The American Numismatic Association needs your help.
The ANA, like everything else, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Aside from canceling the World’s Fair of Money, the headquarters in Colorado Springs had to close. And with the number of cases rising, especially in areas that were not hit hard in the first wave, the near future is uncertain. Remember, the 2021 National Money Show is scheduled to be held in Phoenix, and Arizona is reporting one of the worst rates of COVID-19 infections in the country!
Earlier today, ANA members received an email from Executive Director Kim Kiick asking members to donate to the association.
After the note arrived, I tried to write to Kim and the ANA to make a recommendation. I received an autoresponder note saying that Kim was on furlough!
I admit that my heart sank when I received that note. Here in the Washington, DC area, furloughs have a real negative feeling. When the government was closed, and everyone was furloughed, we contractors did not get paid. Being on furlough and knowing people on furlough is terrible, especially when you know and like them.
The ANA has not reported the furloughs’ extent, but I am sure that Kim is not the only one. But the furloughs may not be enough. While the ANA is trying to maintain a presence in the hobby, the ANA is not fully operational. For example, the library is closed. I need the library for a project I have to put on hold because they have a hard-to-find book I want.
The ANA is the voice of the hobby and must be viable to ensure numismatics has a future. For the ANA to be viable, the association has to pay the people working in the headquarters. They are the unsung heroes of the ANA. Kim and her staff have held the organization together during the pandemic. They need to be fairly compensated.
Go to info.money.org/fall-appeal to learn how to donate.
SMILE AND BUY
Did you know that you can raise money for the ANA just by shopping on Amazon? They have a program called AmazonSmile that will let you shop and support your favorite charitable organization. Just go to smile.amazon.com, find the ANA in the charitable organizations list, select it, and go shopping.
When you purchase an item marked as “Eligible for AmazonSmile Donation,” Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the ANA.
If you buy a $30 item from Amazon, they will donate 15-cents to the ANA. But if 20,000 members buy a $30 item from Amazon, the ANA will receive $3,000!
You might say that this is not a lot of money. But when an organization is hurting, everything counts. If you are shopping on Amazon regularly, just shop on AmazonSmile. If you are a Prime member, Amazon will recognize your membership for free shipping.
Amazon has a page that provides information about the AmazonSmile program. Just click here.
You are shopping on Amazon anyway. Use AmazonSmile and support the ANA. I use AmazonSmile for all of my purchases, including business purchases, and I am a Prime member.
I have tried my best to get the word out to as many people as possible, including the media. I spent a few hours scouring the Internet for the consumer reporters’ addresses in as many major markets as possible, even sending messages to competing stations. Nobody has responded.
Even though high traffic and Google statistics tracking has pushed the blog closer to the top of the search when people inquire about counterfeit American Silver Eagles, the fact remains that it is difficult or a one-man crusade to cut through the daily noise.
It would have been nice if I had help. I did post warnings on the ANA’s Facebook group. Even though there are Board members involved with the Facebook group, nobody has picked up the ball and tried to put the force of the ANA behind an educational campaign.
The email sent about these fake coins add up to over 150 counterfeit coins. Although it is a small fraction of the total American Silver Eagle population, counterfeits in the market can potentially turn potential collectors into someone who does not trust the market.
I will continue my part of the fight.
Other than the posts I made about these coins, I compiled a list of the websites identified by readers as selling counterfeit American Silver Eagle coins. Once I created the list, I checked the sites to see if they are still selling fakes.
Readers can find the list of dealers selling fake coins at coinsblog.ws/fakes. I will maintain that list with the information as I receive it. Maybe if we work together, we can educate the public and eliminate the demand these scammers use to dupe people.
And now the news…
The narrative about the 2020 numismatic market has been consistent across the media. These reports claim that hat collector coins are selling but at less than enthusiastic rates. Dealers are reporting that bullion coins dominate the market, primarily online. And everyone has read stories that the rare coin market is as healthy as it has ever been.Within that narrative, two of the rarest and most expensive coins did not sell within the last month. The finest-known 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar, one of the first coins to be minted by the United States in 1794, failed to sell. Purchased in 2013 by Bruce Morelan, Legend Auctions tried to find a buyer at a recent auction in Las Vegas. The coin had a pre-sale estimate of $8-9 million but failed to find a buyer with an opening bid of $7 million.
A few lots later, the Dexter Specimen Class I 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, recognized as the finest known, failed to sell. The auctioneer lowered the opening bid to $3.2 million and still had no interest.
Although the top of other collectible auctions has seen lower prices, the drop is not as significant as being demonstrated with numismatics. It has become common for art to sell for over $1 million that it no longer makes the news. But few are selling at record prices.
Auction watchers are reporting that rare and scarce items are selling at 20-50 percent over their previous prices. Sports collectibles and other memorabilia are amongst the hottest collectibles. Simultaneously, these same watchers report that automobilia, pottery, and numismatics are not generating the same interest.
Analysts are not trying to explain why the market shifts noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything. One analyst wrote that some markets see the benefit of material once locked up in collections has surfaced to generate money for the sellers. The market has not kept pace. It is assumed that the buyers are not financially capable of purchasing at the prices being demanded.
It has become a cliché to call these “unprecedented times.” For the auction predictors, the pandemic’s effect has most trying to understand what it means for the markets. We will see if it carries into November when Stacks-Bowers tries to auction the Stickney-Eliasberg 1804 dollar.
And now the news…
As time and technology changes, we have to be able to keep up with the times. For the longest time, the Coin Collectors Blog and Coin Collectors News have used Google’s Feedburner to allow users to subscribe for updates via email. Starting in 2021, email updates for the Coin Collectors Blog and Coin Collectors News will use WordPress to send email updates exclusively.
Google stopped supporting Feedburner in 2010. Although it has continued to work, Feedburner cannot handle the growth of subscription requests. On several occasions, I had to fix issues manually. It has interrupted time I would rather spend on writing.
WordPress does not allow me to import email addresses from the old system. Those interested in receiving updates via email must subscribe via the form here or in the sidebar.
Both services will continue to work until 2021. On or after New Year’s Day, I will terminate the Feedburner service. Until then, there will be no support for Feedburner subscription issues.
Please visit the Coin Collectors News site to sign up for updates when the industry makes news.
At the beginning of every month, I try to summarize the numismatic-related legislation from the previous month. A few months were skipped because they were boring. September was not boring. It was overwhelming because the bills that showed progress are very significant.
H.R. 1923: Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020
- initiate a program to promote collection of the coins and recognition of their subjects, and
- strike and make available for sale silver bullion coins that are the exact duplicates of the coins.
Starting with H.R. 1923, Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020, it became a catchall bill to make many changes to the U.S. Mint’s circulating coin programs. Initially, the bill began as a proposal to create a series of circulating quarters honoring Women’s History and the Nineteenth Amendment. Since it was a convenient vehicle, other series ideas were added.
If the bill passes the Senate, the following will change your pocket change:
- 2022-2025: Accomplishment of American Women, 5 per year
- 2026: U.S. Semiquincentennial, up to 5
- 2027-2030: Sports Played by American Youth, 5 per year
- 2027-2030: Paralympic Sports
- 2026: U.S. Semiquincentennial
- 2027-2030: Accompanying Sports Medals
- 2028: Manufacture medals for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles
Silver Bullion Coins
- 5-ounce coins based on the quarter and half-dollar designs
- Can produce “ fractional” silver bullion coins
George Washington will continue to appear on the obverse but “be designed in a manner, such as with incused inscriptions, so as to distinguish it from the obverse design used during the previous quarters program.” Does this mean that the John Flannagan design and its many permutations can be retired for something a little more attractive? Replacing the Flannagan design for the Laura Gardin Fraser design would be appropriate.
The bill includes similar language for the image of John F. Kennedy on the 2026 Semiquincentennial half-dollar.
H.R. 4104: Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
H.R. 4104, Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, is a typically formatted commemorative coin program for 2022 to honor the Negro Leagues’ centennial. Surcharges will be paid to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
H.R. 6192: 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act
H.R. 6192, 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, will allow the U.S. Mint to produce a Morgan and Peace Dollar in 2021. These coins may contain more than the original 90-percent silver of the original.
The rest of the bills were introduced in September. There is not much to talk about until something happens, which is not likely until the lame-duck session.
H.R. 8242: National Women’s Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act of 2020
S. 4663: A bill to amend title 31, United States Code, to save Federal funds by authorizing changes to the composition of circulating coins, and for other purposes.
S. 4730: A bill to amend title 31, United States Code, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue quarter dollars in commemoration of the Nineteenth Amendment, and for other purposes.
From the $17.925 at the close of the markets on January 2 through August 6, silver rose 58-percent. If the U.S. Mint had to purchase silver in August to meet market demands, it was the most expensive silver they purchased.
|Product||Old Retail Price||New Retail price||Percent Increase|
|Presidential Silver Medals||$46.00||$65.00||41.304%|
|America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set||$42.50||$60.00||29.167%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coin||$64.50||$73.00||13.178%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin||$54.00||$67.00||24.074%|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coins—Bulk Pack||†||$2,920.00||—|
|American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin—Bulk Pack||†||$2,680.00||—|
|Limited Edition Silver Proof Set||$120.00‡||$201.00||67.500%|
|Silver Proof Set||$63.25||$105.00||66.008%|
|America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin||$178.25||$229.00||30.670%|
|End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Silver Proof Coin||*||$83.00||—|
|End of World War II 75th Anniversary One Ounce Silver Medal||*||$75.00||—|
|2019 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set||$36.95||$60.00||62.514%|
|2019 American Liberty High Relief Silver Medal||$99.95¶||$175.00||75.088%|
|2019 Congratulations Set||$56.95||$75.00||31.694%|
|2019 Silver Proof Set||$54.95¶||$105.00||91.083%|
‡ The only items for sale at the U.S. Mint that comes close to this is the Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020 Proof Silver Dollar and Medal Set
* Item was not for sale prior to the price hike
¶ Listed as “Currently Unavailable” on the U.S. Mint’s website.
You cannot blame the U.S. Mint’s metals buyers. First, they are mandated to buy precious metals from U.S. sources at the market value. If they need additional inventory, then they buy it on the market like everyone else. Like any investor, the U.S. Mint can try to predict the market, but the results are variable like any investor.
Since August 6, the price of silver dropped to $24.315, a 14.17-percent decrease. However, the price of silver is up 35.65-percent for the year. If the price of materials rise, how long could the U.S. Mint maintain their prices?
Aside from the rising cost of silver, the U.S. Mint did not report how much other costs have risen. Aside from the dies and facilities costs, they must account for labor, design, and production costs. The U.S. Mint has not reported what additional costs they have incurred because of the pandemic.
The U.S. Mint is unlikely to report about these issues until the release of the annual report.
And now the news…