Thursday, March 13, 2008

New color $5 bills come out today

WASHINGTON - Abraham Lincoln is getting a little color in his cheeks. New $5 bills bearing the gaunt visage of the nation's 16th president — but with some touches of color added — are making their way to banks and cash registers near you.

The bill goes into circulation Thursday. That's when the Federal Reserve, the supplier of the nation's cash, starts shipping the bills to banks, which send them to . . .

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Early Dimes Benefit From Lack of Attention

The dime as a denomination is currently not very active. That probably makes it a good time to try to find deals on dimes. If there are any dimes that should really be considered a buying opportunity, they would be the early dimes of the United States.

When you look at the first U.S. dimes, you are looking at coins with not only low mintages and poor survival rates, but also coins that have an important place in history. It's a great combination whether you attempt to get type examples or a complete collection.

Certainly the dime was more affordable for collectors at the time although back in the 1790s and early 1800s even a dime was a significant sum of money. How much was it worth? Well, by way of slightly earlier example, George Washington acted without approval to offer . . .

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Rising metal costs may see Aussie coins change

SYDNEY - The size and composition of some Australian coins may have to change due to the soaring cost of copper and nickel.

This year the metal value of the 5c, 10c and 20c coins will overtake their face value for the first time, News Ltd reported today.

The metal content in 10c, 20c and 50c coins was now worth more than the metal in the $1 and $2 coins.

But melting down coins to make extra by selling the metal was illegal and heavy penalties applied. . . .

Full story at: Link

Was Baltimore Coin Show a success and the Phoenix National Money Show a bust? Here's one dealers viewpoint.

Two weeks. Two shows. Too much? Read on for a quick overview of the recent Baltimore and Phoenix coin conventions.

I love the Baltimore show. Unlike some conventions that feel like they are in a death spiral, you can clearly sense that this show is fresh, healthy and on the upswing. And this year’s first edition was excellent.

The only negative about this show, at least for me, is the epic day-long schlep that entails getting to Baltimore from Portland. If anyone reading this would like to exchange trips on their private jet for U.S. gold coins please feel free to propose a trade immediately.

I spent two full working days in Baltimore. . . .

Full story at: Link

$1 billion money show comes to Phoenix

Coin collectors from across the United States are gathering at the Phoenix Convention Center this weekend for the 2008 National Money Show.

“It is a busy weekend for the American Numismatic Association as it holds its first money show in Phoenix since 1950,” event spokesman Donn Pearlman said.

A rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel worth $3 million is on display for the first time in Arizona. The coin was “lost” for 41 years until it was discovered in a Virginia closet in 2003.

“There were only five 1913 Liberty nickels mysteriously made at a Philadelphia mint,” Pearlman said.

Pearlman said two of the nickels are in private hands, one is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., one is owned by the American Numismatic Association and the fifth is on display at the National Money Show.

That coin is owned by the family of George Walton, the original owner from Virginia.

Among the many collectors showcasing their coins was . . .

Full story at: Link

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dollar bill should be dropped for Sacagawea and Presidential coin

Use of metal-based currency has monetary, environmental benefits

You may have seen them. They're a bit larger than a quarter, mostly golden or golden brown, though the older ones are silver. They're worth a dollar each because … they're dollar coins.

The United States has long had the tradition of using dollar coins. The first one was minted in 1794, and they have been minted, when needed, throughout our nation's history.

Currently, there are several designs that circulate, although most often you will receive a Sacagawea dollar or one of the new presidential dollars.

But will you receive them? Probably not. I admit, I spend them more than I spend dollar bills, but I rarely ever receive them as change. As a cashier, I give them out when I get them, but that's rare as well.

Why the big deal over dollar coins? . . .

Full story at: Link

Camacho submits Guam quarter design narratives to U.S. Mint

Gov. Felix Camacho recently submitted two design narratives to the U.S. Mint for consideration in the District of Columbia and United States Territories Circulating Quarter Dollar Program.

"We are one step closer to circulating an image of our island throughout our country that will make us all very proud and showcase the beauty and distinctiveness of our culture," Camacho said. . . .

Full story at: Link

Judge: Shipwreck finder Odyssey Marine Exploration can't be only keepers of treasure ship's ID

TAMPA - Deep-sea explorers who found a shipwreck last year yielding about $500 million in treasure might be forced to provide Spain their "best available hypothesis" on the ship's identity, a judge said Thursday.

An attorney for the Spanish government has complained that Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa has not complied with a judge's order to hand over enough information to determine if Spain has a claim to the 17 tons of colonial era coins salvaged from the wreck last year.

U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday wrote in his ruling that if Odyssey doesn't fully satisfy the order to hand over details of the wreck, the company will be forced to tell Spain the name of the ship the company suspects it has found. . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Controversial slogan causes U.S. Mint to reject three D.C. quarter designs

Designs Include Slogan 'Taxation Without Representation'

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Mint rejected three designs for a commemorative District of Columbia quarter because they include the slogan "Taxation Without Representation."

The Mint said Wednesday that the slogan is too controversial. . . .

Full story at: Link

Is Tampa's Odyssey Marine Exploration sitting on more shipwreck treasure?

Odyssey Marine Exploration may be sitting on more sunken treasure than previously thought.

When the Tampa company announced last May that it had retrieved more than 500,000 coins from a wreck code-named "Black Swan," outsiders swiftly guessed that Odyssey had found the Merchant Royal, a British merchant ship that sank in 1641 with -- it is believed -- a substantial supply of coins aboard.

That conventional wisdom has changed, however. Today, many knowledgeable observers believe the "Black Swan" and the Merchant Royal are two different wrecks. The good news for Odyssey is that it may be in possession of both. . . .

Full story at: Link

'Smileyface' 1945 Half Dollar Intrigues Author

Here is reported what can be termed a "Smiling Sunface" 1945 silver half dollar, with the rising sun left of walking Miss Liberty tooled into a grinning, toothy expression.

In a constant search for the unusual in numismatics, I often come across counterstamped or engraved coins which sometimes are easy to understand, and at other times are totally inexplicable. . . .

Full story at: Link

PCGS Currency Notifies FBI of “D. B. Cooper” Serial Numbers

During the recent examination and certification of recovered money from the famous 1971 “D. B. Cooper” skyjacking case, PCGS Currency staff members discovered nearly three dozen serial numbers that apparently had not been previously recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The numbers were hidden in layers of notes and note fragments stuck together for decades, and those numbers now have been reported by PCGS Currency President, Jason Bradford, to the Seattle-based FBI agent overseeing the case. In a letter to FBI Special Agent Larry Carr, Bradford wrote: “Earlier this month, members of our team examined two dozen environmentally-damaged $20 denomination Federal Reserve Notes and dozens of fragments submitted to us for certification by Brian Ingram of Mena, Arkansas. As you know, Mr. Ingram was the then-eight year old boy in 1980 who discovered some of the cash given in 1971 as ransom to a skyjacker known as ‘D. B. Cooper’ or ‘Dan Cooper.’” . . .

Full story at: Link

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Updates Coin Preservation of National Numismatic Collection

NGC designs custom holder to house the 200 most rare, unique and famous American coins in the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today announced a pilot project to assess the use of protective coin holders for the National Numismatic Collection housed at the museum. The 200 most rare, unique and famous American coins in the collection will be placed into customized plastic holders that will allow greater access to coins while improving their protection.

This initial group of coins was chosen because they are the most frequently handled. The project is . . .

Full story at: Link

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Odyssey Marine Exploration Shipwreck Treasure may be from 1750 Spanish merchant El Salvador

While Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration says the identity of a North Carolina shipwreck it recently acquired has "not yet been confirmed," the Spanish newspaper El Pais speculates that Odyssey may be talking about El Salvador, a Spanish merchant ship that sank in 1750 with treasure aboard. The treasure-hunting company could not be reached for comment late Monday, but someone anonymously registered the Internet domain name on Feb. 21. That's the same day Odyssey announced it had acquired the legal right to pursue the North Carolina shipwreck - code-named "Firefly" . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin Collecting and Investing Tactics for Future Profits

While coin collecting is a fun and enjoyable hobby for most of us, there is no reason it can’t be a profitable endeavor also with a well thought out plan. If you are just starting your collection or advancing to the serious money stage lets consider these facts before taking the plunge.

The key dates and semi-keys of any series have out preformed the common dates in all grades in the past and there is no fundamental reason for that to change in the future. The market for these scarce low mintage coins is driven by supply and demand and new collectors coming into the market should keep the demand strong and healthy. On the other side of the coin, no pun intended. If you are going to spend money buying coins for your collection, why not buy . . .

Full story at: Link

Treasury Secretary Wants to Dump Pennies

WASHINGTON - A penny for your thoughts? Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson thinks the answer to that question should be not much. In fact, if he had his way, he would like to get rid of the penny.

Asked Friday whether he thought the penny should be eliminated, Paulson agreed that it would make sense, saying, "The penny is worth less than any other currency."

However, he quickly added that he didn't think it was "politically doable" to eliminate the one-cent coin and it wasn't something he planned to tackle in the final year of the Bush administration.

"I've got enough challenges to take on," he said in an interview on the "Spike O'Dell Show" on Chicago's WGN radio. . . .

Full story at: Link