Friday, February 22, 2008

Rarest Cent Not Always Most Expensive

Have you ever wondered where some prices for coins come from? The first answer of course is supply vs. demand. I thought I'd test this notion, so I set out on a sampling of coins for sale on eBay for four months. Why eBay? I thought it the best cross-country inventory of both dealers, investors and collectors. Now eBay has its shortcomings, but right now I think that it's a good place to start as it would yield the largest inventory. . . .

Full story at: Link

CAC verification stickers on premium quality coins

You may have noticed that some of our coins are now labeled with a CAC sticker. This identifying sticker designates that a coin has met premium quality standards set by Collectors Acceptance Corporation, an independent group of well-respected professional numismatists. Our experience so far is that CAC verified coins are continuing to gain popularity and acceptance and are doing well at auction compared to like coins without CAC verification. . . .

Full story at: Link

U.S. Treasury Brings Historic $1 Billion Display to Phoenix

It won't cost a cent to see $100,000 bills and a multi-million dollar nickel, and get Arizona's first look in person at the new $5 bill

(Phoenix, Arizona) -- The U.S. Treasury Department will have a $1 billion display -- including examples of $100,000 bills -- at the American Numismatic Association's National Money Show™ in the Phoenix Convention Center's West Building, 100 North 3rd Street, March 7 - 9, 2008. The exhibit will be the first public appearance in Arizona of the redesigned $5 bill that goes into circulation on March 13.

But it won't cost a cent to see a billion bucks. The three-day collector's show and educational family event is free and open to the public.

The Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) will bring its eye-opening "billion dollar display" of high denomination money to Phoenix for the first time. Other fascinating exhibits at the show include the famous, multi-million dollar 1913 Liberty Head nickel that was the object of a recent nationwide search; colorful, century-old Arizona paper money; and displays by the United States Mint. . . .

Full story at: Link

Treasure Hunter finds buried Nazi gold?

DEUTSCHKATHARINENBERG, Germany (AP) — There's something big and metallic 60 feet below the ground in this tiny town near the Czech border.

Whether it's the fabled Russian Amber Room, gold or even scrap metal isn't known. But treasure hunter Christian Hanisch hopes to snake a camera into an underground cavern to prove he has discovered Nazi plunder buried in the final weeks of World War II.

"I am sure that there is gold or silver down there," said Hanisch, who hopes to begin drilling as early as next week. . . .

Full story at: Link

Sunday, February 17, 2008

PCGS Currency Certifies Legendary “D.B. Cooper” Skyjacking Ransom Notes

( Newport Beach, California) – Nearly two dozen $20 denomination notes from the infamous 1971 “D.B. Cooper” skyjacking have been certified by PCGS Currency on behalf of the owner who found them a quarter-century ago.

The bills belong to Brian Ingram, 36, of Mena, Arkansas who was eight years old in 1980 when he found the only ransom cash ever recovered from the infamous skyjacking.

“Even though the notes were damaged from apparently being in the Columbia River for years, we were able to match serial numbers with those on the FBI’s list of the $200,000 in $20 bills the skyjacker had when he jumped from the jetliner. There was even a Series 1963A star note,” said Laura A. Kessler, Vice President of PCGS Currency ( of Newport Beach, California, who headed the certification team.

Kessler carefully separated some of the notes and note fragments that were affixed together for decades, revealing serial numbers or Federal Reserve District seals.

Brian Ingram and the DB Cooper notes.Ingram plans to keep one note and sell the rest. . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin dealer quits business after attack

Robert Palmatter's passion for coin collecting first began in grade school when he gathered and cataloged coins as a hobby.

It reignited with a new intensity in 1987 when he went along with his nephew to a coin store to advise the boy; and the next thing he knew, he was coin collecting and soon was a coin dealer.
"I call it the collector gene; you're either born with it or not," he said. "There is no explaining it."

That all changed Jan. 26 . . .

Full story at: Link

Carson City mintmark collectors: A Little Bit of Carson City

Collectors who think in terms of the Carson City mintmark often think in terms of higher denomination silver coins that came out of that sun-drenched, dry, Nevada town. Many collectors are surprised that the CC that collectors covet so much is also available on several lower denomination coins.

Carson City was carved out of a chunk of western Nevada territory in 1858, not long after the famous California Gold Rush and not long after many prospectors had realized that there was a lot of silver to be had as well as gold. According to the Web site for the Carson City Visitor's Bureau, the name came from that of the nearby Carson River. Other sources claim that the name is from Kit Carson. What isn't debated is that after people had begun to work the massive amounts of silver found in the Comstock Lode, many felt there was a need for a mint in the area. By 1870 that need had been met, with silver dollars, half dollars, quarters and dimes coming out around then. . . .

Full story at: Link

Second 1982 Doubled Die Reverse Cent Uncovered

After nearly four months of readers searching, a second example of a major 1982 doubled die reverse cent has finally been uncovered. Numismatic News reader Jim Proctor of Vermont reported it.

It bears the small date obverse and is struck on a pure copper-plated zinc core planchet - as was the original find.

Author Charles D. Daughtrey first revealed the existence of the variety to NN readers in a front-page story in the Oct. 2, 2007, issue, crediting Richard J. Ziegler of Massachussettes for the discovery. It represents the second strongest doubled die reverse known on the Lincoln Memorial cent, second only to the major 1983 doubled die cent. . . .

Full story at: Link

James Monroe Presidential Dollar Errors

When leading error coin dealer Fred Weinberg began dropping hints a few weeks ago that some Monroe Dollars which had been struck on State Quarter planchets had escaped the Philadelphia Mint, many people were understandably skeptical, since a "wrong planchet" type error is very rare. (This error is also sometimes called a "wrong metal" error.) However, when the U.S. Mint actually confirmed the existence of these error coins, the excitement started to build. Did the Mint recover them all? How many would find their way into circulation? How many did Fred Weinberg already have stashed away? . . .

Full story at: Link

Ancient Coin Collectors Influence Expands: "I am angry at the archaeologists and I want to beat them."

"I am angry at the archaeologists and I want to beat them," says Chicago coin dealer Harlan Berk at the NYINC meeting.

A cautious but upbeat assessment of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and its impact on people outside the coin collecting hobby who would demand certain coins be returned to their place of origin due to their being cultural patrimony was given Jan. 12 at a meeting of the ACCG during the New York International Numismatic Convention."Through the year we really got good publicity," said ACCG Director Wayne Sayles. "We finally have an even playing field and the ability to push back." . . .

Full story at: Link

Southern gold dollars have tough reputation

While only produced for a few years, gold dollars produced in the three Southern facilities – Dahlonega, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., and New Orleans, La. – make a fascinating collection.

All all different but they share a very similar history. Part of the common history is that the gold dollars of the three facilities are uniformly tough in any grade. That, along with interesting stories, makes them all the more interesting as a collection.

The U.S. Mint facilities in the South were actually familiar with the idea of gold dollars before they even produced the denomination in gold. The Bechtler family private mint had been producing gold dollars for years by the time the United States released its first gold dollars in 1849. . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin Grading Made Simple

Learning how to properly grade coins is perhaps the biggest challenge new coin collectors face. Understanding the proper grade for a coin is core to establishing its value. Whether your goal is to make more savvy coin purchases, or to appraise your own collection, being able to grade your own coins is a skill that is not optional. Although grading services have certainly filled an important gap in the marketplace since their inception, the fact is that only a small percentage of all collectible coins have been slabbed (graded and put into a holder.) Even the coins which have been slabbed are sometimes misgraded, and experts such as Q. David Bowers will tell you that you shouldn't use the label in the holder to decide what the coin inside grades at . . .

Full story at: Link

Polish Gold Rarity Over $1 Million

A Polish gold 100 ducats of Sigismund III sold for a record $1.38 million Jan. 14 as part of Stack's Kroisos collection auction.

This price is a new high for a world coin.

The 1621 Polish 100 ducats is one of only two or three known in private hands, according to catalogers. One was presented to the pope by Sigismund III, sale catalogers said.

After heated bidding, the filled to-capacity Tansa Room of New York's Le Parker-Meridien Hotel erupted in applause as attendees cheered the winning bid.

The Stack's cataloger described the condition of the coin as follows . . .

Full story at: Link

Japan gold dealer unveils $275,000 Gold Coin Gown

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - It may weigh you down, but it would be worth it. Japan's largest bullion house on Thursday unveiled a shimmering gown adorned with hundreds of gold coins weighing a staggering 8 kg and valued at close to 30 million yen ($275,000).

Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewellery K.K. has created a dress using 325 Austrian gold coins issued to commemorate the . . .

Full story at: Link

Rare Coins, Scrip & Notes Evoke Bygone Era On Long Island

When Anthony Bongiovanni, Sr. was a teenager during the 1940s, he saw a three-cent coin in the window of a coin store in New York City. Fascinated by it, he bought it for 50 cents. That started his lifelong passion for collecting coins and paper currency, particularly from Long Island. He eventually started his own coin shop, which evolved into Rocky Point Jewelers. With his family's help, he runs the shop, which still sells coins and currency. His son, Anthony Bongiovanni, Jr., who also collects currency, said he has been "actively collecting Long Island notes for close to 40 years." . . .

Full story at: Link

301 pennies sell for $10.7 million

Even the untrained eye could tell: This $3.01 in pennies was much more than spare change. By the end of Friday night's auction in Long Beach, Walter Husak's rare American penny collection had fetched a cool $10.7 million.

The Van Nuys man parted with nearly all of his assortment of 301 "large cents," or antique copper coins roughly the size of quarters, as eager buyers pushed the bidding sky high. After investing years and millions in tracking down and acquiring the early American currency, Husak was a little sad to see his pennies sold.

But not too sad. . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, February 15, 2008

NGC-Certified 1804 Bust Dollar Highlights Offering of The Queller Family Collection

A legendary 1804 Bust dollar graded NGC PF62 will highlight The Queller Family Collection of United States Silver Dollars, 1794-1935, when that collection is sold on April 16-19, 2008 by Heritage Auction Galleries. The auction will be held in Rosemont, Illinois in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society Convention.

One of the most famous coins ever struck is considered a part of the Draped Bust series—the 1804 dollar. While the Mint struck 19,570 dollars in 1804, all were produced from leftover dies dated 1802 and 1803, and no dollars were struck with the date 1804. However, thirty years later, when . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stop making Lincoln cents

Taxpayers pay nearly 2 cents for every penny made by the U.S. Mint — a poor economic model that makes the strongest case for abolishing the coin.

Stop making a coin that costs more than it's worth. The math isn't pretty. Each penny costs 1.67 cents to make, up from 0.93 cents in 2004. The Mint lost $31 million making 6.6 billion new pennies in 2007, and another $68 million making 1 billion nickels.Small change just isn't worth the effort anymore. . . .

Full story at: Link

A Tale of Treasure: The Civil War mystery of the missing Confederate treasure and its possible location

The mystery of the missing Confederate treasure and its possible location in Danville has once again surfaced.

This time two historical researchers and authors, Jerry White and Wes Millett, have partnered to write “The Rebel and the Rose,” an account of the events at the end of the Civil War that includes the flight of the Confederate government from Richmond and the activities of a Confederate paymaster, James Semple, and his relationship with Julia Gardiner Tyler, the widow of President John Tyler.

The book, which is non-fiction but reads like riveting fiction, traces the missing Confederate treasure and concludes that at least some of it still lies buried in . . .

Full story at: Link

U.S. Mint Releases New James Monroe Presidential Coin

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This Valentine's Day, the newest Presidential $1 Coin will go into circulation, honoring James Monroe, a president who was beloved in his time.

Monroe's presidency was known as "The Era of Good Feelings," and he was one of the country's most popular chief executives. He served as the nation's fifth president from 1817 to 1825 and, accordingly, this is the United States Mint's fifth Presidential $1 Coin.

"The James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin is a . . .

Full story at: Link

Stanford flips for rare coin sale: 1870-S Dollar sold for $1.3 Million

While economists may worry about the falling U.S. dollar, one rare buck that recently changed hands in Houston is soaring in value.

Stanford Coins and Bullion, part of the Houston-based Stanford Financial Group of companies, has sold a 1870-S Seated Liberty Dollar Eliasberg Specimen for $1.3 million to Certified Acceptance Corp. of New Jersey.

The rare numismatic treasure, ranked among the world's Top 100 collectable coins, is shrouded in intrigue. . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, February 04, 2008

Egyptian couple finds U.S. 1933 $20 gold double eagle coin worth millions in closet

CAIRO, February 4 (RIA Novosti) - A rare U.S. double eagle gold coin that could be worth up to $15 million has been found by an Egyptian couple as they cleaned out their flat, the Qatar Ar-Raya newspaper said on Monday.

The precious piece of gold was discovered in an old box that had once belonged to Mohamed Ismail's grandfather while he and his wife, Fatima, were throwing old clothes and broken furniture out of a closet. . . .

Full story: 1933 Double Eagle Found in Egypt

Curb on coin scams proposed

LANSING--Not all that glitters is gold, and not every shiny new coin is a wise investment -- not even, say, a $5 Elvis Presley commemorative coin issued by the Marshall Islands.

. But many unsophisticated coin investors and collectors don't understand that, according to a Macomb County lawmaker.

Rep. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, wants to extend Michigan's consumer protection law to companies and foreign governments that advertise coins as "legal tender" when those items aren't U.S. coins currently in circulation.

"If something is called a `coin,' it has face value or denomination, and there's the assumption you can use it as money in the country of origin or redeem it at the exchange rate," Bieda said.

"Sometimes you can't use them as money even in the entity that produced them," he said.

Bieda's new proposal would require mints, issuers or foreign governments that . . .

Full story at: Scam Coins

Finest known collection of first U.S. silver dollars, rare gold double eagles and finest hard time tokens collection at Long Beach

The finest known private collection of the first United States silver dollars, the finest assembled collection of hard times tokens, and a complete set of condition census rare gold "Type 1 Double Eagles 1850-1866" will be displayed at the February 2008 Long Beach Expo.

(Long Beach, California) -- A complete set of Type I Double Eagles, rare Hard Times tokens and the number one collection of early U.S. silver dollars in the PCGS Set Registry(SM) will be displayed at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, February 14 - 16, 2008, in the Long Beach, California Convention & Entertainment Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

Monaco Rare Coin of Newport Beach, California will exhibit a condition census set of U.S. $20 denomination gold coins struck from 1850 to 1866, including examples of the 1854-O, 1856-O and one of the two known 1861-P Paquet reverse specimens. The collection is valued at more than $5 million, according to Adam Crum of Monaco.

"The PCGS exhibit will showcase 107 varieties of Flowing Hair and Bust dollars from 1794 to 1803 from the collection of . . .

Full story at: Long Beach Story

Eliasberg 1870-S Silver Dollar Brings $1.3 Million

It is hard to drown out the drumbeat of record bullion prices, but for a time, the news of the sale of an 1870-S silver dollar for $1.3 million proved that rarity, collectibility and desirability still have a place in the American coin market.

The Eliasberg specimen of the coin is one of just 11 known. It grades AU-53 as certified by the Professional Coin Grading Service. Three of the 11 known coins are mint state.

Full story at: Eliasberg 1870-S Silver Dollar