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 . . .

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