Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kate Middleton and Prince William Royal Wedding Engagement Coins Now Available

Australia’s first official royal engagement coin for Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton will hit the shelves tomorrow at the Royal Australian Mint.

As Australia’s official coin producer for 45 years and in keeping with the tradition of celebrating milestones of the Royal Family, the Royal Australian Mint is proud to be releasing these commemorative collectible 50 cent coins to celebrate the engagement of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton.

“It is a great honour for the Royal Australian Mint to present this coin design. It has been officially approved by the Her Majesty The Queen and is one of the few royal collectibles to have gone through that process,” said the Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross MacDiarmid.

The coin, dated 2010 to mark the year of the engagement, was designed by . . .

Full story at: The Australian Mint

Liberty Dollar Producer Found Guilty of Selling Privately Minted Currency

Bernard von NotHaus began minting and distributing Liberty Dollars nearly 13 years ago, saying they were an inflation-proof alternative to the U.S. dollar.

Now von NotHaus faces a lengthy prison term after being convicted by a jury in a Statesville courtroom of making, possessing and selling his own coins, according to the . . .

Full story at: Charlotte Observer

Moammar Gadhafi and The Hidden Pot of Gold in Libya

"Libya holds 143.8 tonnes of gold, but some say the actual amount could be several tonnes higher"

Speaking through a telephone call to state television, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi delivered quite a defiant tirade on Sunday, March 20 vowing a 'long war to victory' and pledged retaliation against the international military action descended upon Libya. Many military experts have suggested that the number of troops loyal to Gadhafi could be fewer than 10,000, and argued that Gadhafi will not last long at all.

Moreover, US and European governments have imposed sanctions and frozen Libyan assets worth billions of dollars, including . . .

Full story at: NASDAQ

Hunt for Nazi Torpedoed Ship’s $260 Million Treasure of Silver Bullion

Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (OMEX), the ocean salvager featured in the Discovery Channel series “Treasure Quest,” is trying to recover silver valued at as much as $260 million by October from a ship torpedoed by a Nazi submarine in 1941.

The Tampa, Florida-based company was awarded a contract by the U.K. government last year that would allow it to keep about 80 percent of the bullion treasure of the S.S. Gairsoppa, a cargo steamer sunk by a German U-boat off the Irish coast. There’s an estimated 4 million to 7 million ounces at the shipwreck site, according to . . .

Full story at: Bloomberg News

Monday, March 28, 2011

Head of Royal Canadian Mint Keeps Job After $15 Million Blunder

OTTAWA - Two years after vowing the Royal Canadian Mint would be held accountable for an embarrassing $15.3-million gold accounting blunder, the government has reappointed its chief executive to a new term.

In one of its last acts before the government fell Friday . . .

Full story at: Montreal Gazette

Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 Sacagawea Native American Dollar Coin Released by U.S. Mint

PLYMOUTH, Mass. - B. B. Craig, United States Mint Associate Director of Sales and Marketing, and leaders of the Wampanoag Tribe introduced the 2011 Native American $1 Coin today during a ceremony at the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.

"The 2011 Native American $1 Coin celebrates the Wampanoag Treaty of 1621 that later led the English colonists and Massosoit and his men to join in a first harvest feast," said Craig.

Other speakers at the . . .

Full story at: usmint.gov

Shipwreck Divers Recover $250,000 Gold Medallion

Key West, Fla. (AP) -- Shipwreck experts are evaluating a centuries-old 40-inch gold chain plucked from the seafloor while searching for a 17th-century sunken Spanish galleon off . . .

Full story at: The San Francisco Chronicle

$105,000 American Colonial Coin Among eBay Top Selling Items

WhatSellsBest.com, a website tracking the Top 25 best selling eBay items, is reporting strong bidding for rare auction items being sold in 2011.

A few top items sold thus far; a rare early American Coin was sold for $105,655; a small 18th century booklet, with a poem about Golf fetched $50,400; and an antique Chinese Vase fetched $35,101.

According to James Massey the sites publisher; "Generally, I’m seeing strength in bidding for rare coins, items containing precious metals, and Chinese antiques. But, it also seems every week something . . .

Full story at: WebWire

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee Seeks New Member

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint is accepting applications to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for a new member who is specially qualified in numismatics. The application deadline is April 8, 2011. The United States Mint will review all applications and forward recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury for consideration and appointment.

The CCAC was created to advise the Secretary of the Treasury on the selection of themes and design proposals for circulating coinage, bullion coinage, Congressional Gold Medals and other medals. The CCAC also advises the Secretary with regard to the events, persons, or places to be commemorated by the issuance of commemorative coins, as well as mintage levels and proposed designs of commemorative coins.

The CCAC is composed of . . .

Full story at: usmint.gov

Most Notorious U.S. Coin's Amazing History

... and four more "rock star" pieces from the world's most famous collection of American coins

What makes a coin valuable? It's not the numbers etched on the metal, it's the story behind the piece. That's why coin collectors -- or numismatics -- stockpile pennies. That's why silver dollars draw lines in museums. That's why $20 coins sell for $7 million. Yes, million.

No collection in America has more storied coins than the National Museum of American History. In the gallery below, we've collected five of their most famous pieces, with . . .

Full story at: The Atlantic

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

U.S. Mint Seeks Public's Advice on Coin Content

Almost defying logic, it costs nearly two cents to make a penny and almost a dime to make a nickel.
"That needs to change," said Michael White, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint, which until April 4 is seeking public comment on factors that it should consider when trying to find alternative metals that can be used to make coins.

Until last year, Congress had to approve changes in coin composition. A new law gives the Mint the authority to . . .

Full story at: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Will America return to Gold Standard?

(Kitco News) - Uncertain economic times and distrust of fiat currencies have people around the globe flocking to the safety of hard assets, with gold and silver the primary beneficiaries of that discontent.

Some U.S. state legislators are starting to also look at what they can do to protect their local economies and many are wondering how they can enact a gold standard. It’s unlikely, however, that states can go very far without being in conflict with federal law.

Most famously, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) has advocated the abolition of the . . .

Full story at: Commodity Online

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coin Collecting Albums

For every numismatist or coin collector, finding a good place to store their coins is the most important thing in this world because storing their precious coins in a good and secure place will ensure that the quality and value of their coins is maintained.

There are many types of storage spaces that can help you by displaying and storing your coins. You can either use folders, holders, plastic tubes, or the album, but among these reliable storage spaces, the coin collecting albums are the best way to display the coins.

If you want to know why, here are some benefits of albums and . . .

Full story at: BellaOnline

Monday, March 21, 2011

Minnesota Coin Dealer Unable to Retrieve Coins Shipped by Mistake

A rare coin dealer clicked on the wrong customer's name, sending a computerized shipment order valued at nearly $38,000 to an Athens man instead of the person in Missouri who bought the coins, Athens-Clarke police said.

The package contained 10,000 silver U.S. dimes and 50 French Napoleanic-era coins, according to . . .

Full story at: Athens Banner-Herald

$500,000 Roman Coin Hoard, Iron Age Gold to Stay in United Kingdom

One of the largest hauls of Roman coins ever to be found in Britain and a hoard of exquisitely decorated Iron Age gold neck ornaments unearthed in Scotland are to be saved for the nation.

Both national treasures were in danger of being sold to private collectors and may have disappeared abroad if museums had not been able to raise money to secure them.

But funds donated through . . .

Full story at: Yahoo News UK

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dahlonega Gold Dollar Rarity in High Grade

(Doug Winter, DWN) As the research I am doing for the third edition of my book “Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint, 1838-1861″ comes together, I am learning some interesting things about the availability of each issue, especially in higher grades. I thought it might be interesting to share some of what I’ve learned about high grade gold dollars from this mint.

It appears that Dahlonega gold dollars circulated less than their quarter eagle and half eagle counterparts. as a result, they tend to be found in higher grades. As example, if an issue has a surviving population in the area of . . .

Full story at: Douglas Winter Numismatics

Sunken Treasure Discovered by Oil Company Diver in English Channel

He has been working in the murky seas around Britain’s coast for 25 years.
But now commercial diver Sean Ryan, of Huddersfield, has struck gold – quite literally!

The 45-year-old from Crosland Moor has found a hoard of buried treasure.

Okay, it may not be a rotting wooden chest full of gold doubloons and goblets.

But the haul of coins, cutlery and medals he uncovered 120 metres down on the sea bed of the English Channel is worth a . . .

Full story at: The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

California Gold Nugget Finder Strikes It Rich

(Nugget sells for $400,000 at auction)

The discovery in Nevada County of a nearly 7-pound gold nugget last year has been called a one-in-a-billion find.

Now, on the eve of the so-called Washington Nugget's auction in Sacramento, its finder has told the story.

On top of uncommon luck, it's a tale of geological knowledge, high technology and elbow grease.

And fear. He's afraid to keep his find at . . .

Full story at: The Sacramento Bee

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wells Fargo - Express in the West

Money, money, money! What is it? It is trust, and Wells Fargo Express became the most trusted business in early California.

After forming the American Express Company by consolidating three express agencies on March 18, 1850, Henry Wells and William George Fargo looked west to California and started a joint-stock company on March 18, 1852 that could deliver mail, packages, gold, etc. in the rapidly expanding California market. The newly formed western state, California, had neither banking nor expressing regulations that now exist. Anyone with a safe and some money could start a bank. Gold had a fixed price of $16 a troy ounce and pure gold dust was valued at $20.67 per ounce. In 1849, San Francisco melted gold to make their own coins . . .

Full story at: The Daily Journal

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Liberty Head Half Eagles: A Guide for Collectors


(Doug Winter, DWN) Liberty Head half eagles were produced from 1839 until they were discontinued in 1908. This long-lived series is becoming popular with collectors who are attracted to these coins becuase of their history and rarity. This article is an attempt to make sense of the Liberty Head half eagle series for the beginning and intermediate collector.

First, let’s take a look at some of the historic background of the series and the half eagle denomination. This was one of the original denominations that was authorized by . . .

Full story at: Douglas Winter Numismatics

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Coin Celebrating Royal Engagement Between Kate Middleton and Prince William in Production

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited the Royal Mint in Cardiff on Saturday (March 5) where the royal engagement coin was being created.

The design for the coin was unveiled in December and has received some criticism for not bearing a close enough resemblance to Kate Middleton.

Royal watchers said she appears much fuller in the face on the coin than she is in real life.

The design was approved by the . . .

Full story at: 3news.co.nz

Monday, March 07, 2011

U.S. Mint Seeks Comment on Alternative Metallic Coinage Materials

Washington - The United States Mint today announced that it is requesting public comment from all interested persons on factors to be considered in conducting research for alternative metallic coinage materials for the production of all circulating coins.

These factors include, but are not limited to, the effect of new metallic coinage materials on the current suppliers of coinage materials; the acceptability of new metallic coinage materials, including physical, chemical, metallurgical and . . .

Full story at: U.S. Mint

Gold and Silver Approved as Legal Tender by Utah House of Representatives

The Utah House of Representatives voted on March 4 to make gold and silver coins issued by the federal government into legal tender within state borders, prompting praise from sound-money advocates across the nation. The legislation will now be taken up by the state Senate.

In addition to possibly making precious-metal coin lawful money for intrastate and government transactions, the bill would exempt gold and silver from state sales, income, and capital-gains taxes. The legislation also states that individuals cannot be compelled to accept precious metals instead of Federal Reserve Notes. It was approved in the House with a vote of 47 to 26.

According to the bill’s summary, it “recognizes gold and silver coins that are issued by . . .

Full story at: New American

In God We Trust Suit Tossed Out by U.S. Supreme Court

1864 2-cent is first U.S. coin with
"In God We Trust"
"In God We Trust" to remain on our nation's coins and currency.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a challenge to "In God We Trust" on the nation's coins and currency Monday, refusing to consider a Sacramento man's claim that the national motto is a government endorsement of religion.

Michael Newdow, an atheist, has filed numerous lawsuits against government-sponsored religious invocations, including the words "under God" that were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with him in . . .

Full story at: San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Demise of the $1 Bill: U.S. Could Save $5.5 Billion Says New GAO Report

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Friday claiming that the U.S. government could save up to $5.5 billion dollars by replacing the $1 bill with $1 coins.

The GAO has previously recommended to the Congress replacement of the $1 note with a $1 coin and, in view of the ongoing significant estimated federal financial benefit, they continue to support this prior recommendation.

View a copy of the report at: GAO

Ex-numismatics Executive Agrees to Pay ANA


A tangled, nearly six-year legal saga has ended with an undisclosed financial settlement between the American Numismatic Association and Christopher Cipoletti, the ANA’s former executive director and general counsel, the organization announced Thursday.

The agreement brings to an end multiple lawsuits that began in July 2005, when Cipoletti sued the Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, former employees and a former vendor on various complaints, including civil theft of business property. That lawsuit was resolved . . .

Full story at: The Gazette

Forget the Euro, Spain Town Reintroduces Old Spanish Currency


People are travelling into Mugardos from outside just to spend the old currency they never got round to converting.

A small town in northern Spain has decided to reintroduce the old Spanish currency - the peseta - alongside the euro to give the local economy a lift.

Shopkeepers in Mugardos want anyone with forgotten stashes of the old cash at home to come and spend it.

It is nine years since the peseta was official currency in . . .

Full story at: BBC News

Presidential Dollars: Andrew Johnson Presidency Anything but Golden

With the issuance of every new presidential golden dollar coin from the U.S. Mint, I'm staggered by the lesser-known facts of each presidency.

Andrew Johnson is the latest to be featured on a dollar coin.

He assumed the mantle of vice president for Lincoln's second term. Just months later, Lincoln was shot dead, which left Johnson serving in a position that he hadn't intended or planned.

He was at the helm when . . .

Full story at: The Sacramento Bee

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The World of Rare Coins: The Dollar With the Hole In It

You've probably never seen a U.S. coin like this before. The U.S. Mint began experimenting with different gold dollar patterns in 1852. The problem was simple, gold dollars were small and easily lost. And so the Mint tried out creating pattern gold dollars in 1852, producing the patterns now known as Judd-136 to Judd-148 which have a larger, more convenient diameter.

Instead a more practical solution eventually was decided on. The amount of . . .

Full story at: Luxist

"This 1849 example hand-engraved by James Longacre in the upcoming Heritage Auction shows they were experimenting with gold dollar patterns prior to 1852." - A.C. Dwyer

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Medieval Coin Hoard Declared Treasure

Three hoards of medieval coins found in Shropshire have been declared as treasure by a coroner.

The coins – dating from the 13th to 17th centuries – were discovered in Baschurch and near Oswestry.

Mr John Ellery, coroner for north and mid Shropshire, declared all three finds as treasure trove at inquests in Wem yesterday.

The finds could now go on display at . . .

Full story at: Shropshire Star

Gold and Silver Coins: The States' New Currency?

Why are so many state legislators beginning to call for issuance of a form of gold money?

The Constitution prohibits states from coining money but allows them to make “gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” By prohibiting everything except “gold and silver Coin” the Constitution clearly considers gold and silver coinage to be legitimate, no matter who issues it.

States haven’t issued currency in any form for more than a hundred years. So why now?

Full story at: The Christian Science Monitor

Roman Coin Hoard to be Auctioned

Collection includes a rare denaruis from the reign of Caligula.

A hoard of Roman coins found by two metal detectorists from the Waveney Valley area is to be auctioned.

The 197 coins were found by Norman Howard and John Halles in a field in north Suffolk over April and May 2009.

Known as the North Suffolk Hoard the Roman denarii date from between 2nd century BC to 1st century AD and may have belonged to a retired Roman soldier.

The coins are . . .

Full story at: Eastern Daily Press

Gold: America’s Secret $365 Billion Asset

Federal Reserve Bank Image
 On Tuesday, word came that President Obama is set to propose setting up a board to look at whether the U.S. can sell off some of its real estate holdings, a move that might raise some $15 billion.

But they're missing a big source. To quote the Seinfeld character Kenny Bania: "That's gold, Jerry. Gold!"

For a good chunk of its modern history, the U.S. was on the gold standard. That meant . . .

Full story at: Yahoo News

7 Ways Not to Buy Gold

Avoid these rip-offs when buying gold coins or bars.

Given that $52 billion worth of gold was sold last year for investment purposes, according to the World Gold Council, it’s not surprising that shady dealers have lined up for a piece of the action. Most of the total was invested in gold mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. But some of us like to possess the lustrous stuff by buying it in coins or bars -- and that’s when you can get ripped off.

Regulators say the number of rip-offs is rising with . . .

Full story at: Kiplinger

Coin Dealer Offers $1 Million Reward for Missing King Farouk Coin


Minimum $1,000,000 REWARD offered in an attempt to purchase the Proof 1844-O $5 Gold Half Eagle in order to pair it up with Proof 1844-O $10 Gold Eagle

Paul Hollis Rare Coins was proud to bring "home" to New Orleans the most valuable coin to have ever been struck in Louisiana. This coin was publicly exhibited for the very first time at the exact location where it was struck 165 years ago - at the New Orleans Mint. The last time this coin was sold was in 2006 for $1.5 million. But the story does not end there . . .

Full story at: Paul Hollis Rare Coins

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

17th Century French Coins Among Treasure Found on 400 Year Old Shipwreck


"It's a Louis the XIII French coin and Louis the XIII was in reign in France between 1610 and 1643."

COROLLA, NC (WAVY) - It is the oldest shipwreck ever found on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and many experts think it may be the oldest ever found on the entire Atlantic Coast.

"Frankly it engulfs me sometimes," treasurer hunter Ray Midgett told . . .

Full story at: fox43tv.com

History Channel's Mudmen Dig Up 17th Century Merchant Tokens Along the Thames

Traders' tokens were issued by local merchants during and after the English Civil War (1642-1651) as a form of small change at a time when lower denominations of the realm were out of circulation.

(Reuters) - It's seven in the morning and we kneel in black mud on the freezing banks of London's River Thames in the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral, where a church has dominated the ancient city since the 7th century.

As the tide ebbs exposing the shore, Steve Brooker casually tosses a 17th century trader's token he has found in the dirt into . . .

Full story at: Reuters

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

World Coins Featured on New United Nations Postage Stamps

United Nations Image
Some coins featured on new U.N. stamps include: Chile 100-pesos, Comoros 100-francs, Fiji 50-cents, Guyana 10-dollars, Iceland 100-kr√≥nur, Mauritius 1-rupee, Norway 20-kroner, and Timor-Leste 5-cent.

On 3 March 2011, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) will continue its Coin and Flag series by releasing 24 new stamps in the denominations of US$ 0.44, CHF 0.85 and € 0.65. Three mini-sheets of eight stamps each will be released.

This is the fifth year of the stamp series representing the coins and flags of Member States of the United Nations. The series is expected to run for approximately eight years until stamps representing all 192 Member States are issued.

More info at: United Nations Postal Administration

U.S. Federal Reserve Agrees to Supply Coins and Banknotes to Zimbabwe

US Federal Reserve has "formally" agreed that Zimbabwe's economy is now dollarised and will now supply Zimbabwe with coins and replace notes.

Forget change problems, getting a token or a sweet as change and being stuck with greasy soiled notes. This is because the United States Federal Reserve has agreed to supply coins and replace soiled notes to Zimbabwean banks in a bid to end change problems in the . . .

Full story at: allAfrica.com