I took the job thinking that it could not be that difficult. She said that her late husband was a lifelong collector and had an affinity for half-dollars. It did not sound like a daunting task, so I agreed to meet with her and look at his collection.
Nowadays, when someone calls me for assistance, I usually ask that they take a few pictures with their smartphone and email them so that I can be prepared. In this case that was not possible since my new client did not own a smartphone and expressed displeasure with her “old-fashioned” flip-phone. I was taking a chance.
Rose (not her real name) reminded me of the grandmother-next-door type. Her house was well manicured and the entry reminded me more of the 1950s than any other time. She was neatly dressed as if she was meeting someone of stature. Thankfully, I thought to wear something nicer than my normal jeans and a polo shirt.
We spoke and then she brought me to her late husband’s office. It was quite a contrast from the rest of the house. This was clearly a man’s room whose interest were cars, horses, and coins. Rose said he owned three cars including a 1972 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 (muscle car fans will understand the significance of this car) and had invested in a few racehorses. The cars and the shares in the racehorses were sold but nobody could help her with the coins. Then I found out why.
I was expecting albums, folders, and rolls. When she opened the cabinet, there were five shelves with old cigar boxes, coffee cans, and other containers with loose coins. And while I thought he was a half-dollar collector, he had coins of all types including foreign coins. There were a lot of half-dollars, mostly Walking Liberty halves from the later years and Franklin halves. There was an old metal 35mm film canister with 1964 Kennedy half dollars.
There were several envelopes of foreign currency and Military Payment Certificates he kept from when he was an Army medic in the Korean War.
I have been working with a dealer who specializes in purchasing bulk estates. To help her get the best price, I have been doing a lot of sorting, searching, and ordering of the coins in a manner that would take some of the burdens away from the dealer so he could pay more.
As a bonus, some of the vessels used for storage are also collectibles. The old wooden cigar boxes from Cuba that can be traced to a time before the rise of the Castro regime are highly collectible. So are a few of the coffee cans from brands that have not been heard from in over 50 years including regional brands I had never seen before. That does not include the metal 35mm film canisters. When I asked a dealer, who specializes in old photographic equipment, she made an offer that Rose will probably not refuse.
Considering the size of the accumulation, it will take at least two more days to finish, pack everything, and ship it to the dealer. Although this work is preventing me from writing, I am having a good time. Rose is a nice person and a diehard University of Virginia Cavaliers fan since that was her late husband’s alma mater. Since she decided she likes me, Rose is going to cheer for my Georgia Bulldogs in the upcoming Rose Bowl—which is why I am calling her Rose!
And now the news…
PARIS — Over his 40-year career, the fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier has had his share of odd requests but until last year, he had never been asked to dress a coin. His imagination has produced outrageous concepts like fitting Madonna into a pointy conical bra, slipping the bearded transgender Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst into a couture dress and sending models down a runway lined with menorahs for his fall 1993 Chic Rabbis collection. → Read more at nytimes.com
The staff at Unity's Lincoln Highway Experience have know for some time that future U.S. President William Henry Harrison visited their museum in the mid-1800s, … → Read more at triblive.com
Washington – At the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt participated in the ceremonial strike of the 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar honoring the 100th anniversary → Read more at dailystarjournal.com
Evidence of Jewish-Muslim influences in early days of Islam may prove interfaith dialogue. → Read more at jpost.com
This is something, which has been overlooked, the court said. → Read more at outlookindia.com
Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold and silver coins fell sharply year-over-year in November, keeping their tally for the first 11 months of 2017 on track for the weakest year since 2007, the latest data showed on Thursday. → Read more at reuters.com
Cape Town – The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), has created a commemorative silver coin in honour of the world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant 50 years ago. → Read more at fin24.com
Nearly 150 coin denominations and fables containing 17 years of the 11th-12th centuries have been found in the country’s southern region Lankaran recently. → Read more at azernews.az
The Widow’s Mites – In Chapter 12 of the Gospel of Mark is a story, a parable, about giving. In summary, the story goes that Jesus and His Disciples were → Read more at jacksonvilleprogress.com
For the last few months, there have been reports about how sexual harassment has been pervasive in industries where men hold a great deal of power. Most people are not surprised when politicians are caught up in these types of activities because we do not hold these people in high regard.
Stories out of the entertainment industry should not be surprising either. It is a system where the “talent,” the faces you see on the television or movie screen, are treated better (or worse) than spoiled children. When I worked for NBC in the early 1990s, I saw first-hand how the talent could do no wrong while their behinds were kissed by the production staff. This created an air of omnipotence that also lead to people being treated badly, something I witnessed regularly.
While there are bad actors in every industry, there seems to be a pattern in male-dominated industries. This is why there is an emphasis on teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to girls in order to break the stereotypes. In fact, go to the website of almost any small tech company and look at the list of employees. Not only are most of the employees male, most are white, and what they call diversity includes a male from India or Taiwan. The women listed are in support roles and have no technical responsibility. There are also very few people over 40 years old in most of those companies.
Numismatics is no better. Although the current executive director of the American Numismatic Association is a woman and there quite a few women helping to support the ANA in Colorado Springs, it is not often you see a woman serve on the ANA Board of Governors. The last one was Laura Sperber. While I have disagreed with Sperber, I respect the fact that not only she is a successful business person and had the wherewithal to run for the Board of Governors.
The last time a woman ran for ANA President was in 2009 when Patti Finner, whom I endorsed, lost to Cliff Mishler.
Go to any coin show and count the number of women and minorities behind the tables. A few small shows I have attended were only represented by older white men. At the recent Baltimore Expo although there were a few women, the only one I encountered is one I regularly see who carries foreign currency who is not a native of the United States.
These attitudes are not sustainable for the hobby and society.
Look at the backlash that came when it was announced that the Department of the Treasury wanted to change the portrait on the $20 note to a woman. She would replace Andrew Jackson who ignored treaties and supported the Indian Removal Act that led to the Trail of Tears, an action that is a stain on the nation’s history. There was opposition to these policies during that time. But as Senator William L. Marcy (D-NY) said in defense of Jackson, “To the victor belong the spoils.” One of those spoils is that they get to write the history books and chose figures like Jackson to (dis)honor currency.
But how many people in the numismatic industry stood up for the decision? There were some defenders, but overall there was a deafening silence.
I have complained that the hobby is too white, male, and over the age of 50. I do not think this is sustainable in a changing world, says your blogger who is white, male and over the age of 50. And that can be evident by walking the bourse floor of any coin show.
The old boys club should stop being old and a club of boys. Embracing diversity will only help the hobby because it will bring in new people and new ideas.
Young Numismatist programs help but they should not be the only focus. There is a lack of programs to keep the YN interested and engaged after no longer being YNs. Both male and female YNs become disengaged as they reach young adulthood. I know it is a problem and I keep bringing this up as an issue, it is another time where the silence as to what can be done is defening!
Just because that is the way it has been does not mean it will be the same in the future.
The hobby needs diversity of all types. We need to not only find a way to attract more hobbyists under 50 years old, women, and non-caucasions.
As society grapples with the news about the dozens of men that have been accused of being general pigs and the far too many more that are not associated with the media and are not reported, this hobby has to look at itself and wonder why the bourse floor looks like an old boys club and is that sustainable.
Maybe it is time for the numismatic-related industries to be a leader and show how we can set the stereotypes aside and encourage diversity. Or as the business adage suggests: Diversify or Die!
These introductions to the weekly news are supposed to be my thoughts and opinions on some of the things I have read while looking for numismatic-related news. For this week, I cannot think of a thing to say.
That is not exactly true. I have a lot to say but it is not numismatic-related!
Honestly, my mind is elsewhere. It is about 600 miles to the southwest from suburban Washington, D.C. in Athens, Georgia. Not only is Athens where I attended college as an undergraduate but it is the home of the 2017 Southeastern Conference Champion University of Georgia Bulldogs!
After beating Auburn last night to win the SEC Championship and learning today that Georgia will be playing Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl for the College Football Playoff Semi-Finals, I have been just euphoric!
So that I can include some numismatic-related content, I know that the Highland Mint strikes most of the medals that are used for the coin toss around college and professional football. In 2015, the Franklin Mint was commissioned to strike the medals for the CFP games. Regardless of who gets the contract, a copy of that medal will likely end up in my collection.
And now the news…
The manager of the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon has thanked people for their support after raid, as police investigate several lines of enquiry. → Read more at northdevongazette.co.uk
AIM-listed Hummingbird Resources announced that in line with the imminent commencement of production from its Yanfolila gold mine in Mali (Yanfolila), the compa → Read more at miningreview.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Rare coins that can be potentially worth thousands of dollars may end up being worthless if a buyer doesn't do the proper vetting. Billy Ward told First Coast News he learned that lesson the hard way. → Read more at firstcoastnews.com
MANILA, Philippines — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Wednesday revealed the new design for P5 coin which would be released in December. The P5 New Generation Currency Coin Series features Gat Andres Bonifacio on the obverse. → Read more at philstar.com
MANILA, Nov. 30 — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced that of the New Generation Currency (NGC) Coin Series, it will release in advance of the other denominations, the 5-piso NGC legal tender coin for circulation, starting December 2017. → Read more at pia.gov.ph
Once, in a busy market, at a time when government policies had made change scarce and thus very precious, a shopkeeper refused to give a customer change in lieu of a high denomination currency note. In those days tempers were high, inconveniences great. → Read more at dailyo.in
Precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are used by several countries like the United States to mint coins that would satisfy investor demand who want to buy these metals in a more recognizable weight and form. → Read more at born2invest.com
Dubai: You have them in your pockets and take them wherever you go. But do you know what they’re worth apart from their face value? The dirhams in your wallet tell more than how much purchasing power you have now. → Read more at gulfnews.com
The Re 1 note has officially completed a century in its existence. The last hundred years – the first note was introduced on November 30, 1917, with the photo of King George V – have been all but tumultuous. → Read more at moneycontrol.com
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold and silver coins fell sharply year-over-year in November, keeping their tally for the first 11 months of 2017 on track for the weakest year since 2007, the latest data showed on Thursday. → Read more at reuters.com
Most of the work in Congress has been on the tax bill (H.R. 1) and non-controversial legislation. The Senate has worked on reducing the number of presidential nominees on the Executive Calendar. Currently, there are 100 nominations waiting to be acted on and David J. Ryder, nominated to be the Director of the U.S. Mint, is 70th on the calendar, up from 126th last month.
PN1082: David J. Ryder — Department of the Treasury
Welcome back from your Thanksgiving Break!
Today is Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is a modern invention created back when most people only had access to the Internet through a dial-up modem and would use their company’s faster connection to do online shopping following Black Friday.
In the modern world, Black Friday does not have the same meaning. It used to be when retailers would become profitable with the beginning of the holiday season sales. The name was derived from written ledgers when negative numbers were written in red and positive numbers were written in black. After Black Friday, the numbers would be written in black! But that is not how modern economics works. Company profits are measured on a quarterly basis and should be in the black all year. But why destroy a tradition!
With the proliferation of broadband access from the home, Cyber Monday has also lost its meaning. In fact, there are reports that suggest that there will be more online shopping than shopping in brick-and-mortar outlets. But that is not going to stop Cyber Monday sales!
It is the holiday season and regardless of your beliefs there will be presents exchanged. Or you may purchase your own present. Do you have numismatic presents on your wish list? What about for others? Do tell!
This was an interesting week. Aside from trying to understand the impact of the new tax bill (H.R. 1) on the numismatic industry, I was hired by a widow to help liquidate an accumulation of coins her late husband collected. I took the job thinking that it could not be...read more
Although this blog is about numismatics, there are times when the news of the day reminds us that we not perfect beings and there are lessons learned that should apply to the hobby. For the last few months, there have been reports about how sexual harassment has been...read more
These introductions to the weekly news are supposed to be my thoughts and opinions on some of the things I have read while looking for numismatic-related news. For this week, I cannot think of a thing to say. That is not exactly true. I have a lot to say but it is not...read more
Most of the work in Congress has been on the tax bill (H.R. 1) and non-controversial legislation. The Senate has worked on reducing the number of presidential nominees on the Executive Calendar. Currently, there are 100 nominations waiting to be acted on and David J....read more