Friday, April 11, 2008

Lawmaker seeks to replace dollar coins with paper bills

I think someone forgot to tell Rep. Guyer that coins can last something like 18 years in circulation versus a mere 18 months for the dollar bill. So in the end, I wonder which is truly more environmentally damaging. - A.C. Dwyer

BOSTON - Rep. Denis Guyer wants to get rid of some of the coins in the MBTA’s subway system, and he admits its not just pocket change he’s worried about. The Dalton Democrat also lives in the same town as Crane & Co., the exclusive supplier of paper stock used to make dollar bills and other U.S. currency, and he’d like to preserve some jobs.

Guyer has filed legislation that would require the T to return paper money whenever a rider would get back $5 or more in change.

The lawmaker said the dollar coins fill up a pocket needlessly and coins made from mined elements are more environmentally damaging than paper currency made of cotton and recycled materials. . . .

Full story at: Link


In recent days, counterfeit coins in counterfeit PCGS slabs have begun to appear on eBay, the online auction site. All of the counterfeit coins/holders seen so far are coming out of China. Alert members of the PCGS Message Boards were the first to notify PCGS of the counterfeit coins/holders.

The coins themselves range from poor-quality counterfeits to well-made fakes. The counterfeit PCGS holders are well-executed, but with minor differences from a genuine holder. PCGS anticipates that authentic coins will eventually be placed into counterfeit PCGS holders in the future, perhaps with elevated grades and/or inappropriate designators (Full Bell Lines, Prooflike, etc.), although none have been seen to date.

The on-line PCGS Certificate Verification is a method for confirming that a particular certificate number matches the information in the PCGS database, but the counterfeiters are aware of this detection method and are now using valid certificate numbers (see below).

PCGS has contacted U.S. governmental agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Customs, the Secret Service, and US Postal authorities, to enlist their assistance in pursuing enforcement or legal remedies against these counterfeiters. Also, PCGS is a member of eBay's CCW Group, which monitors eBay for fraudulent listings and asks eBay to discontinue auctions of suspicious coins and/or suspend violators.

PCGS has called for eBay to stop accepting listings of any rare coins from Chinese sellers. Ebay recently pulled several auctions of counterfeit coins/holders at the urging of PCGS.

PCGS urges consumers not to purchase rare coins from Chinese sellers on eBay. While legitimate, authentic coins exist in China, the plethora of fakes and fraudulent listings on eBay increase the likelihood that coins purchased from Chinese sellers will be counterfeit. . . .

Full story at: Link

Floris man finds coin collection in his backyard

"Most of the coins have withstood corrosion and weathering, but with a little washing up, they could be very valuable." - Now there's a statement that would make a collector cringe! - A.C. Dwyer

Coins found down old clothesline pole

FLORIS — Art Cochell has discovered a coin collector’s paradise in his own backyard.

A couple years ago when he was tearing down part of an old clothesline pole on his property, Cochell noticed some antique coins on the ground that had fallen from the severed pipe.

Cochell has lived at the residence for around five years now. He had heard a rumor that the man who lived in the house prior had put coins down the clothesline pole.

When they cut down part of the iron pole, some of the coins must have fallen on the ground. Cochell said curiosity got the best of him, so he took his flashlight and metal detector and discovered more coins embedded in the ground.

Most of the coins have withstood corrosion and weathering, but with a little washing up, they could be very valuable. Cochell estimates the coins that he has already recovered are valued at . . .

Full story at: Link

Half dimes trace roots to pre-Mint workshop

It would be difficult to pick out one coin of the United States as being the most historic. After all, you have the first 1793 Chain reverse cent, which ranks as the first coin made inside the brand-new U.S. Mint, or the first dollar of the United States, the 1794. There is an awfully good case to be made, though, for the 1792 half dime, normally called the half disme.

While not technically a coin produced in the U.S. Mint facility, it is still a coin that was of great interest to the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Moreover, the 1792 was the first of an . . .

Full story at: Link

Coins Mark 2008 Beijing Olympics

Athletes won't be the only ones in pursuit of Olympic gold and silver this summer.

Coin collectors will be able to acquire proof gold and silver commemorative coins issued by the China Mint in honor of the games it will host Aug. 8-24.

The precious metal commemorative coins reflect the games' theme, "One World, One Dream."

The complete proof 18-coin set, issued in three series, features six gold coins that are each one-third troy ounce and 12 silver coins that are each 1 troy ounce. The collection has a mintage limited to 60,000 worldwide, with 3,000 sets earmarked for the United States.

"With over a billion people in China alone, the limited mintage of these coins makes one realize that they may become as rare and treasured one day as ancient rare art pieces from Chinese history," said . . .

Full story at: Link

The finest known set of rare 1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorative coins at Santa Clara Expo

(Santa Clara, CA) -- The finest known set of 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition commemorative coins will be exhibited during the first three days of the April Santa Clara Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo. The show will be held in the Santa Clara, California Convention Center, Thursday through Sunday, April 10 - 13, 2008.

"This outstanding exhibit showcases five superb condition gold and silver coins, registered by Pan-Pac officials as the sixth of 24 original complete sets made at the time," said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.
Originally sold for $200 in 1915 and now valued at $700,000, the historic Pan-Pac set will be displayed courtesy of Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers, Dana Point, California

The display also includes: . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin Cleaning - A good thing or not?

To Clean or Not

Last month, I ended my column by saying that I would talk about coin cleaning this month. Most books with guidelines for beginning coin collectors offer the following advice: Never clean your coins! You may have heard similar admonitions on shows like "Antiques Roadshow," when discussing antiques of all sorts, including furniture, weapons, and silverware. Someone will bring in a treasure from the attic, and an appraiser will say something like, "This is worth $7,000 to $10,000, but it would have been worth 10 times as much if you hadn't cleaned it."

In fact, many more coins have had their values lowered by cleaning than have benefitted from the process. Thus, the stock advice is to avoid cleaning like the plague.

But is cleaning always a bad thing to do? Do some coins benefit from cleaning? Is there "good" cleaning as well as "bad"? The answers to these questions are . . .

Full story at: Link

Dealer Identifies Fake Morgan Dollars in Illinois

Fake Morgan dollars identified by Montgomery, Ill., dealer Tom Campbell of Tom's Fine Coins led to an April 4 arrest of an individual who was attempting to sell them through online classified ads.

"About half were common date," Campbell said. "All weighed 18-19 grams and were attracted to a magnet, some weak, some strong."

Approximately 20 coins ultimately were involved, though Campbell initially attempted only to buy two 1885-CC dollars for $280. He asked the seller to bring them in person and he would pay $40 per coin more. They arranged to meet in a public place in Plainfield, Ill.

When Campbell realized they were fake . . .

Full story at: Link

Spain voluntarily dismisses claim in one Odyssey Marine Exploration shipwreck case

One of Spain's three admiralty cases involving Odyssey Marine Exploration shipwrecks has been dismissed in Tampa federal court.

Spain decided to voluntarily dismiss its claim because evidence Odyssey was ordered to disclose indicated the shipwreck is an . . .

Full story at: Link

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

United States Cent Abolished

(I wish I would have thought of this today! :) :) :)

(Washington, D.C.) -- Edmund C. Moy, current Director of the United States Mint, announced today that the one cent piece will no longer be produced by the mint. Citing the increasing price of zinc and copper as the main impetus for the decision, Moy explained, "We have no intention of continuing to spend more than it's worth to mint the cent. The time has come to get rid of the cent and round consumer prices accordingly."

"It's about time. It's outlived its usefulness," says . . .

Full story at: