ANA Needs Your Help

The American Numismatic Association needs your help.

ANAIf the ANA needs your help, then the hobby 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.

DONATE

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.

Weekly World Numismatic News for October 25, 2020

Fake Silver Eagles

Two counterfeit American Silver Eagles purchased from LIACOO, a company based in China.

Although the number of reports about people buying counterfeit American Silver Eagle coins has diminished, they have not stopped. This week, I received four more inquiries about these coins.

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…

 October 19, 2020
Special Indonesian exhibit unveiled at quiet vernissage Batik was the dress code of the day at Alliance Coin & Banknote, as a special exhibit on the currency of Indonesia was unveiled on October 5th in downtown Almonte.  → Read more at millstonenews.com

 October 22, 2020
The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering Two nearly 1,000-year-old coins dug up this year by two unrelated teenagers may be worth thousands of pounds each.  → Read more at expressandstar.com

 October 22, 2020
JERSEY’S government could find out how much it will cost to buy 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins found in a field in Grouville before the end of the year, the Chief Minister has revealed.  → Read more at jerseyeveningpost.com

 October 23, 2020
Mother Lode Gold, a wooden currency circulates at the CalaverasGrown farmers markets in Calaveras County. The currency is crafted by local farmer and woodworker Sean Kriletich.  → Read more at calaverasenterprise.com
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 VIDEO: Walkabout Denver (Oct 19, 2020)

 

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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 18, 2020

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.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP-66, from the Bruce Moreland Collection (Image courtesy of Rare Coin Wholesalers via PCGS)

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…

 October 10, 2020
An exceedingly rare American coin up for auction turned out to be chump change.  → Read more at nydailynews.com

 October 11, 2020
Residents of Hosur in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district were recently forced to learn a valuable lesson — All that glitters is not gold. On Friday evening, close to 4 pm, residents who were passing by Bagalur-Sarjapur road, suddenly noticed some coins glittering on the muddy sides off the main path.  → Read more at thenewsminute.com

 October 12, 2020
MIND-BLOWING photographs from the Royal Mint's archive give a rare look at its 1,100-year-long history. The images have been revealed by the government-owned mint to celebrate its first-ever coin released to commemorate itself.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 October 13, 2020
The Vatican City State Mint has issued a 10-euro silver coin depicting "Mother Earth" — an image designed for World Earth Day by Bergamo-born sculptor and engraver Luigi Oldani.  → Read more at churchmilitant.com

 October 17, 2020
The Royal Canadian Mint's silver collector coin celebrates an unexplained sighting in 1978 in Clarenville.  → Read more at cbc.ca

 October 17, 2020
Amid escalating demand for alternative investments, expert cites 5 key ways to determine if the historical rare coin asset class ‘fits’ your personal needs and overarching investment goals  → Read more at blackenterprise.com
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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.

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September 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressAt 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
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Introduced: March 27, 2019
Summary: Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act This bill requires the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue quarter-dollar coins in commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote. The design on the reverse of each coin shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory.Such coins shall be issued in alphabetical order of the area represented, starting with the state of Alabama.Treasury shall

  • 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.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 27, 2019
Introduced in House — Mar 27, 2019
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Mr. Cleaver asked unanimous consent to discharge from committee and consider. — Sep 22, 2020
Considered by unanimous consent. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. (text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR H4707-4708) — Sep 22, 2020
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
The title of the measure was amended. Agreed to without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 23, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1923.

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:

Quarters

  • 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

Half-Dollars

  • 2027-2030: Paralympic Sports

Dollars

  • 2026: U.S. Semiquincentennial

Medals

  • 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
Sponsor: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Introduced: July 30, 2019
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National League, a professional baseball league that was formed in response to African-American players being banned from baseball’s major leagues.The design of the coins shall be emblematic of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its mission to promote tolerance, diversity, and inclusion.All surcharges from sales of these coins shall be paid to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to fund educational and outreach programs and exhibits.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jul 30, 2019
Introduced in House — Jul 30, 2019
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Mr. Cleaver asked unanimous consent to discharge from committee and consider. — Sep 22, 2020
Considered by unanimous consent. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. (text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR H4710) — Sep 22, 2020
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Received in the Senate. — Sep 23, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR4104.

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
Sponsor: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
Introduced: March 11, 2020
Introduced in House — Mar 11, 2020
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 11, 2020
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Mr. Cleaver asked unanimous consent to discharge from committee and consider. — Sep 22, 2020
Considered by unanimous consent. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. (text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR H4711-4712) — Sep 22, 2020
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 23, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR6192.

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
Sponsor: Rep. Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY)
Introduced: September 14, 2020
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Sep 14, 2020
Introduced in House — Sep 14, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR8242.

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.
Sponsor: Sen. Margaret W. Hassan (D-NH)
Introduced: September 23, 2020
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 23, 2020
Introduced in Senate — Sep 23, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-S4663.

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.
Sponsor: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Introduced: September 24, 2020
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 24, 2020
Introduced in Senate — Sep 24, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-S4730.
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 11, 2020

If you do not follow the U.S. Mint on Facebook or Twitter, they announced that there would be a price increase for silver coins as of October 13, 2020. Their statement read:

The United States Mint recently adopted a new strategy for pricing products in its silver numismatic products portfolio. As a result, prices for products containing silver will change EFFECTIVE October 13, 2020, with release of the 2020 American Eagle Silver Proof Coin with “S” mint mark (20EM). The new pricing will affect prices for silver products already on sale (including prior year) and those remaining to be released in 2020.

In order for the United States Mint to cover rising costs, meet its fiduciary responsibility to operate at no net cost to taxpayers, and return money to the Treasury General Fund, re-setting silver prices is necessary.

The Mint’s goal, as a fiscally responsible self-funded Federal agency, is to always provide the best quality numismatic products while maintaining fair prices. The first objective is to ensure that the numismatic portfolio (all product lines together) be self-sufficient and cover all associated costs. The new silver prices reflect a sound business decision aimed at meeting these obligations. (No tax dollars are used to fund numismatic operations.)

The United States Mint will continue to look for operations optimization and cost reduction efforts to deliver superior quality numismatic products at a fair price.

Kitco Silver Price as of 10/9/2020

Kitco YTD Silver Price as of 10/9/2020 (does not update, trendline added)

Although social media did not like the announcement, collectors should have expected the price increase. When the U.S. Mint set the price for silver coins at the beginning of 2020, the price of silver hovered around $18.00 per ounce. On March 19, the price closed as low as $12.005 per ounce. What followed was a steady rise until August 6 when the markets closed at $28.33.

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.

U.S. Mint Price Update
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%
† These products are sold directly to distributors who sell them to dealers. Prices are not on the U.S. Mint’s website.
‡ 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…

 October 6, 2020
The Ministry of Culture and Sports on Monday announced that five rare silver coins dating to the 5th and 4th centuries BC were returned to Greece, before being auctioned off in Munich and Zurich.  → Read more at greekcitytimes.com

 October 5, 2020
The executive officer said construction workers found the coins and rings in a brass box.  → Read more at newindianexpress.com

 October 9, 2020
Surprising as it may sound, there once was a time that our coinage system, backed by gold and silver, was mostly supplied by Spain and countries under Spanish rule, such as Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Guatemala.  → Read more at yarmouth.wickedlocal.com

 October 10, 2020
An extremely rare Roman coin commemorating the assassination of Julius Caesar has surfaced and may be worth millions of dollars, according to coin experts.  → Read more at foxnews.com
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