Monday, January 31, 2011

The Flip Side to Coins Advertised by ‘Mints’

If you’re a channel clicker or magazine reader, there’s a good chance you’ve seen ads hawking shiny coins made by some outfit whose name includes the word “mint.’’ It might not be what you think.

If you look closely, there are disclaimers saying there is no . . .

Full story at: The Boston Globe

New Collecting World Coins: Circulating Issues 1901 - Present, 13th Edition is Now Available

Krause Publications has just released a new 13th Edition of the Collecting World Coins: Circulating Issues 1901 - Present.

This edition includes all circulating mint-issue coins of the world for more than a century, from 1901 to date, fully illustrated and offering the most up-to-date pricing in up to five grades.

Embodies all the traditional accuracy and attention to detail of the larger editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins (see below). The vast majority of private collections and family accumulations consist of circulating coinage, making this catalog the best and easiest reference to use.

Get your copy here.

Current Editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins:

Standard Catalog Of World Coins 1701-1800, 5th Edition
Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900, 6th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000, 38th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date, 5th Edition

Find more New Releases here!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

World Gold Council Report Shows Gold Price in 2010 Driven by Recovery in Key Markets

The gold price rose for the tenth consecutive year in 2010 reaching US$1,405.50/oz by the end of December on the London PM fix, a 29 percent increase from last year’s levels.

According to the World Gold Council (WGC), which today released its Gold Investment Digest for the fourth quarter and full-year 2010, last year’s price performance was driven by developments in key gold markets.

China saw increased investment activity, driven in part by innovative new gold investment vehicles offering improved access to the gold market, while jewellery consumption recorded a rebound in India, the world’s largest gold market. Globally, investors remained concerned about . . .

Full story at: World Gold Council Press Release

Read a copy of the latest report at: World Gold Council Publications

Watch a video summary of the highlights of the 2010 report.

New 'Gold to Go' ATMs May Have Criminals Going for Gold

THOMAS Geissler calls his gold coin dispensing automatic teller machines (ATMs) Gold to Go. If his plan to install SA’s first such machine at Cape Town’s Waterfront comes to fruition, he may find they live up to their name — but not in the way he intends.

His company Geissler C-B-T has already placed 11 such ATMs in Germany Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and the US. Mr Geissler said yesterday he hopes to install an ATM at . . .

Full story at: Business Day

U.S. Mint Issues a Consumer Alert on National Collector's Mint 9/11 Coin

The United States Mint wants to alert consumers and the public about a new product being marketed by a private firm—the National Collector's Mint. The National Collector's Mint advertises this product as a "10th Anniversary September 11th Commemorative Dollar" and claims that it is a "Liberian government authorized legal tender coin."

This product is not a genuine United States coin or medal. Under the Constitution . . .

Full story at:

Politicians Outraged by National Collector's Mint, Fake 9/11 10th Anniversary Commemorative Coins

"With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaching, we should unfortunately expect more scams, as criminals and snake oil salesmen seek to profit from the deep emotional connection that millions of Americans have to that terrible tragedy," Nadler said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jerrold Nadler want to cashier a company they say is peddling bogus 10th anniversary 9/11 coins.

"I think there should be criminal prosecution here," Schumer said. "I think people like this should be behind bars."

National Collector's Mint, a private Port Chester company that has nothing to do with . . .

Full story at: NY Daily News

Small Town Museum in Alabama Displays SS Republic Treasure

Odyssey Founder's Grandfather is Link to the Museum

ELBERTA, Ala. -- The little heritage museum in this Alabama gulf coast community of 675 souls houses all the things you'd expect. There are vintage farm implements, old-time dresses, Victorian kitchen utensils, tools, a blacksmith's forge, a Victrola phonograph, etc. But there is also something else, something you would never expect in a small-town museum: Artifacts from a multi-million dollar treasure trove recovered from a shipwreck out in the Atlantic.

A mural, captions on the exhibits and a video tell the story of the ill-fated SS Republic, a sidewheel paddle-steamer, as she . . .

Full story at: Toronto Sun

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Knew the United States Had a Loonie, Too?

Problem is, the dollar coin has never caught on in the land of the greenback.

The plight of the American loonie is so desperate that Abraham Lincoln has been promoted from the penny to save it. You could do a lot of shopping in this country without knowing the United States even has an imitation-gold-coloured one-dollar coin -- most people here have no idea it exists -- but the fact is half a billion of them are stamped out every year, and almost none of them ever is spent in commerce, except by me.

Or, as one sheepish official of the Treasury Department recently obfuscated to Congress . . .

Full story at: The Edmonton Journal

U.S. Mint Releases New Gettysburg National Parks Quarter Today

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - The United States Mint released the Gettysburg National Military Park quarter today with a special ceremony held at the park's Museum and Visitor Center. United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing B. B. Craig and Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Bob Kirby co-hosted the event, with Barbara Finfrock, vice chair of the Gettysburg Foundation, serving as master of ceremonies. The event also included appearances by Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Manbeck Corbett and the Gettysburg High School Civil War Ceremonial Brass Band. Highlights included a . . .

Full story at:

NY Politicians Call For Crackdown On "Phony" 9-11 Commemorative Coins

(New York, NY) -- New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Jerry Nadler want the Federal Trade Commission to immediately stop the makers of some 9-11 commemorative coins from selling them.

Senator Schumer says National Collector's Mint is raking in millions of dollars in profits from a national tragedy, while robbing . . .

Full story at:

(I recently posted an article here showing how to determine the value of the gold content of real coins and those "tribute proofs" seen on TV - A.C. Dwyer)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ever Wonder How The World Reserve Monetary Exchange Gets Around Our Currency Defacement Laws?

The Truth is in the Photos

A relative of mine called and asked me to take a look at an “investment” in some “rare currency” that he obtained by calling a number from an advertisement (the type made to look like a legitimate new article) in our local paper. There it is was, in all it’s glory. He handed me a crisp, presumably uncirculated 2003 (since when is new issue currency rare?) US $2 bill encased in a . . .

Full story at: KWAphoto

National Collector's Mint Are Fool's Gold Not Rare Coins

With China President Hu Jintao’s visit, it seems appropriate to touch upon our current relationship with China. But before I do, I have to get something off my chest that best fits in the “How stupid can people be?” category.

It pertains to a commercial that fittingly runs on CNBC. I say “fittingly” because the incredible level of chutzpah demonstrated by the National Collector’s Mint ad is matched only by the asinine . . .

Full story at: The Nashua Telegraph

(I recently posted an article here showing how to determine the value of the gold content of real coins and those "tribute proofs" seen on TV - A.C. Dwyer)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Zealand May Issue Gold or Silver Coins to Commemorate Royal Wedding

New Zealand Post is commissioning stamps and may issue gold or silver coins to commemorate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The April wedding has whetted Kiwis' appetites for royalty and romance and other businesses are also gearing up to cash in. NZ Post stamps and coins general manager Ivor Masters said two stamps would be issued in March along with a . . .

Full story at:

Cent Survives Its Purchasing Power

It's penny dreadful how little one buys.

This British expression for a cheap horror book describes the plight of the smallest U.S. coin. A cent — or a penny as it's usually called — will buy a postage stamp, a kiddie ride on a mechanical pony and that's about it.

Gone are the days of penny candy and penny gum machines, though sixpenny and fourpenny nails are still . . .

Full story at: The Pueblo Chieftain

Texas Man Hits Jackpot with Currency Note Found in Book from Rummage Sale

Republic of Texas 25-cent Note Sells at Auction for $63,250

Bill Farnsworth of Austin, Texas, must feel like he hit the lottery jackpot.

He wasn't a fan of auctions or rummage sales, but he went along to make his wife, Cindy, happy. At one, she bought several boxes of used textbooks for $10. Most people would look at that as just more clutter.

As Cindy Farnsworth flipped through the books she'd purchased, she found something that might have been a bookmark. She thought her husband might like it. He looked at it and assumed it was an old piece of . . .

Full story at: The Sacramento Bee

What is the Value of Collectible Coins on TV?

Q: I recently saw a TV ad for a $50 gold piece the com­pany was trying to sell for $9.95 as something they called a "tribute proof." They said it was overlaid in real gold. With the price of gold being where it is, is this a good deal?

A: According to its website, the real $50 buffalo bullion coin is the first .9999 24-karat gold piece ever struck by the U.S. Mint. . . .What you saw advertised on the TV is not a real coin. It is a . . .

Full story at: The Montgomery Advertiser

(I recently posted an article here showing how to determine the value of the gold content of real coins and those "tribute proofs" seen on TV - A.C. Dwyer)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well Known Rare Coin Firm Allegedly Bilks Elderly Woman of Over $1 Million

Asset Marketing Services is the parent corporation for Stauer,, First Federal Coin Corp., and

PHOENIX (CN) - An 82-year-old woman says a telemarketer bilked her for $1.3 million by "aggressively marketing and selling her historic and commemorative coins, precious metals and other dubious collectables by telephone at unconscionably high prices, in some instances, as much as 5 times their actual market value."
Wilma Burgeson claims that Assets Marketing Services . . .

Full story at: Courthouse News Service

Most Coin Collectors Do Not Understand the Concept of 'Originality'

How To Tell If Your Coin is "Original."

(Doug Winter, DWN) Around a year ago, I wrote a blog that discussed original 19th century United States gold coins and used photos of specific coins to illustrate the points I was attempting to make. This was one of the most popular blogs to ever appear on and I was pleased to get the positive feedback it generated.

At the recent FUN show, I was shown two collections of coins. One consisted of around two dozen Charlotte and Dahlonega coins while the other had around 30 early gold coins. All were . . .

Full story at: Douglas Winter Numismatics

Friday, January 21, 2011

U.S. Mint's Gettysburg National Military Park Quarters Available January 27

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for bags and two-roll sets containing the new Gettysburg National Military Park quarter at noon Eastern Time (ET) on January 27. The two-roll sets are priced at $39.95 each and the bags at $49.95 each.

The coins in the bags and rolls were minted on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation. The two-roll sets (40 coins per roll) include one roll each of coins bearing the "P" and "D" mint marks. The coins are wrapped in distinctive . . .

Full story at:

2011 United States Mint Silver Proof Coin Set™ Available January 25

Seven of 14 coins contain 90 percent silver

WASHINGTON - Collectors may begin ordering the 2011 United States Mint Silver Proof Set at noon Eastern Time (ET) on January 25. The dime, half-dollar and quarter-dollar coins in the set are all struck in lustrous 90 percent silver, commonly referred to as "coin silver."

This year's set includes the second group of commemorative quarter-dollars in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program honoring Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; Glacier National Park in Montana; Olympic National Park in Washington; Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi; and Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma. The set also includes the fifth set of coins in the Presidential $1 Coin Program honoring Presidents Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield; one Native American $1 Coin; one Kennedy half-dollar; one Jefferson five-cent coin; one Roosevelt dime; and one Lincoln cent.

All coins bear the "S" mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. . . .

Full story at:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Numismatic Specialization

(Doug Winter, DWN) When I first started out in the coin business, I assumed I was going to sell everything; Morgan Dollars, Barber Dimes, St. Gaudens double eagles and Charlotte gold, I’d handle it all. But I quickly learned that it would be difficult–and costly–to be an expert in so many areas of the market. I then decided that I’d become really good at just a few things and leave the rest to other people.

Nearly three decades later, that’s exactly what I’ve done: I’ve become a . . .

Full story at: Douglas Winter Numismatics

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Collecting World Coins: Circulating Issues 1901 - Present, 13th Edition is Now Available

Krause Publications has just released a new 13th Edition of the Collecting World Coins: Circulating Issues 1901 - Present.

This edition includes all circulating mint-issue coins of the world for more than a century, from 1901 to date, fully illustrated and offering the most up-to-date pricing in up to five grades.

Embodies all the traditional accuracy and attention to detail of the larger editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins (see below). The vast majority of private collections and family accumulations consist of circulating coinage, making this catalog the best and easiest reference to use.

Get your copy here.

Current Editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins:

Standard Catalog Of World Coins 1701-1800, 5th Edition
Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900, 6th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000, 38th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date, 5th Edition

Find more New Releases here!

Royal Canadian Mint Sets Record with Sell-Out of Collector Coins

Ottawa, Ontario – The Royal Canadian Mint is posting stellar results for the sale of its numismatic products in 2010 and is delighted to have sold out 25 collector coins over the last 12 months. This record benchmark is a ringing customer endorsement of the Mint's world class numismatic-products, whose appealing designs and themes, quality and innovations have fuelled strong domestic and international demand in 2010.

"The Royal Canadian Mint prides itself on producing collector coins whose . . .

Full story at: Royal Canadian Mint

Las Vegas Gets Gold Bars and Coins ATM

Of course, Vegas casinos have ATMs close at hand for gamblers who can't resist taking one more spin or playing one more hand.

Now, the venerable Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino has a new twist on ATMs. It has just unveiled a machine that dispenses gold bars and coins instead of twenties.

For those who've always wanted to get into the gold market, the machine makes it easy.

"The GOLD to go" machine spits out 24-karat gold bars from . . .

Full story at: USA Today

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2,100-yr-old Greek Coin Offers Insights Into Rare Astronomical Event

A new research suggests that an unusual Greek coin, minted around 120 BC, may have marked a rare astronomical event - when Jupiter was eclipsed by the Moon.

It happened on January 17, 121 BC and was visible in Antioch, the capital of the Seleucid Empire.

The coin had a portrait of Antiochos VIII, the king who minted it, on one side and god Zeus with a crescent moon above his head and a star-like object (may be Jupiter) hovering above the palm of his right hand on the other side . . .

Full story at: Sify News

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Investing In Rare Coins

"This is not a get-rich-quick scheme."

Nearly anyone can easily retire comfortably investing in rare coins, if they take the time to invest in quality rare coins. Of course there are few things required to achieve this lofty goal. What is required is time, patience, and most important, a winning strategy. In fact there are a number of strategies that you can use to achieve your retirement goals.

Actually there are many well known strategies that many investors already . . .

Full story at: BellaOnline

Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Get an 83% Discount on Rare Morgan Silver Dollar Coins

"In the last bull market, the silver price peaked in 1980, but the Morgan Dollar didn't peak until 1985. The same thing is happening today."

Van Simmons started collecting rare coins when he was 12 years old... Back then, coin collecting was a tough business. You had to be an expert, or you'd get ripped off.

The old coin market was a bit like the diamond industry is today. To value a diamond, you have to be . . .

Full story at: Daily Wealth

2011 Native American Sacagawea Dollar Coin Launches in Plymouth, Massachusetts

The United States Mint held a launch ceremony for the 2011 Native American Dollar on January 12, 2011. The ceremony was held at the Plimoth Plantation Henry Hornblower II Visitor Center in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Native American $1 Coin is authorized by Public Law 110-82-the Native American $1 Coin Act of 2008 (ACT). The Act requires the United States Mint to mint and issue $1 coins with designs celebrating the important contributions of Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The 2011 Native American $1 Coin is the third coin issued in the program, which launched in 2009.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Did Annie Oakley Shoot This Coin? PBS History Detectives Investigate

"By the shape of this coin, it was obviously shot at in the air"

(Susan Headley, Take one damaged nineteenth century French coin, add an interesting family legend, and what do you have? An attempt to prove that Annie Oakley (rather than some random person) shot a bullet through this coin. Can such a thing be proved?

Full story at:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saving the Penny May Put the Brakes on Inflation

"Instead of putting the valueless and worthless penny out of its misery, we should rally behind it. . . . Long live the penny!”

In 1901, in its mail order catalogue, the T. Eaton Company advertised children’s sleds for 25 cents, canned sardines (complete with revolutionary metal keys to roll up the tin lids) for 5 cents, and packets of assorted flower seeds for 1.5 cents apiece. Pennies counted. Without inflation, pennies would still count, would probably buy more than they bought a century ago. Instead, they are worthless and now destined for currency . . .

Full story at: The Globe and Mail

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint

How Frank H. Stewart Destroyed, And Then Saved A National Treasure

Whitman Publishing has released The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint which is now available. The 336-page hardcover book debuted this month at the Florida United Numismatists(FUN) Show in Tampa.

This new book by authors Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger is filled with dozens of sketches, paintings, and photographs of the first U.S. Mint that have not been seen by living numismatists until now.

Get your copy here.

Also by author Leonard Augsburger:

Treasure in the Cellar: A Tale of Gold in Depression-Era Baltimore

Tells the amazing story of two boys that dug up a buried treasure of 19th century $20 gold double eagles that became known as "The Baltimore Hoard."

Find more New Releases here!

New Standard Catalog of German Coins: 1501 to Present, 3rd Edition is Now Available

It's been 12 years since the last edition

Krause Publications has just released a new 3rd Edition of the Standard Catalog of German Coins: 1501 to Present.

The catalog includes details, current values and photographs of 5 centuries of German coins, including the newest releases and latest discoveries.

Market values are based on analysis of actual dealer offerings and auction results of the last 12 years. This catalog is for those collecting German coins by series, mintmark, ruler, proof, pattern, time period or any other criteria.

This new edition includes:

• Additional data on mint officials and mintage figures
• Listings for German States that only existed prior to 1601
• Expanded descriptions and Instant Identifier tables with illustrations of shields, arms and monograms
• Increased number of minor coin illustrations
• German coin denomination tables by N. Douglas Nicol
• Brief overview of German monetary history

Get your copy here.

Find more New Releases here!

New Standard Catalog Of World Coins 1701-1800, 5th Edition is Now Available

This past month Krause Publications released a new 5th Edition of the Standard Catalog Of World Coins 1701-1800.

The catalog includes details and prices for all mint issued coins of the world from 1701 to 1800, including government tokens, patterns, special presentation coins, and more.

This latest edition includes:

• Details for 18th century coins issued around the world
• Current values in up to five grades of condition, including dramatic changes in values for gold coins and silver crowns
• 20,000 actual-size coin photos and illustrations

Get your copy here.

Current editions for other centuries:

Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900, 6th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000, 38th Edition
2011 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date, 5th Edition

Find more New Releases here!

Four Ways to Invest in Gold Properly

"Don't confuse investing in gold with the things being sold as gold investments!"

Most money managers advocate anywhere from 3%-10% in gold. More bullish managers recommend an allocation as high as 20%.
Gold is protection, insurance against inflation, currency debasement, and global uncertainty. Here are four ways you can invest. . . .

Full story at:

2,000 Year Old Treasure of Roman Coins Discovered in English Field

An amateur sleuth with a metal detector has uncovered the haul of a lifetime in a Cumbrian field.

John Murray, 66, was amazed to find 308 Roman coins, some thought to be nearly 2,000 years old. The hoard was concealed in a smashed pot a few feet below the ground at Beckfoot, near Silloth.

It is the second major Roman find in Cumbria, following the Crosby Garrett helmet which was unearthed by a . . .

Full story at: The Whitehaven News

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Coin Collection Can Be a Treasure Trove

Returns from investing in coins and bank notes can range anywhere between 20% and 30%

Suhas Kadam, a private-sector employee, dreamt of owning a house. But money was a problem and there came a point where he was about to give up on his dream. He had no godfather, no windfall or inheritance that he could turn to. He turned to the small investments he had made over 25 painstaking years-a collection of 252 "error" coins. These are coins in which minor errors had crept in during minting.

In 2009, he auctioned his collection for . . .

Full story at: The Economic Times

Friday, January 07, 2011

America the Beautiful Bullion Coins Go to Speculators and Not Coin Collectors

Jim Hausman of The Gold Center in Springfield, Ill., sold about 600 sets of America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins at $975 each on Jan. 3. That should make him a happy businessman, right? Uh, not so much.

“These coins were supposed to go to collectors, and they went to profiteers,” Hausman said. And he puts the blame for that right on the U.S. Mint. “They screwed up,” Hausman said.

The Mint had planned to strike 100,000 of the five-coin sets, but there were problems with the . . .

Full story at:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Reknowned Numismatist Q. David Bowers Authors President Ronald Reagan Biography

Special features include a booklet on “Coins of the Reagan Presidency: Issues and Mintages.”

Ronald Reagan, “the Great Communicator”—no modern president has captured the world’s attention at such a pivotal point in history. He brought to the White House an easy charm, a firm hand, and the wit and wisdom to strengthen our hopes and let us once again see America as a shining city on a hill, a “tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans.”

For the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth, award-winning historian Q. David Bowers presents a richly illustrated scrapbook that shares the Gipper’s uniquely American story—from small-town Illinois to an exciting radio and movie career, to the governor’s mansion in California, to the presidency of the United States.

Get your copy here.

Find more New Releases here!

A Guide Book of Franklin and Kennedy Half Dollars is Now Available

The Latest Bowers Series Book Covers History, Values, Rarities, Grading, and More

Whitman Publishing has released the 15th title in its Bowers Series of numismatic references: A Guide Book of Franklin and Kennedy Half Dollars, by Rick Tomaska. The 304-page softcover book is available online and from booksellers nationwide. It retails for $19.95.

Rick Tomaska is well known as a coin dealer specializing in high-grade Proofs in particular. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he championed the recognition of cameo and deep cameo Proof designations on NGC and PCGS holders.

Get your copy here.

Find more New Releases here!

The Insider’s Guide to U.S. Coin Values 2011 is Now Available

The annual "The Insider's Guide to U.S. Coin Values 2011" with updated prices by Gold Coin Price Coordinator Mike Fuljenz is now available. The Insider's Guide by Scott Travers is the most complete authority on U.S. coin prices.

Mike Fuljenz served as the Gold Coin Price Coordinator for the 2011 release of the “The Insider's Guide to U.S. Coin Values 2011.” The Insider’s Guide by Scott Travers annually is the most complete and current price guide on the market today.

Coinage Magazine states, “If you’re buying just one price guide to see what your coins are worth, this is the obvious choice.”

Get your copy here.

Find more New Releases here!

Critics Call Canada's New Dollar Silver Coin "Absolutely Ridiculous"

OTTAWA — Canada's 2011 silver dollar commemorates the centennial of Parks Canada by showing endangered species — with one hiccup: Half the species on the coin aren't found in or near any parks.

The selection has puzzled some naturalists, who wonder why the coin doesn't show more of the hundreds of species that are truly protected by national parks.

The silver dollar, which will sell to collectors for . . .

Full story at: The Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

WikiLeaks Cables Lead to Motion to Strike U.S. Brief Filed in $500 Million Shipwreck Treasure Case

January 5, 2011- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX), a pioneer in the field of deep-ocean exploration, filed a Motion to Strike the amicus brief filed by the United States which is in support of Spain in the “Black Swan” case. In the alternative, Odyssey asks the Court to direct the United States to amend its statement of interest to accurately reflect its interest in the case. The “Black Swan” case is currently pending in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Odyssey was named in several U.S. State Department cables obtained and recently released by the website WikiLeaks. The released cables suggest that the U.S. State Department offered special assistance to Spanish officials in the “Black Swan” case in exchange for assistance in acquiring a French painting confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and now on display in a museum in Madrid.

“We have brought to the Court's attention the evidence suggesting that the involvement of the U.S. Executive Branch in the ‘Black Swan’ case goes beyond its interest in . . .

Full story at:

100-Ounce Sierra Gold "Washington Nugget" to be Auctioned March 15

Imagine a gold nugget the size of a small fruitcake.

Fred Holabird, a mining geologist, doesn't have to imagine, because a gold prospector brought one into his Reno office in 2010.

Holabird remembers shouting, "Oh, my God!" or something similar, but unprintable in a family newspaper.

"I made some exclamation that was very, very . . .

Full story at: The Sacramento Bee

National Collector's Mint Cashes in Again on 9/11 Ten Year Anniversary with Tacky Coins

(I really hate this kind of crap!
Read what I thought about their first WTC commemorative in an article I wrote over 4 years ago. - A.C. Dwyer)

The hucksters at the National Collector's Mint are out with a fresh scam that demeans the memory of 9/11. They are shameless and shameful.

Trading on the approach of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack, the company is peddling in TV ads and online a next-to-worthless . . .

Full story at: NY Daily News

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

One of the Largest Hoards of 2nd Century Roman Silver Coins Found in Britain

Nearly 600 silver denarii were uncovered ranging from the reign of Emperor Nero (AD54 to 68) to Emperor Antonio Pius (AD138 to 161).

A HOARD of Roman coins discovered in a Newport field will be under the microscope at the National Roman Legion Museum later this month.  The Roman coins were uncovered by amateur archaeologist Brian Stephens in a pasture field near his home in Llanvaches in June 2006.

They are believed to be one of the largest second century silver coin hoards recorded from Roman . . .

Full story at: South Wales Argus

U.S. Mint Ends Satin Finish for Uncirculated Coin Sets

Satin finish to be discontinued; brilliant finish reinstated

(US Mint Press Release) WASHINGTON - The United States Mint today announced that it is discontinuing the satin finish on numismatic uncirculated coins produced for the United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set® and other products. Instead, beginning in 2011, uncirculated-quality coins will feature a brilliant finish.

The United States Mint began using the satin finish for its uncirculated coins in 2005 to be consistent with . . .

Full story at:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Researchers Connect Ancient Coins to Historic Events

Researchers at McMaster University are mapping the metallic DNA of ancient Greek and Roman coins, establishing a direct link from the currency to events that changed the course of history such as wars and even the collapse of the Roman Empire.

They have developed a technique that makes it possible to determine the precise metal content of ancient coins by bouncing subatomic particles off their . . .

Full story at: CTV News

Popular At-Home Gold Parties Illegal in South Carolina

Greenville, S.C. - Todd Kelly buys and sells gold for a living. He is the manager of The Coin Depot on Poinsett Highway in Greenville.

Kelly said he has to tell people all the time that at-home gold parties are illegal in South Carolina.

“The idea is good,” said Kelly. “It's kind of like a Tupperware party, but the problem is they don't realize their $200 they get is worth . . .

Full story at:

Wishing You a Prosperous New Year!

Families Fight Over Buried Pirate Treasure

"Some believe the island may have been used in the past as a staging ground for pirates and that their treasures may still be hidden in caves"

A family is claiming it has owned the disputed "buried treasure" land at Fortune Hill, San Salvador for more than 100 years.

During a press conference yesterday morning, Dennis Bethel announced that the land being excavated on Fortune Hill belonged to his great-grandfather Nimrod Newton, by way of a Crown grant dated August 8, 1876.

The Newton tract . . .

Full story at: The Tribune (Bahamas)

Could You Become an Investor in the Search for Real Shipwreck Treasure?

The odds of finding booty on shipwrecks may be minimal, but such schemes - or 'search and recovery investment opportunities' - are becoming more popular

It's not often your financial adviser makes you smile - they are not natural entertainers as a rule - but mine had me chuckling recently. We were discussing 'exotic' investments when he suggested putting money into a scheme that recovers treasure-filled shipwrecks.

I replied that investing in . . .

Full story at:

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Some of My Favorite Obscure United States Gold Coins

(Doug Winter, DWN) One of the things about the Christmas/New Year’s holidays is that they are a time of remembrance. If you are a coin dealer (and if you’ve been one for as long as I have…) this is a good time to sit around and get all nostalgic about interesting coins that you have seen or sold.

I originally thought about writing an article that talked about the great U.S. gold coins that I have sold over the years. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a disingenuous puff piece and . . .

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All 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins Sold to Dealers

Under the new agreement, purchasers who opted to order the new five ounce strikes agreed to resell them straight to the public and limit the premium charged on each coin sale to not more than ten percent above the price at which they obtained them, plus a reasonable shipping and handling fee. The purchasers pay the US Mint an amount equal to the London PM Fix price for silver on a designated day multiplied by . . .

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