Thursday, April 30, 2009

Metal detector finds two gold 1918 Pawnee Track Meet medals

"some of the best places to metal detect are where old clothelines once stood"

Steve Turnbull knows that the ground commonly walked on in Pawnee City has some valuable secrets.

One might find coins and buttons lost long ago, medallions that have been forgotten, and track medals won and mistakenly discarded.

So when Turnbull found two gold Pawnee City Track Meet medals dating back to 1918 while metal detecting at the Pawnee County fairgrounds, he knew that the Pawnee City school community would be interested.

“They were talking about this being the 150th year at a . . .

Full story at: Link

Monday, April 27, 2009

Treasure hunter who tried to Google gold loses court bid

So much for the romantic notion that a Los Angeles treasure hunter using Google Earth could get rights to dig up abandoned gold and silver from a 19th century ship buried in South Texas muck.

Today a federal judge ruled that Nathan Smith didn’t present any credible evidence that the vessel is where he thinks it is or that he’s done anything to help recover it.

“Smith has received no artifacts, and presents no evidence, other than his own testimony regarding metal detector readings, that anything of value or historical significance actually exists where he claims it exists,” wrote U.S. District Judge David Hittner in a 44-page opinion.

Smith did show the judge a fuzzy picture of a . . .

Full story at: Link

Birds Among Most Popular Coin Subjects

It has been my experience since starting the Coin Critters column that collectors of coins depicting birds may outnumber collectors of other specific groups of animals including mammals or butterflies.

My main downfall, according to my wife, is that I prefer collecting any coin with any animal on it. It does not make any difference if it has a backbone or not. Exceptions are coins of the Chinese Lunar Calendar series, which always have a non-specific animal on them such as a snake or rat. These have never appealed to me, although many collect them.

I have told you about the ruby-throated hummingbird and red-breasted nuthatch on coins from Canada in the February issue of World Coin News. In this article I want to tell you about two more birds on Canadian coins and one on a Belarus coin. Each is a common species. One is the northern . . .

Full story at: Link

U.S. State Department bans the import of certain "ancient" Chinese coins

U.S. State Department Continues Stonewalling

Collectors are likely unaware of it, but a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU was signed by someone in the U.S. State Department just prior to the inauguration of President Barack Obama through which import restrictions on cultural patrimony originating from China are now in place.

According to Ancient Coin Collectors Guild representative Wayne Sayles, in his "Through the Looking Glass" column in the March issue of The Celator, no representative of China to whom his organization had contacted was aware of the MOU, but nevertheless this MOU bans the import of certain "ancient" Chinese coins.

The ACCG is one of many entities having trouble understanding the MOU. Raleigh, N.C., coin dealer Bob Reis wrote in his March fixed price list titled "Anything Anywhere," "[The] U.S. State Department just put out a 'memorandum of understanding' that seems to require new paperwork for import from China of coins, etc. before 960 A.D. China had been asking for before 1911. A colleague in Hong Kong thinks that this doesn't apply to HK dealers. It certainly does not apply to import from countries other than China. Since a similar agreement with Cyprus I have not noticed that Ptolemaic tetradrachms from Paphos have disappeared from the market, though . . .

Full story at: Link

Sacagawea Native American Dollar Error Coin Discovered

A 2009 Native American dollar has been found with no edge lettering. This is the type of error that first showed up on Presidential dollars in early 2007 and then became progressively scarcer as the Mint improved quality control.

Jaime Hernandez says on the Professional Coin Grading Service Web site that the coin was first received by PCGS on March 6. So far, it is the only known example.

Fred Weinberg, PCGS authorized dealer and error coin expert, submitted the coin to PCGS.

"So far, just this one Native American coin with missing edge lettering has been found, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few more showed up," Weinberg said. "The 2009 Native American coins have not been available through banks or normal commerce, so obtaining these coins has been challenging."

Weinberg eventually purchased the coin from the owner and sold it for just under $10,000.

According to Hernandez, at this point the 2009 Native American Sacagawea dollars only are available from the U.S. Mint in $25 rolls or $250 boxes. The error was found by someone who ordered a $250 box.

He also noted that searchers should look for examples with weak edge lettering, saying that authorized PCGS dealer, Mitch Spivack, submitted one that graded PCGS MS-67.

Hernandez defines weak edge lettering as coins that have weakness in one letter or more on the edge lettering inscriptions. Spivack's coin exhibited large sections of several letters completely missing and received a . . .

Full story at: Link

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Collecting Coins in Difficult Economic Times

(Doug Winter: If you are like most people, the last few months have been tough on your pocketbook let alone your psyche. We are, at least for the immediate future, in tough economic times. For some people, there are difficult decisions that have to be made: which bills get taken care of, can the mortgage be paid, do we eat dinner or fill the tank with gas. Fortunately most coin collectors are faced with decisions that are much less dramatic.

When people are feeling wealthy, spending discretionary income on something like coins is a no-brainer. You see something you like and you buy it. In a Recession, such purchases become far less impulsive. . . . As someone who has survived a number of lean Numismatic Cycles, I’d like to share some observations on how you can still add coins to your collection, even in tough times. . .

Full story at: Link

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sena forces Shivaji rare coin out of auction

MUMBAI: Auctioneers withdrew a rare gold coin minted to celebrate the coronation ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji from an auction on Saturday after
objections were raised in the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna. The gold coin was expected to break all records in Indian numismatics by going for over Rs 4 lakh.

A few hundred gold coins (called hoans) were struck in Raigad to be showered on Shivaji at the time he ascended the throne and assumed the title of Chhatrapati. Only ten-odd pieces the size of ten paise coins are believed to exist today.

Decrying the "sale of a rare Shivaji artifact", the . . .

Full story at: Link

ANA Money Museum Profiles History Of U.S. Currency

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) ― You'll find treasures like a $50 coin, printing errors, and rare-print bills at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs.

"This is the only museum that's dedicated to the study of numismatics," said Curator of the Money Museum Douglas Mudd.

Numismatics is the study of money.

At the Money Museum, history is told through money.

It was during the Civil War Americans first saw . . .

Full story at: Link

United States Mint Releases Rolls of Second Redesigned 2009 Lincoln One-Cent Coins on May 14

WASHINGTON - At noon Eastern Time (ET) on May 14, 2009, the United States Mint will offer two-roll sets of one-cent coins bearing the second new reverse design struck in honor of the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. The historic Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Two-Roll Set is available for a limited time only and is priced at $8.95 per two-roll set.

The Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Two-Roll Set contains one roll each of 50 coins, one roll produced at the United States Mint at Philadelphia and one roll produced at the United States Mint at Denver. Each roll of coins in the two-roll set is packaged in specially designed . . .

Full story at: Link

The San Francisco Mint shown in a light you've never seen before

Obscura Digital uses buildings as backdrops for their multimedia light shows. This YouTube video shows Obscura's light show that uses the San Francisco Mint as the backdrop.

Treasure hunter with metal detector finds ancient islamic coins

Ancient Islamic coins and silver jewellery were discovered in one of the biggest finds of its kind on Funen by a local man with a metal detector

An amateur archaeologist hit the jackpot when he discovered a hidden cache of buried silver in a rural field on Funen earlier this year.

Odense City Museums has since taken advantage of the recent stretch of fine weather over the past few days to further unearth the unique and valuable Viking-age find.

So far, archaeologists have found 41 silver coins, a silver . . .

Full story at: Link

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top 10 Error Coins Found in Pocket Change

(Susan Headley, This is one of the most popular articles on my site. I recently went through the listing and significantly revised and updated it to include Presidential Dollar edge lettering errors and finding silver half dollars in bank rolls. In this economy, lots of people are cashing in their saved-up change, so there's lots to be found in circulation right now . . .

Full story at: Link

Treasure trove of coins dating back as far as the 18th century found in man's garden

A KEEN gardener uncovered a buried treasure trove while digging in their garden.

Jan Long found the haul of about 150 coins dating as far back as the 18th century while planting a pink Susan Magnolia plant at her home in Bromsberrow Heath.

Mrs Long was using a fork to loosen soil and stones in the garden at Heath House when she struck something hard that she first believed to be a brick.

Closer inspection revealed it to be a clay pot, wrapped in a piece of black material, and containing an eclectic mix of old coins.

The haul includes a number of Victorian pennies, the oldest dated 1886, farthings, silver and bronze threepenny pieces, florins and shillings.

There was also an Austrian crown dated 1780, a King George crown dated 1935 and even an 1837 Canadian bank token.

Mrs Long has informed the . . .

Full story at: Link

Mission To Recover Argentina Sunken Treasure Suspended

BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- Salvage operations to recover over nine tons of gold and silver that went down in a shipwreck off the Argentine coast earlier this year have been suspended amid a confusing dispute between insurance underwriter Ascot Lloyd and the crew of the recovery ship.

A flotilla of salvage boats led by the Skandi Patagonia was ready to set sail for the wreck site on April 14 to begin the job of bringing up the bullion, but a dispute with union members over compensation held up the launch, according to local press reports.

Faced with high costs each day to maintain the idle fleet of rescue ships, Ascot Lloyd filed criminal charges against the crew of the Skandi Patagonia, leading them to be briefly . . .

Full story at: Link

Counterfeits: All that glitters is not gold — but it may look like it

Spying, piracy, and that very old career choice that keeps law enforcement busy are among the world’s oldest professions, but there is one that has been with us just as long: Counterfeiting.

Last week a local art and coin dealer told us about a scam I didn’t know about: the faking of collectible coins.

It seems illicit artisans can create fake silver dollars and gold coins or alter real coins to make them appear more valuable.

Fortunately, there are ways collectors can guard against buying a counterfeit.

First, get a . . .

Full story at: Link

Could a $40 million treasure be buried right in the heart of Los Angeles?

The Curse of the Cahuenga Pass

LOS ANGELES -- Could a buried treasure lie right in the heart of Los Angeles? Two modern-day treasure seekers think so, and are using modern technology to find it. Nathaniel Smith and Kate Brown are combing through the hills of the Cahuenga Pass, looking for a war chest chock full of jewelry, gold and silver coins, possibly worth forty million dollars!

How it got there, and what happened to those who have searched for it before, have earned it the name “The Curse of the Cahuenga Pass.”

The mystery began in 1864, when Mexican leader Benito Juarez is thought to have sent the riches north to San Francisco. There, four agents were supposed to buy guns to fight the French. Somewhere along the way, the treasure went missing. Worth two-hundred thousand then, it could be worth forty million today.

Legend has it that the treasure caused heart attacks, fatal illnesses, and suicides to any hunters who came too close. One man from Spain said to have found part of the treasure died when he tried to return to his home in Spain. He reportedly drowned, with the coins sewn into his pockets.

Coin expert and historian Adam Crum of Monaco Financial explains the money would have been in coin form, since . . .

Full story at: Link

Hard Times Tokens Merge Politics With Business Need

One of the more interesting aspects of American numismatics is the study of those tokens which served in place of coins. The best known of these were made in the late 1830s and today are called Hard Times Tokens because of the economic problems that affected the United States during that era.

Prior to 1837 tokens were little used in the American marketplace but a series of events that began in 1834 was to change everything. In that year, after many years of debate, Congress finally reformed the gold coinage by lowering the weights. During the 1820s most coined gold had left the United States, leaving only silver and bank notes to conduct commercial affairs.

The act of June 1834 was meant to bring United States gold coins into line with the international ratio between gold and silver. The law of 1792 had set the ratio at . . .

Full story at: Link

The Power of Gold

With the world economic crisis in full tilt, the US dollar is on the ropes and the clock is ticking. Chinese ministers have accused the USA of ‘squandering the world’s wealth’ and have expressed immense distaste towards the US government’s daily fiscal decisions. The IMF-issued SDR has been proposed as a replacement as the world’s reserve currency. The SDR will be a basket of currencies from around the world and should provide some measure of protection against any single country debasing their money as the US has been doing ever since the Federal Reserve System was established.

One curious, last minute demand was made by Russia, who wanted gold to be added to the basket as well. While this should come as no surprise to anyone who’s studied the history of money (gold has served as money for over 5,000 years), it deserves some explaining since gold appears to be one of the most misunderstood . . .

Full story at: Link

Value of 2009 Lincoln cent pennies takes off

A penny doesn't buy much anymore, and the debate continues over whether the mint should continue making them. But the new Lincoln bicentennial penny has become one of the hottest items in the collecting world.

These pennies are supposed to be circulating coins, but try to find one. Readers are telling me they can't get them at banks, and forget about getting one in your change.

They sold out quickly on the mint's website, at the premium price of $8.95 (plus $4.95 shipping and handling) for a dollar's worth of circulating quality coins, and the secondary market - both through dealers and websites such as eBay - has been brisk. Individual coins have been selling for several dollars. The mint's sales were limited for five sets per household.

Historians are recalling a similar frenzy when the first Lincoln pennies were issued in 1909, to mark . . .

Full story at: Link

The 10 Most Valuable Rare U.S. Coins

(If you read this article, make sure you click on the image 1804 $10 gold eagle to view a slide show of what they say are the 10 most valuable coins. - A.C. Dwyer)

Who says American currency is worthless? These pieces are worth millions.

As the federal government prints billions of dollars to prop up a sagging economy, some worry that a dollar just isn't worth anything these days. They've probably never seen an 1804 Silver Dollar.

A specimen in good condition is worth $10 million, making it America's most valuable coin. With only 19 copies known to exist, it's also the . . .

Full story at: Link

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Evidence supports mysterious old tale of buried treasure chest full of rare gold coins

(21 April 2009)Centuries ago, a motley crew set out to find a buried treasure chest in Mixenden. A mysterious old tale has a magical retelling. Virginia Mason reports

THE name of Mixenden does not instantly conjure up images of magical treasure chests, buried deep beneath the soil and guarded by demons.

But, according to legend, there was gold in its hills – or moors – centuries ago, sparking an ill-fated attempt by a bunch of unlikely individuals in the 1500s to unearth it.

John Billingsley agrees this might sound an unlikely story but nevertheless it is one we should not dismiss lightly.

There is documentary evidence to prove its validity – evidence he has used for a fascinating new book which unravels the threads of the story and retells it so that it is more remarkable than ever.

"The ill-fated adventure of the Mixenden treasure was the stuff of legend across . . .

Full story at: Link

Maine shipwreck hunter eyes treasure of platinum, diamonds and gold

A Portland-based company hopes to find billions of dollars worth of platinum ingots beneath 600 feet of ocean.

A Portland-based shipwreck hunter says he is about to recover the world's richest sunken treasure – a secret World War II cargo of platinum and diamonds that's worth $3 billion to $5 billion.

Greg Brooks and his partners have filed a claim to the wreck in U.S. District Court in Portland. He said he and a crew of eight plan to begin the salvage in a few weeks.

The ship is identified in the court filings as the Port Nicholson, a British merchant steamer that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod in 1942. It was believed to be carrying automobile parts and military supplies when it sank. The only items seen or recovered so far have been some auto parts, which were presented in court to secure salvage rights.

Brooks, however, said his research team has uncovered federal documents, logbooks and witness accounts that indicate the ship was loaded with precious cargo headed for New York and other ports.

"It was a top-secret mission and they were transporting these valuable cargos during World War II," Brooks said. "We've got a lot of information that led us to say, 'Let's go get this.'"

A total of 71 tons of platinum ingots were loaded into the ship's cargo hold, Brooks says, as a payment from the Soviet Union to the United States for military supplies.

The ship also was carrying more than a ton of industrial diamonds destined for a military manufacturing plant in Australia, he said.

And, according to Brooks, it might have been carrying gold from Africa to New York, based on the ports it visited before it . . .

Full story at: Link

Coin collectors advised: Beware counterfeits

PRINCETON — Today’s merchants have to watch out for counterfeit money created with computerized scanners and printers, but they are not the only ones who have to be wary of fake currency. Coin collectors also have to watch out for bogus money being offered as the real thing.

With yard sale and flea market season approaching, collectors hoping to find a prized silver dollar or penny will be watching for rarities. Some vigilance and precautions can reduce their chances of buying a fake, one Mercer County dealer said.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of bogus coins people come in with and try to sell me,” said Randolph Evans, owner of The Bronze Look in Princeton and a member of the American Numismatic Association. “There seems to be an abundance of fake coins floating out there taking advantage of unsuspecting collectors.”

Evans recalled one instance when a client brought in 22 silver dollars for examination only to learn that 21 of them were fake. That client was able to recoup the money spent on them.

Fortunately, there are methods collectors can use to detect fake coins.

“There are two tools that a collector should carry to detect counterfeit or fake coins . . .

Full story at: Link

Recession makes gold, silver hot commodities as coin collecting . . .

Terry Parzyck can't sell many of the hundreds of rare coins, dating back to the 1800s, that he keeps in his display cases.

But the Menomonie-based coin dealer was trading furiously in junk gold and silver Sunday at the Wisconsin Valley Coin Club Show in Rib Mountain.

The faltering economy has prompted people who are struggling to pay their bills to sell off everything from their grandpa's buffalo nickels to their old class rings, coin dealers say. On the flip side, the hard times have led to increased demand for gold and silver, as investors have lost faith in the stock market and want to put their money into something more tangible.

So while rare coins that command premium prices are gathering dust on dealers' shelves, coins that are valuable solely for their silver or gold content are trading well.

"We're seeing distress-selling from people who . . .

Full story at: Link

Coins, mummies point to Cleopatra's tomb

BURG EL-ARAB, Egypt -- Egypt's top archaeologist made his version of a sales pitch Sunday, presenting 22 coins, 10 mummies, and a fragment of a mask with a cleft chin as evidence that the discovery of the lost tomb of Mark Antony and Cleopatra is at hand.

Zahi Hawass showed off the ancient treasures during a tour of a 2,000-year-old temple to the god Osiris, where they were found. He thinks the site near the Mediterranean Sea contains the tomb of the doomed lovers that has been shrouded in mystery for so long.

"In my opinion, if this tomb is found, it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century because of the love between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and because of the sad story of their death," he said.

Mark Antony and Cleopatra challenged Caesar Augustus for . . .

Full story at: Link

2009 Lincoln Kentucky Birthplace Cent Scarcest in 50 Years

The 2009 Lincoln cent with the Birthplace design on the reverse is the scarcest cent struck for circulation in over 40 years if you measure by a single mint's output and the scarcest since 1954 if you lump the output together.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 284.8 million of the coins. The Denver Mint struck 350 million. The combined total is 634.8 million pieces.

Not since 1954 has the combined output of the nation's minting facilities been so low.

You have to go back to . . .

Full story at: Link

Pennies from heaven a rare collection

For more than 100 years, coins have been dropping out of the palms of churchgoers and down in between the floorboards of St John’s Anglican Church, Pinjarra.

When Clyde Campbell-Howard’s building team was renovating the church and pulling up the old floorboards last month, they found a treasure trove of old coins dating back to the late 19th century, just 30 years after the church was consecrated.

“You can imagine the kids sitting there not listening and playing with the coin their mum had given them and dropping it through the floorboards,” he said. “We do a lot of church renovations and it is not very often we find something like this — it was like a treasure hunt when we pulled up the boards and found all the coins spread out across the church floor.”

Mr Campbell-Howard collected the coins, which range from the . . .

Full story at: Link

Will the Mint flip for this idea? Ronald Reagan's home on the next Illinois state quarter

DIXON – Mayor Jim Burke wants Ronald Reagan’s quarters on a quarter.

Specifically, he wants to see the Reagan Boyhood Home on the new quarters the U.S. Mint will begin producing in 2010.

The coins will feature . . .

Full story at: Link

Vendor hopes to turn fortune from wheat pennies

RAYMOND — The handmade signs taped to the walls of the little booth at 7 Mile Fair all promised “wheat pennies.”

And there, on a side table Sunday afternoon, were a few dozen plastic tubes filled with older pennies, the ones made from 1909-1958. In 1959, the Lincoln Memorial replaced the wheat stalks on the copper coin’s “tails” side.

The vendor, Bob Bellin of Appleton, wasn’t exactly being swamped by shoppers Sunday. But he expressed a cheery attitude that for him, wheat pennies can be the Next Big Thing. He’s hoping wheat pennies can bring him many dollars.

Bellin, 56, used to sell a mass-market and ever-changing product, video games. But he recently swapped that for the merchandising niche of coins for numismatists.

“I’m now re-educating myself, like I did with video games,” he said.

In early February, the genial Bellin returned to 7 Mile Fair after a 14-year hiatus, with his pennies, a single book of collector coins and some coin-collecting accessories.

“I didn’t know if this concept could work,” he admitted Sunday. So far, Bellin said he’s clearing only about . . .

Full story at: Link

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Higher Grade Eisenhower Dollars May Come to Life

Any first coin of a new design has to be considered special and that is true for the 1971 Eisenhower dollar. Everyone has basically taken the 1971 for granted, but it may well be time to take a more serious look at an historic coin that just may prove to be a sleeper in the years ahead.

The Eisenhower dollar was an interesting new coin but it was released at a time when collectors weren't especially interested in new or old issues. The government had been successful in 1965 when it declared war on collecting, blaming collectors for a national coin shortage.

It was a foolish claim as collectors had not caused the silver coins to literally disappear. The removal of silver from the dime and quarter and a reduction to 40 percent in the half dollar caused millions of perfectly patriotic Americans to start hoarding. When you add to that the . . .

Full story at: Link

Ditching Dollars: Tax Day Tea Party

(The following article is written by a history teacher, but obviously not a coin collector. At one point he states, "The value of gold or silver depends on how much is in circulation. If there were a fixed amount and no more were being mined, the value – or the price if you will – wouldn’t change, right? Like the cowboy in the movie, most of us can understand that much". Our history teacher and "would-be economist" is basically stating price depends solely upon supply. He makes no mention about the affect of demand in the equation. Try buying a physical ounce of gold near spot price today and you will find how untrue that view is. - A.C. Dwyer)

Getting a straight answer from an economist is like nailing Jell-o to a wall. “I'm tired of economists who say, ‘On the one hand ... and then on the other hand.’ Send me a one-armed economist,” said President Harry Truman about his Council of Economic Advisors 60 years ago. It isn’t called “the dismal science” for nothing.

In an old Western I saw as a boy, two cowboys who didn’t trust each other negotiated a deal. One gave a coin to the other who looked at it, bit on it, looked at it again, then put it in his pocket, satisfied. It didn’t matter whose picture was on the coin or what was stamped there. He was satisfied that it was made of silver or gold. Ridges are stamped on the edge of dimes and quarters because they used to be made of silver. If there were no ridges, people would suspect some silver had been shaved off. The cowboy trusted the metal in his pocket more than he trusted the other cowboy.

The value of gold or silver depends on . . .

Full story at: Link

Interest in United States Mint Proof Sets Fluctuates Over Time

The plain vanilla proof set often has been out of the headlines and just a quiet part of the market. The present generation of collectors has so many sales options to choose from that the proof set commands less attention than it once did. If anything, the best way to describe the changing role of the proof set in the rare coin market might well be to simply suggest to owners, "You're not in Kansas anymore," as the historic proof set market could almost seem as old-fashioned as the "Wizard of Oz" might seem as a movie in today's Hollywood.

Into the 1960s the proof set as a collection was one of the most uneventful parts of yearly coin buying. In fact, it actually took a certain amount of effort even to get on the mailing list of the United States Mint, then called the Bureau of the Mint.

There were no toll-free numbers and assorted ordering options. You had to convince the Mint to send you an ordering form and then you had to get a money order and send it in to receive your set.

Months later a rather simple envelope would arrive and you would have your set, which you would examine briefly before putting it in a safe place where it would rest for months without ever being seen again.

The thought of selling the set or breaking it up to sell the individual coins was literally unknown. After all, the coins were from . . .

Full story at: Link

Choosing the next Illinois state quarter's historic site

Remember the U.S. Mint's 50 States Quarter Program? Illinois' was issued in 2003 and featured a young Abe Lincoln against the background of the state outline, the Chicago skyline, and a prairie-scape. Well, the U.S. Mint is back at it again with a new quarter program, this time honoring the nation's historic parks and sites. According to the program's selection guidelines, "The program will honor the national park or other national site in each host jurisdiction deemed most appropriate in terms or natural or historic significance." The Trib reports that state leaders, including Gov. Quinn who will have . . .

Full story at: Link

Paper money is a collectible you can take to the bank

THE PIECES: A $10 bank note, dated 1929 and issued by the Whitney National Bank of New Orleans, and a $5 note, dated 1929 and issued by The American National Bank and Trust of Mobile, Ala.

THE OWNER: Alva Williams of Gretna remembers being given these two bank notes by her grandfather when she was 6 years old. "He told me that this way I would always have money if I needed it," she said, "but other family members told me not to ever spend it and to always just keep it." She kept it in a jewelry box throughout her childhood, and years later began to wonder about the history of the bills and whether they were valuable.

TAKING IT TO THE BANK: Various forms of legal tender have been used throughout U.S. history, beginning with the dollar coins and currency approved by the Continental Congress in 1786. Other types include . . .

Full story at: Link

Mint wise, penny foolish

The U.S. Mint is one of the most business-like operations of the federal government. It not only manufactures coins for public commerce but generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury -- $750 million in profits in fiscal 2008.

If the Mint truly were free to function as a business, it would dump production of the penny and the nickel, two big money losers for three consecutive years.

Each penny shipped to Federal Reserve banks in fiscal 2008 cost . . .

Full editorial at: Link

Hoard of historic 400 year old gold coins found in cellar valued at $75,000

A hoard of historic gold coins found by a builder in the cellar of a block of flats he was renovating has been valued at £50,000.

The 400 year old gold "unites" - minted after James VI of Scotland became the first Stuart king of England in 1603 - were found while digging the foundations for a block of flats in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

He gave the 59 coins to his ten year old grandson - and for many years they stayed in a shoe box with his others treasures of seashells, marbles and stamps.

Now aged 39 and married with two children - and following a lengthy treasure trove case - he has been given permission to sell 57 of the coins at auction.

Two of the rarest have been bought by the British Museum but the rest are expected to fetch about £50, 000 at Morton and Eden in London on June 9.

Auctioneer James Morton said yesterday the coins - also known as "jacobuses" - were all different and were minted in Scotland for . . .

Full story at: Link

New 2009 Lincoln pennies hard to find

The first of the four new Lincoln pennies was released on Lincoln’s birthday more than a month ago but why can't you find any in Rochester?

Joy McComb was on a mission today. “My grandson is doing a report on Abraham Lincoln.” She came to the Gallery of Coins just to find the new Lincoln penny. “My husband won't even carry pennies. He thinks they should be dispensed with.”

A coin dealer is about the only place you can find the new Lincoln, the first in a series that honors the 16th president's life. The first new design on the reverse or tails side shows the log cabin Lincoln grew up in.

Dick Austin of Gallery of Coins said, “I called the banks I do business with. I had a couple customers called their banks and I also had dealers from out of state as far away as Texas call their banks and none of the new banks have the new pennies available.”

A roll of 50 pennies at a bank should cost 50-cents. “These were gotten about a week ago at the Albany coin show and there price there was $6 a roll,” Austin said.

Austin has two-roll sets from both the . . .

Full story at: Link

Found Money

(Susan Headley: I usually pick up coins that I see lying on the ground, even the pennies, I never thought to keep track of them to see how much they added up. Judging from a search I did in Google, it seems that people are finding quite of bit of money, free for the taking, and they blog about it, too! How long do you think it would take a family of four to find $1,000? . . .

Full story at: Link

Friday, April 10, 2009

$500 million treasure finder Odyssey Marine Exploration reaps spoils of TV exposure

TAMPA - In the past, the mention of Odyssey Marine Exploration might have conjured images of pirates and treasure hunters.

The public image of the Tampa-based company is changing after the Discovery Channel chronicled its deep-sea explorations in a 12-episode series that ended last week.

The TV series highlighted the company's high-tech business and is creating business opportunities, said Odyssey President Mark Gordon.

"The investment public has become keenly aware of us," Gordon said. "They're beginning to see this is really science."

The series showed that Odyssey is much more than a treasure-hunting company, Gordon said. "We're marine archaeologists," he said. "We're the best in the world at it."

The publicity from the Discovery series has led to partnerships with smaller salvage operators who will benefit from Odyssey's technology and expertise, Gordon said.

"We've gotten a flood of these small operators bringing us shipwreck projects," he said. "These guys aren't competitors. They're potential partners or suppliers."

Meanwhile, Odyssey is still fighting for the salvage rights to 17 tons of colonial-era coins it recovered from . . .

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Gold's a Poor Doomsday Investment

Gold is physically ideal for the job of making coins by hand. Its chemistry, and not some mysterious source of value, is why man used it for money through much of recorded history. On its own, gold is both a poor investment and poor protection against a rapid rise in consumer prices. Investors who foresee a financial doomsday for America or the world -- I’m not one of them -- should hoard something else.

Suppose money standards aren’t yet common and you wish to create one. You need a durable good. Corn rots and iron rusts. Gold is too picky an element to mingle with oxygen, and so doesn’t corrode. You want your money to be divisible, which lets you carry a little to the shop and leave the rest in a safe place. Gold is divisible. And if you’ve decided on metal, an easily shapable one is nice, so that instead of carrying ugly lumps around you can stamp a king’s face on a coin. Gold is so malleable you can pound it to see-through thinness. Of course, insignias can be faked, so your money should be made of something that’s easy to test for purity. Gold isn’t magnetic, it dents when you bite it and it withstands acids that eat everything around it.

You need only a few more attributes. Your metal money should be easy enough to . . .

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False, Misleading Gold Statements Abound, According to Expert

Woodland Hills, CA (PRWEB) April 8, 2009 -- False and misleading statements about gold as part of a diversified portfolio are frequently repeated in the news media, according to Barry Stuppler, president of the non-profit, 32,000-member American Numismatic Association.

"Some of the hackneyed arguments against gold come from financial analysts who work for brokerage houses that have a vested interest in steering money toward equities they sell and away from physical gold ownership. Some news organizations are giving out the same incorrect or misleading comments," said Stuppler, who is also president of Barry Stuppler & Company, Inc. of Woodland Hills, California, a rare coin and precious metals dealership.

Here are frequently encountered arguments against investing in gold and Stuppler's responses based on his over 30 years of professional experience in the gold and silver markets. . . .

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Chocolate Easter egg containing a rare Gold Bullion Britannia coin set into the shell is on sale for £1,000

While supermarkets battle it out this year to sell the cheapest eggs during the recession, the department store hopes the egg will be seen as a the ultimate alternative investment for chocoholics fed up with the poor return on property and shares over the last year.

Gold has performed spectacularly well over the last three years, doubling in value to nearly $1,000 an ounce, though it has been very volatile over the last year. Historically, gold has performed well during financial crises because investors believe it is one of the few commodities to hold its value during inflationary bubbles.

The coin embedded in the modest-sized egg, no higher than a foot, weighs exactly one troy ounce . . .

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Australia Mint Master's $2 million penny offered for sale; or is it?

The Proof 1930 Australian copper penny is internationally renowned as the most valuably copper coin of the modern era through its exceptional quality and the circumstances of its striking. One of the original six pennies has just been offered for private sale, expected to sell for around two million dollars. However some experts have questioned the coin's advertised provenance as the Mint Master's coin. . . .

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Berlin presents Commemorative Coin and Postage Stamp Series

On Tuesday, March 31, 2009, the German Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrück presented the 10-euro commemorative coin “IAAF Leichtathletik WM Berlin 2009” (IAAF World Championships in Athletics Berlin 2009) and the postage stamp series “Für den Sport” (For Sports) in honour of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics berlin 2009™.

This is only the third time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany that a commemorative coin has been issued for an athletic occasion, following the coins created for the Summer Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 and the FIFA World Cup in 2006.

The Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, emphasised the significance of the coin and postage stamp series: “One year after the Olympic Games, we are excited to be . . .

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State quarters one more time: Mint to issue quarters showing national sites from each state starting in 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Collected quarters from all 50 states?

Now you'll have the chance to do it all again.

Beginning in 2010, the U.S. Mint will begin producing quarters showing a national site from each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia and each U.S. territory — Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. George Washington's image will be on the other side.

Governors are being asked to recommend sites for representation on the quarter. The U.S. Treasury will make the final decision on designs, which are to be announced later this month.

Last year, the U.S. Mint completed its 10-year state quarter program, which it called the most popular coin program in history. Quarters were issued in the order each state joined the union, with five releases a year at intervals of about 10 weeks.

The new program . . .

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US Mint issues Puerto Rico quarter with Spanish inscription

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The U.S. Mint on Thursday introduced its first coin with a Spanish-language inscription in honor of Puerto Rico.

The quarter is the latest in a series that already has recognized all 50 states and, like the others, it depicts the traditional profile of George Washington on one side.

But the reverse side shows a sentry box on a Spanish colonial fort and a hibiscus, the U.S. territory's official flower, along with the phrase: "Isla del Encanto" — or "Island of Enchantment."

At the launch ceremony, U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy said it is the first U.S. coin to . . .

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Spare change? Coin appraiser sizes up old money

PROCTORVILLE — What about those old coins tucked in a drawer? Are they a real numismatic find or some spare change that belongs instead in your pocket.

That’s what area residents got to find out Tuesday when an appraiser from HCC, a rare coin management company based in Toledo, came to the WesBanco branch in Proctorville.

Representatives from the firm come to the Proctorville branch twice a year, spring and fall, to do free appraisals. They will also buy coins on the spot. HCC says it is the only buyer of coins that exclusively works out of banks instead of other venues such as hotels. Right now HCC appraisers offer their services in seven states besides Ohio.

The first thing a prospective treasure seeker should understand is when it comes to coins old doesn’t immediately translate into big bucks, according to Rich Giedroyc, a numismatist with HCC.

“The most common mistake is to think it is rare because of its age,” he said. “It has to go along with the condition of the item and its scarcity.”

For instance, a 1906 Barber-designed quarter could bring $12, if in a condition that is better than normal.

However, an 1851 large cent might have been worth $5, if it weren’t for a hole drilled at the top, possibly so someone in a past era could have a conversation piece for a watch fob.

Then, of course, there are the coins . . .

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Woman who spent rare $20 gold double eagles stole them

Woman accused of gold coin theft

Police in southern Utah have arrested a woman who showed up at a bank with a small fortune in rare gold coins, seeking to trade them for grocery money.

Washington City police arrested Emily Cammack, 24, after she returned to the same Zions Bank branch where she previously traded coins from the same collection and was recognized by an employee.

"She actually stole them from a family she was living with," Washington City Police Lt. Ed Kantor said Thursday. "She had befriended one of the family members over the Internet and moved here from out of state. They let her live with them at their home; she went through some property and discovered these coins."

Police said Cammack showed up at a Zions Bank in the St. George area on March 14 with the rare gold coins, seeking to exchange 14 of them for grocery money. She told the teller that Wal-Mart wouldn't accept the coins to buy groceries and sent her to . . .

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U.S. Mint sells out the 2009 Lincoln Kentucky Log Cabin Cent

(Susan Headley: I knew it all along! Abe Lincoln is a sell-out! I don't mean the man sold out, I mean the coins that honor him are sold out! Specifically, the Uncirculated Lincoln Bicentennial Silver Dollars and the 2-Roll Lincoln Log Cabin (Childhood aspect) One Cent Coin Sets have both sold out on the U.S. Mint Web site.

The maximum mintage for the Lincoln Silver Dollar is 500,000 units spreads across three product options in two finish types. The two finish types are the Proof and Uncirculated versions. The product options are:

(a) The Proof Lincoln Bicentennial Silver Dollar

(b) Uncirculated Lincoln Bicentennial Silver Dollar

(c) The 5-coin set that will include the silver commemorative plus the four 2009 penny designs struck in copper.

According to the April 13 issue of Coin World, the U.S. Mint says that the split between Proof and Uncirculated versions should be about 70/30. This means that . . .

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