Friday, August 27, 2010

Treasure Hunters Roadshow Lowballing Offers on Rare Coins?

Do gold-purchasing companies offer good value? Not always, say some.

Regina Commander of Midwest Coins in Keokuk says that at least 10 people have come in to compare her prices with those being offered by Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery this week.

She asks them not to reveal . . .

Full story at: Daily Gate City

Tennessee Street Sweeper Finds Rare 1736 Silver Coin

"See a penny, pick it up." Two Elizabethton street sweepers went for a penny, and found that their luck wasn't just one cent's worth.

While sweeping the Redi Mart on Siam Road in Elizabethton on Saturday, Jonathan Bowman spotted something in the grass; he called his friend.

"Albert was up at the upper parking lot sweeping this way," said Bowman. "I hollered, 'Albert look here what I found!' And we looked at it; it was 1736 silver coin . . .

Full story at:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$550,000 gold bar from Santa Margarita shipwreck stolen from Florida museum

Key West, Florida (CNN) -- For more than 20 years, the bulletproof museum case housed a small piece of yesteryear: A gold bar recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon. Today, its case is broken, littered with black fingerprint dust. The treasure is gone. Stolen. The two thieves were caught in the act by the museum's security cameras.

"This is a special piece," said Melissa Kendrick, the executive director of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida.

"All the pieces have an incredible historic value, but this is the piece that was . . .

Full story at: CNN News

Art Loss Register Recovers Three Stolen High Value Rare Coins

New York City: The Art Loss Register has recovered three high-value, historic coins that were stolen from a FedEx package en transit from New York to London ten years ago.

It was nearly ten years ago when prominent British coin dealer Stephen Fenton of Knightsbridge Coins purchased five rare coins at a Sotheby's auction in New York. Postsale, Fenton entrusted FedEx to ship the coins . . .

Full story at: Antiques and the Arts Online

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Secret Service Agent Shows How to Spot Counterfeits of New Redesigned $100 Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 18, 2010) – The U.S. government is helping businesses and consumers protect themselves against counterfeit currency with a new Web video – “How to Detect a Counterfeit” – released today on The downloadable video is the second in a series of educational videos created to increase public awareness about the new $100 note, which will begin circulating on February 10, 2011.

“When a business or consumer accepts a counterfeit note, they are the ones who end up losing the money. It is important for the public to be educated about what security features to look for on the new $100 note. By knowing those features . . .

Full story at:

Coin and banknote enthusiast is set to make millions when he puts his collection up for auction

If you're sitting on some spare cash and wondering what to do with it, perhaps take a leaf, or maybe that should be a note, from Singapore property developer George Lim's book. An expert coin collector, Lim predicts that China’s ancient gold coins could be a savvy investment. And he's selling millions of dollars worth of his existing coin and note collection as a result.

“I want to sell some of my existing collection to make room for Chinese coins. That’s the future. With the . . .

Full story at: CNN International

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Odyssey Marine Exploration Challenges Claims by Spain regarding its Black Swan Shipwreck Treasure

August 19, 2010- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) today filed its Reply to Spain’s Response in the “Black Swan” case, currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is expected to be the last round of written pleadings at the appellate court level. Odyssey’s filing is available for review at

Odyssey is appealing the district court’s dismissal of the case based on the court’s finding of lack of federal jurisdiction. Odyssey’s Reply presents the following documented facts that debunk the misrepresentations made by Spain that . . .

Full story at:

United States Mint Launches James Buchanan Presidential Dollar Coin

James Buchanan
Presidential Dollar Coin
Lancaster, Pa. - Beginning August 19, the Nation will see Presidential $1 coins bearing the image of James Buchanan, the Nation's 15th President. To commemorate the release of the new coin, the United States Mint hosted a launch ceremony on the grounds of Wheatland, Buchanan's beloved home, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"In a few short weeks, Americans will begin to see James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coins and will be reminded of his place in history," said United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart.

The ceremony included . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

European Coins Among Items Unearthed at Civil War Prison Camp in Georgia

(CNN) -- On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, soil beneath south Georgia pine trees has yielded the first of what is expected to be a treasure of artifacts that will bear witness to the lives of prisoners and the horrors they endured.

This spring's discovery of about 200 everyday Civil War-era items -- including a smoking pipe, uniform buttons, a picture frame, coins, bullets and objects fashioned by Union prisoners -- is unparalleled for many reasons, archaeologists said.

Items found so far at the site . . .

Full story at: CNN News

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Cash In on Rare Coins

George Lim began his coin and banknote collection 30 years ago with a single note, the first 10,000 Singapore dollar bill he received. "As soon as I made that amount, I saved it to remember it," says Mr. Lim, a Singaporean real-estate developer, whose collection today includes over 100 rare coins and banknotes.

Mr. Lim plans to auction 68 coins and notes from his collection in . . .

Full story at: The Wall Street Journal

Friday, August 13, 2010

United States Mint to Introduce Presidential Dollar Coin for James “Old Buck” Buchanan

The spotlight will be on James Buchanan August 19, when the United States Mint introduces the new Presidential $1 Coin struck in his honor. Buchanan, also known as "Old Buck," was our Nation's 15th commander-in chief. The launch ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the grounds of Wheatland, the former president's historic estate in Lancaster, PA.

Following the ceremony . . .

Full story at:

Buried Treasure of Gold and Silver Coins and Bars Recovered

$1 million treasure of gold and silver coins and bars buried in PVC pipes and plastic buckets stolen by family members.

A family treasure hunt netted about $1 million in gold and silver coins and bars, but the participants may spend time behind a different kind of bars if found guilty of the charges levied against them.

On March 31, Dr. Eric Tunell called the . . .

Full story at: Eastern Arizona Courier

World's Fair Of Money Comes To Boston

BOSTON (AP) ― In an economic downturn, it might be tough to get your head around this: rare sheets of $100,000 bills, fabulous gold treasures dating back to the California Gold Rush era, rare coins including those tied to the first stirrings for America's independence and federal government securities worth more than a billion dollars.

That's the backdrop of the country's premier money show . . .

Full story at:

Archaeologists dig up heaviest and most valuable ancient gold coin

Rare 2,200-Year-Old Gold Coin Found in Israel

Dr. Donald T. Ariel, head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), said the coin ranked in the top five of the rarest finds in that country's history.

"Intrinsically, for coin research, it's a very exciting find," Ariel told CNN. "This is an amazing numismatic find. The coin is beautiful and in excellent preservation. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found . . .

Full story at: CNN 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Florida to Auction Rare Coins, Currency, Shipwreck Gold from Abandoned Safety Deposit Boxes

The State of Florida is planning to auction on August 20/21 over 40,000 items from abandoned safety deposit boxes. "We've collected a record high amount of unclaimed property in the past year," said the state's Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink.

A quick look at some of the lot photos shows plenty of U.S. and foreign gold coins, currency, and even a 52 oz. gold finger bar apparently recovered from a shipwreck. There's even a lot with 3 silver coin pieces and 2 shipwreck treasure certificates, but please read my shipwreck treasure article before bidding on this item.

There are plenty of Liberty Head and St. Gaudens quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles. Mexican 50 peso gold coins can also be found in a number of different lots.

Other lots include uncirculated coin rolls and even full sheets of postage stamps. There appears to be something for everyone.

View the online auction catalog at: Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Propery

Coin Collecting for Children

My friend Susan Headley (Coins guide at has written a few articles on coin collecting for children. If you have a child currently collecting coins, or are thinking about helping a child to start a coin collection, please take a look at her articles below.

If you are looking for a children's coin album, I highly recommend Coin Collecting for Kids by Steven Otfinoski .  I was so happy with this coin album for my 5 year old son that I bought another one for my 10 year old niece. It is a fun album and very educational for kids.

How Do I Start a Coin Collection for a Child?

How to Start a Coin Collection on $4

Learn How to Clean Coins Safely for Kids

Ancient Coin Resources for Schools and Teachers

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Odyssey Marine Exploration Reports on Shipwreck Projects Amid Continuing Improvement in Financial Performance

We have numerous shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world. In order to protect the targets of our planned search or recovery operations, in some cases we will defer disclosing specific information relating to our projects until we have located a shipwreck or targets of interest and determined a course of action to protect our property rights.

Additional information regarding our announced projects may be found in . . .

Full story at: Yahoo Finance

Why the U.S. keeps minting Presidential dollar coins people hate and won't use

In hidden vaults across the country, the US government is building a stockpile of $1 coins. The hoard has topped $1.1bn - imagine a stack of coins reaching almost seven times higher than the International Space Station - and the piles have grown so large the US Federal Reserve is running out of storage space.

Americans won't use the coins, preferring $1 notes. But the US keeps minting them anyway, and the Fed estimates it already has enough $1 coins to last the next . . .

Full story at: BBC News

Monday, August 09, 2010

The British fail to save their pennies wisely

New research shows Brits could literally be sitting on £42.9 million of change down the back of sofas!

The research has drawn up a 'Loose Change' League Table. Pockets are the most likely place to discover loose change, with 39% of Brits regularly discovering coins in them. This is followed closely by handbags (36%), cars (27%) and the back of sofas (23%).

By value, the biggest discoveries are likely to be in . . .

Full story at:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Aging Baby Boomers and Rare Gold Coin Prices

(Doug Winter, DWN) I recently received an email from a collector who asked what I thought were an extremely intelligent group of questions. In a nutshell, he asked the following. As boomers age, are we nearing a bubble in coin prices? At some point will the number of collectors with the financial means to collect rare gold decrease and will prices suffer accordingly?

Go to any coin show and you will see a disturbing trend. The buyers of most “serious” coins (i.e., coins priced at $1,000 and above) are in their 50’s or 60’s and the dealers selling them these coins tend to be . . .

Full story at:

Friday, August 06, 2010

Claim of a larger treasure hoard after Roman coins found near Manchester

(The archaeologist in this story needs to read about the Reverend Halliday. Then he might not be so sure that it was Romans who actually buried the coins. - A.C. Dwyer)  

An archaeologist says his latest find of buried treasure is proof of a previously unknown Roman encampment on the outskirts of Manchester.

James Balme has been searching the area around Warburton for over a decade to find evidence of its Roman past. In 2006, he discovered a Roman silver snake bracelet and has now unearthed a number of rare Roman silver coins.

James believes the coins are part of a bigger hoard buried nearby and . . .

Full story at: BBC News

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Maryland Governor Applauds Bill to Create Commemorative Coin Honoring the Star-Spangled Banner

Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission to receive up to $8.5 million

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 4, 2010) - Governor Martin O'Malley today applauded the unanimous passage of H.R. 2097, The Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, which was passed earlier this week. Already approved by a vote of 419 to 1 by the House of Representatives, the measure will now go directly to the President for his signature.

"We are extremely grateful to the entire . . .

Full story at: Baltimore CityBizList

James Buchanan Presidential Dollar Coin to be Released August 19

Launch ceremony will take place at former President's home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The 15th coin release in the United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program will go into circulation on August 19, 2010. The design on this Presidential $1 Coin honors James Buchanan, our Nation's 15th President. The United States Mint will celebrate the coin's release with a  . . .

Full story at: U.S. Mint

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Silver Ingots from Spanish Treasure Ships Used To Make Jewelry

Silver and copper worth millions disappear with Spanish Galleon in 1622

What do you do with ingots of silver and copper that date back to 1622, and were discovered by treasure hunters at the bottom of the ocean 360 years later?

If you are Jack Mangé, you get some of that treasure from the deep and start making beautiful jewelry.

That is what Mangé has been doing since 1989, when he approached famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher with the jewelry idea. . . .

Full story at: St. Tammany News

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Romania Mints Coin Depicting Anti-Semitic Leader

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's central bank has issued a special coin commemorating a prime minister and religious leader who stripped Jews of their citizenship before World War II. The move prompted protest Monday from Romanian Jews as well as a director at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Radu Ioanid, who runs the museum's international archives, said he was "shocked" by the bank's decision to mint the coin depicting . . .

Full story at: Associated Press

Treasure Hunter Odyssey Marine Exploration Wins Case in Spanish Court

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX - News), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, is pleased to report that Captain Sterling Vorus has been cleared of all charges by a court in Algeciras, Spain relating to the blockade and boarding of the Odyssey Explorer. The Spanish court ruled that Spanish officials did not have proper authorization to board or search Odyssey's ship in 2007.

The court relied on Spanish law that prevents the Guardia Civil from boarding or searching foreign ships without . . .

Full story at: Yahoo News

Monday, August 02, 2010

Centuries-old 1773 Virginia copper halfpenny coin just one treasure found in dig

TRAPPE — Archaeologist Lou Farrell didn't exactly strike gold when he and his crew dug up an old coin at the Henry Muhlenberg House this summer, but if the elation in his voice is any indication, to him the 1773 Virginia copper halfpenny is even more valuable.

"This was heavily used; it's not just messed up from being in the ground," Farrell said, handing over the coin with the murky likeness of King George III, eroded by nearly 250 years of earthen confinement.

Tons of these coins were minted for . . .

Full story at: The Mercury

Santa Margarita shipwreck yields some silver pieces of eight treasure coins and gunner's dice

State allows salvagers to follow treasure trail

Patience pays -- and it pays well -- to the tune of seven silver treasure coins that spent nearly 400 years on the ocean floor.

Treasure divers from Blue Water Ventures in May surfaced with a 5-pound clump of encrusted objects from the wreck of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita, which they are excavating with partners Mel Fisher's Treasures.

They hoped it contained treasure, but only time would tell, as the divers passed their finds to a skilled conservator to unlock the treasures of the . . .

Full story at: Florida Keys News

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Origins Of Common Currency Symbols

Earlier this month, India made news after giving its currency, the rupee, an official currency symbol. This got me thinking - where did the symbols for the rest of the world's currencies come from? Let's take a look at some of the world's most heavily traded currencies and their origins . . .

Full story at: San Francisco Chronicle

United States Mint Introduces Yosemite National Park Quarter

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United States Mint Director Ed Moy, joined by National Park Service officials, today introduced to the Nation the new quarter honoring Yosemite National Park in California. The coin's reverse (tails side) design features the iconic El Capitan, the largest granite monolith in the world.

"With this quarter, the United States Mint connects America to the wonder, peace and beauty of one of its most awe-inspiring natural treasures – Yosemite National Park," Moy told the crowd.

The Yosemite National Park quarter is the third released through the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program, a multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other sites in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. Each year through 2020, the United States Mint will issue five new quarters in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site. One final coin will be released in . . .

Full story at: PR Newswire