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 . . .

Full story at: Link

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 . . .

Full story at: Link

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 . . .

Full story at: Link

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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Metal detector user David Hutchings jailed for selling fake coins

A metal detector enthusiast who claimed to have discovered hoards of valuable antiquities during years of treasure hunting has been convicted of selling modern fakes.

David Hutchings, known to fellow users as “Coldfeet”, was renowned for finding rare items. But his reputation lies in tatters after he pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and was jailed for six months.

Hutchings, 43, was the organiser of the Coventry Moles metal detecting club, which held archaeological searches across the Midlands. He used legitimate digs to “discover” fake items before passing them off as genuine antiquities. Some buyers were told that the items had been verified at the British Museum.

Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Unit raided his home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, after an Essex-based dealer raised concerns about a set of coins Hutchings was trying to sell.

During the searches they discovered . . .

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Coin Collectors to Challenge State Department on Import Restrictions

GAINESVILLE, Mo., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As a British Airways jetliner touched down in Baltimore on April 15th, U.S. citizens busily writing last minute checks to the IRS could hardly have anticipated that their tax dollars would be used by the U.S. State Department to wage an ideological war against coin collectors. Part of the cargo of BA flight 229/16 that day was a small packet of very common, inexpensive, Cypriot and Chinese coins being imported by the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG). The entry of these coins, forbidden under bilateral agreements with Cyprus and China, marked the launch of a test case to determine whether the State Department has banned their importation properly under a 1983 law dealing with cultural property protection.

As mandated, U.S. Customs detained the coins upon arrival. The ACCG now plans to use this detention as a vehicle to strike down the unprecedented regulations banning importation of whole classes of ancient coins. The collectors' advocacy group claims that . . .

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Australia's Most Valuable Rare Gold Coin Collection will be Sold at Auction

Sydney, Australia (PRWEB) May 7, 2009 -- The famed Quartermaster Collection, containing many of Australia's most valuable and highest quality gold coins, will be going to auction on the 4th of June 2009.

The collection of 344 items is an anthology of Australian gold currency, spanning 1852 to 1931. Tony Richardson, a director of Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, says, "It's an extraordinary achievement to have assembled such a comprehensive collection of rare coins. I doubt it will ever be seen again".

Some of the lots that will go under the hammer are unique or very few are known to exist: including the excessively rare Adelaide Assay Office Ingots & Port Phillip Patterns, one of only two 1852 Five Pounds Coins and the finest quality Type 1 & Type 2 Adelaide Pounds.

For Australia, these coins are an invaluable source of . . .

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Rare 1804 Adams-Carter silver dollar fetches $2.3 million

Besides laundry and parking meters, there doesn't seem to be a lot of need for coins these days. Of course, it's hard to make that claim when holding a silver dollar worth $2.3 million.

The 1804 Adams-Carter silver dollar, one of only 15 of its type known to exist, was sold at auction Thursday night in Cincinnati for $2.3 million - including the buyer's premium - to coin dealer John Albanese of Bedminster, N.J.

"It was basically a half-million down from last year because of the recession," he said. "It was a good opportunity. These don't come around all the time." . . .

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Mint debuts 2009 'Indiana' Lincoln cent near family farm


LINCOLN CITY, Ind. — The U.S. Mint will introduce its new "Indiana" penny depicting Abraham Lincoln's Hoosier years at 10 a.m. May 14 at the Lincoln Amphitheatre, near the homestead where Lincoln grew up.

The design on the tails side of the penny shows Lincoln as a young man reading a book while taking a break from rail splitting.

The new coins will be distributed to children ages 18 and under in attendance.

Rolls of never-circulated pennies featuring the new design will be . . .

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Nebraska native tells of money, misery - hidden treasure

"The family, now spread out and even less compatible, returns to Nebraska to begin the daunting task of locating the hidden coins. . . . Trying to avoid the neighbors, they search out the stashes."

Growing up in the 50s in the small town of Palisade, Alison Johnson’s family shared a secret usually found only in children’s books — a hidden treasure.

“Two tons of silver and gold coins, hundreds of thousands of nickels, dimes, quarters, and gold pieces. They were under our beds, in the kitchen cupboards, up in the attics, in the bottom of dresser drawers, in holes in the ground,” Johnson writes in her recent book, The Eleventh Hour Can’t Last Forever.

The coins were hoarded by her father, Dean Krotter, who was obsessed with the thought that the American government was going to collapse. But, instead, his obsession collapsed the . . .

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Early Arkansas history and pieces of rare coins emerge from dig near Pocahontas

"This is the kind of stuff you usually find in a shipwreck in the ocean."

DAVIDSONVILLE (AP) Hidden in the ground near Pocahontas is a town that once rivaled Memphis, Little Rock, Chicago and St. Louis in size and importance.

Shards of pottery, old buttons, rusty nails and remnants of foundations are all that's left of Davidsonville, the site of Arkansas' first courthouse and post office. Situated near the confluence of the Eleven Point and Black rivers, the settlement began in 1815.

Archaeologists from the Arkansas Archaeological Survey scoured Historic Davidsonville State Park recently, searching for priceless artifacts from the state's past.

"Davidsonville is providing a great window into frontier life in 1820s America," archaeological assistant Jared Pebworth said.

The team is affiliated with the University of Arkansas. Among the rarest items found at the park are pieces of eight rare coins that physically . . .

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Now free on the web: Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins!

(Well there goes the value of my copy of Breen down the crapper! And before you ask, yes Tom Pilitowski has been given permission to do this by the copyright holder. - A.C. Dwyer)

(Susan Headley: coins.about.com)The Breen book is one of the most important coin books ever written about U.S. coinage. It has been long out of print, and if you could find a copy, it would cost you upwards of $250 to own it. But now, thanks to Tom Pilitowski of U.S. Rare Coin Investments, the entire book is online and free! If you've never seen this book, you're going to be amazed. . .

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