Weekly World Numismatic News for April 11, 2021

Some can make an argument to call the Farouk-Fenton 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold $20 Double Eagle coin the most famous coin in the world. Although other coins have surpassed it in price since Stuart Weitzman purchased it in 2002, its legend lives beyond any other coin.

The story of the coin spans families, generations, continents, court cases, and was almost destroyed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Its story was told in two excellent books and the revealing of the coin’s current owner made international headlines.

Now, the world’s most famous coin has been certified, graded, but not entombed in plastic. Sotheby’s requested the grading and certification for the coin and asked that the coin not be slabbed. PCGS graded the coin and provided an image certification. They also announced that the new owner could submit the coin for holdering after the auction.

Although certification is necessary for some coins in this day of counterfeits, there are some coins whose importance goes beyond the need to entomb them in plastic away from the world. The last legal tender gold coin from the time Franklin D. Roosevelt withdrew gold from the market is one of those coins.

There have been other famous coins displayed in slabs that give them a lonely feel. Looking at any of the five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels makes it seem like it’s trapped instead of proudly standing, showing off its fascinating story. The same fate awaits the 1933 Double Eagle should its next owner decide the plastic is more important than the coin.

For the sake of allowing the legend to live, I hope the next owner decides not to hide this coin in plastic and allows the world to celebrate its story and beauty.

And now the news…

 April 5, 2021
A magnified view of corrosion on one of the medieval Islamic coins being examined and restored by the Louvre Abu Dhabi.Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi In a newly acquired cache of more than 2,800 coins dating to Islam’s medieval era, the Louvre Abu Dhabi not only has a bounty for its permanent collection, but also signposts on the road map of early Islam, all coated in tarnish, corrosion and the mystery of history.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 April 6, 2021
A 17th-century Arabian coin discovered by Jim Bailey. Courtesy of the American Numismatic Society via Flickr.  → Read more at news.artnet.com

 April 7, 2021
This gold "Memento Mori" ring, dating to the Tudor period, sports an enamel skull.  → Read more at livescience.com

 April 9, 2021
If the infamous rum-soaked Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean dropped some of his pocket change while drunkenly dancing around when he was supposed to be pillaging and plundering, what would you expect to find 325 years later?  → Read more at syfy.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for April 4, 2021

In a few days, the U.S. Mint will release the last of the five-ounce silver America the Beautiful Quarters. The ATB series was a follow-up to the 50 State Quarter Program to honor the nation’s national parks and forests. The order of the program was determined by the date the area became a national park or forest.

The Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Alabama, became a registered historic site on November 6, 1998. Formerly Morton Field, the site was the Tuskegee Airmen’s base and training center, the only African-American division of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

The end of the ATB quarters also ends the corresponding five-ounce hockey puck-sized bullion coin issues. The big coins are popular with investors and some collectors.

Now that the ATB quarters program has ended, a reverse celebrating George Washington’s crossing the Delaware River will replace the reverse for the rest of 2021. In 2022, the quarters will feature prominent women in United States history. The program will last until 2026, when the quarters’ design will celebrate the American Semisesquincentenial (250 years).

And the law that extended the circulating commemorative programs also includes the provisions for the U.S. Mint to create five-ounce silver hockey puck-sized coins from almost any program.

And now the news…

 March 29, 2021
In the midst of one of the most comprehensive conservation projects currently taking place in Israel, archeologists in Jerusalem’s Old City discovered a Tyre coin, believed to have been used to pay the Temple tax by pilgrims making their way to the Temple for Passover, Shavuot or Sukkot.  → Read more at jpost.com

 March 31, 2021
Indigenous men and women who have served in the military have been commemorated through Australia’s newest circulating $2 coin launched by the Royal Australian Mint yesterday, 30 March.  → Read more at canberraweekly.com.au

 April 2, 2021
A 17th century Arabian silver coin, top, that research shows was struck in 1693 in Yemen, rests above a 1652 Massachusetts Bay Colony Oak Tree Shilling , and a 1727 Spanish half real coin, on a table, in Warwick, Rhode Island, March 11, 2021.  → Read more at voanews.com

 April 2, 2021
Gold coins cast a spell. The pile of coins found in a wall in Caesarea and now displayed in a glass case at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem begs questions.  → Read more at haaretz.com

 April 3, 2021
This Is Why The Police Are Involved In Every Pawn Stars Transaction  → Read more at looper.com
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March 2021 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressEvery month we look at the numismatic legislation that Congress worked on the previous month. Since the 117th Congress is only three months into its first session, most of the legislative action is introducing bills.

Nowadays, Congress members do not have to drop their papers into the hopper in their respective chambers. Bills are submitted electronically. To prove that they are doing something, these legislators also post the bill on their official websites. Inevitably, an intern or low-level staffer makes a mistake that gets misinterpreted by the press, making it sound like a bill has been passed. According to the Government Printing Office, there has been no numismatic-related bill that has made it past its committee assignment.

A few days ago, Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-WV) introduced H.R. 2285, a bill “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that gain or loss on the sale or exchange of certain coins or bullion is exempt from recognition.” Although this bill’s text has yet to be published, the title suggests that it will make the sale of coins and bullion exempt from capital gains taxes.

Currently, collectors who sell items from their collections are required to pay capital gains taxes on the profit from the sale of their coins. If you bought a coin for $100,000 then sell it for $150,000, the capital gains tax is applied to the $50,000 profit. Under the 2020 rate schedule, that is a 0% tax, except if you bought the coin within the last year, it is taxed as part of your regular income. But if you bought the coin for $50,000 before 2020 and sold it for $150,000 in 2020, then the $100,000 profit is taxed at 15%.

Are you confused? This is why the potential of eliminating the capital gains tax on coins and bullion will help the industry.

Here is the list of the eight bills introduced in March 2021.

H.R. 1648: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sponsor: Rep. Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY)
Introduced: March 8, 2021
Introduced in House — Mar 8, 2021
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 8, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR1648.

S. 672: 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.
Sponsor: Sen. Margaret W. Hassan (D-NH)
Introduced: March 10, 2021
Introduced in Senate — Mar 10, 2021
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 10, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-S672.

H.R. 1842: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the Bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth.
Sponsor: Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Introduced: March 11, 2021
Introduced in House — Mar 11, 2021
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 11, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR1842.

H.R. 1789: To amend title 31, United States Code, to save Federal funds by authorizing changes to the composition of circulating coins, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
Introduced: March 11, 2021
Introduced in House — Mar 11, 2021
Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committees on the Budget, and Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. — Mar 11, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR1789.

S. 697: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the Bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth.
Sponsor: Sen. Jacklyn Rosen (D-NV)
Introduced: March 11, 2021
Introduced in Senate — Mar 11, 2021
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 11, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-S697.

H.R. 1900: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the health care professionals, first responders, scientists, researchers, all essential workers, and individuals who provided care and services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sponsor: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI)
Introduced: March 16, 2021
Introduced in House — Mar 16, 2021
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 16, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR1900.

S. 867: A bill to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sponsor: Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY)
Introduced: March 18, 2021
Introduced in Senate — Mar 18, 2021
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 18, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-S867.

H.R. 2284: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that gain or loss on the sale or exchange of certain coins or bullion is exempt from recognition.
Sponsor: Rep. Alexander X. Mooney (R-WV)
Introduced: March 29, 2021
Introduced in House — Mar 29, 2021
Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. — Mar 29, 2021
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR2284.
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Weekly World Numismatic News for March 28, 2021

What is the price of a coin?

There are many answers to that question. Some will point to price guides. Others will argue that one price guide is better than others. Then some people will deliver a dissertation about supply and demand and the commodity price of the metals to explain their answer.

The price of a coin is whatever the price one person will pay.

In an auction, people will bid until the price exceeds what all but one participant will pay.

This past week, Heritage Auctions sold a 1935 George V silver Pattern “Waitangi” Crown sold for $72,000, a New Zealand coin record.

In Las Vegas, Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold the only privately owned 1822 Half Eagle for $8.4 million. The other two examples are in the Smithsonian Museum. It is the second-highest amount ever paid for a U.S. coin.

These sales come the week after a George VIII Gold Crown sold for £1 million, a record price for a British coin.

Back down to earth, those who were shut out of the 2010-W American Silver Eagle sale are finding the secondary market selling these coins for upward of $150, double their sale price. Collectors trying to maintain complete collections are paying these markups.

Over a year after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, there seems to pent-up demand by collectors. All types of numismatic auctions, except scripophily, are experiencing extraordinary realized prices from auctions.

The strong demand is bringing people out of the woodwork trying to cash in. Major auction houses are lowering their commission to attract new sellers of high-end merchandise. Medium-sized auction houses have been contacting collectors looking to sell smaller collections usually left to estate and liquidation auction services.

Collectors are paying higher prices for coins. A recent liquidation auction, an ungraded 1880-CC Morgan Dollar with many problems, including questionable toning, may be worth about $100 according to the price guides. The coin sold for over $200 with buyer’s premium.

If this is how the market is reacting while contact continues to be limited, imagine how it will be when everything is fully open for business.

And now the news…

 March 22, 2021
By Rajiv Shah Gujarat’s top Dalit rights organisation, Navsarjan Trust, is all set to initiate a unique campaign under which families from different parts of the country will contribute a brass article or a utensil — all of it will be melted and minted into a 1111 milligram diameter coin with the question engraved on it: Will the 1947 dream of untouchability-free India be reality yin 2047?  → Read more at counterview.net

 March 22, 2021
Are you a fan of United States coins? Perhaps you are also interested in creating a long-term investment opportunity.  → Read more at azbigmedia.com

 March 25, 2021
A 19th century coin sold for $8.4 million Thursday at a Las Vegas auction, becoming the most valuable U.S. Mint gold coin ever auctioned. The 1822 half eagle, a $5 coin with only three copies in existence, was sold at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Las Vegas Auction.  → Read more at reviewjournal.com

 March 26, 2021
Neil Mahrer, Scott Miles, Richard Miles, Olga Finch, Reg Mead. Picture:DAVID FERGUSON.  → Read more at jerseyeveningpost.com

 March 27, 2021
This 1935 Pattern Crown coin is a record-breaker. Photo / Supplied  → Read more at nzherald.co.nz

 March 27, 2021
Ceuta Coin Find Dates Back To 7th Century. image: twitter Ceuta Coin Discovery Dates Right Back To The Byzantine Era Between 602 and 610 AD
  → Read more at euroweeklynews.com

 March 28, 2021
When I turned twenty-one, my father gifted me twenty-one silver dollars, which his father had given to him when he was the same age. Most are from the early 1900s, and one is even from the late 1800s.  → Read more at americanlifestylemag.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for March 21, 2021

Some noticed that I did not post a Weekly World Numismatic News last week. It is nice to see that so many readers are paying attention. This week, I will combine the news of the last two weeks with some highlights.

We Know Who Owns the ’33 Double Eagle

The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is arguably the world’s most famous coin. The only coin of its type legal to own sold for $7,590,020 in a Sotheby/Stack’s auction to an anonymous buyer in 2002. We learned that the owner is shoe designer Stuart Weitzman and will be selling the coin along with two extremely rare stamps at an exclusive auction. The auction will include a rare plate block of the famous Inverted Jenny stamp, the holy grail for stamp collectors. Sotheby’s is estimating the coin’s value at $10-15 million. I predict it will sell for over $12 million.

British Coin Sells for £1 Million

A rare gold coin with the portrait of King Edward VIII sold for £1 million. King Edward VIII was the shortest-serving monarch of the 20th century. He abdicated the throne 11 months after his coronation to marry a twice-divorced American woman. At the time, the British people felt that the divorces and her ex-husbands were living as an insult to the Church of England. Rather than fight the church, Edward gave up the throne. During his reign, the Royal Mint struck only three £5 gold coins and never circulated. The sale makes this coin the most expensive British coin.

A Britannia of Color

Britannia, the female allegorical symbol of Britain, is depicted on bullion coins as a woman of color. Early in U.S. coin history, Liberty has appeared in ways similar to Britannia. See the image on the Seated Liberty Dollar for an example. Following the United States’ use of a woman of color to represent Liberty, the Royal Mint mint designers produce their own. The new designs are being lauded in the cynical British press for their art and its symbolism. The Royal Mint notes that Anglo-Saxons do not dominate British territories and members of the Commonwealth Realm. It is important to understand that the coin was planned and designed before the Royal Family’s recent controversies.

U.S. Wins COTY

In case you missed it, the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing Commemorative five-ounce silver proof coin win the prestigious Coin of the Year competition. World Coin News sponsors the annual competition. Nominations, reviews, and voting are held the year following the coins’ issue. They announce the winner the following year. Aside from winning COTY, the coin won the Best Contemporary Event Coin and Best Silver Coin categories. It is one of the best designs by the U.S. Mint in recent years.

Picture Credits: Sotheby’s, Heritage Auctions, the Royal Mint, and collectSPACE.com

And now the news…

 March 7, 2021
An exceptionally rare gold coin for King Edward VIII's short-lived reign is tipped to sell for more than £1million. The £5 coin with a bust of the controversial monarch on one side was struck but never put into circulation as he abdicated after just 11 months on the throne.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 March 11, 2021
S otheby’s New York is pleased to present Three Treasures – Collected by Stuart Weitzman, a dedicated live auction of three legendary treasures from the personal collection of the renowned fashion designer and collector.  → Read more at sothebys.com

 March 11, 2021
COIN collectors or people who’ve inherited old change could be sitting on a small fortune. But as the rarest coins are all from before decimalisation – the switchover to the currency system we use now – you won’t find them in your spare change.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 March 12, 2021
In the autumn of 2020, I was contacted by the field archaeology unit of the Swedish National Historical Museums, who are also known as the Archaeologists. They were excavating at a Viking-age settlement at Viggbyholm just north of Stockholm.  → Read more at theconversation.com

 March 15, 2021
A rare Bermuda coin is expected to fetch thousands of dollars when it goes up for auction next month. The coin, which may have been minted as early as the 17th century, was found by a metal detectorist in Kent in the UK in 2019.  → Read more at royalgazette.com

 March 17, 2021
The helmeted warrior Britannia has personified the nation, engraved on coins holding a trident and shield with the symbolic and patriotic lion by her side, for more than 2,000 years. Give or take the odd tweak, she’s remained untouched with the passing of time while society and all those around her have altered.  → Read more at vogue.co.uk

 March 17, 2021
Dozens of rare parchment fragments that are over 1,800 years old have been found in a remote cave in the Judean Desert. Israeli Antiquities Authority  → Read more at goodnewsnetwork.org

 March 20, 2021
Supplied John Mowbray, the owner of Mowbray Collectables, says sales at the Kapiti Coast stamp and coin auction house are up 30 per cent over 2019.  → Read more at i.stuff.co.nz

 March 20, 2021
Benjamin Franklin’s Libertas Americana, one of the most sought-after American medals of all time, will be on display for one day only at Sarasota Rare Coin Gallery on Saturday, March 20, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Jeff Garrett, Senior Editor of the Guidebook of United States Coins (Redbook), will be on hand to present the medal.  → Read more at wflanews.iheart.com
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