Weekly World Numismatic News for November 18, 2018

Vahid Mazloumin is seen appearing in court for the first time on charges of manipulating the currency market. He was later sentenced to death, in Tehran, Iran. September 8, 2018.Tasnim News Agency /Handout via REUTERS (via ChannelNews Asia)

Coin collecting, whether it would be enjoyment or profit, received a black eye this week as Iran executed Vhid Mazloumin, the man nicknamed the “Sultan of Coins.” Mazloumin and his accomplice, Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi, were hanged in Tehran on the charge of manipulating the coin and currency market in charges that included smuggling.

The charges stem from a new round of sanction by the United States that has Iranians hoarding gold and looking for other safe investments. To serve that market, Mazloumin and his associates began to trade in gold coins and bullion.

Up until the sanctions, Iran did not have many restrictions on the trading of gold and other bullion but found itself in another financial crisis. The Iranian central bank is reporting a reduction of reserves and those with the means to purchase gold have been doing so at a rate higher than in the past.

According to many reports, Mazloumin was caught with non-Iranian coins and bullion including bars made by Swiss and German companies. Amongst the charges included trading in gold American Eagle coins and Krugerrands. As part of this defense, Mazloumin claimed that the coins were imported before the ban.

What is troublesome is that the collecting and investing communities have been silent on the execution of someone whose actions were made retroactively illegal by a panicking government. It is a more extreme version of blaming the collector for the financial crisis, such as the United States did in 1964 over silver coinage.

Although someone will inevitably ask if condemnation will do anything, just remember how an industry condemned the actions in Turkey and the United States over actions against journalists. Communities that do not stand up for itself run the risk of allowing governments to run roughshod over them at their convenience.

Therefore, I CONDEMN IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS THE STATE-SPONSORED MURDER OF A COIN DEALER IN IRAN!

I urge the rest of the numismatic and investment industries to join me before someone comes for you!

And now the news…

 November 12, 2018

Coins from 1930s donated during "Fill the Boot" fundraiser.  → Read more at spectrumlocalnews.com


 November 12, 2018

DHAKA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Shelves and cases in the money museum in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, are filled to the brim with coins and currencies from the barter era to modern times, with the displays attracting many visitors.  → Read more at xinhuanet.com


 November 12, 2018

A local fire department wants the public's help in making the Holidays special for members of The Armed Forces.  → Read more at fourstateshomepage.com


 November 14, 2018

These coins both endangered and saved Optatius Buyssens's life, as he fought as a soldier during World War One  → Read more at bbc.com


 November 14, 2018

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – BOCES Career & Technical Education culinary students hosted a recent Kiwanis Club luncheon where prominent numismatist Anthony Swiatek discussed old coins and currency, which might be worth a great deal more than their owners realize.  → Read more at saratogian.com


 November 14, 2018

Iran has executed two men convicted of manipulating coin and currency markets. Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi were hanged on Wednesday after they were found guilty of manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorized deals, Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported.  → Read more at newsweek.com


 November 14, 2018

On November 14 the national Bank put into circulation four commemorative coins of irregular shape. This reports the press service of the regulator on the official page in Facebook, writes the Chronicle.info with reference to epravda.com.ua.  → Read more at bobrtimes.com

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Defining a successful collector

There are times when good people with good intentions do or say something that perpetuates narratives that are more harmful than they think.

Does owning this short snorter autographed by John Glenn and his family make me a successful or unsuccessful collector?

On Friday, November 9, I received the regular mail from Numismatic News with the usual section for questions that editor Dave Harper uses for community input. This week’s question was “Is collecting Standing Liberty quarters mandatory for successful hobbyists?”

The question appears to have been inspired by the article, “Dateless quarter inspired collector” by Ginger Raspus. The article was about how she was inspired to collect Standing Liberty Quarters after finding a dateless version pulled from change. The article then goes on about to describe the series. There was nothing in Ginger’s story that suggested anyone else collect these coins. She was reporting on her experience.

The problem with Dave’s question is a problem with the people who appear to have significant say in this industry. Their problem is that they say, suggest, or infer that if you don’t collect coins or their particular favorite, you are not a “real collector.”

Or in this case, a successful collector.

What defines a successful collector?

Is a successful collector one that fills up a particular folder or album of coins in a series designed by the publisher?

Is a successful collector one that creates a top-ranked registry set?

Is a successful collector defined by whether their collection meets artificial criteria set by an arcane definition of industry norms?

The problem is that these criteria that create these definitions of industry norms are those some consider the elders of the industry, many of who started collecting before most collectors were born. Other definitions of norms are created by the dealers whose input are more self-serving than encouraging.

There is nothing wrong with dealers earning a living. In recent years I have turned away from the convenience of online auctions except if the auction is sponsored by a dealer. I want the dealers to succeed, but not at the expense of chasing away potential collectors.

Although worn almost smooth, does owning this 1789 Draped Bust Large Cent count for anything?

A successful collector is someone who creates a collecting goal based on a personal interest and works to achieve that goal. That goal does not have to include buying published folders or albums and filling holes—but if that gives you pleasure, by all means, go for it!

Someone came into my shop to search the basket of foreign coins I keep on the counter. After a few moments I provided her with a box to place the coins she looked at while digging through the basket. I asked her why she was looking so carefully at the coins and she said that she was looking for coins from the countries her parents and grandparents were from and the years they were born.

After a while, she finshed looking and wanted to pay for the coins she picked. I looked at the coins and found a 1938 Spanish 25-centimos and 1961 Columbian 5-centavos coins. With a smile, she explained that her father was born in Columbia and his father, her grandfather, was from Spain.

When she said that she did not know what coins where minted and when I showed her en.mumista.com, my favorite website for looking up foreign coins. We searched for the countries and years of her family to show her what was available.

The next time she returned to my shop she carried a list of coins with check marks next to some of them. We then talked about how to store the coins and what to use as albums so that she can keep the coins nicely.

I do not know if she will be able to find all of the coins on her list but I know that she found examples of all the coins that she identified as being in circulation in 1961 Columbia because she brought in the album she created to show me.

I would call my new friend a successful collector.

Weekly World Numismatic News for November 11, 2018 — Armistice Day Edition

2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.
—U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaiming November 11, 1919 the national holiday Armistice Day
To all that have served…
To all that have given the ultimate sacrifice…
To the families of these honored service members…
THANK YOU!

And now the news…

 November 5, 2018

On Thursday, 8 November, Latvijas Banka will be issuing a new gold collector coin named "Gold Brooches. The Bubble Fibula" with a face value of 75 euros but which will actually cost you 560 euros. The coin replicating a "bubble fibula" (of which more below) is the last one in the series of euro gold collector coins dedicated to Latvia's centenary.  → Read more at eng.lsm.lv


 November 6, 2018

A collection of three 50p coins were released by the Royal Mint on November 5, including a 22 carat Gold Proof coin, a Silver Proof coin and another Brilliant Uncirculated silver coin.  → Read more at thisismoney.co.uk


 November 6, 2018

OSAKA — A ceremony marking the first minting of special 10,000 yen gold and 500 yen bronze coins commemorating the 30th anniversary of Emperor Akihit  → Read more at mainichi.jp


 November 8, 2018

The White House clearly did not employ the services of a copy editor before releasing commemorative coins from Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, which contain no less than three typos.  → Read more at rt.com


 November 8, 2018

THE Royal Mint has released a special Remembrance Day commemorative £5 coin featuring a colourful red poppy design. The mint releases a new coin every year to remember all those who have fought for this country at war and this year is no different.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk


 November 9, 2018

Israeli guards at the Erez Crossing on the Israel-Gaza border this week apparently foiled an attempt to smuggle out two ancient coins from the period of Alexander the Great out of the coastal enclave, Israeli officials said Friday.  → Read more at timesofisrael.com

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October 2018 Numismatic-related Legislation Review — GO OUT AND VOTE!

The monthly numismatic legislation review was purposely delayed to bring you this important message:

GO OUT AND VOTE!

Every two years, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate seats are open to election. These people are supposed to represent you in Congress. They are supposed to represent your interests. How do you want to be represented?

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq had an election where multiple people were on the ballot. In the United States, we celebrated for them by showing pictures of people with purple ink-stained, fingers, the sign that they voted.

Voting is more important for your local elections. State, district, county, and municipal elections are the ones that have more impact on your lives. They impact the schools, your local roads, small businesses including your local coin dealer, trash pickup, maintenance of your local parks, and nearly everything surrounding your daily lives.

Don’t forget about the ballot initiatives. This is your chance to have a significant say in the policies that your government will have to abide by. Here in Maryland, there is a ballot initiative to create a “lock box” (where have we heard that one before?) for the state profits on gambling revenue so that it would go directly to fund education. This initiative was proposed based on lessons learned where a significant portion of the settlement from the tobacco companies that was supposed to go to healthcare initiatives was transferred to the general treasury to pay for everything else.

Does your state have ballot initiatives? Do you know what they say? How are you going to vote on them when you get to the polls?

Do you know who the candidates are? Do you agree with their position or will you be voting for them because they claim they party as you do? Do you know which incumbent actually did their job and thought about you or did they change because a deep pocket donor asked them to?

It is a cliche to claim that this is the most important election ever. It is always the most important election ever because it is the one happening right now. It is important because you must have your say in how you want your government to work for you. It is your government.

GO OUT AND VOTE!

Legislatively, Congress was in recess for October while members who are seeking re-election when home to campaign. The only changes to numismatic-related legislation were the number of co-sponsors on bills currently in committee.

If history is a lesson, we will see progress on some of these bills during the lame-duck session.

Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for November 4, 2018

What happens when a policy that was supported by a popular vote becomes less popular? You get the situation that the British government faces as Brexit inches closer to its March 2019 execution.

On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom held a referendum as to whether the country should leave the European Union. The vote and process has been called “Brexit,” a portmanteau of the term “Britain Exit,” as in should Britain exit the E.U.?

Brexit won by a very slim margin.

Chard, a UK coin dealer, created a copper and bronze Brexit medal for the “undecided voters” to flip on election day. They are still available on Chard’s website.

As a result of the Brexit vote, the British Parliament voted to complete the Brexit process in March 2019 and the Prime Minister resigned. PM David Cameron was against Brexit and felt that someone else should lead the government who favored the process. Theresa May was selected to be Britain’s second female Prime Minister and will lead the country through Brexit.

However, polls in Britain show that Brexit is no longer as popular as it was in 2016. These polls were taken following the announcement that the Royal Mint mint will be producing a 50-pence coin commemorating Brexit next March.

Although the coin has yet to be designed, the British tabloids, especially those who have soured on Brexit, have been running editorials with anti-Brexit mockups. With these mock-ups frequently appearing in Britain’s newspapers, polls are showing that the pre-Brexit election support of nearly 49-percent has eroded to 37-percent.

Opinions on the concept of a Brexit coin are almost evenly split with 37-percent in favor of the coin, 34-percent against, and 29-percent with no comment or opinion.

In the United States, the only way to raise public passion about a coin is for it to have an error, such as the “Godless Dollars” for coins missing their edge lettering and the motto “In God We Trust.” Otherwise, only we numismatists care.

At least the Brits are paying attention!

And now the news…

 October 30, 2018

View photosMore A special 50p is just one of the many changes Britain’s departure from the UK will bring. The commemorative coin, which is expected to carry the words “Friendship With All Nations” will be available from March 29 – the day the UK leaves the EU.  → Read more at finance.yahoo.com


 October 30, 2018

New collectors' coins commemorating statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski are to be released on Tuesday, in a year in which Poland marks its independence centenary. Paderewski's is the fourth coin in a series issued by the National Bank of Poland.  → Read more at thenews.pl


 October 31, 2018

“II am visiting this gallery for the second time in a month,” says Ayushi, a New Delhi-based history honours student. “The glimpse into the past is so fascinating that I have brought along my friends to have a first-hand experience of the remarkable collection of Indian currency,” she adds.  → Read more at gulfnews.com


 November 1, 2018

The Royal Australian Mint wants you to be on the lookout for $1 coins specially marked with A, U or S.  → Read more at abc.net.au


 November 2, 2018

Increased gold buying by consumers and central banks pushed overall demand for the yellow metal up slightly in the third quarter, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends 2018 Report.  → Read more at seekingalpha.com

Coin Collectors News
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Defining a successful collector

There are times when good people with good intentions do or say something that perpetuates narratives that are more harmful than they think. On Friday, November 9, I received the regular mail from Numismatic News with the usual section for questions that editor Dave...

read more
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