Is this backward “D” an error?

One of the more popular collector series is the Indian Head or Buffalo Nickels. Designed by James Earl Fraser, a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this design was a continuation of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “pet crime” to change the look of the nation’s coinage.

Introduced in 1913, the coin features a right-facing Indian head (now called a Native American head). Although there have been claims by several tribal chiefs that they were the model, Fraser’s notes suggest the image was created using the features of several men.

The reverse features the image of a buffalo, which in reality is a North American bison. The 38 different types of buffaloes live in Africa and feature larger horns similar to a longhorn steer. Most are domesticated and are raised like cattle is in the United States. Bison are largely wild animals native to the western hemisphere. Aside from their shorter horns, they have beards hanging from their chin and heavier coats that allow them to survive in colder climates.

But that has not stopped people from referring to the coin as a Buffalo nickel. It is a design so popular that when it has been used in coinage, the available supply usually sells out.

Like every five-cents coin made since the introduction of the 1883 Liberty Head or “V” nickel, the planchet is made from an alloy of 75-percent copper and 25-percent nickel. Most vending machines will not be able to tell the difference between a Buffalo nickel and a Jefferson nickel.

The coin’s ability to be used in vending machines and how a worn coin could pass the unwatchful eye of a cashier, it is possible to find a Buffalo nickel in change. Although there are very few of these coins remain in circulation, avid change hunters say they can find one every 12-16 months.

This was the case when a reader found what was thought to be a 1914-D Buffalo nickel. Although not a rare or key date, a 1914-D coin could be worth upwards of $70-80 in good (G-4) condition. Finding a Denver mint coin from that year would be better than finding a Philadelphia mint coin since a coin in good (G-4) condition would be worth $16-18.

But this coin was different. Rather than having a “D” mintmark on the reverse, the “D” was backward!

Prior to the U.S. Mint creating dies with mintmarks in Philadelphia, they would send dies to the branch mints without mintmarks. The coiners at the branch mint would use a punch to imprint the mintmark into the die before striking coins. Of course, this manual process was not perfect and there are cases of mispunched, repunched, overpunched, and other such errors.

There have been cases of a mintmark that was punched horizontally into the die. Those mintmarks were repunched correctly. Coins from the San Francisco mint has had errors where the “S” is punched upside down known as an inverted mintmark. This is a fun error to find because noticing this error requires a careful eye and patience along with understanding the shape of the “S” in the font used.

A closer look at the “inverted” D mintmark

However, there is no reference that mentions a backward punched mintmark.

Adding or removing mintmarks is a common method to artificially change the value of a coin. Remove the “S” from a 1921 Walking Liberty half-dollar and watch its value raise by 300-percent. Or practice adding a “D” to a 1914 Buffalo nickel to make a 400-percent profit.

After checking several references and speaking with two dealers, I sat with a box of Buffalo nickels I have to compare the mintmarks to the one on the coin. Additionally, I consulted with the images at PCGS Photograde. After all, it could be a real, undiscovered error.

The first thing I noticed on the image and with the coins I have on hand is that the mintmark on this coin is too defined for the grade. When comparing the coin to the images on Photograde, if the coin was sent in for grading it would probably be assigned a grade of G-6 of VG-8. Because of the worn rims, this coin would not grade higher than VG-8 and could be assigned a G-4.

As I was looking at the coins, those that would grade VG-8 or lower with worn rims also had mintmarks that were almost worn into the rim. In more than a dozen examples from my box, the mintmarks on all of the low-grade coins showed the rims and mintmark worn together.

Another aspect of the mintmark that bothered me was that the “D” seemed smaller than those on the coins I was looking at. For comparison, I pulled out my album with higher grade Buffalo nickels and found that the mintmark was similar in size to those in higher grades.

Then there is the coloring around the mintmark. Comparing it to the examples in my box, the dirt patterns around the “D” seems off. While the coloring around all of the letters appears to be uneven, there appears to be a consistent line around the “D.” In fact, the coloring at the bottom of the “D” is inconsistent with that of the other letters around it.

If I had the coin in hand, I would be able to examine it closer with a 15x loupe. I would even attempt to pick at it with a toothpick to see if the “D” would fall off. However, given all of the issues with the coin based on the images alone, I am reasonably certain that the “D” was added by someone outside of the U.S. Mint.

Of course, if you have your own theories then please post them as a comment, below.

PCGS Photograde images courtesy of PCGS and can be found here.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 13, 2019

Pairing U.S. coins with a foreign coin for sale has been done in the past by the U.S. Mint. In 2002, the U.S. Mint offered the “Legacies of Freedom” This week, the U.S. Mint announced a collaborative project with the Royal Australian Mint to produce a commemorative coin set in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The set will feature a U.S. Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Half Dollar paired with an Australian 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing 1 oz. $5 Silver Coin.

The announcement noted that the set will be produced and sold by the Royal Australian Mint with marketing help from the U.S. Mint who will put a link on their website.

set. A limited edition of 50,000 sets that included an uncirculated American Silver Eagle $1 coin and a £2 Silver Britannia from the Royal Mint. These sets were created and marketed by the U.S. Mint with a price of $49.88 per set, noting that the spot price of silver was $6.39 per troy ounce.

Prior to that, the U.S. Mint produced the 2000 Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Set that included a 2000 Leif Ericson Proof Silver Dollar and a 1000 Kronur proof silver coin produced by the U.S. Mint for Iceland. It was the last coin the U.S. Mint produced for a foreign government. The U.S. Mint sold 86,136 sets at a price of $63 per set.

Since the set will be produced by the Royal Australia Mint, there are questions regarding the opportunities that may be missed by the U.S. Mint to do the same. For example:

  • The press release says that it will be a “limited production set” but does not specify how many sets will be produced.
  • Other than the legal requirements that the U.S. Mint shall not lose money on a commemorative coin program and that the half-dollar includes a $5 surcharge, what are the financial arrangements between the two government mints?
  • Who will handle the fulfillment of orders from the United States? Those who have purchased items from Australia and New Zealand know that the because of shipping and customs restrictions, items can take 6-8 weeks to enter the United States before it can be given to the Postal Service for delivery.

These questions will be addressed to the U.S. Mint as soon as Tuesday. Even though the U.S. Mint continues to operate during the shutdown, offices in Washington, D.C. will be closed on Monday because of 8-12 inches of snow that covers the region.

And now the news…

 January 5, 2019

Coins expected to bring increased security to economies of British territories and dependencies  → Read more at theguardian.com


 January 9, 2019

A penny that a Massachusetts teenager found in his change from lunch money could be worth as much as $1.65 million (£1.3 million) when it is auctioned off.  → Read more at foxnews.com


 January 9, 2019

My grandfather was a numismatist. William Evans Mullan II died over the weekend. The coin collection lives on.  → Read more at djournal.com


 January 10, 2019

Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his Massachusetts home.  → Read more at cnn.com


 January 11, 2019

Jim Cramer shares his favorite ways to add gold to a portfolio and encourages investing in the precious metal if you’re nervous about 2019.  → Read more at cnbc.com


 January 11, 2019

BERLIN — Four young men have gone on trial over the brazen theft of a 100−kilogram Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum.  → Read more at manitobapost.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for January 7, 2019

Sorry for the one day delay, it was a busy weekend!

The important news is not being reported in the numismatic press nor by those who are supposed to watch over the industry. The important news is the government shutdown and its potential effects on the economy as a whole.

Market performance is like a disease. When one part gets infected the rest of the organism will follow. The part the economic organism that is getting infected is the Washington, DC area. Home to 15 companies in the Fortune 500 including government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Washington Post is reporting that 174,800 people have been furloughed in the Washington, DC-area because of the shutdown.

When that many people are not getting paid they are not spending money and the economy gets stagnant. When a region as significant in size becomes stagnant, it is only a matter of time before it spreads to other areas including those where the federal government has the most impact including Alaska, Montana, and New Mexico. Farming states could also feel the impact since the U.S. Department of Agriculture is closed and cannot process subsidy (welfare) checks for farmers hurt by the trade war with China, potentially affecting the price of food.

Since the markets do not like uncertainty, investors tend to seek refuge in precious metals, primarily gold and silver. The problem is that there is so much news that timing the markets has given the market watchers whiplash as the uncertainty seems to force the professional investors (gamblers) to treat the market like they are playing the hokie-pokey: a little bit in, a little bit out, panic a little and shake all about the next news cycle.

The dollar is strong but that is because the Federal Reserve did not raise rates in December. While that averted a panic, the Fed may not be able to hold back if the shutdown continues and puts inflationary pressure on the economy.

With news cycles that could change at the drop of a Tweet, it does not make sense to try to time the market. However, if the price of gold climbing as a result of those in the equity markets looking for a safer haven, you may want to tell your representatives in Congress to work to end this shutdown. Although some would love to see $2,000 per ounce gold prices, it could negatively impact the economy and your ability to collect.

And now the news…

 December 31, 2018

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the old, round £1 coins after they were removed from circulation? We just found out  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 December 31, 2018

Chain restaurants Sweetgreen and Dig Inn in the US have already stopped accepting cash. Starbucks and UK pubs are also moving towards card and contactless.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 January 1, 2019

U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold and silver coins dropped to their lowest …  → Read more at reuters.com


 January 2, 2019

Editor's Note: Kitco News has officially launched Outlook 2019 – Rush To Safety – the definitive reference for precious metals investors for the new year. We chose this year's theme as financial markets face growing uncertainty.  → Read more at kitco.com


 January 3, 2019

PolicÃa Nacional has issued a warning after a rise in reported cases of members of the public receiving the wrong currency in their change. Instead of being handed back euros, unsuspecting holidaymakers and expats are being short-changed with coins of much lower value compared to the euro.  → Read more at express.co.uk


 January 5, 2019

KIND-hearted shopkeepers are helping an Inverness youngster with her coin collecting hobby by setting aside specially-minted versions of 50p and £2 coins produced to commemorate historic occasions. A Girl Guides centenary 50p sparked the interest of Cradlehall Primary’s Isla Macdonald, who now has 40 special 50p coins and 30 differently designed £2 coins.  → Read more at inverness-courier.co.uk

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December 2018 Numismatic Legislative Review — End of the 115th Congress

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the 115th Congress left unfinished business. As we start the new year, 25-percent of the executive branch does not have the legal funding to operate. Those with leftover funds operated as long as they could but are now closed pending congressional action.

As with previous shutdowns, the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are not affected. Both agencies are self-funded from their profits (seigniorage) which is held in their respective Public Enterprise Funds.

The 115th Congress is constitutionally scheduled to end at 12:00 noon on January 3, 2019, when the 116th Congress will begin. Congress will take up the new funding bills as part of the opening session.

When the new Congress gavels into session, any bill pending from the 115th Congress will be removed from the docket. It will be said that these bills will die in committee.

In reviewing December’s legslation update, there was the passage of one bill:

H.R. 1235: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Introduced: February 27, 2017
Summary: (Sec. 3) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue not more than 50,000 $5 coins, 400,000 $1 coins, and 750,000 half-dollar coins in recognition and celebration of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.The coins shall be in the shape of a dome, and the design on the common reverse of the coins shall depict a basketball. Treasury shall hold a competition to determine the design of the common obverse of the coins, which shall be emblematic of the game of basketball.(Sec. 7) The bill requires all sales of such coins to include specified surcharges, which shall be paid by Treasury to the Hall to fund an endowment for increased operations and educational programming.
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 19, 2018
Presented to President. — Dec 19, 2018
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Dec 18, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 18, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 26, 2017
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 25, 2017
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 25, 2017
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1235. — Sep 25, 2017
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Sep 25, 2017
Mr. Barr moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Sep 25, 2017
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Feb 27, 2017
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR1235.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act was sent to the White House for presidential signature on December 19, 2018. The president has ten days to act on the bill. He can sign the bill, which there is no indication that he has, and it becomes law. He could veto the bill to prevent it from becoming law.

But what if he does not sign the bill? If Congress was still in session then the bill automatically becomes law. If Congress adjourned then the bill does not become law. That is called a pocket veto.

Because of the shutdown, Congress did not adjourn while trying to resolve the issue. There were pro forma sessions, meaning that a representative gaveled in the House and Senate only to adjourn for the day. If the president did not sign or veto the bill, it has become public law. However, since the Government Printing Office (GPO), the official publisher of the U.S. government, is closed because of the shutdown, they cannot publish the results of legislation passed or vetoed. Therefore, we do not know whether this bill is now the law.

Previous administrations would announce bill signings in their regular news streams. This White House has chosen to discontinue that practice leaving us at the mercy of the currently closed GPO.

In December, the Senate passed the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act by a voice vote. Although the bill was sent to the House for consideration it never left the committee and will die in committee when the 116th Congress is gaveled into session.

S. 2863: National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Introduced: May 16, 2018
Held at the desk. — Dec 19, 2018
Received in the House. — Dec 19, 2018
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 17, 2018
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Dec 13, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 13, 2018
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — May 16, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-S2863.

Finally, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), whose district includes Kennebunkport, introduced the President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Dollar Coin Act. Essentially, this would have extended the Presidential $1 Coin program to include President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. This bill, like many others, died in committee.

H.R. 7257: President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Dollar Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)
Introduced: December 11, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Dec 11, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR7257.

A full review of the 115th Congress will be published shortly after the government reopens and the GPO resumes its publishing operations.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As we begin a new year, we should look forward to better times for our hobby, our nation, and our world. I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2019 and hope that you find the key coin of your dreams!

Weekly World Numismatic News for December 30, 2018

While considering the news of the past week, the one thing that sticks out is the press release from the Professional Numismatic Guild. The release touts the strength of the high-end, rare coin market with a throwaway line that notes there may trouble for the general collector.

While prices declined during the year for some U.S. coins in easily available lower grades, hundreds of noteworthy coins from early American to modern that are among the finest known of their kind set auction price records….

Prices for collector coins are driven by two principles: the spot price of silver and other metals that were used to strike the coins; the ability for the supply to meet the demand.

Primary spot price that drives the general collector coin market is silver. Silver opened on January 2, 2018, at $17.06 per troy ounce. On Friday, December 28, the price of silver was $15.29. This is a decline of $1.80 for the year or 10.55-percent decrease. This is not something that has occurred in the last month as the stock market had problems. Silver reached its highest price on January 15 when it reached $17.325. The spot price of silver dropped below $17.00 on February 5 and has been on a steady decline all year.

There has been a steady decrease in the spot prices of silver in 2018
(chart courtesy of Kitco; this is a static chart and will not update)

But the price of silver alone is not enough to drive collector coin prices down to get PNG’s attention. The problem is the other part of the equation: supply and demand.

The supply of collector coins is not changing. The coin market is relatively stagnant since the U.S. Mint is no longer making Mercury dimes, Walking Liberty half dollars, or Morgan dollars. There may be an increase in those coins coming to the market as collectors liquidate or the families of deceased collectors liquidate, but is this more than usual?

The number of people collecting may not be enough to drive the market simply because numismatics is not as popular a hobby as it once was.

PNG notes that the success of their high-end business may be coming from investors, not collectors:

“With the stock market dropping during the fourth quarter of 2018 we saw an increase in interest in the rare coin market with some people taking profits from stocks and buying coins that have proven to show sizeable and consistent increases in value over the years, as well as buying precious metals,” said Professional Numismatists Guild President Barry Stuppler.

While it is good that the PNG touts the work of their members in the Top 10% of the market, the general public is not buying. PNG can pat themselves on the back all they want but if they are not helping the entire industry, they are losing the opportunity to turn a general collector into one of their customers.

Further, the American Numismatic Association, which is dominated by the same dealers who are members of the PNG, seem to have a blind spot that prevents them from seeing the general collector as a viable business model to cultivate.

There are only so many times that the industry can claim successes by selling the same 1913 Liberty Head Nickel before everyone, including investors, consider this a market with stale inventory.

This is not to say that the PNG dealers are bad people or have bad intentions. This is saying that the PNG needs to look beyond the top 10-percent of the market to ensure the other 90-percent is just as healthy. Without a market balance and without market diversity, the hobby will be in trouble. Even in the equity markets, low volume low capitalized stocks can cause harm to the market.

And now the news…

 December 24, 2018

JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s fiscal trajectory in many ways mirrors the tribulations it endured before emerging as one of the world’s foremost trade and financial hubs. Before the Kingdom was unified by its late founder, King Abdul Aziz, the Arabian Peninsula had suffered its fair share of economic woes thanks to war and political strife within tribal factions.  → Read more at arabnews.com


 December 25, 2018

Coinages issued in Maharashtra dating back to 2600 BCE on display  → Read more at thehindu.com


 December 25, 2018

Gold prices advanced for a second straight day on Tuesday and rose Rs 125 on higher demand from local jewellers  → Read more at livemint.com


 December 27, 2018

In a sign of precious metals demand, sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle gold and …  → Read more at reuters.com


 December 27, 2018

Earlier this month, my friend Hugo Salinas Price emailed an interesting story about a single gold coin that that he still holds dearly. As I was shuffling papers in some old files, I came across a slip of paper on which I had written down the price I had paid for a Mexican $50 gold peso coin: 717 Mexican pesos.  → Read more at moneymaven.io


 December 27, 2018

Israel Antiquities Authority, JNF and Border Police stopped a band of thieves from stealing ancient coins from the Hukuk Synagogue archeological site in northern Israel on Thursday. "A quick response prevented damage to the magnificent and important treasures of the site," Nir Distelfeld, the antiquities theft inspector, said.  → Read more at jpost.com


 December 28, 2018

Operators of the historic Coin Press No. 1 inside Carson City's Nevada State Museum began striking silver medallions Friday with a commemorative Abraham Curry design created just for the occasion. On the last Friday of each month, the Nevada State Museum runs the coin press, which now mints unique collectible medallions.  → Read more at carsonnow.org

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Good bye my sweet prince!

This post does not contain any numismatic content.

The day Boomer fell into our hearts: December 2, 2006.

On December 3, 2006, I wrote about our new acquisition. A day before that post, we traveled to southwest Virginia to adopt Boomer. At the time, Boomer was a 9-week old Puggle. Boomer was a very cute puppy with a stub for a tail. We were accused of cutting off his tail but that was the way he was born.

Boomer was far more intelligent than he originally let on. As many puppies do, he explored his limits he began to not only understand what he could or could not do, but how to pull at his new mommy and daddy’s heartstrings.

A cross between a pug and a beagle, Boomer showed more of the personality of the beagle but had the snuggle ability of the pug. Boomer was a snuggler, always wanting to sit on the couch or crawl into bed to snuggle with us.

Like the beagle, Boomer could bark and howl with the best of them. He was our storm warning system. When the thunderstorms were off in the distance, Boomer would warn us and howl right through the storm. We nicknamed him Thunder Boomer.

When we brought home Tessa, he was tolerant of her mishegas. She was much more active than the laid back Boomer but I think they grew to like each other. Tessa was really attached to her brother.

This is our last picture of Boomer taken the morning of December 24, 2018. Good bye sweet prince!

He was intelligent beyond that of an ordinary dog. He learned certain conversational cues and could react to them as we spoke. He would also teach us to respond to him by using those cues and his body language to tell us what he wants. It wasn’t a good time for a walk but he needed to go out? Stand in a certain place and let us know to open the back door. Did he want some attention? Tell us it was time for bed? Or any other thing that was on his mind? He had his own language and we were able to communicate.

Of all things, Boomer was a kind, sensitive, and loving dog who loved to be around us always wanted to snuggle and loved the attention. Since my wife and I could not have children, Boomer was our son.

At 5:25 am on December 25, our baby Boomer left us for his next adventure. He was a beautiful and smart boy. Always loved and always loving. Goodbye to our sweet prince.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2018

Whether you celebrated Chanukah

“10 Zuz” Silver Hanukkah Gelt — ca. 19th Century from Eastern Europe (Image courtesy of Moreshet Auctions)

Observed Festivus, for the rest of us

FDR dime struck on a nail (stand in for Festivus Pole) (Imaget courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

Having a Merry Christmas

Reverse of the 2009 Latvia 1 Lat coin with the Christmas Tree on the reverse (Image courtesy of Latvijas Banka via Numista)

Or will begin celebrating Kwanzaa

1999 Angola 1 kwanza as a stand-in to help celebrate Kwanzaa (Image courtesy of the Currency Wiki)

I hope you are having a joyous holiday season!

On a personal note, my wife and I just left Boomer at the vet hospital. Boomer is 12 years old and celebrated his 12th anniversary with us on December 2. Since we were never able to have children, Boomer was our first four-legged child. It will be hard to imagine life without Boomer so we are hoping for the best.

Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for December 23, 2018

Imperial Russian Government, 1917 Specimen 4% Savings bond sold at auction for $12,810 (Image courtesy of Archives International)

When it comes to numismatic-related news, nothing catches my interest more than when the news is not coin-related. Even though this is the Coin Collectors Blog, I have advocated that numismatic consider more areas of collecting than coins.

This past week, Archives International announced that a 1917 Imperial Russian Government 4% Savings Bond Specimen that was estimated at $400-600 sold for $12,810 with buyer’s premium. It was a record for Russian Specimen bonds.

Archives International is not the standard numismatic auction house many have come to recognize. They specialize in all types of financial paper from around the world. From 2007 to 2011 the firm handled American Bank Note Archives Auctions, Parts I through VIII, which included their entire archives of samples and other financial paper ephemera from the worldwide customer base of ABN through history.

Recognizing this accomplishment is not only good for Archives Internation but for the numismatic industry. It shows everyone that there is more to collecting numismatics than coins. It shows that you can take an interest in collecting currency, bonds, stock certificates, and other scripophily and still be a numismatist.

Somewhere in grandpa or grandma’s belonging may be a stock certificate for The Haloid Photographic Company, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, or Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company that may not be worth anything financially, but what a wonderful piece of history would be added to your collection!

And now the news…

 December 16, 2018

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday issued Rs50 commemorative coin with regard to International Anti-Corruption Day, ARY News reported. The federal government had authorised the central bank for issuing the coin, which was made available at the exchange counters of all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation.  → Read more at arynews.tv


 December 17, 2018

(ArtfixDaily.com) FORT LEE, N.J. – Archives International Auction’s “50th Milestone Auction” held on December 3rd & 4th, 2018 was highlighted by a 1917 Imperial Russian Government 4% Savings Bond Specimen estimated at $400 to $600 and hammering for $12,810 smashing all previous records for Russian Specimen bonds on December 3rd, 2018, the first day of a two day sale, held at the historic Collectors Club in New York City.  → Read more at artfixdaily.com


 December 17, 2018

Editor's Note: Kitco News has officially launched Outlook 2019 – Rush To Safety – the definitive reference for precious metals investors for the new year. We chose this year's theme as financial markets face growing uncertainty.  → Read more at kitco.com


 December 18, 2018

NATIONAL Police warn the public to keep an eye out for coin scam going around Europe once again.  → Read more at euroweeklynews.com


 December 19, 2018

A Tudor coin hoard found in Shropshire which features Henry VIII and all his children is on display at Ludlow Museum.  → Read more at shropshirestar.com


 December 21, 2018

CBK lauded over new currency that is friendly to the blind  → Read more at standardmedia.co.ke

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BONUS

I named three very significant companies above. If you have not guessed who they are today and have read this far:

The Haloid Photographic Company
Founded in Rochester, NY in 1906 as a company that manufactured photographic paper and equipment. In 1938, Chester Carlson invented a process for using an electrically charged dry powder that could be transferred to paper by pressing it on a roller. It took nearly 20 years to perfect before it became a product. The company coined the term “xerography” from two Greek words meaning “dry writing.” In 1961, the company was renamed Xerox.
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company
Formed in 1911 to be the holding company for four companies: The Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company, Computing Scale Company of America, and the Bundy Manufacturing Company. The four companies made a range of products from time-keeping systems, scales, meat slicers, and punch card equipment. Thomas J. Watson Sr. was hired by CTC in 1914 after he was fired from NCR. He became company president in 1915. In 1924, Watson renamed the company the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
The company was founded in 1902 in Two Harbors, Minnesota to attempt to mine corundum in Minnesota and provide manufacturing support. When the mines turned out to be a failure, the company moved to Duluth and began to manufacture sandpaper. Over the years, the company found new products to manufacture and diverged from its mining roots. The name was too cumbersome to put in packages so they used the trade name “Three-M.” Later it was shortened to 3M and in 2002, the company officially changed their name to 3M.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.

More ways to entomb your collectibles

1996 Olympic Tennis Commemorative silver dollar “X” cancelled die encapsulated by NGC (Image courtesy of NGC)

Earlier this month, the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation announced that they will certify and encapsulate canceled dies. Dies will not receive a grade but the label will identify the coin the die struck, note that it is an “Official US Mint Coin Die,” and note the type of cancellation.

Fees for this service range from $20 for a defaced die to $50 for a die that was canceled with an “X” to $100 for a die that was not canceled.

The holder appears to be similar to those used to encapsulate rolled coins. It will hold a die up to 40.6mm wide and 59.6mm tall, likely the largest die that the U.S. Mint would use to strike coins. The holder will be too small for the dies that would have struck 3-inch medals.

NGC does not say how the holders would keep smaller dies in place.

NGC will accept coin dies from any country.

Since I found coin dies interesting, I bought a few. Two Lincoln cent dies were ground down except still have a small part of the design visible. The other is a 1994 half-dollar obverse die. The one cent dies are on my desk at home and the half-dollar dollar dies is in my office.

Having the die sitting on my desk is a great conversation starter. Visitors will ask what it is and when I explain they have the same reaction that I had when I bought it at the 2018 World’s Fair of Money: “ooo, neat!”

I am not sure how I feel about this news for the industry but I will not be submitting my dies for encapsulation. I do not think the die’s industrial look would look good entombed in plastic.

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