Thursday, July 29, 2010

PNG Adopts Coin "Doctoring" Definition

(Fallbrook, California) -- The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has created a definition of coin "doctoring" and now officially included it as one of the prohibitions in the organization's By-Laws.

"The deliberate and unacceptable alteration of a coin in an effort to deceive is a complex matter. Everyone seems to know what coin 'doctoring' means, but it's a difficult thing to concisely and substantively define," said Paul Montgomery, PNG President.

"After extensive discussions and consultation with both Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the official grading service of PNG, and with executives of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the PNG has created its first formal definition of coin doctoring," Montgomery added.

PNG already required disclosure of information about altered coins.

"Section seven of the PNG Code of Ethics specifically states . . .

Full story at: The Professional Numismatists Guild

Peacemaker Coins Big Hit with Korean War Veterans

Proud family members and veterans received Eisenhower Peacemaker Coins during a ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The coins were presented to members of the U.S. military who served in Korea, either during the Korean War or overseas tours since the signing of the armistice.

Retired Lt. Gen. Robert Arter, who served in Korea and Vietnam, was the speaker for the event. He is a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army and has received the Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

Arter thanked the veterans for their service and urged them to continue to serve their country by teaching citizens the lessons learned during war.

“I also want to thank one great soldier . . .

Full story at: The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle

Dollar coins belong in pirate’s chest

The deal is supposed to be simple: If I insert a $10 bill for a $2 item, the machine coughs up eight bucks in return. So why are the MBTA Charlie Card machines dumping out Chuck E. Cheese’s tokens?

I usually pay my subway fares with a credit card, so I was stunned when the machine at Alewife went into jackpot mode and dispensed a handful of golden one-dollar coins. My change included some Sacagaweas - the tribute to that gorgeous tour guide of the Lewis and Clark expedition - and some obscure U.S. presidents who usually only get mentioned on “Jeopardy!”

My first reaction: Skee-Ball, anyone? I may as well try to give a cashier . . .

Full story at: Boston Herald

What Makes Certain Coins Popular–and Others Unpopular?

(Doug Winter, Douglas Winter Numismatics) I often make buying decisions based on a coin’s popularity. As an example, I will buy a coin like an 1839-O quarter eagle for stock because it is popular and I know it will sell. But I might pass on a rarer coin like an 1862-S quarter eagle because it is not a popular issue and it will be a harder coin to sell. This got me to to thinking: what makes one coin popular and another unpopular?

Certain 20th century series are popular with collectors because of a strong nostalgia factor. I would imagine most of the collectors who focus on Lincoln Cents or Mercury Dimes remember collecting them as a kid and the sense of accomplishment that they get from completing a set is an act of closure that extinguishes the nightmares they felt as kids about filling those pesky 1909-S VDB Cent and 1916-D Dime holes.

The nostalgia factor does not really apply to gold given the fact that circulation for these coins . . .

Full story at:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Treasure within treasure: Bronze cannon found off Sebastian contained $500K worth of hidden gold, silver coins

Dozens of gold and silver coins hidden nearly 300 years ago were found July 16 when a cannon recovered July 11 from a wrecked Spanish ship was being cleaned for preservation, salvagers reported this week.

Divers from the salvage boat “Gold Hound” brought up the ship’s bronze swivel cannon, a rare find in itself, in less than 20 feet of water between Wabasso and Vero Beach, said Anne Kazel-Wilcox, a spokeswoman for 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels, a private salvage company based in Sebastian and Jupiter.

The heavily-encrusted cannon was taken to the Mel Fisher’s Treasures facility in Sebastian for preservation, Kazel-Wilcox said, “and as workers were conserving it, the cannon became unplugged and coins were found inside.”

In addition to 22 gold coins found near the cannon, 25 gold coins and 63 silver coins were found inside, worth an estimated . . .

Full story at: TCPalm News

Director Edmond Moy says U.S. Mint is needlessly wasting hundreds of millions of dollars

"Compared to their face values, never before in our nation's history has the government spent as much money to mint and issue coins," say U.S. Mint Director Edmond Moy

Witnesses before and members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy have urged Congress to direct the U.S. Mint to buy U.S. manufactured blanks for gold and silver bullion coins and discontinue the practice of using Australian-made blanks.

Meanwhile, the Director of the U.S. Mint Edmond Moy told the subcommittee that, if the Mint can begin production by September, "we will be able to produce about 830,000 one-ounce silver American Eagle coins to meet  . . .

Full story at: Mineweb

Millions in counterfeit coins exact a heavy toll

Britain’s tills are awash with fake one pound coins, with a record £41-million worth in circulation.

Treasury figures show that one in every 36 one pound coins is counterfeit, an increase on last year, when one in every 40 was phony.

The findings were . . .

Full story: The Globe and Mail  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sellers of Gold Coins Hit by Sneaky Provision Hidden in Health Care Bill

Gold coins face IRS scrutiny

This could get ugly. An amendment that did not get much notice in the health care legislation will bring government scrutiny to gold and silver coin dealers and all those who sell coins and bullion. From this report from ABC News, we find out the recent health care legislation had a rather sneaky provision hidden in it.

Those already outraged by the president’s health care legislation now have a new bone of contention — a scarcely noticed tack-on provision to the law that puts gold coin buyers and sellers under closer government scrutiny.

. . . Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the scope of Form 1099. . . . every time a member of the public sells more than $600 worth of gold to a dealer, Piret said, the transaction will have to be reported to the government by the . . .

Full story at: MarketWatch

Consumer Reports Raises Doubts About Gold Firm Touted By Glenn Beck

Investigation Questions Goldine's Sales Tactics, Says Beck Sponsor Asked Nearly Twice As Much For Coin Set As Competitor

One of the nation's top independent consumer advocates has just released a report that casts strong doubts on the aggressive sales tactics at Goldline, the precious metals dealer endorsed by Glenn Beck and other conservative radio and television talk show hosts.

"Maybe if you're worried about Armageddon you might consider it good advice," the editor of Consumer Reports Money Adviser, a newsletter put out by Consumer Reports, told ABC News after reviewing the telephone sales pitch by a Goldline associate.

"I think that when you're buying anything, and here at Consumer Reports it is what we do, anything you're buying we advise that you check as many possible places to see where the best deals are," said Noreen Perrotta, the money editor. "I don't think in this case that Goldline offered . . .

Full story at: ABC News

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The new rupee symbol deserves more respect

As one of the world's oldest currencies, the Indian rupee's new symbol deserved a more dignified debut, says Sanjaya Baru.

The Indian rupee's new symbol, an elegant, simple and brilliant combination of Sanskrit Ra and the English R without the stem, deserved a more dignified debut.

A minister holding up an A4-size sheet of paper for cameras sitting at her desk? No fancy unveiling, no fireworks or music, no celebrations at all? How unfortunate. How inelegant. How crass.

The Indian rupee, which is the original rupee, dates back centuries. Historians believe the name derives from the Sanskrit Rupyakam and date the use of silver rupee coins to 6th century BC.

The Indian rupee currency note of today carries the . . .

Full story at: Business

Giant stacks of gold bars at the Fed (photos)

NEW YORK--This may look like enough gold to make up just about anybody's nest egg, but it's actually a very, very small portion of the entire deposit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The largest collection of gold on Earth, the New York Fed's accumulation belongs to 37 countries, including the United States. The U.S., in fact, owns just a fraction, and the Fed itself is only the custodian of the precious metal. All told, the deposits are worth about $255 billion, at market value. . . .

Full story at: cnet news

25th Anniversary of Discovery of $450 Million Treasure from Atocha Shipwreck

KEY WEST (CBS4) ― Twenty-five years after Mel Fisher and his crew located the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra SeƱora de Atocha off Key West, treasures and artifacts are still being discovered under the leadership of Fisher's son Kim Fisher and grandson Sean Fisher.

Meanwhile, to commemorate the find's 25th anniversary on Tuesday, July 20, rare Atocha artifacts are being debuted at the Key West museum established by Mel Fisher, who died in 1998.

The Atocha, carrying gold, silver and other riches from the New World home to Spain, sank in a 1622 hurricane.

Mel Fisher and his crew, including his wife and their children, spent 16 grueling years searching for the wreck site. They discovered the $450 million "main pile" of treasure . . .

Full story at: CBS4 News

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Treasure hunters follow in Mel Fisher's footsteps

25 years after Mel Fisher's discovery of the historic Atocha treasure, his grandson says there are more riches to be found

MARQUESAS KEYS -- In 1985 aboard the Dauntless salvage boat, Jimmy Buffett sang atop a stack of silver bars while treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his crew swilled champagne to celebrate their jaw-dropping discovery.

After 16 years that included a U.S. Supreme Court victory and the death of his son, Fisher's dream had come true. In waters 55 feet below them, divers Andy Matroci and Greg Wareham had found a virtual reef made of chests full of silver coins, silver plates, silver bars, copper ingots, stone ballast and artifacts. It was the $450 million mother lode of the 1622 shipwreck, Nuestra Senora de Atocha . . .

Full story at: The Miami Herald

Largest Roman coin hoard goes on public display

Coins from the largest Roman coin hoard ever discovered in a single vessel are set to go on display at Frome Library.

There will also be a chance to meet Dave Crisp who discovered the hoard, as well as archaeologists from the British Museum and Somerset County Council.

The discovery has also highlighted to detectorists the importance of working with local archaeology services.

As a result of this successful joint approach, it's hoped this will further encourage both sides to work together.

The coin hoard was discovered by
. . .

Full story at: BBC News

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rusting 999 Proof Gold Bullion Coins?

Rust Discovered On Bank Of Russia Issued 999 Gold Coins

Here’s a head scratcher: as everyone knows from elementary chemistry courses, gold is the most inert metal in the world – it does not rust, nor corrode. Yet this is precisely what Russian commercial precious metal trading company, International Reserve Payment System, discovered on thousands of (allegedly) 999 gold coins “St George” issued by the Central Russian Bank.

The serendipitous discovery occurred after various clients of the company had requested that their gold be stored not in a safe, but in a far more secure place . . . once buried, “the coins began to oxidize under the influence of moisture.” And hence the headscratcher: nowhere in history (that we know of) does 999, and even 925 gold, oxidize, rust, stain, spot or . . .

Full story at: Investing Contrarian

Canadian penny's days may be numbered

As a senate committee in Ottawa spends its summer pondering the possibility of becoming a penniless nation, Canadians are also weighing the value of our copper coin.

"I think there is some nostalgia, but it's very likely it's a coin that we don't need," said Heino Entzeroth of Windsor. "I probably wouldn't miss it too much."

Pause Cafe owner Ryan Smith said if anyone's nostalgic for pennies, they can head over to his shop where he's got a stash of them collecting dust, "not even worth rolling."

One shop owner didn't hesitate to give his two cents on the issue. "If it's up to me, I would get rid of it," said Soubhi Assi, owner of the Downtown Cigar Shop. "Less headache, less work."

Roughly 500 million new pennies were minted last year, but at a cost of . . .

Full story at: The Windsor Star

Friday, July 16, 2010

World Cup prompts demand for Mandela gold coins

JOHANNESBURG ( - The South African Gold Coin Exchange (SAGCE) said on Friday that Nelson Mandela's upcoming birthday, bolstered by the FIFA World Cup aftermath euphoria, had prompted unprecedented nationwide demand for Mandela coins and medallions.

Year-on-year, demand for the coins had increased by around 50%, SAGCE chairperson Alan Demby told Mining Weekly Online.

"Demand has exceeded last year's enthusiasm by a considerable margin, a phenomenon that could be ascribes to the proximity of Madiba's birthday to the World Cup."

The former South African President is turning 92 on July 18.

Further, Demby envisaged that demand for the coins could . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How the Internet Has Changed the Rare Coin Market

(Doug Winter, Douglas Winter Numismatics) The year was 1995. I can remember my wife Mary telling me that it was really important to establish a presence on the Internet; that it would be the future of the coin business. No way, I thought, people are still going to want to read print ads and receive mailed price lists. The Internet was slow and bulky and you could basically die of old age waiting for each coin image to come up on screen.

Sixteen years later, it seems that, as usual, she was right and I was wrong. The Internet has, along with third party grading, changed the coin market like nothing else in history. Why has the Internet been so good for the coin market and what are some of the changes that it has wrought?

The best thing about the Internet for all hobbies has been the . . .

Full story at:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Making the new Benjamin Franklin $100 bill (photos)

WASHINGTON--On Road Trip 2010, CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman is getting the chance to visit a lot of very interesting destinations. But there may be few that can top his visit last week to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and a behind-the-scenes look at how the brand-new line of next-generation $100 bills is made.

On April 21, the bureau unveiled the new bills, which feature a set of new anti-counterfeiting measures. But they're also very beautiful, perhaps the most interesting and colorful American paper money in years.

These two giant stacks of bills amount to . . .

Full story at: cnet news

Making coins at the U.S. Mint (photos)

PHILADELPHIA--One of the best parts of Road Trip 2010 is getting to go behind the scenes at terrific places, and often getting much closer to the action than is usually possible.

On Wednesday, CNET reporter Daniel Terdiman completed a two-part set of visits to the production facilities for America's money. First it was the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing's next-generation $100 bill production process, in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, it was the U.S. Mint here, to see how coins are made.

Pictured is a bin full of thousands of blank dollar coins. . . .

See full story and photos at: cnet news

Oil Spill Threatens Historic Gulf of Mexico Shipwrecks

TIMBALIER ISLANDS, La. — Not just flora and fauna are getting caked in oil. So is the Gulf of Mexico's barnacled history of pirates, sea battles and World War II shipwrecks.

The Gulf is lined with wooden shipwrecks, American-Indian shell midden mounds, World War II casualties, pirate colonies, historic hotels and old fishing villages. Researchers now fear this treasure seeker's dream is threatened by BP PLC's deepwater well blowout.

Within 20 miles of the well, there are several significant shipwrecks — ironically, discovered by oil companies' underwater robots working the depths — and oil is most likely beginning to cascade on them.

"People think of them as being lost, but with the . . .

Full story at: Google News

Tales of Beaver Money, the Oregon Territory's Gold Coins

When the Oregon Territory was established in 1848, the scarcity of printed money and coinage was a serious problem. Trying to get U.S. currency was extremely difficult.

When Joseph Lane, the first territorial governor, arrived in Oregon he found some local settlers using Peruvian money as a form of currency, though it was only worth 50 cents on the dollar at the Hudson's Bay Company stores. In addition to bartering, other mediums of exchange included wheat, beaver pelts, otter pelts, trade blankets, drafts and orders, and Mexican pesos. This situation made it nearly impossible to do business transactions. Oregonians wanted standardized money that was readily available and inspired trust.

In a very inventive way, some Oregonians came up with a solution — make your own money. It started when, in the aftermath of the California Gold Rush, hundreds of miners returned to Oregon bearing gold dust. Estimates put the value of the gold in Oregon at more than $2 million. However, the gold was not . . .

Full story at: The Statesman Journal

Amateur treasure hunter finds $1 million worth of Roman coins with just his metal detector

Dave Crisp calls himself a "metal detectorist". As a hobby, he searches for treasure using just a metal detector. Like many people with such a hobby, they are excited to find even the smallest item, but never really expect to dig up one million dollars in Roman coins. Apparently, Crisp is a very lucky amateur treasure hunter, because that is exactly what he found.

Crisp was in a field in Frome, Somerset, England, using his metal detector to try to find any metal object his tool might pick up. The metal detector hit on something, and Crisp began to dig. First, he found 21 coins, but there was something more in that dirt. After digging a bit further down, Crisp found . . .

Full story at:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

UK treasure hunter finds 52,000 Roman coins worth $5 million

LONDON – A treasure hunter has found about 52,500 Roman coins, one of the largest such discoveries ever in Britain, officials said Thursday.

The hoard, which was valued at 3.3 million pounds ($5 million), includes hundreds of coins bearing the image of Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who seized power in Britain and northern France in the late third century and proclaimed himself emperor.

Dave Crisp, a treasure hunter using a metal detector, located the coins in . . .

Full story at: Yahoo News

Faceless James Monroe Presidential Dollar Error Coin

Silver Coin Melt Values
A "Faceless" James Monroe Presidential Dollar Error coin has been found by collector Garrett Reich of Michigan. This extremely rare error type, of which only one previous specimen has ever been confirmed, is a Presidential Dollar that didn't get struck by the coin dies, leaving it without any obverse or reverse designs. Reich's coin is a blank planchet with a very important difference from nearly other blank Presidential Dollar coins: it has . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Unexpected Rare Coin Found at Biblical Era city

(You might also want to read about the coin-burying Reverend Halliday. It will make you think twice about stories of this kind. - A.C. Dwyer)

Dr. Rami Arav didn't get into archaeology for the money.

He was very excited, however, when his team of researchers uncovered a rare gold coin during excavation work in the ancient city of Bethsaida, near the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

Arav is director of excavation and research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Bethsaida Excavations Project, a 24-year effort to uncover the archaeological mysteries of the biblical-era city.

The coin, which weighs 7 grams, is 97.6 percent gold, Arav said.

The find was unexpected because Bethsaida primarily was home to . . .

Full story at: Omaha World Herald

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Zimbabweans wash dirty US dollar bills

HARARE, Zimbabwe – The washing machine cycle takes about 45 minutes — and George Washington comes out much cleaner in the Zimbabwe-style laundering of dirty money.

Low-denomination U.S bank notes change hands until they fall apart here in Africa, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.

Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through . . .

Full story at: Yahoo News

Monday, July 05, 2010

Smart Collecting 101: Is It Ever Right to Buy the Wrong Coin?

(Doug Winter, DWN) In the first installment of Smart Collecting 101 I discussed the “coin churn” and how to avoid it. One reader made a great suggestion for the second topic and I’m going to discuss it at length here. The topic involves buying the “wrong” coin and if there is ever a right time to buy a coin that you clearly know is not optimal for your collection.

The brief answer is yes. It depends on what sort of coins that you collect and what your ultimate goals as a coin collector are. Let’s look at a few scenarios. . . .

Full story at:

Gold coins, other treasures found from 1715 shipwreck off Florida

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - A gold-rimmed portrait necklace, several gold and silver coins and numerous artifacts from a 1715 Spanish fleet have been discovered in about 10 feet of water off the aptly named Treasure Coast of Florida.

The June 19 find just off Indian River Shores was announced Monday, by a firm that also said it has acquired the salvage rights to the sunken ships from the heirs of world-famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher. The company plans to ramp up recovery efforts.

In 1715, an 11-ship fleet set sail from Cuba laden with gold bars, coins, diamonds, emeralds and pearls bound for King Philip V of Spain. The bounty included the . . .

Full story at: Scripps News

Thursday, July 01, 2010

PCGS Lawsuit Goes After the Coin Doctors

The Gunfight at the OK Corral has begun in a Central District of California United States Courthouse as Collector’s Universe, the parent company of the Professional Coin Grading Service, squares off against six named coin dealer defendants and 10 “John Doe” defendants charging them with violation of the federal “Lanham Act,” resulting from unfair competition and resulting in unjust enrichment. . . .

Besides the claim that it creates unfair competition when a “Coin Doctor” performs his craft and alters the surface of a coin with putty, lasers or human sweat and oil that gives the appearance that a coin has a better grade than it truly deserves, a . . .

Full story at: