and his companions, this is a fine day to look for gold.

"We do real good in the wintertime because the creek's so low," said Telgenhoff, dressed in a sopping leather hat and drysuit. "I've made a lot of money at it, but I've spent a lot, too. You don't get rich doing this."

But with gold prices reaching an all-time high of $900 an ounce and the economy slumping, Alaska expects to see more and more people trekking to the edge of the continent in search of gold. . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Finders Keepers!? -$500,000 U.S. currency treasure found in bathroom wall

A contractor who helped discover bundles of Depression-era U.S. currency totaling $182,000 hidden behind bathroom walls said the homeowner should turn the money over to him or at least share it. Most of the currency, issued in 1927 and 1929, is in good condition.

Bob Kitts said his feud with the owner of the 83-year house, a former high school classmate, has deteriorated to the point where they speak to each other only through lawyers. Kitts said his lawyer has drafted a lawsuit that he hopes will force Amanda Reece to turn over the money she has kept.

Most of the currency, issued in 1927 and 1929, is in good condition, and some of the bills are so rare that one currency appraiser valued the treasure at up to $500,000 . . .

Full story at: Link

Gold Futures Top $900 as Dollar Drops; Platinum Jumps to Record

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gold topped $900 an ounce in New York for the first time in a week after the dollar dropped against the euro, boosting the appeal of the precious metal as an alternative investment. Platinum futures surged to a record.

European Central Bank officials signaled interest rates would remain steady to cap inflation. The Federal Reserve on Jan. 22 slashed the benchmark U.S. rate by 0.75 percentage point in an emergency move. Gold surged 31 percent last year as reductions in borrowing costs sent the dollar 9.5 percent lower against the euro.

``The biggest factor fueling the rally is going to be continued easing by the Fed while the ECB stands pat,'' said Matt Zeman, a metals trader at LaSalle Futures Group Inc. in Chicago. ``The dollar should keep on losing ground against the euro, so we should see another record in gold in the next two weeks, if not sooner.'' . . .

Full story at: Link

$500 Million Treasure Hunters in Dispute With Spain

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The playground legal principle "Finders keepers, losers weepers" is being put to the test in an international dispute over what could be the richest sunken treasure ever found: 17 tons of silver coins brought up from a centuries-old shipwreck.

A Florida treasure-hunting company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, found the wreck at the bottom of the Atlantic and argues that the age-old law of the high seas entitles the finders to most or all of the booty, said to be worth around $500 million.

But the government of Spain suspects the ship was Spanish and says it has never expressly abandoned any of its vessels lost at sea. The kingdom has made it clear that if the treasure does have some connection to Spain, it wants every last coin returned.

The case is being closely watched because there could be more disputes like it, now that sonar, remote-control submersible robots and deep-sea video are enabling treasure hunters like Odyssey to find ships that went to the bottom centuries ago and were written off as unrecoverable because no one could even imagine finding anything so far beneath the waves.

"The question is, just because you're the first one out there to get it, should you get to keep it — especially if it belongs to someone else?" said James Delgado, director of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University and a critic of commercial treasure hunters.

For now, the spoils — some 500,000 coins, enough to fill 552 plastic buckets — are in Odyssey's possession, tucked away in a warehouse somewhere in Tampa.

Odyssey created a worldwide sensation with the announcement of the find in May but has so far declined to identify the wreck, its location (except to say it was found in international waters) or even what kind of coins were recovered, for fear of plunderers. Instead, the shipwreck was given a code name: Black Swan. . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ebay to Change Policy on “Certified Coins” in its Auctions

(With an increase in the number of people wanting to know more about the coin grading policy at ebay and the subsequent lawsuit, I am posting various items that may help people find the answers they are seeking - A.C. Dwyer)

There are reports, confirmed from several sources that as of Monday September 17th, ebay is going to amend its Seller Policy with respect to the listing of Coins and Currency.

The new rules will only allow a coin to be listed as “Certified” if that coin has been certified by one of the following authorized grading companies:

* Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)
* Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS)
* Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)
* Independent Coin Grading (ICG)

Listings for certified coins must now use new grading attributes within the Sell Your Item form, which will include “Grading Company,” “Grade” and “Serial Number”, and must include an image of the item, showing the coin in its graded holder, front and back

If any coin listed is not certified by one of the above authorized grading companies, the coin will be considered raw/uncertified and is subject to following requirements.

Raw or uncertified coins are defined as any coin not graded by one of the authorized grading companies above. Sellers will be permitted to list these items on eBay so long as a numerical grade is not included in the listing title. Also Sellers will not be permitted to mention the name of any Non-authorized grading company in either the Title or Description of the listing, and NO reference to any price guide or price/value amount may be made with reference to the coin being sold.

So, why the change and what does it really mean? . . .

Full story at: Link

Companies Sue eBay over Coin-Grading Policy

(With an increase in the number of people wanting to know more about the coin grading policy at ebay and the subsequent lawsuit, I am posting various items that may help people find the answers they are seeking - A.C. Dwyer)

Five companies sued eBay, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Professional Numismatists Guild Inc. in January for defamation and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The complaint states that in September 2007, eBay put into place a policy in which only coins that have been graded by four grading services (NGC, PCGS, ICG and ANACS) may be listed for sale on eBay as "certified" coins, referring to all other coins as "counterfeit." . . .

Full story at: Link

ANA, PNG Get Summons at FUN over Ebay coin grading lawsuit

(With an increase in the number of people wanting to know more about the coin grading policy at ebay and the subsequent lawsuit, I am posting various items that may help people find the answers they are seeking - A.C. Dwyer)

Court summonses were served to Barry Stuppler, president of the American Numismatic Association, and Gary Adkins, president of the Professional Numismatists Guild, Jan. 10 on the floor of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando.

The summonses spring from a lawsuit filed by National Numismatic Certification LLC; ASA Accugrade, Inc.; PCI Coin Grading, Inc.; Sovereign Entities Grading Service, Inc.; Treasure Gallery, Inc., and Centsles, Inc., against the two numismatic groups and against eBay claiming defamation and interfering with business. . .

Full story at: Link

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Insider's Secrets to Buying or Selling Your Coin Collection

Below are links to a couple of good articles about the coin market and selling your coins. Both articles are written by Susan Headley at who is about as unbiased a writer as you will find in numismatics. You will find a lot of great advice here especially if you are new to coins and are looking to sell a collection you may have inherited.

Insider's Secrets to Selling Your Coins

Insider's Tips for Buying and Selling Coins

Or visit the main page at

Rare old Spanish silver coin surfaces on beach in California

Christmas Day yielded an unusual present for Salinas resident Art Ballesteros.

Ballesteros found a real, a Spanish silver coin from the 1500s, on an isolated beach near San Francisco.

"It was a Christmas present not only for myself but also for California," he said. "The coin is extremely valuable."

He said Wednesday he had gone to visit his brother, Michael, in San Francisco for the holidays. On Christmas Day, they did what they both grew up doing: searching for hidden treasure. They took metal detectors to the beach and began scanning. . . .

Full story at: Link

Man Finds Treasure From Spanish Galleon Atocha at Flea Market

Albuquerque, NM -- A New Mexico man believes he's struck gold at an Albuquerque flea market. Collector Marcus Hudson paid $300 for what at first glance appears to be an old rock.

It's actually a copper ballast from a Spanish ship, the "Nuestra Senora de Atocha," that sank in 1622. The ship had a treasure on board that would be worth as much as $400 million today, and some of it may be hidden inside Marcus Hudson's ballast. . . .

Full story at: Link

Rumors of treasure are pretty intriguing

Professional treasure-hunter is one of those dream jobs most of us bury on a deserted, palm-shaded beach at the back of imagination sometime in our early teens.

But who doesn't occasionally fantasize about stumbling upon an ancient, iron-bound chest poking up through the sand, drooling gold doubloons from a broken corner? The enduring popularity of Indiana Jones and the corny National Treasure movies testifies to our potent interest in the adventurous discovery of ancient riches.

Like winning the lottery, it happens often enough to dangle a thin thread of reality even to those of us whose most dangerous exploit is paying winter utility bills. Who didn't snap to attention last year when Odyssey Marine Exploration brought up 17 tons of silver coins and gold artifacts from a mysterious 18th century shipwreck 200 miles west of . . .

Full story at: Link

Saturday, January 19, 2008

$542,000! - Collector strikes sales gold with the flip of a coin - 1856-O $20 Liberty Head Double Eagle

(Photo below is not the coin that was sold, but is the $20 1856-O PCGS AU-55 currently held in The Arlington Collection that I believe is the third finest known)

Buy and sell - For a broker, finding a rarity can pay off big, but it's also a personal thrill

Douglas Winter never outgrew his boyhood fascination with coins. But as a Portland coin broker, his collection has certainly matured. Winter bought a $20 gold piece in November with a buyer in mind and sold it Dec. 27.

The price: $542,000.

The coin was an 1856-O double eagle, one of the most unusual $20 gold pieces and the rarest gold coin from the New Orleans mint. The mint struck just 2,250 of these coins, and only 20 to 30 are known of today, said Winter, who does business from a Pearl District loft as Douglas Winter Numismatics and wrote "Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint, 1839-1909."

Owning one of these coins, he said, is like an art collector landing a Raphael painting. . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins Available January 15

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program at 12 Noon (ET) on January 15, 2008.

Surcharges collected from the sale of Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins are authorized to be paid to the American Eagle Foundation of Tennessee to further its work.

The Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins will be available in six individual coin options: a $5 gold coin, a silver dollar coin, and a half-dollar clad coin each available in proof and uncirculated versions. Also available will be a Three-Coin Proof Set, a Coin and Medal Set, and a Young Collector's Set. Additionally, later this year, the annual United States Mint American Legacy CollectionTM will feature a Bald Eagle Proof Silver Dollar.

The maximum mintage across all Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin options, including sets, is limited to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollar coins and 750,000 clad half-dollars. Household order limits will be in effect for the . . .

Full story at: Link

Weak dollar creates a gold rush

Carl Heartfield has seen an increase in traffic through his store, Heartfield's Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins, 3420 Calder Ave., in the past week.
Maybe the sign outside telling customers to come inside and sell their gold jewelry helps.

The fact that gold futures settled at $897.70, a new record, on Friday, according to the Associated Press, probably did him a bit of good as well.

"This is a very large stimulant to our line of business," Heartfield said. "A lot of people don't realize how much (gold) is worth at this point."

When adjusted for inflation, The Associated Press reported that gold still is below its all-time high of $875 an ounce in 1980. An ounce of gold at that price in 1980 would be worth $2,115 to $2,200 today.

"Usually what high gold prices are associated with are a weak dollar and when the value of the dollar falls then gold goes up," Jimmy Moss, chair of the economics and finance department at Lamar University said. "They move hand in hand in that way." . . .

Full story at: Link

Shipwreck, treasure, insider trading -- an SEC tale

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When an exploration team member discovered an anomaly on the ocean floor that turned out to be a $500 million shipwreck, he found a way to get his own share of the booty -- insider trading, according to the U.S. regulators who nabbed him.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday that Ernesto Tapanes, 39, agreed to pay more than $216,000 to settle insider trading charges in the case involving the 18th century shipwreck, code-named Black Swan.

The SEC said Tapanes was working for Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc (OMEX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) as an oceanographic surveying consultant in March 2007 when he identified and photographed an anomaly off the coast of Gibraltar.

Excavation efforts soon uncovered more than $500 million worth of silver and gold coins, the largest collection of coins ever excavated from a historical shipwreck site, the SEC said. . . .

Full story at: Link

Bulgaria Plagued by 'Grave Robbers'

From an archaeological point of view, Bulgaria has some of the richest digs around. The problem is, plunderers are aware of the valuable treasure as well. And they often get there first.

The display cabinets of the Bulgarian National Art Gallery in Sofia are full to bursting with antique treasures. Many of them are masterpieces of antique craftsmanship: filigree leaves of the finest gold woven into a laurel wreath like those worn by the Roman Caesars; or a heavy knee-protector fashioned in silver with decorative designs in gold, printed with the wearer's rank and authority, produced in the 3rd or 4th century BC. . . .

Full story at: Link

The Ground-Breaking 1794 Dollar

Think of it as the granddaddy of all silver dollars. The 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar was the first of its kind, and its importance far exceeded its mintage and circulation. No wonder collectors prize the few examples that have survived.

The silver dollar was the backbone of the nation's decimal monetary system. On Aug. 8, 1776, Congress voted "that the money unit of the United States of America be one dollar, that the several pieces shall increase in decimal ratio, and that the small coin be a copper [half cent], of which 200 shall pay for one dollar."

The first U.S. Mint had not even been built yet, and an engraver had not been found and hired. So it wasn't until 1794 that the first silver dollars were created on a screw press at the Philadelphia Mint. . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Possible conspiracy to steal museum coins thwarted

DAHLONEGA - The Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office has thwarted a possible conspiracy to steal coins from the Dahlonega Gold Museum.

On Christmas Eve, an anonymous caller alerted the museum of the potential conspiracy.

Officials contacted one of the alleged co-conspirators, who had recently visited the museum and researched the value of the coins. . . .

Full story at: Link

Important Announcement: Counterfeit NGC Holders

NGC has identified and confirmed that a counterfeit replica of its holder has been produced. At first appearance, the holder resembles the NGC holder and its respective brand marks. Upon inspection, variations in the holder, label and hologram make them easily discernible from authentic NGC-certified coins. This announcement includes diagnostic information to identify counterfeit holders.

The holder has been seen housing counterfeit dollar or foreign crown size coins. While the enclosed coins are also counterfeit, the label information matches the coin type enclosed. The label information is copied from actual NGC certification labels, and the certification information therefore will match the NGC database.
. . .

Full story and diagnostics to identify counterfeit holders can be found here: Link

NGC Expands Star Designation

On January 1, 2008, NGC expanded its Star Designation to all grades of US coinage up to MS 69 and PF 69. Previously, the Star Designation was limited to coins grading between MS 63/PF 63 and MS 69/PF 69.

The Star Designation is NGC’s unique identifier of coins with exceptional eye appeal or characteristics that distinguish them from other coins of the same technical grade. This does not mean that they just miss the next grade, but it can mean that they verge on the next designation. For example, an untoned PF 65 Cameo coin is not necessarily close to the PF 66 grade, but may be close to an Ultra Cameo designation. . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Bush coins to include dubloon among others!

I enjoyed this coin video so much that I had to share it. It is very funny.

Click the video twice to start it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gold surges above $900 to historic high!

The price of gold today surged to an historic high, breaking through the $900 barrier to reach $914 an ounce.

The weakness of the dollar and the expectation of a sharp cut in US interest rates were behind the rush on the precious metal, analysts said.

Global economic uncertainty traditionally prompts investors to seek refuge in bullion, and the cheap dollar has made gold, which is traded in the US currency, more alluring to foreign investors.

Gold prices reached $914 per ounce in London this morning, up 50 per cent over the past year and 15 per cent in the past month.

The surge also prompted buyers to snap up other precious metals, with silver prices reaching a 27-year peak, platinum hitting a record, and palladium reaching a two-month high. . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, January 14, 2008

Buy yourself gold for portfolio protection?

Financial advisors often try to discourage clients from such investments, but some individuals consider the metal to be insurance against the U.S. dollar. Learn four common ways to invest, and the pros and cons of each.

Gold is one holiday gift that has kept on giving for the last seven years.

The metal's market price, which last month surged above $800 an ounce for the first time in nearly three decades, has risen every year since 2000.

It has trounced the U.S. stock market in that period, rocketing 190%, compared with a 26% total return for the Standard & Poor's 500 index. After mostly being out of favor in the 1980s and 1990s, gold has found a new, and global, investor audience -- including the emerging rich in booming Asian economies.

Fresh interest in gold also has spawned an array of gold-related securities, providing more options for people who want to own the metal . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin commands serious coin: Record price for 1913 nickel shines light on one of the field's best dealers

In 1976, Laura Sperber's eyes were drawn to a 1913 "Liberty Head" nickel, one of the rarest of coins, at a New York City coin show.

"To me, that was, wow, the Holy Grail," said Sperber, now 48. "They let me hold it, and right then and there that forever changed me. It was the coolest thing and I just knew I had to be a coin dealer."

Years later, in 2003, Sperber, a partner in Legend Numismatics Inc., would buy that same coin for about $1.8 million and sell it the next year for $2.5 million. "At that point, my dreams were fulfilled."

It was just the start for one of the few women in the coin business. Sperber bought a second 1913 Liberty Head (there are only five in existence, and two are in museums) in 2005 for $4.15 million and sold it earlier this year for $5 million. At the time, it was the second-highest price ever paid for a coin, she said. . . .

Full story at: Link

Saturday, January 12, 2008

1856-O $20 Trades

One of the finest known examples of the 1856-O double eagle was sold for an undisclosed price by Douglas Winter Numismatics of Portland. Ore., a specialist in U.S. gold coinage.

The coin was graded AU-55 by the Professional Coin Grading Service, Winter said. It was purchased from Summit Numismatics of St. Paul, Minn., for $525,000 and sold to a New England collector who specializes in New Orleans gold coinage.

"Handling this coin was a real thrill for me," Winter declared. "I have bought and sold a number of other 1856-O double eagles, including the finest known, but this was the first I have handled in a few years. My client has been searching for a nice example of this rarity for a few years and I was happy to be able to sell him what I thought was an especially nice coin for the date and grade." . . .

Full story at: Link

Avarae investing its time in Japanese coins

In a year that is shaping up to be challenging economically, one Aim-listed company is hoping to strike gold in its choice of alternative investment.

Avarae, Britain's only publicly traded investment fund that invests in rare and high quality coins, this week snapped up a unique set of Japanese coins issued between 1870 and 1917.

Sir John Wheeler, chairman of the Advisory Panel to Avarae and a 40-year veteran of coin collecting, said: "The Japanese coin market has been very subdued in recent years, particularly so since the Japanese Ministry of Finance announced the sale of so many gold coins in a series of auctions.

"Historically, once a treasured collection has been disseminated, the coins usually start to recover in price. As a consequence of these sales together with other factors, Japanese coins have not enjoyed the same strength as has been seen with coins of the US and throughout Europe.

"We feel, with the auctions drawing to an end, that Japanese coins could start to catch up with their peers."

Sir John said the coins, which are in a mint state and have never been in circulation, were . . .

Full story at: Link

Spain Wins Ruling Over Sunken Ship

It has all the makings of a suspenseful swashbuckler: a mysterious ship, sunken treasure, the threat of midnight raids and the pillaging of priceless cultural artifacts. But the ongoing struggle between American shipwreck salvage company Odyssey Marine and the Spanish government has instead become a classic courtroom drama. On Thursday, a U.S. District court in Tampa, Floridam ruled that Odyssey Marine must reveal to Spain all the information it possesses that could help identify three historic shipwrecks, including the one Odyssey has code-named, with appropriate flourish, the Black Swan. The sunken ship, which Madrid suspects was Spanish, has been sharply disputed since April, when Odyssey filed claim to the wreckage and then hauled up — and moved to an undisclosed storage facility near its Tampa headquarters — 17 tons of silver coins and other treasure, which some experts have valued at $500 million. . . .

Full story at: Link

Declining dollar, expensive oil drives gold prices

Precious metals analysts say economic factors are driving gold costs — not speculators hedging bets it will surpass the high marks last reached in 1980.

“When gold achieved its 1980 high of $850 per ounce, it maintained that level for only one day and was driven purely by speculation,” said Donald Doyle, CEO and chairman of Blanchard and Co., a New Orleans-based precious metals and rare coin dealer. “Today, gold has maintained a consistent price point above $800 and is being driven by . . .

Full story at: Link