Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zachary Taylor Presidential Dollar Coins Available Tomorrow


Zachary Taylor was born in 1784 in Virginia. Shortly after his birth, his family relocated to Kentucky, where he spent his youth. Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 23 and acquired the nickname "Old Rough and Ready" during his long military career. A national hero of the Mexican-American War, Taylor was an attractive presidential candidate, but he was also an independent thinker who did not always follow party lines. He became ill after attending a long ceremony at the Washington Monument on a hot Independence Day in 1850. He died five days later, having served only 16 months in office.

United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart designed and sculpted the obverse and the reverse of the Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 Coin. The obverse features . . .

Full story at: usmint.gov

U.S. Mint Warning on Chinese Counterfeit Coins

The United States Mint is aware of recent reports that some companies in China are producing unmarked imitations of pre-1950 United States coins and are selling them on-line. This practice not only exploits unwary consumers and collectors, but also may violate Federal law. Both consumers and coin collectors should be aware of . . .

Full story at: usmint.gov

Friday, November 06, 2009

Double Eagles and Shipwrecks: An Interview with U.S. Gold Coin Collector A.C. Dwyer


A.C. Dwyer, an avid coin collector, talked with us recently about the history of U.S. $20 double eagle gold coins, especially those struck during the California Gold Rush. Dwyer discusses the types of double eagles that were minted, the most interesting and rarest varieties, and why he’s so enthralled with coins that have been found at shipwreck sites.

Full story at: The Collectors Weekly

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shower of $100 bills in Sunnyvale: Recycling station's workers recover $3,200

Amid the crushed soda cans, plastic bags and soiled cardboard, a shower of $100 bills started raining from the ceiling.

Workers at the Sunnyvale recycling station ran giddily about early Tuesday morning, catching the cash and stuffing the money inside a plastic bucket. They had even found a body among the hundreds of thousands of tons of recyclables sorted at the SMaRT plant over the years. But a shower of cash? Never.

"It just kept . . .

Full story at: Mercurynews.com

Massive hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure found

LONDON — An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered, a massive seventh-century hoard of gold and silver sword decorations, crosses and other items, British archaeologists said Thursday.

One expert said the treasure would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the fifth century until the Norman conquest in 1066. Another said the find would rank among Britain's best-known historic treasures.

"This is just a fantastic find completely out of the blue," Roger Bland, who managed the cache's excavation, told The Associated Press. "It will make us rethink the Dark Ages."

Bland said the hoard was . . .

Full story at: Comcast News

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

U.S. Mint Announces Designs for Commemorative Silver Dollar Honoring Disabled American Veterans



Proceeds will help fund the National Memorial to Disabled Veterans


The United States Mint today announced the designs for the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Convention in Denver. United States Mint Director Ed Moy unveiled the designs. Under the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 110-277), the agency will mint and issue commemorative coins in honor of veterans who became disabled for life while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The coin's designs, approved by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner on July 30, 2009, are emblematic of the service of our disabled veterans who made enormous personal sacrifices defending the principles of our democracy. The obverse (heads side) design depicts . . .

Full story at: PR-CANADA.net


Friday, August 21, 2009

MSNBC TV asks: Should the motto "In God We Trust" be removed from U.S. currency?

Take the MSNBC poll and let them know where you stand on this issue. Do you think "In God We Trust" should remain on our currency?

So far, over 15 million have responded. See what they said.

Vote and checkout the results at: MSNBC

Thursday, August 13, 2009

How 6 people accidentally found a fortune

(Mental Floss) -- We've all been there: a week until payday, the rent is due, and you're rummaging in your parents' attic to find Dad's Mickey Mantle rookie card.

If you're in need of some quick cash, here are six stories of people who found a fortune when -- and where -- they least expected it.

1. Lose a hammer, find a horde

In November 1992, a farmer living near the village of Hoxne in Suffolk, England, lost a hammer in one of his fields, so he asked Eric Lawes to use his metal detector to search for it.

While looking for the hammer, Lawes happened upon something else of interest -- 24 bronze coins, 565 gold coins, 14,191 silver coins, plus hundreds of gold and silver spoons, jewelry, and statues, all dating back to the Roman Empire.

As required by British law, the so-called "Hoxne Hoard" was . . .

Full story at: CNN

Largest Ancient Coin Hoard Ever Reveals New Secrets

(ANSA) - Naples, August 12 - The largest haul of ancient coins ever found has revealed new secrets thanks to the painstaking work of a team of Italian experts. Specialists at the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have just concluded a two-year project involving the analysis and restoration of the cache of Roman coins, which was discovered by accident in Libya nearly 30 years ago. ''As well as the number of coins, this haul is exceptional as it sheds new light on so many areas,'' said Salvatore Garraffo of the CNR's Cultural Applied Technology Institute.

''It provides information about the . . .

Full story at: ANSA.it

2009 Lincoln Professional Life in Illinois Cent Launched


SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Mint launched the third 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coin today on the grounds of Springfield's historic Old State Capitol. The new coin, placed into circulation today, bears a reverse (tails side) design that honors Abraham Lincoln's professional life in Illinois.

"The professional life design--Lincoln speaking in front of the Old State Capitol--sums up his Illinois experience," said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. "Illinois is where Lincoln evolved into a successful lawyer and politician. His service in the state legislature and Congress, and his debates with Stephen Douglas, paved the way to his election as President."

United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin joined in the ceremonial launch of the Lincoln professional life one-cent coin.
. . .

Full story at: PRNewswire.com

Saturday, August 08, 2009

$80 Million Group of 1933 Double Eagles Lawsuit goes against the Government

In round one of the David vs. Goliath litigation classic, Langbord family vs. Uncle Sam, over the rights associated with 10 1933 double eagles found in what the court termed a "family" safe deposit box, the United States of America came up the decided loser in the results of cross-motions for summary judgment decided July 28 by U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis.

The U.S. government improperly seized the double eagles and must win a forfeiture case to keep them, Davis ruled.

The collection could be worth $80 million or more. The family had previously asked for the coins' return or a settlement of up to $40 million.

Joan Langbord, the daughter of . . .

Full story at: Numismaster.com

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

NGC Announces Details Grading to Begin September 1, 2009

Starting September 1, 2009, NGC will begin encapsulating coins with detrimental surface conditions using details grades and descriptions of their impairments. This service will be provided automatically for all NGC grading tier submissions at no additional service charge. The authenticity of details graded coins will be covered by the updated NGC Coin Grading Guarantee, and coins graded under this program will be encapsulated with a distinctive purple NGC Details Grading label.

Coins that previously would have been returned ungraded by NGC, as so-called "No Grades," will now be . . .

Full story at: NGC Collectors Society

One-Kilo Gold Coins Generate Excitement

The largest public display in the U.S. of large format Chinese gold coins will generate excitement at the ANA World's Fair of Money.

The largest public array ever assembled in the United States of huge, modern, certified Chinese gold coins, ranging in size from five ounces to one kilo (32.15 ounces) each, will be displayed at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money® convention in Los Angeles, August 5 – 9, 2009. The presentation comes with an education lesson from the exhibitor, Nicholas Brown of Majestic Rarities in Chicago: “Protect your coins! Protect yourself!”

“There will be over 300 ounces of large, low-mintage gold. It will be the most amazing display of modern Chinese coins ever seen in the United States,” said Brown.

Many of the rare coins in the planned display . . .

Full story at: ngccoin.com

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Diver's Recover $22 Million Treasure from Shipwreck

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Divers have concluded a mission to retrieve 9.5 tons of unrefined gold and silver worth nearly $22 million from a shipwreck off southern Argentina.

A border police officer on duty in the city of Rio Gallegos confirmed to The Associated Press that the effort to recover the Polar Mist's valuable cargo ended Sunday.

The refitted Chilean fishing trawler sank Jan. 18, two days after . . .

Full story at: Comcast.net News

Why some low mintage coins have low prices

It's so easy to forget that what really matters in the price of a coin, other than the demand, is not the number that were made but rather the number that survive to the present day in a certain grade. It is repeated over and over again in the case of coins that are less available than we might expect. . . . However, this works the other way as well. Take the 1938-D Jefferson nickel. The 1938-D today, in the minds of those who study mintages, has to be called a . . .

Full story at: Numismaster.com

The History and Coins of Sealand

(Susan Headley: Coins.about.com) Sealand is a nation which is built on a scrap heap - literally! Perhaps the most fascinating of the so-called "micro-nations," Sealand has beautiful coins! But its monarch, Prince Roy, is more pirate than prince...

Full story at: Coins.about.com

U.S. Currency Designs are "Plain Vanilla" Compared to other Countries

Paper money came to America during the early 1860s, when Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue bank notes to help finance the Civil War. Until then, hundreds of different kinds of currency were created by private banks. The first U.S. dollar bill was . . .

Full story at: The Atlantic

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Counterfeit Coin Detection Kit

How to Detect Counterfeit Coins Using 5 Simple Tools

(Susan Headley: Coins.about.com) Counterfeit coins are a fact of life. Fortunately, they account for a very, very small fraction of all coins which are sold. You can cut your risk of ending up with a fake coin by learning how to use the tools of the counterfeit detection trade. Did you know that a magnet is your first line of defense? . . .

Full story at: Coins.about.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wizard Coin Supply to Operate ANA MoneyMarket Enterprise

Wizard Coin Supply of Chantilly, Virginia, will take over operations of the American
Numismatic Association MoneyMarket, direct mail and online store operations on an interim
basis, ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd announced today.

Under a four-month interim agreement, effective July 15, Wizard will provide customer
contact, fulfillment and product handling of all direct mail and online supply and book
sales. . . .

Full story at: Money.org

Museums Squabble Over Treasure Coins

Usually the British treasure trove laws work favorably to protect the amateur finder, professional archaeologists and museums that may become involved in any find. I said, "Usually."

In recent years, all sorts of artifacts have been found in a field at Clarkly Hill in Burghead, Scotland, by people with metal detectors. Among the many artifacts are some Roman coins, two gold . . .

Full story at: Numismaster.com

Monday, July 20, 2009

U.S. Mint employee indicted for scheme

A U.S. Mint employee has been indicted for scheming to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment from a Bucks County company in exchange for cash and gifts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Michael Walker, 49, of Upper Darby, faces up to 245 years in prison as a result of the indictment.

According to the indictment . . .

Full story at: Courier Times

Why is a Coin Grading Service Important?

Coin collecting has been a very popular hobby to many people of all ages. The marketing of coins has expanded widely and because of this wide the market prices of coins has varied immensely.

Before, the coin market was limited to a small number of collectors and dealers. At that time coins were priced in simpler terms. Since the market has expanded, dealers have been very inconsistent with the prices they set for the coins so that became the time when the need for a . . .

Full story at: BellaOnline

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rare dateless 20p coin found in terminally ill son's pocket change

Silver Coin Melt Values
A YOUNG mum is hoping the discovery of a rare coin in her terminally ill son's pocket money will help to make his dream come true.

Kimberley Longden, 22, from Ashton under Lyne, was trying to put money into a pay-and-display parking machine, but one coin was continually rejected and she spotted the 20p coin was undated.

An error at the Royal Mint allowed . . .

Full story at: Tameside Advertiser

Rare Penny found in till is genuine says Mint

A LUCKY Bridgwater grandmother bagged a precious penny – and is now looking to make her fortune.

Tania Simmonite, from Bell Close, found an unusual one-pence piece in the till at her Say Cheese work place in the town’s Cornhill market a few years ago.

Now, after reading about the keenly sought after dateless 20p pieces in her Mercury, Tania may sell her colourless 2003 coin to . . .

Full story at: Thisisthewestcountry.co.uk

The New Orleans With Motto Eagle “Short Set”

(Doug Winter)One of the most interesting and completable sets for the beginning branch mint gold collector is the short set of With Motto New Orleans eagles. This set features the New Orleans eagles produced from 1888 through 1906. In all, there eleven issues in this set. A set in the lower Uncirculated grades could be assembled for less than $10,000.

Unlike the No Motto eagles produced at the New Orleans mint from 1841 through 1860, the With Motto issues tended . . .

Full story at: DWN

Hoard of rare silver Roman coins discovered by amateur metal detector enthusiast

One of the largest hoards of Roman coins ever discovered in Britain has been officially declared 'treasure' today.

Amateur metal detecting enthusiast Keith Bennett discovered a total of 1,141 Roman denarii, or silver coins, in a field last July.

The coins, stashed in a clay urn and buried around four feet underground, date from between 206 BC and 195 BC.

The find was officially declared treasure today at an . . .

Full story at: Daily Mail

eBay pulls phony Canadian coins

"I even had someone threaten me on an eBay chat line"

TORONTO -- An Eastern Ontario man is rejoicing in the recent success of his two-year campaign to get counterfeits of classic Canadian coins dropped from eBay.

But it was a long and often frustrating haul for Mike Marshall, a collector and military retiree.

Marshall, 48, he first faced a wall of uninterest and dismissal from . . .

Full story at: cnews

State Quarters Photo Gallery and Slide Show


Did you finish filling in those empty slots on your State Quarters map? If you're like me, you are still a few quarters short.
Check out the designs for all 50 states in the State Quarters Slide Show and see what you missed. Have a specific design you want to see, check out the State, D.C., & Territorial Quarter Photo Gallery.

View the State, DC & Territorial Quarter Photo Gallery

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spain hunts for gold treasure in sea

BARCELONA (Commodity Online): Spain, struggling to tackle the recession and financial downturns, is finally banking on treasures buried under the ocean.

According to news reports, cash-strapped Spain has ordered its navy to look for huge gold reserves that were lost at sea in the 16th century.

Gold bullion and silver treasure worth £85billion — the size of the nation’s current budget shortfall — lies on the sea bed off the coast of southern Spain.

The Inca and Aztec loot is believed to be in . . .

Full story at: CommodityOnline

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interview With U.S. Pattern Coin Collector Andy Lustig

(Maribeth Keane and Jessica Lewis: Collectors Weekly) Andy Lustig talks about collecting U.S. coins, especially pattern coins, pre-production prototypes struck to test new design concepts. He discusses how these coins have entered the market and which are the most collectible. Based in New York, Andy can be contacted via his website, USPatterns.com, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

I started collecting coins when I was . . .

Full story at: Collectors Weekly

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rare dateless 20p coin found by teenager in change from shop

Silver Coin Melt Values
When teenager Amber Price counted her change from the school tuck shop she was hoping to have enough left for a few more treats.

But the 14-year-old got more than she bargained for when she uncovered a rare 20p coin – which could be worth thousands of pounds.

Now Amber and . . .

Full story at: ThisIsGloucestershire.co.uk

Graded Coins That Don't Make the Grade, Buyer Beware!

(Susan Headley: coins.about.com) Just because you see a coin in a grading service holder, or "slab" doesn't mean that the coin has been accurately graded, or even that the coin is genuine. Not all grading services are equal. Learn how to avoid being scammed by people selling coins in so-called "third-tier" slabs . . .

Full story at: coins.about.com

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ancient Rare Coin Hidden Among Estate Sale Purchase

A box of "old coins" purchased for $28.25 at an estate sale near Burlington, VT held an unexpected surprise: its contents are estimated to be worth more than $15,000 because it included one of the most important Armenian coins in existence.

It was Richard Martineit’s good fortune to be at that auction in October, 2007, where more than 1500 lots were sold in two days. One that caught his eye was lot 1597, a group of 13 coins in a box labeled "Roman & Ancient pieces". It contained . . .

Full story at: NGC

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Royal Canadian Mint gold may have been smuggled in acid

OTTAWA — Was $15 million worth of gold stolen from the Royal Canadian Mint by dissolving it in acid, rendering it invisible to metal detectors?

Two gold-refining industry sources say gold chloride dissolved in an acid solution can be unrecognizable to metal detectors, such as those guarding the mint’s high-security Sussex Drive refinery in Ottawa — and the method might explain the recently announced disappearance of more than half a metric ton of gold from the mint’s inventory.

“It could be taken out in that form . . .

Full story at: Link

What Type of Coins Should You Collect?

Coin collecting is a fun hobby to start and the thrill of hunting for old coins is enough for many people to continue doing it. Other people consider coin collecting an investment, something they can receive a profit from. If you are one of those people, then you can find several types of coins in this article that will help you determine what others are looking for.

Most coin collectors will look for only a specific kind of coin that will make their collection more valuable and interesting to buyers. Others are collecting for sentimentality and are looking more at the coin’s . . .

Full story at: Link

Lincoln Cent Mintages Jump in June, Jefferson Nickel Production Equalizes

(The latest batch of US Mint coin production figures are now available and they show several noteworthy changes in June. Lincoln cents jumped, quarters and Presidential dollars rose more modestly, and Jefferson nickels leveled out between mints.

US Mint year-to-date coin figures are updated at the beginning of each month, enabling mintages to be calculated as they are above. Notice the increase in Lincoln Cents — especially from Denver.

The Mint has not yet said whether these numbers are for . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Royal Canadian Mint Launches Third Release of 2009 Collector Coins

OTTAWA — Coin collectors and astronomy fans alike will be impressed by the Royal Canadian Mint’s $30 Sterling Silver International Year of Astronomy collector coin, as well as several new products which are sure to attract the gaze of those looking to expand their collections or acquire finely crafted keepsakes of innovative design and composition.

Other entries in the Mint’s third product release of 2009 include the final issue of the Playing Card Money series, a new Blessings of Wealth 99.999% pure gold coin, an "Autumn Jewel" crystal raindrop coin and the newest issue of the $20 Fine Silver Great Canadian Locomotive Series featuring . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Royal Mint and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Team Up for Ashes Series 2009 Medals


While Andrew Strauss is hoping to get his hands on the famous urn this summer, you too could grab something special during the npower Ashes Series 2009.

ECB and Royal Mint have teamed up to produce a limited edition npower Ashes Series medal to commemorate the much-anticipated series with Australia.

There will be 150 Commemorative Gold Medals, the first five of which will be used for the toss at the five Tests this summer. Each will be engraved with the details of the Test at which they were used and then auctioned for charity.

The remaining 145 medals, all 22 carat gold and featuring the Ashes event logo on one side and a batsman on the other, will be signed by the England captain and made available to cricket fans who want a lasting memento of this summer.

"The thing about the Ashes is that it is all-consuming . . .

Full story at: Link

Australian Mint offers rare peek inside vault

The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra has given a lucky member of the public a rare look inside its vault.

The vault holds a collection of coins worth more than $12 million and its doors are not opened often.

Despina Tramoundanis from Murrumbateman won a raffle to carry four rare coins, valued at over $1 million, from the vault to their display case on the second floor.

One of the coins that was moved is a rare . . .

Full story at: Link

Sales of Silver, Gold Coins Surge

Sales of gold and silver bullion coins were up sharply in the first half of 2009, when dealers were citing strong physical demand amid worries about other investments.

Sales remained strong but abated somewhat in late spring and early summer, but there are at least some signs it might be on the rise again, said one dealer. “Over the last 30 days, business has picked up again mostly because, I believe, there is a lot of skepticism still in the market about which way the economy is heading,” said Scott Thomas, president and chief executive of American Precious Metals Exchange in Edmond, Okla.

Bullion coins are meant to . . .

Full story at: Link

U.S. Mint Offers 2009 Lincoln Cent Subscription

(Susan Headley: coins.about.com)When the first of the four 2009 U.S. Cent designs came out in February, the U.S. Mint was caught off guard, (just like the rest of us), when it became clear that new coins weren't getting into circulation due to the economy. However, the Mint acted fast and managed to get some of the rolls of pennies up for sale on its Web site, although they quickly sold out. The Mint was ready for the second 2009 cent, though, and they provided an ample supply.

Now the Mint is getting ahead of the curve, offering a subscription program so you can pre-order the last two penny designs and have them shipped out when they're released. This article has the details and tells you how to sign up. . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, July 06, 2009

Celebration of the $1 Susan B. Anthony dollar coin


Rochester, N.Y. July 2nd, 1979. The director of the U.S. Mint came to the Susan B. Anthony house to officially unveil to the nation the new dollar coin bearing the suffragette's image.

Hundreds gathered outside Anthony's house on Madison Street. It was the first time the face of a real historical woman ever graced an American coin. And Rochesterians grabbed up tens of thousands of the new Anthony dollars in the days that followed.

In commemoration, Rochester hosted a . . .

Full story at: Link

Pub hands customer coin worth over $11,000 in change for beer

Lloyd Hefferman, 38, was enjoying a summer drink with his friends at The Botolph Arms pub in Peterborough, Cambs, when bar staff handed him the coin.

The 20p coins, which are the first in 300 years to enter circulation without a date, are still legal tender and have caused a frenzy in the coin collecting world.

A number of the coins have already sold on auction site eBay, with one fetching £7,100 last week.

Mistakenly released by the Royal Mint in Cardiff last year, each piece has a . . .

Full story at: Link

Missing gold from mint headquarters still a mystery

OTTAWA — Speculation is mounting over how half a ton of gold could have gone missing from the fortress-like mint headquarters in Ottawa, supposedly one of the most secure buildings in Canada.

The bulk of it, 16,494 ounces, or 44 400-ounce bars worth $15.3 million, disappeared from the gold refinery on the north side of the historic stone building, wired with metal-detection and monitoring equipment that scans employees exiting the high-security area.

According to employees and visitors, one of the detectors . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, July 03, 2009

Louisa Adams gold coin considered rarest of First Spouse coins


The Louisa Adams editions of the US Mint's First Spouse gold coin range may be the rarest so far. According to Coin News, the 24-c pieces - sales of which stop yesterday could become hard to find as comparatively few have been bought since they went on sale.

Figures from the Mint showed that as of . . .

Full story at: Link

Treasure hunter pals fall out over $800,000 reward for finding rare gold coins

Two treasure hunters face a legal battle over how they are going to split a reward of up to £500,000 for finding a rare hoard of more than 800 Celtic gold coins.

Metal detecting enthusiast Michael Darke, 60, realised he might be on the trail of a major treasure find when he found ten Iron age coins buried in a meadow.

He called his friend Keith Lewis, 54, for advice and invited him the following weekend to help him search the land at Dallinghoo near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

Within an hour of arriving in the field on March 30 last year, the pair had unearthed the remains of an Iron Age pottery cooking pot containing another 773 gold coins.

Suffolk County Council archaeologists later unearthed another 42 coins from the field - making it the largest haul of Iron Age coins found in Britain since . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Clifford Mishler Elected ANA President!

2009 Board of Governors to be Installed in Los Angeles

(ANA: Press Release) Clifford Mishler has been elected the 56th President of the American Numismatic Association, ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd announced today.

Mishler received 5,047 votes compared with 3,213 for current ANA Vice President Patricia A. Jagger Finner. Thomas G. Hallenbeck, who ran unopposed, was elected Vice President. Incumbents Chester L. Krause, Joseph E. Boling, Walter Ostromecki Jr., and Wendell Wolka were re-elected along with Board newcomers Scott T. Rottinghaus, J.P. Martin and Jeff C. Garrett.

BiggsKofford, independent auditing firm for the American Numismatic Association 2009 Board of Governors’ election, counted the ballots and reported the following vote tallies:

For President Votes

Clifford Mishler - 5,047
Iola, WI

Patricia A. Jagger Finner - 3,213
Iola, WI

For Vice President

Thomas G. Hallenbeck - 1*
Colorado Springs, CO

Successful Candidates for Governor Votes

Chester L. Krause - 5,845
Iola, WI

Joseph E. Boling - 4,730
Indianapolis, IN

Walter A. Ostromecki - 4,453
Panorama City, CA

Scott T. Rottinghaus - 4,339
New London, CT

Wendell A. Wolka - 4,179
Greenwood, IN

J.P. Martin - 4,066
Englewood, CO

Jeff C. Garrett - 3,781
Lexington, KY

Unsuccessful Candidates for Governor Votes

Alan Herbert - 3,613
Belle Fourche, SD

Michael L. Ellis - 3,111
Virginia Beach, VA

Jeffrey Swindling - 2,703
Jacksonville, FL

Thomas A. Palmer, Jr. - 2,627
New Smyrna Beach, FL

Paul Hollis - 2,498
Mandeville, LA

Brian E. Fanton - 2,335
Hiawatha, IA

Michael S. Turrini - 1,961
Vallejo, CA

New officers will be installed during the annual ANA Awards Banquet, Saturday, Aug. 9, at the World’s Fair of Money® in Los Angeles.

Overall 8,479 ballots were returned in the 2009 election, compared with 7,171 in 2007. Of all ballots cast, 44 were rejected compared with 505 in 2007. The ANA mailed 29,299 ballots, one to each Association member who was eligible to vote on May 15, 2009.

All Board candidates were informed of the election results during a conference telephone call at 12:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Thursday, July 2.

The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items.

The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit http://www.money.org/.

*Only the first vote is counted in uncontested races.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

British housewife discovers $400,000 treasure

A housewife in Britain discovered a 15th-century gold treasure depicting the Holy Trinity worth 250,000 pounds - using a metal detector.

Mary Hannaby, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, found the relic while on a regular six-hour Sunday detecting walks carrying the instrument with her son Michael, a 33 year-old wood carver.

The treasure had been buried four inches below the ground for around 500 years - between Ashridge and Great Gaddesden.

"You get a buzz every time you get a signal, but chances are it won't be anything," The Telegraph quoted her as saying.

Her son added: "This time . . .

Full story at: Link_

Buying Gold Bars from a Vending Machine

Germany has devised the ultimate in credit crunch vending machines: Gold to Go.

After inserting your euros in the slot there is a familiar whirring noise as if the machine is readying itself to spit out a can of lemonade or a bar of chocolate. Instead there is a satisfying clunk as a prettily wrapped bar of the world's favourite precious metal thuds into the dispenser.

"It's better value than the bank," Romy Erhardt of TG-Gold-Super-Markt told The Times, "And it's very convenient — no waiting time — you just put in your cash and a minute later you are an investor in gold."

The prototype gold-dispenser has been installed in Frankfurt airport and today there was a queue of passengers . . .

Full story at: Link

Bootstrap Error Lincoln Cents in Circulation

Silver Coin Melt Values

There are many minor error coins that can be found in circulation, but there are few error coins on which the error is both graphically visible and available in significant enough quantities to grab the interest of collectors as being a major variety.

There may be such a major variety now appearing in circulation, this being a 2009-P Bootstrap Lincoln cent. This appears to be a major variety of the Formative Years Lincoln cent, the second of . . .

Full story at: Link

Seated O-Mint Quarters Offer Solid Values

Seated Liberty quarters are an interesting group. There are a number of good values to be found in Seated Liberty quarters and probably plenty of sleepers as well. The Seated Liberty quarter, after all, was a high denomination for someone to collect back when they were released and that keeps numbers of Mint State examples low.

It's not just in Mint State that supplies today have to be seen as suspect. The Seated Liberty quarter was produced at a time when many collectors did not collect by date and mint. It was natural, especially during the early days of the Seated Liberty quarters, to simply collect by date, in large part because branch mints were just getting established.

In the later years this collecting method did not . . .

Full story at: Link

Lincoln penny unveilings a mint for coin collectors


If Lincoln City, Ind. is an indication, the mid-August unveiling of a redesigned penny in Springfield could get a little crazy.

The U.S Mint has scheduled the unveiling of the third in a series of four 2009 Abraham Lincoln bicentennial pennies, this one depicting Lincoln’s professional life in Illinois, for Aug. 13 at the Old State Capitol.

Lincoln City officials estimate a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 descended on that community, population 50, for the May 15 ceremonial rollout of a penny featuring . . .

Full story at: Link

Free Population Register Available For CAC Coins

After months of preparation, the Certified Acceptance Corp. has unveiled a Population Register on its Web site. The free service offers users detailed information on the certified coins that it has examined.

The register encompasses all major types of federal U.S. coinage but does not yet include Colonial coins or Territorial gold. It lists the types and grades of coins, as well as the number of each, that CAC has judged to be certified in appropriate grade levels.

"This is something we planned from . . .

Full story at: Link

Serial Numbers Play Major Roles for Bank Note Collectors

(Bank Note Reporter)If we even bother to think about it, most of us take for granted that notes have serial numbers. Of course, those individuals collecting and studying the vast field of world notes know there are many instances where notes totally lack a serial number, but such pieces often have other numeric symbols accounting for them in some way.

A significant number of collectors take part in the fun and challenge of locating special numbers such as radars (those reading the same forward or backward), solid numbers (with all numerals being the same), low numbers, especially those with that ever-desirable numeral 1, mistakes such as mismatched numbers, stuck digit printers, and others. But that is only a small part of the true story of the importance of these seemingly innocuous additions to so many notes from everyplace.

It happens that serial numbers are used in a number of ways that may be surprising to many collectors. To begin with, quite a number of countries indicate replacement notes through some . . .

Full story at: Link

British Royal Mint issues rare dateless error coins

Silver Coin Melt Values

LONDON (AP) — Next time you're in Britain, check your change.

The Royal Mint admits it's made a rare error, producing coins without a date on them for the first time in centuries.

The mint said Monday that at least 100,000 of the year-less 20-pence coins, normally worth 33 U.S. cents at face value, slipped into circulation at the end of last year. If found, one coin would garner hundreds of times more on the collectors' market.

Numismatists say the last time the Royal Mint accidentally left out the year on a coin was in 1672.

The latest error happened when the Royal Mint . . .

Full story at: Link

Former U.S. Mint Director Jay Johnson Becomes Spokesperson for Gold and Precious Metals Company Goldline International, Inc.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Former U.S. Mint Director and Congressman Jay Johnson has become a spokesperson for Goldline International, Inc.

“As a former Director of the United States Mint, I believe strongly in the importance of owning gold as part of a diversified portfolio,” said Johnson. “That’s why I’m proud to endorse Goldline which has been helping people acquire gold and other precious metals for nearly 50 years.”

During his term as the 36th Director of the U.S. Mint, Johnson managed the multi-billion dollar manufacturing business for the U.S. government. Under his supervision, the U.S. Mint produced a record 26 billion coins in the fiscal year 2000-2001 along with a record “profit” of $2.6 billion dollars. Johnson is also a former U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin and a long-time award-winning . . .

Full story at: Link

Perth Mint Marks Barbie's 50th


(World Coin News) Barbie celebrated her big "5-0" on March 9, which Tuvalu marked with issue of a .999 fine silver dollar struck by the Perth Mint.

Barbie may have made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959, but it was not until May that year that her international career was launched.

Up to this point dolls with adult bodies were few and far between in America. Most were modeled on babies. Ruth Handler, wife of the co-founder of the Mattel toy company, believed a niche existed in the market for an adult-bodied doll after she had watched her daughter, Barbara, dress paper dolls.

During a trip to Europe in 1956, Ruth came across such an adult doll called . . .

Full story at: Link

Coins Magazine's 10 Budget Picks

When faced with the assignment to pick 10 (or more) great coins that retail for $100 or less, I have at least two big problems: First, how do I limit my list to just 10 coins? Second, and this is often the bigger problem, how do I keep myself from trying to buy all the coins I've talked about?

Before presenting my list of coins and the reasons I chose them, let me establish some ground rules. First, the coin values will be based on the May 2009 issue of Numismatic News "Coin Market." Second, the grade of the coin will be the one with a value closest to but below the $100 limit. Generally speaking, if I like a particular coin in one grade, I like it in all collectible grades. Thus, if a coin is worth $100 in Extremely Fine, I would also urge you to buy two of it in Very Fine if it's worth $50 in that grade, and so on.

If you've read any of my articles and columns over the years, then you're probably aware of my preference for . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, June 26, 2009

A rare taste of goldfields life in 1855 miner's diary

(As a collector of gold coins, I found the excerpts of this 1855 gold miner's diary pretty facinating. It's set in Australia at a time when the California Gold Rush was reaching its peak.- A.C. Dwyer)

Excerpt from diary - "Knocked off shortly before sunset and went along to Moses, Gold Broker, to sell some gold. The cursed Jew tried to cheat me and, when I detected him, he got into a funk and was trying to make me believe I had insulted his feelings. This would not do, as I made him give me back my gold. I sent him to h-ll and left the wretch's shop." (More excerpts at: Link)

(The Courier: AU) A rare 1855 diary written by a miner on the Ballarat goldfields will go on display at the Gold Museum later this month.

The State Library of Victoria purchased the diary this month from a Melbourne antiquarian bookseller for a price believed to be around $50,000.

The diary had been on loan to the library until it could raise sufficient funds to buy it.

SLV Foundation executive Michael van Leeuwen said donations from the public, as well as from Lihir Gold, Newcrest Mining and Rio Tinto had made the purchase possible.

"It is a fascinating diary," he said.

"It gives a clear picture of the sheer backbreaking slog that was involved in mining at the time _ people dying, falling down shafts, breaking bones. It was very dangerous work."

The 223-page diary was written over a six-month period from July to December, 1855.

In it, the digger recounts the murder of a local butcher, the arrival of new prostitutes to town, a fire in Ballarat that killed 11 people and the escape of a Bengal tiger that forced Main Road to close.

Sovereign Hill deputy CEO Tim Sullivan said it was the author's description of "ordinary life" that made the diary so fascinating.

"What's really nice is the level of detail about the ordinary aspects of life in what must have been a marvellous adventure," he said.

The author's name . . .

Full story at: Link

Museum Curator Arrested for Selling National Museum's Coins

It's hardly in our comfort zone to hear of a museum curator who helps himself to the museum assets, selling them off for his personal gain. It is a fear of virtually everyone who has ever made a contribution to a museum. This is not only due to the fact that it may create a great tax write off, but because in our minds, once something has been contributed to a museum, it should remain there forever.

Not so in Aden, according to an article appearing in the April 30 issue of the Yemen Observer newspaper.

According to the newspaper article, "Aden police have detained director of the Aden-based National Museum after he sold 895 gold currency coins. The coins that were in the museum safe were of those issued in the Imamate era in the North and during the British colonization in the South, and even used in the beginning years after the separation of the Yemen republics," the police said.

The article continues, "The director, 53, is accused of selling the rare coins to a . . .

Full story at: Link
On May 29, at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp and Collectible Expo, Heritage auctioned the finest known 1856-O double eagle for $1,437,500. No other New Orleans Mint coin has ever been publicly auctioned for more than $1 million. It is the only 1856-O gold $20 that is known for sure to grade above -60 and it seems to be the only one that is a "special striking."

The previous record for an 1856-O was set in October 2008, when an Numismatic Guaranty Corp. graded AU-58 coin was auctioned for $576,150.

This result is the second highest auction price for any Liberty Head double eagle. In 2006, Heritage sold an 1861 Philadelphia Mint, Liberty Head with the Paquet reverse, for $1,610,000.

This same 1856-O, then NGC certified Specimen-63, was previously auctioned in June 2005, for $542,800. The "Specimen" designation refers to coins that are neither proofs nor business strikes, but are specially made and have certain characteristics that are different from those of corresponding business strikes. Usually, Specimen strikes are intended to be better looking than business strikes.

Not long before this May 2009 auction, this coin was . . .

Full story at: Link

Money Talks At Washington Museum

A new exhibition at the National Museum of American History invites visitors to explore the development and meaning behind American coinage and currency. “Stories on Money” demonstrates the interplay among people, money and history, from the earliest times to the present day. The display of coins and other related objects will open June 12 in a new first-floor gallery.

“Stories on Money” explores the museum’s vast numismatic collections from seven vantage points. The main section shows what money looked like in Colonial America and at pivotal times, including the Gold Rush, Great Depression and in the current era. Visitors will compare the coin designs of the 19th century with those produced during the renaissance of American coinage in the early 20th century. The section called “The Power of Liberty,” presents an array of coins from the United States and the world depicting Liberty, the feminine personification of freedom; coins with real and mythological women are also featured.

“American currency is a reflection and a record of our history,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “This display illuminates history in fresh and unexpected ways and will allow visitors to think of how money tells stories about different historical periods.”

“Stories on Money” was made possible through . . .

Full story at: Link

Heritage Launches New Monthly World Coin Internet Auctions

DALLAS, TX — Heritage Auction Galleries, the world’s leading numismatic auctioneer, has created a new online auction venue for World Coin buyers with its new Monthly Internet-only World Coin Auctions. The first installment of this new venture is currently online at www.HA.com/WorldCoins, closing on July 12. The next auction will start the same day, July 12, immediately following the closing of the previous auction.

"The format of the auctions is quite simple," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Director of International Sales at Heritage. "They will stay up for four weeks, will have an average of 500-600 certified lots, all unreserved and all starting at . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

World's Most Valuable Coin

(Susan Headley, Coins.about.com) I'm the sort of person who would rather have 7,500 coins worth $1,000 each, rather than just one coin worth $7.5 million, but not everyone agrees. Learn why someone would pay this huge sum of money for one coin. Can you guess what country the coin is from?

Full story at: Link

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1856-O Gold $20 Doubles its Prior Record

On May 29, at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp and Collectible Expo, Heritage auctioned the finest known 1856-O double eagle for $1,437,500. No other New Orleans Mint coin has ever been publicly auctioned for more than $1 million. It is the only 1856-O gold $20 that is known for sure to grade above -60 and it seems to be the only one that is a "special striking."

The previous record for an 1856-O was set in October 2008, when an Numismatic Guaranty Corp. graded AU-58 coin was auctioned for $576,150.

This result is the second highest auction price for any Liberty Head double eagle. In 2006, Heritage sold an 1861 Philadelphia Mint, Liberty Head with the Paquet reverse, for $1,610,000.

This same 1856-O, then NGC certified Specimen-63, was previously auctioned in June 2005, for $542,800. The "Specimen" designation refers to coins that are neither proofs nor business strikes, but are specially made and have certain characteristics that are different from those of corresponding business strikes. Usually, Specimen strikes are intended to be better looking than business strikes.

Not long before this May 2009 auction, this coin was submitted to . . .

Full story at: Link

Recession and the lure of gold coins

CALIFORNIA: Investing are buying up gold coins and bullion and it will remain a hot commodity until the recessionary trends are over whether it is in India or USA. Recently in India, the postal department, India Post had extended its sale of gold coins which began in October due to overwhelming response from investors. Large and small investors are buying up whatever gold coins are available according to Merit Financial, a leading US dealer and advisor for precious metals.

The prices for gold, silver and platinum are reaching all time highs and investment companies feel they will continue to do move in a positive direction. Some experts have stated that gold could possibly reach $1,200/oz or higher by the end of the year, Merit Financial said in a release.
Now is the time to buy and investing in gold is a must for anyone serious about building their portfolio. Coins and bullion should make up around 10-20% of investor portfolio, owning physical metals is crucial to portfolio diversification, according to Merit Financial.

Holding on to your coins and bullion for a minimum of . . .

Full story at: Link

Coins on Notes?

U.S. silver dollars did not circulate much in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Mostly they served as backing for federal paper money, principally Silver Certificates. Notes bear legends to that effect.

Mostly the dollars sat around in canvas bags in the U.S. Treasury and other federal depositories. A few were kept on hand at most banks so uncle Steve could carry a couple around in his pocket to his Friday night poker game and feel like a big shot, or aunt Dorothy could buy a stocking stuffer for a holiday present for nieces and nephews.

Of course, in the hobby of coin collecting, silver dollars have been a perennial favorite for more than a century. But these are the exceptions. Paper substitutes for the bulky coins were the rule.

Notes like the saddle blanket . . .

Full story at: Link

Hispanic Society to sell historic American Numismatic Society (ANS) coin collection?

NEW YORK. The Hispanic Society of America has recalled 38,000 coins from the American Numismatic Society (ANS) which have been on loan for more than half a century—and appears to be preparing to sell them.

The valuable collection consists of coins minted in Spain, its dependencies, and the powers that controlled Spain from the 5th century BC until the 20th century. They were deposited at ANS by the organisation’s president and patron Archer Huntington (1870-1955), who was also founder of the Hispanic Society. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, executive director of ANS, estimates that the collection may be worth $30m-$40m, with the Roman gold and silver and a rare 50 excelentes of Ferdinand V and Isabella—the world’s largest struck-gold coin—alone worth perhaps $15m—$20m. Sotheby’s and the London-based coin firm Morton & Eden began creating an inventory and appraising the Roman, Visigoth and Islamic gold coins last month.

A Hispanic Society spokesman says that the trustees “have decided to explore a deaccession [but] no decision has been made on going forward”. But The Art Newspaper has seen a copy of a letter that the Hispanic Society’s director Mitchell Codding sent to Ms Kagan on 25 January 2008 in which he informs her that “the board of trustees adopted a resolution to deaccession the loan collection” with the assistance of Sotheby’s International.

Ms Kagan believes that Huntington intended that the coins remain with the Numismatic Society, and that selling an irreplaceable body of material integrally connected to the Hispanic Society s mission should not be allowed.

Huntington, heir to a vast railroad fortune, amassed the collection before he was . . .

Full story at: Link

These dollars will be rare beasties

Two pure silver dollars featuring endangered whales and an extinct eagle are about to become legal tender alongside everyday gold-coloured dollars featuring kiwis.

New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank will issue the new silver dollars on July 1. One will feature the southern right whale, which was hunted to the point of extinction until it was put under official protection last century. Since then, the giant mammals have gradually become a more common sight in coastal waters as they travel up from sub-Antarctic waters each year to give birth in warmer areas.

The other new dollar will feature another giant, the extinct . . .

Full story at: Link

Homeowner unearths 300-year-old treasure

Bratislava - A Slovak homeowner unearthed a potload of 300-year-old copper coins buried under his outhouse in what historians describe as an exceptional find, a museum official said Wednesday.

The finder was digging a foundation for an extension of his house in the southwestern Slovak town of Surany when he came across a ceramic pot filled with some 1 700 copper coins.

They were minted for Francis II Rakoczi, a Hungarian aristocrat, who led an unsuccessful uprising against the Habsburg empire in the early 1700s.

"The coins were used to pay for confiscated supplies and ceased to be worth anything as soon as . . .

Full story at: Link

Mint refuses to rule out theft of gold

OTTAWA — The world-class reputation of the Royal Canadian Mint is under increasing strain, with mint officials refusing to rule out thievery to explain a significant quantity of unaccounted-for gold.

The mint this week revealed that external auditors have been working since early March to determine whether theft or an accounting error is behind an "unreconciled difference" between the mint's 2008 financial records and its physical stockpile of gold and other precious metals at its downtown Ottawa headquarters, about one kilometre from the prime minister's residence on Sussex Drive.

Insiders say the unexplained difference could amount to as much as several million dollars.

The government and mint CEO Ian Bennett have promised to make the auditors' findings public within two weeks. Police have not been asked to investigate.

In the meantime, the commercial Crown corporation is saying little beyond noting there was a . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coin marks Henry VIII anniversary (BBC)

The Royal Mint is issuing a limited edition £5 coin to mark 500 years since Henry VIII ascended to the throne.

A few of the "coins fit for a king" are cast in platinum, with a hefty price tag of £4,400. For ordinary subjects, there are cupro-nickel ones for £9.99.

Featuring the robust figure of Henry himself, they carry the words Rosa Sine Spina, meaning "rose without a thorn", which featured on coins in 1509.

The Royal Mint said it hoped to honour the "love him or hate him" monarch.

Henry VIII came to the English throne in 1509 aged just 17, following the death of his father, Henry VII.

He famously had six wives and a very large appetite.

Royal Navy

The Royal Mint has produced 1,509 gold commemorative coins, which will go on sale for £1,195 each.

Those wanting something even more exclusive can pick up one of the 100 platinum versions.

In addition, there are also . . .

Full story at: Link

View the gold coin: 2009 UK Henry VIII £5 Gold Proof

View the platinum coin: 2009 UK Henry VIII £5 Platinum Piedfort

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Hunt for Undervalued Gold


One of the fun aspects of numismatics is the potential to find a coin that qualifies as a real sleeper. By this term, I mean, a coin that is drastically undervalued and that one hopes will go up in value in the relatively near future. It really does seem to be an idea that is stronger among coin collectors than among aficionados of other hobbies. Few others expect to buy anything to add to their collection and then have it increase in value.

At the same time, coin collecting generally places limits on just how much of a sleeper you may expect to find. For example, it's not at all common to find a coin in change - one made from copper-nickel and produced by the tens of millions - that will go up in value by thousands of dollars. It's more likely you will find something in change that is worth $10 to $100. A great find, no doubt, but not a world-shattering rarity.

For that world shatterer, you probably have to hope to find some older U.S. gold $10s or $20s. It might come as something of a surprise then to know that there are still a few sleepers within the field of U.S. gold coins. . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rare Civil War Treasury Note Found

A Central Virginia coin collector has discovered a rare treasury note used during the Civil War era.

Larry Engle, owner of Central Virginia Coin and Jewelry Exchange on Charlottesville's downtown mall, came across the note after buying a collection in Northern Virginia.

The $50 piece has a reversed "l" on . . .

Full story at: Link

Czech mint launches first-ever Pope-themed platinum coin

Limited issue platinum, gold and silver medals will be minted in the Czech Republic ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to the county, CTK reports.

The coins will depict a portrait of the pontiff, designed by Daniela Kartakova, on one side and a portrait of tenth-century duke St Wenceslas - also patron saint of Bohemia - on the other.

Project initiator Petr Pitra explained that the coins will represent a major coup for collectors, particularly because the platinum version will be the first ever to feature the Pope.

He told the news provider . . .

Full story at: Link

US Mint launches Guam commemorative quarter


HAGATNA, Guam-U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy joined Guam Gov. Felix Camacho and first lady Joann Camacho yesterday to celebrate the release of the Guam commemorative quarter-dollar coin in a ceremony at Skinner Plaza.

The Guam commemorative quarter-released to the Federal Reserve Bank on May 26-is the third coin in the U.S. Mint’s 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program.

The coin’s reverse (tails side), by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Jim Licaretz, depicts the outline of the island, a flying proa (a seagoing craft built by the Chamorro people), a latte stone (an architectural element used as the base of homes) and the inscriptions GUAM and Guahan I Tanó ManChamorro (Guam - Land of the Chamorro). The U.S. Mint will produce approximately . . .

Full story at: Link

Spain cheers U.S. ruling to return wreck treasure

"For the court to find that enough evidence exists to conclusively identify the site as the Mercedes ... is just wrong." - Greg Stemm, CEO Odyssey Marine Exploration

MADRID (Reuters) – The government has welcomed a Florida court decision ordering U.S. treasure hunters to return to Spain over 500,000 silver and gold coins raised from the seabed.

Tampa-based Odyssey Marine Exploration found the 17-tonne haul, which some experts valued at $500 million, two years ago in a location it never disclosed.

Spain said the coins came from the "Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes," a warship carrying treasure back from Peru when it was sunk by British gunboats off the Spanish coast in 1804.

Spain quickly claimed the loot as its own but not before the Odyssey flew the treasure from the British colony of Gibraltar to Florida.

"I am delighted that the judge has ruled that the ship belongs to Spain and the treasure belongs to Spain. It is a very important decision," Spanish Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde told Spanish television, adding that it set an important precedent.

Odyssey said it planned to file a written objection to the ruling which says the firm must return the loot within 10 days.

"We'll be back to . . .

Full story at: Link

Reno Man Buys 20-Cent Coin For Half-Million

In my right hand I held a pair of dimes. Small change. Hard to think what they'd buy today.

In my left a small silver coin stamped "twenty cents". As legal tender it's the equivalent of the dimes. When it was minted it was worth slightly less than $4 dollars in today's money and might have bought a modest meal. Today it's worth a half million dollars, perhaps more.

A half million is what Reno coin collector and dealer Rusty Goe paid for the coin at auction recently, his second try at an elusive and expensive prize.

"I told my wife Ieven if we have to hock the house we're going to get that coin," says Goe. He says he was prepared to go much higher to $750,000 and says some experts think it may be undervalued at that amount. He says one puts it at a cool million.

What makes this small silver coin worth that amount? Two words: . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Magistrate Recommends Dismissal of $500 Million Black Swan Treasure Case

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX - News), pioneers in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration has announced plans to file a written objection to the U.S. Federal Court Magistrate’s recommendation that Spain’s Motion to Dismiss the “Black Swan” case be granted and that the property recovered be returned to Spain. The recommendation which was filed June 3, 2009 concludes that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.

Odyssey brought the “Black Swan” case to federal court in the spring of 2007 after discovering a site in the Atlantic Ocean with over 500,000 gold and silver coins. Spain filed a claim in the case asserting that the cargo came from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, a Spanish vessel which exploded in 1804. Despite the absence of a vessel at the site, the District Court Magistrate has indicated that he believes that there is sufficient evidence to confirm that the site is that of the Mercedes and that the vessel and its cargo are subject to sovereign immunity.

“We will object to the Magistrate’s recommendation,” said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey’s Vice President and General Counsel. “This is clearly a case where there are many . . .

Full story at: Link

313-year-old English coin found in Massachusetts

TRURO, Mass., June 3 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts man said a coin he found on his property has been identified as an English silver sixpence minted about 313 years ago.

Peter Burgess, a retired psychologist, said he discovered the coin in his Truro, Mass., yard last spring and recently learned from researchers that it dates back to the 1689-1702 reign of King William III, the . . .

Full story at: Link

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What Type of Coin Should You Collect?

Coin collecting is a fun hobby to start and the thrill of hunting for old coins is enough for many people to continue doing it. Other people consider coin collecting an investment, something they can receive a profit from. If you are one of those people, then you can find several types of coins in this article that will help you determine what others are looking for.

Most coin collectors will look for only a specific kind of coin that will make their collection more valuable and interesting to buyers. Others are collecting for sentimentality and are looking more at the coin’s uniqueness.

Series collectors are those looking for a series of coins that mark every year and every design change made in that coin.

Type collectors are those people who are looking to get one of each coin where there were/are changes made.

Ancient coin collectors are those people looking for coins spanning the years 650 BC – 450 AD. This is the time when coins were . . .

Full story at: Link

Rare Coin Investment Fraud Happens

(Numismatic News) "Boiler Room meets Antiques Road Show." That's the way Elliot Spitzer, former New York attorney general, described a $25 million dollar rare coin sales scam that defrauded over 1,000 customers a few years ago.

In Florida, a coin dealer from Miami was indicted for allegedly pulling a similar scam. A sad fact is that even when these fraudsters are convicted, coin investors will likely still lose their money. That's why it's important for you to understand a little about the rare coin market and where to get independent information before you buy or invest.

Coin fraud usually involves lies about the scarcity and value of the coins you are considering. When fraud occurs, the purchase price is often drastically inflated. It is common for the coins to have a real value at a lowly 10 to 20 percent of the purchase price. What you pay for the coins is way above fair market value and most likely they will never obtain a higher price, even if you . . .

Full story at: Link

Trawlers maybe damaging shipwrecks

LONDON (Reuters) - Many historic shipwrecks in the English Channel are in danger of being destroyed by deep-sea fishing, according to evidence published by a U.S. salvage firm that has a commercial interest in one of the wrecks surveyed.

The study, by Wreck Watch International, on behalf of U.S. treasure hunters Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc, says many important wrecks risk being lost forever if they are not given more protection.

Last year, publicly-quoted Odyssey located the site of the previously lost HMS Victory, that may be laden with a cargo of gold coins now worth over one billion dollars.

The Florida-based firm is in negotiation with the British government over salvage rights and has kept the location of the wreck secret.

The Victory, a predecessor of the ship commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, was the . . .

Full story at: Link

Why the solar industry may send the value of your silver coins soaring

VIRGINIA: At present solar industry may not be the largest consumer of silver, but trends are changing. The high prices of fossil fuels, their environmental impact due to carbon emissions is already leading to world-wide growth in investments in solar and alternative technologies for energy.

Photo-voltaics is the fastest growing application for silver in the past five years due to the above mentioned factors. A NanoMarket’s research suggests that the volume of silver used for photovoltaics will reach over 24 million troy ounces in 2016. The report titled “Silver Markets for Photovoltaics” pointed out that the market dynamics of the silver and PV market are changing. As thin-film and organic PV begin to take a larger share of the overall PV market the use of silver will shift from that of a simple coating used to fabricate the top electrodes in crystalline silicon PV to that of a key determinant in boosting efficiencies and . . .

Full story at: Link

Odyssey Marine's Greg Stemm: is taking treasure from shipwrecks piracy?

He has made millions liberating treasure from shipwrecks, and is accused of bounty hunting. But Greg Stemm says he is preserving history

These days the word conjures up images of audacious hijackings of container ships off the horn of Africa, but when, in October 2007, César Antonio Molina told reporters: “There have always been navies . . . to combat pirates”, Spain’s culture minister was referring not to Somali gangs but to the American entrepreneur Greg Stemm.

Stemm is probably the only “pirate” to run a publicly quoted company, filing financial statements with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reveal that he earns $350,000 a year on top of his $6.14 million shareholding, and that his investors include the founder of Dollar Car Rental, a former Finance Minister of Bermuda and Barclays Global Investors.

A fusion of Jacques Cousteau, Ernest Hemingway and Donald Trump, the 52-year-old is Chairman of Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME), which specialises in finding treasure-laden wrecks. Stemm has the precise handshake and manners of a Southern gentleman, but when we meet in London he is itching to get back to his diesel-smelling dive ship Odyssey Explorer in Cornwall, and what he calls “mucking about on the ocean”. And while he denies being a bounty hunter, he admits having no problem “marrying archaeology with a business model”.

In 2003, OME discovered the American Civil War-era SS Republic, 1,700 ft below sea level, 100 miles southeast of Savannah, Georgia. The 14,000 objects that were subsequently recovered from the paddlewheel steamship, along with 51,000 gold and silver coins, have so far netted more than . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Myth Concerning Gold Confiscation

"Roosevelt signed off executive order 6102 not to prohibit ownership per se but to prohibit hoarding which is a completely different matter. . . . Possessing five gold double eagles is not hoarding, gold ownership was not prohibited, gold hoarding was."

By: Roland Watson

Recently I have seen a few articles speculating whether President Obama would decree the confiscation of private gold holdings from US citizens. This is seen as a counter against the perceived inflation surge that many believe will wash over America and the world in years to come as a result of the huge debt load that the credit crunch has instigated. In fact, I have even seen speculations about mining companies being nationalized – even silver mining companies!

Gold confiscation is a subject that divides gold investors. Some say it won’t happen again and others say it will happen again. The one thing they tend to agree on is that they don’t want it to happen again. I wrote on this subject three years and I just want to reiterate one myth about the previous Roosevelt confiscation that needs to be buried lest anyone think a government seizure would leave you bereft of gold.

Roosevelt issued executive order 6102 in April 1933 ordering in all gold coin, bullion and certificates. One contention is that most people did . . .

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National Archives obtains Lincoln letter to treasury secretary about fired US Mint official

WASHINGTON - The National Archives on Thursday added to its collection a short letter written by President Abraham Lincoln to help an ousted U.S. Mint director who was the son-in-law of a Republican senator.

In the new letter, Lincoln asked his treasury secretary, Salmon Chase, to allow the fired head of the U.S. Mint in San Francisco, Robert Stevens, to review the charges that led to his removal. Lincoln had appointed Stevens as a favor to Oregon Sen. Edward Baker, the ousted director's father-in-law.

"This letter, while seemingly routine, is an extremely important key to understanding President Lincoln's relationship with . . .

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Israel's version of the 1913 million dollar nickels? The lost treasure of 20 agorot.

Where oh where have they gone? Three coins of 20 agorot apiece and five coins of two shekels apiece, of styles that never made it into circulation, have gone missing. Put otherwise, Avia Spivak, formerly a deputy governor of the central bank, had been given sample coins for inspection ahead of minting, but subsequently couldn't find them, Army Radio reports.

The story began in 2003, when the Bank of Israel decided to mint two-shekel coins. It ordered several dozen sample styles in order to choose one. (All differ from the coin finally issued at the end of December 2007.) The central bank also ordered a small number of 20-agorot coins for examination: No coin of that denomination ever did make it into circulation.

These coins are considered collectors' items and are worth thousands of shekels per coin.

The coins were disseminated among top . . .

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US Mint to launch Guam quarter on June 4


The public is being invited to join U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy at the launch of the commemorative quarter-dollar coin honoring Guam at Skinner Plaza in Hagåtña, Guam, on Thursday, June 4, at 9am.

Guam Gov. Felix Camacho, first lady Joann Camacho, and invited guests will join in the ceremony that includes local entertainment and a coin exchange.

The Guam commemorative quarter-dollar-released into circulation on May 26-is the third in the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program. The reverse (tails side) design depicts the outline of the island, a flying proa (a seagoing craft built by the Chamorro people) and a latte stone (an architectural element used as the base of homes). Inscriptions on the reverse include the words GUAM and Guahan I Tanó ManChamorro, which means “Guam- Land of the Chamorro.”

After the ceremony, the public may exchange their currency for . . .

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Counterfeits on Ebay: Check both sides of the coin

Among all the collectible items you might want to diversify your investment portfolio with, rare coins offer the most potential for profit, as there are more wealthy coin collectors than there are say, collectors of stamps, baseball cards, comic books or just about anything else.

Sadly, counterfeiters have figured this out too. A simple search on eBay and a few online auction sites show that it's common for rare coins to attract bids of $1,000 or more - and that means huge profits for those who can pass off counterfeits bought for a few dollars as the real thing.

Neal Shymko, a coin collector in Edmonton, logged on to eBay in February and spotted a package of 15 Canadian 50¢ pieces being offered by a Quebec-based seller. Twelve of the 15 coins were of so little value their combined worth would be about $50, Mr. Shymko says, but three coins, from 1888, 1890 and 1894, were noteworthy, and he won the package with a $4,000 bid, then paid with a money order.

The coins arrived soon enough. After a quick glance showed they were indeed old 50¢ coins, Mr. Shymko logged on to eBay and gave the seller positive feedback - a favourable review of the transaction, a move he later regretted, since eBay does not allow changes.

Mr. Shymko says he grew suspicious about the three high-end coins when he . . .

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rare coins stolen from museum

Rare Spanish coins were stolen from the nautical museum inside Southold's historic Horton Point Lighthouse on Saturday during the East End Lighthouses' Long Island Challenge, police said.

Valued at about $1,800, the 20 silver coins and two copper bits were taken from an unlocked display case inside the 152-year-old lighthouse. The coins, which date back to between 1751 and 1782, were found in an unidentified shipwreck in 1994 off the coast, near the lighthouse.

Officials said 239 people came to Horton Point during the Saturday event, in which visitors are challenged to . . .

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Change We Don’t Need

United States Mint Releases Guam Commemorative Quarter May 26

LAST year Congress passed legislation that will have a long-term impact on our pocket change. The law authorized a new series of quarters, to be released over 11 years, with at least 56 different designs featuring national parks or sites.

This new series is just one of several rotating coin design programs that have come in the wake of the success of the 50 State Quarters Program, in which the Mint issued a new quarter design five times a year for 10 years, starting in 1999. In 2004 the Mint started the Westward Journey nickel series. In 2007 we got a series of dollar coins with former presidents. One of the coins recently issued features William Henry Harrison, who was president for only a month.

By now we are experiencing new coin fatigue: authorization of the national parks quarter series attracted very little mainstream attention, while many coin collectors disapproved of it as too much of a good thing.

These critics have a point. This year we have even more coin . . .

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United States Mint Launches John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin at 10th President’s Virginia Home


CHARLES CITY, Va. - The United States Mint celebrates a new $1 coin today to honor John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States. Former President Tyler's grandson, Harrison Tyler, joined United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart to celebrate the coin's release. The event took place at Sherwood Forest Plantation, the home of President Tyler. The official launch of the coin into general circulation is May 21.

"The John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin is the 10th coin issued by the United States Mint to honor those who have served in our Nation's highest office," Brunhart said. "Americans will be reminded of President Tyler's contributions each time they use the coin, and we hope that will be often. The Presidential $1 Coins are convenient to use for everyday commerce and 100 percent recyclable. They also are great teaching tools."

Brunhart and Tyler gave each child under 18 years old a new John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin to commemorate the event. There was no coin exchange at the event. However, collectors may purchase rolls of John Tyler Presidential $1 Coins beginning at . . .

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

U.S. Mint To Press Fewer Coins As Economy Slows

The Federal Reserve was busy last year pumping $700 billion into the U.S. economy — expanding the country's money supply by nearly 10 percent. But that doesn't mean there are a lot more dollar bills circulating. In fact production statistics at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have remained stable. And coin production has dropped precipitously.

The U.S. Mint will make 3 billion coins in 2009 — a 70 percent decline from the 10 billion produced in 2008. It will be the smallest run in 50 years, and the retail economy is to blame.

"The Mint's mission is primarily to make coins to fulfill the demands of commerce," says Ed Moy, director of the Mint. "The demands of commerce haven't been doing too well the past six months."

Moy says there's something else going on, too — it appears . . .

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Treasures, safes full of gold, lure divers to waters of Puget Sound

There was a captain's safe, a purser's safe and a casino safe said to be filled with gold coins.

SEATTLE -- Bits of gold and diamond are part of the sunken treasure floating around in the Puget Sound where ghosts of more than 150 shipwrecks loom.

For the first time, area divers pooled their resources to showcase the shipwrecks of the Sound, and I joined them.

Only truly brave explorers plunge deep into the darkness to unlock the mysteries entombed in these wrecks, lured by the chance to explore what few have seen at the cold, murky bottom of Puget Sound.

"Wrecks are very alluring. They almost call to you and say, 'Come inside and explore me,'" said diver Cindy Ross.

For some, it's the history that's down there. For others, it's what they may discover.

"So there's that lure of, you know, finding treasure on a deep, dark shipwreck," said Dan Warter.

There are wrecks like the SS Governor, a 417-foot luxury liner.

"There are, I believe three safes still on board," said . . .

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

United States Mint Launches John Tyler Presidential Dollar Coin


Charles City County, Virginia, will be the First Place in the Nation to Get New $1 Coin

The United States Mint will launch the John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin at his Charles City County, Virginia, home-Sherwood Forest Plantation-on Tuesday, May 19, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET). The media and the public are invited to the free event hosted by United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart and Harrison Tyler, grandson of John Tyler and Mrs. Tyler.

The launch ceremony for the John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin will take place two days before the coin's release by the Federal Reserve on May 21. Collectors who cannot attend the event can purchase rolls of the John Tyler Presidential $1 Coin at . . .

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United States Mint Launches 2009 Indiana Lincoln Cent


The United States Mint will present the second redesigned one-cent coin (penny), bearing an image representing Abraham Lincoln's formative years, at a ceremony in Indiana on May 14. The public and the media are invited to the free event, which will take place in Lincoln State Park at the Lincoln Amphitheatre in Lincoln City at 10 a.m. CDT (11 a.m. EDT).

Following the ceremony, there will be a coin exchange where the public can exchange their currency for a minimum of two rolls and up to six rolls of coins bearing the new design, while supplies last. (The limits are subject to change.) Those who cannot attend the event can purchase a Two-Roll Set of coins bearing the Formative Years design directly from . . .

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Nevada's Storied Carson City Mint

The Carson City Mint is one of our more storied institutions. The coins struck there have long been a favorite of collectors and at the present time, for example, Morgan dollars with the CC mintmark are in strong demand for several key dates.

In many ways the rise of this mint parallels the Western mining boom in silver. Prior to 1859 little silver was mined in the United States but this was to change when Peter O'Reilly and Patrick McLaughlin discovered a large outcropping of silver near Johntown, Nev.

Prospector Henry Comstock later stumbled on the rich find and claimed he had found it days before. The discoverers, fearing a lawsuit, reluctantly gave Comstock an equal share; for some perverse reason the find later became known as the Comstock Lode. Comstock and McLaughlin sold out for relatively small sums and were soon broke. O'Reilly did a little better at $50,000 but unfortunately had a good ear for spirit voices, which told him to sink a worthless shaft in a barren mountain.

The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 created an insatiable demand for gold and silver to fund the Union war effort. Great sums of money were needed to pay for war materiels imported from Europe. Every bit of ore that could be taken from the ground was important.

There was an unexpected result to all of this activity. Local citizens decided that, if California could have a mint, why not Nevada? . . .

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